Things seemed black indeed, and the Captains' wives peered under their eyebrows at the Senior Subaltern, and the Colonel's face set like the Day of Judgment framed in gray bristles, and no one spoke for a while.
The Senior Subaltern was half choked with the arms round his neck, but he gasped out:--"It's a d d lie!
She stood up in the middle of us all, sometimes choking with crying, then hard and proud, and then holding out her arms to the Senior Subaltern. It was like the fourth act of a tragedy.
I shall never forget the indictment of the Senior Subaltern by his wife.
She stood up and sneered at the Senior Subaltern for a cur, and abused the Major and the Colonel and all the rest.
There was a hush, and the men looked into each other's eyes as the Senior Subaltern came forward in a dazed and dizzy way, and took the paper.
But the woman had fled through a door, and on the paper was written:--"This is to certify that I, The Worm, have paid in full my debts to the Senior Subaltern, and, further, that the Senior Subaltern is my debtor, by agreement on the 23d of February, as by the Mess attested, to the extent of one month's Captain's pay, in the lawful currency of the India Empire."
I think we were all, except the Colonel and the Senior Subaltern, a little disappointed that the scandal had come to nothing.
The "Shikarris" made him President of the Regimental Dramatic Club; and, when the Senior Subaltern paid up his debt, which he did at once, The Worm sank the money in scenery and dresses.
In sections on the formation of the reversed and the transformation of hegemony in reverse, he discusses the spectre of the people, the fatalism of the weak, the smile of the exploited, and the anguish of the subalterns
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