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There was a deep scar across his right cheek, which shone red in the lamp light. There was another angry looking scar on his neck just to one side of his heavy beard. His nose was used as a barometer for windy jokes passed by members of the crew, and as the big German ox driver said, "they built his nose first, then put the body on afterwards." The cookee claimed that he told time by his nose because it was always running. A luxuriant growth of red hair, beginning from his low forehead, stretched back and down far on his neck. When the hair on his face was separated, one visual-ized a large mouth set far back. His voice was resonant with a timbre belying its pro-ducer as he spoke :


          "My back trail from the first recollections has been checkered. My first memory from childhood, was a shanty on the Barbary coast, with the Pacific at high tide thundering against the cabin's thin walls. The roar of the sea and the cry of the sea gulls were the chief sounds I heard, day after day. A creole nursed me at times and                                                                              .


when I was four and a half years of age, she pointed out my parents to me. As I look back now, they caused me no emotion. My mother was of Aztec blood and my father, a Bedouin, mixed with southern Arab. So I was born of poor but honest parents.
          At the age of nine years, I found myself working on a spunge barge, as a roustabout. I was born for bad luck and it has pursued me all of my life. I was in hopes that the curse had lifted.
          Dropping into a gambling house on the Barbary coast one night, the god luck was with me. I just could not lose, and walked out of that gambling house with forty thousand dollars, and later, in a flourishing city under the stars and stripes, I purchased a modern hotel, eight stories high, having four hundred guest rooms. Just at this time, one of those mushroom laws slipped in to put money into the manufacturers' pockets, was passed by the "all right" fellows. They made you tear down a perfectly good fire escape and install one not so good, in order that you could pass their inspection.
          The price of the one prescribed by law would have hurt my pocket book. In the midst of my difficulties, I was                                                                             .


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The Hodag and Other Tales of the Logging Camps, Written by Lake Shore Kearney
(Madison, WI: Democrat Printing Press, 1928) Original Text and Illustrations Public Domain License.
Copyright © 2006-2014 Thrill Land.