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Inside, Buckley found Bud Dawson utterly ignoring a bullet wound in his shoulder, while he feelingly wept at having to explain why he failed to drop the "blamed masquerooter," who shot him. At the entrance of the ranger Bud turned appealingly to him for confirmation of the devastation he might have dealt. "You know, Buck, I'd 'a' plum got him, first rattle, if I'd thought a minute.

This is from "Afternoon Miracle" by O. Henry.
http://www.online-literature.com/o_henry/997/

I can't understand the meaning of this.

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I'm not sure if this is the correct answer but I'd'a is a informal contraction for (I would have).

For example: if I had paid more attention to pop's last words I'd'a (I would have) heard him say what the code for the safe was.

I'm not sure about this type of lingo but it seems that the character meant that he would've shot the other guy who shot him dead if he had a minute to think.

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In this quotation, "plum" is a misspelling of "plumb", which literally means "directly vertical, like a stationary string that has a lead weight at the bottom."

The bolded phrase means "I would have straight-up ______ed him", or "I would have perfectly _____ed him". The verb that fills in the blank depends on the context. In this case, "______ed him" could be replaced by "shot him dead", but it is not clear whether the author expected Dawson to kill his assailant.

  • It's crazy how the correct sentence doesn't have anything to do with the bolded sentence from the book. They want us to figure these things out without any hints. – Kaique Mar 9 at 6:53
  • Kyle - who are 'they' who want you to figure things out? – Michael Harvey Mar 9 at 8:46

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