Sunday, April 6, 2014

the last book I ever read (Gore Vidal's Burr, excerpt fourteen)

from Burr: A Novel by Gore Vidal:

From Frankfort I rode through green jungle to Nashville in Tennessee, arriving May 29. I sent a message to Major-General Andrew Jackson of the Tennessee militia, asking if I might call on him. I then went to sleep in the best room of the new Nashville Inn. An hour later I was awakened by a crowd which had gathered outside my boarding-house. I showed myself, and was duly cheered. They rather liked the idea that I had killed Alexander Hamilton. They also knew that I had worked hard to admit their state to the union. Finally, they hated Spain and, like the Kentuckians, the Tennesseans were as greedy for loot as any Roman.

The next morning I was awakened at dawn by a great shouting below my window. I looked out and there was himself, General Jackson on a tall horse, swearing at a slave who had provoked his terrible temper.

When Jackson saw me at the window, he took off his hat, waved it around his head and bellowed, “By the Eternal, this is the greatest moment in the history of Tennessee! Now damnit, Colonel, get dressed and come on down and we’ll have breakfast at my house.” I did as I was instructed.

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