Volume 1: Letters written on active service, A-L, 1914-1919 - Page 325
the first time, sweeping for mines.
Of course it is easy to be beastly sarcastic when top dog, but they were very courteous and freezingly polite. "Would you be so kind as to get me a saw?" this to cut down our flag staff. When two axes crashed through the magnifers, about £2000 worth, "I'm sorry gentlemen but this is war".
We were yarning to them afterwards while they smoked our cigarette[s] and from what we could gather they do not seem very keen on the war with England, but all of them expressed a great desire to meet Japan.
The officer in charge told Smith their original intention had been to shall the office from outside the reef, the close proximity of the other houses being the only reason which stopped them.
It broke my heart to see a dirty German sailor haul down our "Jack" and throw it into the boat; they also got another flag from the office. God knows when we will get a boat; it is getting very weary this long waiting, and you must be very worried to know how we are. We are doing the same watch on the wharf as when on duty except that one man does day watch and two take the night. It is very misleading at night too; we gaze through the glasses at what appears to be a head light; and then scale up the windmill and fine only a setting star. We are very anxious about the "Iris", she was due at Suva the same day the Germans got here. We know the "Nuremberg" and "Leipsic" left Honolulu together, and as only one of them came here, it is quite probable the "Leipsic" laid in wait for the "Iris". If she is taken it will be months before we can get fixed up again. There has been nothing doing the last few days everyone is on edge and the weather is frightfully hot.