Bloody Tom




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By Dan Beard

Old Bloody Tom, Black Tom, or "Pull Away!"

What the original meaning of this last cry was, is lost in the mist that veils so many of the expressions of boys. Old Bloody Tom and Black Tom are probably names for an ogre, while "It," no doubt, also represents one of these monsters. The game, under any of its names, is a simple one. "It" stands in the middle of the street while the other players are gathered on one of the sidewalks which form the two homes. "It" cries: "Pull away once! Pull away twice! Pull away three times! "

At the conclusion of the last cry the other players make a rush for the opposite sidewalk, while "It" tries to tag them. Each boy tagged joins "It" and helps him tag the others until all are caught. The first player caught is "It" for the next game. No boy can be tagged after he has crossed the home curbstone or while he touches it with hand or foot, unless all the players are on the same side of the street. In this case "It" may tag them while on home-grounds. (See Fig. 256).

ohb256.gif (5447 bytes)
Fig. 256

In some places " It " cries:

One for the money, Two for the show, Three to make ready, And four for to go!"

In place of "Pull away," but the game is the same, and in no respect different from the following game of "Black Man," except in the words used to set the boys running.







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Black Man ] [ Bloody Tom ] Brown Ear Wolf ] Bull Ring ] Cattle Rustling ] Cross ] Dixie's Land ] Fox & Geese ] Iron Tag ] King's X ] Last Tag ] Monkey Tag ] Over the Hill ] Prisoner's Base ] Red Ogre ] Tommy Tiddler ] Wild Beasts ] Wolf & Sheep ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.