A Parody Outline of History
By Donald Ogden Stewart

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Public Domain Books

Chapter Five: The Spirit Of ’75 - Letters Of a Minute Man
In the Manner of Ring Lardner

Friend Ethen—

Well Ethen you will be surprised O. K. to hear I & the wife took a little trip down to Boston last wk. to a T. party & I guess you are thinking we will be getting the swelt hed over being ast to a T. party. In Boston.

Well Ethen if you think that why you will be a 100 mi. offen the track because Ethen I and Prudence sent the kind that gets a swelt hed over being ast any wares like some of are naybers up here when they are ast any wares so you see Ethen even if we had been ast any wares we wouldnt of had no swelt hed. On acct of being ast any wares.

Well last Thurs. I and Prudence drove old Bessy down to Boston Bessy is are horse see Ethen which is about 13 mi. from here Boston I mean Ethen as the crow flys only no crow would ever fly to Boston if he could help it because all the crows that ever flew to Boston was shot by them lousie taverin keepers to make meals out of Ethen I never tast it nothing so rotten in my life as the meals they give us there & the priceis would knock your I out. 3 shillings for a peace of stake about as big as your I, and 4 pence for a cup of coffy. The streets sent the only thing about Boston thats crook it. Them taverin keepers is crook it to I mean see Ethen.

After supper I & her was walking a round giving the town the double O when we seen that Fanny Ewell Hall was all lit up like Charley Davis on Sat. night & I says to Prudence lets go inside I think its free and she says I bet you knowed it was free al right befor you ast me & sure enough it was free only I hadnt knowed it before only I guess that Prudence knows that when I say a thing it is generally O. K. Well Fanny Ewell Hall was pack jam full of people & we couldnt see nothing because there was a cockide stiff standing right in front of us & jumping up & down & yelling No T. No T. at the top of his lunges & Prudence says well why dont you take coffy or milk & for Gods sake stay offen my foot & he turns to her & says maddam do you want T. & slavery & she says no coffy & a hot dog just kidding him see Ethen & he says maddam no T. shall ever land & she says no but my husbend will in a bout 1 min. & I was just going to plank him 1 when the door behint us bust open & a lot of indyans come in yelling every body down to Grifins worf there is going to be a T. party only Ethen they wasnt indyans at all but jest wite men drest up to look like indyans & I says to a fello those aint indyans & he say no how did you guess it & I says because I have seen real indyans many a time & he says to a nother fello say Bill here is a man who says them sent real indyans & the other fello says gosh I dont believe it & they laffed only the laff was on them Ethen because they wasnt real indyans & that is only tipical of how you cant tell these Boston swelt heds nothing & I guess if they had ever seen a real indyan they would of known better than to laff. Well I and Prudence follered the crowd down to Grifins worf & them indyans which was only wite men drest up clumb onto a ship there & begun throwing the cargo into Boston harber & I says to a fello what is in them boxes & he says T. & I says well why are they throwing it away & he says because they do not want to pay the tacks which is about as sensable Ethen if I was to rite a lot of letters & then as fast as I rote I would tare it up because I did not want to pay for a stamp. Well I says somebody ought to catch he—ll for this & he says are you a torie & I seen he was trying to kid me & I says no I am a congregationalis & a loyal subject of king Geo. Rex & he says o I thought you was a torie & a lot of fellos who was with him give him the laff because he hadnt been abel to kid me. Well after a whiles he says the indyans seem to be about threw & I says yes only they sent indyans & the laff was on him again & he seen it wasnt no use to try & kid me & Prudence says come on lets beat it & on the way home I says I bet them Boston birds will feel small when they find out that those wasnt indyans at all & she act it like she was mad about something & says well they cant blame you for not trying to tell them & its a wonder you didnt hire Fanny Ewell Hall while you was about it & I says o is it & I might know youd get sore because I was the 1st to find out about the indyans being wite men in disgised & she says yes I suppose if somebody was to paint stripes on a cow you would make a speech about it & say that you had discovered that it wasnt no tiger & I wish I had been 1 of them indyans tonight because I would of loved to of beened you with a Tommy Hawk & I says o you would would you & she seen it wasnt no use to argue with me & anyway Ethen nobody would be fool enough to paint stripes on a cow unless maybe they was born in Boston. Well Ethen thats the way it goes & when you do put one over on the wife they want to hit you with a Tommy Hawk with best rgds. Ed.

Friend Ethen—

No matter what a married man does in this world he gets in wrong & I suppose if I was to die tonight Prudence would bawl me out for not having let her know I was going to do it & just because I joined the minit men the other eve. she has been acting like as if I had joined the Baptis Church & I bet you are saying what in the h—ll is a minit man. Well Ethen I will tell you. The other night I says to Prudence I think I will drive over to Lexington to get Bessy shodd. Bessy is are horse see Ethen. Well she says you will do nothing of the kind because all you want to do in Lexington is get a snoot ful & if you think I am going to wate up all night while you get boiled well you have got another guess coming. She says the last time you had Bessy shodd the naybers are talking about it yet & I says do you mean because I & Charley Davis was singing & having a little fun & she says no because nobody wouldnt call that singing & do you call it a little fun when you brought Bessy up stares with you to show me how well she had been shodd at 3 A. M. in the morning answer me that which is only her way of exagerating things Ethen because we didnt bring Bessy only as far as the stares & I only did it because Charley had been drinking a little to much & I didnt want to iritate him because the way to handel drunks is to not iritate them they are only worse only you cant tell a woman that & they think the way to handel drunks is to look him in the eye & say arent you ashamed of yourselves which only iritates him the moar. Well I says I am not going to half no horse of mine going a round 1/2 shodd al the time & Prudence says well I am not going to half no husband of mine going a round 1/2 shot al the time & I says I will not go near Charley Davis this time because I have lernt my lesson & she says al right if you will promise to not go near Charley Davis you can go & when I got to Lexington I thought I would stop in the taverin a min. just to say hulloh to the boys because if a fello doesnt stop in the taverin to say hulloh to the boys who are just as good as he is they are lible to say he has a swelt hed & is to proud to stop in the taverin to say hulloh to the boys. Who are just as good as he is. Well I didnt have any i dear that Charley Davis would be there because I had told Prudence I wasnt going to go near him & just because I said that I cant be expect it to sneek into toun like as if I was a convick can I Ethen. Well the taverin was crowd it & they had all got a good start & the long & the short of it was that the 1st person I seen was Charley Davis & he says hulloh there pink whiskers you are just in time to join the minit men which is only a nicked name he has for me because my whiskers are red brown. No I says I cannot join anything tonight fellos because I must go right back home & he says if you dont join the minit men now some day you wont have no home to go home to & I says what do you mean I wont have no home to go home to & he says because the Brittish are going to burn down all the homes of we farmers because we will not sell them any food but first you had better have a drink. Well Ethen a fello dont like to be a sissey about taking 1 drink does he & then I says now fellos I must go home & then a couple of more fellos come in & they said Ed you wont go home till we have brought you a drink & elect it you to the minit men will you & I said no but I must go home right after that. Well then we got to singing & we was going pretty good & after a while I said now fellos I must go home & Charley Davis says to me Ed before you go I want to have you shake hands with my friend Tom Duffy who is here from Boston & he will tell you all about the minit men & you can join tonight but look out or he will drink you under the tabel because he is the worst fish in Boston & I says sure only I have got to be going home soon because you remember what hapend last time & I would like to see any body from Boston drink me under the tabel & bet. you & I Ethen if that fellow is a fish then my grandmother is the prince of whales & let me tell you what hapend. After we had drank about 4 or 5 I seen he was getting sort of wite & I says well Boston lets settle down now to some good steady drinking & he says listen & I says what & he says listen & I says what & he says do you know my wife & I says no & he says listen & I says what & he says shes the best little woman in the world & I says sure & he says what did you say & I says when & he says you have insult it my wife the best little woman in the world & he begun to cry & we had only had a bout 1 qt & wouldnt that knock you for a cockide gool Ethen, only I guess you arent surprised knowing how much I can holt without feeling any affects. Well I was feeling pretty good on acct. of drinking the pride of Boston under the tabel & not feeling any affects only I was feeling good like a fello naturely feels & the fellos kind of made a lot of fuss on acct. me drinking him under the tabel so I couldnt very well of gone home then & after a while Charley Davis made a speech & well comed me into the minit men & so I am a minit man Ethen but I cant exackly explain it to you until I see Charley again because he didnt make it very clear that night. Well after a while we woke the Boston fish up & we all went home & I was feeling pretty good on acct. it being such a nice night & all the stars being out & etc. & when I got home I said Prudence guess what hapend & she says I can guess & I says Prudence I have been elect it a minit man & she says well go on up stares & sleep it off & I says sleep what off & she says stop talking so loud do you want the naybers to wake up & I says whos talking loud & she says o go to bed & I says I am talking in conversational tones & she says well you must be conversing with somebody in Boston & I says o you mean that little blond on Beecon St. & Ethen she went a 1,000,000 mi. up in the air & I seen it wasnt no use to try & tell her that the reason I was feeling good was on acct. having drank a Boston swelt hed to sleep without feeling any affects & I bet the next time I get a chanct I am going to get snooted right because a fello gets blamed just as much if he doesnt feel the affects as if he was brought home in a stuper & I was just kidding her about that blond on Beecon St. Some women dont know when they are well off Ethen & I bet that guy from Bostons Tom Duffy I mean wife wishes she was in Prudences shoes instead of her having married a man what cant holt no more than a qt. without being brought home in a stuper. Best rgds. Ed.

Friend Ethen—

Well Ethen this is a funny world & when I joined the minit men last mo. how was I to know that they called them minit men because they was lible to get shot any minit. & here I am riteing to you in a tent outside Boston & any minit a canon ball is lible to knock me for a continental loop & my house has been burnt & Prudence is up in Conk Cord with her sister the one who married that short skate dum bell Collins who has owed me 2 lbs. for a yr. & 1/2 well Ethen it never ranes but it pores & you can be glad you are liveing in a nice quiet place like Philly.

Well the other night I and Prudence was sound asleep when I heard some body banging at the frt. door & I stuck my head out the up stares window & I says who are you & he says I am Paul Revear & I says well this is a h—ll of a time to be wakeing a peaceiful man out of their bed what do you want & he says the Brittish are comeing & I says o are they well this is the 19 of April not the 1st & I was going down stares to plank him 1 but he had rode away tow wards Lexington before I had a chanct & as it turned out after words the joke was on me O. K. Well who is it says Prudence Charley Davis again because you might as well come back to bed if it is & I says no it was some Boston smart alick trying to be funny & I guess they are soar down there on acct. what hapened to their prize fish up here last mo. & are trying to get even do you know a Paul Revear & she says yes there was a boy at school named Paul Revear who was crazy about me was he dark well Ethen if all the fellos she says has been crazy about her was layed end to end they would circum navygate the globe twicet & I says no he was yello & that had her stopt so we went back to sleep only I couldn’t help laffing over the way I had slipt it across. About Revear being yello. Well along a bout A. M. there was a lot of gun firing tow wards Lexington & Prudence grabed me & says whets the shooting for & I says probably that fello Revear who was so crazy a bout you has got funny oncet to oft ten & it will teach them Boston doodes a lesson. Well Ethen I was wrong for oncet & the firing kept getting worse & I hitcht up old Bessy & drove over to Lexington Bessy is are horse & Ethen there was the h—ll to pay there because the g— d d—m Brittish redcotes had marcht nup from Boston & had fired on the Lexington fellos & Charley Davis had been shot dead & a lot of the other fellos was wooned it & they said you had better get your wife to the h—ll out of your house because the g—d d— m Brittish redcotes are coming back & they will burn everything along the rode the ---- I guess you know what word goes there Ethen & I was so d—m mad at those g—d d—m Brittish redcotes on acct. shooting Charley Davis dead that I said give me a gun & show me the ---- who done it & they says no you had better get your wife to a safe place to go to & then you can come back because the ---- will be along this way again the ----. Well I drove as fast as I could back to the farm & somebody had already told Prudence what had hapend & as soon as I drove into the yd. she come out with my muskit & hand it it to me & says dont you worry about me but you kill every d—m redcote you can see & I says the ----s has killed Charley Davis & she says I know it & here is all the bullits I could find. Well when I got back to Lexington the redcotes was just coming along & Ethen I guess they wont forget that march back to Boston for a little whiles & I guess I wont either because the ----s burnt down my house & barn & Prudence is gone to stay with her sister in Conk Cord & here I am camping in a tent with a lot of other minit men on the out skirts of Boston & there is a roomer a round camp that to morrow we are going to move over to Bunker Hill which is a good name for a Boston Hill Ill say & Ethen if you was to of told me a mo. ago that I would be fighting to get Boston away from the Brittish I would of planked you 1 because they could of had Boston for all I cared. Well Ethen I must go out and drill some more now & probably we will half to listen to some Boston bird makeing a speech they are great fellos for speeches about down with Brittish tirrany & give me liberty or give me death but if you was to ast me Ethen I would say give me back that house & barn what those lousie redcotes burnt & when this excitement is all over what I want to know is Ethen where do I get off at.   Yrs   Ed.


Preface  •    •    •    •    •    •    •    •    • 

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A Parody Outline of History drawings penciled by Herb Roth
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