DECK OF CARDS, by Tex Ritter 1948
During the North African campaign, a bunch of soldier boys had been on a long hike and they arrived in a little town called Casino. The next morning being Sunday, several of the boys went to church. A sergeant commanded the boys in church and after the Chaplin had read the prayer the text was taken up next. Those of the boys who had a prayer book took them out. But this one boy only had a deck of card and so he spread them out. The sergeant saw the cards and said, “Soldier, put away those cards.” After the services were over the soldier was taken prisoner and was taken before the provost marshal. The marshal said sergeant, “Why have you brought this man here?” “For playing cards in church, Sir.” “And what do you have to say for yourself son?” “Much, Sir” replied the soldier. The Marshal said, “I hope for if not, I shall punish you more than any man was ever punished.” The soldier said, “Sir, I have been on a march for six days and I had neither bible or prayer book, but I hope to satisfy you, Sir, with the purity of my intentions.” With that the boy started his story.
You see sir when I see the Ace, it reminds me that there is but one God. And the deuce reminds me the bible is divided into two parts, the Old and the New Testament. And when I see the three, I think of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. When I see the four, I think of the four evangelists who preached the gospel, there was Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. And when I see the five it reminds me of the five wise virgins who trimmed their lamps. There were ten of them, five were wise and were saved and 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. And when I see the eight, I think of the eight righteous people God saved when he destroyed this earth. There was Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives. And when I think of the nine, I think of the lepers our saviour 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 table of stone. When I see the king, it reminds me that there is but one king in heaven, God all Mighty. And when I see the queen, I think of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is queen of heaven. And the Jack or knave is the Devil.
When I count the number of spots of a deck of cards I find three hundred and sixty-five, the number of days in a year. There are fifty-two cards, the number of weeks in a year. There’s four suits, the number of weeks in a month. There’s twelve picture cards, the number of months in a year. There are thirteen tricks, the number of weeks in a quarter.
So you see, Sir, my deck of cards serves me as a Bible, almanac, and prayer book.
The charges were dismissed.