Zulu, Watch the Snakes

Spring came very late that year (though well and truly in the end), and beyond the fields and the men working in the fields you could see Laredo or Dallas, diminishing and dancing in the sun. I have put down that sentence for reasons of my own--to remind myself that I was once attentive to popular literary accents and prepared to rearrange them for purposes of my own. It has, however, almost nothing to do with anything that is to follow and I suggest you forget it.

Anyway, on the afternoon I want to write about, my eighteen-year-old sister Zulu and I were lying out behind one of the barns, watching the copperheads stirring back to life in the hot sun, and talking just a little out of our depth, as I suppose children always will.

"You noticed anything in particular about the writing that's been going on this year?" she asked.

"No," I said. "I don't read much."

At the moment, Zulu is in her final year at Lawrenceville. First, she was in Perry Ross House, where most of the Laredo girls go; then she spent two years at Woodhull; and now she's a director of Upper, which is pretty good if you're a Texas girl in a big Eastern school. She is editor of the Lawrence; president of Periwig; and last spring she got a minor "L" in Track. Anyone from Laredo can tell

-71-

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More in Sorrow
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents xi
  • Parodies Regained 1
  • Time . . . Fortune . . . Life . . . Luce 3
  • Death in the Rumble Seat 20
  • Topless in Ilium 24
  • The Factory and the Attic 27
  • Glorious Calvin (a Critical Appreciation Many Years Later) 33
  • Shad Ampersand 37
  • The Education of Henry Apley 47
  • Eva's Deathbed Revisited 51
  • Shakespeare, Here's Your Hat 56
  • To a Little Girl at Christmas 62
  • On a Darkling Plain 66
  • Zulu, Watch the Snakes 71
  • Some Matters of Fact 77
  • Big Nemo 79
  • Lady of the Cats 126
  • St. George and the Dragnet 140
  • One with Nineveh 162
  • Battle's Distant Sound 174
  • Robert Benchley: in Memoriam 180
  • So-So Stories 185
  • Outwitting the Lightning 187
  • Ring Out, Wild Bells 191
  • The Secret Life of Myself 196
  • Song at Twilight 202
  • Crusoe's Footprint 211
  • The Courtship of Milton Barker 223
  • The Curious Incident of the Dogs In the Night-Time 246
  • The Crusaders 257
  • Wounds and Decorations 265
  • The Country of the Blind 267
  • O.K., Zanuck, Take It Away 275
  • The Big Boffola 285
  • The Personality Kid 291
  • Adultery Makes Dull Bedfellows 294
  • The Mantle of Comstock 297
  • Two Very Sad Young Men 301
  • At Home with the Gants 304
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