Wednesday, October 28, 2009


"There once reappeared in the village of East Dennis on Cape Cod, a sea captain whose ship, which sailed from that part of the New England coast many years before, had long since been given up as lost with all hands. Now here at last was the skipper again -- old, gray, silent. Yes, the ship had gone down and he alone still lived to tell the story. Only he would not tell it. Indeed, in the years which remained to him, he made just one allustion to the disaster, but the single sample was enough to suggest that the whole story might have been worth hearing. That was when a young neighbor, coming into his son's office, greeted the old captain, who looked up from under shaggy eyebrows but did not answer.

"Why Father" -- this, afterwards, in filial remonstrance--"didn't you know that man? That was Wilbur Paddock."

"Know that man?" was the grim reply. "I ate that man's uncle." "

-- Alexander Woollcott "The Good Life" , The Portable Woollcott, 1946, p. 334

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