A DECK OF CARDS
BY JESSE W. JAMES
(This story was transcribed from Jesse’s handwritten pocket diary.)
A well known regiment in no man’s land in 1917 visited church.
There was a soldier with them who they thought took a prayer book out of his pocket, but it was a deck of cards.
The Captain who noticed then ordered the soldier to put them back in his pocket. The soldier didn’t obey the Captain’s order, however, but looked at the cards with pleasure. After church the Captain took the soldier to the Major, addressing the soldier he said, “How dare you play cards in church?
This is a serious offense; what have you to say for yourself!” The soldier said, “A church is God’s home and I disturbed no one.” The major replied, “You will have to explain yourself better or I will put you under arrest.”
The soldier then said, “Do you see the Ace?
That shows that there is but one God, who made heaven and earth. The Deuce shows that there are two natures – Man and Beast. The trey shows there are three persons in God, namely the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. The four spot shows there are four Evangelists whose names are St. Mathew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John.
The five spot shows the Five wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ, The six spot shows that God made the world in six days. The seven spot shows that God rested on the seventh day and that we should serve him. The eight spot shows that eight persons were kept alive on the ark, namely Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives. The nine spot shows the chorus of angels, who were nine in number. The ten spot shows the commandments which are given on Mt. Sinai and written on two tablets of stone. The Jack of clubs is not honest said the soldier, so we’ll lay it aside. The other three Jacks are the executioners of our Lord. The Queens are the women who anointed Christ and the Queen of Hearts is His mother. The three kings are the wise men who came from the East to worship the infant savior. The fourth, The King of Spades, shows that Christ started One Church, which will last till the end of time. The Diamond shows the Pillars of the church. There are 365 days in the year, which denotes the 365 spots on the cards. There are 52 cards, which show there are 52 weeks in the year. There are four sets of cards, which denoted the four seasons of the year and the four last things for all human beings namely death, judgment, heaven and hell of which everyone ought to think. Yes, I will tell you a deck of cards are as good to me as a prayer book in church. The Major said to him “You have laid aside the Jack of Clubs and have said nothing about it only that it is not honest.”
“If you will not punish me I will tell you”, said the soldier. “Speak up my son I will not punish you the Major said. The soldier then answered, The Jack of Clubs is the traitor Judas, the Captain who reported me to you.” The Major then pull out his pocket book and gave the soldier $6.00 with the words “Go drink to my health for you are the cleverest rascal that has ever come before me. Get out and have a hell of a good time on me.”