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Based on the Milton Hayes poem 'THE GREEN EYE OF THE LITTLE YELLOW GOD', this sketch involved Stanley Holloway as a serious monologuist in full evening dress, hounded to distraction by Leslie Henson and Cyril Richard as two Indian army officers. From their vantage point in the stage box, they interrupted throughout and constantly sought to make Holloway 'dry' or smile.
As Holloway recalled, "If they had succeeded, the monologue would have lost all credibility and it was one of the hardest jobs of my life to resist the leg-pulling of that sophisticated artist Cyril Ritchard and my beloved, gravelly-voiced friend, Leslie Henson."

PUKKA SAHIB
Sketch by Reginald Purdell (1940)
(Based on The Green Eye of The Little Yellow God by Milton Hayes)

The Reciter... Stanley Holloway
The Colonel... Leslie Henson
The Major..... Cyril Richard

(The Reciter walks on to the stage and prepares to recite.)

Reciter: The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God, by Milton Hayes...
There's a green-eyed yellow idol to the north of Kathmandu.
There's a little marble cross below the town;
There's a...
The Colonel: (Interrupting from a box.) Have you been there lately?
Reciter: I beg your pardon?
The Major: (From the box.) The Colonel said 'Have you been there lately?'
Reciter: Where?
Both: Kathmandu.
Reciter. No, as a matter of fact I haven't been there for some time.
The Major: What were you there with? Indian Army? Indian Civil?
The Colonel: Or the Fol-de-RoIs?
Reciter: Well, to be perfectly frank -
The Major: As a matter o' fact I know Kathmandu well. It's a second home to me.
The Colonel: I love every inch of the place. I was only there last year.
The Major: I came through a couple of months ago on my way home. The whole place was changed terribly.
The Colonel: Yes, bad show.
Reciter: That's very interesting. But why are you telling me all this.
The Major: Just to put you right geographically.
The Colonel: You see, the whole place has been changed under a town planning scheme.
The Major: For instance, there's a large public library and public baths combined erected in the square. The Office of Works have moved the idol to the south of Kathmandu.
The Colonel: And the cemetery has been moved and there is now a cinema. Hideous thing.
The Major: So that marble cross you spoke about is now above the town. Reciter: Perhaps I'd better start again.
Both: But do.
Reciter: The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God, by Milton Hayes. There's a green-eyed yellow idol to the...
The Major: South.
Reciter: South of Kathmandu. There's a little marble cross...
The Colonel: Above!
Reciter: (Dully) Above the town. There's a broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew.
The Major: Did you know Fanny Shannon?
Reciter: Did I know who?
The Major: Fanny Shannon. You remember General... Shannon's eldest girl.
The Colonel: Tim Shannon - damn good scout.
The Major: Yes indeed. You're quite out of order saying she's broken-hearted. She was naturally upset at Carew's death, but she got over it.
The Colonel: Didn't she marry a rich American?
The Major: Yes, they've got three boys at St Paul's.
Reciter: How then shall I describe her?
The Major: Oh - (Whispers to the Colonel) We suggest a comparatively broken-hearted woman.
Reciter: I'd better start again.
Both: But do.
The Major: Only you don't mind if we have a drink?
The Colonel: Splendid idea. (He rises to go.)
The Major: Oh, there's no need to go, Colonel. You can get one here. I've got Sabu standing by. (An Indian Servant enters and salutes.)
The Major: What will you have?
The Colonel: I'll have a chota-peg.
The Major: One chota-peg, and I'll have a Passion Fruit. (The Indian Servant exits.) Oh, and Sabu - not too much fruit.
Reciter: May I carry on?
Both: But do.
Reciter: There's a green-eyed yellow idol to the south of Kathmandu.
There's a little marble cross above the town.
There's a comparatively broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew And the little god forever gazes down.
The Colonel: Up, sir, up.
Reciter: (Hastily.) Up. He was known as Mad Carew.
The Major: Oh, ridiculous. The man wasn't mad at all. He was mentally deficient, yes. You couldn't call him absolutely crackers.
Reciter: He was known as Mentally deficient Carew by the Subs. of Kathmandu. He was hotter than they felt inclined to tell.
The Colonel: Too much curry powder. Too much Mepharine.
Reciter: (Miserably.) But for all his foolish pranks...
The Major: Foolish pranks be damned, sir. You don't call writing rude words on the walls foolish pranks.
Reciter: Well, I didn't know...
The Colonel: No, neither did I.
The Major: What, Carew? Horrible habits.
The Colonel: Tell me a couple. (They whisper.) No! - Government House?
The Major: Government House. I tell you, the Viceroy was livid. In front of Noel Coward, too.
Reciter: He was worshipped in the ranks.
And the Colonel's daughter smiled on him as well...
(The Colonel and the Major rise.)
The Major:
Now, that's a cad's remark, sir. If you want to know, my brother was engaged to her at the time. I . . . (He attempts to climb over the box.)
Reciter: I'm sorry, I didn't know. I apologise.
The Colonel: I should darn well think so. (To the Major.) I'd accept his apology.
The Major: Would you? Very well, we don't want a scene.
The Colonel: We needn't look.
The Major: No, turn your back on the blighter. (He picks up a programme.) Who is he? (Announces Reciter's name.) Never heard of him. Hippodrome or local theatre, I suppose.
Reciter: She was nearly twenty-one.
The Colonel: (With a roar of derisive laughter.) Twenty-one be damned! She was thirty-nine if she was a day.
The Major: Mind you, she didn't look it. She had everything lifted - or practically everything. All the main essentials.
Reciter: And arrangements had been made to celebrate her birthday with a ball.
The Colonel: Extraordinary. I don't remember that.
The Major: No, I think you were away at the time. It was during the rains. You were up at Rumblechelly - Pore on that sewage commission.
Reciter: He wrote to ask what present she would like from Mentally Deficient Carew.
They met next day as he dismissed his squad.
The Colonel: Platoon!
Reciter: As he dismissed his squad.
The Colonel: Platoon!
Reciter: Squad!
The Colonel: The Subaltern commands a platoon.
Reciter: But it must be a squad, it's got to rhyme with yellow God.
The Major: We don't give a hoot what it's got to rhyme with, sir. King's Regulations - it's a platoon.
Reciter: They met next day as he dismissed his platoon.
And jokingly she said that nothing else would do...
But the green eye of the...
The Major: Chocolate-coloured coon...
The Colonel: (Roaring with laughter.) Jolly good.
Reciter: (Hysterically.) The night before the dance, Mentally Deficient Carew sat in a trance.
The Major: Sat in a trance? he sat in a blancmange. I remember it well. He was as tight as a tick.
Reciter: And they chafed him as they puffed at their cigars.
The Colonel: Wait a minute. Chafed him? Are you referring to his underwear or his brother officers?
Reciter: His brother officers.
The Major: Then the word is chaffed - or if you come from the North Country - the 'A' is short and it would be chaft.
Reciter: It might interest you to know that I do come from the North Country. I would prefer the word chaft.
The Colonel: Then by all means say chaft.
Reciter: Very well, I will say chaft.
Both: But do.
Reciter: (Lapsing into North Country.) And they chaft him as they puffed at their cigars.
(The Colonel and the Major laugh and applaud.)
(Enter the Indian Servant, he speaks in double-talk Hindustani.)

The Major: Oh, we can't get a drink here. Come on, let's go to the bar. Sorry we've got to go, so we'll leave you poofing and chaffing.
Reciter: Gentlemen, please, Gentlemen, will you please let me continue. Don't you realise this is my livelihood, my business? May I please continue?
Both: But do. (They both laugh.)
Reciter: (Going mad.) There's a broken-hearted Idol, To the West of Mad Carew; There's a cross-eyed yellow woman Doing all a Cat Can Doo... Ha! Ha! Ha!

(He screams insanely and rushes from the stage.)
 
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