Posted by panch from ? (220.127.116.11) on Tuesday, May 14, 2002 at 9:54AM :
Those were the two famous fueding families Twain parodied in Huck Finn.
In Twain's day, when he was an editor and crack shot in Nevada City during the Silver Rush...people settled disputes the old fashioned way...they scalped each other, or tried to.
There is an argument to be made that when every gentleman wore a sword, we had far more civil behavior. You knew your honor was only as good as your sword arm, pistol, or luck. No one sued anyone, or "changed" their mind without contemplating their mortality.
In those days if I had a dispute with a woman, of course no woman would behave in such ways and most still don't...I would simply wait for her to appoint a champion to defend her honor, what there was of it worth defending.
I'd wait, and wait...and wait some more. If someone could be found...we would try to stab or shoot each other to prove who was right. It isn't that different now, the idea still being to bleed each other to death or as near to it as needed to settle questions of honor...before the wrong kind of Bar.
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