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Title: Drawn at a Venture: A Collection of Drawings

Author: Fougasse

Author of introduction, etc.: A. A. Milne

Release date: October 23, 2014 [eBook #47176]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Chris Curnow, Emmy and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at (This file was
produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive)



Transcriber's Note:

Images that have text may be hard to read due to monitor size restraints, these images are linked to larger images that may be seen by clicking on the image.






THERE are various methods of introducing an artist to his public. One of the best is to describe how you saved his life in the Bush in ’82; or he saved yours; and then you go on: “Little did either of us anticipate in those far-off days that Fougasse was destined to become . . .” Another way is to leave Fougasse out altogether, and concentrate, how happily, on your own theories of black-and-white drawing, or politics, or the decline of the churches; after all, an introduction doesn’t last long, and he has the rest of the book to himself. Perhaps, however, it is kinder to keep the last paragraph for him: “Take these little sketches by Fougasse, for instance . . .” and the reader, if he cares to any longer, can then turn over and take them. Left to ourselves, that is the method we should adopt. But the publisher is at our elbow. “This is an introduction,” he says. “For Heaven’s sake introduce the fellow.”

Let us begin, then, by explaining Fougasse’s nationality. I never discuss his drawings with another, but we tell each other how remarkable it is that a Frenchman should have such an understanding of English sport. “Of course,” we say, “in the actual drawing the nationality reveals itself; the Gallic style stands forth unmistakeably; only a Frenchman has just that line. But how amazingly British is the outlook! Was there ever a Frenchman before who understood and loved cricket as this one?” We ask ourselves how the phenomenon is to be explained. The explanation is simple. A fougasse—I quote the dictionary—is a small mine from six to twelve feet underground charged either with powder or loaded shells; and if a British sapper subaltern, severely wounded at Gallipoli, beguiles the weary years of hospital by drawing little pictures and sending them up to Punch, he may as well call himself Fougasse as anything else. Particularly if his real name is Bird, and if a Bird, whose real name is Yeats, is already drawing for Punch. Of course it would have been simpler if they had all stuck to their own names like gentlemen, but it is too late now to do anything about it, and when a genuine M. Fougasse of Paris comes along, he will have to call himself Tomkins. Once the downward path of deceit is trodden, there is seemingly no end to it.

We have our artist, then, Kenneth Bird of Morar, Inverness. When I first met him at the beginning of 1919, he was just out of hospital, swinging slowly along with the aid of a pair of rocking-horse crutches. This was on his annual journey south, for they have the trains in Morar now. Once a year Fougasse makes the great expedition to London, to see what the latest fashions may be, and is often back in Morar again before they have changed to something later. I have seen him each year; in 1920 with two ordinary crutches; in 1921 with two sticks; in 1922 with one stick; perhaps by 1923 he will be playing again the games of which he makes such excellent fun. But, selfishly, we cannot regret the Turkish bullet, which turned what I suspect of being quite an ordinary engineer into such an individual black-and-white draughtsman.

I am really the last person who should be writing this introduction, for all drawing is to me a mystery. When I put two dots, a horizontal line and a vertical line into a circle, the result is undoubtedly a face, but whose, or what expressing, I cannot tell you until afterwards, nor always then. But these mystery men can definitely promise you beforehand that their dot-and-line juggling will represent Contempt or Surprise or Mr. Asquith, just as you want it. It is very strange; and, sometimes I think, not quite fair. However, this is not the place wherein to dwell upon the injustice of it. What I wanted to say was that with Fougasse I feel a little more at ease than usual; we have something in common. Accepting the convention that writers write exclusively with the pen, and that black-and-white artists draw exclusively with the pencil, I should describe Fougasse as more nearly a Brother of the Pen than any of the others. Were I in the Punch office now, I should never begin my weekly contribution until his drawing had turned up, lest it should prove that he had already written it for me; and he, I like to tell myself, would be equally fearful lest that very week I might have got his drawing into type. “The Tragedy of a Trouser,” for instance—it is a whole article. Any wide-awake Trade Union would forbid it.

But it is Fougasse’s golf and cricket articles of which, as a rival practitioner, I should have complained most; in which, Plancus no longer consul, I delight most. Turn to page 31 and you will see all that is to be said on the subject of village cricket. How lucky these draughtsmen are! What a laborious business we others should have made of it! Would any of you have laughed at our wordy description of the fielder in a cloth cap to whom one can run a single? “But one gets in two for trousers tucked into socks”—“stretching it to three for a straw hat”—“and four for a black waistcoat.” Each fielder as drawn here is a joy. Yet there is something more than that; we are not just laughing at them, for they are our friends. We look from one to the other of them, and gradually the smile becomes a little wistful. It was how many years ago? Now the printed page has vanished, and we see again the village green. Straw Hat was the postman. Not quite like that, however, for he wore the official trousers with it, but he moved slowly, being the postman and tired of it, and one ran three to him. Black Waistcoat was the dairy farmer; his the cows which had to be driven off the pitch on a Saturday morning; a mighty underhand bowler, bouncing terribly. Fougasse is wrong here, for his hands could stop anything, and one would never run four to him. I doubt if you would ever run four to a black waistcoat, their hands are so big. Slow in the return of course, but safe, safe.

You may think that you have had enough of War Sketches, but you will be glad to see the historic “Gadgets” again, and perhaps even now “1914-1918” will give you a lump in the throat with your smile, and make you somehow a little more proud. It is so very much England. But, taking the drawings as a whole, I should say that the charm of their humour lies in the fact that they make the very jokes which we should have made for ourselves, if only we had realized that they were jokes. When Mr. Bateman gives us his brilliant life-study of the man who breathed on the glass in the British Museum, we realize that this is an inspiration far outside our range. “However did he think of it?” we say to ourselves in awe. When Mr. Morrow draws us “a little supper-party at the Borgias,” we have to admit sadly that the comedy of a supper-party at the Borgias would never have occurred to us. But when Fougasse describes to us his feelings in the presence of the Wedding Detective, or the conversation of the Club Bore in the library, then we beam upon him delightedly. Why, it’s absolutely true! We’ve noticed it ourselves a hundred times! As we were saying to Jones only yesterday—Alas we flatter ourselves. We saw the pebbles lying there, day after day, and there, for us, they would still be lying. But a humorist picks them up and holds them this way and that. The light shines upon them. See! They are precious stones.



Crashed in a Shell-hole 8
The Song of the Shirt 9
So Beastly Infectious 10
The Fumbler 11
Don’t Trouble 12
After Dinner Jokes 13
The Car for the Owner-Driver 14
Tact 15
Or to Take Arms Against a Sea of Troubles 16
The Hearty Fellow 17
Danse des Vents 18
The First Joke 19
Golfing Note 20
How’s That? 21
The Fancy Dress 22
The Advent of the Champion 23
Only in the Comic Papers 24
The Professional Humorist Pays a Visit 25
Only Doing it for the Pictures 26
The Tragedy of a Trouser 27
Golfing Note 28
The Telegram at Rugger 29
The Lost Ticket 30
The Charm of Village Cricket 31
Unrest Through the Ages 32-33
The Right Road for London 34
The Enthusiast 35
Have You Any Hats? 36
System 37
The Practical Application 38
The Man Who Sneezed 39
Scotland for Ever 40
Gadgets 41
Nature’s Tactless Mimicry 42
Is there an Order Come Round? 42
The Visit to the Front 43
Unpleasant Nightmare of Hans 44
A German-like Name 44
The Bashful V.C.’s Welcome Home 43
Wot Flies? 46
Why Don’t You Salute an Officer? 46
Ceremonial 47
The Bribe 48
The Latest Rumour from the Back 48
The Making of History 49
1914-1918 50-51
I Thought You Was an Enemy 52
The Hero 53
Keep Your Hands Up 54
Camouflage 55
Strawberries for Jam 56
Come Out and Fraternise 56
The War Masterpiece 57
No Trouble at Home, I Hope? 58
On Parade Without Your Spurs 58
His Native Soil 59
D’you Remember Halting Here? 60
Jock the Sheep-dog 61
The Right Spirit 62
The House that Jack Wants Built 63
Golfing Note 64
Our Treacherous Climate 65
A British Warm 66
Safari-Smith’s Trophies 67
Golfing Note 68
The Golfer and the Naturalist 69
The Young Firebrands’ Art Club 70
A Biography 71
Pathos 72
The Wedding Detective 73
What Time Will it be? 74
To Promote a Graceful Figure 75
Duration of the Peace 76
The Lure of the Land 77
Someone’s Forgotten to Pack 78
Tall Hats on the Cricket-field 79
Bed, Sir? 80
I’ve Read It 81
How Small the World is! 82
The Dog Fight 83
Two Teas, Please 84
Some New Revue Features 85
’E Called Me a ’Un 86
The Journey 87
The Right Entrance 88
The Brotherhood of Music 89
NOT the Thaw 90
The Price of Efficiency 91
Will I Take My Hat Off? 92
The Spread of Education 93
Midges 94
Saltsea 95
Golfing Note 96
Quite Cricket 97
Brown’s Story 98
Consolation 99
Which Mr. Jones are You? 100
A Use for Modern Art 101
Golfing Note 102
The Man Who Could do It Himself 103
Would You Not Prefer to Have Them Sent?”       104
The Bargain 105
The Practitioner’s Oversight 106
Check 107

For permission to reproduce the great majority of the Drawings included in this Volume, the Artist is indebted to the courtesy of the Proprietors of Punch. He has also to acknowledge similar kindnesses from the Editors of London Opinion, The Sketch, The Tatler, The Bystander, and The Evening News.


cheese on plate with beeze flying toward it
Yes, My Child.
Wilfred has Crashed in a Shell-hole.




men in trophy room chatting
Host (a Mighty Hunter, breaking off in the middle of his longest story):But I seem to be boring you?
Guest:Oh, no. Fact is—all these animals yawning—so beastly infectious.


man dumping all his parcels trying to pay for cab while traveling companion already has and has departed


man in easy chair at club with irate man glaring at him
Waiter, bring me a whisky-and-soda, please.
I’m not a waiter, confound you!
Oh, right-o—then don’t trouble.


How curious it is that jokes which— irritate us in a book— aggravate us in a magazine— exasperate us in a newspaper— & goad us to fury in a revue— Should go down so well in an after-dinner speech!


two men talking in business offfice
Prospective Purchaser:And why do your advertisements say that yours is essentially the car for the owner-driver?
Salesman (under notice to leave):Because no self-respecting chauffeur will condescend to be seen in one.


man talking to driver in long line of cars
Excuse me, driver, but could you tell me where I’d be most likely to find a taxi?


man stanind on shore facing enormous waves
. . . Or to take arms against a sea of troubles . . .
Hamlet, Act III, Sc. 1.


man misrecognizing stranger, knocking him down, helping him up and moving on. Words: "Hullo!—my dear—old boy—how are you?By Jove, that’s a funny thing—could have sworn you were—someone I knew—but now I come to look at you—you’re no more—like—him—than I am."


trousers and skirt on line dancing
Danse des Vents


The First Joke


man with golf club while another man films him


two cricket scene


Man in dress carrying hat box standing in front of crowd on curb
Portrait of a Gentleman in process of deciding that the hire of a car to take him to his fancy-dress revel would have been well worth the expense.


news and crowd to meet champion: THE ADVENT OF A CHAMPION


man's golf club breaks when he makes a divet
Dear, dear, dear! what a curious accident! I thought that only happened in the comic papers.


man being given many many books to sign and shoved into a chair and given a table and all crowd in to be amused


play on stage
Voice from the gods:It’s all right, Miss. Don’t you take on so. They’re only doing it for the pictures.


man sits on bench and accidentally pulls up one trouser leg without noticing. He stands and it's still scrunched up. One by one people stop and stare and he pretends not to notice. A porter finally whispers in his hear and the man faints.
The Tragedy of a Trouser


Man using golf club like a pool cue to sink his putt


I always think the telegram custom—adds such a tone—to cricket. I wish—it could—be—introduced—into—Rugger. (Cricket into rugby scenes)


The Lost Ticket: man searching for ticket with horde of people behind him


cricket players


PIcture on top: The Amalgamated Society of Bakers in Good King Alfred’s Reign protests against the Employment of a Non-Union Man. Picture on bottom:The Mariner’s Union threatens direct action if King Canute tampers with the Tides.


Top picture: The Household Staff of the Borgias demands to be put upon Board Wages. Bottom picture James Watt is unable to carry out his Experiments through a Strike of the Employees of the Local Water Company.


man on foot talking to people in car
Can you tell me if this is the right road for London, please?
Why, bless my soul, ain’t none of you ever been there before?


Man invites himself along on hike with a stalwart hiker. Non-invited man gets tireder and tired and ends by being carried on shoulder of hiker.


man standing in middle of shop that has hundreds of hats in boxes and also hanging on the wall asks salesmen question
Have you any—er—hats?”


“What counts nowadays, my boy, is system—When I want a certain piece of information, for instance—I just look up my index, reach down—a file—or two—and—before you can—say—knife—it’s—in front of you!”


small man talking to much taller man in office
Please, Mr. Grafto, the gentleman on the next floor presents his compliments and says, seeing as how you can foretell the future, would you be so good as to let him know how long it will be before your bath stops overflowing through his ceiling?


man sneezes during soloist's piece. Entire auditorium and musicians horrified. Musician stalks off and audience leaves man alone covered with embarassment


Soldier in kilt writing on broken wall, he crosses out England and writes "Great Britain" so it says: "Gott Strafe Great Britian"
Scotland for Ever.


Soldier getting too much gear a piece at a time; on the field, the drops it all and just runs off  with his rifle


Two men looking at line of trees on horizonthat look like a row of people with their hands in the air
Curious attitude assumed by Trees in a district occupied by the Germans.
men in trenches
Here, stick your head down, Charlie.
What—is there an order come round about it?


Visitors in many scenes reading warnings; final scene two soldiers “You can clear away those notice-boards now, Sergeant. The visitors have gone.”


man running from cowboys
Unpleasant nightmare of Hans, the ex-cinema attendant, after learning of the American Declaration of War.
Two Scot soldiers looking at a restaurant named Cafe d'Edimbourg
We’ll no gang in there, Jock.
For why, Donal’?
Man, it’s got an awfu’ Gerrman-like name, yon.


Soldier arrives to huge crowd and parade and runs all the way back to the front
The Bashful V.C.’s Welcome Home


two men sittind in trench surrounded by flies
New Hand:Flies seem pretty awful out here, Corporal.
Hardened Campaigner:Wot flies?
two men approaching each other in blinding rain
Both together:Now, my man, why don’t you salute when you Pass an Officer?


Words inside drawings: “A soldier when riding a bicycle will turn his head smartly towards an officer in passing him and will not move his hands from the handle-bar.”
Reference—Infantry Training, 1914, Sect. 18, § viii.


man looking at shadow of possible hun in dark
Who goes there?
K-Kamerad—mit souvenirs.
Soldier at door of bunker talking to man inside door
Hear the latest rumour up from the back, George? War’s going to be over next week.
Ho. Well, I hope it don’t upset my going on leave next Tuesday.


Man with German helmet: 1915. The purchase of the souvenir. 1920. "That’s a souvenir of my job at Havre—1925.—of my service in France—1930.—of my active service—1935.—of my fighting days 1940. Got that in the Big Push—1945.—fierce fighting it was—1950.—desperate fighting, 1955.—hacked my way through—1960.—right up to their general—1965.—cut his head off—1970.—that was on it!"


Progress of soldier from home to front lines


Process of same soldier from front to home again


man leaning over trench in dark and holding hand up to soldier in trench
Boche (suddenly appearing over the top):Kamerad! Kamerad!
Briton:Lor’, my son, you DID give me a turn. I thought you was an enemy.


Man orders brigadiers coat made at tailors and all show him deference. As he leaves he tells them it is for pri vate theatricals


German soldier told at bayonet point to keep his hands above his head, trips turns a somersault and stands keepign hands above head


Before and After scenes


two soldiers sitting in blown out window
Here, listen to this. It says the Gov’ment have bought up all the strawberries to make jam for the troops.
Go on, George! How can they make plum-and-apple out o’ strawberries?
two men outside foxholem, one holding hand grenade
Tommy (“Mopping-up” captured trench):Is there anyone down there?
Voice from dug-out:Ja! Ja! Kamerad!
Tommy:Then come out here and fraternise.


First scene man with hand grenade in front of large group of soldiers: it was unfortunate that brown had not finished his masterpiece, "the surrender of the garrison," by the time the war came to an end.  Second scene same men now in rugby gear and grenade holder now holding ball: However, it needed very little alteration to make it saleable


two soldiers sitting and talking
Sociable Escort (to Boche prisoner, after several ineffectual attempts to start a conversation):Ahem!—er—no trouble at home, I hope?
two men looking at third man
The Wit:Ah, now you’re for it, Albert.
Tractor-Driver:Wot’s the matter?
The Wit:Why, you’ve been and gone and come on parade without your spurs.


first scene: man leaving farmland behind and second scene: returning to factories


two soldiers looking at lanscape
First Contemptible:D’you remember halting here on the retreat, George?
Second ditto:Can’t call it to mind, somehow. Was it that little village in the wood down by the river, or was it that place with the Cathedral and all them factories?


Sheep dogs watches sheep, then goes off to war and trains, comes back home and now keeps sheep irank and file


men walking on large railroad bridge
Corporal in charge (on arrival at bridge):De—tachment, break—step!
[“When crossing a military bridge Infantry will break step.”—Extract from “Regulations.”]


much description of the house building process


golfer looking forlornly at ball in water trap


cricket team one by one handing their jumpers et al., to bystander to hold until he is buried under their clothes


man walking down street in coat that looks like it was cut down from a winter one
Well, anyhow, no one could tell that this was once a British warm.


enormous trophy and dining room in first scene: I used to think that old Safari-Smith's trophies made an awfully jolly decoration to his dining-room but now that he's moved to a flat in London I'm really not quite so sure of it.; second scene tiny dining room with animal heads crowding the small room and table


tall man following short caddy who is carrying his clubs


golfer dealing with distractions


many old men sitting around a table
The young firebrands’ art club holds its fiftieth annual dinner.


drawings of photographs through the years


man speakign to salesman in store
I want to choose a Christmas present—one suitable for a short, dark, middle-aged bachelor with retiring disposition and no near relatives—to give to himself.


text under illustrations of man eventually ending up in jail for feeling compelled to steal a wedding gift: The presence of a detective among the wedding presents—always unsettles me. I feel sure that sooner or later—I shall be hypnotised—into doing—something—which will get me into trouble.


man speaking to two children out of doors
Wee Donald Angus:Please, Sirr, what time will it be?
Literal Gentleman:When?


excercise which ends badly
Exercise 3.To promote a graceful figure.


man in field talking ot neighbour over the fence
Hullo, George—not demobbed yet?
No—signed on again.
How long for?
Just for duration of the Peace.


man buys farm with great expectations and ends by selling it in disgust


husband in robe speaking to wife in evening gown
Husband (on visit to Country House):I say, someone’s forgotten to pack my evening clothes.
Wife:Well, it wasn’t me, dear. If anyone didn’t, you must have yourself.


What the umpire thought when men used to wear tall hats on the cricket field


man in antique shop
Bed, Sir? Here is a genuine Jacobean, for which we are asking only two hundred and fifty guineas.
Well, to tell you the truth I wasn’t wanting to BUY one. But I can’t get a bed anywhere in London, and I was just wondering if you could let me sleep in it to-night.”


man telling another about a great book while ignoring other man's assertions that he's already read it


man speaking to another in a very crowded lift
Hullo, Brown! Fancy running up against you. How small the world is, to be sure!
Y-Yes. Terribly small, isn’t it?


two men meeting on walk and ending up fighting like and with their dogs


woman speaking to waitress and pointing downward in crowded auditorium
Could we have two teas, please?
Why, didn’t I bring you two just now?
Oh, yes. But we’ve let a gentleman in the stalls have those.


scenes and decriptions of things to come in upcoming revues


two gentlemen talking in street
The Pugnacious Gentleman:But ’e bin an’ called me a ’Un.’
The Peacemaker:Well, he may have meant it quite kindly-like, Bill. It ain’t as if we was still at war with the dirty ’ounds.


Two gentlemen ride in silence on a train for 8 hours and 59 minutes and then finally recognize each other in the last minute of the journey. Then they go their separate ways.


Man speaking to workman working across street in hole in pavement across the street from a theater
I trust you’ll excuse me mentioning it, my good fellow, but that is the right entrance—on the opposite side of the road.


man hears street musician out side his home and invites him in and feeds and pays him, after he leaves thousands of musicians appear outside his home playing


professor sitting at desk under umrella, wife stands nearby holding her skirts up from flooded floor, water pours from ceiling like steady rain
Professor’s Wife:Septimus, the thaw has burst the pipes.
Professor:No, no, Marie. As I’ve Had occasion to explain to you every year since I Can remember, it’s the frost that bursts the pipes—NOT the thaw.


progression of lawn tennis vrom leisure activity to competition


woman takes off hat to accomodate man behind her and  hangs hat on seatback in front of her sticking her hat pin into man in front of her


1914: people admire the soldier on stage: 1920: people mock the mistakes they see in the soldier's dress and manners


man on shore surrounded by midges speaks to man in center of creek up to his neck and still his face is surrounded by midges
My dear fellow, you’ll never catch anything like that.
No—dare say not—get away from most of the midges, though.


man wants to paint normally placid Saltsea but comes back to find it overrun with crowds during regatta


two golfers shouting at each other over the lay of their two golfballs next to each other


A slow bowler


two men talking at club with another group of men listening to someone tell a story
Have you heard Brown’s story of how he scored off a taxi-driver this morning?
Yes. I told him it last night.


he'd rather miss a ball than catch one for the opponent's side when standing in as substitute


man and woman talking at dinner table
Fair Partner: “One always meets so many interesting people here that I get quite confused. Now tell me, which Mr. Jones are you?”
Jones: “Me? Oh, I’m only the Jones who’s invited to brighten up a dull party.”


man has field full of crows, visits a modern scuplture gallery and then uses the sculptures to great success as scarecrows


One golfer 's pipe smoke drifts into another golfer's face


man who refuses to call plumber to fix boiler instead ends up calling for the doctor


woman has inadvertently snagged a great deal of merchandise with her umbrella handle's hook
Tactful Shopwalker (to lady who seems to have got into the rough with her umbrella): “Excuse me, Madam, but would you not prefer to have them sent for you?”


man buys bowl for what he considers a good price, spends a lot more proving it is authentic


Doctor  wearing forgotten party hat looks in at patient in consulting room
Unfortunate oversight on the part of a practitioner called away from his children’s party to attend a patient in his consulting-room.


Doctor keeps trying prescribe something dreadful to his patient only to find that the patient is already doing all of the things the doctor mentions; Doctor is a limp rag at the end of the interview