A young Canadian officer, who had lived for years in China, was deputed to take to France for service behind the lines a company of Chinese coolies. On the ocean voyage over, which was a turbulent one, a row developed between the coolies and the Cantonese cooks, and the coolies decided to kill the cooks. Hearing of it the Canadian called in several of the coolies and told them if they killed the cooks they would have nothing to eat until they reached France.
“What’s the matter?” asked the Canadian of the coolie ringleader. “Isn’t the food good?” Yes, the food was good.
“Isn’t there enough food?”
Yes, there was plenty of food.
“Isn’t it well cooked?”
Yes, it was well cooked.
“Well, then, what the devil is the matter? Why do you want to kill the cooks?”
“Well,” replied the coolie, “we don’t know exactly why, but somehow or other the food won’t stay down.”