A new volunteer at a national guard encampment who had not quite learned his business, was on sentry duty, one night, when a friend brought a pie from the canteen.
As he sat on the grass eating pie, the major sauntered up in undress uniform. The sentry, not recognizing him, did not salute, and the major stopped and said:
"What's that you have there?"
"Pie," said the sentry, good-naturedly. "Apple pie. Have a bite?"
The major frowned.
"Do you know who I am?" he asked.
"No," said the sentry, "unless you're the major's groom."
The major shook his head. "Guess again," he growled.
"The barber from the village?"
"Maybe"—here the sentry laughed—"maybe you're the major himself?"
"That's right. I am the major," was the stern reply.
The sentry scrambled to his feet.
"Good gracious!" he exclaimed. "Hold the pie, will you, while I present arms!"
The battle was going against him. The commander-in-chief, himself ruler of the South American republic, sent an aide to the rear, ordering General Blanco to bring up his regiment at once. Ten minutes passed; but it didn't come. Twenty, thirty, and an hour—still no regiment. The aide came tearing back hatless, breathless.
"My regiment! My regiment! Where is it? Where is it?" shrieked the commander.
"General," answered the excited aide, "Blanco started it all right, but there are a couple of drunken Americans down the road and they won't let it go by."
An army officer decided to see for himself how his sentries were doing their duty. He was somewhat surprised at overhearing the following:
"Halt! Who goes there?"
"Friend—with a bottle."
"Pass, friend. Halt, bottle."
"A war is a fearful thing," said Mr. Dolan.
"It is," replied Mr. Rafferty. "When you see the fierceness of members of the army toward one another, the fate of a common enemy must be horrible."