Arguing by similarity of sound, the Bulgarian soldier affected to believe it meant "Spit five men on your bayonet." It was the common camp saying that it was the duty of the infantryman to impale five Turks on his bayonet, to show that he had conducted himself well. The Bulgarian infantrymen had devised a little "jim" in regard to bayonet work, which I had not heard of being used in war before.
In many cases he does not take his polish well. Advanced education for the ambitious Balkan lad has in the past generally meant education abroad; and in Paris or Vienna or Petrograd the young Bulgarian, plunged into an altogether new life of luxury and of frivolity, often suffered a loss of natural strength of fibre for which no book-learning could compensate. That evil will pass away.
Officers of high standing, unless they were on the General Staff, knew little of the general plan; they were informed only about the particular operations in which they were engaged. This policy of secrecy was, however, a good thing from the point of view of getting to know the Bulgarian people.
They were men of thirty-five, with stupid faces, dirty garments, beards run to waste, and fur caps. Their cell was a mere hovel, without furniture, except a horrid caricature of the Virgin and Child, and four books of prayers in the Bulgarian character.
It looks like some new brand of soft drink we'll be having after July first. Greek or Bulgarian. Anyhow, he didn't awsk for a bawth. Looks as if he needed one, too. Here, boy!" "Ye-ah!" "Take a peek at this John Hancock." "Gee! That must be the guy who makes that drugstore drink Boolzac." The clerk swung out, but missed the boy's head by a hair. The boy stood off, grinning. "Well, you ast me!"
As it was, they faced north towards Mackensen, and the Bulgarian offensive towards Uskub took the Serbians in the rear, cut their communications with Salonika down the Vardar, and eventually forced a retreat into the Albanian mountains. Serbia would in any case have been overrun, and Mackensen's conquest of its northern half would have been more rapid than it was.
The Bulgarians were beginning to re-discover their own nationality. Bulgarian schools and books produced a reaction against Greek culture and the Greek clergy who maintained it. Not much longer would Greek remain the language of the upper classes in Bulgarian cities; not much longer would ignorant peasants, who spoke only Bulgarian, call themselves Greek.
He grappled at once with the Bulgarian, and being, as we have said, a powerful fellow, soon had him on his back with a hand compressing his windpipe, and a knee thrust into his stomach. It would certainly have fared ill with the Bulgarian that day if a villager had not been attracted to the hut by the noise of the scuffle.
That kingdom which had taken no active part in the late war, but which had secretly nursed a boundary grievance against Bulgaria dating back from the War of Liberation, when Russia robbed Roumania of Bessarabia and proposed to pay her with Bulgarian territory without actually doing so now announced that she must be a party to any new Balkan settlement, and mobilised her forces to give accent to the demand she had been making for some time for a territorial concession from Bulgaria.
"At this moment," I answered, "they are probably carrying across the world the message, 'Buy Bulgarian Rails. They are probably the prompt communication between some two of the wealthiest and wickedest of His children with whom God has ever had patience. No; these telegraph poles are ugly and detestable, they are inhuman and indecent.