Friday, September 20, 2013

Opening paragraphs................................

Both of Hemingways's grandfathers fought in the Civil War and the family was proud of its military traditions.  Ernest Hall, a tall man with gray eyes and dark hair, was born in Sheffield in 1840 and had some comical troubles with constipation on the ship that brought him from England in his late teens.  In August 1861 he left the family farm in Dubuque and enlisted in the First Iowa Volunteer Cavalry.  He furnished his own horse and saddle, and agreed to serve for three years.  In Warrensburg, Missouri, in April 1862, Hall received a gunshot wound in the left thigh.  The bullet remained lodged in his leg, rendering him incapable of riding on horseback; and he was discharged with one-tenth disability a year after his enlistment.  When offered a military pension by the government, he proudly refused it.  "I gave my services to my adopted country.  I did not sell them."  Hall later cultivated the appearance of an English gentleman - complete with muttonchop whiskers and a white Yorkshire terrier - and prospered in the wholesale cutlery business in Chicago.
-Jeffrey Meyers, Hemingway:  A Biography

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