A young major, with the surprised look of a lamb on the Eve of Easter, his hair going thin and his belly claiming early promotion - entered the office of the company clerks and, without closing the door behind him put his leg on the table and while lighting a cigarette, he issued a court order:"Hey, son, pick up a duster and wipe my boots carefully!" The thin and delicate private who did clerical work with his virginal hands, blushed to his ears, straightened his back, and resigning to the circumstances, produced his virgin handkerchief and began wiping carefully his superior's patent leather boots."Give a thorough rub, boy! Didn't you have your tea?""No." "Wasn't there enough?""There was, but I don't like it." "Isn't it good?" "It's horrible." "You don't say so, son! Did you board better with your parents?""As is but natural." "And where do you board here?" "At the pub." "Are you the white-headed boy of an important father?" "I'm a general's son." "Oh, that will do, thank you very much my dear boy, I knew it right from the start; I was only out to test you, to teach you an innocent lesson. But you didn't trust me, you ought have introduced yourself openly, since, you were speaking to a fellow military: 'I'm the son of so and so.' What's the distinguished general's name?""Popescu. He died. He had already retired in fact.""Wipe the other boot! But who brought you to this comfortable birth in the first place?""My brother-in-law, colonel Ionescu." "So he's your in-law…" "He's married to my sister." "All right, that will do, never mind and thank you very much. I'm so glad I've met you: I suspected you were born into some good family. Come along let's go to town.""I've got work to do.""Never mind, you're my guest. Take it from me, my friend, you can't grow fat on what they feed to the rank and file."

by Gheorghe Brăescu (1871-1949)