It was the last night in an English harbour, and what ho! for a rag. It was the first night afloat, and what ho! for a rough-house. And there was Elation in the air at the sight of Britain embarking for the Dardanelles to teach the Turk what the Empire meant. So shout, my lads. "Hitchy-koo, hitchy-koo, hitchy-koo." Major Hardy was equal to any of them. He was the Master of the Revels.
Ferguson beat time at the top of the dais, with a pen gently waving between his fingers, as gracefully as the pierrots of Aubrey Beardsley play with feathers. Down below heavy feet pretended to dance to an impossible tune. Someone began a song, others followed suit, and before long the austere sanctity of the room was violated by the flat melodies of Hitchy-Koo. It was indeed an act of vandalism.
And see, there was Major Hardy, leaning over the pianist that he might read the words through his monocle, and singing with the best of them: "Everybody's doing it doing it doing it," and "Hitchy-koo, hitchy-koo, hitchy-koo." The Spirit of Riot was aboard to-night. The wines of Heidsieck and Veuve Pommery glowed in the cheeks of the subalterns.