Aladdin O'Brien eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 134 pages of information about Aladdin O'Brien.

“Write to me.”

And the supercilious little quickstep went on: 

Yankee Doodle came to town
Riding on a pony,
Stuck a feather in his Hat,
And called it macaroni.

XXIII

A tongue of land with Richmond (built, like another capital beginning with R, on many hills) for its major root, and a fortification vulgarly supposed to be of the gentler sex for its tip, is formed by the yellow flow of the James and York rivers.  To land an army upon the tip of this tongue, march the length of it and extract the root, after reducing it to a reminiscence, was the wise plan of the powers early in the year 1862.  To march an army of preponderous strength through level and fertile country, flanked by friendly war-ships and backed by unassailable credit; to meet and overcome a much smaller and far less rich army, intrenched behind earthworks of doubtful formidableness, and finally to besiege and capture an isolated city of more historic than strategic advantages, seemed on the face of it as easy as rolling a barrel downhill or eating when hungry.  But the level, fertile country was discovered to be very muddy, its supply of rain from heaven unparalleled in nature, its streams as deadly as arsenic, and its topography utterly different from that assigned to it in any known geography.  Furthermore, in its woods, and it was nearly all woods, dwelt far more mosquitos than there are lost souls in Hades, and each mosquito had a hollow spike in his head through which he not only could but would squirt, with or without provocation, the triple compound essence of malaria into veins brought up on oxygen, and on water through which you could see the pebbles at the bottom.  A bosom friend of the mosquito, and some say his paramour, was little Miss Tick.  Of the two she was considerably the more hellish, and forsook her dwelling-places in the woods for the warm flesh of soldiers where it is rosiest, next the skin.  The body, arms, and legs of Miss Tick could be scratched to nothing by poisonous finger-nails, but her detached head was eternal, and through eternity she bit and gnawed and sometimes laughed in the hollow of her black soul.  For the horses, mules, and cattle there were shrubs which disagreed with them, and gigantic horse-flies.  And for the general at the head of the vast body of irritation there was an opposing army whose numbers he overrated, and whose whereabouts he kept discovering suddenly.  It is said that during the Peninsular campaign the buzzards were so well nourished that they raised a second brood.

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Aladdin O'Brien from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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