The Good Soldier Svejk Chapter 3.

Schweik’s Adventures at Kiraly-Hida.

The 91st regiment was transferred to Bruck-on-the-Leitha, and from there to Kiraly-Hida.

Just when, after three days’ incarceration, Schweik was within three hours of being released, he was conveyed with the volunteer officer to the main guard room and then led under escort to the railway station.

"Well," said the volunteer officer on the way, "we knew they’d send us to Hungary sooner or later. That’s where the drafts are going to be formed. And the troops’ll be trained in field musketry, they’ll have some free fights with the Magyars, and then off we’ll

go to the Carpathians. And the Magyars’ll take our place in this garrison and the breeds’ll get mixed. Some people think that the best way to improve the stamina of one race is to violate the girls belonging to another race. The Swedes and the Spaniards tried it in the Thirty Years’ War, and so did the French under Napoleon. And now the Magyars’ll do the same thing here. Not that there’ll be anything violent about it. It’ll simply be a sort of exchange. The Czech soldiers will go to bed with the Magyar girls and the Czech girls, poor wenches, will have to take the Magyar militiamen to their bosoms, and in a few hundred years the scientists will wonder why they find people with high cheekbones on the banks of the Malshe."

"It’s a rum business with this here cross-breeding," remarked Schweik. "In Prague there’s a black waiter named Christian. Well, his father was an African king, and he used to perform in a circus. There was a school mistress who wrote poems to the papers, all about shepherds and streamlets in the forest and things like that, and she fell in love with this nigger chap and went to a hotel with him and committed fornication, as they say in the Bible. And she had the surprise of her life when she had a white baby. Yes, it was absolutely white. But after a fortnight it began to turn brown. It got browner and browner, and a month after that it began to turn black. In six months it was as black as its grandfather, the African king. She took him to the skin hospital, to see if they couldn’t bleach him or something, but they told her that it was a genuine nigger skin and nothing could be done for it. It so upset her that they had to put her into an asylum and the little nigger chap was sent to an orphanage, and they had some fun with him there, too. After that he got a job as a waiter and went about dancing in night clubs. He’s produced quite a lot of Czech mulattoes, only they ain’t as dark as he is. There was a doctor chap who used to go to The Flagon, and he told us it’s not as simple as it looks. A half-breed has more half-breeds, until you can’t tell them from people like you and me. But all of a sudden a buck nigger pops up quite unexpected. That’s rough luck and no mistake. You marry a girl, say. Well, she’s quite white, and then one day the wench produces a nigger baby for you."

They were now approaching the railway station, where the

people of Budejovice had assembled to take leave of their regiment. It was not an official ceremony, but the square in front of the railway station was crowded with people who were awaiting the arrival of the troops.

As usual, the dutiful soldiers marched behind and those under the escort of bayonets were in front. The dutiful soldiers would later be squeezed into cattle trucks, while Schweik and the volunteer officer were to be accommodated in a special prisoners’ compartment which, in troop trains, was always attached immediately behind the staff carriages.

Schweik felt that he really must hurrah and wave his cap to the crowd. The effect was so stimulating that a surge of cheering spread across the square. The corporal of the escort was quite upset and shouted to Schweik to shut up. But the cheering gathered strength like an avalanche. There was a great brandishing of hats and caps. It developed into a regular demonstration. From the windows of the hotel opposite the railway station some ladies waved their handkerchiefs and shouted "Hurrah !" One enthusiast seized the opportunity to yell "Down with the Serbs !" but in the ensuing scrimmage he got somewhat trodden underfoot.

Schweik, amid his accompaniment of bayonets, waved affably to the crowd, while the volunteer officer saluted with grave dignity.

Thus they reached the railway station and were on their way to the train when the band of the fusiliers, the conductor of which was considerably bewildered by the unexpected demonstration, was just about to strike up the Austrian hymn. But just at this moment, Father Łacina, chaplain of the 7th cavalry division, suddenly made his appearance in a billycock hat and proceeded to put things right.

His story was an exceedingly simple one. He had arrived at Budejovice on the previous day and had managed to attend a little party arranged by the officers of the departing regiment. He ate and drank for a dozen, and then in a more or less sober condition he had strolled into the officers’ mess, to wheedle a few leavings from the cooks. After consuming many dumplings and much gravy, he got into the kitchen and discovered rum there. He swilled rum till he began to hiccough, and then returned to the

farewell party, where he distinguished himself by a new round of libations. In the morning it occurred to him that he really ought to go and make sure that the first battalion of the regiment got a proper send-off. He thus arrived in front of the station just in time to snatch the bâton from the bandmaster of the fusiliers at the moment when he was about to conduct "God Preserve Our King and Emperor."

"Halt," he said. "Not yet. Wait till I give the sign. Now stand at ease, and I’ll come back presently."

He entered the station and attached himself to the prisoners’ escort, who stopped him with a shout of "Halt!"

"Where are you going to?" inquired the corporal severely.

Here Schweik intervened good-humouredly :

"They’re taking us to Bruck, your Reverence. If you like you can ride along with us."

"So I will, then," announced Father Łacina, and turning round to the escort, he added :

"Who says I can’t come? By the right, quick march !"

When the Chaplain had got into the prisoners’ carriage, he lay down on the seat, and the kind-hearted Schweik took off his greatcoat and put it under Father Lacina’s head. Thereupon, the Chaplain, comfortably stretched out on the seat, began to expound thus :

"Mushroom stew, gentlemen, is improved by the addition of mushrooms. In fact, the more of them there are, the better it is. But the mushrooms must first be braised with onion and then you add a laurel leaf and onion -"

"You’ve put onions in once," demurred the volunteer officer, amid the horrified glances of the corporal, who saw that Father Łacina was drunk, but recognized him as his superior officer. The corporal was in a very tight fix.

"Yes," remarked Schweik. "His Reverence is quite right. The more onions, the better. I used to know a publican and he always put onions in his beer, because onions make you thirsty. Onions are good for you in every way. Fried onions are useful things if you’ve got carbuncles."

Meanwhile Father Łacina was murmuring half aloud, as if in a dream :

"It all depends on the seasoning you put in and how much there is of it. There mustn’t be too much pepper, or too much

curry -"

His voice became slower and fainter.

"—or too much mushroom, too—much—lemon—too—much

nutmeg—too—much—clove -"

His voice died away and he fell asleep, whistling through his nose when, from time to time, he stopped snoring. The corporal gazed at him fixedly, while the men of the escort sniggered.

"He won’t wake up in a hurry," remarked Schweik presently; "he’s as tight as can be."

"That’s all right," continued Schweik, when the corporal nervously beckoned to him to keep quiet. "You can’t do anything about it. He’s tight as per regulations. He’s got a captain’s rank. All these army chaplains, whatever their rank, have got a sort of special gift from heaven, and you’d be surprised at the amount they can shift. I used to be orderly to old Katz, and he could drink like a fish. Why, this chap’s nothing to what he was. We once pawned the monstrance to pay for booze, and I expect we’d have pawned the Kingdom of Heaven if we could have found anybody to lend us money on it."

Schweik went up to Father Łacina, turned him to the wall and said with the air of an expert : "He’ll go on snoring all the way to Brack."

He then returned to his seat.

The corporal, now in a desperate plight, remarked : "Perhaps I’d better go and report the matter." "You’d better not," said the volunteer officer. "You’re in charge of an escort and you’re not allowed to leave us. And according to the regulations, you’re not allowed to send any part of the escort on an errand, unless you’ve got someone to replace him. You see, you’re in a bit of a fix. And you can’t give a signal by firing your rifle because there’s nothing wrong here. On the other hand, the regulations say that there mustn’t be anybody in the prisoners’ carriages except the prisoners and their escort. No intruders are allowed. And I don’t quite see how you can cover up the traces of your slackness by throwing the Chaplain out of the train when nobody’s looking, because we’ve got witnesses here

who saw you let him in where he has no business to be. I can see you losing your stripes, Corporal."

The corporal, in a terrible flurry, urged that he hadn’t let the Chaplain into the carriage, but that the Chaplain had come in of his own accord and the Chaplain was his superior officer.

"You’re the only superior officer here," insisted the volunteer officer, and Schweik amplified this statement by declaring :

"Why, if the Emperor himself wanted to get in here, you couldn’t allow him in. It’s the same as when the orderly officer asks a recruit on sentry-go to run and fetch him some cigarettes and the recruit wants to know what sort he’s to bring. Chaps who do that get shoved into a fortress."

The corporal falteringly objected that Schweik had been the first to tell the Chaplain he could join them.

"I’m allowed to do that, Corporal," replied Schweik, "because I’m daft, but nobody’d think you could be such a fool."

"Have you been long in the army?" asked the volunteer officer in an offhand manner.

"This is my third year. I’m just going to be promoted to sergeant."

"You’d better get that idea out of your head," said the volunteer officer callously. "You take it from me, you’re going to lose your stripes."

"It’s all the same," observed Schweik, "whether you get done in as an N. C. O. or a private. Only you’ve got to remember that when a chap loses his stripes, they shove him into the front line."

The Chaplain began to stir.

"He’s snoring," announced Schweik. "I bet he’s dreaming about a good old guzzle. Now, old Katz, who I was orderly to, he was a one, he was. I remember once -"

And Schweik began to give such a detailed and interesting account of his experiences with Otto Katz, that nobody noticed the passage of time. But after a while the volunteer officer reverted to his former topic.

"It’s a wonder to me," he said to the corporal, "that we haven’t had any inspector yet. According to regulations, you ought to have made a report about us to the train commandant at the rail-

way station and not waste your time fussing around with a boozy chaplain."

The unhappy corporal maintained a stubborn silence and stared at the telegraph poles which were whizzing past.

"Moreover," continued the volunteer officer, "according to the instructions issued on November 21, 1879, military prisoners must be conveyed in a carriage provided with barred windows. We’ve got the barred windows all right. But the instructions go on to say that the carriage must also be provided with a receptacle containing drinking water. You’ve not carried out that part of the regulations. And, by the way, do you happen to know where the rations are going to be served out? You don’t know? I thought as much. You simply aren’t fit for your job."

"You see, Corporal," remarked Schweik, "it’s no joke to escort prisoners like us. You’ve got to look after us properly. We ain’t just ordinary soldiers who can shift for themselves. We have to have everything brought to us. That’s what the regulations say, and they’ve got to be kept to, or else where’s your law and order? And then there’s another thing," continued Schweik, with a friendly glance at the corporal. "Perhaps you wouldn’t mind letting me know when it’s eleven o’clock."

The corporal gazed interrogatively at Schweik.

"I expect you wonder why you’ve got to tell me when it’s eleven o’clock. You see, it’s like this. After eleven o’clock, my place is in the cattle truck."

Schweik spoke with deliberate emphasis and continued in solemn tones ;

"They gave me three days in cells. Well, I started to work it off at eleven o’clock, and so I’ve got to be let out to-day at eleven o’clock. After eleven I’ve got no business here. Soldiers mustn’t be kept locked up longer than what they’ve been sentenced to, because there’s got to be order and discipline in the army."

The wretched corporal was quite overwhelmed by this blow and when he had somewhat recovered himself, he murmured something about not having received any documents.

"Documents, Corporal?" exclaimed the volunteer officer. "You don’t expect documents to find their way to you by themselves. If the mountain won’t come to Mohammed, the leader of

the escort has to go and fetch the documents. This is a new phase of the matter and it complicates things for you. It’s quite clear you can’t detain a man who’s entitled to his release. On the other hand, according to the regulation, nobody’s allowed to leave the prisoners’ carriage. Really, I don’t quite see how you’re going to get out of such an awkward fix. It’s getting worse and worse. The time now is half past ten."

The volunteer officer put back his watch.

"Well, Corporal," he said, "I wonder what you’re going to do in half an hour."

"In half an hour," insisted Schweik gently, "my place is in the cattle truck." Whereupon the corporal, now quite dazed and bewildered, said to him :

"Look here, if it’s all the same to you, I reckon you’re much more comfortable here than you’d be in the cattle truck. I reckon -"

He was interrupted by the Chaplain, who, from the midst of his slumbers, exclaimed:

"More sauce!"

"He’s asleep," said Schweik indulgently, laying beneath his head the tip of the overcoat which was falling down from the seat. "Let him go on dreaming about grub, like he was before."

And the volunteer officer began to sing :

"Sleep, my child, sleep, and close your eyes. You shall be lulled by an angel from the skies."

The corporal, now reduced to the depths of despair, said no more. He stared out of the carriage window and let the disorganization of the prisoners’ carriage take its course unhindered.

Suddenly the Chaplain fell off the seat and continued his slumbers on the floor. The corporal gazed at him blankly and then, while all looked on with bated breath, he lifted him back to the seat without any assistance. It was clear that he had lost all authority, and when he mumbled feebly : "You might give me a hand with him," the men of the escort just stared at each other, without lifting a finger.

"You ought to have let him go on snoring where he was," re-

marked Schweik. "That’s the way I always used to treat my chaplain. I just left him wherever he happened to be when he fell asleep. Once it was at home in a wardrobe, another time in somebody else’s wash tub. He used to snooze in all sorts of places."

The corporal suddenly became brisk and resolute. He wanted to show that he was the master and he therefore said in a bullying tone :

"You shut your mouth and keep quiet, will you? All you batmen have got too much to say for yourselves. You’re a bloody nuisance, that’s what you are."

"Ah, you’re right there, Corporal," replied Schweik, with the composure of a philosopher who desires peace on earth and goodwill unto men, but who nevertheless embarks upon the most perilous controversies. "I am a bloody nuisance, and you’re God Almighty."

"Almighty God," exclaimed the volunteer officer, clasping his hands together, "fill our hearts with love for all N. C. O.’s, that we may not behold them with repugnance. Bless our assembly in this den upon wheels."

The corporal flushed angrily and jumped up.

"Here, you stop passing those remarks. I won’t have it."

"Corporal," said the volunteer officer, "as you sit there watching the rustling hills and the fragrant forests, you remind me of Dante. The same noble and poetical countenance, a man of gentle heart and mind, susceptible to all magnanimous feelings. Remain seated in that attitude, I beg you. It suits you so well. You gaze upon the landscape with such an expression of spirituality, devoid of all posing o’r posturing. I am sure you are thinking of how delightful it will be in the springtime, when these bare expanses will be covered with a many-hued carpet of field blossoms -"

At this moment the train steamed into the station where the inspection was to take place.

The military staff had appointed Dr. Mrâz, a reserve officer, as train commandant. Reserve officers were always dropped upon for absurd jobs of that kind. Dr. Mrâz had got everything muddled up. Although in civil life he was a teacher of mathematics at a secondary school, there was one carriage which, try as he

would, he found it impossible to account for. Also, he could not make the nominal roll, which he had received at the last station, tally with the figures which were reported after the troops had entered the train at Budejovice. Also, when he examined his documents, it seemed to him that there were two field kitchens too many, though for the life of him he couldn’t make out where they had come from. Also, it made his flesh creep to discover that the horses had increased by some mysterious process. Also, among the officers, two cadets were missing and he had failed to run them to earth. Also, in the regimental orderly room which was installed in the front carriage a typewriter had disappeared. Now, as a result of this wholesale muddle, Dr. Mrâz had a splitting headache. He swallowed two asperins, and was now carrying out the inspection of the train with a very wry face.

When he entered the prisoners’ carriage with his orderly, he looked at the documents and after receiving the crestfallen corporal’s report, he once more compared the figures. Then he looked round the carriage.

"Who’s that you’ve got with you?" he asked sternly, pointing to the Chaplain, who was sleeping flat on his stomach and whose posterior was challenging inspection.

"Beg to report, sir," stammered the corporal, "that we sort of -"

"Sort of what?" growled Dr. Mrâz. "Why don’t you express yourself plainly?"

"Beg to report, sir," interposed Schweik, "this chap who’s asleep on his belly is a chaplain and he’s a bit squiffy, like. He joined in with us and got into our carriage, and him being our superior officer, we couldn’t very well chuck him out, or it would have been an infringement of superordination, as they say. He must have mistook the prisoners’ carriage for the staff carriage."

Dr. Mrâz heaved a sigh and gazed into his documents. The nominal roll contained no reference to any chaplain who was to proceed with the train to Brack. His eyes twitched nervously. At the last station there had been a sudden increase of horses and now a chaplain had turned up from nowhere in the prisoners’ compartment.

All he could do was to tell the corporal to turn the sleeper over,

as in his present posture it was impossible to ascertain his identity.

After a certain amount of effort, the corporal managed to turn the Chaplain over on his back, the result being that the latter woke up and, perceiving Dr. Mrâz, he said :

"Hallo, old boy, how are you? Supper ready yet?"

Whereupon he closed his eyes again and turned toward the wall.

Dr. Mrâz, who saw that it was the same gluttonous fellow who had eaten himself sick in the officers’ mess on the previous day, heaved a sigh.

"You’ll report yourself to the orderly room for this," he said to the corporal. Just as he was on the point of departure, Schweik detained him.

"Beg to report, sir," said Schweik, "this ain’t my place now. My time’s up to-day at eleven o’clock. I got three days in cells and now I ought to be with the others in the cattle truck. It’s past eleven now, sir, so perhaps you wouldn’t mind seeing that they put me on the line or take me into the cattle truck or send me to Lieutenant Lukash. That’s my proper place."

"What’s your name?" asked Dr. Mrâz, inspecting his papers again.

"Beg to report, sir, Schweik, Josef."

"H’m, then you must be the Schweik," said Dr. Mrâz, "and in that case you most certainly ought to have been let out at eleven o’clock. But Lieutenant Lukash asked me not to let you out till we get to Bruck. He said that would be safer and would keep you out of mischief on the way."

When Dr. Mrâz had gone, the corporal remarked gloatingly :

"You see, Schweik, it didn’t help you damn all to go blabbing to an officer. If I’d wanted, I could have made it hot for the pair of you."

At this moment the Chaplain awoke in all his beauty and dignity. He sat up and asked in astonishment :

"Good gracious me, where on earth am I?"

The corporal, perceiving that the great man had woke up, replied cringingly :

"Beg to report, sir, you’re in the prisoners’ carriage."

A flash of amazement darted across the Chaplain’s countenance. He sat speechless for a moment and pondered deeply. In vain. An ocean of obscurity lay between what had happened to him overnight and his awakening in the railway carriage with the barred windows. At last he asked the corporal, who was still cringing before him :

"But at whose orders was I -"

"Beg to report, sir, at nobody’s orders."

The Chaplain stood up and began to walk to and fro, mumbling to himself that he couldn’t make head nor tail of it. He then sat down again, saying :

"Where are we going to?"

"Beg to report, sir, to Brack."

"And what are we going to Brack for?"

"Beg to report, sir, all the 91st regiment, that’s ours, sir, has been transferred there."

The Chaplain again began to rack his brains as to what had happened to him, how he had got into the carriage and why he was on his way to Bruck of all places, with the 91st regiment, accompanied by a kind of escort. He had now sufficiently recovered from his fuddled condition to perceive the presence of the volunteer officer, to whom he now addressed himself.

"You seem to be an intelligent fellow. Perhaps you can tell me, without any beating about the bush, how I got among you."

"By all means," assented the volunteer officer amicably. "You joined us at the station this morning simply because you had a bit of a head."

The corporal looked at him severely.

"You got into our carriage," continued the volunteer officer, "and there you were. You lay down on the seat, and Schweik here put his greatcoat under your head. When the train was inspected at the last station you were, if I may say so, officially discovered and our corporal is going to be had up in the orderly room on your account."

"I see, I see," sighed the Chaplain. "At the next station I’d better make a move into the staff carriage. Do you happen to know whether lunch has been served yet?"

"Lunch won’t be served till we get to Vienna," announced the corporal.

"So it was you who put the greatcoat under my head," said the Chaplain to Schweik. "Thanks very much."

"Don’t mention it," replied Schweik. "I only did what any-one’d do when he sees his superior officer with nothing under his head and a little bit tiddly, like. It’s the duty of every soldier to respect his superior officer, even if he’s not quite himself. I’m what you might call a dab at handling chaplains, because I was orderly to Otto Katz. They’re all fond of a spree and they’re good sports, too."

As the result of emerging from the effects of his yesterday’s carouse, the Chaplain felt in a hail-fellow-well-met mood, and producing a cigarette, he handed it to Schweik, saying:

"Have a fag."

"I hear that you’re going to be had up in the orderly room because of me," he then said to the corporal. "But don’t you worry. I’ll get you out of that scrape all right."

He turned to Schweik again :

"You come along with me. You’ll have the time of your life."

He became exceedingly magnanimous and promised he’d do them all a good turn. He’d buy chocolate for the volunteer officer, rum for the men of the escort ; he’d have the corporal transferred to the photographic section attached to the staff of the 7th cavalry division; in fact he’d see that they all had an easy time and he’d forget nobody.

"I don’t want any of you to bear a grudge against me," he said. "I know lots of people and as long as I keep an eye on you, you won’t come to any harm. If you’ve done anything wrong, why, you’ll bear your punishment like men, and I can see you’re cheerfully putting up with the burden that God has laid upon your shoulders."

"What was the reason for your punishment?" he asked, turning to Schweik.

"What God laid upon my shoulders," replied Schweik piously, "came from the orderly room, on account of me being late for my regiment through no fault of my own."

"God is merciful and just," said the Chaplain solemnly. "He

knows who should be punished, for it is thus that He reveals His omnipotence. And why are you here?" he asked the volunteer officer.

"Because of my overweening pride," answered the volunteer officer. "After I have atoned for my guilt, I shall be sent to the cook house."

"Wonderful are the ways of God," declared the Chaplain, whose heart expanded at the sound of the word "cook house." "Yes, there’s plenty of scope in a cook house for a man to make his mark, if he’s got anything in him. The cook house is the very place for people who’ve got their wits about them. It’s not so much the cooking itself, but the proper way of mixing the various parts of a dish, the arrangement and so on. A man must have his heart in it to do that sort of thing properly. Take sauces, for example. Now an intelligent man, when he’s making onion sauce, will take all kinds of vegetables and steam them in butter, then he’ll add nutmeg, pepper, more nutmeg, a little clove, ginger and so on. But a common or garden cook just takes some onions and boils them, and then pours some greasy gravy on top. I’d like to see you get a job in an officers’ mess. Last night in the officers’ club at Budejovice they gave us, among other things, kidneys à la madeira. May God forgive all the sins of the man who prepared that dish. He knew his job thoroughly. And I’ve eaten kidneys à la madeira in officers’ mess of the 64th militia regiment, but there they put caraway seeds into it, just like in common eating houses when they do them with pepper. And what do you think the cook who prepared them like that was in civil life? He used to feed cattle on an estate."

After a brief silence the Chaplain turned to the subject of culinary problems in the Old and New Testament. Those were the times, he said, when they attached much importance to the preparation of tasty dishes after prayers and other religious ceremonies. He then called upon them all to sing something, whereupon Schweik, with his usual propensity for doing the wrong thing, struck up :

"Oh, Mary, from Hodonin town she went, And the beery old parson was hot on the scent."

But the Chaplain did not mind in the least.

"It’s a pity we haven’t got a little rum here. There’s no need to be beery, is there?" he said with the broadest of friendly smiles.

The corporal cautiously thrust his hand into his greatcoat pocket and produced a flat bottle of rum.

"Beg to report, sir," he said in a muffled voice which showed what a great sacrifice he was making. "I hope there’s no offence if I -"

"No offence at all, my boy," replied the Chaplain, with a chuckle in his voice. "Here’s to our journey."

"Crikey!" exclaimed the corporal to himself when he saw that, after the Chaplain had taken a good swig, half the contents of the bottle had disappeared.

The Chaplain had another good swig at the bottle, and then handing it to Schweik, he said in a dictatorial manner :

"Have a go at that."

"War is war," said Schweik indulgently to the corporal, as he returned the empty bottle to him.

"And now I’ll just have a bit of a snooze till we get to Vienna," said the Chaplain. "You might just wake me up when we get there."

"And you," he continued, turning to Schweik, "you go to our mess, get a knife and fork and the rest of it, and bring me some lunch. Tell them it’s for Father Łacina and see that you get double helpings. After that, bring me a bottle of wine from the kitchen and take a mess tin with you and get them to pour some rum into it."

Father Łacina fumbled in his pockets.

"Look here," he said to the corporal, "I haven’t any change. Lend me a gulden. That’s it, there you are. What’s your name?"


"Very well, Schweik, there’s a gulden for you to go on with. Corporal, lend me another gulden. Now then, Schweik, you’ll get the other gulden when you’ve carried out all my instructions. Oh, yes, and afterwards get some cigarettes and cigars for me. If there’s any chocolate going, collar a double share, and if there’s any tinned stuff, ask them to let you have some tongue or goose-

liver. And if they’re handing out any Emmenthaler cheese, see they don’t palm off on you a piece near the rind. And similarly, if there’s any salami, no end pieces, if you please. Get it well from the middle where it’s nice and meaty."

The Chaplain stretched himself out on the seat and in a moment he was fast asleep.

"It strikes me," said the volunteer officer to the corporal, amid the snoring of the Chaplain, "that you ought to be very pleased with our foundling. He seems to have found his feet all right."

"Yes, Corporal," remarked Schweik; "there’s no flies on him. He’s up to snuff, he is, and no mistake."

The corporal struggled with himself for an instant and then, throwing aside all his humility, he said sullenly:

"He’s a pretty cheap specimen."

"That wheeze of his with the change he hasn’t got," interposed Schweik, "is like a chap named Mlicko, down at Deivice. He was a stone mason and he never had any change, till at last he got head over heels into debt and was had up for pinching money. He got through pots of money but he never had any small change."

"In the 71st regiment," remarked a man from the escort, "there was a captain who spent all the regimental funds in booze before the war, and he was cashiered. Now he’s a captain again. Then there was a sergeant-major who pinched the supplies of cloth for facings, more than twenty bales of them there was. He’s a staff-sergeant now. And not long ago a footslogger was shot in Serbia for eating up his rations of bully beef that was supposed to last him for three days."

"What do you want to drag that in for?" demanded the corporal. "All the same, he goes and cadges two gulden from a corporal who can’t afford to pay his tips for him."

"Here’s your gulden," said Schweik. "I don’t want to make money at your expense. And if he gives me the other gulden as well, I’ll let you have it back too. So you needn’t start snivelling about it. You ought to be glad to have the chance of lending money to your superior officer. You’re a close-fisted chap, you are. Here you are making all this fuss about a measly couple of gulden. I’d like to see what you’d do if you had to sacrifice your

life for your superior officer, if he was lying wounded in no-man’s-land and you had to try and save him and carry him away, with them firing shrapnel and shells and God knows what all at you."

They were now approaching Vienna. Those who were not asleep looked through the window at the barbed-wire entanglements and fortifications round the city.

"That’s the style," said Schweik, looking at the trenches; "that’s just as it should be. The only thing is that the Viennese might tear their trousers when they go for an outing. They’ll have to be careful."

The train passed through a station, where the strains of the Austrian hymn became audible behind them. Evidently the band had gone there by mistake, for some time elapsed before they reached the station where the train stopped, rations were distributed and the troops received a ceremonious welcome.

But things had changed since the beginning of the war, when the troops on their way to the front overate themselves at every railway station and where they were welcomed by young ladies with absurd white dresses and even more idiotic faces and utterly stupid bouquets and an even more stupid speech by a lady whose husband is now an out-and-out republican.

On this occasion those present to welcome the troops comprised three ladies who were members of the Austrian Red Cross, two ladies who were members of some Viennese female war league, one official representative of the Viennese magistracy and a military representative.

The faces of these people all showed signs of weariness. Troop trains were passing through day and night, ambulance trains with wounded were arriving every hour, every moment there were railway carriages full of prisoners being shunted from one line to another, and these members of all these various bodies and associations had to be present on all these occasions. It went on, day after day, and the people who had originally been enthusiastic, now began to yawn.

The soldiers peeped out of the cattle trucks with the hopeless expression of those who are being led to the gallows. Ladies came up to them and distributed gingerbread decorated with in-

scriptions in sugar : "Sieg und Rache," "Gott strafe England," and so forth.

After that they received orders to go and fetch their rations by companies from the field kitchens, which were installed at the back of the railway station. There was also an officers’ kitchen to which Schweik proceeded, in accordance with the Chaplain’s instructions, while the volunteer officer waited behind to be fed, two men from the escort having gone to fetch rations for the whole of the prisoners’ carriage.

Schweik duly carried out his orders, and as he was crossing the railway track, he caught sight of Lieutenant Lukash, who was strolling along the track and waiting for whatever might be left over for him in the way of rations. He was very awkwardly situated, because at the moment he was sharing an orderly with Lieutenant Kirschner. The orderly attended solely to the wants of Lieutenant Kirschner, and exercised complete sabotage as far as Lieutenant Lukash was concerned.

"Where are you taking that to, Schweik?" asked the unfortunate lieutenant, when Schweik had deposited on the ground a vast store of comestibles which he had managed to secure in the officers’ mess and which he had wrapped up in a greatcoat.

"Beg to report, sir, that’s for you. Only I don’t know where your compartment is, and then I don’t know whether the train commandant wouldn’t cut up rough if I was to join you. He’s a regular brute, he is."

Lieutenant Lukash gazed questioningly at Schweik, who, however, with complete good-humour continued :

"Oh, yes, he’s a brute and no mistake. When he came round to inspect the train, I reported to him that it was past eleven o’clock and that I’d served my full three days and that I ought to be in the cattle truck or else with you. And he ticked me off properly and said I’d got to stop where I was so that I couldn’t cause you any annoyance on the journey, sir."

Schweik assumed the air of a martyr.

"As if I’d ever caused you any annoyance, sir."

"No," continued Schweik, "you can take it from me, sir, I never caused you any annoyance. And if there’s been any unpleasantness at any time, why, it was just a matter of chance,

an act of God, as old Vanicek said when he’d finished his thirty-sixth spell in quod. No, I’ve never done anything wrong on purpose, sir. I’ve always wanted to do something good and smart and it ain’t my fault if neither of us got any advantage from it, but only a lot of bother and worry."

"All right, Schweik, don’t take it so much to heart," said Lieutenant Lukash gently, as they drew near to the staff carriage. "I’ll see to it that you can be with me again."

"Beg to report, sir, I ain’t taking it to heart. But I was sort of sorry that we’re both having such a bad time of it in the war and it’s not our fault. It’s rough luck when you come to think of it. I’ve always tried to keep out of harm’s way."

"Now then, Schweik, don’t upset yourself."

"Beg to report, sir, that if it wasn’t against subordination, I’d say I’m upset and always will be upset and there’s an end of it. But as it is, I suppose I’ll have to fall in with your orders and say I’m not a bit upset now."

"All right, Schweik. Now hop into this carriage."

"Beg to report, sir, I am hopping in."

The camp at Bruck was wrapped in the silence of night. In the huts for the rank-and-file the men were shivering with cold and the officers’ huts were so overheated that the windows had to be opened.

Down in Bruck-on-the-Leitha lights were burning in the imperial, royal tinned meat factory, where they were busy day and night modifying various forms of offal. As the wind was blowing from that direction toward the camp, the avenues around the huts were filled with the stench of putrefying sinews, hoofs, trotters and bones which were being boiled as ingredients for tinned soup.

Bruck-on-the-Leitha was resplendent, and on the other side of the bridge Kiraly-Hida was equally radiant. Cisleithania and Transleithania. In both towns, the Austrian and the Hungarian gipsy orchestras were playing, the windows of cafés and restaurants shone brightly, there was singing and revelling. The local big-wigs and jacks-in-office had brought their ladies and their

grown-up daughters to the cafés and restaurants, and Bruck-on-the-Leitha and Kiraly-Hida formed one vast Liberty Hall.

In one of the officers’ hutments in the camp, Schweik was waiting that night for Lieutenant Lukash, who had gone to the theatre and had not yet returned. Schweik was sitting on the lieutenant’s bed, and opposite him, on the table, sat Major Wenzl’s orderly.

The major had returned to the regiment when his complete incompetence had been demonstrated on the Drina. It was said that he had been responsible for the removal and destruction of a pontoon, while half his battalion were still on the other side of the river. Now he had been put in charge of the rifle range at Kiraly-Hida and he also had a finger or two in the camp commissariat. It was common talk among the officers that Major Wenzl was now setting himself up.

Mikulashek, who was Major Wenzl’s orderly, an undersized, pock-marked fellow, sat there dangling his legs and grousing. "Why the deuce isn’t that old blighter of mine back yet? I’d like to know where the old codger goes gadding about all night. If he’d only let me have the key of the room I could lie down and have a good binge. I’ve got plenty of booze in there."

"I’ve heard he pinches things," remarked Schweik, placidly puffing away at a cigarette belonging to the lieutenant, as the latter had forbidden him to smoke a pipe in the room. "You must know something about it. Where does the booze come from?"

"I just go where he tells me to," said Mikulashek in a ready voice. "I get the chit from him and go to the hospital to fetch the doings and I bring them home."

"And if he ordered you to sneak the regimental funds, would you do it?" asked Schweik. "You call him names now, but when he’s here you shiver in your shoes."

Mikulashek’s little eyes twinkled.

"I’d have to think it over a bit."

"It’s no use thinking it over, you silly young chump," shouted Schweik, but then he stopped, because the door opened and Lieutenant Lukash entered. It was at once obvious that he was in a good temper, as his cap was on the wrong way round.

Mikulashek was so scared that he forgot to jump down from

the table, but saluted in a sitting posture, quite overlooking the fact that he had no cap on his head.

"Beg to report, sir, everything’s all right," announced Schweik, assuming a stern military demeanour according to regulations, but omitting to remove the cigarette from his mouth.

Lieutenant Lukash did not even notice this, and made straight for Mikulashek, who with startled eyes watched his every movement, continuing to salute and remaining seated on the table.

"I’m Lieutenant Lukash," said the lieutenant, approaching Mikulashek unsteadily, "and what’s your name?"

Mikulashek said nothing. Lieutenant Lukash drew up a chair to the table, sat down, looked at Mikulashek and said :

"Schweik, fetch me my service revolver from my trunk."

While Schweik was searching in the trunk, Mikulashek stared in mute horror at the lieutenant.

"Man alive, what’s your name? Are you deaf or what?" shouted the lieutenant.

Mikulashek still remained silent. As he explained later, the lieutenant’s unexpected arrival produced a sort of numbness in him. He wanted to jump down from the table, but could not; he wanted to answer, but could not ; he wanted to stop saluting, but failed.

"Beg to report, sir," announced Schweik, "the revolver isn’t loaded."

"Then load it."

"Beg to report, sir, we haven’t got any cartridges, and it’d be a hard job to shoot him off the table. I take the liberty of mentioning, sir, that it’s Mikulashek, orderly to Major Wenzl. He always gets tongue-tied if he sees any of the officers. He’s just too bashful to speak. He’s a silly young chump, in fact, he’s what you might call a whipper-snapper. It ain’t as if there was any need for him to have the wind up, for he ain’t done anything."

Schweik spat to show his complete contempt for Major Wenzl’s orderly and his unmilitary behaviour.

"Sling him out, Schweik."

Schweik dragged the trembling Mikulashek into the passage, shut the door behind him and said :

"Well, I’ve saved your life, you young chump. When Major Wenzl comes back, you scrounge a bottle of wine for me and bring it here. And mind you do it, too. I’ve saved your life, remember. When my lieutenant’s tight, he’s a tough customer, I tell you. I’m the only one who can manage him when he’s like that."

"I’m -"

"You’re a little tick," said Schweik contemptuously. "Now sit down on the doorstep till your Major Wenzl comes back."

"You’ve kept me waiting long enough," said Lieutenant Lu-kash when Schweik had returned to him. "I want to talk to you. There’s no need for you to stand at attention in that idiotic manner. Sit down, Schweik, and never mind about the regulations. Hold your tongue and listen to what I’ve got to say. Do you know where Sopronyi Street is? Now don’t start any of your: ’Beg to report, sir, I don’t know.’ If you don’t know, say you don’t know and have done with it. Now then, write down on a piece of paper : 16 Sopronyi Street. It’s an ironmonger’s shop. Do you know what an ironmonger’s shop is? For God’s sake, don’t keep saying: ’Beg to report, sir.’ Say: ’Yes’ or ’No.’ All right, do you know what an ironmonger’s shop is? You do? Very well, then. Now this shop belongs to a Magyar named Kâkonyi. Do you know what a Magyar is? Holy Moses, do you or don’t you? You do. Very well, then. He lives above the shop on the first floor. Do you know that? You don’t know, but damn it all, I’m telling you, aren’t I? Do you understand now? You do? All right. If you didn’t, I’d have you shoved into clink. Have you made a note of this chap’s name? Kâkonyi, I said. Very good. Now then, to-morrow morning at about ten o’clock you’ll go into town, you’ll find this place, you’ll go upstairs to the first floor, and you’ll hand this note to Mrs. Kâkonyi."

Lieutenant Lukash opened his pocketbook and with a yawn he gave Schweik a white envelope bearing no address.

"This is an extremely important matter, Schweik," he went on. "A man can’t be too careful, and that’s why I haven’t put any address, as you see. I rely on you to hand the note to the proper person. Oh, and just bear in mind that the lady’s name is Etelka—write it down; Mrs. Etelka Kâkonyi. And let me also

tell you that you’re to hand the note over very discreetly, whatever you do, and wait for an answer. Is there anything else you want to know?"

"Supposing they don’t give me an answer, sir, what am I to do then?"

"Tell them you’ve got to get an answer, whatever happens," replied the lieutenant, with another wide yawn. "But now I’m going to bed. I’m fagged out. By Jove, we did shift some liquor. I think anybody’d be fagged out after a night like that."

Originally Lieutenant Lukash had not intended to stop anywhere. He had gone into town that evening because he wanted to visit the Magyar theatre in Kiraly-Hida, where a musical comedy was being played, the chief parts in which were taken by plump Jewesses, who distinguished themselves wonderfully by kicking their legs up in the air when they danced and not wearing any tights or drawers.

Lieutenant Lukash, however, was not enthralled by this interesting display, because the opera glasses which he had borrowed were not achromatic, and instead of thighs he could see only some violet surfaces moving to and fro.

In the interval after the first act his attention was attracted by a lady who was accompanied by a middle-aged gentleman. She was pulling him toward the cloak room and saying that they were going home immediately and that she was not going to look at such a disgraceful performance. She was making these remarks very loudly in German, whereupon her companion replied in Magyar :

"Yes, my angel, let us go. I quite agree. It’s really most disgusting."

"Es ist ekelhaft," said the lady angrily, when the gentleman had helped her on with her opera cloak. And as she spoke her eyes flashed with indignation at such scandalous goings-on, large, dark eyes which were quite in keeping with her handsome presence. She also glanced at Lieutenant Lukash, as she insisted with great emphasis:

"Ekelhaft, wirklich ekelhaft."

That proved decisive. The romance had started.

Lieutenant Lukash learned from the person in charge of the

cloak room that this was Mr. and Mrs. Kâkonyi, and that Mr. Kâkonyi kept an ironmonger’s shop at 16 Sopronyi Street.

"And he lives with Mrs. Etelka on the first floor," said the person in charge of the cloak room with the precision of an ancient procuress. "She’s a German lady from Sópron and he’s a Magyar. In this town everything’s mixed."

Lieutenant Lukash removed his greatcoat from the cloak room and went into the town, where, in the Archduke Albrecht, a large wineshop and café, he met some officers of the 91st regiment.

He did not talk much, but made up for it by the amount he drank, as he pondered over what he ought to write to this lady who was so severe, so moral and so handsome, and who attracted him far more than did the whole pack of bitches on the stage, as the other officers styled them.

He was in a very good temper when he made his way to the St. Stephen’s Cross, a small café, where he entered a private room and after chasing away a Rumanian girl there who offered to take off all her clothes and let him do whatever he liked with her, he ordered ink, pen and writing paper, as well as a bottle of cognac, and after careful reflection, he wrote in his best German the following missive, which struck him as being the finest thing he had ever penned. Dear Madame,

Yesterday evening I was present at the theatre and saw the play which aroused your indignation. Throughout the first act I noticed you and your husband, and I could not help seeing that your husband-

"I may as well lay it on thick," reflected Lieutenant Lukash. "What business has a chap like that to have such a damn fine wife? Why, he looks like a baboon who’s had a shave."

He continued his letter’:

—your husband evinced considerable appreciation of the disgusting antics which were being performed on the stage, and which met with your strong disapproval, because, far from being artistic, they pandered only to man’s baser instinct.

"She’s got a damn fine figure," thought Lieutenant Lukash. "Now I’d better come straight to the point."

I hope you will pardon me, a stranger, for addressing you in this direct manner. In the course of my life I have seen many women, but none of them made such an impression upon me as you did, because your views and your outlook on life are identical with my own. I feel sure that your husband is completely selfish and drags you with him-

"That won’t do," said Lieutenant Lukash, and crossing out "drags you with him," he continued as follows :

—in his own interests takes you to theatrical performances which appeal only to his personal tastes. I like to be frank, and while not desiring to intrude upon your private life, I should very much like to speak to you privately on the subject of art in its purer aspects-

"I shan’t be able to manage it in the hotels here. I suppose I shall have to trot her along to Vienna," meditated the lieutenant. "I’ll wangle special leave."

For this reason I venture to ask you whether you would kindly make an appointment so that we could meet and become better acquainted on honourable terms, and I feel sure you will not withhold this favour from one who before very long will be facing the perils of warfare and who, should you give your consent, will preserve amid the terrors of the battlefield the most wonderful memory of a soul between whom and himself there was complete mutual understanding. Your decision will be my law. Your answer will constitute a decisive factor in my life.

He signed his name, drank what was left of the cognac and ordered another bottle. As he drank glass after glass and reread what he had written, he was moved to tears by almost every sentence.

It was nine o’clock in the morning when Schweik woke Lieutenant Lukash.

"Beg to report, sir, you’re on duty and you’ve overslept your-

self and I’ve got to go now to this here Kiraly-Hida. I woke you at seven o’clock and then at half past seven and then at eight, just when they was going past on their way to parade, but you just turned over on to the other side. Beg to report, sir—here, I say, sir -"

For Lieutenant Lukash, mumbling to himself, was about to turn over again on to the other side. But he did not succeed in doing so, because Schweik shook him mercilessly and bawled :

"Beg to report, sir, I’m just going to take that letter to Kiraly-Hida."

The lieutenant yawned.

"That letter? Oh, yes, that letter of mine. Mum’s the word about that, you know. It’s strictly between ourselves. Dismiss."

The lieutenant again wrapped himself up in the bedclothes, from which Schweik had dragged him, and continued his slumbers, while Schweik proceeded on his way to Kiraly-Hida.

It would not have been difficult for him to find 16 Sopronyi Street, if by chance he had not met Sapper Voditchka. Voditchka had lived years ago in Prague, and so the only thing they could do to celebrate their meeting was to go to The Red Lamb in Bruck, where there was a Czech barmaid.

"Where are you off to?" asked Voditchka.

"That’s a secret," replied Schweik, "but as you’re an old pal of mine, I’ll tell you."

He explained everything to him in great detail, and Voditchka declared that he was an old sapper, that he wouldn’t leave Schweik in the lurch, and that they would go and deliver the letter together.

They had a good long talk about old times, and when, shortly after twelve, they set out from The Red Lamb, everything seemed natural and easy to them. Moreover, they had a deep-rooted conviction that they were afraid of nobody. All the way to 16 Sopronyi Street, Voditchka was dwelling upon his vast hatred of the Magyars and kept telling Schweik how he was always coming to blows with them.

At last they found Mr. Kâkonyi’s ironmonger’s shop at 16 Sopronyi Street.

"You’d better wait here," said Schweik to Voditchka in front

of the doorway. "I’ll just pop up to the first floor, leave the letter, and wait for an answer. I’ll be back again in a jiffy."

"What, and me leave you in the lurch?" demurred Voditchka. "You don’t know the Magyars. You got to keep a sharp eye on them. I’ll give him such a biff in the eye."

"Stow it," said Schweik in a serious tone. "Magyar be blowed. It’s his wife we’re after. Didn’t I tell you when we was in that pub where that Czech barmaid is that I’m taking a letter to her from my lieutenant, and that it’s a dead secret? My lieutenant made me swear blind I wouldn’t tell a living soul, and didn’t the barmaid say he was quite right, because it’s the sort of thing you got to keep to yourself? Didn’t she say that it’d never do if anyone found out that the lieutenant had written to a married lady? And didn’t you yourself nod your head and say it was quite right? I’ve told you all the ins and outs of it and how I’m carrying out my lieutenant’s orders to a T, and now you’ve taken it into your head to come up with me."

"Ah, you don’t know me, Schweik," replied Sapper Voditchka very solemnly. "Once I’ve said I’m coming with you, remember I mean what I say. It’s always safer when there’s two."

"Not always it isn’t," said Schweik. "Don’t you run away with that idea. I used to know a locksmith named Vobornik, and one day when he’d been on the spree, he came home, and brought another chap with him who’d been on the spree, too. Well, he stayed in bed for a long time, sleeping it off, and every day when his wife came to bandage the bruises on his head, she said to him, ’If there hadn’t been two of you, there’d only have been one rumpus, and I shouldn’t have chucked the weighing machine at your head.’ And when he was able to talk, he said, ’That’s right, old girl, and the next time I go out on the spree, I’ll come home by myself.’ "

"I don’t advise any Magyar to chuck anything at our heads," demurred Voditchka. "I’d take him by the throat and sling him downstairs in double-quick time, too. When you come across these Magyar chaps, you got to treat ’em rough. It’s no good shilly-shallying about."

"Here, steady on," objected Schweik. "Don’t forget we’ve got to be careful not to go looking for trouble. If anything goes wrong, I shall cop out."

"You don’t know the Magyars," repeated Voditchka. "Don’t say you’re going to cast me off, now that we’ve met again after all this time."

"All right, come along then," agreed Schweik, "but be careful what you do. We don’t want to get ourselves into a mess."

"Don’t you worry, chum," said Voditchka, as thev went toward the staircase. "I’ll biff him one -"

And, in lower tones, he added :

"You’ll see, we’ll have an easy job with this Magyar fellow."

Schweik and Voditchka stood at the door of Mr. Kâkonyi’s abode. Schweik rang the bell, whereupon a maid appeared and asked them in Magyar what they wanted.

"Nem tudom," said Voditchka, contemptuously. "Why don’t you learn Czech, my girl?"

"Verstehen Sie deutsch?" asked Schweik.

"A Pisschen."

"Then tell the lady I want to speak to her. Say that there’s a letter from a gentleman, outside."

"I’m surprised at you," said Voditchka, as he followed Schweik into the passage, "talking to a baggage like that."

They stood in the passage and Schweik remarked :

"It’s nice and comfortable here, I must say. Why, they’ve got two umbrellas on the hat rack and that picture of Jesus Christ ain’t a bad bit of work, either."

The maid now returned from the room, where the rattling of spoons and the clattering of plates could be heard, and said to Schweik in broken German :

"The lady says she’s got no time. If there’s anything for her, you’re to give it to me with a message."

"All right," said Schweik solemnly. "Here’s a letter for her, but keep quiet about it."

He produced Lieutenant Lukash’s letter.

"I," he said, pointing to himself, "will wait for the answer here."

"Why don’t you sit down?" asked Voditchka, who had taken a seat in a chair by the wall. "Here’s a chair for you. You’re standing there as if you was a beggar. Don’t make yourself cheap in

front of these Magyars. We’re going to have a bit of a dust-up with him, but I’ll biff him properly."

Presently he asked :

"Where did you learn German?"

"All by myself," replied Schweik.

Again there was silence. Then a great uproar could be heard in the room into which the maid had taken the letter. Somebody was hitting the ground with a heavy object, then the noise of glasses being thrown about and plates being broken could be distinctly recognized, and amid it all somebody was making angry noises in Magyar.

The door flew open and in dashed a gentleman with a serviette round his neck and brandishing the letter which had just been delivered.

Sapper Voditchka was nearest to the door, and it was to him that the excited gentleman first addressed himself.

"What’s the meaning of this?" he demanded in German. "Where’s the damned blackguard who brought this letter?"

"Here, steady on, governor," said Voditchka, standing up. "You’re making a devil of a noise. Keep your hair on, and if you want to know who brought this letter, just ask my chum here. But keep a civil tongue in your head, or you’ll get slung outside in double-quick time."

It was now Schweik’s turn to sample the rich eloquence of the excited gentleman with the serviette round his neck. He was gabbling at random, and from the rigmarole of words emerged the statement that they were just having lunch.

"We heard you having lunch," agreed Schweik in broken German.

The excited gentleman, who as a result of his brisk gesticulations was now holding the serviette by only one tip, went on to say that at first he thought the letter was about billeting troops in the house which belonged to his wife.

"You could get plenty of troops in here," said Schweik, "but the letter ain’t about that. I suppose you know what’s in it?"

The gentleman clutched at his head and let loose a regular volley of curses, adding that he himself was a reserve officer, that he’d like to be in the army, only his kidneys were out of order.

And as for the letter, he’d send it to the C. O., to the War Office, to the newspapers.

"Look here," said Schweik with dignity. "I wrote that letter. It wasn’t the lieutenant who wrote it. The signature’s a fake. I signed it. I’ve taken a fancy to your wife. I’m fairly mashed on her, as the poet Vrchlicky used to say. A damn fine woman, that she is."

The excited gentleman was about to hurl himself at Schweik, who stood there in front of him as cool as a cucumber, but Sapper Voditchka, watching his every movement, tripped him up, snatched the letter out of his hand (he was still brandishing it) and put it in his pocket. And when Mr. Kâkonyi recovered his balance, Voditchka caught hold of him, dragged him to the door, opened the door with one hand, and in a trice some heavy object could be heard rolling down the stairs.

The whole thing was done with as much dispatch as in the fairy tales, when the devil comes to fetch someone.

The only relic of the excited gentleman was the serviette. Schweik picked it up, knocked politely on the door of the room from which Mr. Kâkonyi had emerged five minutes previously, and where the sound of female weeping could now be heard.

"Here’s your serviette," said Schweik courteously to the lady who was sobbing on the sofa. "It might get trodden on. Good-day to you’, ma’am."

He clicked his heels together, saluted and went out into the passage. On the stairs there was not the slightest trace of any struggle ; everything had gone off with the utmost ease, just as Voditchka had said it would. But at the outer doorway Schweik discovered a collar which showed signs of having been wrenched off. Evidently it was there that the final act of the tragedy had occurred, when Mr. Kâkonyi had desperately clung to the doorway to save himself from being dragged into the street.

And in the street itself there was quite a rumpus. Mr. Kâkonyi had been dragged into the doorway of the house opposite, where water was being poured upon him, while in the middle of the street Sapper Voditchka was fighting like a lion against some Magyar militiamen and hussars, who had espoused the cause of their fellow-countryman. Sapper Voditchka was skilfully keep-

ing his adversaries at bay by means of a bayonet strap which he was wielding like a flail. Nor was he alone. Side by side with him a number of Czech soldiers were engaged in the contest.

Schweik, as he afterward related, did not himself know how he got mixed up in the shindy. Nor could he tell how, having no bayonet, he obtained possession of a walking stick which had been the property of a scared spectator.

It lasted quite a long time, but all good things must come to an end. The patrol arrived and took them all into custody.

Schweik marched along by the side of Voditchka, holding the walking stick, which the commander of the patrol afterward fastened upon as a corpus delicti. He marched along complacently, with the walking stick at the slope, like a rifle.

Sapper Voditchka maintained a stubborn silence all the way. But when they were entering the guard room he said to Schweik mournfully :

"Didn’t I tell you, you don’t know the Magyars?"