Twenty-Three and a Half Hours' Leave by Mary Roberts Rinehart, Fiction, Romance, Historical, War & Military
"I think the Old Man likes me," went on Sergeant Gray meditatively. "It's about a week now since he told me I was a disgrace to the uniform. How'd I know I was going to sneeze in his horse's ear just as he was climbing on?" -- "Suffering snakes!" cried the second mess sergeant. "Go to bed! You're delirious." Sergeant Gray put a dimple in the girl's cheek and surveyed it critically. -- "Yep. The old boy's crazy about me," he ruminated aloud. "Asked me the other day if I thought I'd fight the Germans as hard as I fought work." -- "Probably be asking you to breakfast," observed the second mess sergeant, beginning on a new sheet. "He's in the habit of having noncoms to eat with him." The subtlety of this passed over Sergeant Gray's head. He was carefully adding a small ear to his drawing, an ear which resembled an interrogation point. But a seed had been dropped on the fertile soil of his mind. He finished, yawned again and grinned. "All right," he said. _"C'est la guerre, _as the old boy says. I'll lay you two dollars to one I eat breakfast with him within a month." His imagination grew with the thought. "Wait! I'll eat bran muffins with him at breakfast within a month. How's that?" -- "A bran muffin with the Old Man!" he chuckled. "A bran muffin! A --"