The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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December 3rd, 2022 · No Comments

“The Bedu were odd people. For an Englishman, sojourning with them was unsatisfactory unless he had patience wide and deep as the sea. They were absolute slaves of their appetite, with no stamina of mind, drunkards for coffee, milk or water, gluttons for stewed meat, shameless beggars of tobacco. They dreamed for weeks before and after their rare sexual exercises, and spent the intervening days titillating themselves and their hearers with bawdy tales. Had the circumstances of their lives given them opportunity they would have been sheer sensualists. Their strength was the strength of men geographically beyond temptation: the poverty of Arabia made them simple, continent, enduring. If forced into civilized life they would have succumbed like any savage race to its diseases, meanness, luxury, cruelty, crooked dealing, artifice; and, like savages, they would have suffered them exaggeratedly for lack of inoculation. If they suspected that we wanted to drive them either they were mulish or they went away. If we comprehended them, and gave time and trouble to make things tempting to them, then they would go to great pains for our pleasure. Whether the results achieved were worth the effort, no man could tell. Englishmen, accustomed to greater returns, would not, and, indeed, could not, have spent the time, thought and tact lavished every day by sheikhs and emirs for such meagre ends. Arab processes were clear, Arab minds moved logically as our own, with nothing radically incomprehensible or different, except the premiss: there was no excuse or reason, except our laziness and ignorance, whereby we could call them inscrutable or Oriental, or leave them misunderstood. They would follow us, if we endured with them, and played the game according to their rules. The pity was, that we often began to do so, and broke down with exasperation and threw them over, blaming them for what was a fault in our own selves. Such strictures like a general’s complaint of bad troops, were in reality a confession of our faulty foresight, often made falsely out of mock modesty to show that, though mistaken, we had at least the wit to know our fault.” – T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

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December 2nd, 2022 · No Comments

“Shepherds were a class apart. For the ordinary Arab the hearth was a university, about which their world passed and where they heard the best talk, the news of their tribe, its poems, histories, love tales, lawsuits and bargainings. By such constant sharing in the hearth councils they grew up masters of expression, dialecticians, orators, able to sit with dignity in any gathering and never at a loss for moving words. The shepherds missed the whole of this. From infancy they followed their calling, which took them in all seasons and weathers, day and night, into the hills and condemned them to loneliness and brute company. In the wilderness, among the dry bones of nature, they grew up natural, knowing nothing of man and his affairs; hardly sane in ordinary talk; but very wise in plants, wild animals, and the habits of their own goats and sheep, whose milk was their chief sustenance. With manhood they became sullen, while a few turned dangerously savage, more animal than man, haunting the flocks, and finding the satisfaction of their adult appetites in them, to the exclusion of more licit affections.” – T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

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December 1st, 2022 · No Comments

“Nine-tenths of tactics were certain enough to be teachable in schools; but the irrational tenth was like the kingfisher flashing across the pool, and in it lay the test of generals. It could be ensued only by instinct (sharpened by thought practising the stroke) until at the crisis it came naturally, a reflex.” – T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

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November 30th, 2022 · No Comments

“War upon rebellion was messy and slow, like eating soup with a knife.” – T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

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November 29th, 2022 · No Comments

“At last we camped, and when the camels were unloaded and driven out to pasture, I lay down under the rocks and rested. My body was very sore with headache and high fever, the accompaniments of a sharp attack of dysentery which had troubled me along the march and had laid me out twice that day in short fainting fits, when the more difficult parts of the climb had asked too much of my strength. Dysentery of this Arabian coast sort used to fall like a hammer blow, and crush its victims for a few hours, after which the extreme effects passed off; but it left men curiously tired, and subject for some weeks to sudden breaks of nerve. My followers had been quarrelling all day; and while I was lying near the rocks a shot was fired. I paid no attention; for there were hares and birds in the valley; but a little later Suleiman roused me and made me follow him across the valley to an opposite bay in the rocks, where one of the Ageyl, a Boreida man, was lying stone dead with a bullet through his temples. The shot must have been fired from close by; because the skin was burnt about one wound. The remaining Ageyl were running frantically about; and when I asked what it was Ali, their head man, said that Hamed the Moor had done the murder. I suspected Suleiman, because of the feud between the Atban and Ageyl which had burned up in Yenbo and Wejh; but Ali assured me that Suleiman had been with him three hundred yards further up the valley gathering sticks when the shot was fired. I sent all out to search for Hamed, and crawled back to the baggage, feeling that it need not have happened this day of all days when I was in pain. As I lay there I heard a rustle, and opened my eyes slowly upon Hamed’s back as he stooped over his saddle-bags, which lay just beyond my rock. I covered him with a pistol and then spoke. He had put down his rifle to lift the gear; and was at my mercy till the others came. We held a court at once; and after a while Hamed confessed that, he and Salem having had words, he had seen red and shot him suddenly. Our inquiry ended. The Ageyl, as relatives of the dead man, demanded blood for blood. The others supported them; and I tried vainly to talk the gentle Ali round. My head was aching with fever and I could not think; but hardly even in health, with all eloquence, could I have begged Hamed off; for Salem had been a friendly fellow and his sudden murder a wanton crime. Then rose up the horror which would make civilized man shun justice like a plague if he had not the needy to serve him as hangmen for wages. There were other Moroccans in our army; and to let the Ageyl kill one in feud meant reprisals by which our unity would have been endangered. It must be a formal execution, and at last, desperately, I told Hamed that he must die for punishment, and laid the burden of his killing on myself. Perhaps they would count me not qualified for feud. At least no revenge could lie against my followers; for I was a stranger and kinless. I made him enter a narrow gully of the spur, a dank twilight place overgrown with weeds. Its sandy bed had been pitted by trickles of water down the cliffs in the late rain. At the end it shrank to a crack a few inches wide. The walls were vertical. I stood in the entrance and gave him a few moments’ delay which he spent crying on the ground. Then I made him rise and shot him through the chest. He fell down on the weeds shrieking, with the blood coming out in spurts over his clothes, and jerked about till he rolled nearly to where I was. I fired again, but was shaking so that I only broke his wrist. He went on calling out, less loudly, now lying on his back with his feet towards me, and I leant forward and shot him for the last time in the thick of his neck under the jaw. His body shivered a little, and I called the Ageyl, who buried him in the gully where he was. Afterwards the wakeful night dragged over me, till, hours before dawn, I had the men up and made them load, in my longing to be set free of Wadi Kitan. They had to lift me into the saddle.” – T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

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November 28th, 2022 · No Comments

“It is blood that makes the cash grow green.” – Justin King, “Let’s talk about new defense spending on Ukraine”

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November 27th, 2022 · No Comments

“Even in situations of poetry the French remained incorrigible prose-writers, seeing by the directly-thrown light of reason and understanding, not through the half-closed eye, mistily, by things’ essential radiance.” – T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

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November 26th, 2022 · No Comments

“Your good and my good, perhaps they are different, and either forced good or forced evil will make a people cry with pain. Does the ore admire the flame which transforms it?” – T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

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November 25th, 2022 · No Comments

“Men have looked upon the desert as barren land, the free holding of whoever chose; but in fact each hill and valley in it had a man who was its acknowledged owner and would quickly assert the right of his family or clan to it, against aggression. Even the wells and trees had their masters, who allowed men to make firewood of the one and drink of the other freely, as much as was required for their need, but who would instantly check anyone trying to turn the property to account and to exploit it or its products among others for private benefit. The desert was held in a crazed communism by which Nature and the elements were for the free use of every known friendly person for his own purposes and no more. Logical outcomes were the reduction of this licence to privilege by the men of the desert, and their hardness to strangers unprovided with introduction or guarantee, since the common security lay in the common responsibility of kinsmen.” – T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

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November 24th, 2022 · No Comments

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.” – T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

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November 23rd, 2022 · No Comments

“When we achieved and the new world dawned, the old men came out again and took our victory to re-make in the likeness of the former world they knew. Youth could win, but had not learned to keep: and was pitiably weak against age. We stammered that we had worked for a new heaven and a new earth, and they thanked us kindly and made their peace.” – T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

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November 22nd, 2022 · No Comments

“Even simple farmers are capturing Russian soldiers every day, and all of them say the same thing: They don’t know why they are here. These are not warriors of a superpower. These are confused children who have been used. Take them home.” – Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, March 3, 2022

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November 21st, 2022 · No Comments

“Men with small money will still impress each other over beer, men with medium money will find ways to barter, and men with large money will slice this country like cake if they get sad enough, bored enough.” – Eloghosa Osunde, “Good Boy”

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November 20th, 2022 · No Comments

“You, reading this, you’re here, alive, because your parents synced and you showed up. That’s it. Even if they planned for a child, it was still a raffle draw. A hand went in a bowl and picked you. The tree shook and a fruit fell down. If it pains you to read, then cry. It’s deeper for your mum because she probably pushed so hard her body gasped, only for your ungrateful head to come out of it.” – Eloghosa Osunde, “Good Boy”

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November 19th, 2022 · No Comments

“I’m not the kind of guy who believes in hell, or in a god who imagines a lake of fire. I just can’t see it—you have a mind that’s wider than the sky and that is what you use it to picture? To me, that sounds too petty, too human, too undivine to be real. People sell all kinds of gods all the time. I know the One that moves me and it’s not the one I was raised on. To me, you can’t say you’re love, choose to roast people for eternity, and then pretend it breaks your heart. Pick a side.” – Eloghosa Osunde, “Good Boy”

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November 18th, 2022 · No Comments

“The most dangerous thing in the world is a second lieutenant with a compass.” – Justin King, “Let’s talk about a BBC analysis of Russian personnel”

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November 17th, 2022 · No Comments

“It is evident that there is considerable operator bias introduced in designing fuzzy networks. This may not be satisfactory for complex problems where the actual relationships are not understood to begin with.” – H. K. D. H. Bhadeshia, “Neural Networks in Materials Science”

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November 16th, 2022 · No Comments

“Sir Steward, the Bailiff, Robert by name, who is here, complaineth of William of the street, who is there, that against the peace of the lord, he sent Thomas, his son, on such a day, at such an hour, in the year that now is, over the wall newly built and erected, and commanded him to carry off of every manner of fruit at his will, and when the bailiff heard the fruit being knocked down, he marvelled who this could be, and at once entered the lord’s garden, and found the boy right high on a costard tree, which he had cultivated for the lord’s use, because of its goodness; he made him come down, and attached him without doing any villany, and debonairely asked him by whose commandment and whose sending he entered the lord’s garden over walls well closed on all sides, and the boy answered and said, that William, his father, who is present there, bade him enter the garden, and urged him on to the tree with the best fruit.” – John Marshall Gest, quoting from Vol. IV of the Selden Society, in The Lawyer in Literature

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November 15th, 2022 · No Comments

“There be three kinds of unhappy men: He that hath knowledge and teacheth not ; He that teacheth and liveth not thereafter; He that knoweth not and doth not enquire to understand.” – Sir Edward Coke, Commentary on Littleton

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November 14th, 2022 · No Comments

“A right cannot die: trodden down it may be, but never trodden out.” – Sir Edward Coke, Commentary on Littleton

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November 13th, 2022 · No Comments

“Hope is the dream of a waking man.” – Sir Edward Coke, Institutes of the laws of England

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November 12th, 2022 · No Comments

“There is no greater injustice than when under colour of justice injury is done.” – Sir Edward Coke, Institutes of the laws of England

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November 11th, 2022 · No Comments

“There is no knowledge (seemeth it at the first of never so little moment) but it will stand the diligent student in stead at one time or other.” – Sir Edward Coke, Commentary on Littleton

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November 10th, 2022 · No Comments

“Pedantry is a useless display of learning, or perhaps a display of useless learning—at any rate, the term involves the double idea of display or affectation and uselessness.” – John Marshall Gest, The Lawyer in Literature

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November 9th, 2022 · No Comments

“Now, if a man wants to have his estate properly settled, it is absolutely necessary for him to die. It is not enough for him to disappear, no matter for how long, if he neglects this simple preliminary. When he comes back unexpectedly, and makes himself generally disagreeable, his return to the scene of his former activities will disarrange the most careful administration, and even if his supposed death was mourned, his reappearance will be even more sincerely lamented.” – John Marshall Gest, The Lawyer in Literature

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November 8th, 2022 · No Comments

“That every man must work out his own damnation, is not merely a profound theological dogma and a practical rule of life, but also a fundamental canon of literary art.” – John Marshall Gest, The Lawyer in Literature

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November 7th, 2022 · No Comments

“Search for downed plane conducted 16 through 20 Nov 50: Patrol attempted to get to area of crash on 16 & 17 Nov without success due to impassable terrain i.e. cliffs, dense timber, no trails etc. . . . On 18 Nov 1st Lt. Perry W. Wales, Co C, 31st Inf, patrol leader, and 9 men started out on different route with rations for two days. They went by vehicle to point A, dismounted and proceeded on by foot. . . . At point C they saw 8 men, 6 women and some children. One civilian had a leg wound. Civilians stated that they had heard of a plane crash to the west. . . . When the patrol reached point E two men had a slight case of frost bitten feet. The patrol leader . . . sent the two men with bad feet plus two others back . . . . When the 4 men arrived at point C they stopped in a house to eat their rations. As they were eating one man, who was on watch at the door, saw an armed civilian approaching. The guard reached for his rifle and the civilian jumped into a ditch. A few shots were traded with no casualties. After this incident . . . . all four started back for point F. While passing point X the 4 men were involved in a short firefight with two guerrillas. They felt they had wounded one due to stains in the snow. The guerrillas then fled. . . . the four men caught up with the patrol. The patrol leader selected a high, inaccessible knoll as a bivouac for the night. . . . The night was uneventful. From point D to G there were no trails whatever. The patrol had to rely entirely on the compass. At no point could the patrol get into position to compare the lay of the land with the map due to the dense timber and undergrowth. At 201130 Nov the patrol reached the scene of the crash. . . . The pilot’s body had been placed in a cellar and covered with brush by the local civilians. The pilot’s body was completely nude and the patrol leader stated that he believed that his clothes had been blown off during the explosion when the plane crashed. . . . The area, covered with 6 inches of snow, was thoroughly searched for documents, dog tags, wallet or a watch. Nothing could be found. The civilians were thoroughly questioned and they stated they had taken nothing from the plane or the pilot’s body. . . . The patrol then had the civilians construct a litter. Five civilians carried the body about one mile where the patrol commandeered an ox and sled. The body was then transported on the sled to point I where the patrol met the 3rd Bn Commander and party. From this point the body was transported via jeep . . . . The patrol then marched on to I Co positions . . . and spent the night with the company. . . . Upon reaching a ration supply all men ate at least a double meal or more before they were satisfied. . . . It was estimated the men had walked over 50 miles through the roughest terrain in Korea. At times it was necessary for the patrol to slide down steep snow covered slopes or to crawl under or climb over acres of fallen timber. As a climax, while crossing the ice on a frozen river the patrol saw a Korean woman with a baby on her back break through the ice. The water was rather shallow and only covered her just above the waist, but she was unable to crawl out herself. The patrol leader and his assistant shed their packs, worked their way out and saved the woman and her child.” – 1st Lt. Perry W. Wales, “Special Patrol Report, 24 Nov 50, 31st RCT War Diary”

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November 6th, 2022 · No Comments

“At Singpung-ni civilians reported 2 battalions of NKPA passed through there about one month ago. One half of them were wounded and all that could not walk they shot. They had 100 trucks and one American car. Trucks were loaded with rice, clothing, typewriters, papers and canned food carried from Seoul. . . . 200 Russian soldiers with their families lived there until after the fall of Seoul when they withdrew. Civilians were friendly to the patrol. . . . civilians were holding 25 NK prisoners in a large concrete building. . . . Civilians reported at Bokae-ri, vicinity Tong Sang-Myun mixed groups of NKPA, CCF and NK agents raided this village morning 13 November 1950. They were 20 to 30 in the group and they killed all male personnel (about 40) claiming they were deserters or rightists. They took food and clothing in their raid.” – Captain Byron W. Bonham, Jr., “31st RCT War Diary, 14 Nov 50”

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November 5th, 2022 · No Comments

“Chinese Communist and North Korean forces left Yongdong-ni two nights ago by railroad N to lake ferry. . . . Chinese Communist forces took all civ workers with them when they left town. The civ did not want to fight. One hundred workers were shot two (2) days ago because they refused to fight. Ten more were shot later.” – “RCT 31 Unit Report, 12 Nov 50”

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November 4th, 2022 · No Comments

“The people on this area are in dire need of clothing, this however, seems to be predominant in all of North Korea. There also appears to be a short supply of salt. The food situation is satisfactory. The diet consists primarily of barley and potatoes of which there is a sufficient quantity to last until next April or May. . . . The Regiment was informed that when the North Korean forces occupied this area they issued orders that the physicians, four Chinese doctors, would discontinue their practices except where NK troops were concerned. . . . The civilian attitude is basically unchanged. They appreciate the fact that they are not being mistreated and that the UN forces do not require a tax in the form of food stuffs.” – Major Carl G. Witte, S-2 and Civil Affairs Officer, 31st Regimental Combat Team, November 17, 1950, “Civil Affairs Weekly Activities Report”

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