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By Dan Beard


Fig. 10. 
A Game of Knucks.

Knucks  is a game of give and take. One boy, called "knucks," places a small marble between his knuckles and rests his hand on the ground. The other player knuckles down at the taw line four or five feet away and shoots at the marble between the fingers of his playmate. It is customary to knuckle down and loft, or shoot through the air, and not bowl along the ground. The taw marble or shooter used is of medium size. Every time the marble in "knucks'" hand is hit it counts one; every time "knucks'" knuckles are hit it gives "knucks" a shot at the first shooter.

Suppose that it is agreed that each player should have three shots, and there are two in the game. Number one shoots three times, hits the marble once, and the knuckles twice. Then number one wins one count, and number two, who has been "knucks" takes his three shots, and two shots to pay for the two raps he had on his knuckles. That makes five shots he has at number one.

Unless number two is an expert, he is going to hit number one's knuckles, a number of times in his five shots, but number one grins and bears it, as he knows that the rules of the game will give him satisfaction. There is no end to this game, and it only stops when both boys agree that their knuckles demand a rest.

If one boy is a good player and the other a poor one the good player makes the most points, but the bad player makes the other's knuckles suffer for their skill.







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Last modified: October 15, 2016.