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A Tale Of Wet Days
by [?]

In the days before the hydrant-headed specter of Prohibition reared its head in the Sunny South I had this tale from a true Kentucky gentleman. As he gave it to me, so, reader, do I give it to you:

“Yes, suh, to this good day Colonel Bud Crittenden ain’t never fergot that time he made the mistake about Stony Buggs and the Bear Grass County man. It learnt him a lesson, though. It learnt him that the deceivingest pusson on earth, when it comes to seeping up licker, is a little feller with his eyes fur apart and one of these here excitable Adamses’ apples.

“Speaking about it afterwards to a passel of boys over in the swopping ring, he said the experience, while dissapinting at the time, was worth a right smart to him subsequent. Previous to that time he said he was in error regarding the amount of licker a little man, with them peculiarities of features I just mentioned, could chamber at one setting.

“Said he knowed some of the derndest, keenest gunfighters in the state was little men and he’d always acknowledged that spare-built, narrer-waisted men made the best hands driving trotting hawses; but he didn’t know, not until then, that they was so gifted in the matter of putting away sweet’ning drams.

“It happened the time we all was up at Frankfort nomernating a Clerk of the Court of Appeals. There’d been a deadlock for nigh on to three days. The up-state delegates was all solid for old General Marcellus Brutus Hightower of Limestone County, and our fellers to a man was pledged to Major Zach Taylor Simms, of Pennroyal.

“Ballot after ballot it stood the same way–fifty-three to fifty-three. Then on the mawning of the third day one of their deligates from the mountains was called home suddenly by a message saying a misunderstanding had come up with a neighboring fambly and two of his boys was shot up consid’rable.

“The convention had voted the first day not to recognize no proxies for absentees, and so, having one vote the advantage, we was beginning to feel like winners, when just then Breck Calloway from McCorkin County, he up and taken the cramps the worst way. For a spell it shore looked like he was going to be cholera-morbussed. Breck started in for luxuries in the line of vittles soon as he hit town, and between votes he kept filling hisself up on fried catfeesh and red bananas and pickled pigs’ feet and gum drops and cove eyesters and cocoanut out of the shell and ice cream and sardines–greasy minners, Breck called ’em–and aig-kisses and a whole lot of them kind of knick-knacks.

“That mout not a-bothered him so much if he hadn’t switched from straight licker and taken on consid’able many drinks of this here new-fangled stuff called creamy de mint–green stuff like what you see in a big bottle in a drug store winder with a light behind it. By the middle of the third day Breck was trying to walk on his hands. He had a figger like one of them Mystic Mazes. ‘Course, all kinked up that way, he warn’t fitten for a deligate, and Colonel Bud Crittenden had to ship him home.

“I heard tell afterwards that going back on the steam cars the conductor told Breck he didn’t care if he was a contortionist, he couldn’t practise none of his didoes on that there train.

“So there we was, each side shy one vote and still tied–52 and 52. And at dinner time the convention taken a recess until ha’f past three in the evening with the understanding that we’d vote again at foah o’clock.

“Jest as soon as our fellers had got a drink or two and a snack to eat, Colonel Bud Crittenden, he called a caucus, him being not only manager of Major Zach Taylor Simms’ campaign but likewise chairman of the district committee. Colonel Bud rapped for order and made a speech. He said the paramountest issue was how to nominate Major Simms on that there next ballot. Said they’d done trying buying off members of the opposition and other regular methods without no success whatsomever. Said the Chair would now be glad to hear suggestions from any gen’elman present.