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34

SUNDAY ARRANGEMENTS.

store room the next day. On Sundays the hours were slightly altered, owing to the arrangement that all persons in the store room and kitchen should attend Divine service; but though each had the opportunity afforded them, the patients were in no ways neglected.

Most amusing scenes went on at times in the extra-diet kitchen. The orderlies did not like the civilian cook, and he returned the compliment; they were perpetually telling tales of each other. Once when Miss

was detained from her work for a few days by illness, she received the following note from the cook :

“Madam-I wish to acquaint you about : the malice that is existing among some of the orderlies towards me, and the other servants in the kitchen. I believe the cause to be not having a free intercourse in the kitchen as formerly, and moreover, an antipathy towards me for doing my duty. If

THE COOK'S LETTER.

35

I have not done my duty to the best of my ability I will refer to your honourable decision. Yesterday evening I had a requisition for six pints of chocolate at 7 P.M., when I was at my room; I was in the act of dressing when the orderly came, I made haste over to the kitchen and the ladies' store was locked, therefore, I could not comply with the requisition. This morning he made a special report to the doctor. Under these circumstances, and with your kind permission, I would like for

my

welfare and also for the best mode of regulating the kitchen, to have some restrictions. Regarding this, I hope, madam, with my greatest respect, that you will take interest in these few lines. I remain, madam,

6 Your humble servant.

T. R., Cook." There were a good many Greeks also employed in the kitchen (for the labour of fetching water from the extreme end of the

36

CONSTANTINE THE ITALIAN.

barrack-yard required a good many hands, and chopping wood was another piece of heavy work); the Greeks were a great torment, they were perpetually running off, staying away for a day or so and then coming back, and quarrelling and fighting among themselves, and being idle and disobedient. One had to send messages almost every day to the sergeant in charge of the Greeks, 66 Wanted a Greek.”

At last came an Italian named Constantine, he was an old man but worth six Greeks. Always at hand, willing, gentle, and obedient, he picked up a few sentences of English very fast and was very proud of his acquirements. His favourite employment was to help the lady putting out the stores, lifting the heavy weights for her and so on; he was quite honest, but he and cook could not agree and there were dreadful battles.

Cook complained so of his disobedience in the kitchen that Miss - was forced to speak to him;

HIS PANTOMIMIC DEFENCE.

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and it was very absurd, as she could not speak either Greek or Italian, and had to express her displeasure by using the little English Constantine knew and by signs. Constantine understood quite well, and made a vehement defence; he danced about the room, and, with many gesticulations, gave her to understand that “Monsieur Cook” was so unreasonable, he wanted Constantine to be in the kitchen when he was helping madame in the store room, and that he could not be in two places at once, and Monsieur Cook was so rough he called out so loud and was not quiet like madame. However, the reproof did good, and the kitchen was more peaceable.

Monsieur Soyer paid a visit to Koulali before the improvements in the extra-diet kitchen had taken place. He offered to show a better way of making the hospital tea, i. e., that issued from the large general kitchen for all the diets. There was room

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M. SOYER AND HIS TEA.

for improvement, for it was the most wretched stuff possible. Monsieur Soyer's was much better, and yet he made it, he said, with exactly the same proportions as before. I do not think his improvements were attended to at the kitchen, but as it did not come within our province I cannot

be sure.

Monsieur Soyer made his tea in the little kitchen outside the Convalescent Hospital. The medical officers and the ladies came to taste it, and it was an amusing scene : the group outside tasting the tea, the tiny kitchen, which just held Monsieur Soyer and his assistants, and the patients of the Convalescent Hospital looking on and wondering what was going to happen to their tea that night.

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