Posts tagged ‘league of old men’

Book Review: The League of the Old Men by Jack London

Jack LondonYears ago, I delayed watching the movie, Schindler’s List, because of the subject matter–yet another recounting of The Holocaust. After I saw it, I was disappointed that I had waited. It was an excellent movie and left me inspired and not depressed.  I looked forward to another treatment of the plight of the Indians in North America with the same lack of enthusiasm.

A factor that made this different was that my wife and I had combined our creative talents (mostly hers) to create a group she named, “The League of Old Men.” The title sounded familiar so I looked it up and found this book with a similar but not exactly the same title. Turned out to be a short story of only twenty-

My impression of what the old man, "Imber," may have looked like.

My impression of what the old man, “Imber,” may have looked like.

three pages. I read it aloud to her today.

London addressed a terrible loss of life amongst both Indian and the White man with a casual, unemotional review of the

numbers and few specific incidents. At the same time, readers are drawn into the profoundly emotional story of the old man who created his own holocaust as he and his comrades delivered death to the invaders without remorse or prejudice. In the end, the judge carries out his own duties as proscribed by law and his broken heart represents the conflicted emotions of the conquerors of the new world.

Readers who have any interest in American History will discover their personal libraries incomplete without this humble volume of significant consequence.

Driving in a trance

The Eight Sentences:(Well, nine, I rarely go over the limit. Maybe the moderators will be tolerant.)

“It’s a somnambulistic trance,” blurted Barger.

Dryden spoke up, “Where did that come from? First you reported  the sheriff getting murdered and then all of a sudden you hit us with one of your big-ass words.”

“Well it isn’t that big of a word. I’ve heard of it,” said White.Sleep Walking

“And the sheriff didn’t get murdered anyway. It was the police chief and Barger said he bought it in a shootout,” said Scully.

Dryden replied, “It sure as hell sounded like one of his Tourette moments to me.”

Barger was ready to rejoin the fray, “You’re both correct. It was one of my moments but it wasn’t something out of Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary. A somnambulistic trance is like when you’re driving down the freeway in complete control of your vehicle and aware of everything around you, but your thoughts are elsewhere–didn’t you ever drive right past your exit that you’ve taken for years?”


The Setup:

From Chapter Twenty-two my my current serial novel, A Year Without Killing. In this scene, members of the League of Old Men are talking. Hawk Barger’s “condition” has just shown itself. This was introduced in a previous chapter and snippet. He suffers from acquired savant syndrome and often comes out with unusual words at the most inopportune times. In this case, I wrote this scene to immediately follow a scene at the end of the previous chapter in which Star Braun experiences the trance to which Barger makes reference.

NOTE: Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary will be the subject of a future blog.


Share your own EIGHT with us!

oin us here at Weekend Writing Warriors.The  same link will take you to the work of dozens of talented writers. For a treat, please check out their work, too.

Many of the contributors to Weekend Writing Warriors alsoSundaySnip

The internet brings hope

The Eight Sentences:

Image credit:

Jackson White spoke up and said with the confidence of a university professor in defense of his thesis, “In addition to social media, email, and driving directions, the internet is a powerful venue for human interaction. By  connecting with others, we discover that we aren’t alone, we aren’t broken or isolated. There is hope.”

“Well fuck you, too,” Barger said.

Scully was a bit more tolerant, but not much, “That sounds like something right outta the Reader’s Digest Journal of Popular Science.”

White replied, “It is, in fact, from an article I read in Reader’s Digest. I of course paraphrased it. Far be it from me to be guilty of plagiarism.”


The Back Story:

Several members of the League of Old Men are traveling together to their next mission.

They are discussing one aspect of the mission.


Open call for writers:

Join us here at Weekend Writing Warriors.
The  same link will take you to the work of
dozens of talented writers.
For a treat, please check out their work, too.
Here’s the Facebook link for the Sunday Snippett group.

The League of Old Men

As far as I was concerned, it had always been an urban legend.
The League Of Old Men was as real to me as a twenty-first century Illuminati.
You may have heard the legends, rumors, and stories yourself.
Events that at first seem unrelated and overnight are connected by wingnut conspiracy theorists.
Deals, deaths, and deniable dilemmas that mark the repetition of history through the decades.
The romantic stories of great loyalty, unshakeable devotion, and a will that would make that of G. Gordon Liddy pale by comparison.
Former Hell’s Angels with a desire to preserve their culture.
Viet Nam veterans obsessed with a sense of justice usually reserved for vigilantes.
Maverick cops and detectives determined to execute appropriate sentences — with or without a judge and jury.
Were the rumors of disbarred lawyers true? Was there the connection between LOOM and congress?
Many of their deeds have attracted worldwide attention while others are known only to their victims.
Membership is estimated in the thousands, but none will claim to be card-carriers.
Their financial acumen rivals that of the Templar Knights (inventors of banking, loans, and interest).
My lack of regard for their existence was shaken recently when I walked into what appeared to be an abandoned National Guard Armory. The sidewalk leading up to the street was broken and uneven. Grass and tall weeds made homes of the cracks. Poison ivy grew up the side of an exterior wall, rooted somewhere between a window and the brick veneer wall.
But the interior was another story.
The floors were worn but clean. It was clear that the kitchen and dining area had been used recently and frequently. A mahogany bar hosted a row of bar stools from another era. The back counter was stocked with bourbon and scotch.
The American flag stood proudly with an eagle decoration atop the wooden staff.
Was it an American Legion Hall or a VFW meeting place?
Could have been.
But it wasn’t.
A short hallway lined with newspaper clippings of several wars connected the bar with a large meeting room.
A step into the room is a step into another dimension, another time zone.
There was a “presence” in that room. Was it the ghosts of long forgotten soldiers?
My skin was already alive with goosebumps when I noticed the chairs.
Dozens of wooden chairs. Straight back. Curved slat seats. The kind we had in Sunday school class in the sixties.
The chairs remained in their natural wood tones and shined with repeated layers of varnish and polish. The initials were not hidden.
Before the first coat of varnish, each chair had been labeled with stencil and black paint, “L.O.O.M.”
Now every story, every rumour, and every denial must be investigated.
Who makes up the League Of Old Men, and what are they up too in the twenty-first century?


Article Copyright ©2014 by FCEtier. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and link backs to this story may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Violators will be prosecuted to the extent that the law allows. The League Of Old Men is a fictional organization and any resemblance of the organization or it’s members to anyone living or dead is entirely coincidental.

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