Friday, July 10, 2009
The 10 Most Ridiculously Difficult Encyclopedia Brown Mysteries
Posted by JPX
#10 The Case of the Civil War Sword from Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective
CASE: Young Peter has a chance to trade his bicycle for a real Civil War sword used by General Stonewall Jackson, but the owners' of said sword are none other than the dreaded Tigers' clubhouse. Peter enlists Encyclopedia's help in determining if the sword is really Gen. Jackson's. Tigers' leader Bugs Meany tells Encyclopedia that the sword is from the first Battle of Bull Run, and an inscription on the sword says as much: "Presented to [Jackson] by his men on August 21, 1861." From this, Encyclopedia knows that the sword is a fake.
SOLUTION: Only Northerners called the battle by the name "Bull Run." Jackson's men, being Southerners, would have called the battle by its Southern name, "Manassas." Of course, the sword also says, "The First Battle of Bull Run," and since the second battle was in 1862, no man living in 1861 would have known there would be a second battle the following year. But most children don't even know what the Civil War is other than media depictions in westerns or Looney Tunes where the Yankees are assholes (and still are). And even the few children who can tell the Civil War from the American Revolution certainly don't display an Apu-like knowledge of its major motives, battles, and dates.
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at 8:30 AM