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Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950). Spoon River Anthology. 1916.

38. Charlie French

DID you ever find out

Which one of the O’Brien boys it was

Who snapped the toy pistol against my hand?

There when the flags were red and white

In the breeze and “Bucky” Estil

Was firing the cannon brought to Spoon River

From Vicksburg by Captain Harris;

And the lemonade stands were running

And the band was playing,

To have it all spoiled

By a piece of a cap shot under the skin of my hand,

And the boys all crowding about me saying:

“You’ll die of lock-jaw, Charlie, sure.”

Oh, dear! oh, dear!

What chum of mine could have done it?