Graphic Witness: Hugo Gellert
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Hugo Gellert: Comrade Gulliver

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DRUMMER BOYS

"WELL," said Mr. Keen, "it's Tuesday. How about lunch with the Rotarians?"

"What are the Rotarians?" I asked.

"Oh, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker -- people like myself, who don't like to eat alone. Come and see for yourself."

In a good-sized dining room, with flowers on each table, pretty girls flitted hither and thither carrying food to a lot of noisy fat men.

As we took our places, the Chairman arose: "How about our little song? Don't forget to put pep into it!" He lifted his hand. "All together boys, now!" They all sang:

"Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag
And smile, smile, smile. . .

They beat an accompaniment with spoons, knives and forks against the plates, a terrific din! "And now," said the Chairman, "for this fine singing you will be rewarded with a surprise." He waddled to the door and with a dramatic flourish opened the door and ushered in a group of timid, ragged children. He poked one of them: "Come on, come on," he coaxed in a stage whisper. The frightened child mumbled something. "Louder!" The child, on the verge of tears: "We thank you for the milk."

"What else?" coaxed the Chairman. "Apples." "What else?" "I don't know nothing more." "Didn't you get anything else?" He yelled at him. The child burst into tears. The Chairman now hustled his charges out hastily and quickly closed the door.

"The damn fool," Mr. Keen remarked. "He spoiled my lunch." Immediately steaming food was placed before us and everybody 'fell to', even Mr. Keen ate heartily, in spite of the children.

As coffee was served, which is the last course at the American table, the Chairman got to his feet again: "And now gentlemen, for the chief surprise of the day. I want to introduce to you a personage of whom his country can justly be proud. Father Kelly, Fighting Chaplain of the greatest fighting force in the world. His boys died bravely, heroically, with a smile on their lips. Father Kelly!" Everybody clapped.

Father Kelly stood up, a priest in army uniform! Only, his collar was turned front backwards. "I thank the chairman for his kind words," he said. "But I'm sure that any one of you here would have done his duty for his God and Country as I have mine. My hope is, that the Almighty God in His Infinite Wisdom will keep me to render further service to our country in the future as I have done in the past. . ."

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