Last night’s bibulous effects decidedly humorous. One by one the delinquents returned in various stages of liquordom. After assisting same to partially undress and roll up in an assortment of one another’s blankets, I took to my bunk, when the flute-worshipper and his mates returned with the helmet and a large humorous notice with which they decorated one of the unconscious beauties; then went into prolonged ecstasies of laughter, lasting until late into the night. Their victim lay throughout, motionless, stern; like the body of the Duke of Wellington lying in state. Before his final lapse into statuesque coma, the Duke had helped manfully with his “cobber”, whom we skinned of his nether garments, socks and all, as you skin a rabbit. When today he found he had been robbed of all his money and his watch, he simply said “It serves me right”. Things like that show character.
I like my present company, real “hard doers”, who don’t ‘whip the cat’, are loyal, and get fun out of their misfortunes. One (the Duke) I would give much to have provided with a good education. He has a natural gift of fantastic and humours expression. The quaintest analogies suggest themselves to his mind, and his attitude towards the military environment is inimitable. He is now about to “get his razor into trip to do a little chaff-cutting” – his battered looking-glass being “the old range-finder”. His spare donk he has taught to follow him like a big dog, and it is as good as a play to watch him galloping up and down, followed by that frolicsome satellite. A much damaged plate of false teeth, his only valued possession, is a source of endless jocularity. He procrastinates: discussed from every point of view the problem of where and when he should get his hair cut. After harping on the idea for over a week, he entered an elaborate saloon in the city – cast one terrified glance at the rows of bowing and unctuous attendants, and bolted! My eternal gratitude to him, although he did drink most of our bucket of washing water this morning.
Just been out to midnight “hay-up”. The tapering twin towers of that mighty Cathedral probing (dark blue against pale blue) the wintry sky.
Am reading Adam Bede.