The Conquest Of America (as some writers would have it)
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Note:—Many articles have appeared lately in our current magazines stating how simple it is for Germany to conquer this country. Is it? the Tiger asks. Read on, oh, gentlissimo!

(Mr. Fitzcheesecake, who has written this article, needs no introduction. He has held numerous official positions: he was on three different beats in Trenton, and was for one year Deputy Garbage Man of Bordentown; and we feel that what he writes will be authoritative.)
—The Editors.

The American Atlantic fleet has been sunk. The Germans were coming in three thousand transports and were about to land in New York. Admiral Von Noseitch was swimming across with the fleet. Pande­monium reigned in the great city, women and tenors were running frantically up and down their rooms, the men having all left; the police force also, fearing to be called to the colon, had been in Canada for two months. Who was to raise and equip a vast army? The New York Baseball Team had finished in the second division, so Mgr. McGraw gave up all hope and volunteered; the new army, for secrecy, used a subway car to drill in. No help could be had from Boston, for they had won the pennant, and there was nothing on the front pages of the papers to warn the people of the imminent danger. General McGraw intrenched himself in the middle of Brooklyn for, so he thought, not even a German would go there. He was right, but three stray cannon balls came his way, and he struck out. The Statute of Liberty had been invested, New York’s six million people were all captured; the Germans were upon them before preparation could be accomplished. Generals Von Limburger, Munchener, and Frankfurter held a consultation in Busty’s the first night: General Von Limburger was going to attack General Bryan and his army of the Raritan in New Jersey; General Frankfurter was going to take a Day-Line boat to Albany and thence to Canada, where three-fourths of the citizens of the U. S. capable of bearing arms had fled for a much-needed rest; while General Munch­ener with thirty picked men would hold New York. Gen. Von Lim­burger took the 7 p.m. train to Princeton, near which place Bryan was reported to have fled. Meanwhile all the United States had been captured, save this section of New Jersey. The Pacific Squadron, how­ever, was intact; they had been taken for fishing boats and had escaped without any injury. The besieging army was fast approaching the city; preceptors could be seen running madly to and fro, mostly fro. Bryan drew up his army in the “Tiger” Office; they voted five votes to one not to let a German live.

It was February. Glory Be! And meant all fortune to the United States! The Germans advanced. They were held up at Rocky Hill. They re-advance; they column right around the old mill; they pass the Prep; they leave the outskirts far behind. They cluster round the Chem. Lab. and then—Bei Reichstag, was ist? The Polar’s Recess and the poisonous gases of the Lab hit that vast army at one fell swoop! Long had it been since they had heard the sound of guns and the shock of Polar’s Recess made them sore afraid. Some fled to ,the Nass. It was closed. Some rushed to Joe’s. The promise of a small check cashed was too much for them. Some dove toward the Jigger Shop where a rasp­berry marshmallow nut marangue laid a hundred more beside their graves. Some sank upon the benches on Nassau Street. Both collapsed, each under the strain of seeing the other. Some tried to p-rade around the Cannon, but the prestige of Whig and Clio drove them off to Penn’s Neck. And the one man left cried out, “I’m Gish—I touched the Cannon.” Bryan’s army rushed out of the Tiger Office and stuck him with the point of a joke—a joke preserved for these many yean. America was saved, saved, SAVED, yes—saved by the point of a joke. YE GODS!


Attributed to Fitzgerald on the evidence of the reference to “Mr. Fitzcheesecake.” But Fitzgerald did not preserve a clipping in his scrapbook.

Published in The Princeton Tiger magazine (Thanksgiving 1915).

Illustrations by ?.