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By Dan Beard


Fig. 13. 
The Block or Square Ring.

After reading over the preceding descriptions of marble games to a young Brooklyn friend of mine, he exclaimed, "Well! You have left out Block. We play Block in Brooklyn."

Now it is not the intention of the author to slight Brooklyn in this book, and a game that they can play there must be adapted to any large city. Block is played with a square ring, if we may be allowed to call a square a ring, and the ring is quartered as it is in Fat, a game to which Block is akin. As in Fat, the marbles are laid in on the intersections of the cross lines, but the taw line is about thirty feet away.

This game is sometimes called Injun, a corruption of Indian. in., probably because the game is a game of extermination. For, in order to win, you must kill all the other players. Hence, you can see that "First" plays at a disadvantage, there being no one for him to kill. If he knocks out a duck he must replace it. If a taw stops inside the ring, that is a fatal shot, for lie has killed himself and is out of the game. So when the first player shoots he does not knuckle down, but toes the taw line and tosses his taw for a good position near the ring.

For good and sufficient Reasons the second player has no desire to get near the first, so he throws his marble with sufficient force to send it through the ring out of reach of First hoping that his taw may be fortunate enough to knock out a duck on its way. Because if number two knocks Out a duck, he can, before replacing the duck, go back to taw and holding the duck in his left hand shoot his taw with his right so that it will strike on the top or side of the duck and fly off rear First's taw, which he may then hit and kill.

If number two misses the duck, number three pitches his marble off to one side, and thus the game goes on, each boy doing his best to guard his own taw and to hit and kill his neighbor's taw, knocking out ducks when the opportunity comes for the sake of the privilege of going back to taw and making a flying shot from the duck to the neighborhood of his playmate's marble

At the end of the game the same number of ducks of course remain in the ring that were placed there. If any player misses the duck that he is trying to make a fly shot on he loses his turn, and has the mortification of seeing his taw roll dangerously near an opponent, where he must allow it to remain and run the chance of being killed. When all but one are killed, the survivor is "Big Injun" and has won the game. A similar game is played in other places with the moon ring (Fig. 14).

Fig. 14. 
The Moon Ring.

There are numerous other games played in the cities which are the out-growth of the cramped spaces the boys have for playgrounds, but as they differ in different cities and also in different parts of the same city and are only modifications of the games given here, they will be omitted.







Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Bull Ring ] Duck in a Hole ] Fat ] Followings ] [ Block ] Knucks ] Long Ring ] Meg-in-a-Hole ] Patterson ] Stand Up ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Kite Making Plans ] Marble Games ] Marble Basics ] Stilts ] Tops ] Fish Bait ] Fish Sense ] Hoops & Wheels ] Pet Frogs ] Sucker ] Balloons ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.