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Red Tapism

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The following is from Truth, Feb. 10th, 1887, p. 207:—There was an escape of gas at Cambridge Barracks, and this is the way of proceeding: The escape was discovered by a private, who reported it to his corporal; the corporal reported it to the colour-sergeant, and the colour-sergeant to the quartermaster-sergeant. The quartermaster-sergeant had to report it to the quartermaster, and the quartermaster to the colonel commanding the regiment. The colonel had to report it to the commissariat officer in charge of the barracks, and the commissariat officer to the barrack-sergeant, who had to report it to the divisional officer of engineers. This officer had to report it to the district officer of engineers, and he to the clerk of works, Royal Engineers, who sends for a gasman to see if there is an escape, and report back again. While the reporting is going on the barracks are burnt down.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Red Men
Red Rag (The)
Red Republicans
Red Rose Knight (The)
Red Rot (The)
Red Sea
Red-shanks
Red Snow
Red Tape
Red Tape
Red Tapism
Red Tincture
Redan
Redder (The)
Redding-straik (A)
Redgauntlet
Redgauntlet
Redlaw (Mr)
Redmain
Redmond ONeale
Reductio ad Absurdum