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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, June 1915

How William Got "the Stick"

page 40

How William Got "the Stick".

A quiet, honest bloke is Bill, devoid of trick or guile.
No matter what the routine is he'll always raise a smile;
You never hear him grumbling in the sultry tropic day;
Without a grouch from morn to morn he plods along his way.
But all things come to him who waits, and Bill has turned the trick,
For on the guard last Monday our William got the "stick!"

It was a most especial guard as any one could see,
A sweepstake on the orderlies made everybody gee.
They borrowed hats from near and far, their
Boots they polished black,
And everyone was certain that he had the neatest pack.
And even Bill was in the hunt, his backers saw to that;
For they had got the stick before—they had the game off pat.
From every place they drew supplies, a hat, and then a scarf—
The dandy way they got him up fair tickled Bill to laugh.
"They sunk the nips right into me and got my whitest shirt,
"And said complaints about my boots were rubbing in the dirt!"
But still their work was on the quiet, they had old William spry.
At dress rehearsal night before, we reckoned Bill was "pie."
And when the adjutant arrived and paced along the line
The favourite "double" clicked their heels and did their best to shine.
Some pinned their faith in puggarees; some sank their lot in scarves;
And others said "the taking way those puttees bind my calves."
But when he saw Bill's honest dial he said, "Fall-out, be quick!"
And that's the dinkum story of how William got the "stick."
The "Stick."—N.Z. Samoan Contingent's vernacular for Orderly duties.