Monthly Archives: October 2014

Excerpt from “No Time For Sergeants” by Mac Hyman ~~Snooker~~

picture-NoTimeForSergeants-HymanSo they laughed and joked and took on that way all down the street, and it was right merry being amongst them. Then Polettie stopped and said, “Right over yonder,” and led the way over to where he said we could play some snooker. It warnt nothing but a pool hall, though, which kind of surprised me; and snooker warnt nothing but just another way of shooting pool. But they was all excited and I didn’t say nothing about it; they got down their cues and powdered them and chalked them up, everybody talking and jabbering, and then Polettie come over to show me how to shoot. He said, “You see those little pockets, Will? Well, all you got to do is take these here sticks and bump it against the ball here – we calls this the cue ball – and knock in one of them red balls in one of these holes here – we call them pockets. Then you get to shoot one of the other balls, see. A red ball counts a point and the other balls count whatever it says on the side. Then you shoot the rest of them in rotation, that means two, three, four and so on. See? Nothing to it, really. The only thing is that it is usually kind of customary to put down a little bet. Now how much was it you said you had?”
“Thirty-four dollars,” I said.
“Well, we’ll just get everybody together and see how much of that we can cover. We’ll let you cover all the bets at first because this is your first game, okay?”
So he went around and collected up twenty-seven dollars and they covered that much of my thirty-four. Then he laid it out on the table, and they said for me to break the balls because I was doing most of the betting, so I leaned over and broke them up and made me a red ball, and they took on about that for a good while. They clomped me on the back and said I was about the best they was and so on, and acted like real good sports about it, I thought. They said, “Okay, Will, you done made one point now. Now you get to shoot a numbered ball, any one you want . . .”
So I picked out the seven ball and sunk it, which gave me eight points, and they took on some more about it, only not as much as the first time. So then I shot again and dropped another red ball, and then the seven again, and then another red one, and then the six, and went on like that for quite a while until all the red balls were gone. And then I started shooting them in rotation like they said, and I kind of got wrapped up in it, I guess, because it warnt until I was down to the last ball that I noticed that nobody had said anything for a while. So I looked around and seen they was sitting around just watching, not saying a word, some of them on tables and some of them in chairs around the place. Anyhow, I stopped then, feeling right bad about hogging all the shooting; I said, “Dont one of yall want to shoot that one? It don’t seem right for just one person to do all the shooting all the time.”
But none of them moved or said anything. Then Polettie put his cue back in the rack and said, “Naw, Will, you might as well go ahead and shoot that one too. We wouldn’t to keep you from learning how.”
“That’s all right.” I said. “There really dont seem to be too much to it nohow. Dont yall want to rack them up for another one?”

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Excerpt from “Famous Letters” compiled by Revell – Abraham Lincoln ~~Johnston~~

picture-FamousLetters-RevellCompanyAbraham Lincoln to His Step-Brother, Johnston

The name of Abraham Lincoln is found upon priceless documents of state and history and in innumerable letters – none of which reveal his humble heart and practical mind more than this letter written to his step-brother, Johnston, who wrote him asking for a loan.

Dec.24, 1848
Dear Johnston:
Your request for eighty dollars, I do not think it best to comply with now. At the various times when I have helped a little, you have said to me, “We can get along very well now,” but in a very short time I find you in the same difficulty again. Now this can only happen by some difficulty in your conduct. What that defect is, I think I know. You are not lazy, but still you are an idler. I doubt whether since I saw you, you have done a good day’s work, in any one day. You do not very much dislike to work, and still you do not work much, merely because it does not seem to you that you would get much for it.
This habit of uselessly wasting time, is the whole difficulty; it is vastly important to you, and still more to your children, that you should break this habit. It is more important to them, because they have longer to live, and can keep out of an idle habit before they are in it, easier than they can get out after they are in.
You are now in need of some ready money; and what I propose is, that you shall go to work, “tooth and nail,” for somebody who will give you money for it.
Let father and your boys take charge of things at home – prepare for a crop, and make the crop, and you go to work for the best money wages, or in discharge of any debt you owe, for what you can get. And to secure you a fair reward for your labor, I now promise you that for every dollar you will, between this and the first of May, get for your own labor either in money or in your own indebtedness, I will then give you one other dollar.
By this, if you hire yourself at ten dollars a month, from me you will get ten more, making twenty dollars a month for your work. In this, I do not mean you shall go off to St. Louis, or the lead mines, or the gold mines, in California, but I mean for you to go at it for the best wages you can get close to home – in Coles County.
Now if you will do this, you will soon be out of debt, and what is better, you will have a habit that will keep you from getting into debt again. But if I should now clear you out, next year you will be just as deep in as ever. You say you would almost give your place in Heaven for $70 or $80. Then you value your place in Heaven very cheaply, for I am sure you can with the offer I make you get the seventy or eighty dollars for four or five month’s work. You say if I furnish you the money you will deed me the land, and if you don’t pay the money back, you will deliver possession –
Nonsense! If you can’t live now with the land, how will you then live without it? You have always been kind to me, and I do not mean to be unkind to you. On the contrary, if you will but follow my advice, you will find it worth more than eight times eighty dollars to you.
Affectionately
Your brother
A. Lincoln.

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Excerpt from “Major Dundee” by Harry Julian Fink, Novel adaptation by Richard Wormser ~~Arrow~~

The Apache arrow had gone in along Major Dundee’s ribs, stuck out in the back …

 

picture-MajorDundee-Fink_ArrowThere was a frightful scream through the night. All over camp men rolled out of their blankets and grabbed for their guns; on the picket line the horse guards were tightening knots, bulldogging plunging mules down as the whole line tried to rear against their tie-ropes and break loose.
Mr. Tyreen went charging through the camp, a carbine in his hand, after the major and Miss Brown.
Tim raised his trumpet and blew the Charge, unordered. Sergeant Cohan was gone, without Tim seeing him go.
Men were kicking out the cooking fires; Tim dumped the coffee on his and then scuffed dirt into it.
Soon enough they found out what happened, as much as men in battle ever know what is going on; in some way as men in battle ever know what is going on; in some way Charriba and his Mogollons had cut around Mr. Potts and his Chiricahuas and surrounded the bivouac.
Having put out the fire and blown his trumpet, Tim was unattached. He trotted in the direction the major had gone. Sergeant Cohan passed him going the other way, ordering men to the perimeter of the camp, getting them into some sort of firing line.
Through the trees Tim finally found the major. He was standing peculiarly, guarding something between his feet, firing his sidearm with his left hand; his right arm dangled peculiarly.
Mr. Tyreen was on the major’s left, firing his carbine as fast as he could load. Tim took up the post on the right, using his sidearm.
The major said, “There’s nothing to shoot at, boy. See can you get this arrow out of my side.”
The Apache arrow had gone in along Major Dundee’s ribs, stuck out in the back; if it had hit a lung, their commander was a dead man. Tim got out his clasp knife, hacked at the barbed point; the major roared with pain.
Mr. Tyreen bellowed: “There’s one,” and fired. He yelled: “Got him. Dundee, shut up, you’re spoiling my aim.”
The shaft broke, and Tim jerked the arrow out through the front of Major Dundee’s red undershirt. The major cried: “Thanks – there, Ryan!”
Tim whirled in time to see a shadowy figure somewhere in the brush. He fired, saw the Apache fall, and yelped: “We’re getting them, sir,” and fired at something that might have been an Indian but was more probably a tree.
Then, after a long time, there was some quiet, and the major said: “Blow Advance, in a line of Skirmishers.”
Then he said: “Hold it. Give the men a breather.”
Tim took a breather himself. He remembered the arrowhead he had cut off the major; it would make a good souvenir.
He knelt and groped for it on the ground. Instead his hand encountered something; a dead face and – groping further – long hair.
The major moved from between the moon and Tim.
It was the woman, Mary Brown. There were three arrows in her chest and another in her belly. She was already cold.
Major Dundee looked down, and said: “Trumpeter. Now, blow the Advance.”
Tim got to his feet, picked up his trumpet, tried to get it to his lips. He did that, but the mouthpiece rattled against his teeth.
The major said: “Blow, you little Irish bastard!”
Shocked, Tim stiffened his back.
The major said again, “Blow, soldier.”

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