A Butting Party

The troublous times which were frequent in Constantinople in the early days resulted in a period of fear and massacres were frequently mad the occasion by the Government of quartering groups of soldiers at department stores, schools, etc., owned by the foreigners. The avowed purpose was the need of protecting foreign property. Actually, it meant a long period of expense which had to be borne to feed these soldiers, long after the initial cause of the trouble had disappeared. We had a platoon of the soldiers in the boarding school which I attended and these soldiers remained with us for the entire school year.

At school that year the boys were not allowed to go on the campus after supper because the soldiers roamed there. The platoon owned a mascot, - a huge vindicative ram, - very much feared by the boys and which we were all very glad to shun.

I used to spend most of my time in the Chemistry Laboratory which was across the campus from the study hall, and as my interests were far more in the laboratory than in the study hall, I never went to the study hall until the last minute. The custom of the school was to toll first one, then a second bell and while the second was tolling the boys were supposed to be assembling quietly in the study hall and to be in their seats at the last toll of the bell. The length of time that the bell tolled was just enough to permit me to sprint across the campus and arrive at my seat in the study hall at the last toll of the bell. On this particular occasion, after sprinting across the campus, I arrived at the door just in time - when suddenly there came a terrific whack from behind, and I was thrown headlong into the central aisle of the school room. The ram galloped up the aisle over my prostrate body. Pandemonium reigned! For whatever the ram did or whenever it got near the doorway, there was always a group of boys to divert its attention and cause it to gallop back and leap over the desks at the other end of the school room. It was a full twenty minutes before silence or order was restored.

'Nuff said!

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