River Wissey Lovell Fuller


May 2020

If, during lockdown, you’ve reached for a pack of cards to help pass the time this will surely give you something to think about. Perhaps you remember the hit titled ‘Deck of Cards’ recorded, among others, by Wink Martindale and Max Bygraves? It was a narrative, rather than a song, very cleverly written by T Texas Tyler in 1948. It is about a young Second World War soldier who was reprimanded by his sergeant at a church service held during a campaign in North Africa. While the rest of the congregation reached for their prayer books he got out a pack of cards, an act he was arrested for after the service. When asked in court for an explanation he had this to say: "Sir, I have been on a march for about six days, and I had neither Bible nor Prayer Book, but I hope to satisfy you, Sir, with the purity of my intentions." With that the boy began his story. "You see, Sir, when I look at the ace it reminds me that there is but one God. The deuce reminds me that the Bible is divided into two parts; the Old and New Testaments. And when I see the trey I think of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. When I see the four I think of the four evangelists who preached the Gospel. There was Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And when I see the five it reminds me of the five wise virgins who trimmed their lamps. Ten of them; five who were wise and were saved; five were foolish and were shut out. And when I see the six it reminds me that in six days God made this great heaven and earth. And when I see the seven it reminds me that on the seventh day God rested from His great work. When I see the eight I think of the eight righteous persons God saved when he destroyed this earth. There was Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their wives. And when I see the nine I think of the lepers our Savior cleansed, and nine of the ten didn't even thank Him. When I see the ten I think of the Ten Commandments God handed down to Moses on a tablet of stone. When I see the king it reminds me that there is but one King of Heaven, God Almighty. And when I see the queen I think of the Blessed Virgin Mary who is Queen of Heaven. And the jacks, or knaves, it's the devil. And when I count the number of spots on a deck of cards I find three hundred sixty-five, the number of days in a year. Fifty-two cards, the number of weeks in a year. Four suits, the number of weeks in a month. Twelve picture cards, the number of months in a year. Thirteen tricks, the number of weeks in a quarter. So you see, Sir, my pack of cards serve me as a Bible, almanac, and prayer book."

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