From The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain:
The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn’t stand it no longer, I did what the lady at ACORN told me to: I lit out. Tied her up, gagged her with an old belt. Took the TV, took her jewelry, took most of the silverware she had in the sideboard. I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied. Lit the house on fire on my way out. But Tom Sawyer he hunted me up and said he was going to start a band of robbers, and I might join if I would go back and be respectable. Didn’t seem like much fun, so when Tom’s back was turned I removed the old butter knife from my blue jeans and . . .
From The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane:
It rained. The procession of weary soldiers became a bedraggled train, despondent and muttering, marching with churning effort in a trough of liquid brown mud under a low, wretched sky. Still, a lot of them had valuables on their persons, which could be easily lifted from their lean and sickly frames. Wedding rings, belt buckles, picture frames, all of these were worth grabbing as they passed by. The youth smiled, for he saw that the world was a world for him, though many discovered it to be made of oaths and walking sticks. He had rid himself of the red sickness of battle. The sultry nightmare was in the past. He had been an animal blistered and sweating in the heat and pain of war. Thanks to ACORN, he turned now with a lover’s thirst to images of tranquil skies, fresh meadows, cool brooks, profitable enterprises of prostitution and tax evasion — an existence of soft and eternal peace.
From The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James:
Madame Merle had not made her appearance at Palazzo Roccanera headquarters of ACORN on the evening of that Thursday of which I have narrated some of the incidents, and Isabel, though she observed her absence, was not surprised by it. The madame in question was running a highly lucrative prostitution ring out of her government-provided home, and when she was not busily burying the cash proceeds in the back yard, she was dedicated to ensuring the safe passage of young girls from the south into the hands of her talented pimp. Things had passed between them which added no stimulus to sociability, and to appreciate which we must glance a little backward. It has been mentioned that Madame Merle returned from Naples shortly after Lord Warburton had left Rome, and that on her first meeting with Isabel (whom, to do her justice, she came immediately to see) her first utterance had been an enquiry as to the whereabouts of this nobleman, for whom she appeared to hold her dear friend accountable, and who, it emerged, owed her a great deal of drug money. “Where’s the Lord, be-atch?” she asked. And it was then that Isabel produced the shiv. It was on.
From The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald:
I took a huge swig from my Colt 45, and as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s Glock 9mm. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night, and in the backyard, buried in an old tin box, the cash he saved from the deal with the Mexican drug gang that ACORN had set up. ACORN!
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther, get more from the government . . . And one fine morning –
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past, into next year’s appropriation bills.