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vened, glimpses of a man or men who seemed to be in a violent struggle. Occasionally, too, I could catch those deep-drawn, emphatic oaths which men utter when they deal heavy blows in conflict. As I was hurrying to the spot, I saw the combatants fall to the ground, and after a short struggle I saw the uppermost one (for I could not see the others) make a heavy plunge with both his thumbs. At the same instant 1 heard a cry in the accent of keenest torture—"Enough, my eye is out."
For a moment I stood completely horror-struck. The accomplices in this brutal deed had apparently all fled at my approach, for not a one was to be seen.
"Now blast your corn-shucking soul," said the victor, a lad of about eighteen, as he arose from the ground, "come cuttin' your shines 'bout me agin next time I come to the court-house will you? Get your owl-eye in agin if you kin."
At this moment he saw me for the first time. He looked frightened and was about to run away when I called out—"Come back, you brute, and help me relieve the poor critter you have ruined forever."
Upon this rough salutation he stopped, and with a taunting curl of the nose, replied. "You needn't kick before you're spurred. There an't nobody here nor han't been, nuther. I was just seeing how I could have fout." So saying, he pointed to his plow, which stood in the corner of the fence about fifty yards from the battle ground. Would any man in his senses believe that a rational being could make such a fool of himself? All that I had heard and seen was nothing more nor less than a rehearsal of a knock-down and drag-out fight in which the young man had played all the parts for his own amusement. I went to the ground from which he had risen, and there were the prints of his two thumbs plunged up to the balls in the mellow earth, and the ground around was broken up as if two stags had been fighting on it.
As I resumed my journey, I laughed outright at this adventure, for it reminded me of Andrew Jackson's attack on the United States bank. He had magnified it into a monster and then began to swear and gouge until he thought he had the monster on his back, and when the fight was over and he got up to look for his enemy, he could find none anywhere.
THE COUNTRY SQUIRE
Translated From The Spanish of Thomas Yriarte
Ij^PfSpS^ COUNTRY squire of greater wealth than wit (For fools are often blessed with fortune's smile), Had built a splendid house and furnished it
In splendid style.
"One thing is wanting," said a friend; "for though
The rooms are fine, the furniture profuse,
"'Tis true, but zounds!" replied the squire with glee,
"I'll have it fitted up without delay
With shelves and presses of the newest mode,
"And when the whole is ready, I'll dispatch
My coachman—a most knowing fellow—down
But ere the library was half supplied
With all its pomps of cabinet and shelf, The booby squire repented him, and cried Unto himself:
"This room is much more roomy than I thought;
Ten thousand volumes hardly would suffice
"Now, as I only want them for their looks,
It might, on second thoughts, be just as good, And cost me next to nothing, if the books Were made of wood.
"It shall be so, I'll give the shaven deal
To look like calf or vellum and conceal
"And, gilt and lettered with the author's name,
Whatever is most excellent and rare Shall be, or seem to be ('tis all the same), Assembled there."
The work was done, the simulated hoards
Of wit and wisdom round the chamber stood, In binding some; and some, of course, in boards Where all were wood.
From bulky folios down to slender twelves
With such a stock as seemingly surpassed
The best collections ever formed in Spain, What wonder if the owner grew at last Supremely vain?
What wonder, as he paced from shelf to shelf
And conned their titles, that the squire began, Despite his ignorance, to think himself A learned man?
Let every amateur, who merely looks
To backs and binding, take the hint, and sell
Poetry means more to us and we get more enjoyment from reading it when we understand some of the difficulties that the poet has in writing it and can recognize those things which make it poetry in form.