Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Watermelon, watermelon

Why we don’t fear the ’rona: a tale that is tall but true

The story you are about to read is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, the iniquitous, and the indifferent. In fact, there are no names.

Picture a family, a rural Southern family. They surround the table and cut in half a large red meat watermelon. There is no watermelon distancing. No heretical slicing. No tedious cubing. Just two halves inviting a whole family. Needed, forks. Optional, salt. All consume together, sensibly spitting the seeds back into the remaining rind, so that the soon scrapping to the stock will be simple, short and sweet. They are not finished yet. Cut a V in the top edge of the rind and drink the juice. Waste not, want not.

Who will testify?

Monday, June 29, 2020

Time will tell

The silence of white leaders on the issue of black deaths when the matter is not a hashtag on the nightly news betrays our real racial indifference...
As the black community, you have survived mistreatment on both sides of the Atlantic, from both dark and light-skinned men alike. Your community has survived capture by West African warlords and survived a trans-Atlantic slave trade by the Dutch. Your community has survived antebellum slavery and post-war systemic racism through Jim Crow laws. Your community survived the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-twentieth century and emerged strong, vibrant, and victorious. Through all of these tumults, troubles, and tribulations, your families, churches, and communities remained dignified and intact.
However, time will tell if your community can survive the damage done by pandering white people who betray their bigotry by thinking little of you and expecting even less.
J. D. Hall

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Droll definitions

Paramonyms: words that sound similar and have similar meanings. Example:

Incongruous \
In Congress  /

Definition: Out of keeping or out of place; inappropriate; unbecoming; not harmonious in character; inconsonant; lacking harmony of parts.

Friday, June 26, 2020

The American Press, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

In other words, Simon Pure and puredee

  • amour fou, noun. Uncontrollable or obsessive passion or infatuation, esp. as a theme of drama or literature; an instance of this.
  • Barney’s bull, noun. Used in various proverbial expressions and similes, as a type of someone or something in a very bad state or condition.
  • bibliognost, noun. A well-read individual; a person with wide knowledge of books; one that has comprehensive knowledge of books and bibliography.
  • cow-tongued, adjective. Having a tongue like a cow, smooth one way and rough the other; and hence, one who gives fair or foul language as may suit his purpose.
  • delenda, noun (with plural agreement). Words, sentences, etc., which are to be deleted from a text; (also) such deletions in the form of a list printed with a text.
  • hench, adjective. Of a person: having a powerful, muscular physique; fit, strong.
  • imperturbable, adjective. Not capable of being, or not liable to be, mentally perturbed or agitated; unexcitable; calm, composed.
  • johndarm, noun (British). A police officer (a borrowing from French gendarme).
  • mondegreen, noun. A word or phrase resulting from a mishearing of another word or phrase, especially in a song or poem.
  • nipe, verb, intransitive. To bow the head; to bow down, bend, droop; to descend, sink low.
  • oronym, noun. Phrases that differ in meaning and spelling, yet share a similar pronunciation (for example, “ice cream” and “I scream”).
  • puredee, adjective. Thoroughgoing, out-and-out, complete, real, the real thing. (Also as adverb: very, totally, completely.)
  • quank, verb, intransitive. Of a bird or animal: to utter a harsh croaking or honking cry.
  • shivviness, noun. The uncomfortable rough feeling caused by the wearing of new underwear.
  • Simon Pure, noun and adjective. A person resembling or reminiscent of the fictional character Simon Pure (the name of a Quaker character in Susanna Centlivre’s comedy “A Bold Stroke for a Wife”); esp. (a) a person of irreproachable virtue or integrity; (b) a person of uncompromising (esp. religious or political) principles, a zealot, a diehard.
  • summum jus, noun. The highest law or right; the utmost rigour or strictness of the law; extreme severity.
  • uliginous, adjective. Growing in wet or swampy ground.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Common snakes, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A matter of black lives that matter

Terrence Floyd, younger brother of George Floyd, said, “I know my brother would not want violence. Let’s do this peacefully, please.”

In protests of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minnesota police, highlighting the fact that the lives of black persons are important was intended to be front and center. Nevertheless, even more black lives did not seem to matter in the wake of the protests, which disproportionately took the lives of blacks – most at the hands of protesters. Up until today (June 8), I have found records of up to thirteen dead. The following persons are identified as black except Italia Kelly (identified as biracial) and the three that remain unnamed/unidentified. It appears that all, with the possible exception of one, died in incidents related one way or another to the George Floyd protests. It is alleged that much of the violence is perpetrated by “outside agitators” – folks with Left-wing or Right-wing agendas, or both – rather than the initial protesters, who did so peacefully.

  • May 27, 2020: Calvin L. Horton Jr., 43, Minneapolis, Minnesota was shot by a pawnshop owner during protests.
  • May 29, 2020: 53-year-old Dave Patrick Underwood, 53, on-duty federal security officer, was shot and killed during riots in Oakland, California.
  • May 29, 2020: Javar Harrell, 21, during protests in Detroit, Michigan, was shot and killed – apparently specifically targeted, and it is not clear whether his death is directly related to the protests. (But his life still matters.)
  • May 30, 2020: Barry Perkins, 29, in St. Louis, Missouri was caught by the truck’s tire, pulled under and ran over. Guns were pointed at the driver, he sounded his horn and drove off, catching Perkins and running over him with his trailer. Attorney for the Perkins family and witnesses say that Barry Perkins was not involved in looting the truck and was an accidental victim.
  • May 30, 2020: James Scurlock, 22, in Omaha, Nebraska during protests was shot as a result of a violent encounter with a bar owner. It is at least tentatively determined that the bar owner acted in self-defense.
  • May 30, 2020: Chris Beaty, 38, real estate broker and former Indiana University football player, was shot and killed in Indianapolis, Indiana, by rioters on a robbing spree.
  • May 31, 2020: Dorian Murrell, 18, Indianapolis, Indiana was fatally shot by 29-year-old Tyler Newby. Newby claims there was an altercation before the shooting and a friend of Murrell claims there was not one.
  • May 31, 2020: Italia Marie Kelly, 22, a protest attendee in Davenport, Iowa was shot by a “protester” when she was leaving the protest. Another person was also shot and killed, but was not named last I saw.
  • June 1, 2020: David McAtee, 53, shot and killed in Louisville, Kentucky during riots. Law enforcement heard gunshots and returned fire. McAtee was hit by one of the bullets and died.
  • June 1, 2020: Two unnamed people killed in Cicero, Illinois (a Chicago suburb).  Their race or the circumstances of their death has not been reported, so far as I have seen – other than that “outside agitators” shot into a crowd.
  • June 2, 2020: David Dorn, 77, retired St. Louis City police captain, was shot and killed by looters at a pawnshop in St. Louis, Missouri.

[Note: this information was collected a few weeks ago, and more names could be added to this list, but I will leave it as it is.]

The purpose of government, and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources. (I try to confirm the sources that I give, but may miss on occasion; please verify when possible.)

“The purpose of government is not to protect our health. The purpose of government is to protect our constitutional rights and liberties.” -- Steven F. Hotze, M.D.

“The Left are organized and committed to shutting down debate, silencing speech, and destroying their opponents’ reputations and livelihoods.” -- Timothy Gordon

“A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.” -- D. Elton Trueblood, The Life We Prize, 1951, p. 58; Often restated as: “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

“We are not seeing terrible things in our culture because we vote the wrong way. We are seeing terrible things in our culture because men love darkness rather than light.” -- Voddie Baucham

“War is a rich man’s game played by poor people.” -- Unknown

“The silence of white leaders on the issue of black deaths when the matter is not a hashtag on the nightly news betrays our real racial indifference.” -- J. D. Hall

“The best we can do in terms of success is to say we were faithful.” -- Jemar Tisby

“Getting old is not for sissies.” -- usually attributed to Bette Davis, but apparently originating as “Old age sure ain’t for sissies.” by Ruth S. Hain in the April 1968 Reader’s Digest

“All speech is inflammatory to someone. If you ban some speech for being inflammatory, then no speech is free.” -- Unknown

“Seeing should be a purposeful action, not passive consumption.” -- Elissa Yukiko Weichbrodt

“Loving every human being is not the same as loving every human doing.” -- Ryan Bomberger

“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” -- (Shakespeare)

“Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.” -- V. Raymond Edman (In fact, never doubt what God told you; but be sure God told you.)

“Everybody has asked the question, ‘What shall we do with the Negro?’ I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us.” -- Frederick Douglass

Monday, June 22, 2020

Things people do not say

Things American people do not say: “Wonderful! There is a missionary at the door.”

Things the Texas Highway Department will never say: “There is currently now NO construction on State Highway 21.”

Visit me with thy salvation

“Remember me, O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation.” Psalm 106:4
How is a man brought and taught to want to be “visited with” God’s salvation? He must know something first of condemnation. Salvation only suits the condemned. “The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost;” and therefore salvation only suits the lost. A man must be lost—utterly lost—before he can prize God’s salvation. And how is he lost? By losing all his religion, losing all his righteousness, losing all his strength, losing all his confidence, losing all his hopes, losing all that is of the flesh; losing it by its being taken from him, and stripped away by the hand of God. A man who is brought into this state of utter beggary and complete bankruptcy—to be nothing, to have nothing, to know nothing—he is the man, who in the midnight watches, in his lonely hours, by his fireside, and at times, well-nigh night and day, is crying, groaning, begging, suing, seeking, and praying after the manifestation of God’s salvation to his soul. “O visit me with thy salvation.”
He wants a visit from God; he wants God to come and dwell with him, take up his abode in his heart, discover himself to him, manifest and reveal himself, sit down with him, eat with him, walk with him, and dwell in him as his God. And a living soul can be satisfied with nothing short of this. He must have a visit. It profits him little to read in the word of God what God did to his saints of old; he wants something for himself, something that shall do his soul good; he wants something that shall cheer, refresh, comfort, bless, and profit him, remove his burdens, and settle his soul into peace. And therefore he wants a visitation—that the presence and power, the mercy and the love of God should visit his soul.
Joseph Charles Philpot (1802-1869)

Charles Wesley (1707–1788):
Jesus thou art all compassion,
Pure, unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Psalm 139, Watts

Isaac Watts, hymn on Psalm 139

1. ‘Twas from thy hand, my God, I came,
A work of such a curious frame
In me thy fearful wonders shine,
And each proclaims thy skill divine.

2. Thine eyes did all my limbs survey,
Which yet in dark confusion lay;
Thou saw’st the daily growth they took,
Formed by the model of thy book.

3. By thee my growing parts were named,
And what thy sovereign counsels framed-
The breathing lungs, the beating heart-
Was copied with unerring art.

4. At last, to show my Maker’s name,
God stamped his image on my frame,
And in some unknown moment joined
The finished members to the mind.

5. There the young seeds of thought began,
And all the passions of the man:
Great God, our infant nature pays
Immortal tribute to thy praise.

6. Lord, since in my advancing age
I’ve acted on life’s busy stage,
Thy thoughts of love to me surmount
The power of numbers to recount.

7. I could survey the ocean o’er,
And count each sand that makes the shore,
Before my swiftest thoughts could trace
The num’rous wonders of thy grace.

8. These on my heart are still impressed,
With these I give my eyes to rest;
And at my waking hour I find
God and his love possess my mind.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Behaves So Strangely, and other music links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Comparing some numbers

…whatever they mean

The United States Population as of June 13, 2020, based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data was 330,906,997.

All Covid-19 deaths in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control, as of June 12, 2020 were 98,695.

  • Deaths in week ending 2/1/2020 1 (initial death)
  • Deaths in week ending 4/18/2020 16,207 (highest point)
  • Deaths in week ending 6/6/2020 851 (most recent data)

The U. S. population in 1968 was 205,805,755.

The 1968 influenza A (H3N2) virus killed about 100,000 in the United States.

The U. S. population in 1958 was 180,788,387.

The 1957-1958 influenza A (H2N2) virus killed about 116,000 in the United States.

[Note: by the time this posts, the most recent data that I used will be slightly outdated.]


Reading from 4 years ago

“Juneteenth” in Texas was the first emancipation celebration that officially achieved state recognition.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Grapefruit Highball, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

In other words, things we’re talking about

  • bullying, noun. The abuse and mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone stronger, more powerful, etc.
  • critical race theory, noun. The view that the law and legal institutions are inherently racist and that race itself is socially construct and used by white people to further their economic and political interests at the expense of people of color.
  • cuckservative, noun. A political conservative who buys into the key premises of the Left, and sympathizes with liberal values (combining the words cuckold & conservative).
  • gibsmedat, noun. (Slang) Goods, services, or material given predominately to minorities; a derogatory term for social welfare programs.
  • identity politics, noun. Political activity or movements based on or catering to the cultural, ethnic, gender, racial, religious, or social interests that characterize a group identity.
  • intersectionality, noun. The cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups.
  • microaggression, noun. A statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.
  • photo op, noun. An arranged opportunity to take photographs of politicians, celebrities, or other important people (short for photograph opportunity).
  • racism, noun. Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority; the belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities that distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another.
  • social justice, noun. Uniform state distribution of society’s advantages and disadvantages.
  • virtue signalling, noun. Sharing of one’s point of view, often on social media, in order to garner praise or acknowledgment of one’s righteousness, or to passively rebuke those who do not share the view.
  • white privilege, noun. In critical race theory, a way of conceptualizing racial inequalities that focuses as much on the advantages that white people accrue from society as on the disadvantages that non-white people experience.
  • woke, adjective. Aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice); the act of being very pretentious about how much you care about a social issue.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Lynching and Crucifixion

On June 3, 2020, Chance the Rapper Tweeted: “Jesus was lynched.” I did not spend a lot of time reading replies, but it appears he got fairly “mixed reviews.” A fellow member called attention to it in a Facebook group, and the statement received mixed reviews there as well (more in favour, it seems).

Perhaps the “shock value” of such a statement will cause us to “stop, look, and listen,” and learn. We can learn from the statement, even though I think Chance the Rapper is technically incorrect. We will find lynching and crucifixion merge and diverge at particular points. First, consider the definitions of “lynch” and “crucifixion.”

  • Lynch, verb (used with object). To put to death, especially by hanging, by mob action and without legal authority.
  • Crucify, verb (used with object). To put to death by nailing or binding the hands and feet to a cross (and in this discussion, specifically the putting to death of Jesus by nailing him to and hanging him on a cross).
Lynching and crucifixion are both methods of execution, though the first is clearly without legal authority to do so – specifically in the U.S. it is without due process, without a trial. Crucifixion was once a preferred method of execution in the Roman Empire, and generally carried out under the authority of Roman officials.[i]


  • Lynching and the crucifixion of Jesus share the element of hanging. Acts 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
  • Lynching and the crucifixion of Jesus share the element of the bloodlust of a mob. Mark 15:14 Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.
  • Lynching and the crucifixion of Jesus are murderous acts derived from deceitful and desperately wicked hearts. Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

  • A lynching is illegal and unlawful, whether or not the person lynched is innocent or guilty. The crucifixion of Jesus was carried out under legal authority, but the person convicted was innocent. Mark 14:15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.
  • Lynching breaks the laws of state, but Jesus’s crucifixion fulfilled the law of God. Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: Romans 3:25 whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God
  • The death of the lynched perpetuates anger, guilt, and sin. The crucifixion of Jesus makes peace by the blood of the cross. Colossians 1:20 and, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
By comparing the death of Jesus to other deaths, including lynching, we learn. We hear notes that touch chords in our hearts. Yet, in the end, the death of Jesus Christ the Son of God is unlike any other.

  • It is an offering made by free eternal determination, rather than by forced human intervention. Acts 4:27-28 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. John 10:17-18 I lay down my life...No man taketh it from me...
  • It is the making of a sin offering by one who never sinned. 1 Peter 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
  • It is the offering of the just in the place of the unjust. 1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God... Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
  • It is a one-time sufficient sacrifice for sin. Hebrews 9:26 ...but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Our sins are many, God’s mercy is more; He’s wash’d and cleans’d us, for this we adore.

As on the cross the Savior hung,
And wept, and bled, and died;
He poured salvation on a wretch,
That languished at His side. (Samuel Stennett)

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride. (Isaac Watts)

[i] Experts differ on the legality of the trial of Jesus. José María Ribas Alba, one of the top modern scholars on Roman law, has concluded from his years of study that the trial of Jesus was perfectly legal [For example, Jesús es condenado a muerte: reflexiones sobre el contexto histórico y jurídico de la Pasión de Cristo (Jesus is sentenced to death. Reflections on the historical and legal context of the Passion of Christ), José María Ribas Alba, Mergablum, 2013]. On the other hand, in The Trial of Christ: From a Legal and Scriptural Viewpoint, David K. Breed argues that many legal errors were made. Many Christian scholars focus on the legality or illegality of the proceedings of the Sandhedrin.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Hate has a taste all its own, and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources. (I try to confirm the sources that I give, but may miss on occasion; please verify when possible.)

“Hate has a taste all its own, that fills your throat and chokes you.” -- Cheated-on spouse on Perry Mason

“I never knew whether to pity or congratulate a man on coming to his senses.” --
William Makepeace Thackeray

“Our government is in place in order to protect our liberty – not make life easier for politicians.” -- Michael Cloud

“What man is is more important than what he has.” -- Merrill C. Tenney

“The problem is sin, not skin. The answer is grace, not race.” -- Unknown

“There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect.” -- G. K. Chesterton

“There is no place in the Constitution where it says your right to free speech is valid only as long as folks are not coming down with the flu.” -- Bryan Fischer

“I suggest not to rely on Facebook as it mostly spreads ignorance, lies and is becoming a problem with our social discourse.” -- Steve Newhouse

“Let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it. If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves.” -- Former President Barack Obama

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” -- Henry Stanley Haskins

“In a world where you can be anything, just be kind!” -- Martha Ivey-Underwood

He that is down need fear no fall,
He that is low, no pride.
He that is humble ever shall
Have GOD to be his guide.
John Bunyan

Truth must be preached

Many people who profess to be Christian do not care about doctrinal purity. They have created an all-inclusive form of Christianity that allows one to follow their own twisted beliefs without correction. The Bible is no longer a lantern to guide, but is more of a church decoration. Everything is becoming emotion and feeling driven. However, the truth must be preached. 
Copied, Author unknown

Sunday, June 14, 2020

A Superior Shelter

Our favored old English hymn writer Isaac Watts wrote “Death and Immediate Glory,” based on 2 Corinthians 5:1, 5-8:

1. There is a house not made with hands,
Eternal and on high;
And here my spirit waiting stands,
Till God shall bid it fly.

2. Shortly this prison of my clay
Must be dissolved and fall,
Then, O my soul! with joy obey
Thy Heavenly Father’s call.

3. ’Tis He, by His almighty grace,
That forms thee fit for heaven,
And as an earnest of the place,
Has his own Spirit given.

4. We walk by faith of joys to come,
Faith lives upon his word;
But while the body is our home,
We’re absent from the Lord.

5. ’Tis pleasant to believe thy grace,
But we would rather see;
We would be absent from the flesh,
And present, Lord, with thee.

2 Corinthians 5:1-10 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (for we walk by faith, not by sight:) we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

We humans dwell in a tent, a temporary shelter designed for our earthly pilgrimage. As Christians mature they should progressively turn their gaze more and more away from the temporal (the things which are seen) to the eternal (the things which are not seen). See 2 Corinthians 4:18. We learn there is a shelter superior to the body in which we dwell. In location, it is heavenly rather than earthly. In style, it is a building rather than a tabernacle (tent). In origin, it is not made with hands (by God, born of God) rather than born of man. In duration it is eternal rather than temporal (dissolves). It is life versus mortality. It is present with God versus at home in the body.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Baking with Dessert Darling, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Friday, June 12, 2020

The Appointment in Samarra

(Narrated by Death)
There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, “Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me.  She looked at me and made a threatening gesture, now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate.  I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.”  The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went.  Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, “Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?”  “That was not a threatening gesture,” I said. “It was only a start of surprise.  I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.”
The Appointment in Samarra, as told by W. Somerset Maugham