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The Magpie Sings the Great Depression:
Selections from DeWitt Clinton High School's Literary Magazine, 1929-1942

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Sure Cure

By Herbert Schwartz

The Magpie, January 1938, v. 22, n. 1., p. 20.

The Place. A small town, somewhere in the U. S.
The Time. 1897.

We notice as we follow the crowd that there is what resembles a side show camped on a vacant lot. A gaudy red wagon, standing in front of a tent, is lighted by a few oil torches stuck on each side. Seated near the tent are several black faced minstrels and some nondescript looking ladies. A rather buxom woman is just finishing a sentimental ballad about home, dead lovers, mother, and wandering children out in a snow storm. Now she has stopped singing; a man steps forward. He has a large black moustache, is wearing a high hat, checked vest, frock coat and tight fitting pants stuck in the tops of high heeled boots. He has started to speak.

"You have just heard Mademoiselle Lajean sing. You have laughed with our famous minstrels and cried over 'East Lynn' as presented here. All this came to you free of any charge. Now, I am not going to try to sell you anything. I am going to do you a favor. I am going to let you purchase 'Blanco's Cold Cure,' that miraculous medicine that not only cures colds, but, if rubbed on the head each night, prevents baldness. Also, when rubbed on rheumatic spots, it not only cures the spot but prevents the rheumatism from coming back. It costs only one dollar a bottle and with each order of five dollars or over, we give away one bottle freer"


The setting is in a home anywhere in the United States. From a radio, a sinister voice comes: "Aha, I've got you now Bob Carter Carvington. When I throw this switch, the elephant rifle that is staring you in the face will go off. He-eh-eh. You are not able to move an inch because I have paralyzed you with my mystery ray."

"I am not dead yet, Snake." "No, but in just a few seconds you will be. I am going to throw the switch now!"

A smooth silky voice breaks in: "Listen tomorrow night at the same time to see if our hero Bob Carter Carvington escapes from the plot of Snake.

"Meanwhile, tell your mother to go out and buy a bottle of 'Blanco's Cold Cure.' Tell her that it not only cures colds, but when a table-spoonful is mixed with milk and taken regularly, it increases the Alamalta in your body and it is this Alamalta that prevents you from catching colds. Don't forget that when you send in five box tops from the large size of 'Blanco's Cold Cure,' with ten cents to cover handling and shipping costs we will send you, absolutely free, a beautiful autographed picture of Bob Carter Carvington. Good night."

The Magpie Sings the Great Depression

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