The new arrivals to Paris seem to be settling in well, and for the second month running the focus of activity was the Red Phillips Club. In the first week, no fewer than six gentlemen were present; M. Pierre de Fromage, M. Petit Cochon d'And, M. Disab le Toilet (one of two additional newcomers), M. Vincent de la Maison, M. Laurent de Lambe and M. Nomlesse. M. Nomlesse, we are pleased to note, has taken heed of our advice to put the past behind him and forget his unsuccessful attempt to court Mlle. Benotte. He spent a great deal of time carousing in the company of M. de Fromage, M. de Toilet and M. de Lambe, and looked a lot better for it. The revelry was being led by M. de Fromage, who, capitalising on his father's position as a sea captain was teaching his compatriots sea shanties and showing them how to drink grog. Our readers may be interested to note that the core of a successful grog-drinking technique is to spill large quantities of it and laugh uproariously while it melts holes in the carpet.
Be warned that you will now have some catching-up to do if you wish to compete with the four experts. In weeks two and three, the number of drinkers dwindled, and it appears only Mssrs. de Fromage, de Lambe and le Toilet have the liver capacity to drink grog three weeks running. Perhaps this is understandable; de Fromage appears to regard Red Phillips as a home away from home, le Toilet is the son of a brewer, and de Lambe established his credentials as a hardened drinker early, in the esteemed company of the sadly-missed M. Alexander Char. (See Supplemental Battle Report)
One of the Paris newcomers has thrown himself wholeheartedly into the game of snaring an eligible Paris beauty. His target was the lovely but cruel Pat Hétique. But alas, while M. de Choux's attempts with Cath Ode last month may have been costly, they at least did not result in his suffering personal injury. M. Disab le Toilet was not so fortunate. On the first day of his courting, the door was slammed in his face; on the second, the same thing happened again, only harder. On the third day, M. le Toilet unwisely extended his foot and it was crushed in Mlle. Hétique's front door, whereupon he was seen hobbling away looking very sorry for himself. Attempts by various Paris well-wishers to cheer up M. le Toilet with a few light quips and jests were definitely not appreciated. It appears that he has already heard most of the common jokes about peg-legs and found them to be ill-timed in his current injured state.
M. le Toilet was not the only gentleman trying to set a lady's heart a-flutter: M. Laurent de Lambe was seen in a splendid new plumed hat and smart new coat, which he obviously thought would improve his chances in the game of love. Brandishing two bottles of good sherry - yes, of course, his target could be none other than the sweet Mlle. Lotte Bottle. M. de Lambe was later seen alone in a little restaurant near Mlle. Bottle's house, looking pensive and no longer in possession of his gifts. But he was uninjured, his new coat neither torn nor mud-besplattered so perhaps Mlle. Bottle's refusal to consider his advances is merely a temporary setback rather than a permanent thumbs' down.
Finally, good news for all those who might be starting to think that success with the Paris ladies was impossible, we note that stepping out together for the first time were M. de Fromage (the famed Paris grog-drinker) and his new lady friend, Eileen d'Overre. All those who have been unfortunate in the past with the Paris ladies can take new heart in M. de Fromage's impressive success.
The round of summer promotions is now over and several of the regimental vacancies have been filled internally. We are pleased to note that Colonel d'Eadbeef of the 13th Fusiliers has been brevetted to Brigadier General, so hopefully at least one higher-ranking vacancy will become clear this time next year. Alas, one of the two openings so recently filled in the 53rd Fusiliers is open again, as the brave M. Alexander Char was killed in action when the 53rd were caught in some more heavy fighting. We fear an officer with great promise has been lost.
General Ôpital's counter-offensive is slowly clawing back the ground lost in the early stages of the campaign, but the Austrians are putting up a good fight. Nevertheless, we still feel sure that France will prevail!
Regimental vacancies currently stand as follows:
Candide collects Dutch impressionists, jongleurs and clowns, and has the finest croquet lawn in the Isle de Cité.
Adèle likes giggling, filing her nails, fluttering her eyelashes and peeking at prospective suitors over the top of her fan. Her favourite stones are diamonds, rubies and emeralds.
Mlle. Bea is an accomplished dancer and calligrapher and practices lacemaking. She also enjoys knitting, crochet and metalwork.
In her spare time, Ruth rules over the Paris Sewing and Tapestry Circle with an iron fist. She is also secretary of the Paris Flower-Arranging Society and likes finding witches.
The three Ode sisters share their late father's interest in natural philosophy and alchemy. Anne likes catching butterflies, Di collects cute little fluffy kittens and Cath likes fox-hunting, bear-baiting and cock-fighting.
Pat is waiting for a handsome prince to sweep her off her feet and carry her away on a white charger. In the meantime she plays a formidable game of cribbage.
Sadie's hobbies are giggling, filing her nails, fluttering her eyelashes and torture.
Eileen is interested in contortionism, horse-riding and escapology. She has studied ballet since the age of 2½.
May studies philosophy, theology, astrology and taxidermy. She is a Libran and her favourite colour is yellow.
Lotte can drink a pint of sherry in 4½ seconds. She plays the viola and the crumhorn, sometimes both together.
The Serb says: The Paris newcomers have been inserted in last month's sequence in their correct order. Their rankings are in brackets. Ignore any false impression this may give that some gentlemen have seen their status drop. While gentlemen are on campaign their rankings cannot rise or fall and will always be frozen from one month to the next.