Funny Stories Told by the Soldiers: Secretary baker tells a good one

“The neat and even elegant appearance of the American soldier isn’t maintained,” said War Secretary Baker in an address, “without hard work. Yes, the work is hard, but doesn’t the result more than justify it?

“On the train the other day a private sat with his tunic unbuttoned, for the temperature was high. A sergeant strode up to him and said:

“‘Button up that tunic! Did you never hear of by-law 217, subsection D? I’m Sergeant Jabez Winterbottom!’

“A gentleman in the seat behind tapped the sergeant sternly on the shoulder.

“‘How dare you issue orders with a pipe in your mouth?’ he asked. ‘Go home and read paragraph 174, section M, part IX. I am Major Eustace Carroll.’

“Here a gentleman with a drooping white mustache interposed from the other side of the aisle:

“‘If Major Carroll,’ he said coldly, ‘will consult by-law 31 of section K, he will learn that to reprimand a sergeant in the presence of a private is an offense not lightly to be overlooked.’”