In Centreville there lived two husky Young Fellows named Bill and Schuyler–commonly abbreviated to Schuy. They did not find any nourishing Excitement in a Grain Elevator, so they Enlisted to Free Cuba.
The Government gave each of them a Slouch Hat and a prehistoric Firearm. They tied Red Handkerchiefs around their Necks and started for the Front, each with his Head out of the Car Window. They gave the Sioux Yell to everybody along the Track between Centreville and Tampa.
While in Camp they played Double Pedie, smoked Corn-Cob Pipes, and cussed the Rations. They referred to the President of these United States as “Mac,” and spoke of the beloved Secretary of War as “Old Alger.”
After more or less Delay they went aboard a Boat, and were landed in Cuba, where they began to Shoot at everything that looked Foreign. The hot Rain drenched them, and the tropical Sun steamed them; they had Mud on their clothes, and had to sleep out. When they were unusually Tired and Hungry, they would sing Coon Songs and Roast the War Department.
At last they were ordered Home. On the way back they didn’t think of Anything except their two Lady Friends, who worked in the Centreville Steam Laundry.
They rode into Town with a Machete under each Arm, and their Pockets full of Mauser Cartridges.
The first Thing they saw when they alighted from the Train was a Brass Band. It began to play, “See the Conquering Hero Comes.”
Then eight Little Girls in White began to strew Flowers in their Pathway.
The Artillery company ripped out a Salute.
Cap Gibbs, who won his Title by owning the first Steam Thrashing Machine ever seen in the County, confronted them with a Red, White, and Blue Sash around him. He Barked in a loud Voice–it was something about Old Glory.
Afterward the Daughters of the Revolution took them in Tow, and escorted them to Pythian Hall, where they were given Fried Chicken, Veal Loaf, Deviled Eggs, Crullers, Preserved Watermelon, Cottage Cheese, Sweet Pickles, Grape Jelly, Soda Biscuit, Stuffed Mangoes, Lemonade, Hickory-Nut Cake, Cookies, Cinnamon Roll, Lemon Pie, Ham, Macaroons, New York Ice Cream, Apple Butter, Charlotte Russe, Peppermint Wafers, and Coffee.
While they were Feeding, the Sons of Veterans Quartet stood on the Rostrum with their Heads together, and sang:
“Ten-ting to-night! Ten-ting to-night,
Ten-ting on the old-ah Camp-ground!”
At the first opportunity Bill motioned to Schuyler, and led him into the Anteroom, where they kept the Regalia, the Kindling Wood, and the Mop.
“Say, Schuy, what the Sam Hill does this mean?” he asked; “are we Heroes?”
“That’s what Everybody says.”
“Do you Believe it?”
“No matter what I Believe; I’m goin’ to let ’em have their own Way. I may want to Run for Supervisor some Day.”
MORAL: If it is your Play to be a Hero, don’t Renig.