True Grit Quotes

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True Grit True Grit by Charles Portis
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True Grit Quotes (showing 1-30 of 44)
“You must pay for everything in this world one way and another. There is nothing free except the Grace of God. You cannot earn that or deserve it.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“Lookin' back is a bad habit.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“Nothing I like to do pays well.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“But I had not the strength nor the inclination to bandy words with a drunkard. What have you done when you have bested a fool?”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“There is no knowing what is in a man's heart.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“If you want anything done right you will have to see to it yourself every time.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“Time just gets away from us.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“I know what they said even if they would not say it to my face. People love to talk. They love to slander you if you have any substance.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father's blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day. I was just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name Tom Chaney shot my father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robbed him of his life and his horse and $150 in cash money plus two California gold pieces that he carried in his trouser band.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“You do not think much of me, do you, Cogburn?"

"I don't think about you at all when your mouth is closed.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“I would not put a thief in my mouth to steal my brains.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“MR.GOUDY: I believe you testified that you backed away from Aaron Wharton.
MR.COGBURN: That is right.
MR.GOUDY: You were backing away?
MR.COGBURN: Yes sir. He had that ax raised.
MR.GOUDY: Which direction were you going?
MR.COGBURN: I always go backwards when I am backing up.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“The wicked flee when none pursueth.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“As he drank, little brown drops of coffee clung to his mustache like dew. Men will live like billy goats if they are let alone.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“What have you done when you have bested a fool?”
Charles Portis, True Grit
tags: fools
“We must each of us bear our own misfortunes.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“I had hated these ponies for the part they played in my father's death but now I realized the notion was fanciful, that it was wrong to charge blame to these pretty beasts who knew neither good nor evil but only innocence. I say that of these ponies. I have known some horses and a good many more pigs who I believe harbored evil intent in their hearts. I will go further and say all cats are wicked, though often useful. Who has not seen Satan in their sly faces? Some preachers will say, well, that is superstitious "claptrap." My answer is this: Preacher, go to your Bible and read Luke 8: 26-33”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“Who is the best marshal they have?'

The sheriff thought on it for a minute. He said, 'I would have to weigh that proposition. There is near about two hundred of them. I reckon William Waters is the best tracker. He is a half-breed Comanche and it is something to see, watching him cut for sign. The meanest one is Rooster Cogburn. He is a pitiless man, double-tough, and fear don't enter into his thinking. He loves to pull a cork. Now L.T. Quinn, he brings his prisoners in alive. He may let one get by now and then but he believes even the worst of men is entitled to a fair shake. Also the court does not pay any fees for dead men. Quinn is a good peace officer and a lay preacher to boot. He will not plant evidence or abuse a prisoner. He is straight as a string. Yes, I will say Quinn is about the best they have.'

I said, 'Where can I find this Rooster?”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“On his deathbed he asked for a priest and became a Catholic. That was his wife's religion. It was his own business and none of mine. If you had sentenced one hundred and sixty men to death and seen around eighty of them swing, then maybe at the last minute you would feel the need for some stronger medicine than the Methodists could make.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“Nothing is too long or too short either if you have a true and interesting tale and what I call a "graphic" writing style combined with educational aims.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“If you don't have no schooling you are up against it in this country, sis. That is the way of it. No sir, that man has no chance any more. No matter if he has got sand in his craw, others will push him aside, little thin fellows that have won spelling bees back home.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“That's bold talk for a one-eyed fat man.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“I bought some crackers and a piece of hoop cheese and an apple at a grocery store and sat on a nail keg by the stove and had a cheap yet nourishing lunch. You know what they say, "Enough is as good as a feast.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“You go for a man hard and fast enough and he don't have time to think about how many is with him, he thinks about himself and how he may get clear out of the wrath that is about to set down on him.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“Men will live like billy goats if they are let alone.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“It was still dark outside and bitter cold although mercifully there was little wind. Why is it calm in the early morning? You will notice that lakes are usually still and smooth before daybreak.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“I am ready. I have repented my sins and soon I will be in heaven with Christ my savior. Now I must die like a man.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“She said, 'Goodbye, Reuben, a love for decency does not abide in you.' There is your divorced woman talking about decency. I told her, I said, 'Goodbye, Nola, I hope that little nail selling bastard will make you happy this time.”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“I will go further and say all cats are wicked, though often useful”
Charles Portis, True Grit
“Rooster here has missed Ned a few times himself, horse and all,' said the captain. 'I reckon his is on his way now to missing him again.'

Rooster was holding a bottle with a little whiskey in it. He said, 'You keep on thinking that.' He drained off the whiskey in about three swallows and tapped the cork back in and tossed the bottle up in the air. He pulled his revolver and fired at it twice and missed. The bottle fell and rolled and Rooster shot at it two or three more times and broke it on the ground. He got out his sack of cartridges and reloaded his pistol. He said, 'The Chinaman is running them cheap shells in on me again.'

LaBoeuf said, 'I thought maybe the sun was in your eyes. That is to say, your eye.'

Rooster swung the cylinder back in his revolver and said, 'Eyes, is it? I'll show you eyes!' He jerked the sack of corn dodgers free from his saddle baggage. He got one of the dodgers out and flung it in the air and fired at it and missed. Then he flung another one up and he hit it. The corn dodger exploded. He was pleased with himself and he got a fresh bottle of whiskey from his baggage and treated himself to a drink.

LaBoeuf pulled one of his revolvers and got two dodgers out of the sack and tossed them both up. He fired very rapidly but he only hit one. Captain Finch tried it with two and missed both of them. Then he tried with one and made a successful shot. Rooster shot at two and hit one. They drank whiskey and used up about sixty corn dodgers like that. None of them ever hit two at one throw with a revolver but Captain Finch finally did it with his Winchester repeating rifle, with somebody else throwing. It was entertaining for a while but there was nothing educational about it. I grew more and more impatient with them.

I said, 'Come on, I have had my bait of this. I am ready to go. Shooting cornbread out here on this prairie is not taking us anywhere.'

By then Rooster was using his rifle and the captain was throwing for him. 'Chunk high and not so far out this time,' said he.”
Charles Portis, True Grit

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