The Good Soldier Svejk Chapter 4.

Fresh Tribulations.

Colonel Schroder was gloating over the pallid, hollow-eyed countenance of Lieutenant Lukash, who, in his embarrassment, was looking away from him, and stealthily peeped at the plan showing the disposition of the rank-and-file in the camp, which formed the sole decorative feature of the colonel’s office.

On the table in front of Colonel Schroder there were a number of newspapers containing articles marked with blue pencil which the colonel scanned once again before turning to Lieutenant Lukash with the remark :

"So you already know that Schweik, your orderly, is in cus-

tody and will probably be handed over to a divisional court-martial?"

"Yes, sir."

"That, of course," said the colonel meaningly, as he feasted his eyes on the lieutenant’s pallor, "does not dispose of the matter. There can be no doubt that the whole of the business in which your orderly was mixed up has caused local feeling to run high, and your name is being mentioned in connection with it. The divisional command has already supplied us with certain material. Here are a number of papers which discuss this matter. Kindly read them aloud to me."

He handed Lieutenant Lukash the papers with the pencilled articles, which the lieutenant began to read in a monotone, as if he were reading in a children’s primer such a sentence as : "Honey is much more nutritious and more easily digestible than sugar" :

"Where Is the Guarantee for Our Future?"

"That’s the Pester Lloyd, isn’t it?" asked the colonel. "Yes, sir," replied the lieutenant, and went on reading :

"The conduct of the war demands the cooperation of all classes in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. If we desire to attain the security of the state, all the nations must support each other and the guarantee for our future consists precisely in this mutual and spontaneous respect. The enormous sacrifices of our gallant troops at the front, where they are continually advancing, would not be possible, if the home front were not united, but harboured elements inimical to the harmonious structure of the state, undermining its authority by their malicious activities and thus threatening the joint interests of the nations in our Empire. At this historical juncture we cannot view in silence the handful of people who would like to impair the unified effort and struggle of all the nations in this Empire. We cannot silently overlook these odious signs of a diseased mentality which aims solely at destroying the unanimity in the hearts of the nations. Several times already we have had occasion to point out how the military authorities are compelled to adopt the severest measures against individuals in the Czech regiments who, heedless of glorious regimental traditions, by their disgraceful conduct in our Magyar towns have spread ill-feeling against the Czech nation which, in its entirety, is not to blame and, indeed, has always been closely identi-

tied with the interests of this Empire, as is attested by the many distinguished Czech military leaders, such as the renowned Marshal Radetzky and other defenders of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. These noble figures are being besmirched by a few blackguards from the Czech rabble who are taking advantage of war conditions to enlist in the army and then imperil the united front among the nations in the monarchy, at the same time allowing their lowest instincts to run riot. We have already drawn attention to the disgraceful behaviour of regiment No. - at Debreczin, whose outrageous conduct formed the subject of debate and condemnation in the parliament at Budapest and whose regimental colours subsequently, at the front, were . . . (Deleted by censor). At whose door is this revolting offence to be laid . . . (Deleted by censor)? Who incited the Czech troops to . . . (Deleted by censor)? Some idea of the lengths to which the foreign elements in our midst will go, can be best inferred from the recent incidents at Kiraly-Hida. What is the nationality of those troops from the Bruck military camp close at hand who attacked and ill-treated Mr. Gyula Kâkonyi, a tradesman in that town? It is obviously the bounden duty of the authorities to investigate this outrage and to ask the military command, which has doubtless already started making inquiries, what part in this unexampled bullying of Magyar citizens was played by Lieutenant Lukash, whose name is being mentioned in the town in connection with the recent disgraceful episode, as we are informed by a local correspondent who has already collected ample evidence on this matter which, at so grave an epoch as to-day, clamours for redress. We are sure that readers of the Pester Lloyd will follow with interest the further course of investigation and we shall certainly not fail to keep them acquainted with a matter of such eminent significance. At the same time, however, we await an official report on the outrage at Kiraly-Hida perpetrated against a Magyar citizen. It is obvious that the parliament at Budapest will give the matter its closest attention, in order to make it plain that Czech troops, passing through the kingdom of Hungary on their way to the front, must not be allowed to treat the country of St. Stephen’s crown as if it were their vassal. If any members of this nation which at Kiraly-Hida made such an exhibition of the unified spirit prevailing among all nations in this monarchy, still do not realize how things are, they had better keep very quiet about it, for in wartime it is the bullet, the rope, the jail and the bayonet which will teach such persons to obey and to subordinate themselves to this highest interest of our joint country."

"Who’s the article signed by?"

"Bela Barabas. He’s a journalist and a member of parliament, sir."

"Oh, yes, he’s a well-known blackguard. But before the article got into the Pester Lloyd it had already appeared in the Pesti Hir-lap. Now perhaps you wouldn’t mind reading to me the official translation of an article in the Sopronyi Napló."

Lieutenant Lukash read aloud an article in which the writer had taken plenty of trouble to drag in as often as possible such phrases as :

"An essential demand of political prudence," "law and order," "human depravity," "human dignity and honour trampled underfoot," "the feasting of cannibals," "the slaughter of mankind," "gang of ruffians," "behind the scenes" and so on, as if the Magyars were the persecuted element on their own soil. It read as if the Czech troops had intruded on the writer’s privacy, had knocked him down, trampled on his abdomen with Wellington boots, whereupon he had howled with pain and somebody had taken it all down in shorthand.

"There are certain matters of prime importance [wailed the Sopronyi Napló], on which a significant silence is maintained and which nobody ventures to write about. We all know what the Czech soldier is like in Hungary and at the front. We all know what things the Czechs are doing and who is the cause of them. The watchfulness of the authorities, of course, is directed toward other important matters which, however, should be closely linked up with the general system of control, in order to prevent any recurrence of the scenes which recently took place at Kiraly-Hida. Fifteen passages in our yesterday’s article were deleted by the censor. Accordingly, all we can do to-day is to announce that for technical reasons we feel no considerable urge to discuss in any detail the Kiraly-Hida affair. Our special report ascertained on the spot that the authorities are showing considerable zeal about the whole matter, which they are investigating with the utmost dispatch. Nevertheless, it seems to us rather curious that a number of persons who were present at the outrage are still at large. This applies particularly to the gentleman who, according to hearsay, is still enjoying complete freedom of movement in camp, and whose name was published the day before yesterday in the Pester Lloyd and Pesti Napló. We refer to the notorious Czech

jingo, Lukash, concerning whose outrageous conduct a question will be asked in parliament by Géza Savanyi, member for the Kiraly-Hida constituency."

"There are equally pleasant references to you," said Colonel Schroder, "in the Kiraly-Hida Weekly and also in the Pressburg papers. But that won’t interest you, because it’s a re-hash of the same old stuff. Still, you may care to see an article in the Komarno Evening News which says that you made an attempt to violate Mrs. Kâkonyi at lunch in the dining room, in the presence of her husband, whom you threatened with your sword, forcing him to gag his wife with a napkin to stop her from screaming. That’s the latest news about you."

The colonel smiled and continued :

"The authorities are neglecting their duty. The censorship of all the papers here is in the hands of the Magyars, and they treat us exactly as they please. It was only after we had made urgent representations by a telegram from our divisional court-martial that the public prosecutor at Budapest took steps to arrest some of the editorial staff of all these papers. It’s the editor of the Komarno Evening News who’ll get it hottest. He’ll have cause to remember that article till his dying day. The divisional court-martial have entrusted me with the task of cross-examining you and have sent me all the relevant documents. It’d be all right if it wasn’t for that orderly of yours, that wretched fellow Schweik. With him there’s a certain Sapper Voditchka, and after the rumpus, when they’d taken him to the guard room, they found him in possession of the letter you sent to Mrs. Kâkonyi. Your man Schweik declared, when cross-examined, that it wasn’t your letter, but that he’d written it himself, and when it was placed before him and he was asked to copy it, so that the handwriting could be compared, he ate your letter up. Specimens of your reports were then produced to compare your writing with Schweik’s, and here’s the result."

The colonel turned over some documents and pointed out the following passage to Lieutenant Lukash :

"The prisoner Schweik refused to write the dictated sentence, asserting that overnight he had forgotten how to write."

"Of course," went on the colonel, "I don’t attach any importance to the evidence of Schweik or this Sapper Voditchka before the divisional court-martial. They both say that the whole thing was only a joke which was misunderstood, and that they themselves were attacked by civilians and that they defended themselves to vindicate their military honour. In the course of the proceedings it turned out that this Schweik of yours is a very queer fish indeed. Not all there, I should think, judging by his answers. I need hardly say that on behalf of the regimental command I’ve made arrangements for corrections of these disgraceful reports to be sent to all the papers concerned. They’re being distributed to-day. I think I’ve worded it rather neatly. It runs like this :

"Divisional court-martial No. N. and the command of regiment No. N. hereby declares that the article published in your paper on the subject of alleged outrage committed by men of regiment No. N. is entirely without foundation and is a complete fabrication from beginning to end. Further, kindly note that the proceedings instituted against the offending papers will lead to the infliction of severe penalties upon the culprits."

"In its report to our regimental command," continued the colonel, "the divisional court-martial expresses the opinion that the whole business is nothing more or less than a systematic agitation against the military detachments proceeding from Cis-leithania to Transleithania."

The colonel spat and added :

"You can see for yourself what good use they’ve made of your adventure in Kiraly-Hida."

Lieutenant Lukash coughed with embarrassment.

"Now, tell me, as man to man," said the colonel in a confidential tone, "how many times did you sleep with Mrs. Kâkonyi?"

Colonel Schroder was in a very good humour that day.

"And don’t tell me you’d only just begun to correspond with her. When I was your age I spent three weeks at Erlau on a field-surveying course, and I give you my word I spent the whole of those three weeks doing nothing else but sleeping with Magyar

women. A different one every day. Young ones, unmarried ones, elderly ones, married ones, whichever happened to turn up.

"Just begun to correspond . . ." The colonel tapped the lieutenant familiarly on the shoulder. "That won’t go down with me. I know exactly how it all happened. You started playing about with her, then her husband got word of it, and that fellow Schweik, your blithering idiot of an orderly. . . .

"But, all the same, you know, that chap Schweik is a regular card. That was really rich, the way he acted with your letter. I must say I’m sorry about him. He’s a caution and no mistake. I think he showed a real sporting spirit. The court-martial proceedings have certainly got to be quashed. You got a dressing down from the newspapers. They’ve made it too hot for you here. Within a week the draft will be on its way to the Russian front. You’re the oldest lieutenant in the nth company and you’ll be attached to it as company commander. That’s all been settled with the brigade. Tell the sergeant-major to find you another batman to replace this chap Schweik."

Lieutenant Lukash gazed gratefully at the colonel, who continued :

"I’m attaching Schweik to you as company orderly."

The colonel rose, and shaking hands with the lieutenant, whose face had turned as white as a sheet, he said :

"Well, that’s all settled. I wish you all success and luck at the front. And if you should happen to come this way again, give us a look-up. Don’t give us such a wide berth as you did at Bude-jovice."

All the way home Lieutenant Lukash kept repeating to himself:

"Company commander, company orderly."

And before him arose the figure of Schweik.

When Lieutenant Lukash asked Sergeant-Major Vanek to find him another batman instead of Schweik, the sergeant-major said:

"I thought you was entirely satisfied with Schweik, sir."

When he heard that the colonel had appointed Schweik company orderly of the nth company, he exclaimed :

"Gawd help us!"

At the divisional court-martial headquarters, in a hut provided with gratings, they rose at seven in the morning, and, in accordance with regulations, tidied up their paillasses, which were scattered about on the dusty floor. In a long compartment, partitioned off by planks, they folded their bed spreads on a straw mattress, and those who had finished this job sat on the benches by the walls and were either searching for lice or, if they had arrived from the front, were telling each other their experiences.

Schweik, with Sapper Voditchka, was sitting on a bench near the door with a number of soldiers belonging to various regiments and units.

"Here, I say," remarked Voditchka, "look at that Magyar chap by the window. He’s saying his prayers. A good biff on the jaw, that’s what he wants."

"Oh, he’s all right," said Schweik. "He’s here because he wouldn’t join up. He’s against war, because he belongs to a sect or something, and he don’t want to kill anyone. He wants to keep God’s commandments, but he’ll have a bellyful of God’s commandments by the time they’ve finished with him. In Moravia there used to be a fellow named Nemrava, and he wouldn’t even put a rifle on his shoulder when he was shoved into the army, because he said it was against his principles to carry a rifle. Well, they gave him a devil of a time in clink, and then they had another try to make him take the oath. But he wasn’t having any. He wouldn’t take any oath. He said it was against his principles. And he stuck to it, too."

"He was a damned fool," said Sapper Voditchka. "He might just as well have took the oath. What the hell’s it matter? Oath be blowed !"

"I’ve taken the oath three times," announced an infantryman, "and this is the third time they’ve had me up for desertion. If it wasn’t for the doctor’s certificate that fifteen years ago I was off my chump and did my aunt in, this is the third time I’d have been shot at the front. But my dear old aunt, she’s a friend in need, that she is, and I wouldn’t mind betting that in the end she’ll wangle me out of the army altogether."

"What did you do your aunt in for?" enquired Schweik.

"Why, the same as people always get done in for," replied this

pleasant fellow; "for oof, of course. The old girl had five bank books and they’d just sent her the interest when I arrived on a visit, absolutely down and out. She was all I had in the whole wide world, as they say. So I asked her to do something for me, and the stingy old geezer said that a strong young chap like me ought to do some work. Well, one word led to another, and the end of it was that I started sloshing her across the head with a poker. And when I’d finished with her physiog., I’m blowed if I could tell whether it was my aunt or not. So I sat down near her on the ground and kept saying to myself : ’Is it auntie or ain’t it auntie?’ And that’s how the neighbours found me the next day. After that I was in a lunatic asylum for a bit, till I went before a commission and they said I was all right again and I’d have to make up the time I’d still got to serve in the army."

"Oh, don’t you worry," said Schweik. "You’ll be all right in the end, just like Janetchek at Pilsen. He was a gipsy, and in 1879 they were going to hang him for robbery and murder. But he didn’t worry and he kept saying that he’d be all right in the end. And so he was. Because at the last moment they couldn’t hang him, because it was the Emperor’s birthday. So they didn’t hang him till the next day, when the Emperor’s birthday was all over. But he was in luck’s way again, because on the day after that he was reprieved and there was going to be another trial, on accbunt of some new evidence that showed it was another fellow named Janetchek who’d done it. So they had to dig him up out of the prison cemetery and give him another, proper burial in the Catholic cemetery at Pilsen, and then it turned out that he wasn’t a Catholic at all, but an evangelical, so they carted him off to the evangelical cemetery, and then -"

Footsteps could be heard in the corridor and the sentry shouted, "Zuwachs !"

"Let ’em all come," chuckled Schweik. "Perhaps they’ve brought some fag-ends with them."

The door opened, and in trotted the volunteer officer who had been with Schweik in the guard room at Budejovice.

"Praised be Jesus Christ !" he said as he entered. Whereupon Schweik, on behalf of all present, replied :

"For ever and ever, amen."

The volunteer officer eyed Schweik with satisfaction, put down the bed spread which he had brought with him, and joined the Czech settlement sitting on the bench. He unwound his puttees and having extracted the cigarettes which were artfully packed in their folds, he distributed them. Then, from his boots he took some matches, neatly cut in halves lengthwise, and a scrap of match box for striking them on. He struck a match, carefully lit a cigarette, gave everyone a light, and remarked in an offhand manner :

"I’ve been sentenced for mutiny. I refused to clean the latrines."

"That’s nothing," remarked Schweik indulgently. "It’s a fair old lark, you take it from me. The best thing you can do is to pretend you’re barmy. When I was in the detention barracks, there was a chap, a smart fellow he was, a school teacher, and he did a bunk from the front line, and there was going to be a devil of a big trial so as to get him hanged and scare the rest of us. Well, he got out of it as easy as winking. When the staff doctor examined him he said he’d never done a bunk but he’d always been fond of travelling, ever since he was a kid, and he always wanted to see far countries, as the saying is. Once he woke up and found he was in Hamburg, and another time in London, and he never knew how he got there. He said his father had always been on the booze and had done himself in before he was born—this chap I mean, of course—and his mother had been a tart and had died of theD.T.’s. He said his younger sister had drowned herself, and the elder one had chucked herself under a train, and his brother had jumped off a railway bridge, his grandfather had done his grandmother in, this chap’s grandmother I mean, and had then soaked himself with paraffin oil and set himself alight, and his other grandmother had gone gallivanting about with the gipsies and had poisoned herself with matches in prison, and one cousin had been sentenced several times for arson, and had cut the veins in his neck open with a piece of glass, and a female cousin on his father’s side had chucked herself from a sixth-story window, and he himself was very backward and couldn’t speak till he was ten, because when he was six months old, when they had tied him in up on a table, and then gone away somewhere for a minute, a cat

had pulled him off the table and he’d fallen down and bumped his head. He said he still had very bad headaches every now and then, and when they came on he didn’t know what he was doing, and that was the state he was in when he’d left the front line, and he didn’t properly come to, like, till the military police were running him in. Holy Moses, you ought to have seen how they fairly fell over each other to get him out of the army, and other blokes who was in the same cell with him made notes on a bit of paper like this, because they thought it’d come in handy :

" ’Father : boozer ; Mother : tart.

" ’Sister no. 1: Drowned.

" ’Sister no. 2: Railway train.

" ’Brother : Jumped off bridge.

" ’Grandfather did grandmother in (paraffin oil, set himself

alight). " ’Grandmother no. 2 : Gipsies, matches.

" ’And all the rest of it.’

"And one of them started telling the tale to the staff doctor, but he didn’t get any further than his cousin, when the staff doctor, who’d heard it all twice before, says to him : ’Oh, yes, I know all about you. You’re the fellow whose female cousin on your father’s side threw herself from a sixth-story window, and you’ve always been very backward, haven’t you? Oh, yes, we’ll put that right for you in the mental ward.’ So they took him off to the mental ward and tied him up in a strait waistcoat. And it didn’t take long before he got rid of his backwardness and his boozy father and his mother who was a tart, and he volunteered for the front mighty quick."

At this moment the key grated in the lock and the warder shuffled in.

"Private Schweik and Sapper Voditchka to go to the provost-marshal."

They got up to go, and Voditchka said to Schweik :

"See what rotters they are. Every day a cross-examination, and nothing ever comes of it. Why the hell can’t they sentence us and have done with it, instead of messing us up like this? Here we are, just dawdling about every blessed day."

As they proceeded on their way to the cross-examination in the office, v/hich was situated in another part of the building, Sapper Voditchka discussed with Schweik when they were likely to come up for a proper trial.

"Nothing but cross-examination," he grumbled, "and it wouldn’t be so bad if it led to anything. They just use up piles and piles of paper and no signs of a trial at all. They just let you rot behind the bars. And the soup isn’t fit to eat. And what about the cabbage with the frozen potatoes? Did you ever come across such awful grub? Blimey, talk about the Great War! That ain’t my idea of a great war."

"Well, I must say I’m pretty satisfied so far," said Schweik. "When I was doing my regular service it used to be much worse than this. Our sergeant-major, a chap named Solpera, he used to say that in the army every man’s got to have his duties at his fingers’ ends, as you might say, and then he’d give you such a biff in the jaw that you wouldn’t forget in a hurry. Oh, I don’t see much to grumble at now."

Sapper Voditchka mused for a while, and then remarked:

"When you come up before this provost-marshal bloke, Schweik, don’t get flurried, but just pitch the same yarn as you did at the cross-examination, or else I’ll be in a hell of a mess. The chief thing is that you saw those Magyar chaps go for me. Don’t forget we share and share alike in this little rumpus."

"Don’t you worry, Voditchka," said Schweik consolingly.

"Just keep calm. It’s no use getting excited. Why, there’s nothing much in a divisional court-martial, is there? You ought to have seen the way a court-martial polished chaps off years and years ago. There was a school master serving with us, and he told me once, when we were in clink, that in the Prague Museum there’s a book with records of a court-martial in Maria Theresa’s time. Why, every regiment had its executioner, and he just chopped off heads at a dollar a time. According to this book, he sometimes earned as much as five dollars a day."

They were just entering the offices of the divisional court-martial, and a sentry at once took them to office No. 8, where, behind a long table containing stacks of papers, sat Provost-Marshal Ruller. Before him lay a volume of the legal code, and on it

stood a half-full cup of tea. On the right-hand side of the table stood an imitation ivory crucifix with a dusty Christ who was gazing in despair at the base of his cross, covered with ashes and cigarette ends. Provost-Marshal Ruller was just causing the crucified deity fresh distress by knocking out a cigarette against the base of the crucifix, while with his other hand he was lifting the cup of tea, which had got stuck to the cover of the legal code. Having liberated the tea cup from the cover of the legal code, he went on turning over the pages of the book which he had borrowed from the officers’ casino. It was by F. S. Krauss and bore the promising title : Investigations into the Historical Development of Sexual Morality.

He was contemplating the diagrams which so effectively supplemented the text, when he was interrupted by a cough. It was Sapper Voditchka.

"What’s the matter?" he inquired, searching for more diagrams and sketches.

"Beg to report, sir," replied Schweik, "my chum Voditchka here has caught cold and now he’s got a nasty cough."

Provost-Marshal Ruller now looked at Schweik and Voditchka. He endeavoured to impart a stern expression to his countenance.

"Oh, you’ve turned up at last, have you?" he said, burrowing among the papers on the table. "I sent for you at nine o’clock, and now it’s nearly eleven. Is that the way to stand, you lazy lout?" The last question was addressed to Voditchka, who was casually standing at ease. "Until I tell you to stand at ease, you stand up properly to attention."

"Beg to report, sir," announced Schweik, "he’s got rheumatism."

"You’d better keep your mouth shut," said Provost-Marshal Ruller, "and don’t answer back till I ask you something. Where the devil’s that file got to? You two jailbirds are giving me a hell of a lot of work. But you’ll find it won’t pay you to cause all this unnecessary trouble."

From a stack of documents he now drew a bulky file, labelled "Schweik & Voditchka," and said :

"Just look at that, you mongrels. If you think you’re going to

fritter your time away at the divisional court-martial over a paltry rumpus, and dodge going to the front, you’re damned well mistaken, let me tell you."

He sighed.

"We’re going to quash the proceedings against you," he continued. "Now you’re going back to your units, where you’ll be punished by the orderly room. Then off you’ll go to the front. If you ever come my way again, you blackguards, I’ll give you something you won’t forget in a hurry. Take them away to No. Z."

"Beg to report, sir," said Schweik, "that we’ll both take your words to heart, and we’re much obliged to you for all your kindness. If we was civilians, I wouldn’t mind calling you a jolly old sport. And we’re both very sorry for all the trouble you’ve had because of us. We don’t deserve it, and that’s a fact."

"Oh, go to Hades !" the provost-marshal yelled at Schweik. "If Colonel Schroder hadn’t put in a good word for you, you’d have had a damned rough time of it."

As the military clerks in the office had gone to fetch rations, the soldier who was escorting them had to take them back to the cells, which he did to the accompaniment of much invective against the whole race of military clerks.

"They’ll take all the fat from the soup again," he lamented, "and leave me nothing but gristle. Yesterday I had to escort a couple of fellows to camp, and somebody pinched half my bread rations."

"You chaps here think of nothing but your grub," said Vo-ditchka, who was now his old self again.

When they told the volunteer officer how they had fared, he remarked :

"On draft, eh? You’ve been invited to join the personally conducted trip to Galicia. Well, you can start on your journey without any misgivings whatever. And I hope you’ll find yourselves attracted by the regions where you’ll be introduced to the trenches. It’s a fine country and extremely interesting. You’ll feel quite at home there. The wide and valuable experiences of our glorious army while retreating from Galicia on its first trip will certainly prove useful when the programme of the second

trip is being arranged. Follow your noses straight into Russia, and fire all your cartridges into the air for sheer joy of living."

In the office they settled everything promptly. A sergeant-major, his mouth still greasy from his recent meal, handed Schweik and Voditchka their papers with an exceedingly solemn expression. He also took advantage of the opportunity of delivering a speech, in which he made a special appeal to their soldierly spirit. His remarks were liberally embellished with elegant terms of abuse in his native Polish dialect.

The time now came for Schweik and Voditchka to take leave of each other. Schweik said :

"Well, when the war’s over, come and give me a look up. You’ll find me in The Flagon every evening at six o’clock."

"You bet I will," replied Voditchka.

They parted, and when there was a distance of several yards between them, Schweik shouted :

"Don’t forget. I’ll be looking out for you."

Whereupon Sapper Voditchka, who was now turning the corner by the second row of hutments, shouted :

"Right you are. After the war, at six o’clock in the evening."

"Better make it half past, in case I’m a bit late," replied Schweik.

Then, at a great distance, Voditchka’s voice could be heard :

"Can’t you make it six?"

And the last that Voditchka heard of his departing comrade was:

"All right. I’ll be there at six."

And that was how the good soldier Schweik parted from Sapper Voditchka.