On June 27, the Union and American published a "Note from Sut Lovingood" in which Sut claims no further ability to enlighten his Teutonic correspondent, for he is only a "nateral-born durned
but can't now nor never could," while another warns those standing near the target, "for I'll be dod durned
if Broadcloth don't give some of you the dry gripes if you stand too close thare" [244-45]), Hall fires blindly and immediately begins saving face through self-deprecation.
Changing "My name is Chuck" to "I call myself Chuck," or "It is raining" to something like "I perceive rain falling here and at this time" can look and sound a little silly, About the only using "is" part of the time for purposes other than for identification and predication purposes makes the habit just too durned
hard to break.
We lost a jet, and we were durned
lucky we didn't lose the pilot or some of the good folks up there on the flight deck.
Where Ratliff watches Ash and sees "a durned
old frizzle-headed ape" and believes he could "almost see his mind working" (77, 78) to evade answering him, we see upon rereading the story a crafty black man with no legal means of redress for insult or injury, using his knowledge both of Luke Provine and of the local Indians to avenge himself, and then we see him offer an explanation.