The tale is told of the volunteer brevet cadet who, in spite of his shocking weediness, was sent on a dangerous mission. He had to travel, alone, through a hostile environment â€“ think belching volcanic gases, creeping tendrils and suckers, fierce slavering beasts with razor sharp fangs, turbulent rivers, turbulent skies, turbulent storms.
The field station commander was a man of unparalleled experience in this hostile environment, and he was confident that the brevet cadet would be emboldened by wearing a pith helmet, and that his whimpers would soon be a thing of the past. It pained him, then, when, six days later, he received a message by pneumatic funnel from the next field station along the line that the puny volunteer had tottered into the hut sobbing and wailing and quivering and generally lacking in resolution, bravery, and grit. The commander of the second field station bid him lie in a hammock and cranked up a gramophone player, hoping to increase his gusto by having the brevet cadet listen to stirring tunes played by the finest brass bands and dance orchestras. One recording in particular that was likely to do the trick was Enrico Pepingerâ€™s version of â€œHurrah Boys, Let Us March With Sprightly Tread Through Wild Lands Where We Fear Not The Buffets Of Those Who Would Cause Us Harmâ€.
By the time he reached the third field station, nine days later, he was feverish, shivering and shaking uncontrollably, half blind with terror, and calling out weakly for his Mama. He slumped against the door of the field station hut and begged for death to end his misery. And then, out of the hut came, not Death, but heroic adventuress Tiny Enid, who had flown in on her biplane just minutes before. She plucked the weedy cadet up and shoved him into the hut, where she poured four canteens of piping hot Batavian Twilight tea down his gob, wrenched off his standard issue dangerous mission footwear, and presented him with a pair of gumboots.
â€œListen, puny cadet,â€ she said, not unkindly, â€œYou have volunteered for this dangerous mission, and you will succeed! By wearing these gumboots, you will be emboldened, and one day you will return to HQ as a hero, a credit to your trooplet. Off you go!â€