John Barleycorn - Jack London - Страница 1 из 238


JOHN BARLEYCORN
by
Jack London (1876-1916)
1913
CHAPTER I
It all came to me one election day. It was on a warm California
afternoon, and I had ridden down into the Valley of the Moon from the
ranch to the little village to vote Yes and No to a host of proposed
amendments to the Constitution of the State of California. Because of
the warmth of the day I had had several drinks before casting my ballot,
and divers drinks after casting it. Then I had ridden up through the
vine-clad hills and rolling pastures of the ranch, and arrived at the
farm-house in time for another drink and supper.
"How did you vote on the suffrage amendment?" Charmian asked.
"I voted for it."
She uttered an exclamation of surprise. For, be it known, in my younger
days, despite my ardent democracy, I had been opposed to woman suffrage.
In my later and more tolerant years I had been unenthusiastic in my
acceptance of it as an inevitable social phenomenon.
"Now just why did you vote for it?" Charmian asked.
I answered. I answered at length. I answered indignantly. The more I
answered, the more indignant I became. (No; I was not drunk. The horse
I had ridden was well named "The Outlaw." I'd like to see any drunken
man ride her.)
And yet--how shall I say?--I was lighted up, I was feeling "good," I was
pleasantly jingled.
"When the women get the ballot, they will vote for prohibition," I said.
"It is the wives, and sisters, and mothers, and they only, who will drive
the nails into the coffin of John Barleycorn----"


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