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AURA LEE - PART 19
1/20/2010 1:17:27 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

AURA LEE – PART 19

Reflecting on Joseph “Fighting Joe”’ Hooker, it occurred to Lincoln that perhaps the one redeeming feature of the general’s life was that Hooker was probably in his position of command only to serve as a warning to others.
“I don’t believe the general is an abject loser,” the president said, to members of his cabinet gathered that spring day in the Situation Room. “Nor do I consider him the essence of a winner. Conversely, I do consider those who never win and never lose with any degree of consistency to be categorically either unlucky or stupid. Over my own lifetime I have made a study of failure, and I’ve come to the conclusion it’s precisely what happens when your very best comes up short and just is not good enough. I have spent years trying to instill in my own boys one basic concept: although none of us is perfect, we should attempt to do at least a few things well. And if we cannot—well, God help us—let’s focus on getting away with it and enjoy trying to convince others our poor performance is not as bad as it seems! What I feel we have in General Hooker is the epitome of mediocrity, and I regard that as the one quality that takes a lot less practice—unfortunately (or fortunately, as the case may be,) most of our peers never notice until it is too late. But perhaps I’m too harsh on our erstwhile commander. He, thanks to us, is surrounded by a host of his admirers, which only proves my point: never underestimate the power of bewildered souls with adoring constituencies. Organized religion, for example.”
Lincoln was well aware that time was critical, that the reports from the field were not comforting: they were becoming worse. His generals’ delays of action did not foretell an early end to hostilities, and he could not understand why those leaders were displaying such a disarming lack of decisions that would hasten, undoubtedly, the day when Johnny Reb would lay down his weapons and go home. The president, of course, was misreading the Southern tone emanating from beyond the Potomac. He did not grasp the keen patriotic morale of Confederate troops who were daily delivering remarkable enterprise both on and off the battlefield with little more than an adrenalin-induced bravado. Men, women, and youngsters of both sexes were being killed and wounded, were killing and maiming with a sense of fury and almost indifference, never for a moment believing the sacrifice was for a lost cause. There had never been, in so-called modern times, a war like this, and in all likelihood there would never be again, particularly in this pristine hemisphere between two mighty, isolating oceans. But Lincoln, like all who valued life and believed in Jefferson’s quaint ideological “pursuit of happiness” dream, knew there was, there had to be, an ending and a resolution; and he knew it was at hand.
“The trump card,” he told his cabinet that April day in 1863 “is about to be played.” Only a handful of them had a clue to what he was talking about.

* * *
At that precise moment, at a broad vantage point on high ground west of Fredericksburg, Robert E. Lee placed his gloved hand on Thomas Jonathan Jackson’s gray sleeve as if he could somehow feel, through his own suede gauntlet, the quality of the fabric of his major-general’s the new uniform.
“I’ve never seen a uniform,” Lee remarked, “as fine as this on any officer. And, admittedly, I’ve never seen your particular form so splendidly presented. I’m inclined to make note of your tailor.”
Jackson gently, without offense or apparent notice, moved his arm away from Lee’s gesture, and smiled broadly. “General, my sweet wife took pity on me, aware that I’ve worn the same basic apparel since Sharpsburg, and I believe she had this tunic and new trousers made at Taran’s in Richmond.”
Lee nodded his approval. “Remarkably neat fit and well-made, sir. I do not imagine you modeled for it?”
“No, not even a drawing, sir. The lady appears to have a fine eye for such details, and she rendered the measurements by memory, with uncanny accuracy.” Jackson glanced over at his aide-de-camp. “I suspect, however, Lieutenant Morrison or his brother, the notable physician, had some advice to offer along the way.” Instinctively, he reached up and touched his collar. “She tells me she did, however, herself, design and sew on all the insignia.”
“An admirable turnout,” Lee asserted. “You look every inch the lissome and valorous icon you have deservedly become.”
Jackson blushed deeply beneath his beard, and his gaze fell briefly to the ground. “Thank you, General. Whatever I have become, and if I have assisted you in the achievement of such accolades, the credit is to God, hardly to me.”
“Yes. Quite so.”
The two Confederate leaders sat facing each other on quartermaster storage boxes. Their staff aides were nearby, in an oblong circle, within earshot but not hovering. It was late afternoon, near evening, and because the enemy was close by and quiet (but of uncertain purpose), no campfire was lit, no food was cooking. Lee’s army, numbering about forty-five thousand, was spread in a line along the Rappahannock for perhaps seven miles, from just east of the town to the edge of the Wilderness. Many of them, as if almost by their own conation, were burrowing already in the dense, impenetrable undergrowth and the second generation tangled foliage of that primordial jungle.
“I am convinced,” said Lee, “that Joe Hooker is trying to persuade our attention again on Fredericksburg. He will, in all likelihood, employee his General Sedgewick in a nuisance attack across the river while he sends flanking armies to pin us down further upriver and beyond the Wilderness. I am so certain of it I am going to divide the army into three sections, leaving General Early here with less than ten thousand, while you march directly across Hooker’s front and meet him head on with General Longstreet—just west of Chancellorsville. Meanwhile, I will shore up the center with the bulk of my command.”
Jackson, following this by tracing movements in the dirt at his feet, asked the obvious question: “And if Hooker attacks in force between us?”
Lee shook his head, his white hair slipping in small waves from beneath his broad-brimmed hat. “He won’t.”
“How, sir, can you be sure?”
“Have you ever played poker with Hooker?”
“No, sir.”
“I have. He is a most astute strategist. There have been times when I felt he could memorize cards played and discarded. But when he has no clue to what you’re holding, and yet he is in a position to bet his fortune, he loses his nerve and slips his cards away. Tonight, somewhere up near Deep Run, Fighting Joe labors under false information—or none at all—that we have a superior force backing up all the way to the Blue Ridge—when, in fact, he has us outnumbered on all fronts better than two or three to one. I believe he will delay making any move on us because he will think we are in full retreat—especially when he learns you are moving in parallel to the west.”
Jackson leaned forward and played this scenario over in his mind. To march his full command of twenty-eight thousand in an east-west direction across the front of Hooker’s total line would appear to be, on the surface, foolhardy exposure. The Union general with a single word—“Attack!”—would within hours be capable of decimating the South’s most elite command. He could then split his force in two, sending one to the west to finish off Longstreet’s weaker, unsupported contingent, and the other to the east to roll over Lee and Early with a juggernaught barely contested. Theoretically, the Confederate Army of the South could be annihilated and the war won before sunset the second day!
But—Jackson knew—it was a brilliant ploy. His forced march aligning the finest, most battle-tested and experienced corps across the length of the enemy’s front would seem, to Hooker, a futile attempt the escape, to run, to retreat and leave Robert E. Lee to fend for himself. The very appearance of hopeless vulnerability would delay the Union general from making any move at all—until it was too late.
“Almighty Providence,” Jackson uttered aloud, “has given us the benison of a masterful maneuver.”
“Yes,” agreed Lee. “Only if Hooker remains unconscious and his nerve remains dormant. That must be our fervent prayer.”
The one element Jackson could not bring forth was his potential meeting with Joe Hooker now set for sometime prior to 11 pm the next night. Twice during his conference with Lee on that calm overlook he had been tempted to broach the mission, but common sense put him off. He was determined (now more than ever) to keep the tryst, and he would rather undertake the assignment in complete confidence than reveal his intentions and be ordered to make no appearance and subsequently have to decide if disobedience were preferable to indifference. Deftly, he changed the subject.
“General Lee, I would like to recommend my aides-de-camp, Lieutenants Morrison and Smith be promoted to the rank of captain. Their overall conduct and bravery at Cedar Run, Manassas, Harper’s Ferry, Sharpsburg, and Fredericksburg make this long overdue.”
Lee nodded approval without hesitation. “I had expected you to forward this recommendation before now, but rest assured: I will submit this to General Cooper at A and I, and by the time we meet again, it will be a fait accompli.”
As Jackson and his entourage later prepared to spend the night wrapped in woolen blankets on nature’s mattresses of pine straw, another conversation was taking place on the opposite bank of the Rappahannock between a woman from North Carolina and a man from Baltimore.
“Why would I, of all people,” John Wilkes Booth pondered aloud, “succumb to conspiratorial participation in such a venture? And why would you—a woman I perceive to be of virtue and resolve, married to a native son, both of you from the South, enjoin such madness? Is there left no shred of loyalty? Have we all become pawns in some demoniac charade to bring the very essence of what we hold dear crashing down upon our heads?” As if in answer to his own questions, he dropped his head into his hands, and his voice broke. “This is . . . insanity. This war is insanity.”
“Right, yes, that part I sure understand,” said Melissa Menefee. “But I also understand that Gen’ral Hooker has given Dan’l an’ me an order, an’ maybe we are from North Carolina an’ that’s supposed to mean we’re from the South, but we ain’t Confederates. We doan care a whit ’bout slavery an’ the rights of the states, an’ havin’ a central gover’ment, an’ all that stuff. We are fightin’ on the Federal side, an’ if the gen’ral’s got an idee that’ll win this war faster an’ git it done with, no matter what anybody thinks, we gotta do what we gotta do to win it.”
Booth spread his hands away from his face and stared at the pretty young woman with shorn, cropped hair.
“General Hooker,” he said, “never had a serious intention of actually meeting with Stonewall Jackson or anybody else. This whole plot’s nothing more than a ruse.”
“Thass not so,” Melissa replied. “They’s definitely gonna meet an’ sit down an’ git this here war over an done with. Tomorrow or the next day, the gen’ral’s sittin’ right down there in the Chancellor House saloon, an’ that’s where Stonewall Jackson’s gonna meet up with him. Then . . .”
Booth tilted his head and squinted. “Then? Then what?”
“I dunno.”
The actor stood up and walked in a tight circle in front of the little lady. “You don’t know? Yes. Right. Of course,” he added sarcastically, “you don’t know.”
“No. I truly doan.”
“Ha!”
“Laugh all you want, Mr. Booth. All I know is that Gen’ral Hooker wants to have a sit down with ol’ Stonewall, an’ he wants you to be there—not there, exactly, not right by him in the meeting; but he said he sure wanted you nearby.”
“Why?”
“Jussin case.”
“In case of what?”
“I doan know. Jussin case. He said to me, we’s to be there and ready, an’ he will tell us what we are to do an’ when. Thass all I know.”
Like Jackson and Lee and several thousand elite Confederate troops—infantrymen, cavalry, artillery, engineers, sharpshooters, medical corpsmen, cooks—John Wilkes Booth slept outside that night, and it was cold. It was windy and cold, bone-chilling damp, and Booth fidgeted under a tattered army blanket and inside his greatcoat. He could not have slept that night, however, had he been on a tight mattress under a goose down quilt in his room at Washington’s National Hotel.
Methought I heard a voice cry, “Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep,” the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more!
Melissa, now thought of by Booth in his madness as “the soft Ophelia,” the delicious nymph from his potpourri of roles, slept soundly in Daniel’s arms in a rickety four-poster on the third floor of Chancellor House, a dilapidated tavern and roadhouse destined to be immortalized in American history as the divisional headquarters of General Joseph “Fighting Joe” Hooker’s Army of the Potomac.
* * *

Abraham Lincoln sat up late in the East Room of the White House with his wife Mary Todd Lincoln, his Secretaries of War and State, Edwin Stanton and William Seward, and his Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles.
Mary held a loose copy of the Emancipation Proclamation in her lap, and several pages had slipped off the smooth damask of her skirts and rested on the floor atop her small feet.
“This document,” she said, quietly and without emotion, “is a horrendous mistake in governmental judgment. What right have you, have we, any of us, to decree an American way of life as fundamental as slavery to be outlawed?”
“The concept— ” her husband started.
“Concept? A concept is but an untested idea. What you’ve conceived here is a codicil, postscript—a virtual amendment—to the Constitution, which exceeds even your interpretation of the powers of the presidency. Even before this, this Civil War, is concluded, you have issued an irrevocable proclamation that it will henceforth be illegal and punishable in America for American citizens to own slaves. And it’s limited only to insurgent states! Your idea for a ‘compensated emancipation’ for the boarder states, like John Brown’s body, lies a-moldin’ in its grave! Abraham, noble Abraham, do you honestly believe that even if the Confederacy capitulates, the Northern slave holders—not to mention those in the South—will for a moment adopt this decree with but lip-service and a smattering of obedience?”
Lincoln did not answer; he regarded his wife with concern.
Stanton cleared his throat and spoke up. “Madam, with all due respect, the South—and I dare say, the reunited Union—once we have ended this national tragedy—will have no choice.”
“Really.” Mary again looked at the sheath of papers in her lap. “I recall that sad time when your infant child was so suddenly taken from us, while riding to the funeral with the President and Mr. Welles and Mr. Seward, my husband firmly announced that a proclamation for emancipation was of the highest priority—and yet less than two weeks later Postmaster-General Blair cried out like John the Baptist in the wilderness that such an edict would impact the border states on both sides with such distain the Democrats would walk in and take over Congress come fall. I’m amazed how quickly the President capitulated to his own invention!”
Lincoln raised his head and looked at his wife with narrowed eyes, but he said nothing.
William Seward quickly added, “My dear lady, this Emancipation Proclamation is the one adhesive we will have to bind again the union of this country. Mr. Lincoln’s legacy will hinge on this document, and history will record that this war was fought to preserve the coalition of states, and the rights of each state to govern itself in accordance with the Constitution as a separate entity protected beneath the canopy of our great Federal mandate.”
“Oh—!” She could not think of a suitable exclamation acceptable in the company of gentlemen. “Oh, Mr. Seward, and you, Edwin, you really believe that! How sad! How unlike either of you! The document is so shallow, so transparent—what my husband has proclaimed here is little more than a license giving him, giving the government, the right to let Negroes bear arms, and thus enhance the Union army with thousands of fresh troops! And servants for the troops. Really, that’s what it boils down to! Confiscated contraband. . . . Can any of you honestly sit there and tell me the North will offer rousing huzzah’s over the prospect of putting rifles, pistols, swords and knives into the hands of countless ignorant niggers—?”
“Mother . . .” Lincoln sighed.
“And what about the South!” she continued, unabated. “Jefferson Davis has already called this a disastrous, disgraceful article meant solely for the destruction of the Southern nationality. What Confederate soldier would not rise up from his premature grave to fight on and eliminate regiments of freed Africans suddenly running amok with weapons of war? Or just languishing as chattel in Union camps, aiding, abetting . . . What Rebel would not plunge headlong into the fray with total abandonment of concern but to crush such a stigma? . . . . I am so disappointed by this.”
Gideon Welles, his ample bulk somewhat uncomfortable from three helpings of roast beef at dinner two hours ago, rolled slightly on his wide buttocks in an overstuff chair. “I have to agree with Mr. Stanton and Mr. Seward,” he sighed. “I see it this way, Mrs. Lincoln: freeing the slaves is, unquestionably, the president’s beau geste. This war is going badly, going from bad to worse, if we’re to believe every communiqué from the field. Despite Grant and Sherman’s remarkable performances in the West, the catalyst for victory now lies in the East, just beyond the edges of our city. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, especially as being led by General Jackson, is capable of crushing our Union forces through sheer strength of numbers. We believe he has nearly a million men— “
“Not all of us,” the president inserted, “believe that.”
“Hooker, McClellan, even Scott, have confirmed to me that we are outnumbered in Virginia by five to one . . . “
Stanton shook his head. “That’s nonsense. Three to one is more like it.”
“What good does arguing here do?” Mary Todd asked, almost naively. “The damage has been done, and most of it by this dreadful proclamation. Abraham, there is not one group of citizens up here, not one colleague, not a congressman who doesn’t side with the Copperheads, the Knights-of-this-and-the-Knights-of-that, the Jesuits, the Society of Nazareth—in fact, the entire Catholic Church—God help us, even the Baptists from their pulpits are shouting for your head—and you answer them with this . . . free the slaves . . . abolish servitude . . . arm a militia of freed black men . . . treat the Africans as contraband! If you wanted to lose this damnable war, why didn’t you just ride into Richmond and hand Jefferson Davis a cocked shotgun and point to your head!”
The president did not immediately respond. Slowly he stood up and crossed the room to the one window from which he could see the unfinished dome of the Capitol building silhouetted against a pale sky of late spring twilight. Drawing the long drape away with one hand, he leaned against the sill and spoke to his reflection in the glass. His eyes were dark, encircled with ridges of tar, sunken; his face seemed chiseled under the blunt edge of a stonecutter’s caesorium wedge, hammered carelessly by a manqué sculptor; even his beard was limp and tired, more scraggly that usual.
“Shortly after our great victory at Antietam,” he said, in a voice that streamed from a shallow depth without tone or inflection, “I was reading a copy of a letter I discovered in the Presidential Library. Thomas Jefferson had written to John Quincy Adams, the son of his longtime but, sadly, no longer dearest friend. I have it here, and I would like to read it to you.” Lincoln fumbled for a moment within his coat pocket and produced a folded sheet. He brought his spectacles up to the tip of his nose and looked at the letter.
“Jefferson had not been president but a few weeks,” he explained. “But already he had come to despise the office, and he was nearly undone by his seeming inability to cope with the mordacious sting of those he felt he must strive to please. . . ’My dear young friend.’ he wrote. ‘How did your esteemed father survive the ordeals of this office, first as vice president, then as president, with such grace and rectitude when vultures and vandals lurk in every autochthonous crevice of this pitiful institution? He was and is a remarkable alienist to weigh and balance his own sanity against the crush of our daily undoing. This government is bred from such pure ideals that one shudders with disbelief when efforts to honest labor give birth to syncretic clochards. If this offends you, I am truly sorry; but as Thomas Paine said, He who dares not offend, cannot be called honest. I truly hate the thought of America not having a rebellion every twenty years or so. What are a few lives lost? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is a natural manure.’. . . My God, what artistry that man could create with the written language!
“He concluded, much later, with a remark that someday, when read by students of history, he knew would be totally misunderstood—as will the vast repertoire of every president whose greatest love is his country: ‘John Quincy, know in your heart of hearts, as I know in my own, that your father and I have done our best despite our human nescience, and though others could have done better, we are the chosen few whom God has entrusted with unwanted apotheosis. We were anointed by Divine Providence to be this republic’s living manticores, and the nights are multiplying that I finally drift off to sleep after a fervent prayer that Washington himself might suddenly appear as a revenant to relieve me of this melancholy millstone hung about my neck. Your most affectionate friend and admirer, Thomas Jefferson.’
“If that great man had written this Emancipation Proclamation during his time in this office, if such destiny had been orchestrated in the stars, the issue would be moot. And if the gods smile on Joe Hooker and those he has employed to fulfill this necessary mission, it may be so anyway.”
At that, Gideon Welles glanced over at the Secretary of War, and they both, having simultaneous thoughts of an earlier meeting weeks ago in the Situation Room, one that had been attended by General Hooker, got up, along with William Seward, to say good night and take their leave.
Mary was tempted to rise also and go to her husband, but she did not. “This office,” she said, softly and with genuine sympathy, “must be a hell for you.”
Lincoln looked at her with vacant, mantic eyes. “If there is a worse place than hell,” he whispered, “I am in it. ”

* * *

During the last five minutes there had been incessant knocking at the front door of the White House, and finally, the president bellowed out: “In the name of sanity, is there not someone still up to answer the door!”
“I’ll see who it is,” answered Mrs. Lincoln.
“No, mother, remain seated.”
Lincoln crossed the room in six steps, slipped down the long hallway to the vestibule, and quickly opened the door. It was a dimly lit area, but in the glow of several lamps, he saw the short, squat man standing on the stoop beneath the main portico.
The pharmacist David Herold, in his surprise at having the door attended by the president himself, nearly dropped the package he was carrying.
“Sir! . . . Mr. President! Sir! Mr. Lincoln!”
“Yes,” smiled the chief executive, “good evening! What can I do for you?”
Herold took a step backwards. “Sir! I hardly expected . . .”
“All in a day’s work,” Lincoln said. “My entire staff has either gone to bed—or defected to a more secure service. What have you there?” He indicated the package Herold was holding.
“Oh—this. Oh! Yes! I’m from Thompson’s Pharmacy, and this is the bottle of castor oil ordered by your Mr. Alvinas Turner. I believe it’s for young Mr. Lincoln—ah, your son, Thomas. I told them I’d bring it myself on my way home—but it never occurred to me, sir, that you, sir, were at the door—I was knocking for some time, I’m terribly sorry, so surprised . . ”
Abraham Lincoln’ smile became a broad manifestation of personal warmth as he thought how uncanny it was so many people became hopelessly tongue-tied and incoherent in the presence of the President of the United States.
“What is your name, son?” he asked.
“Herold.”
“Harold what?”
“Davey Herold—Herold’s my last name. David. I’m a pharmacist at Thompson’s.”
Lincoln had begun groping for a coin in his vest-pocket, but when the young man said he was a pharmacist, the president did not feel right tipping a professional apothecary, albeit one kind enough to make a late delivery.
“This is very gracious of you, Mr. Herold,” Lincoln said. “I will convey to the rest of my family your diligence to duty. It’s good to know there are men like you right here in Washington.”
The president took the package and shook David Herold’s hand, and he quietly closed the huge door.


TO BE CONTINUED


Copyright©2002 by Robert A. Mills


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• MATH - Saturday, September 28, 2013
• YARD - Saturday, September 21, 2013
• ENGLISH - Saturday, September 14, 2013
• ECSTACY - Saturday, September 07, 2013
• LABOR - Saturday, August 31, 2013
• SPORTS - Saturday, August 24, 2013
• FAIR - Sunday, August 18, 2013
• PANIC - Saturday, August 10, 2013
• JEFFERSON - Saturday, August 03, 2013
• GERTE - Saturday, July 27, 2013
• GRACE - Saturday, July 20, 2013
• PLS - Saturday, July 13, 2013
• BROOKS - Saturday, July 06, 2013
• DVDs - Saturday, June 29, 2013
• WEDDING & SCOTT - Saturday, June 22, 2013
• FREEZER - Saturday, June 15, 2013
• BASILIO - Saturday, June 08, 2013
• CARUSO - Saturday, June 01, 2013
• EXPERT - Saturday, May 25, 2013
• CANTANKEROUS - Saturday, May 18, 2013
• BOATS - Saturday, May 11, 2013
• BALANCE - Saturday, May 04, 2013
• USPS - Saturday, April 27, 2013
• TAXES - Saturday, April 20, 2013
• AUDITION - Saturday, April 13, 2013
• NASHVILLE - Saturday, April 06, 2013
• BOXER - Saturday, March 30, 2013
• COLUMNS - Monday, March 25, 2013
• VIETNAM - Saturday, March 16, 2013
• ΣAM - Saturday, March 09, 2013
• WHOA! - Saturday, March 02, 2013
• TWO - Saturday, February 23, 2013
• QUITTER - bonus - Tuesday, February 19, 2013
• GHOSTS - Saturday, February 16, 2013
• VALENTINE - Wednesday, February 13, 2013
• FBI - Saturday, February 09, 2013
• WOOLLEY - Saturday, February 02, 2013
• GRUMPY - Saturday, January 26, 2013
• FORMAL - Saturday, January 19, 2013
• PATTY - Saturday, January 12, 2013
• OFFENDED - Saturday, January 05, 2013
• LOVE - Saturday, December 29, 2012
• CHRISTMAS - Wednesday, December 26, 2012
• PEPE - Saturday, December 22, 2012
• TIME - Saturday, December 15, 2012
• TIME - Saturday, December 15, 2012
• UGA - Saturday, December 08, 2012
• MASS - Saturday, December 01, 2012
• SLF - Saturday, November 24, 2012
• THANKSGIVING- a bonus column - Wednesday, November 21, 2012
• ASSASSINATION - Saturday, November 17, 2012
• POLL - Saturday, November 10, 2012
• YOGI - Wednesday, November 07, 2012
• VOTE - Saturday, November 03, 2012
• REACH - Saturday, October 27, 2012
• WASTELAND - Saturday, October 20, 2012
• 58% - Saturday, October 13, 2012
• WACKO - Saturday, October 06, 2012
• REVIST - Thursday, October 04, 2012
• DEBATE - An addendum - Wednesday, October 03, 2012
• CRASH - Saturday, September 29, 2012
• VEEP - Saturday, September 22, 2012
• BUGLE - Saturday, September 15, 2012
• DELTA - Saturday, September 08, 2012
• ANNIVERSARY - Saturday, September 01, 2012
• INCA DINKA DO - Saturday, August 25, 2012
• METH - Saturday, August 18, 2012
• PHELPS - Saturday, August 11, 2012
• UPDATE EXTRA - Wednesday, August 08, 2012
• CHICKEN - Saturday, August 04, 2012
• OLYMPICS - a review - Tuesday, July 31, 2012
• SUMMERTIME - Saturday, July 28, 2012
• SHOOT! - Saturday, July 21, 2012
• PUN - Saturday, July 14, 2012
• DECISION - Saturday, July 07, 2012
• FREE - Saturday, June 30, 2012
• EXTRA! - Thursday, June 28, 2012
• ANNIVERSARY - Saturday, June 23, 2012
• REHEARSAL - Saturday, June 16, 2012
• BELMONT - Saturday, June 09, 2012
• 1% - Saturday, June 02, 2012
• DERIVATIVES - Saturday, May 26, 2012
• MEDICARE - Saturday, May 19, 2012
• CRIME! - Saturday, May 12, 2012
• POTTER - Saturday, May 05, 2012
• BUCKHOUSE - Saturday, April 28, 2012
• SOX! - Saturday, April 21, 2012
• SOL - Saturday, April 14, 2012
• CONTEST! - Saturday, April 07, 2012
• JUSTICE! - Saturday, March 31, 2012
• SUITS! - Saturday, March 24, 2012
• BOBBYS - Saturday, March 17, 2012
• NUNDA FUN DAYS – PT II - Saturday, March 10, 2012
• NUNDA FUN DAYS - PART 1 - Saturday, March 03, 2012
• HUTSON IS ONE! - Thursday, February 23, 2012
• TôT OU TARD! - Saturday, February 18, 2012
• MINE! - Saturday, February 11, 2012
• SOUP! - Saturday, February 04, 2012
• BUCK STOP - Saturday, January 28, 2012
• FOLLIES - Saturday, January 21, 2012
• MISFITS - Saturday, January 14, 2012
• MOHS - Saturday, January 07, 2012
• GOODBYE! - Saturday, December 31, 2011
• CITY SLICKERS -- Week of Dec 24 - Saturday, December 24, 2011
• HEADLINES - Saturday, December 17, 2011
• FIRE! - Saturday, December 10, 2011
• YEP, THE SKY IS FALLING! - Saturday, December 03, 2011
• HOBNAIL BOOTS - Saturday, November 26, 2011
• GIRL o’ WAR - Saturday, November 19, 2011
• CAIN IS NOT ABEL - Saturday, November 12, 2011
• JOHNNY CAN’T READ - Saturday, November 05, 2011
• HOLY SMOKE! - Saturday, October 29, 2011
• CELL PHONE - Saturday, October 22, 2011
• 60 MINUTES - Saturday, October 15, 2011
• BANKS CLOSED - Saturday, October 08, 2011
• ANNUAL PHYSICAL - Saturday, October 01, 2011
• A T W IN 80 MINUTES - Saturday, September 24, 2011
• HUTSON! - Saturday, September 17, 2011
• A TIME TO REMEMBER - Saturday, September 10, 2011
• TOMB AT ARLINGTON - Saturday, September 03, 2011
• GUNFIGHT AT DODGE CITY - Saturday, August 27, 2011
• NOTHNAGLE - Saturday, August 20, 2011
• A CLUTTERED BELFRY - Saturday, August 13, 2011
• CFS, FOR SHORT - Saturday, August 06, 2011
• THE MINSTREL SHOW - Saturday, July 30, 2011
• BIRTHDAY BOY RIDES (MARTA) AGAIN - Saturday, July 23, 2011
• KNOCK, KNOCK! WHO’S THERE? DEATH! - Saturday, July 16, 2011
• COMMENCEMENT - Saturday, July 09, 2011
• 234th 4th OF JULY - Saturday, July 02, 2011
• MIDNIGHT RIDE OF BOORTZ/DUPREE - Saturday, June 25, 2011
• OH, MY PAPA (& MAMA, TOO) . . . - Saturday, June 18, 2011
• ROLLING STONES - Saturday, June 11, 2011
• I DOUBLE D’AIR YA! - Saturday, June 04, 2011
• WOW—SUM BEACH - Monday, May 30, 2011
• GRAMP ON THE TOWN - Saturday, May 21, 2011
• THE UNSOCIABLE NETWORK - Saturday, May 14, 2011
• DING DONG, THE WICKED SUMBITCH IS DEAD - Saturday, May 07, 2011
• KATE PLUS MATE - Saturday, April 30, 2011
• GOP IS TRUMPED - Monday, April 25, 2011
• SNIFFING JOCKS IN ATLANTA - Saturday, April 16, 2011
• BOEHNER BLINKED - Saturday, April 09, 2011
• ROY ROGERS - Saturday, April 02, 2011
• SWEAT MORE, BLEED LESS - Saturday, March 26, 2011
• HE STILL DESERVES BETTER - Saturday, March 19, 2011
• AFTRA & EARTHQUAKES - Saturday, March 12, 2011
• ALEX IN WONDERLAND - Saturday, March 05, 2011
• THE OSCARS - 2011 - Wednesday, March 02, 2011
• FIRST BIRTHDAY, PART THREE - Thursday, February 24, 2011
• FIRST BIRTHDAY, PART II - Tuesday, February 22, 2011
• MY FIRST BIRTHDAY - Saturday, February 19, 2011
• IDES OF FEB, MINUS ONE DAY - Saturday, February 12, 2011
• FUN AT THE ICE PALACE - Saturday, February 05, 2011
• VACATION FROM HELL - Saturday, January 29, 2011
• BARBERSTOWN CASTLE - Saturday, January 22, 2011
• TRYING TO TAKE TUCSON – a bonus blog - Wednesday, January 19, 2011
• THE “BOBBYS” - Saturday, January 15, 2011
• POLITICS 101 - Saturday, January 08, 2011
• THE SNOWS OF KILIMANGEORGIA - Saturday, January 01, 2011
• WRITER'S CRAMP - Saturday, December 25, 2010
• BELLS ON CHRISTMAS DAY - Saturday, December 18, 2010
• PATTY ROBERTS, Part Two - Wednesday, December 15, 2010
• SECRET SANTA - Saturday, December 11, 2010
• PATTY ROBERTS - Thursday, December 09, 2010
• GETTING MY GOAT(EE) - Saturday, December 04, 2010
• IN FLIMFLAMS FIELDS . . . - Saturday, November 27, 2010
• PLYMOUTH ROCKS - Saturday, November 20, 2010
• LACED FOR ACTION - Saturday, November 13, 2010
• PEER PRESSURE - Saturday, November 06, 2010
• POLL CATS - Saturday, October 30, 2010
• FRIENDS - Saturday, October 23, 2010
• MY COUSIN DOUGIE - Saturday, October 16, 2010
• LOBSTER POTTED - Sunday, October 10, 2010
• A PRECIOUS GOLDEN BOBBY - Thursday, September 30, 2010
• THE KING IS DEAD (or at least in his throes) - Saturday, September 25, 2010
• STAND PAT - Saturday, September 18, 2010
• EGGS ROSAKOVIA - Saturday, September 11, 2010
• POLL CATS - Saturday, September 04, 2010
• KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE - Saturday, August 28, 2010
• (Bonus Blog) BUT WHO’S COUNTING? - Wednesday, August 25, 2010
• PEANUTS AND CRACKER JACKS - Saturday, August 21, 2010
• LUCKY STRIKE GREEN - Saturday, August 14, 2010
• AMERICARE vs. OBAMACARE - Saturday, August 07, 2010
• THE MAN WHO WOULD (temporarily) BE PRESIDENT - Saturday, July 31, 2010
• THE WEDDING - Saturday, July 24, 2010
• BUTTERFLIES ARE HAPPY - Saturday, July 17, 2010
• HATTERS ARE MAD - Saturday, July 10, 2010
• WHAT DOES THE BOSTON TEA PARTY AND THE REPUBLICAN TEA PARTY HAVE IN COMMON? - Friday, July 02, 2010
• MILQUETOAST HEADLINES - Saturday, June 26, 2010
• JAMIE DUPREE DESERVES BETTER - Saturday, June 19, 2010
• WHAT BARACK OBAMA AND HELEN THOMAS HAVE IN COMMON - Saturday, June 12, 2010
• GRANDNIECE LEIGH IS OFF TO HONDURAS - Saturday, June 05, 2010
• MEMORIAL HOLE-IN-ONE - Saturday, May 29, 2010
• GRANDNIECE EMILY GRADUATES - Wednesday, May 26, 2010
• THE MOON IS ROQUEFORT - Saturday, May 22, 2010
• LENO VS. O’BRIEN – TEMPEST IN A TV POT - Saturday, May 15, 2010


No One Goes There Now by William Walling

Imperial interstellar explorers discover the remote, idyllic planet Dan, but the enigmatic indigenes are unhappy over Code Duello, a facet of Convention males of Imperium Terrestri..  
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