I can’t wait to read this pocket book
of Erskine Caldwell stories.
Who knows who he is?
Please don’t make me feel dumb by saying:
everybody knows who he is.
Right below the kangaroos on page 1,
it says that Erskine Caldwell was a cotton picker,
a hack driver, a stagehand, a cook, a salesman,
a bodyguard, and a football player.
After the introduction there are many stories.
The first story is about a horse thief and it has
a man named Lud and a woman named Betsy
actually a horse.
The second story has a man snoring in bed
The third story has a man named Berry
asking a question about watermelon
to another man named Tuffy.
The fourth story has perspiration
plus a chew of tobacco and a jack knife.
The fifth story has a woman holding her lip
tightly (well, with her teeth.) Is that possible?
If you guessed that the sixth story had a bony king
and a muffled whisper in it, you would be right.
Nick owns Nick’s Place in story seven. He complains
that the boys are pretty bum sports. Boys are pretty.
The eighth story is filled with mysteries for the modern reader: for example: what is Indian Root tonic?
Why does a crowd stand in a weed-grown lot? Why does Professor Eaton wipe the perspiration from his upper lip before he looks down at Effie? Who is Effie? Why does
Effie cry (that she is the happiest girl in Rawley...is she?) Why doesn’t Effie perspire as much as Professor Eaton seems to?
Story Nine: when you say “Yellow Girl”, do you really mean, well, yellow? The color? Or yellow, like a yellow feeling? Or a yellow thing?