Bad Names




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Bad Names

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By Dan Beard

Effect of Bad Names

Speaking of bad names, which with boys as well as with men are the invariable prelude to a fight, I once saw a little fellow in Kentucky close up the month of a low, vulgar bully in a truly boyish, but to me, a most novel and effective manner. Many of the horrid names that a retentive memory had stored in fifteen years of life among the "river rats" were hurled by the bully at the little Kentuckian.

The latter turned pale, hesitated a moment, while a crowd of boys looked curiously on to see the result. It was evident to all that the little fellow would stand but a poor chance for victory in a scuffle with the bandy-legged, broad-shouldered young tough from the levee on the river front. Yet, at first, it appeared as if the smaller boy meant to fight, or his little fists were clenched as if he intended to resent the insult with a blow; but it was only a natural impulse of a brave boy, and was but momentary.

Soon his little fingers unclasped and his hands were thrust carelessly into his trousers' pockets, the color came back to his checks, and with a bright smile on his lips, he gently said, "Fen for me, all on you, twice as many as you call me."

This reply was greeted with a roar of applause and checkmated the levee bully, who, low as he was, did not care to call himself all the vulgar names he had applied to the little Kentuckian, and according to boys' etiquette it was evident that the only way he could prevent the names reverting to himself with doubled intensity was by keeping his bull-dog jaws closed.







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Last modified: October 15, 2016.