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Hi,

He loved to play Chinese lottery. Also, in his gambling, he had one besetting weakness—faith in a system; and this made his damnation certain.
For to play a system requires money, while the wages of a gardener's helper do not lap over the needs of a wife and numerous progeny.

1. What does "lap over" mean?

2. What does "play a system" mean?

"You might wrap up the goods before you deliver 'm," the stranger said gruffly, and Manuel doubled a piece of stout rope around Buck's neck under the collar.

"Twist it, an' you'll choke 'm plentee," said Manuel, and the stranger grunted a ready affirmative.

1. What does "doubled a piece of stout rope" mean?
2. What does "Twist it, an' you'll choke'm plentee" mean?
3. Does "grunted a ready affirmative" mean "grunted to express agreement"?

But when the ends of the rope were placed in the stranger's hands, he growled menacingly.

1. Do "ends" mean "both ends"? It doesn't quite make sense to me.

The hoarse shriek of a locomotive whistling a crossing told him where he was.

1. What does "whistling a crossing" mean?

"I'm takin' 'm up for the boss to 'Frisco. A crack dog-doctor there thinks that he can cure 'm."

1. What does a "crack dog-doctor" mean?

The kidnapper undid the bloody wrappings and looked at his lacerated hand. "If I don't get the hydrophoby—"

"It'll be because you was born to hang," laughed the saloon-keeper. "Here, lend me a hand before you pull your freight," he added.

1. What does "hang" here mean?
2. What does "pull your freight" mean?

But he was thrown down and choked repeatedly, till they succeeded in filing the heavy brass collar from off his neck.

1. What does "filing the heavy brass collar from off his neck' mean? They removed the collar?

Thanks in advance

+0
Hi,

He loved to play Chinese lottery. Also, in his gambling, he had one besetting weakness—faith in a system; and this made his damnation certain.
For to play a system requires money, while the wages of a gardener's helper do not lap over the needs of a wife and numerous progeny.

1. What does "lap over" mean? I don't know, seems incorrect. My guess is it means the wages do not cover, ie 'do not suffice to pay for'.



2. What does "play a system" mean? Try to use a fixed method to win,

eg always buy a ticket on Friday at 5pm.

eg Always bet on a black horse.

"You might wrap up the goods before you deliver 'm," the stranger said gruffly, and Manuel doubled a piece of stout rope around Buck's neck under the collar.

"Twist it, an' you'll choke 'm plentee," said Manuel, and the stranger grunted a ready affirmative.

This seems like very old-fashioned writing. A lot of these expressions are no longer common.

1. What does "doubled a piece of stout rope" mean? Put a strong, thick rope around his neck twice.
2. What does "Twist it, an' you'll choke'm plentee" mean? 'Plentee' is an odd spelling for 'plenty'. Twist the rope, and you'll choke him a lot.
3. Does "grunted a ready affirmative" mean "grunted to express agreement"? Yes.

But when the ends of the rope were placed in the stranger's hands, he growled menacingly.

1. Do "ends" mean "both ends"? Yes. It doesn't quite make sense to me.

The hoarse shriek of a locomotive whistling a crossing told him where he was.

1. What does "whistling a crossing" mean? The locomotive was using its whistle to warn people that it was going to cross at a place where the tracks intersected with a road.

"I'm takin' 'm up for the boss to 'Frisco. A crack dog-doctor there thinks that he can cure 'm."

1. What does a "crack dog-doctor" mean? 'Crack' here means 'expert'. An expert veterinarian.

The kidnapper undid the bloody wrappings and looked at his lacerated hand. "If I don't get the hydrophoby—"

"It'll be because you was born to hang," laughed the saloon-keeper. "Here, lend me a hand before you pull your freight," he added.

1. What does "hang" here mean? To be hung by the neck until dead, as punishment for a crime. The basic meaning is 'You were born with the destiny of being a serious criminal'.
2. What does "pull your freight" mean? Leave.

But he was thrown down and choked repeatedly, till they succeeded in filing the heavy brass collar from off his neck.

1. What does "filing the heavy brass collar from off his neck' mean? They removed the collar? Yes, by usoing a tool called a file.

Clive

Comments  
Thanks so much, Clive!