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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69

Slow Paddy Drum

page 104

Slow Paddy Drum.

Paddy enlisted rather late in life with the 41st Regiment and went out to Malta with a party of that regiment in '55 He was one of those usually termed "one of the Queen's be bargains," and why he was ever passed to go abroad [unclear: was] mystery. There was really no life in him. He could only walk at a snail's pace, and all his actions were just in keeping and for innocence Paddy was perfection. He'd believe whatever a man would tell him. He would never judge for himself. For instance, if he saw men preparing for parade he would not be guided by how they were going. If it was "marching order parade," Paddy would creep out in "undress," and vice versa. Being such a slow card, it was not likely Paddy would be very punctual in taking his place in the ranks. The battalion would be usually inspected, told off, and ready to march away to the drill ground when Paddy would be seen or heard dragging his feet along the pavement bordering the square. By way of a change he would sometimes pipeclay his boots. To punish such a heap of innocent would be a crime. None of us ever thought there was acting about him. His looks, manner, and his actions indicated nothing of the kind. I think Paddy was sent home eventually to gladden the hearts of his friends, as his absence from them must have been a sore trial.