That’s me all over, Mable Part 1

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That’s me all over, Mable is a Webnovel created by Edward Streeter.
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“That’s me all over, Mable”

by Edward Streeter.

“_Thats Me All Over, Mable_”

_Dere Mable_:

I take my pen in hand to tell you what do you think I done now? I left the infantry an gone back into the artillery. The Captin hated to let me go. He said the Artillery Colonel was a friend of his. I guess thats why he finally said all right. It wasnt that I was scared of the infantry. I guess you know that I aint scared of anything that walks on two legs except the measles. The artillerys really more dangerous than the infantry cause you stand in one place so they can get a good line on you while in the infantry your running round all the time.

Seein the Captin was so jealous of me I thought a fello with brains would have more chance over here. I tried to transfer as an officer but the Captin said I better go over as a private and as soon as they saw what kind of a fello I was theyd fix me all right. He seemed to wake up a little when he saw I was goin. Im going to put in my applicashun for an officer as soon as I get a chance.

I didnt go back to the same battery I was in before cause youll remember that the Captin and I didnt get along very well. Couldnt seem to agree on nothin. I thought it would be pleasanter for me an him to if I went to another battery.

It almost seemed like they was waitin for me cause the day after I came over they hitched up the horses and drove the cannons out to the range.

Its kind of hard to explain to a girl like you what a range is. The only way I can explain it is that it aint nothin like a range. There aint nothin here but mountins and we can fire all we want without hittin nothin but the mountins and once in a while maybe one of the mountin ears. But they say there so tough they dont mind it a bit. Thats a funny thing about artillery, Mable. The object seems to be not to hit nothin.

The day we got out here I heard the Captin say “Well Im glad were way out in a place like this where we don’t run no danger of hittin nothin.”

All I said was “I like to see a fello careful Captin, but if thats all your worryin about you needent have taken so much trouble.” The longer I know Captins the less I understand them.

[Ill.u.s.tration: “WE CAN FIRE ALL WE WANT WITHOUT HITTIN NOTHIN”]

This is the rainy season. The south is a wonderful country for wether cause everything is divided off so well. There is three seasons. The cold season, the hot season and the rainy season. Thats what makes the place so good. It would be awful tiresome if you was always freezin to death, or always soaked or always bakein. Now you get four months of each. It makes a change for a fello.

Theyve put me on the speshul detail. The speshul detail, Mable, is a bunch of fellos what knows more than any one else in the camp. I sit on a hill all day with a little telephone in a lunch box and take messages.

They got an awful system of sending messages in the artillery. Ill be sittin there thinkin of you an waitin for lunch and somebody says “h.e.l.lo” an I says “h.e.l.lo” just like a regular fone. And then they say “Heres a message from mmmmmmmm.” Its always the same fello. I dont know who he is. And then they say “Tell Captin mmmmmmmm to mmmmmmmmm at once.

Please repeat.” And then I repeat and whoever it is says “No, No” and you dont here any more. I guess its some kind of a code they have. I dont believe the Captin is on to it cause you ought to have heard what he said the other day. I guess he was talkin about the fello on the other end. I never heard your father do better.

Its awful dangerous work cause where I sit aint more than half a mile from the sh.e.l.ls. If they ever put a curve on one of them its good night Willie. I aint scared of course. I just menshuned it sos you wouldnt worry. Ill tell you more about the telefone the next time. I may know more about it myself then.

Yours till they curve one _Bill_.

[Ill.u.s.tration: “I SIT ON A HILL ALL DAY”]

_Dere Mable_:

Were still up at the artillery range shootin. I dont know what at. Im beginnin to think n.o.body else does ether. Our guns is pointed right at some woods. Weve been shootin at those woods now for a week and havnt hit them yet. We always seem to go over them. Theres a fello stands behind the guns and yells things all day like it was a poker game. “Up five, up ten.” The whole thing seems like an awful waste of time to me.

Im goin to suggest that we tie a couple of horses to a tree and shoot at them. The fellos would take more interest in there work if there was some reward. It wouldnt bother the horses much if we cant hit the woods I guess, eh Mable? They can use my horse. If Im willin to take a chance he ought to be.

A fello told me the other day that these torpetoes what we shoot cost as high as twenty dollars apiece. I dont believe that though or theyd be a law against it. I guess he was talking about the guns. Im going to take a couple of torpetoes back to camp and see how much the audience department will give me for them. Thrifty. Thats me all over, Mable.

The mountin ears come over and watch us. I guess the moonshining business must be lax this time of year. A moonshiner makes whisky out of corn. Angus MacKenzie tried to make some by soaking a couple of ears in a bucket for almost a week. It didn’t taste like much though an made us kind of sick. I guess you have to have a still like these fellos have.

They call it a still, Mable, cause they have to use it on the quiet.

The mountin ears are awful fierce with big adams apples and round hair cuts when they have any. They have family foods. I guess they got the idea from the movies, Mable. For instance the Turners live on the one side of the mountin and the Howards on the other. That makes them sore so they shoot each other. Accordin to the stories they only shoot each other when they are goin to church. From the looks of them I guess they made that rule to save amunishun.

Angus an I went out last Sunday looking for a still. We thought we had one once and watched it most all day but it turned out to be just a little shack where they sell fig newtons and lemon pop to the fellos.

You cant fool Angus.

The more I see of the army, Mable, the more I think its an awful bluff. I heard a lot of talk when I first came up about a gun park. I thought it would be a nice place to go Sundays and have some fun. I asked the Captin if there was a lake where a fello could get a canoo and have a little paddle. He said no but they had a fine collecshun of animals. I didnt see nothin of no park when we came up. I spent a whole Sunday afternoon lookin for it. One day I asked the sargent where it was while we were unhitchin. He said we were in it then. It isnt nothin but a big field without a blade of gra.s.s or a tree and just the guns in the middle. I told him if he thought this was a park he ought to see Weewillo Park home. I guess you ought to know, Mable, I paid your way in often enough.

[Ill.u.s.tration: “A BUNCH LYIN UNDER THE TREES”]

Its like those picturs you see stuck around Main Street about men wanted for the army. Theres always one fello playin tunes on a bugle, an a couple of fellos playin Old Maid on a table. An off in the corner theres always a bunch lyin under the trees like the High School tennis team having there pictur taken. Now that isnt the kind of thing we do at all, Mable. If the top sargent ever found us like that hed swallo his whissle.

I had a run in with the Captin last week, Mable. I cant seem to get along with Captins. High strung. Thats me all over. Every week we have an inspecshun and I have to clean the whole gun myself. They send the whole bunch down but I guess its just to hand me things. Like nurses in an operation. It aint much fun I tell you. When the Major came around next day he opened the little door in the back of the gun and I guess he saw how many parts there was to keep clean cause he says “My, what an awful bore.” The Major is all right, Mable. He likes a fello to have a little fun once in a while. I guess he aint never been a Captin. I says “Yes, Major, it certainly is, an n.o.body knows it better than me cause I cleaned the whole thing myself.” He says “Well if you dont do somethin about it next week then you wont have n.o.body to blame but yourself.”

I took the hint right off and when it came time to clean guns for the next inspecshun I got a horse and rode over to town and took a bath. I told the Captin afterwards what the Major had told me but I dont think he would care if General Perishing had asked me home to dinner. Its what _he_ wants. To tell the truth I think he was sore cause I got a bath an he didnt.

Thats a funny thing about the army. If theres a speck of dirt on the old guns or the horses everyone gets an awful ballin out. But if a fello takes a little time to wash hisself youd think he done a crime.

[Ill.u.s.tration: “MY, WHAT AN AWFUL BORE”]

Well I got to quit now. Im goin on what Angus MacKenzie calls a still hunt. Thats a skotch joke.

I think when the wars over Ill marry you an be a mountin ear. They dont seem to have nothin to do but stand round with there hands in there pockets and watch us work. Thats a nice life.

yours till then _Bill_.

_Dere Mable_:

Spring is come. The buds is stickin out on the trees. Pieces of tacksicabs is stickin up through the mud on the roads. Yesterday I caught a fly. It makes a fello feel romantic somehow or other. Some of em shines there shoes and rites home oftener. Some has even had there picturs taken. Max Glucos was so sure spring was here that he got usin the Sibly stove for a laundry bag. Then we had a cold night and Angus MacKenzie thought it was kindling. Max an Angus aint speakin now. Not that that matters much though cause they never said much when they did talk.

It kind of makes me restless Mable when I think of you and Main St. and the fello with the long hair in Billings and Stover what used to make us up Sundays. An I get lonesome for Maple st. with you an me sittin at one end of the piazza pretendin we was listenin to your father readin the newspaper out loud. If I ever get old, Mable, dont let me read the newspaper out loud. An do you remember how still wed have to sit sos the hammok wouldnt squak after eleven o’clock or your fatherd stick his head out the door an say that if I didn’t have a home you did? An how wed go canooing at Weewillo park Sat.u.r.day nights and stay out till the fello that hired the boats out went to sleep. I was always a good spender. You know that, but thrifty. Thats me all over, Mable.

[Ill.u.s.tration: “THE FELLO WITH THE LONG HAIR”]

I was comin back to camp the other night and a guard stopped me and says “Who goes there?” an I says without thinkin “Me an Mable every Sat.u.r.day night.” Thats the way I am now.

Max Glucos says poetry. Spring hits him that way. Some gets hay fever, some rash and others poetry. He says one thing that starts “In the spring a young mans fancy vests and socks come into view.” He says a fello named Burns wrote it. Angus says Burns was a hot skotch. But I guess you wouldnt understand that.

Were going to have a divishun show. Of course every body in the divishun isnt goin to be in it. A lot of them has to be detailed to watch it.

They asked me what I could do and I said most anything but Id like to say a piece called Gungadien. Its a piece I came across in a book by a fello I never heard of so I didnt think any of the fellos would know it.

They told me to report at the mess shack an theyd fix me up. When I went they told me I was electrician cause anybody could recite pieces but they had to have a fello with a bean on him to be electrician. They told me they was goin to hold me for an emergency. If the show went rotton an everybody got throwin things then theyd send me out.

Fellos is funny, Mable. Most of em when you ask em say they cant do nothin. Then if they think they aint goin to be urged they say there rotton but theyll have a try at it. Then when they get down rehersin they get so pleased with themselves they dont want to quit an give n.o.body else a chance. Its part of the electricians job to get them away when they get through. One fello plays a ukaylaly and sings Howareyoun songs. He thinks there so sad that he almost cries every time. We think so too but it makes us mad instead.

Thank your mother for the spring tonic she sent me. Its funny that a bottle of medicine was the first thing that ever came through the post office without bein in pieces. I cant say much for the taste. I guess thats why it got by the post office so well. Your mother rote me to take it regular cause it put iron in my blood. Angus says we got enough stuff to lug around now without ballisting our insides with iron. After he tasted it he said that if he had to have iron in his blood hed rather swallo a couple of nails and let them dissolve inside him than take them predigested.

[Ill.u.s.tration: “HE THINKS THERE SO SAD THAT HE ALMOST CRIES”]

Dont send me no more nitted things, Mable. Its gettin hotter every day.

Next winter well be in France. Its nice and warm there all the time.

Besides Paris is a pretty fair sized town. I can run in any time and get what ever I want. Give my regards to your father. I hope his liver is workin again. I dont suppose he is by any chance.

yours regardless _Bill_.

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