A report has come from Mexico concerning the doings of three revolutionary soldiers who visited a ranch, which was the property of an American spinster and her two nieces. The girls are pretty and charming, but the aunt is somewhat elderly and much faded, though evidently of a dauntless spirit. The three soldiers looked over the property and the three women, and then declared that they were tired of fighting, and had decided to marry the women and make their home on the ranch.
The two girls were greatly distressed and terrified, but even in their misery they were unselfish.
“We are but two helpless women,” they said in effect, “and if we must, we bow to our cruel fate. But please—oh, please—spare our dear auntie. Do not marry her.”
At this point, their old-maid relation spoke up for herself:
“Now, now, you girls—you mind your own business. War is war.”
* * *
“How do countries come to go to war?” the little boy inquired, looking up from his book.
“For various reasons,” explained the father. “Now, there was Germany and Russia. They went to war because the Russians mobilized.”
“Not at all, my dear,” the wife interrupted. “It was because the Austrians—”
“Tut, tut, my love!” the husband remonstrated. “Don’t you suppose I know?”
“Certainly not—you are all wrong. It was because—”
“Mrs. Perkins, I tell you it was because—”
“Benjamin, you ought to know better, you have boggled—”
“Your opinion, madam, has not been requested in this matter.”
“Shut up! I won’t have my child mistaught by an ignoramus.”
“Don’t you dare, you impudent—”
“And don’t you dare bristle at me, or I’ll—”
“Oh, never mind!” the little boy intervened. “I think I know now how wars begin.”
* * *
At our entry into the World War, a popular young man enlisted and before setting forth for camp in his uniform made a round of farewell calls. The girl who first received him made an insistent demand:
“You’ll think of me every single minute when you’re in those stupid old trenches!”
“Every minute,” he agreed solemnly.
“And you’ll kiss my picture every night.”
“Twice a night,” he vowed, with the girl’s pretty head on the shoulder of the new uniform coat.
“And you’ll write me long, long letters?” she pleaded.
“I’ll write every spare minute,” he assured her, “and if I haven’t any spare minutes, I’ll take ’em anyhow.”
After a tender interval punctuated with similar ardent promises, he went away from there, and called on another girl. In fact, he called on ten separate and distinct pretty girls, and each of them was tender and sought his promises, which he gave freely and ardently and when it was all done with, he communed with himself somewhat sadly.
“I do hope,” he said wearily, “there won’t be much fighting to do over there—for I’m going to be awfully busy.”