captain jeff and the squeeze box


^ 1940


full book after the jump…



Linda made a marionette. She made him out of cloth and cotton and paper and paint.


When she was finished, Linda held him in front of a mirror and told him to look at himself.

So he looked!

In the glass was a little old man dressed in a faded blue sailor suit. He had a white cap on his head. He had a pipe in his mouth

and he had a wooden leg.

“Your name,” said Linda, “is Captain Jeff.”

Captain Jeff liked his blue sailor suit; he liked his pipe, but most of all he liked his wooden leg.

“Just like a real sailor,” he said.

Linda set Captain Jeff carefully on the sofa and left him there.

Captain Jeff looked around the room. There were a lot of other marionettes on the chairs.

There were even some on the floor.

So Captain Jeff climbed carefully down from the sofa and went across the room to see the others.

One was a little Negro girl whose name was Binnacle Brown.

Everybody called her Binny.

She was very dark and very friendly. Captain Jeff liked her best of all.

One day Linda came and put a red box into Captain Jeff’s hands.

“There,” she said, “now, you can make music.

“Soon we will give a show. Binny will dance and you will play and the people will clap and clap.”

Then Linda went away.

Captain Jeff took the box in his hands and he PULLED and the box

Then he PUSHED and the box SQUEEZED TOGETHER and it got little again.

“Why,” he said, “this is a SQUEEZE BOX.”

there wasn’t any music!

“How can I dance a hornpipe with no music?” asked Binny.

“I don’t know how to make it work,” said Captain Jeff. “Linda forgot to show me how.”

“Maybe you should hold it another way,” said Binny. “Let me help.”

So they held it UP

and they held it DOWN

and they held it SIDEWAYS

but there WASN’T any music.

They were both very sad.

So Binny went to ask Long Anton and Short Otto who were sitting under a table.

“They will know what to do,” she said, “for they are singers and know all about music.”

Although Anton and Otto tried very hard, they couldn’t make it work either.

So they said they were sorry and bowed very politely and went away.

Binny said she was sorry too and went away. Captain Jeff was left alone with the Squeeze Box.

Captain Jeff sat and looked at the box.

“I don’t like it,” he said to himself, “I don’t like my Squeeze Box at all.”

Then it was the day for the Show that Linda has told him about.

Captain Jeff was ready to go on the stage.

Linda took a large black plate with a hole in the middle of it. She put it into a big black box with a handle on one side. Captain Jeff watched her.

Then he went sadly onto the stage.

The people clapped and clapped and waited for him to begin. So he slowly opened his box and PUSHED!

And suddenly there was MUSIC.

The big black box that Linda had was a victrola. The black plate was a record of someone playing a real Squeeze Box.

Binny, who was waiting on the other side of the stage, came out and danced a hornpipe, which is a sailor’s dance.

Captain Jeff pulled and pushed, and beat time with his wooden leg.

The people clapped and clapped.

NOW Captain Jeff LIKES his Squeeze Box. But sometimes the other marionettes wish he didn’t because when they are alone in the house, Captain Jeff sets the record going.

Then he sits down and plays…

and plays…..

and plays!


> all pages including text on flickr.


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