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Argent Towers
12-10-2006, 07:09 PM
When I was in third grade, our teacher read aloud to us each day. One of the books we read was particularly exciting, but I can't remember what it was! All I can recall are a few details:

It seemed to have been set during the 1800s. I believe it took place in a pioneer/cowboy type town in the West.

The main character (I am almost certain) was named Thomas and was a young boy. He had an older brother named Swain. The two of them were constantly getting into trouble and having adventures. Each chapter dealt with a new story.

Here are some storylines I can remember from the plot:

The boys' father has a water closet installed in their house (a big deal is made over it because it's the only indoor plumbing in the town, or something like that.) Something goes comically wrong, of course, with the water closet.

The main character, Thomas, is sent to a Jesuit boarding school because his parents are sick of his constant troublemaking. While at the school, he gets into even more trouble. He eventually escapes from the school at night while the monks are asleep, with the help of his brother.

An old Jewish merchant who had befriended the boys (and is a recurring character in the book) gets ill and dies (Maybe of Tuberculosis? Can't remember.) The boys learn a valuable lesson about mortality, friendship, or whatever.

Thomas gets into bad trouble at his school and his teacher paddles him really badly. So he and his brother concoct a scheme to get the teacher fired. They plant something called sen-sen (some kind of mint that hides the smell of alcohol) on his desk, so that people would think he was a drinker (the town was very temperance-oriented.) The plan is successful and the teacher is fired.

I really loved hearing these stories and I wish I could remember what the damn book was called. Does anyone have any idea? I would greatly appreciate it.

Manda JO
12-10-2006, 07:15 PM
The Great Brain books by John Dennis Fitzgerald.

Very, very good book. The bother went by Tom, the narrator was J.D., the author.

Argent Towers
12-10-2006, 07:16 PM
Wow! That was fast. Thanks a lot!!!

Thudlow Boink
12-10-2006, 07:34 PM
Since Manda JO already got it, I'll just confirm that she's right, and recommend these books to anyone who's reading this thread.

SandyHook
12-10-2006, 07:55 PM
Just for the record, I didn't have a clue.

But I do have a couple of books that I vaguely remember from when I was just a little nipper. See how you do with this one.

Late 1800s. A small town in Utah, probably down in the canyon land area. A marshall, I think, comes to the town looking for a guide. He's searchining for some crooks that stole a bunch of money and have disappeared.

The guide turns out to be a young boy. He's spent a lot of time roaming around in the county.

The marshall is reluctant to hire him but there isn't anyone else.

There's a sort of map that shows a bunch of landmarks. One of which a dead tree in a crack in a rock. Later in the story someone, I think they just got out of jail, said it was alive when he drew it.

A gang of bad-guys follows the marshall and the boy. The boy spies on them and watches one of them shoot a blue jay just for the fun.

They finally find the robbers and the money. The robbers had built a hide away up a canyon and had been killed by a rock slide.




It was probably close to 50 years ago that I read this.

DragonAsh
12-10-2006, 11:15 PM
Man, I was just thinking of those very books not to long ago - they were a great read. Thanks, now I'll have to go order them on Amazon or something...

Argent Towers
12-10-2006, 11:16 PM
I looked on Amazon and I think I will too. I just wish there was a collection anthology of all of them so I didn't have to get them individually.

SandyHook
12-10-2006, 11:33 PM
There was a whole butt-load of them and they all had 282 pages, I think.

Looking around I found a copy of, "Maverick," printed in 1959.


But anyway, what was the book in question?

Sleel
12-11-2006, 12:20 AM
There was a whole butt-load of them and they all had 282 pages, I think.

Looking around I found a copy of, "Maverick," printed in 1959.


But anyway, what was the book in question?

Sounds vaguely like Little Britches, but that might not be right; I last read that book when I was a kid. There were a few other books that were semi-autobiographical written by the same guy.

Asgardking
12-11-2006, 10:03 AM
The main character (I am almost certain) was named Thomas and was a young boy. He had an older brother named Swain. The two of them were constantly getting into trouble and having adventures. Each chapter dealt with a new story.



It's been 25 years since I last looked at these books, but wasn't the eldest brother named Swen not Swain?

Memorable story lines to me are...

The time that Tom convinces the kids he can magnitize wood when what he had really done was create a boomerang.

When they adopted a little kid named Frankie who's family had been wiped out.

and when Tom opened a candy store in the Jesuit school. I was reminded of this when Cartman did the same thing at a fat camp on South Park.