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John's Yeoman like contribution to list and the fractious Sinclairs must be

A scorpion asked a frog to transport it across a river.  The frog replied
"No you will bite me and I will drown"

The scorpion said "That, dear frog, would not be in my interest. I also

The frog thought a moment and then agreed to transport the frog. One
half way across the water the scorpion bit the frog.  As both were drowning
the frog asked "Why?"

"It is my nature to bit." replied the scorpion.

Asking a Sinclair not to argue is like asking a scorpion not to bite

"Though trees turn bare and girls turn wives,
We shall afford our costly seasons;
There is a gentleness survives
That will outspeak and has its reasons.
There is a loveliness exists,
Preserves us, not for specialists."

from April Inventory  by W. D. Snodgrass

20 December 1803 the Louisiana Purchase was formally transferred from France
to US for $15M. The Louisiana Purchase effectively doubled the size of the
then existing United.States of America. With 827,987 square miles in the
deal, that is about 18 US dollars for each 640 acres under 3 cents/acre.

On 20 December1892 the fictitious Phileas Fogg completed his around world
trip in 80 days so says Jules Verne

"Ainsi donc Phileas Fogg avait gagné son pari. Il avait accompli en
quatre-vingts jours ce voyage autour du monde ! Il avait employé pour ce
faire tous les moyens de transport, paquebots, railways, voitures, yachts,
bâtiments de commerce, traîneaux, éléphant. L'excentrique gentleman avait
déployé dans cette affaire ses merveilleuses qualités de sang-froid et
d'exactitude. Mais après ? Qu'avait-il gagné à ce déplacement ? Qu'avait-il
rapporté de ce voyage ?

Rien, dira-t-on ? Rien, soit, si ce n'est une charmante femme, qui --
quelque invraisemblable que cela puisse paraître -- le rendit le plus
heureux des hommes !

En vérité, ne ferait-on pas, pour moins que cela, le Tour du Monde ?"

(Phileas Fogg had won his wager, and had made his journey around the world
in eighty days. To do this he had employed every means of
conveyance-steamers, railways, carriages, yachts, trading-vessels, sledges,
elephants. The eccentric gentleman had throughout displayed all his
marvellous qualities of coolness and exactitude. But what then? What had he
really gained by all this trouble? What had he brought back from this long
and weary journey?

Nothing, say you? Perhaps so; nothing but a charming woman, who, strange as
it may appear, made him the happiest of men!
Truly, would you not for less than that make the tour around the world?)

Voyages, both real and in the realms of gold, are worth the extended effort
if like Phileas Fogg we gain  nothing by the tour but everything, happiness.

Over much of the area of the Louisiana Purchase  a Sinclair, who like his
Viking forbearers and Phileas Foggwas destined to embark on a  Odyssey was
born  on a Friday the 13th a few short seasons ago in Olympia Washington USA
.  He wrote a
book about it. In his work he seeks to find the goodness of America.  He
interviews ordinary Americans and draws form them their ambitions and many
of their dreams.

'Striving' by Sandy SinclairISBN0-9708840-1-9 is worth a read. The upbeat
book takes a lot of gloom from a long European winter's night. Thank you Old


Jules Verne 'Le tour du monde en quatre-vingt jours' (Around the World in
Eighty Days) Chapter XXXVII Texte produit par John Walker

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