Railway Tales

by Stanley C. West Old Colonel Grant of 12th Hussars Was one of quite the best, sir He'd medals and bars and lots of stars All hanging round 'is chest, sir 'E 'ad but one real chum, and that Was one old wall-eyed tabby cat. I served with Grant in the Soudan And crushed the Alabamas And there one night to me 'e ran In tears and 'is pyjamas And to my dyin' day I shan't Forget the face of General Grant. When in my tent 'e first appeared 'E cried so loud and lusty The tears went splashing down 'is beard And made 'is medals rusty 'Oh James, ' he cried ('e called me that.) 'I've been and lost my bloomin' cat!' 'That wall-eyed cat,' said poor old Grant 'I loved it like a brother.' 'Cheer up,' said I, 'Dear Colonel, can't You go and buy another?' But Colonel Grant did not agree 'E drew 'is sword and fired at me. 'Sound, Bugler, sound,' I 'eard 'im shout And out the regiment tumbled The mounted band came prancing out The cannon clanked and rumbled 'E told the men 'is catty fears And ev'ry man burst into tears. 'I see your cat, oh , Colonel dear' Thus spake a tiny drummer 'She won't come back no more, I fear.' The Colonel's face grew glummer 'I see 'er' said the frightened kid, 'A-climbing up the Pyramid.' With one loud cry the regiment did With Colonel all go flying And 'alf way up that Pyramid They see the poor cat crying 'Come ' said the Colonel, 'We're in time.' And guns and band commenced to climb. A gallant sight - all calling 'Puss' The regiment climbed with will, sir, But 'stead of comin' down to us The puss climbed 'igher still, sir, 'Oh stay sweet puss,' we did implore But pussy miowed, 'Excelsior.' Then Sergeant Bugg, who played the 'orn Said, 'Colonel, beg your pardon Bur I've 'eard say that no cat will scorn A tune on the Bombardon Now, bandman Pipp can play it grand With some assistance from the band.' 'Play on,' the Colonel cried in glee And Pipp 'e started playin' 'E played 'The Children's 'Ome' in G But still that cat went strayin' Before old Bandsman Pipp could stop That blasted cat was on the top. Then George de Smythe, our Adjutant Cried out with voice arestin' 'Who's got some cats-meat, Colonel Grant?' (I had some in my mess-tin) I said so. 'Give it me' he cried And to the meat some string 'e tied. Unto our twelve pound gun 'e run With meat late druv by cabby And bade the gunner lay the gun Right on to poor old tabby Then rammed the meat and cartridge in And bade the gunner light the pin. Bang! flew the meat with deadly whack At pussy's feet it landed Then by the string we 'auled it back As brave de Smythe commanded And very soon, sir, and no mistake That feline followed in it's wake. Soon in the arms of Colonel Grant That wayward cat was sobbin' And cheers for our brave Adjutant The desert air set throbbin' Then Cavalry, the Band and Guns Went home to lemonade and buns.
The end