Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Kettle of Fish


The phrase "a kettle of fish," meaning an awkward entanglement, most probably has no connection with our word kettle, a vessel in which water is boiled. It has been with much reason derived from the word "kiddle," French "quidel," a stake fence set in a stream for catching fish. Inspector Walpole reminds us that this kidellus net, or kiddle, was mentioned in Magna Charta and in other early statutes. — London Standard.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Man Attacked By Big Snake, Attacks Back

Lamoni, Iowa

Mr. C. F. Smith had an exciting experience with a snake Saturday. Driving through his feed lot he suddenly discovered a large snake chasing him with head erect, evidently greatly angered and bent on mischief. Mr. Smith continued to drive for about 200 yards while he plied the buggy whip vigorously on his snakeship. By that time the reptile was somewhat stunned and Mr. Smith alighted from his buggy thinking to complete killing it.

But in quieting his horses the lines broke and these had to first be repaired temporarily. Then he completed the killing of the snake which is thought by some to be a bull snake but is more likely a blowing viper and which measures 5 feet 8½ inches in length and 5-5/8 in circumference at the largest part of the body. Mr. Smith brought it to town and David Thomas has it bottled in alcohol. We are inclined to believe that the buggy must have disturbed his snakeship in some way which caused the manifestation of anger and the disposition to fight.

At any rate the experience is remarkable for this section and shows the presence of larger snakes than we supposed were lurking around here. — Lamoni Patriot.

This article is from an old scrapbook from the Leon, Iowa area. The entire scrapbook is online at this link, and this article is on page 57.

Alldrede is Defeated

Jas. H. Alldredge of Leon was defeated by "Doc" Fillmore of Rockford, Illinois, at the Mirror Theatre in Des Moines, Friday night of last week. The Des Moines Daily Capital has the following to say of the match:

"Doc" Fillmore of Rockford, Ill. conquered the Iowa wonder last night in a wrestling match. The match was to have gone to the winner of the three out of five falls, but Aldredge after the second fall, which he won, became sick and after going one more bout which Fillmore won, threw up the sponge.

The first bout lasted eighteen minutes and was nearly all play, neither man doing much but watch the other. Fillmore took the aggressive throughout the entire match and won the first bout by breaking the Iowan's head bridge and forced his shoulders to the floor.

The second bout was not quite so long, but there was more action in it. Alldredge won this bout in five minutes on a half Nelson. After this second bout was when Alldredge began to show signs of weaking though the man was in no condition to go into this match in the first place. He was fat and his lungs were in a poor condition on account of a bad cold. The third bout was easily Fillmore's; in two minutes it was over and the announcement was made that Alldredge would give the match to Fillmore as he was unable to do any more.

The audience did not seem to like this turn of affairs and made the fact immediately known, therefore it was up to some one to square it with them. Alldredge immediately came to the front of the stage and said: "Gentlemen, I am in no condition to go any farther in this match, so I must be excused. I have done no training for the past month and was totally unprepared for this match, but I am willing to meet Mr. Fillmore in four weeks from today at any place he may choose and I feel confident that the match will run to its full limit and I will give him all he is looking for. I thank you for the support you have given me this evening and hope to be able to arrange a match with Mr. Fillmore for some time next month."

"Doc" Fillmore then came forward and gave his challenge to any man his weight in the world, bar no one, for any amount forfeit they name. In reply to some remark made in the audience he said: "Mr. Alldredge is a good man. In fact he is much better than I thought he would be, but I knew he was not in the proper condition when he first stepped on the mat. There are now two challenges waiting for me in this city and the first man to put up his forfeit money will be the first to get a match. I will take on any wrestler my weight, bar none. Burns, McLeod, Jenkins or any other wrestler, I do not care how good he is. I am very sorry this match could not go the limit, but if my opponent cannot stand any more I am willing to let it go at that."

Item from Leon, Iowa, scrapbook, page 56, found at this link.

Friday, October 5, 2007

A Few Words About Rhubarb

It is safe to assert that no plant grows which is more universally sought for in its season than rhubarb, or pie-plant as some like to call it. Its properties are highly medicinal; the acid being of that kind which the system needs and craves just as soon as Spring opens. This craving takes possession of us at that season, with the regularity and persistence of the bluebird's note at that time, and it remains with us as long as there is a salable stalk in the market. It is almost the first garden product to which the gardener gives his undivided attention, as it is almost the first which lifts its hardy head to woo the sunshine.

A rhubarb plant is a very handy thing to have in a garden, as once it is well started, it will yield an abundant supply at an expenditure of very little care. The soil should be rich to begin with, and each year the root should be dug around, and kept well watered.

When purchasing rhubarb at the market always seek those stalks which have a red tinge at the roots; they are as much superior to the small, greenish ones as a rosy cheeked apple is to an unripe one.

In preparing rhubarb for use, the skin should not be removed, as many suppose, for in this is the best flavor of the plant. Cut the stalks into inch pieces with a sharp knife, and pour boiling water over them. This extracts much of the extreme acid, and consequently calls for less sugar.