A Champion Spitter

Quick Quotes 11. The following is taken from George Head’s Forest Scenes and Incidents in the Wilds of North America (1829):

It was quite dark when we came to the end of the day’s journey, and I had had nothing to eat since daylight; so that I was rather exhausted when I arrived at an old crazy house, the residence of Mr. Turner… I was particularly amused with the appearance of Mr. Turner. My host was, I believe, an American,— a tall, withered, thin man, about sixty years of age, with extremely small legs and thighs, narrow shoulders, long back, and as straight as a ramrod. Innumerable short narrow wrinkles, which crossed each other in every direction, covered his face, which was all the same colour — as brown as a nut; and he had a very small mouth, which was drawn in and pursed up at the comers. His eyes were very little, black, keen, and deep set in his head. He hardly ever spoke; and I do not think, that while I was in his house I ever saw him smile…

There was a small square hole in the centre of the door, (as there generally is in all Canada stoves,) made to open and shut with a slider as occasion requires: this he kept open for a purpose of his own; for by long practice he had acquired a knack of spitting through this little hole with such unerring certainty, by a particular sort of jerk through his front teeth, that he absolutely never missed his mark.


“Quick Quotes” are some bonus content for the blog. Each time I find an interesting or amusing little quote from and old (verging on forgotten) book, that does not really need any further explanation or background information, it will appear on Windows into History under this heading. You can keep updated each time I post a new entry by clicking on the follow button on the right of the screen. I welcome any comments or suggestions, and will consider guest posts.

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