K as in Knife

Unknown quantities, resonant frequencies, moving parts, and everything in between. Chosen and obsessively annotated by C. Mason Wells.

New here? Hit random and go exploring.

c.mason.wells [at] gmail.com
twitter.com/cmasonwells
books:
From How To Create Cartoons (1952), a charming and riotous instructional book by the legendary Frank Tashlin.From How To Create Cartoons (1952), a charming and riotous instructional book by the legendary Frank Tashlin.

From How To Create Cartoons (1952), a charming and riotous instructional book by the legendary Frank Tashlin.

Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules of writing, via The TradElmore Leonard’s 10 rules of writing, via The Trad

Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules of writing, via The Trad

Jorge Luis Borges self-portrait, drawn after he’d gone blindJorge Luis Borges self-portrait, drawn after he’d gone blind

Jorge Luis Borges self-portrait, drawn after he’d gone blind

You have here, Reader, a book whose faith can be trusted, a book which warns you from the start that I have set myself no other end but a private family one. I have not been concerned to serve you nor my reputation: my powers are inadequate for such a design. I have dedicated this book to the private benefits of my friends and kinsmen so that, having lost me (as they must do soon), they can find here again some traits of my character and of my humours. They will thus keep their knowledge of me more full, more alive.

"If my design had been to seek the favour of the world I would have decked myself out better and presented myself in a studied gait. Here I want to be seen in my simple, natural, everyday fashion, without striving or artifice: for it is my own self that I am painting. Here, drawn from life, you will read of my defects and my native form so far as respect for social convention allows: for had I found myself among those people who are said still to live under the sweet liberty of Nature’s primal laws, I can assure you that I would most willingly have portrayed myself whole, and wholly naked.

"And therefore, Reader, I myself am the subject of my book: it is not reasonable that you should employ your leisure on a topic so frivolous and so vain.

"Therefore, farewell.

—Michel de Montaigne, introduction to his Essays
Chabrol Se Met A Table (2009), a cookbook (and final artistic project) the great filmmaker Claude Chabrol (1930-2010), written with Laurent Bourdon. It includes recipes for meals eaten by characters in his films.Chabrol Se Met A Table (2009), a cookbook (and final artistic project) the great filmmaker Claude Chabrol (1930-2010), written with Laurent Bourdon. It includes recipes for meals eaten by characters in his films.

Chabrol Se Met A Table (2009), a cookbook (and final artistic project) the great filmmaker Claude Chabrol (1930-2010), written with Laurent Bourdon. It includes recipes for meals eaten by characters in his films.

Kurt Vonnegut charts narratives.Kurt Vonnegut charts narratives.

Kurt Vonnegut charts narratives.

Thomas Pynchon’s “Togetherness”

An early Pynchon article, from the December 1960 issue of Aerospace Safety:

Airlifting the IM-99A missile, like marriage, demands a certain amount of “togetherness” between Air Force and contractor. Two birds per airlift are onloaded by Boeing people and offloaded by Air Force people; in between is an airborne MATS C-124. One loading operation is a mirror-image of the other, and similar accidents can happen at both places. Let’s look at a few of the safety hazards that have to be taken into account when Bomarcs are shipped… .
In the July 1960 issue of Aerospace Safety, mention was made of the second Air Force-Industry conference on missile safety; and of plans to create Air Force-Industry Accident Review Boards. If future emphasis is to be placed on such joint action, much can be gained from a positive, realistic — above all, cooperative — approach to safety problems.
Cooperation is even more important where the problem area is double-ended: where both contractor and military personnel perform the same job and are subject to the same safety hazards. Therefore, in the following discussion of one such area — that of Bomarc transportation — any references to slip-ups on the military end of the airlift are meant to be strictly non-partisan and objective. As long as there have been near accidents, it’s better to use them as a guide for future safety than to pretend they never happened.
As this article goes to press, the safety record of Bomarc airlifts can be summed up in four words: so far, so good. You may recall, however, the optimist who jumped off the top of a New York office building. He was heard to yell the same thing as he passed the 20th floor: so far, so good.
This is not to imply — necessarily — that IM-99A on and offloading crews have been living on borrowed time. Nor — necessarily — that the end of the winning streak, when it comes, will be as tragic as impacting against a concrete surface at 175 or so mph. But then again…

Let’s look at some of the near misses. One crew member got his foot run over by the aircraft loading trailer. But he was wearing safety shoes, as he was supposed to. Once a lifting cable failed and a missile was dropped about six inches during an offload operation. Nothing happened: no explosions, no mangled human extremities; because explosive items like squibs and initiators are shipped separately, and because the hands and feet of loading personnel were clear of the danger area. Once a failed pin in the aircraft hoist gear sent a missile and trailer rumbling down the loading ramp at a clip which might have compared favorably with airborne cruise speed to anyone in the way. But nobody, luckily, was in the way. Everyone had been paying attention to the 2 dash 2’s oft-repeated warning (repeated an even dozen times, to be exact): “Keep personnel away from down-ramp end of trailer as it is being pulled up (or rolled down) loading ramp.”
Still, if you took a dim and rigorous view of these three incidents, you would conclude that personnel were only practicing about half the safety they should have been. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be using the words “near miss.” Good safety practices, we know, are redundant. Just as there are two or three different ways to trigger an ejection seat, so there are extra, redundant, “insurance” features associated with airlifting the IM-99A. For example: at the crucial moment when the trailer is stopped on the ramp while cargo is being shifted inside the plane, four conditions would have to exist before anyone could be hurt by a runaway missile and trailer:
(1) A hasty and incomplete preliminary inspection of loading gear: trailer, cable, snatch blocks, Pullift hoists, etc.;
(2) Disregard of the warning in the 2 dash 2 about staying clear of the downramp end of the trailer;
(3) Failure to attach the safety restraint chains which are normally hooked between the loading trailer and the body of the C-124; and
(4) Failure to set the trailer hand brake. Each procedure serves to back up the others. Two are physical restraints; two depend on the human element. All are essential for 100 per cent safety.
So much for near misses where “insurance” paid off. There have also been cases where survival was strictly a matter of luck. The incident that comes most readily to mind happened a short while ago, during a two-missile offloading. Normal sequence is to move the port missile all the way aft in the C-124, load the starboard missile on the offloading trailer, and steer missile and trailer on down the ramp. The manual says: “Station one man at hydraulic hand pump and gage position at right rear of trailer and one at hand brake and directional valve position at left rear of trailer. Station others as needed to observe and direct trailer loading.” “Rear of trailer” in these instructions means forward in the plane; or the end closest to the ramp. On this particular operation, however, it seems there was also a man — call him Smith — on the front end of the trailer (aft in the C-124), riding on the chassis to control a parking brake. As the outgoing missile passed by the elevator stub of the other missile, Smith got wedged in between. Fortunately, another crewman, stationed near the back end of the trailer, had both Smith and the anchor vehicle operator in his line of vision. He saw what was happening and signalled the wrecker operator to stop towing. Smith was extricated from a squeeze which could have been fatal. To quote from a subsequent field report: “At this point the crewman is on the trailer controlling the emergency (parking) brake. His back is extremely close (brushes) the elevator stub of the other missile … Should anything happen at this instant, the crewman’s life would be in danger.”
Boeing engineers tackled the problem raised in this field report, and came up with the following recommendations:
(a) Steer the trailer with the steering selector which is closest to the front of the C-124, ‘til Smith’s station is clear of that elevator stub.
(b) The only break to be used during loading is the hand brake. The parking brake — required by MIL-M-8090 — is only to keep the empty trailer from breaking loose, and should not be used when the missile is aboard. A lot of force has to be put on this brake to hold an empty trailer on a 17 degree incline, so it would be virtually useless as a physical restraint on missile and trailer.
(c) Finally, to quote again: “There is no T. O. requirement for a man to ride the trailer. A man riding the trailer during operation is subject to any accident that might happen to the trailer.”
Before we criticize Smith too severely, however, we should note that his purpose in riding the trailer was apparently to add still another item of safety insurance to the four mentioned previously. So that the intention, at least, was good.

Technical Manual T.O. 21-IM99A-2-2 is the bible for Bomarc airlift loading procedures. Updated every three months, these 2 dash 2 instructions are the end product of dozens of on-the-spot observations at both on and offloadings, conferences with handling equipment design engineers, and coordination with Safety Engineering. The latter group utilizes extensive test facilities and works along with other groups, like Reliability and Human Factors engineering, to solve safety problems which have already arisen and to find out how future ones can be prevented. Often, solutions to local, in-house contractor problems can be applied to similar conditions in the field.
For at least two men, however, safety is considerably more personal than anything written in the manual or in a test report. On the day of the airlift, safety of the C-124 and the missiles inside is largely up to the MATS loadmaster and one engineer from Boeing’s Missile Delivery Group.
They’re both out on the flight apron at 0700. Together they hold a thorough, nit-picking inspection: checking the housekeeping around the loading area and in the plane, determining the exact condition of all loading gear. The next thing is to decide where to put what in the cargo spaces. To have a safe flight, the center of gravity of the plane must stay between certain body stations. Almost always there is extra freight, like batteries and test sets, to be sent along with missiles and airfoils. Tiedown methods have to be agreed on. Both engineer and loadmaster must be able to think on their feet and make rapid decisions and adjustments in case an item of freight doesn’t show up, or if more shows up than they expected. Exact placement of cargo and exact fuel requirements are therefore figured down to the last inch and gallon by two heads containing a sum total of years of air-cargo knowhow and experience. Aiding their calculations are the engineer’s conventional slipstick, and the loadmaster’s load adjuster, marked off in body stations and fuel loads, and serialized to his C-124 and that plane only.
Boeing personnel, supervised by the loadmaster, perform the actual onloading. Their procedures follow the lines set down by the 2 dash 2, with certain sophistications. The loading trailers here at Seattle — referred to, for some obscure reason, as “tomato” dollies — are smaller and lighter than those in use at the other end. This makes for speed and safety in loading, since less strain is put on the loading gear.

Now don’t everybody yell at once. We know there aren’t any of these out at the bases. And for a very good reason, too. Sure, maybe the light trailers speed things up. But they are too light for safe over-the-road transportation — too fragile, and not built to ICC specifications. This is OK at Seattle, where there is no “over the road”; only a few yards over a smooth flight apron, between the storage area and the ‘124. But at a tactical base, the distance between the airhead and Bomarc site is often quite a stretch, and the trailer must be rugged enough to take a long haul.
Positive, error-proof communication between load-master and anchor winch is provided at onloadings by a three-light system which looks like an ordinary traffic signal. Red means “stop,” green means “wind in cable,” amber means “let out cable.” One big advantage is that the system works efficiently even around a high noise level area. And with ‘707s, B-52s, KC-135s and other heavies warming up, taxiing and taking off most of the time, that noise level can get pretty high.
We are not saying that the Seattle end of the airlift is ultra-safe, and can do no wrong, while the other end is a horde of accident-prones. The Boeing crew doesn’t wear safety shoes. The bases don’t have the three-light system. So who is safer than who?
The thing to remember is that this whole business of airlifting the IM-99A continues under a set of conditions which — let’s face it — we all have to live with. For one thing, the loading ramp of the C-124 is inclined 17 degrees to the horizontal. We can figure out from simple trigonometry that a shallower ramp would mean less pull on the hoist cable and its associated gear, and therefore safer operation. The C-133, it so happens, has a shallower ramp. Unfortunately, not many C-133s are available, nor as of this writing are they likely to be. In addition, the ‘133 does not come equipped with a cargo hoist, which means that even if we could get this aircraft, each missile would have to be shipped on its own individual trailer. So the ‘124 and its steep ramp are here to stay.
Another thing both ends must realize is that loading crews get used to working together. MATS likes to rotate loadmasters on these airlifts, to spread the experience around. But in places with a low turnover rate, missile stevedoring would be performed by a more or less integrated team, who knew each others’ idiosyncrasies, who had evolved certain private hand or verbal signals valid only for the team itself. Up to a point, nothing is wrong with this approach. MATS has been in business since 1948, and airlifts have been going on nearly as far back as the Wright brothers. During that stretch, a lot of knowledge has been accumulated. The rules on missile transportation — safety and otherwise — are based solidly on common sense, and if the same crew has been working together over a period of time, such “in-group” communication can speed things up. But now, take for instance the crewman who nearly got squashed between two missiles. Suppose the man signalled his plight to the anchor vehicle had started dancing around, waving and yelling. Suppose the winch operator had been a new man, not thoroughly briefed on signals. To him, such apparently random signalling could have meant “go faster,” “the trailer just ran over my foot,” “the general is coming,” or just about anything. If he had thought to himself, “maybe he means I should take in more,” and thereupon started reeling in cable fast and furiously, the IM-99A airlift would have chalked up its first fatality. The moral is simply that everybody engaged in the operation should be told beforehand what each signal means and the information checked and double checked before on or offloading ever begins.

These are probably the two major problems: slope of the ramp and positive communication. But when you come right down to it, the others are equally as important; areas like trailer and hoist maintenance, safety training, proper use of protective covers. Too often and too easily these areas can be dismissed with the formula: “Not applicable; this is an Air Force problem.” At the risk of belaboring the obvious, it would seem that difference between getting killed and living to a ripe old age ought, by every rule of common sense, to be everybody’s problem.
Chain Robbins, Safety Engineering Group Supervisor at Boeing, has put it this way: “One of the most unpleasant things about this business is the day you suddenly realize that many of the safety codes the Air Force and Industry have were generated out of tragedy — someone killed, someone mangled for life. You might say one of the objectives of the safety movement, which got under way around 1911, is to generate codes from tests, studies of human reactions, statistical data, near misses, everything we can get, to prevent future tragedies from ever happening.”
   There has never been a tragedy on any Bomarc airlift. Yet.

During his stay in a sanatorium, author Robert Walser wrote several short manuscripts in condensed, microscopic handwriting on whatever was handy: tiny scraps of paper, letters, book covers, receipts, business cards. Walser used the technique as a way to escape writer’s block, like the way an artist doodles for inspiration. These “microscripts” weren’t discovered (and decoded) until after Walser’s death in 1956.During his stay in a sanatorium, author Robert Walser wrote several short manuscripts in condensed, microscopic handwriting on whatever was handy: tiny scraps of paper, letters, book covers, receipts, business cards. Walser used the technique as a way to escape writer’s block, like the way an artist doodles for inspiration. These “microscripts” weren’t discovered (and decoded) until after Walser’s death in 1956.

During his stay in a sanatorium, author Robert Walser wrote several short manuscripts in condensed, microscopic handwriting on whatever was handy: tiny scraps of paper, letters, book covers, receipts, business cards. Walser used the technique as a way to escape writer’s block, like the way an artist doodles for inspiration. These “microscripts” weren’t discovered (and decoded) until after Walser’s death in 1956.

Words David Foster Wallace Circled in his Dictionary

Courtesy the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas-Austin’s Wallace archive.

Ablative absolute

Ablaut

Abulia

Acephalous

ACTH

Adit

Adumbrate

Agrapha

Ailanthus

Aleatory

Alfresco

Algolagnia

Alpestrine

Ament

Anecdotage

Androsterone

Anemone fish

Anneal

Antiphon

Antipode

Apathetic

Apercu

aphagia

Aphotic

Apocarpous

Appoggiatura

Aquavit

Arc-boutant

Archimedean screw

Archine

Arcuate

Argon

Armamentarium

Arrière-ban

Arris

Ascites

Asco-

Aspheric

Astrolabe

Athabasca/Athabaska

Atony

Auscultate

Autolysis

Azygous

BAL

Banderole/banderol

Banquette

Bathyscaph

Benthos

Bespoke

Bialy

Bibulous

Bisque

Bonded warehouse

Bregma

Cachexia

Cachinnate

Cairngorm

Caisson

Calenture

Caliposis

Caparison

Carbinol

Carpophagous

Cartouche/cartouch

Cassis

Catachresis

castellated

Catarrhine

Catastasis

Cecum

Cete

Chalcedony

chatelain

Chatoyant

Chthonic

Citronella

Clastic

Clavate

Climbing irons

Clinometer

Clinquant

Cobnut

Coir

Collective bargaining

Conchoidal

Condonation

Confluence

Contredanse

Corporation

corvée

corvine

coryphaeus

couvad

coxcomb

crasis

cunctation

curettage

deadeye

debouch

decalcomania

decrepitate

deforce

delectation

delft

deliration

delitescence

demotic

demulcent

deracinate

descant

desiderate

desinence

desuetude

diadem

dicast

digitate

dihedral

diopter

dioptometer

dioptric

dioptrics

diriment

dissimulate

distichous

divaricate

domino

double-tongue

durbar

edema

ejecta

Elaine

elan

emulous

entrepôt

enucleate

eparchy

epopee

eruct

eructation

esker

espadrille

espalier

estovers

esurient

etiolate

euhemerism

exergue

facial index

fastigiate

fauces

fazenda

feculent

fibroin

fictile

fiduciary

fisc

flagitious

flense

flitch

fluvial

foamflower

folium

forensic

fornication

fossorial

fourfold

fraktur

fraxinella

fulgurant

gallimaufry

gallinaceous

garniture

gavage

gerent

girasol

glans penis

Glengarry

glycine

gnosis

gnostic

Gnosticism

graminivorous

gravid

guttate

hagiarchy

haik

Havelock

Heliogabalus

hematuria

heterodox

heterogeneous

heteroplasty

horripilation

hyperopia

hyperplasia

hypnagogic

hypocaust

hypocorism

iatric

illation

imbricate

imperforate

inanition

indene

indurate

inextirpable

internecine

intinction

intussuscept

invidious

kakemono

kala-azar

Kallikaks

karabiner

kohl

laciniate

lamia

landau

legatee

leptosome

litotes

logical positivism

longeron

lordosis

lucubrate

lugubrious

luxate

macaronic

mage

Mahabharata

maieutic

mammillate

mansuetude

mantic

mantua

manumit

marcescent

mare clausum

massif

mavourneen

mazurka

meatus

meninx

mercer

meretricious

meristem

mesomorph

metacenter

metagenesis

misericord

misogamy

misology

misoneism

mitzvah

moiré

moke

Molly Maguire

molybdenum

monel metal

monitory

monody

monoplegia

morganatic

motile

mucronate

multipara

mures

murra

nacelle

nappe

narghile

nekton

neroli

névé

nevus

nictitating membrane

niddering

nigrosine

obsequy

ocarina

officinal

omasum

ombudsman

ommatophore

onyx

opalescence

ophidian

ornithosis

orology

orpine

orrery

ort

orthochromatic

orthoepy

orthogonal

oscitancy

Osiris

osmic

osmium

osteophyte

oviform

ovine

paillette

parotitis

parturient

parvenu

peccant

pedalfer

pedicel

pelf

pellicle

penumbra

peplum

pepo

perdition

perfidy

pergola

periodontics

periotic

peripeteia

periphrasis

periphrastic

peripteral

permittivity

pertussis

petroglyph

petrolatum

phlox

photogravure

phylactery

piaffer

pilose

pinchbeck

pinnate

planation

pleach

pleasance

pleonasm

plethoric

plication

plimsoll

plissé

polder

pons asinorum

pons varolii

poplar

portcullis

prebend

preferment

premonition

preterition

pronate

pronephros

proptosis

prosopopeia

puerperal fever

quinate

quondam

raga

ramulose

realgar

rebarbative

rebec

rebus

recrudesce

recruit

rectus

recurvate

recusant

red lead

relaxin

relict

reliction

remarque

replevin

réseau/reseau

rete

revetment

rogation

ruth

salient

saliferous

saprophagous

sarcastic

sarcoptic mange

sassafras

sateen

saturnalia

saturnine

scabrous

scarious

scholium

seborrhea

sedilia

sepsis

serous

shako

shinplaster

sibilate

sibyl

siphonophore

skirl

slime mold

sociometry

socle

Sogdian

soke

solander

sordino

soubrette

spavin

splendent

spline

sprachgefühl

Stabat Mater

stative

stato–

steatopygia

steatorrhea

stipule

stochastic

stoup

strickle

stridulate

suborn

succussion

sudd

sudorific

suint

sumptuary

supernatant

surcingle

sylph

sylphid

symposiarch

syntax

sypher

tabanid

tabes

tabla

taiga

talapoin

talion

tanist

Tantalus

tartuffe

telium

tenesmus

tennis

tepefy

tercel

tertium quid

tetrastichous

thigmotaxis

thymus

timbale

tontine

tr.

trabeated

traduce

traducianism

trepan

trephine

trews

tropophyte

tympanites

Tyr

tyro

urticant

urticate

urushiol

uxorial

uxoricide

uxorious

valgus

vang

varletry

varve

veloce

venule

vernier caliper

versant

versicolor

vinculum

virilism

vitelline

vivandière

viva voce

viviparous

volant

volar

votary

witenagemot

From The Bear Who Wasn’t (1946), a diabolical “children’s book” from the great filmmaker, satirist, and cartoonist Frank Tashlin.From The Bear Who Wasn’t (1946), a diabolical “children’s book” from the great filmmaker, satirist, and cartoonist Frank Tashlin.

From The Bear Who Wasn’t (1946), a diabolical “children’s book” from the great filmmaker, satirist, and cartoonist Frank Tashlin.

Continuing my fascination with the work-spaces of artists, here is the great George Bernard Shaw’s writing hut.Continuing my fascination with the work-spaces of artists, here is the great George Bernard Shaw’s writing hut.

Continuing my fascination with the work-spaces of artists, here is the great George Bernard Shaw’s writing hut.

All strips are supposed to be entertaining, but some strips have a point of view and a serious purpose behind the jokes. When the cartoonist is trying to talk honestly and seriously about life, then I believe he has a responsibility to think beyond satisfying the market’s every whim and desire. Cartoonists who think they can be taken seriously as artists while using the strip’s protagonists to sell boxer shorts are deluding themselves.

"The world of a comic strip is much more fragile than most people realize or will admit. Believable characters are hard to develop and easy to destroy. When a cartoonist licenses his characters, his voice is co-opted by the business concerns of toy makers, television producers, and advertisers. The cartoonist’s job is no longer to be an original thinker; his job is to keep his characters profitable. The characters become ‘celebrities,’ endorsing companies and products, avoiding controversy, and saying whatever someone will pay them to say. At that point, the strip has no soul. With its integrity gone, a strip loses its deeper significance.

"My strip is about private realities, the magic of imagination, and the specialness of certain friendships. Who would believe in the innocence of a little kid and his tiger if they cashed in on their popularity to sell overpriced knickknacks that nobody needs? Who would trust the honesty of the strip’s observations when the characters are hired out as advertising hucksters? If I were to undermine my own characters like this, I would have taken the rare privilege of being paid to express my own ideas and given it up to be an ordinary salesman and a hired illustrator. I would have sold out my own creation. I have no use for that kind of cartooning.

—Bill Watterson, from the essay “Licensing” in his Calvin & Hobbes: Tenth Anniversary Book. This piece, when I first read it as a kid, was hugely influential on the way I look at art and the world.
A 1957 letter from J.D. Salinger, on why Catcher in the Rye shouldn’t be translated to the stage or screen.A 1957 letter from J.D. Salinger, on why Catcher in the Rye shouldn’t be translated to the stage or screen.

A 1957 letter from J.D. Salinger, on why Catcher in the Rye shouldn’t be translated to the stage or screen.

Félix Fénéon’s “Novels in 3 Lines”

French writer Félix Fénéon led a heck of a life: being the first to publish Joyce in French, discovering Seurat, editing Rimbaud, writing journalism for Le Figaro. But his most noteworthy achievement, perhaps, came toward the end of his life, when he wrote a proto-crime blotter for Le Matin, penning terse, grim — and often hilariously sardonic, even poetic — accounts of French crime and death. Many of these reports were collected in the aptly-titled anthology “Novels in Three Lines,” published by the always-essential New York Review of Books Classics line and translated by the great Luc Sante. Fénéon was a master of one of my favorite tricks: saying a lot with a little. Here is but a small selection of some personal favorites:

  • In a café on Rue Fontaine, Vautour, Lenoir, and Atanis exchanged a few bullets regarding their wives, who were not present.
  • "If my candidate loses, I will kill myself," M. Bellavoine, of Fresquienne, Seine-Inférieure, had declared. He killed himself.
  • Scheid, of Dunkirk, fired three times at his wife. Since he missed every shot, he took aim at his mother-in-law, and connected.
  • A certain madwoman arrested downtown falsely claimed to be nurse Elise Bachmann. The latter is perfectly sane.
  • Finding her son, Hyacinthe, 69, hanged, Mme. Ranvier, of Bussy-Saint-Georges, was so depressed she could not cut him down.
  • Leaning on the door, a traveler a tad overweight caused his carriage to topple, in Ménilmontant, and fractured his skull.
  • In Le Brabant, Vosges, M. Amet-Chevrier, 42, and his wife, 39, are as of now the parents of nineteen children.
  • His head injury was not serious, believed Kremer, of Pont-à-Mousson, who continued working for a few hours, then dropped dead.
  • Weighed down with bronzes, with china, with linens and with tapestries, two burglars were arrested, at night, in Bry-sur-Marne.
  • Bonnaut, a locksmith in Montreuil, was chatting on his doorstep when the gangster called Shoe Face struck him twice with a knife.
  • Two gypsies fought over young Colomba, near Belfort. In the fray, one of them, Sloga, shot her dead.
  • A hanged man, there two months, has been found in the Estérel mountains. Fierce birds had completely disfigured him with their beaks.
  • At 20, M. Julien blew his brains out in the toilet of a hotel in Fontainebleau. Love pains.
  • Charles Delièvre, a consumptive potter of Choisy-le-Roi, lit two burners and died amid the flowers he had strewn on his bed.
  • A merchant of Courbevoie, M. Alexis Jamin, who had had enough of his stomach troubles, blew his brains out.
  • V. Petit, of Marizy-Sainte-Geneviève, Aisne, wanted to die happy. He drank two liters of wine and one of spirits and, in fact, died.
  • In Clichy, an elegant young man threw himself under a coach with rubber wheels, then, unscathed, under a truck, which pulverized him.
  • Since childhood Mlle. Mélinette, 16, had harvested artificial flowers from the tombs of Saint-Denis. That’s over; she’s in the workhouse.
  • At the station in Mâcon, Mouroux had his legs severed by an engine. “Look at my feet on the tracks!” he cried, then fainted.
  • Catherine Rosello of Toulon, mother of four, got out of the way of a freight train. She was then run over by a passenger train.
  • Among the Arabs of Douaouda, a couple captured an overzealous suitor and mutilated him, permanently cancelling his virility.
  • Just married, the Boulches of Lambézellec, Finistère, were already so drunk it was necessary to lock them up within the hour.
  • In the vicinity of Noisy-sous-École, M. Louis Delillieau, 70, dropped dead of sunstroke. Quickly his dog Fido ate his head.
  • Before jumping into the Seine, where he died, M. Doucrain had written in his notebook, “Forgive me, Dad. I like you.”
  • Near Brioude, a bear was smothering a child. Some peasants shot the beast and nearly lynched its exhibitor.