by W. E. Longfellow
A Program for Scout Entertainment Introducing Many Uses of the Neckerchief
THE ORIENTAL should wear a flowing robe improvised from a dark silk kimona or bathrobe. He has a bright colored turban and flowing beard. He is a distinguished looking old gentleman whose presentation is serious. He wears slippers instead of shoes.
The costume of Ali, the servant, can be improvised by means of a white night shirt or similar gown over duck trousers or pajamas. These should be rather short so that there is a considerable expanse of stocking visible. He should wear low slippers or sandals (heelless bath slippers are effective in this connection) over bare feet. On his head he should wear a bright kerchief tied in the cap bandage manner, or with flowing ends.
The Oriental carries nothing in his hands but Ali carries an impressive looking chest or' casket, studded with nail heads and fastened with an impressive lock. It is beautifully lined and contains nothing but four or five neckerchiefs of different colors, wrapped in fancy paper and carefully tied.
The arrival of the Oriental and his attendant is generally announced at Camp around supper time, and he appears rather unexpectedly at the Camp Fire, or before the fire place if it is a stormy night. If given on a stage, the effect is better if the arrival is unexpected and seems to interrupt proceedings. A messenger sent in from the outside to the Directors, seems to cause a great deal of suppressed excitement.
The Scout Leader announces:
"I have a treat for you. A distinguished Oriental Doctor is passing through the city and I took the liberty of asking him up because I know he will have something interesting to tell you. He has traveled all over the world and will have something interesting to show you." (On his entrance the Oriental raises his right hand, faces the four sides of the room in turn.)
"Peace be with you."
Scout Leader replies: "And with you, peace. I welcome you on behalf of the Scouts and hope you will feel free to tell us anything of your travels that will be helpful."
Oriental: "I come from a far country, to tell you of a most precious article which I have found. It is most valuable because it has the properties of life and death. With it new life can be given to the dying. With it evilly disposed men can take the lives of their fellow beings. It provides the means of comfort and safety. It enhances the appearance of the well favored and brightens even those of sour visage. Ali here, my faithful servant, is charged to guard it with his life."
Scout Leader - "Is it permitted for us to see it and hear of its properties?"
Oriental: "It is. Ali, open the casket." Hands him key, and Ali unfolds small strip of carpet, rests chest upon it and kneels before unlocking it. He hands to the Oriental one of the small packages, carefully wrapped. The Oriental takes it reverently.)
Oriental: "I have here a talisman which saves our wild riders of the desert from annihilation by the sand storms. It is equally potent on the great western plains of your vast land, America. The Indian scout of old was able to talk with his brethren many miles away, and today by means of this wondrous substance even you can talk freely with friends far beyond the reach of the human voice" (Opens package and discloses a silken square of cloth with which he proceeds to demonstrate).
"It was used by the Headsmen who first covered the eyes of his victims so that he could not see who struck the blow that robbed him of his life. Denizens of the under-world use it thus to take the lives of their victim-- for the sake of a few paltry dollars or jewels" (Then he shows it pulled around throat, crossed in the back and pulled tight with knee against victim's back).
"Tying ends around the face, above nose, leaving eyes free; thus do our riders of the desert use it to save them from the sand storm. Folded thus into a triangle do the riders of your great desert use it in a similar way. It is covering for the head, glove for the hand, pad for the knee or shoulder, or sock for the foot, as may be needed. Truly is it not wonderful?" (Then Oriental demonstrates on one of the Scouts, or Ali.)
"Which of you understands the use of talking flags?"
Scoutmaster selects two boys who can do Morse or Semaphore and these are supplied with neckerchiefs by the Oriental and told to send messages.
Taking from the mysterious chest a small Oriental incense burner which he lights, the Oriental and Ali demonstrate the Indian method of sending signals by covering brazier and releasing smoke in puffs corresponding to dots and dashes.
Drawing a dagger (which may be a paper cutter) the Oriental demonstrates with it as he explains:
"Thus, in the beat of battle, do people cut and slash and cause grievous wounds which this useful veil of the Scouts will cause to stop from bleeding" (He demonstrates tourniquet for leg compress, bandage boxing glove, palm of hand, ending with arm sling).
"Out of the terrible Great World War, the effects of which will be with us for many, many years, comes a marvelous bandage of great life saving possibilities. It is called the 'trench bandage' and is for eyes, temples, ears, nose, cheeks and the jaw. In the smoke of battle it was born, but in times of peace it is equally valuable."
"Though I am much too old to be a beast of burden, I will have Ali demonstrate upon one of your number, how this scarf can be used to carry a fellow man who is suffering. Not as did the Good Samaritan of old carry the man who fell among thieves, but upon his own back." (Ali demonstrates tied hands carry, shoulder through neckerchief loop, back to back with patient, with tump line over forehead.)
"My friends, whose idea is 'being prepared to give service to humanity, I leave with you these uses of a most wonderful scarf that will make you better able to help each other in emergencies. But, be not selfish. Pass on to others this knowledge you now possess so that all may be benefited, for of such service is a good Scout made."
"Ali, restore the precious kerchief to the casket. We must be gone. Our magic carpet waits without."
"Peace be with you all."
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Last modified: August 20, 2012.