The Good Soldier Svejk Chapter 14.

Schweik Becomes Batman to Lieutenant Lukash.


Schweik’s good fortune did not last long. Unrelenting fate severed the friendly relations between him and the Chaplain. While up to this incident, the Chaplain had been a likeable personality, what he now perpetrated was enough to strip him of all likeable quality.

The Chaplain sold Schweik to Lieutenant Lukash, or, to put it more accurately, he lost him at cards. Just as they used to dispose of the serfs in Russia. It happened quite unexpectedly. Lieutenant Lukash gave a party and they were playing poker.

The Chaplain kept on losing, and at last he said :

"How much will you advance me on my batman? He’s a champion idiot and a regular card, quite unique in his way. I bet you’ve never come across a batman like him."

"I’ll advance you a hundred crowns," said Lieutenant Lukash, "and if I don’t get them back by the day after to-morrow, you’ll let me have this rare specimen. My present batman’s an awful fellow. He goes about pulling a long face, he’s always writing home, and on top of all that he steals every blessed thing he can lay hands on. I’ve tried giving him a good hiding, but it isn’t the slightest use. I clump his head every time I see him, but he’s as bad as ever. I knocked out a few of his front teeth, but there’s no curing the fellow."

"Right you are, then," said the Chaplain recklessly. "A hundred crowns or Schweik the day after to-morrow."

He lost the hundred crowns and went sadly home. He was quite certain, beyond all manner of doubt, that he would never manage to scrape together the hundred crowns within the specified time, and to all intents and purposes he had basely and despicably sold Schweik.

"I might just as well have said two hundred," he grumbled to himself, but as he changed trams he was overcome by a sentimental feeling of self-reproach.

"It was a rotten thing of me to do," he pondered, as he rang his bell. "For the life of me I don’t know how I’m to look him in the face, damn him."

"My dear Schweik," he said when he was indoors, "a very unusual thing happened. I was most infernally unlucky at cards. I blued every cent I had."

There was a short silence, and he continued :

"And I wound up by losing you. I got an advance of a hundred crowns with you as security, and if I don’t give it back by the day after to-morrow, you won’t belong to me, but to Lieutenant Lukash. I’m really very sorry about it."

"I’ve got a hundred crowns left," said Schweik. "I can lend it to you."

"Give it here," said the Chaplain, brightening up. "I’ll take it to Lukash on the spot. I should really be sorry to part with you."

Lukash was very surprised to see the Chaplain again.

"I’ve come to pay you that debt," said the Chaplain, gazing round him triumphantly. "Let’s have a flutter."

"Double or quits," declared the Chaplain, when his turn came.

And at the second round he once more went the whole hog.

"Twenty wins," announced the holder of the bank.

"My total’s nineteen," said the Chaplain, very crestfallen, as he put into the bank the last forty crowns left over from the hundred-crown note which Schweik had lent him to redeem himself from fresh serfdom.

On his way home the Chaplain came to the conclusion that this settled matters once and for all, that nothing could now save Schweik, that it was predestined for him to become the orderly of Lieutenant Lukash.

And when Schweik let him in, he said to him :

"It’s all no use, Schweik. Nobody can go against his fate. I’ve lost you and your hundred crowns as well. I’ve done everything I could, but fate was too much for me. It’s thrown you into the clutches of Lieutenant Lukash, and the time has come for us to part."

"And was there a lot in the bank?" asked Schweik with composure. Whereupon he plunged into a long rigmarole about a tinker named Vejvoda and his gambling misadventure with a chimney sweep, which had led to a raid by the police.

"The bank amounted to millions and millions in I. O. U’s," said Schweik, "and there was fifteen hundred in ready cash. When the police inspector saw what a lot there was, he didn’t half stare. ’Why,’ he says, ’I never saw the like of this before. It’s worse than Monte Carlo.’ "

Schweik then went to brew some grog and the end of it was that the Chaplain, when Schweik succeeded, late at night and with some difficulty, in getting him into bed, burst into tears and sobbed :

"I have sold you, comrade, shamefully sold you. Overwhelm me with curses, strike me. I will endure it. I throw myself at your mercy. I cannot look you in the face. Maul me, bite me, destroy me. I deserve no better fate. Do you know what I am?"

And the Chaplain buried his tear-stained face in the pillow, as

in a soft and gentle voice he murmured : "I’m a thorough-paced blackguard," and fell sound asleep.

The next day the Chaplain avoided Schweik’s glance, went away early and did not return until nightfall, with a fat infantryman.

"Show him, Schweik," he said, again avoiding Schweik’s glance, "where the things are kept, so as he can find his way about, and teach him how to brew grog. Report yourself to Lieutenant Lukash early to-morrow morning."

Schweik and the new man spent a pleasant night together brewing grog. In the morning the fat infantryman was standing on one leg and was mumbling to himself a queer medley of various popular songs. "Oh, there’s a tiny stream that flows, my sweetheart serves the crimson beer, O mountain, mountain, thou art lofty. The maidens fared along the highroad. On the White Hill the peasants till."

"There’s no need for me to worry about you," said Schweik. "A chap like you is bound to get on with the Chaplain like a house afire."

And so it came about that in the morning Lieutenant Lukash beheld for the first time the frank and honest countenance of Schweik, who quoth :

"Beg to report, sir, I’m Schweik who the Chaplain lost at cards."


Officers’ orderlies are of very ancient origin. It would appear that Alexander the Great had his batman. I am surprised that nobody has yet written a history of batmen. It would probably contain an account of how Fernando, Duke of Almavir, during the siege of Toledo, ate his batman without salt. The duke himself has described the episode in his Memoirs and he adds that the flesh of his batman was tender, though rather stringy, and the taste of it was something between that of chicken and donkey.

Among the present generation of batmen there are few so self-sacrificing that they would let their masters eat them without salt. And there are cases where officers, engaged in a regular life-and-death struggle with the modern type of orderly, have

to use all possible means to maintain their authority. Thus, in 1912, a captain was tried at Graz for kicking his batman to death. He was acquitted, however, because it was only the second time he had done such a thing. On the other hand, a batman sometimes manages to get into an officer’s good graces, and then he becomes the terror of the battalion. All the N. C. O’s try to bribe him. He has the last say about leave, and by putting in a good word for anyone who has been crimed he can get him off. During the war, it was such batmen as these who gained medals for bravery. I knew several in the 91st regiment. There was one who got the large silver medal because he was an adept at roasting geese which he stole. And his master worded the proposal in support of the decoration as follows:

"He manifested exceptional bravery in the field, showing a complete disregard for his own life and not budging an inch from his officer while under the heavy fire of the advancing enemy."

To-day these batman are scattered far and wide throughout our republic, and tell the tale of their heroic exploits. It was they who stormed Sokal, Dubno, Nish, the Piave. All of them are Napoleons : "So I up and tells our colonel as how he ought to telephone to brigade headquarters that it was high time to get a move on."


Lieut. Jindrich Lukash was a typical regular army officer of the ramshackle Austrian monarchy. The cadet school had turned him into a species of amphibious creature. In company he spoke German, he wrote German, but he read Czech books, and when he was giving a course of instruction to a group of volunteer officers, all of them Czechs, he would say to them in a confidential tone :

"I’m a Czech just the same as you are. There’s no harm in it, but nobody need know about it."

He looked upon the Czech nationality as a sort of secret organization which was best given a wide berth. In other respects he was not a bad fellow. He was not afraid of his superior officers, and at manœuvres he looked after his squad, as was right and

proper. He always found comfortable quarters for them in a barn, and although his pay was modest enough he often treated his men to a barrel of beer. He was popular with the rank-and-file because he was extremely fair to everyone. When in his presence the N. C. O’s shivered in their shoes and within a month he could turn the most cantankerous sergeant-major into a lamb.

Although he could shout if he wanted to, he never bullied. He always was most careful in his choice of words and phrases. "You see," he would say, "I don’t like having to punish you, but I can’t help myself, because the efficiency of the army depends on discipline. If your uniform isn’t just as it should be, if the buttons are not properly sewn on or are missing, that shows you are forgetting the duty you owe to the army. It may be that you cannot understand why you should get C. B. because a button was missing from your tunic on parade yesterday. You may think it’s a trifling little detail which in civil life you’d never worry about. Yet you see, in the army, neglect of your appearance brings punishment in its train. And why? The point is not that you have a button missing, but that you must accustom yourself to discipline. To-day you omit to sew on a button and you begin to get slack. To-morrow you’ll decide that you can’t be bothered to take your rifle to pieces and clean it, the day after that you’ll leave your bayonet in a pub or even go to sleep while on sentry-go, simply because you began to get slack over this wretched button. That’s how it is, and that’s why I’m punishing you, so as to save you from a worse punishment for some breach of discipline you might commit through slowly but surely forgetting your duties. So I’m going to give you five days’ C. B. and I should like you, over your bread and water, to reflect that punishment is not revenge, but a means of training, the purpose of which is to correct and improve the soldier who is thus punished."

He ought to have been a captain long ago, but his cautious attitude toward racial matters was of no advantage to him, because he was very outspoken toward his superior officers. In regimental affairs he never toadied. This was his heritage from the peasant stock in southern Bohemia, where his birthplace was —a village among the dark forests and the fishponds.

While he acted fairly towards the rank-and-file, he detested his

orderlies, because it had always been his luck to get hold of the most objectionable batmen. And he refused to regard them as soldiers. He used to smack their faces or cuff their heads, and altogether tried, by word and deed, to make them mend their ways. He had pursued this plan unsuccessfully for several years. They came and went continuously and at last he used to sigh to himself when a new one arrived :

"Here’s another low brute been palmed off on to me."

He was remarkably fond of animals. He had a Harz canary, an Angora cat and a stable dog. All his previous orderlies had treated these pets about as badly as Lieutenant Lukash treated the orderlies when they had done something sneakish.

When Schweik came to report himself to Lieutenant Lukash, the latter took him into his room and said :

"Mr. Katz recommended me to you, and I want you to live up to his recommendation. I’ve had a dozen or more orderlies, and there wasn’t one of them settled down properly with me. I give you fair warning that I’m strict and I drop very sharply on all meanness and lying. I want you always to speak the truth and to carry out all my orders without any back answers. If I say : ’Jump into the fire,’ why, into the fire you’ve got to jump, even if you don’t want to. What are you looking at?"

Schweik was gazing with interest at that side of the wall where the cage with the canary was hanging, and now, fixing his good-humoured eyes on the lieutenant, he said in that kindly voice of his:

"Beg to report, sir, that’s a Harz canary."

And having thus interrupted the lieutenant’s oration, Schweik looked him straight in the face without moving an eyelid and standing stiffly at attention.

The lieutenant was about to make some scathing remark, but perceiving the guileless expression on Schweik’s countenance, he merely said:

"The Chaplain recommended you as a champion idiot, and I’m inclined to think he wasn’t far wrong."

"Beg to report, sir, the Chaplain as a matter of fact wasn’t far wrong. When I was doing my regular service, I was discharged as feeble-minded, a chronic case, too. There were two

of us discharged from the regiment for the same reason—me and a Captain von Kaunitz. He was a rum old buffer, he was, sir, if you’ll pardon me saying so. When he came with us on the parade ground, he always drew us up as if there was going to be a march-past and then he’d say : ’Now then, er, remember, er, that to-day’s, er, Wednesday, because, er, to-morrow’ll be Thursday, er.’ "

Lieutenant Lukash shrugged his shoulders, like a man who is at a loss to find words to express his thoughts adequately. He paced the room from the door to the window, walking right round Schweik, and back again, during which process Schweik, according to where the lieutenant happened to be, faced eyes right or eyes left with such an emphatic expression of innocence on his face that Lieutenant Lukash looked at the carpet as he remarked :

"Yes, I must have everything clean and tidy. And I can’t stand lies. Honesty’s the thing for me. I hate a lie and I punish it without mercy. Is that clear?"

"Beg to report, sir, it’s quite clear. The worst thing a man can do is to tell lies. As soon as he begins to get in a muddle and contradict himself, he’s done for. I think it’s always best to be straightforward and own up, and if I’ve done anything wrong, I just come and say: ’Beg to report, sir, I’ve done so-and-so.’ Oh yes, honesty’s a very fine thing, because it pays in the long run. An honest man’s respected everywhere; he’s satisfied with himself, and he feels like a new-born babe when he goes to bed and can say : ’Well, I’ve been honest again to-day.’ "

During this speech Lieutenant Lukash sat on a chair, looking at Schweik’s boots and thinking to himself :

"Ye gods, I suppose I often talk twaddle like that, only perhaps I put it a bit differently."

However, not wishing to impair his authority, he said, when Schweik had concluded :

"Now that you’re with me, you’ve got to keep your boots clean, your uniform spick-and-span, with all the buttons properly sewn on, and, in fact, your get-up must be smart and soldierly. I don’t want you to look like a civilian clodhopper. It’s a funny thing, but there’s none of you can carry himself like a soldier. Of all the orderlies I ever had there was only one who had a

soldierly bearing, and he stole my dress uniform and sold it to an old-clothes dealer."

He paused for a while, and then continued, explaining to Schweik all his duties and laying special stress on how essential it was for him to be trustworthy and never to gossip about what went on in the lieutenant’s quarters.

"There are ladies who come to see me," he added, "and sometimes one or the other of them stays all night, when I’m not on duty in the morning. In a case like that, you’ll bring coffee for two into the bedroom, when I ring. Do you follow me?"

"Beg to report, sir, I follow you. If I came into the bedroom unexpected-like, it might be awkward for the lady. I remember once I took a young woman home with me, and just as we were getting on fine together, my charwoman brought in the coffee. She didn’t half have a fright and poured all the coffee down my back. Oh, I know what’s what when a lady’s in bed."

"That’s right, Schweik. We must always be extremely tactful where ladies are concerned," said the lieutenant, who was now getting more cheerful, because the subject was one which occupied all his leisure between barracks, parade ground and gambling.

His quarters revealed marked feminine influence. Numerous ladies had left knickknacks and other adornments as mementoes of their visits. One lady had embroidered a charming antimacassar for him, besides stitching monograms on all his underwear. She would probably have completed a set of wall decorations if her husband had not put a stop to the proceedings. Another had littered his bedroom with all sorts of bric-à-brac and had hung a picture of a guardian angel over his bed. A third had left her traces in the kitchen in the form of various utensils which, together with her passionate attachment, she had brought with her. There were an appliance for chopping vegetables, an apparatus for slicing bread, a mincemeat machine, casseroles, baking pans, tureens, ladles and heaven knows what else.

Lieutenant Lukash also carried on an extensive correspondence. He had an album containing photographs of his lady friends, together with a collection of keepsakes such as numerous garters, four pairs of embroidered knickers, three camisoles of

very delicate material, a number of cambric handkerchiefs, one corset and several stockings.

"I’m on duty to-day," he said. "I shan’t be home till late. Tidy up the place and see that everything’s put straight. The last orderly was no good at all, and he’s leaving to-day with a draft for the front."

When Lieutenant Lukash had gone, Schweik put everything straight, so that when he returned at night, Schweik was able to announce :

"Beg to report, sir, everything’s been put straight, except for one little hitch. The cat got into mischief and gobbled up your canary."

"How did that happen?" bellowed the lieutenant.

"Beg to report, sir, it was like this. I knew that cats don’t like canaries and do them harm if they get half a chance. So I thought I’d make them better acquainted and if the creature showed signs of getting up to any tricks, I’d give her a walloping that’d make her remember to her dying day how to behave when canaries are about, because I’m as fond of dumb animals as can be. Where I live there’s a hatter who’s trained a cat so well that whereas she used to gobble up three canaries without turning a hair, she won’t touch ’em now, and even lets ’em sit on her tail. Well, I wanted to try my hand at that, so I took the canary out of the cage and let the cat sniff at it. But before I knew what was happening, the damned brute had bitten off the canary’s head. Really, I never thought she’d be as low down as that. Now if it’d been a sparrow, sir, I wouldn’t have said it, but such a nice Harz canary. And you’d never believe how greedy she was, too. Gobbled it up, feathers and all, and purred away the whole time, as jolly as could be. I’ve heard that cats haven’t got a musical ear and they can’t stand a canary singing, because the brutes can’t appreciate it. I gave that cat a bit of my mind, that I did, but as God’s my witness, I never laid a finger on her. I thought I’d better wait till you decided what to be done to the mangy brute."

While narrating this, Schweik looked the lieutenant in the face so frankly that the latter, who at first had approached him with intent to do him grievous bodily harm, moved away again, sat on a chair and asked :

"Look here, Schweik, are you really such a prize lunatic?"

"Beg to report, sir," replied Schweik solemnly, "I am. I’ve always been unlucky ever since I was a little kid. Whenever I wanted to do something properly and make a good job of it, it always turned out wrong and got me in a mess. I really did want those two animals to get better acquainted and understand each other, and it’s not my fault if the cat gobbled up the canary and spoiled everything. I know a house where some years ago a cat actually gobbled up a parrot, because it laughed at her and mimicked the way she miaoued. But cats are tough brutes, and no mistake. If you want me to do that cat in, sir, I’d have to squash her in the door. That’s the only thing that’d do the trick."

And Schweik, with the most innocent face and the kindliest of smiles, explained to the lieutenant how cats can be done in. If the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals had heard him, it would assuredly have foamed at the mouth. He revealed such expert knowledge that Lieutenant Lukash, forgetting his anger, asked :

"Do you know how to treat animals? Are you really fond of them?"

"Well, sir," said Schweik, "I like dogs best, because it’s a paying game if you know how to sell them. It’s not in my line, because I’m too honest, but people used to come bothering me, all the same, because they said I sold them a pup, as you might say, sir, instead of a sound, thoroughbred dog. As if all dogs can be sound and thoroughbred. And then they always wanted a pedigree, so I had to have pedigrees printed and turn a mongrel, that was born in a brick works, into a pure-bred pedigree dog. Oh, you’d be surprised, sir, at the way all the big dog fanciers swindle their customers over pedigrees. Of course, there ain’t many dogs that could truthfully call themselves out-and-out thoroughbreds. Sometimes the mother or the grandmother got mixed up with some mongrel or other, or maybe several, and then the animal takes after each of them. Ears from one, tail from another, whiskers from another, jowls from a fourth, bandy legs from a fifth, size from a sixth; and if a dog had a dozen connections of that sort, you can just about imagine, sir, what he looks like. I once

bought a dog like that, Balaban his name was, and he had so many parents he was that ugly that all the other dogs kept out of his way and I only bought him because I was sorry for the animal being deserted, like. And he used to squat at home all day long in a corner, and he was always so down in the mouth that I had to sell him as a fox terrier. What gave me the most trouble was dyeing him to make him piebald. The man who bought him took him away to Moravia, and I haven’t laid eyes on him since."

The lieutenant began to take a great interest in this doggy lore, and so Schweik was able to continue without hindrance:

"Dogs can’t dye their own hair, like ladies do, so that’s always a job for the one who wants to sell him. When a dog’s so old that he’s all gray, and you want to sell him as a one-year pup, you buy some silver nitrate, pound it up and then paint the dog black so that he looks like new. And to give him more strength you feed him with arsenic like they do horses, and you clean his teeth with emery paper like they use to clean rusty knives with. And before you show him to a customer, you make him swallow brandy, so that he gets a bit tipsy and then he’s merry and bright and barks as jolly as can be, and chums up with everyone, like people do when they’re boozed. But this is the most important part of the business, sir. You must talk to the customers, keep on talking to ’em, till they’re sort of flabbergasted. If a man wants to buy a house dog and all you’ve got is a grayhound, you’ve got to have the gift of the gab, as they say, to talk the man over, so that he takes the grayhound instead of a house dog. Or supposing someone wants a savage bull dog to keep burglars away, you’ve got to bamboozle him so that instead of a bull dog he takes one of these here midget lap dogs away in his pocket. When I used to deal in animals, there was a lady came one day and said that her parrot had flown away into the front garden and that some boys who were playing at Indians in front of her house had caught this parrot and torn all the feathers out of its tail and decorated themselves with them like policemen. Well, this parrot felt so ashamed at losing his tail that he fell ill and a vet had finished him off with some powders. So she wanted to buy a new parrot, a well-behaved one, not one of those vul-

gar birds that can do nothing but swear. Well, what was I to do, not having any parrot and not knowing where to lay hands on one? But I had a bad-tempered bull dog, quite blind he was, too. And I give you my word, sir, I had to talk to that lady from four in the afternoon till seven in the evening, before she bought the blind bull dog instead of the parrot. That was a more ticklish job than any of their diplomatic stuff, and when she was going away, I said to her : ’Those little boys had better not try to pull his tail off.’ And that’s the last words I spoke to that lady, because she had to move away from Prague on account of that bull dog, because he bit everyone in the house. You wouldn’t believe, sir, how hard it is to get hold of a really first-rate animal."

"I’m very fond of dogs," said the lieutenant, "Some of my pals who’re at the front have got dogs with them, and they write and tell me that the company of a faithful and devoted animal makes life in the trenches quite pleasant. Well, you seem to have a thorough knowledge of dogs, and I hope that if I have one you’ll look after him properly. What breed do you consider the best? I mean, for a dog as a companion. I once had a fox terrier, but I don’t know -"

"Oh, I think a fox terrier is a very nice dog, sir. Of course, it’s not everyone who takes to them, because they’ve got bristles and tough whiskers that make them look like discharged convicts. They’re so ugly that it makes them look quite handsome, and they’re clever animals, too. St. Bernards ain’t in it with them. Oh, yes, they’re clever and no mistake. I once knew one -"

Lieutenant Lukash looked at his watch and interrupted Schweik’s flow of talk.

"Well, it’s getting late and I must be off to bed. To-morrow I’m on duty again, so you’ve got the whole day to find your fox terrier."

He went off to bed, and Schweik lay down on the sofa in the kitchen, where he read the newspapers which the lieutenant had brought with him from the barracks.

"Just fancy," said Schweik to himself, scanning with interest the summary of the day’s news, "the Sultan’s awarded a war medal to the Kaiser, and I haven’t even got the M. M. yet."

Suddenly he thought of something, and rushed into the lieu-

tenant’s bedroom. Lieutenant Lukash was now fast asleep, but Schweik woke him up.

"Beg to report, sir, you didn’t give me any instructions about the cat."

And the lieutenant, half-asleep and half-awake, turned over on the other side and mumbled drowsily:

"Three days’ C. B."

Then he fell asleep again.

Schweik tiptoed out of the room, dragged the unfortunate cat from under the sofa and said to her :

"You’ve got three days’ C. B. Abtreten."1

And the Angora cat crawled back under the sofa.


Schweik was just getting ready to go and look for the fox terrier when a young lady rang the bell and said she wanted to speak to Lieutenant Lukash. Beside her lay two heavy trunks, and Schweik just caught sight of a cap belonging to a porter who was going downstairs.

"He’s not at home," said Schweik stolidly, but the young lady was already in the passage and said to Schweik in a peremptory tone:

"Take these trunks into the bedroom."

"It can’t be done without the lieutenant’s permission," said Schweik. "The lieutenant said I was never to do anything without it."

"Why, you must be mad," exclaimed the young lady. "I’ve come to pay the lieutenant a visit."

"I don’t know nothing about that," replied Schweik. "The lieutenant’s on duty, he won’t be home till to-night, and my orders are to find him a fox terrier. I don’t know nothing about any trunks or any lady. Now I’m going to lock up the place, so perhaps you wouldn’t mind getting outside. I ain’t had any instructions and I can’t leave any stranger here whom I don’t know anything about. Down our street there was a confectioner


who once let a man in and he forced the wardrobe open and cleared off.

"Of course I don’t mean any disrespect to you, miss," continued Schweik, when he saw that the young lady showed signs of getting upset and was crying, "but you absolutely can’t stay here ; you must see that for yourself, because I’m in charge of the whole place, and I’m responsible for the least thing that happens. So I’ll ask you once more not to make any unnecessary fuss. Until I get my orders from the lieutenant, I couldn’t let you stay here, not if you was my own brother. I’m sorry I’ve got to talk to you like this, but in the army we have to have proper discipline."

Meanwhile the young lady had recovered herself somewhat. She took a visiting card out of her bag, wrote a few lines on it in pencil, put it into a dainty little envelope and said in tones of distress :

"Take this to the lieutenant and I’ll wait here for an answer. Here’s five crowns to pay your fare."

"It ain’t a bit of use," replied Schweik, annoyed by the obstinacy of the unexpected guest. "Keep your five crowns; here they are, on the chair, and if you like you can come with me to the barracks; you wait for me while I take your note and I’ll bring back the answer. But you can’t wait here, that’s a dead cert."

With these words he dragged the trunks into the passage, and rattling the key like the warder of a castle, he said with solemn emphasis, as he stood in the doorway :

"Time to lock up."

The young lady dejectedly drifted into the passage, Schweik locked the door and strode ahead. The fair visitor trotted after him like a little pet dog, and did not catch him up till he stopped at a tobacconist’s to buy cigarettes.

Now she walked along by his side and made efforts to start a conversation.

"You’re sure you’ll hand it to him?"

"If I say I will, I will."

"And will you be able to find him?

"I don’t know."

They again walked on side by side in silence, until after some time the young lady resumed:

"So you think you’ll be able to find him?"

"No, I don’t."

"And where do you think he’s likely to be?"

"I don’t know."

This put a stop to the conversation for quite a long while, until the young lady again continued it by inquiring :

"You haven’t lost the note?"

"Not yet I haven’t."

"You’re sure you’ll hand it to him?"


"And you’ll be able to find him?"

"I’ve told you I don’t know," replied Schweik. "What beats me is how people can be so nosey and keep asking the same question. It’s like as if I was to stop every other person in the street and ask him what the date is."

This concluded the attempt to engage in conversation with Schweik, and the rest of the way to the barracks was traversed in complete silence. When they reached the barracks, Schweik told the young lady to wait, and then began to discuss the war with the soldiers at the gateway. The young lady walked nervously to and fro on the pavement with a very distressed look on her face. She saw SchWeik continuing his disquisition with an expression about as fatuous as that on the photograph published just about that time in the Chronicle of the Great War and entitled : "Austrian Heir-Apparent Talking to Two Airmen Who Shot Down a Russian Aeroplane."

Schweik sat down on the bench in the doorway and explained that on the Carpathian front the attacks had failed, but on the other hand, the command of Przemyśl, General Kusmanek, had proceeded to Kiev, and that the Austrian troops had left eleven pivotal centres behind them in Serbia, so that the Serbians would not be able to keep running after them much longer. He then plunged into a criticism of the various fighting operations, and made the sensational discovery that a detachment which is entirely surrounded has to surrender.

Having had his say, he thought he had better go out and tell

the young lady, who by now was at her wit’s end, that he wouldn’t be long and that she was not to go away. Thereupon he went upstairs into the office, where he discovered Lieutenant Lukash. He was just expounding a scheme of trenches for the benefit of an officer whom he was taking to task for being unable to draw and not having the least idea of geometry.

"You see, this is the way to draw the diagram. If we have to drop a perpendicular on to a given straight line, we have to do it so that it forms a right angle with it. Do you follow? If that’s done, you’ll get your trenches in a proper position, and they won’t reach as far as the enemy. You’ll keep at a distance of 600 yards from him. But the way you’ve drawn it, you’d shove our position into the enemy’s lines, and you’d have your trenches right on top of the enemy, whereas you need an obtuse angle. Simple enough, isn’t it?"

And the reserve officer, who in civil life was a bank cashier, gazed distractedly at the diagrams of which he understood nothing, and heaved a sigh of relief when Schweik approached the lieutenant.

"Beg to report, sir, there’s a lady sent you this note and she’s waiting for an answer."

He winked in a knowing and confidential manner.

Lieutenant Lukash was not altogether pleased when he read the following :


Mein Mann verfolgt mich. Ich muss unbedingt bei dir ein paar Tage gastieren. Dein Bursch ist ein grosses Mistvieh. Ich bin unglucklich.


Lieutenant Lukash sighed, led Schweik into an empty inner office, closed the door and began to pace to and fro between the tables. At last he came to a standstill in front of Schweik and said:

2"d ear henry!

"My husband’s after me. You simply must put me up for a few days. Your orderly is a horrid beast. I am so miserable.

"your katy."

"This lady says you’re a horrid beast. What have you been doing?"

"Beg to report, sir, I didn’t do anything to her. I was as polite to her as could be, but she wanted to settle down in your quarters there and then. And as you never gave me any instructions about it, I wouldn’t let her. And on top of all that she brought two trunks with her, as if she was going to make herself at home."

The lieutenant gave another loud sigh, which Schweik repeated after him.

"What’s that?" shouted the lieutenant in a tone of menace.

"Beg to report, sir, it’s a ticklish business. Two years ago down our street there was a young lady moved into a paper hanger’s lodgings and he couldn’t put her out, and in the end he had to poison himself, and her as well, with coal gas. It was no joke. Women are a nuisance. They don’t catch me napping."

"It is a ticklish business," repeated the lieutenant, and never had Schweik spoken a truer word. Dear Jindrich was in the deuce of a fix. Here was a young lady whose husband was after her, and who had come to pay him a visit for several days, at the very moment when he was expecting Mrs. Micek from Trëbon on one of her quarterly shopping trips to Prague. Then, the next day but one another young lady was coming to see him. After having thought the matter over for a week, she had definitely promised to be his, because the following month she was going to marry an engineer.

The lieutenant now dejectedly sat down on the table, and lapsed into silent thought, but all that he could think of for the time being was to sit down and write on an official form :


On duty till p p. m. Shall be home at 10. Please make yourself at home. As regards Schweik, my orderly, I have now instructed him to carry out all your wishes.


"Now," said the lieutenant, "you’ll hand this note to the young lady. And let me impress upon you that you are to be respectful and tactful in your behaviour towards her, and you must carry

out all her wishes, which you are to treat as commands. You must treat her courteously and look after her requirements to the best of your ability. Here’s a hundred crowns, for which you must account to me after having ordered lunch, supper and so on for her, should she send you to fetch anything. Also, you’ll buy three bottles of wine and a box of Memphis cigarettes. Well, that’s all for the present. Now you can go, and once more let me urge upon you the necessity to do everything you can see she wants, even if she doesn’t actually ask for it."

The young lady had already given up all hope of seeing Schweik again, and so she was very surprised when she observed him emerging from the barracks and proceeding in her direction with a letter.

Having saluted, he handed her the letter and said :

"The lieutenant’s instructions to me, miss, are that I am to be respectful and tactful in my behaviour towards you, and I’m to look after your requirements to the best of my ability, and to do everything I can see you want, even if you don’t actually ask for it. I’ve got to feed you and to buy whatever you’d like. The lieutenant gave me a hundred crowns to pay for it all, but out of that I’ve got to buy three bottles of wine and a box of Memphis cigarettes."

When she had read the letter, she recovered her strength of will, which she manifested by ordering Schweik to fetch a cab, and when that was done, she told him to sit on the box with the driver.

They drove home. When they got there, she admirably acted her part as lady of the house. Schweik had to carry the trunks into the bedroom, besides beating the carpets in the yard, and a tiny cobweb behind the mirror made her extremely angry. There was every indication that she intended to dig herself in thoroughly, with a view to a lengthy stay in this strategical position.

Schweik sweated. When he had beaten the carpets, she remembered that the curtains would have to be taken down and dusted. Then he received orders to clean the windows in the bedroom and kitchen. Thereupon she began to rearrange the furniture, which

made her very nervous, and when Schweik had dragged it from one corner to another, she was dissatisfied and started devising new groupings and arrangements. She turned everything upside down and slowly, as the cosy snuggery took shape, her supply of energy began to ebb, and the harrying gradually came to an end. When everything else was finished, she took clean bed linen from the cupboard, and as she arranged the fresh pillow cases and mattresses, it was clear that she did so with genuine devotion.

Then she sent Schweik for lunch and wine. And before he returned, she put on a filmy gown which made her extremely attractive and alluring. At lunch she drank a bottle of wine and smoked several Memphis cigarettes. And while Schweik was in the kitchen feasting on army bread which he soaked in a glass of brandy she retired to rest.

"Schweik," she shouted from the bedroom. "Schweik!"

Schweik opened the door and beheld the young lady in an enticing attitude among the cushions.

"Come here."

He stepped up to the bed, and with a peculiar smile she scrutinized his sturdy build. Then, pulling aside the thin covering which had hitherto concealed her person, she said sternly :

"Take off your boots and trousers. Let me -"

And so it came about that when the lieutenant returned from the barracks, the good soldier Schweik was able to inform him :

"Beg to report, sir, I carried out all the lady’s wishes and treated her courteously, just as you instructed me."

"Thank you, Schweik," said the lieutenant. "And did she want many things done?"

"About six," replied Schweik. "And now she’s sound asleep. I expect the journey tired her out. I did everything I saw she wanted, even though she didn’t actually ask for it."


While whole armies, clinging to the forests on the Dunajec and Raab, were standing in a downpour of shells and heavy artillery was cutting up and scattering company after company in the

Carpathians, and the horizon in all battle areas was aglow with the blazing of villages and towns, Lieutenant Lukash, together with Schweik, was having unpleasantly idyllic experiences with the lady who had run away from her husband and who had now made herself thoroughly at home.

When she had gone out for a walk, Lieutenant Lukash held a council of war with Schweik to discuss how he should get rid of her.

"The best thing, sir," said Schweik, "would be if her husband who she ran away from and who’s looking for her, according to what you said was in that note I brought you, was to know where she is, so that he could come and fetch her. Send him a telegram telling him she’s staying with you and that he can come and take her away. There was a similar sort of mix-up last year in a villa at Vsenory. But then it was the woman who sent the telegram to her husband, and he came to fetch her and gave the pair of them a good hiding. They was both civilians, but you being an officer, I don’t suppose that’s likely to happen here. Anyhow, you’re not to blame, because you never invited anyone, and when she ran away she did it on her own account. You’ll see, a telegram’s a very useful wheeze. And if the worst comes to the worst, and there is a bit of a rumpus -"

"Oh, he’s a very shrewd fellow," said Lieutenant Lukash. "I know him personally. He’s a wholesale hop merchant. Yes, I must have a talk to him. I’ll send a telegram."

The telegram which he sent was very brief and businesslike: "Your wife’s present address is -" and the address of Lieutenant Lukash completed the message.

And so Madame Katy had a very unpleasant surprise when the hop merchant rushed in. He looked very gentlemanly and solicitous when Madame Katy, as cool as a cucumber, introduced the two of them:

"My husband—Lieutenant Lukash."

That was all she could think of.

"Please take a seat, Mr. Wendler," said Lieutenant Lukash affably, taking a cigarette case out of his pocket. "May I offer you a cigarette?"

The hop merchant, the very shrewd fellow, helped himself

courteously to a cigarette and, puffing smoke from his mouth, said solemnly:

"You’ll be off to the front soon, I suppose?"

"I’ve applied for a transfer to the 91st regiment and I expect my applications be granted as soon as I’ve finished my job of training volunteer officers. We need a huge number of officers, and it’s disheartening to see how many young men who are entitled to be volunteer officers don’t come forward to claim their rights. They’d rather stay in the ranks than try and become cadets."

"The hop business has been badly hit by the war, but I suppose it won’t last long," remarked the hop merchant, gazing by turns at his wife and the lieutenant.

"We’re in a very strong position," said Lieutenant Lukash. "Nobody can doubt for a moment to-day that the war will end with the victory of the Central Powers. France, England, and Russia haven’t enough strength to do anything against the hard fight that Austria, Turkey and Germany are putting up. Of course, we’ve had trifling reverses on a few fronts. But as soon as we break through the Russian front between the ridge of the Carpathians and the Dunajec there can be no doubt that the war will come to an end. In the same way the French are faced with the imminent loss of the whole of eastern France and the entry of the German army into Paris. That’s absolutely certain. In addition to that, our manœuvres in Serbia are making very successful progress, and the withdrawal of our troops, as a matter of fact, is only a rearrangement of fighting forces, and the conclusions many people are apt to draw from it are not at all such as self-composure in war demands. Before very long we shall see that our carefully planned manœuvres in the southern battle area will bear fruit. Just look here -"

And Lieutenant Lukash took the hop merchant gently by the shoulder and leading him to a map of the battle area hanging on the wall, showed him, with a running commentary, the various pivotal centres :

"The Eastern Bezkyds form an excellent pivotal centre for us. In the Carpathian sectors, as you see, we have a strong support.

A strong blow on this line and we shan’t stop till we get to Moscow. The war will be over before we think."

"And what about Turkey?" asked the hop merchant, wondering how he was to come to grips with the subject which had brought him there.

"The Turks are doing well," replied the lieutenant, leading him back to the table. "Hali Bey, the speaker of the Turkish parliament, and Ali Bey have come to Vienna. Field-Marshal Liman von Sanders has been appointed commander-in-chief of the Turkish army at the Dardanelles. Golz Pasha has proceeded from Constantinople to Berlin and our Emperor has conferred special distinctions upon Enver Pasha, Vice Admiral Usedom and General Djevad Pasha. Quite a lot of distinctions for so short a period of time."

They all sat looking at each other in silence, until the lieutenant thought he had better relieve the awkward situation by asking:

"When did you arrive, Mr. Wendler?"

"This morning."

"I’m very glad you discovered where I am and found me at home, because every afternoon I go to barracks and at night I’m on duty. As my quarters are practically empty all day, I was able to offer your wife my hospitality. While she’s staying in Prague she can go in and out, just as she pleases, and nobody will be in her way. Our acquaintance is of such long standing that -"

The hop merchant coughed :

"Katy is a bit of a handful and I must thank you most heartily for everything you’ve done for her. She took it into her head at scarcely a moment’s notice to go to Prague, because she said she must have her nerves seen to. I was away at the time and when I got back the house was empty. Katy had gone."

Endeavouring to look as matter-of-fact as he could, he wagged a threatening finger at her and with a forced smile he asked :

"I suppose you thought that because I was travelling about, you could travel about, too. Of course, it didn’t occur to you that -"

Lieutenant Lukash, seeing that the conversation was taking an awkward turn, again led the hop merchant to the map of the

battle area and pointing to the places which were underlined, he said:

"I forgot to draw your attention to one very interesting circumstance. I mean this large curve facing southwest, where this mountain range forms a large bridgehead. That is the point to which the Allied offensive is being directed. By cutting off this railway track which connects the bridgehead with the enemy’s main line of defence, the communication between the right flank and the northern army on the Vistula must be interrupted. Do I make myself clear?"

The hop merchant replied that all was quite clear to him, and as, in his anxiety to be tactful, he was afraid of making any remark which might be regarded as offensive, he went back to his place and said :

"Our hop trade has lost some foreign markets through the war. France, England, Russia and the Balkans have been lost, as far as the hop trade is concerned. We’re still sending hops to Italy, but I’m afraid that it won’t be long before Italy butts in, too. But when we’ve won, we’ll make them pay our prices for goods."

"Italy will preserve a strict neutrality," said the lieutenant, to reassure him. "That is -"

"Then why don’t the Italians admit that they are bound by the Triple Alliance Treaty between Austria-Hungary and Germany?" burst forth the hop merchant, who suddenly lost his temper as he realized the full extent of his troubles : hops, wife, war. "I was expecting Italy to join in against France and Serbia. If they’d done that, the war would have been over by now. Now my hops are rotting in the warehouse, home orders are few and far between, the export trade has practically stopped, and Italy’s remaining neutral. Why didn’t Italy renew the Triple Alliance with us in 19-12? Where’s the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Marquis de San Giuliano? What’s he doing? Is he asleep, or what? Do you know what my annual turn-over was before the war and what it is now?"

"Don’t you imagine I’m not keeping abreast of what’s happening," he continued, gazing furiously at the lieutenant, who was placidly puffing smoke rings, each of which collided with

the preceding one and dispersed it. "Why did the Germans withdraw to the frontier, when they were so close to Paris? Why is such heavy artillery fighting going on between the Maas and the Mosel? Do you know that at Combres and Woewre near Marche they’ve burnt down three breweries which we used to supply with over 500 sacks of hops annually? And in the Vosges they’ve burnt down the brewery at Hartsmannsweiler, and the huge brewery at Niederaspach near Mulhausen has been completely destroyed? That means a loss of 1,200 sacks of hops for my firm annually. The Germans fought the Belgians six times for the brewery at Klosterhoek. There you have another 350 sacks of hops lost annually."

He now became speechless with indignation. Presently he stood up, walked across to his wife and said :

"Katy, you’ll come home with me immediately. Get dressed."

"I’m so upset by all these goings-on," he then remarked apologetically. "I used to be as easy-going as could be."

And when she had gone to get dressed, he whispered to the lieutenant :

"This isn’t the first time she’s done this sort of thing. Last year she ran away with an usher in a school. I had to go right down to Zagreb before I found them. And when I got there, I got an order from the Municipal Brewery at Zagreb for 600 sacks of hops. Ah, yes, the south was a regular gold mine. Our hops went as far as Constantinople. Now we’re half-ruined. If the government restricts the production of beer in the bargain, that’ll be the last straw."

And lighting the cigarette which the lieutenant had offered him, he said in a stricken voice :

"The only big order came from Warsaw—2,370 sacks of hops. The biggest brewery there is the Augustinian. Their representative used to come and see me every year. Oh, it’s something awful. It’s a good thing I haven’t got any children."

This logical inference from the annual visit to the representative of the Augustinian brewery in Warsaw caused the lieutenant to smile to himself. The hop merchant noticed this and accordingly continued his statement :

"The Hungarian breweries at Sopron and Great Kanizsa used

to take on an average 1,000 sacks of hops annually from my firm for their export beers that went as far as Alexandria. Now on account of the blockade they refuse to place a single order. I offer them hops thirty per cent cheaper, but they won’t order a single sack. Stagnation, anxiety, ruin, and then on top of it all I get these household worries."

The hop merchant lapsed into silence, but this silence was interrupted by Madame Katy, now ready to go.

"What are we to do about my trunks?"

"They can be sent for, Katy," said the hop merchant contentedly, now cheering up at the thought that the episode had passed off without any annoying scenes. "If you want to do any shopping, it’s high time we went. The train leaves at 2:20."

They both amicably took their leave of the lieutenant, and the hop merchant was so glad his ordeal was now over, that when they were saying good-bye in the passage, he remarked to the lieutenant :

"If you are wounded, though please God you won’t be, you must come and stay with us when you are convalescent. We’ll do all we can for you."

When he returned to the bedroom, where Madame Katy had dressed for the journey, the lieutenant found 400 crowns and the following letter in the wash-hand stand :


You were not man enough to stand up for me against my fool of a husband and you let him drag me away as if I were a mere object he had left behind by mistake. And you had the cheek to say that you had offered me hospitality. I hope I have not run you into more than the enclosed 400 crowns, which kindly share with your orderly.

For a moment Lieutenant Lukash stood with the letter in his hand, and then he gradually tore it into pieces. With a smile he looked at the money on the wash-hand stand, and noticing that in her indignation she had left her comb on the table, he put it away among his collection of keepsakes.

Schweik came back in the afternoon. He had gone to find a fox terrier for the lieutenant.

"Schweik," said the lieutenant, "you’re in lutk’s way. The

lady who was staying with me has gone. Her husband took her away with him. And to show how pleased she is with all you did for her, she left 400 crowns on the wash-hand stand for you. You must write and thank her, or rather her husband, because it’s his money she took with her when she left home. I’ll dictate you a letter."

And he dictated :

"Dear Sir,

"Kindly express to your wife my hearty thanks for the 400 crowns with which she presented me for all I did for her during her stay in Prague. It was a great pleasure for me to do it and I therefore cannot accept this money and I am sending it -"

"Now then, go on writing, Schweik. What are you fidgeting like that for? Where did I leave off?"

" And I am sending it -’ " said Schweik in the quavering

voice of tragedy.

"That’s right,

"—I am sending it back and beg to remain, with best respects to your wife and yourself, Yours truly,

"Josef Schweik, "Orderly to Lieutenant Lukash."

"Got it all down?"

"Beg to report, sir, there’s the date to go in yet."

" ’December 20th, 1914.’ That’s it, and now address the envelope and put these 400 crowns inside and take it to the post office. Here’s the address."

And Lieutenant Lukash began to whistle blithely to himself a tune from The Lady Who Was Divorced.

"There’s just one thing more, Schweik," said the lieutenant, when Schweik was leaving for the post office. "What about that dog you went to look for?"

"I’ve got my eye on one, sir, and a very fine animal it is, too. But it’s going to be a hard job to get hold of him. All the same, I hope I’ll manage to bring him along to-morrow. He don’t half bite."

Lieutenant Lukash did not hear the last few words, and yet they were very important. "The brute bites for all he’s worth," was what Schweik was going to add, but then he thought: "What’s it matter to him? He wants a dog, and he’ll get one."

Now it is all very well to say : "Get me a dog," but the owners of dogs are very careful of their pets, even though they may not be thoroughbreds. The dog is a faithful animal, but only in schoolbooks or natural history primers. Let even the most faithful dog sniff at a fried sausage and he’s done for. He’ll forget his master, by whose side he was just trotting along. He’ll turn round and follow you, his mouth watering, his tail wagging, his nostrils quivering with gusto in anticipation of the sausage.

In that quarter of Prague near the steps leading to the castle there is a small beer shop. One day two men were sitting there in the dim light at the back. One was a soldier and the other a civilian. They were sitting close together and whispering mysteriously. They looked like conspirators at the time of the Venetian Republic.

"Every day at eight o’clock," whispered the civilian, "the skivvy takes him along Havlicek Square on the way to the park. But he’s a fair terror. Talk about bite ! There’s no doing anything with him."

And bending down still closer to the soldier, he whispered into his ear :

"He don’t even eat sausage."

"Not when it’s fried?" asked the soldier.

"No, not even when it’s fried."

They both spat.

"What does the brute eat, then?"

"Blowed if I know. Some of these dogs are as pampered and petted as a blessed archbishop."

The soldier and the civilian clinked glasses and the civilian went on whispering :

"There was a black Pomeranian once that I was after, and he wouldn’t touch sausage either. I followed him about for three

days till I got sick of it, and so I went as bold as brass and asked the lady who was taking him round what they fed him on to make him look so nice. That tickled her no end and she says his favourite grub was cutlets. So I bought him a cutlet. I thinks to myself, that’ll do the trick. And believe me or believe me not, that bloody tike wouldn’t even look at it, because it was a veal cutlet and he’d been brought up on pork. So I had to buy him a pork cutlet. I let him have a sniff at it and then I starts running, and the dog follows me. The lady yells : ’Puntik, Puntik,’ but he’d done a bunk. He follows the cutlet round the corner and when he gets there I put him on the lead, and then next day he was where I wanted him to be. He had some white tufts under his chin, a sort of patch, but they blacked it over and nobody recognized him. All the other dogs I’ve ever come across, and there’s been a tidy few of them, fell for a fried sausage. So the best thing you can do is to ask her what the dog’s favourite grub is. You’re a well set-up chap, and with your uniform and all, she’ll tell you quick enough. I asked her, but she looked daggers at me and said : ’What’s that got to do with you?’ She’s not much to look at, in fact, if you ask me she’s a bit of a frump, but she’ll talk to a soldier all right."

"Is it a real fox terrier? The lieutenant won’t take any other sort."

"Oh, it’s a fox terrier all right. A very fine dog, too. Pepper-and-salt, an out-and-out thoroughbred, as sure as your name’s Schweik and mine’s Blahnik. All I want to know is what grub he eats and I’ll bring him to you."

The two friends again clinked glasses. It was from Blahnik that Schweik had obtained his supply of dogs when he used to deal in them before joining the army. And now that Schweik was a soldier, Blahnik considered it his duty to assist him in a disinterested spirit. He knew every dog in the whole of Prague and environs, and on principle he stole only thoroughbred dogs.

At eight o’clock the next morning the good soldier Schweik might have been seen strolling along by the Havlicek Square and the park. He was waiting for the servant girl with the Pomeranian. At last his patience was rewarded. Around her frisked a

dog with whiskers, a bristly, wiry haired animal with knowing eyes.

The servant girl was rather elderly, with her hair tastefully twisted into a bun. She whistled to the dog and flourished a leash and an elegant hunting crop.

Schweik said to her :

"Excuse me, miss. Which is the way to Zizkov?"

She stopped and looked at him to see whether he was in earnest, and Schweik’s good-natured face convinced her that this worthy soldier did really want to go to Zizkov. Her expression showed signs of relenting, and with great readiness she explained to him how he could get to Zizkov.

"I’ve only just been transferred to Prague," said Schweik. "I’m from the country. You’re not from Prague either, are you?"

"I’m from Vodnany."

"Then we’re almost neighbours," replied Schweik. "I’m from Protivin."

Schweik’s familiarity with the topography of southern Bohemia, which he had once acquired during the manœuvres in that region, caused the servant girl’s heart to warm to her fellow-townsman.

"Then I expect you know Pejchar, the butcher on the market square at Protivin?"

"I should think I do. Why, he’s my brother. He’s a regular favourite in the whole neighbourhood," said Schweik. "He’s a good sort, an obliging fellow, he is. Sells good meat and gives good weight."

"Then don’t you belong to the Jaresh family?" asked the servant girl, beginning to take to the unknown warrior.

"Yes, of course."

"Which Jaresh is your father, the one at Kertsch or the one at Razice?"

"The one at Razice."

"Does he still go round selling beer?"


"Why, he must be well over sixty."

"He was sixty-eight last spring," replied Schweik with composure. "Now he’s got a dog to pull his cart for him. Just like the

one that’s chasing those sparrows. A nice dog, a beautiful little animal."

"That’s ours," explained his new lady friend. "I’m in service at the Colonel’s. You don’t know our colonel, do you?"

"Yes, I do. He’s a fine chap, clever, too. We used to have a colonel like him at Budejovice."

"Master’s very strict, and a little while ago, when people were saying we’d been beaten in Serbia, he came home in a regular paddy and threw all the plates about in the kitchen and wanted to give me notice."

"So that’s your dog, is it?" Schweik interrupted her. "It’s a pity that my lieutenant can’t stand dogs, because I’m very fond of them."

He lapsed into silence, but suddenly blurted out :

"Of course, it’s not every dog that’ll eat anything you give it."

"Our Lux is awfully dainty. There was a time he wouldn’t eat any meat at all, but he will now."

"And what’s he like best?"

"Liver, boiled liver."

"Calves’ liver or pig’s liver?"

"He doesn’t mind which," said Schweik’s fellow-countrywoman, with a smile, for she regarded his last question as an unsuccessful attempt at a joke.

They strolled along together for a while, and then they were joined by the Pomeranian. He seemed to take a great fancy to Schweik and tried to tear his trousers as best he could through his muzzle. He kept jumping up at him, but suddenly, as if he guessed Schweik’s intentions towards him, he stopped jumping and ambled along with an air of sadness and anxiety, looking askance at Schweik, as much as to say : "So that’s what’s in store for me, is it?"

The servant girl meanwhile was telling Schweik that she came this way with the dog every evening at six o’clock as well, that she did not trust any man from Prague, that she had once put a matrimonial advertisement in the paper and a locksmith had replied with a view to marriage, but had wheedled 800 crowns out of her for some invention or other and had then disappeared. In the country the people were more honest, of that she was cer-

tain. If she were to marry, it would have to be a man from the country, but not until the war was over. She thought that war marriages were a mistake, because it generally meant that the woman was left a widow.

Schweik assured her it was highly probable that he would turn up at six o’clock, and he then took his leave, to inform Blahnik that the dog would eat liver of any species.

"I’ll let him have ox liver, then," decided Blahnik. "That’s what I collared a St. Bernard dog with, and he was a shy animal, he was. I’ll bring that dog along to-morrow all right."

Blahnik kept his word. In the afternoon, when Schweik had finished tidying up, he heard a barking noise at the door, and when he opened it, Blahnik came in, dragging with him a refractory Pomeranian which was more bristly than his natural bristli-ness. He was rolling his eyes wildly and his scowl was such that it suggested a starving tiger in a cage being inspected by a well-fed visitor to the Zoological Gardens. He gnashed his teeth and growled, as if expressing his desire to rend and devour.

They tied the dog to the kitchen table, and Blahnik described the procedure by which he had acquired the animal.

"I purposely hung about near him with some boiled liver wrapped up in a piece of paper. He began sniffing and jumping up at me. When I got as far as the park I turns off into Bredovska Street and then I gives him the first bit. He gobbles it up, but keeps on the move all the time so as not to lose sight of me. I turns off into Jindrichska Street and there I gives him another helping. Then, when he’d got that inside him, I puts him on the lead and took him across Vaclav Square to Vinohrady and then on to Vrsovice. And he didn’t half lead me a dance. When I was crossing the tram-lines he flops down and wouldn’t budge an inch. Perhaps he wanted to get run over. I’ve brought a blank pedigree form that I got at a stationer’s shop. You’ll have to fill that up, Schweik."

"It’s got to be in your handwriting. Say he comes from the Von Bulow kennels at Leipzig. Father, Arnheim von Kahlsberg, mother, Emma von Trautensdorf, and connected with Siegfried von Busenthal on his father’s side. Father gained first prize at the Berlin Exhibition of Pomeranians in 1912. Mother awarded

a gold medal by the Nurnberg Thoroughbred Dogs’ Society. How old do you think he is?"

"Judging by his teeth, I should say two years."

"Put him down as eighteen months."

"He’s been badly cropped, Schweik. Look at his ears."

"That can be put right. We can clip them when he’s got used to us. He’d show fight if we was to try it now."

The purloined dog growled savagely, panted, wriggled about, and then, tired out, he lay down, with tongue hanging out, and waited what would befall him. Gradually he became quieter, only from time to time he whined piteously.

Schweik offered him the rest of the liver which Blahnik had handed over. But he refused to touch it, eyeing it disdainfully and looking at both of them, as much as to say : "I’ve been had once. Now eat it yourselves."

He lay down with an air of resignation, and pretended to be dozing. Then suddenly something flashed across his mind ; he got up and began to stand on his hind legs and to beg with his front paws. He had given in.

This touching scene produced no effect on Schweik.

"Lie down," he shouted at the wretched animal, which lay down again, whining piteously.

"What name shall we shove into his pedigree?" asked Blahnik. "He used to be called Fox, or something of that sort."

"Well, let’s call him Max. Look how he pricks up his ears. Stand up, Max."

The unfortunate Pomeranian, which had been deprived both of home and name, stood up and awaited further orders.

"I think we might as well untie him," suggested Schweik. "Let’s see what he’ll do."

When he was untied, the first thing he did was to make for the door, where he gave three short barks at the handle, evidently relying on the magnanimity of these evil people. But when he saw that they did not fair in with his desire to get out, he made a small puddle in the doorway, thinking, most probably, that they would throw him out, as had always happened on similar occasions when he was a puppy and the Colonel, with military severity, had taught him elementary manners.

But instead of that, Schweik remarked :

"He’s an artful one, he is, as artful as they make ’em," gave him a whack with a strap and wetted his whiskers so thoroughly in the puddle that it was all he could do to lick himself clean.

He whined at this humiliation and began to run about in the kitchen, sniffing desperately at his own tracks. Then, unexpectedly changing his mind, he sat down by the table and devoured the rest of the liver which was on the floor. Whereupon he lay down by the fireplace and ended his spell of adventure by falling asleep.

"What’s the damage?" Schweik asked Blahnik, when he got up to go.

"Don’t you worry about that, Schweik," said Blahnik tenderly. "I’d do anything for an old pal, especially when he’s in the army. Well, so long, lad, and never take him across Havlicek Square, or you’d be asking for trouble. If you want any more dogs, you know where I hang out."

Schweik let Max have a good long nap. He went to the butcher’s and bought half a pound of liver, boiled it and waited till Max woke up, when he gave him a piece of the warm liver to sniff at. Max began to lick himself after his nap, stretched his limbs, sniffed at the liver and gulped it down. Then he went to the door and repeated his performance with the handle.

"Max !" shouted Schweik. "Come here."

The dog obeyed gingerly enough, but Schweik took him on his lap and stroked him. Now for the first time since his arrival Max began to wag the remainder of his lopped tail amicably, and playfully grabbed at Schweik’s hand, holding it in his paw and gazing at Schweik sagaciously, as much as to say :

"Well, it can’t be helped ; I know I got the worst of it."

Schweik went on stroking him and in a gentle voice began to tell him a little story :

"Now there was once a little dog whose name was Fox, and he lived with a colonel. The servant girl took him for a walk and up came a gentleman who stole Fox. Fox got into the army, where his new master was a lieutenant, and now they called him Max. Max, shake hands. Now you see, you silly tike, we’ll get on well

together if you’re good and obedient. If you ain’t, why, you’ll catch it hot."

Max jumped down from Schweik’s lap and began to frisk about merrily with him. By the evening, when the lieutenant returned from the barracks, Schweik and Max were the best of friends.

As he looked at Max, Schweik reflected philosophically :

"When you come to think of it, every soldier’s really been stolen away from his home."

Lieutenant Lukash was very pleasantly surprised when he saw Max, who on his part also showed great joy at again seeing a man with a sword.

When asked where he came from and how much he cost, Schweik replied with the utmost composure that the dog was a present from a friend of his who had just joined up.

"That’s fine, Schweik," said the lieutenant, playing with Max. "On the first of the month I’ll let you have fifty crowns for the dog."

"I couldn’t take the money, sir."

"Schweik," said the lieutenant sternly, "when you entered my service, I explained to you that you must obey me implicitly. When I tell you that you’ll get fifty crowns, you’ve got to take the money and go on the spree with it. What will you do with the fifty crowns, Schweik?"

"Beg to report, sir, I’ll go on the spree with it, as per instructions."

"And if I should happen to forget it, Schweik, you are to remind me to give you the fifty crowns. Do you understand? Are you sure the dog hasn’t got fleas? You’d better give him a bath and comb him out. I’m on duty to-morrow, but the day after tomorrow I’ll take him for a walk."

While Schweik was giving Max a bath, the Colonel, his former owner, was kicking up a terrible row and threatening that when he found the man who had stolen his dog, he would have him tried by court-martial, he would have him shot, he would have him hanged, he would have him imprisoned for twenty years and he would have him chopped to pieces.

"There’ll be hell to pay when I find the blackguard who did it," bellowed the Colonel till the windows rattled. "I know how to get even with low scoundrels like him."

Above the heads of Schweik and Lieutenant Lukash was hovering a catastrophe.