Captain John W. Thomason, Jr., USMC

Scribners, NY, 1927. Good. First Edition. No dust jacket. Faded gold lettering & dark blue drawing on blue boards. Spine frayed at top & partially detached (but repaired) along one side. A half-inch repaired tear to cloth near top of spine. Some dog-eared pages. Book otherwise sound, so still a decent reading copy.

A collection of short stories set in WWI France, Nicaragua, Guantanamo & on various ships of the fleet, among other stations. Profusely illustrated by drawings from author. Thomason has long been recognised as the finest artist and one of the finest fiction writers to come out of the Marine Corps. He served in WWI with the Marine Brigade, 2nd Division AEF, as second in command of 49th Co., 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. He participated in all major engagements of the Brigade and was awarded the Navy Cross for assaulting a machine-gun nest at Soissons. After the war he served in Peking, in Latin America, & at Pearl Harbor, to name a few of his postings, and commanded a detachment of Marines aboard the USS Rochester. He died in 1944, having achieved the rank of Colonel and lasting fame as author and artist.

EXCERPT: It was the narrow-eyed bartender who whispered to the bar-boy; that volatile Jamaican scuttled back to the arbor, and immediately thereafter a wave of Marines rolled silently through the door at the flank of the long bar and waded in. The fo'c's'le of the Norwegian finished their aquavit and rose to a man, baring huge freckled arms. People crowded in from the dance-hall; odds & ends from the harbor bore a hand, and the girls took refuge behind the bar, squealing. In an instant, the place was a perfect hell.... Bottles sung through the air; chairs & tables crashed into ruin; a stool flung by a huge Marine ripped down the array of bottles behind the bar, from an enfilading direction, smashed the big mirror, and caught Billy Bean, entering from the dance-hall to investigate, square on the bows. Billie Bean, a robust person, roared like a lion, caught up a bung-starter and came into action with complete impartiality. The astute bartender, from under the bar, sent his Jamaica boy for the police, the naval patrol, and the Special Service Squadron, if the last happened to be available. All at once there were uniforms in the street doors; a lieutenant with a black arm-band blew piercingly on a whistle. And the gunnery-sergeant of the guard, who had climbed on the bar for observation, thought fast; he made a dive at the switch behind the bar and pulled the lighting. In the breath of comparative silence that followed the sudden dark, a great voice spoke: 'All right, M'rines--get clear--hold everything--patrol's aboard--back to the ship, all hands!'