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   O'CONNOR, FRANK,  Bones of Contention and other stories.

London: Macmillan, 1936. 1st edition. A unique presentation copy for James Plunkett (Kelly), author of 'Strumpet City' and his wife Valerie - signed by both authors. Cr8vo, cloth, 274,iv pages. Covers faded and stained, with wear at spine ends and tips of corners; some stains on endpapers and occasionally in the text; worm trace at top of back hinges. (Price in EURO = 150.00)
Price: 165.00 USD
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From 'Lofty' in Frank O'Connor's Bones of Contention and other stories:

Before the civil war broke out he wavered... For months it was uncertain which way he would jump, but on the day fighting broke out, Lofty drove off in his brand-new car, wearing a bandolier and Sam Browne belt and a sombrero pinned up at one side by a tri-coloured rosette. He had turned up the two ends of his moustache at right angles. In the back of the car sat Paddy Donovan and Jim Roche, two of the plumbers, with Service rifles between their knees.

He refused to be associated with the irregulars. 'Lead me into a trap, those fellows would,' he declared. They have no real military experience.' So he went to a retreat of his own in the Wicklow mountains, twenty miles from anywhere, commandeered a house and set up his general headquarters.

The first thing General Flanagan did was to examine the beds. He groaned; a heart-rending groan that chilled the blood of his raw troops. Next day he dispatched a lorry to the city to bring back a new spring bed and mattress for himself. On the third day he daid he was going clean mad. 'Cabbage! Cabbage! Cabbage!' he shrieked. 'Is it any wonder the Irish people are split like Moses' rock? People with minds that never rise above salt meat and cabbage! Merciful God, what sort of misfortunate bloody race are we at all?'

Eventually he had to send back the lorry to bring out his cook and a comfortable armchair. 'There isn't a chair fit to sit on in this confounded house... No wonder we Irish are the world's laughing-stock... And listen, my dear good fellow, as you're about it call into McFadden's and bring out a couple of bottles of their best sherry.'

The people of the house were so overawed that they went to the home of a relative to eat their meals in peace, but it turned out later that they thought he was the Kaiser.

Then for two or three weeks he had nothing to complain of. Every day he went out on the hill, his sombrero cocked on one side of his head, and with a powerful pair of field-glasses surveyed the country round. 'Movement of some sort to the west,' he would announce with bloodless calm whenever a herd of cattle raised a dust on the distant highways.

© Macmillan & Co. 1936

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