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soldiers of tin and lead and wood, with the weapons of the wild,
with the catapult, the elastic circular garter, the peashooter, the
rubber ball, and such-like appliances—a mere setting up and
knocking down of men. Tin murder. The advance of civilisation
has swept such rude contests altogether from the playroom. We
know them no more....
THE beginning of the game of Little War, as we know it, became
possible with the invention of the spring breechloader gun. This
priceless gift to boyhood appeared somewhen towards the end of
the last century, a gun capable of hitting a toy soldier nine times
out of ten at a distance of nine yards. It has completely superseded
all the spiral-spring and other makes of gun hitherto used in
playroom warfare. These spring breechloaders are made in various
sizes and patterns, but the one used in our game is that known in
England as the four-point-seven gun. It fires a wooden cylinder
about an inch long, and has a screw adjustment for elevation and
depression. It is an altogether elegant weapon.
It was with one of these guns that the beginning of our war game
was made. It was at Sandgate—in England.
The present writer had been lunching with a friend—let me veil his