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Old August 24, 2006, 09:29 PM   #164
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,296
War Paint

A Union Artilleryman observed one Massachusetts colonel apply war paint:

The water in the spring had been roiled, so I searched for another higher up the run. While searching for it I saw a colonel of inantry put on his war paint. It was a howling farce of one act - one brief act of not more than twenty seconds' duration, but the fun of the world was crowded into it. This blond, bewhiskered brave sat safely behind a large oak tree. He looked around quickly. His face hardened with resolution. He took a cartridge out of his vest pocket, tore the paper with his strong white teeth, spilled the powder into his right palm, spat on it, and then, first casting a quick glance around to see if he was observed, he rubbed the moistened powder on his face and hands, and then dust coated the war paint. Instantly he was transformed from a trembling coward who lurked behind a tree into an exhausted brave taking a little well-earned repose. I laughed silently at the spectacle, and filled my canteens at a spring I found, and then rejoined my comrades, and together we laughed at and then drank to the health of the blond warrior. That night I slept and dreamt of comic plays and extravagant burlesques; but in the wildest of dream vagaries there was no picture that at all compared with the actual one I had seen in the forest. That colonel is yet alive. I saw him two years ago.
Too bad the author never identified the brave colonel.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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