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On the wall was a banner lettered "Service Before Self," and the menu—the celery, cream of tomato soup, broiled haddock, chicken croquettes, peas, and tutti-frutti ice-cream—was up to the highest standards of the Hotel Wessex. General Edgeways was completing his manly yet mystical rhapsody on nationalism: "...
for these U-nited States, a-lone among the great powers, have no desire for foreign conquest.
Seething with the notion, she got herself clear into the office of the Quartermaster General, but that stuffy machine-minded official refused her (or, really, refused the poor lads, so lonely there in the mud), muttering in a cowardly way some foolishness about lack of transport for canaries.
It is said that her eyes flashed real fire, and that she faced the Jack-in-office like Joan of Arc with eyeglasses while she "gave him a piece of her mind that he never forgot! They were encouraged to send their menfolks, or anybody else's menfolks, off to war. Gimmitch addressed every soldier she met—and she saw to it that she met any of them who ventured within two blocks of her—as "My own dear boy." It is fabled that she thus saluted a colonel of marines who had come up from the ranks and who answered, "We own dear boys are certainly getting a lot of mothers these days.
But her social services were not all confined to prehistoric eras. Adelaide Tarr Gimmitch was called in to inspire military morale, or to persuade Lithuanian choral societies to begin their program with "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean," always she was a D. R., and you could tell it as you listened to her with the Fort Beulah Rotarians on this happy May evening. Her luxuriant gray hair (she was sixty now, just the age of the sarcastic editor, Doremus Jessup) could be seen below her youthful, floppy Leghorn hat; she wore a silk print dress with an enormous string of crystal beads, and pinned above her ripe bosom was an orchid among lilies of the valley. In fact, Woman must resume her place in the Home and: "As that great author and scientist, Mr.
Pray God it may never be necessary, but if foreign nations don't sharply heed our warning, there will, as when the proverbial dragon's teeth were sowed, spring up an armed and fearless warrior upon every square foot of these United States, so arduously cultivated and defended by our pioneer fathers, whose sword-girded images we must be... " All the audience made their faces to shine upon the General and Mr.
Staubmeyer—all save a couple of crank pacifist women, and one Doremus Jessup, editor of the Fort Beulah Daily Informer, locally considered "a pretty smart fella but kind of a cynic," who whispered to his friend the Reverend Mr.
Adelaide Tarr Gimmitch, known throughout the country as "the Unkies' Girl," because during the Great War she had advocated calling our boys in the A. She wanted to send to every soldier at the Front a canary in a cage.
Think what it would have meant to them in the way of companionship and inducing memories of home and mother! And who knows—maybe you could train 'em to hunt cooties!