SMITHY sat on the canteen table swinging his legs, and all that was best, brightest, and most noble in the First Battalion of the Anchester Regiment sat round listening.
The glow of sunset lingered in the sky, but blue dusk sat on the eastern side of the barrack square; where, in the shade of the tall oaks—those oaks that had waved and rustled just as bravely when Clarendon of the 190th was preparing the regiment for the Peninsular Wars—the low-roofed married quarters twinkled with lights.
A bugle call interrupted the narrative of the raconteur; a sharp, angry, slurred call that sent two of the company at a jog trot to the guard-room.
But the interruption furnished at once a text and an illustration for Private Smith.
He addressed the audience generally, but mainly his remarks were directed toward the only civilian present.