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The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918

The Inspection

The Inspection.

"Just a second, Sergeant," said Lieut. Davis,

"Yes, Sir!"

"I want you, before you dismiss the parade, to inform the men that the General will inspect, them next Wednesday. Tell them to look spick and span that day, and not to get nervous. The General won't bite them, and tell them so."

"Yes, Sir."

"Very well, carry on."

Lieut. Davis acknowledged the Sergeant's salute, and walked in the direction of his tent.

"Shun!" yelled the Sergeant. "Stand at— ease! Standeasy, and listen to me."

"You know," the Sergeant spoke impressively, "that you are all goin' to be inspected by the General next Wednesday, and he expects to find you lookin' like so diers, not like bloomin' swagmen. God knows what hopes he's got, but there you are. I don't want some of you to turn out with beards like a blanky billy-goat, and leggin's lookin' as if they had been in a Municipal rubbish tip. There's plenty of dubbin" at the Q M's. Get to work and make the leather look as if it had been Kiwied for a week. And there's one or two of you who are wearin' those sandshoes you got from home last Christmas. Now, don't let me see you wearin' them when the General's about, or there'll be troubles, and I'll be the chap who will start it. Now, I've done my best for you all, and I don't deserve to see what I probably shall see, and that is about twenty of you makin' a blasted exhibition of yourselves, and me, and the Australian Army."

The Sergeant stopped to glare at a man who had nicked a fly from his nose, then he continued;

"It's too late now to go into all the things, which you do wrong, and rotten wrong at that, but there's one thing you needn't do, You needn't get the wind up just because the General's lookin' at you. Stand up to him. The more you do that the more he will think of you. He'll like to see a lot of buck and swank about yon, and, by God, you can swank if you like, and it's me that knows it. Just say to yourselves when on pa'rare, 'The General ain't nobody, and he ain't afrain of me.' Say it over again. If you like, pretend that he ain't there at all. Treat him as if he was—"

The Sergeant paused for a compatison, and then caught sight of the figure of Lieut. Davis emerging from the tent.

"Treat the General as if he was the Lieutenant," said the Sergeant, and a happy sndle flitted across the faces of every man on parade.