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Monday, November 30, 2020

Reader's Diary #2150 - Bret Harte: Tennessee's Partner

I'm not quite sure how to take Bret Harte's short story "Tennessee's Partner", not sure exactly what the point is. 

It's a story of a loyal friend who attempts to get his friend, Tennessee, out of a legal pinch by bribing a judge. Well, not really, but his attempt was misguided and perceived as a bribe in any case, and doesn't prevent Tennessee from heading to the gallows. 

With that summary, I suppose it could be seen as highlighting the definition of a true friend. But the tone is off, and I admit, a bit hard for me to gage because of the antiquated language. Tennessee and his partner couldn't be less alike, and yet somehow they remain friends and I don't know if that's meant to be played for comedic effect. Or is it meant to be a tragedy? Or tragi-comedy?

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