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~ Books 'n Such ~
An introduction by  Brian Malott 

       Since he has always been deeply interested in United States and World History, (as well as World Economics), many of the books by Emil T. (Tony) Miller are written in the "Historical Fiction" category; be they Mysteries, Westerns, relatively contemporary Action Adventures, or a combination of these well mixed with the spice of life, Romance .  Because he has followed his stars, lived much of his life on the edge and reached for  come what may, he has, as he has said, "tasted of life's sweetest nectar and drank deeply from it's bitterest cup".  Accordingly, he has the experience to put into words the rousing, rough and tumble adventures, the vagaries of life and the sense of history that he wishes to offer his beloved progeny, his fellow Americans, and to all of his fellow humankind.  He has also always been an inveterate romantic, and the strong thread of good, wholesome, and ultimately deeply satisfying romance which runs through his work rounds out his compelling plots.  His heroes and heroines are the downtrodden, the obscure and sometimes the not always so perfect (none of us are),  but they strive mightily to overcome their situation, perfect their character and use their God-given strengths and hidden talents to win through to greatness.  Although he presents life in all it's harsh realities, he does so without vulgarity or agenda, and seeks always to leave the reader feeling good, clean, uplifted and full of new hope and a fresh zest for life. 
     I thoroughly enjoy his works and I believe you will as well.
                                             ...Brian Malott
        ~ A short biography of the author can be seen by clicking here:  "The Author's Bio"

"Politics consists in the art of taking votes from the poor and money from the rich; under the pretext of protecting each from the other."                    -- Anonymous


The critique "form" at the end of the following article is offered as a thing which one could use AFTER reading one of the books offered here (when they come available).  Just use your mouse and pointer, scroll down to highlight the form, then copy it into an email message or a word processing program file such as MS Word or WordPerfect, then backspace to supply the responses.

                   A READERS’ CRITIQUE     
                                                               by Emil T. Miller

     It is not the opinion of some of the big publishing houses and "elite" literary agents with their generations of ingrown and exclusive circles of known or notorious people and relatives (from them mostly do they accept or read manuscripts), which actually determines the worthiness and lasting success of any particular work or author, even though few have heretofore managed to see the light of day but through them. Rather, it is the aggregate opinion of those from every walk of life like you, who read the book either by chance or referral, and having done so think enough of it to voice a favorable opinion of it to others - who then buy the book. There the work lives or dies. Getting exposure is the brass ring for writers. Some books cry out for exposure, others should be filed away and forgotten, and the sooner the better for all concerned - especially for the writer (one should never encourage a bad book or buoy false hope resulting in dashed dreams and financial ruin for him).
      The aspiring writers’ dilemma is that because of the staid status quo in the publishing business, having been largely gobbled up by the Hollywood - Television Establishment and controlled by Liberal political despotism, more than 90 percent of all unpublished writers (especially Conservative writers) never get their manuscript actually read by these staid, old guard publishers (though some make it appear they have done so). It seems, other than established writers, that only the rich and famous, the serial killers, the adulterous politicians and the like are rewarded with a publishers' reading, much less receive an offer to publish. Such books sell well briefly, make a quick profit, and are forgotten. It has to be outrageous, scandalous, or a "lead pipe cinch," and many famous writers of real worth have had to scrounge up their own money for their first publication and promotion. Many feel such is beneath them, most cannot afford it, and therefore create or have few works exposed, and if discovered at all it is by chance after death, leaving a rich mind largely  untapped and unexplored. 
one are the days when publishers ardently searched for real talent worthiness, work which stands the test of time. Seldom do they take even the smallest chance, rich as they are. All of which translates to the stark fact that for the reading public more than 90 percent of what does get published is absolute junk - a waste of time. I refuse to grovel before this situation or let pursuit of success be my taskmaster, choosing instead to pursue other ways to expose my work, come as they may, or not. I have three squares a day and a roof over, no more being promised, no more coveted, and am content with my lot in life.
     However, the advent of digital technology and the computer coming of age, has shaken this arrogant monopoly to its roots.   P. O. D. publishing (Print On Demand) has enabled authors to have their works digitized and listed worldwide with more than 25,000 book retailers and wholesalers, and then available in three to six days at the regular standard cost whether one copy or ten thousand copies are ordered, ...and delivered right to the customer's  door for a nominal shipping/handling fee.  Still lacking however, is the costly process of advertising and exposing the book in order for it to gain market share and become a viable product.  To address this, new companies are springing up to offer these services and to assist writers in their pursuit of exposure.
      I have a strong desire to have my life and experiences be of some use to my fellow humankind. Writing a book is an excellent way to leave something behind for the benefit of future generations, provided however, that what is left is worthwhile in the first place. I believe that a good book must have what I call the Four "E's" of literary worth as its’ attributes; it must sufficiently EXCITE, ENTERTAIN, EDUCATE, uplift and EXHILARATE. These are my measures of success and those on which I wish to be truthfully graded. Or, to put it in antonyms, the book must not be lethargic, tedious, shallow, or crude and perverted. Foul language and the glorification of immorality especially, drags us down, leaves us feeling dirty, and who needs that. I will not do so, not only because it is unnecessary, but because I feel that good and decent people need and want to be gratified, as do I.  And fiction in any form I believe, should have a hopeful ending.   Not always so in reality, well I know. But from such I wish to escape as I believe most do. I wish to refill my tank of optimism today, to carry me through the stark realities I will face tomorrow.  Finally, I refuse to join in the recent efforts at "revisionist history" (literary garbage), used by some in furtherance of their Socialist political agenda.

      And so kind reader, after you read any of my books I will count it a special favor and blessing if you would give me your grade for it in each of the categories listed below (extra and constructive comments are most welcome).   I will send you a little something nice as a 'thank you'.

      ...And remember, you do me no favor by gratuitously stroking my ego.



Reader's Critique:

                                      ~ MY REPORT CARD ~                  

First, this book is in the Historical Fiction category. What kind of books do you read most?


Favorite Author(s)? __________________________________________________________

Were there times you felt you were right there at the scene?
______Never ______Sometimes ______Lots of times ______Always

Was the book exciting to you at times?
______Never ______At certain times ______Lots of times

Did the story sometimes keep you guessing?
______Yes ______No ______A little ______A lot

Was the narrative ever confusing? If so did it enhance the book?
______Yes ______No ______A little ______Yes ______No

Were there ever elements of mystery in it for you?
______Yes ______No

Did you ever feel you could have had the same thoughts and emotions as the main character in any
of his/her situations?
______Never ______Sometimes ______Lots of times

Was the book too graphic (gory or bloody)?
______Yes ______No _______ About right, fit the times and situation
As for the books’ research and historical accuracy (disregarding the recent efforts at “revisionist history” by some), did you feel it generally portrayed things as they actually were, though written as a fiction?
______Yes ______No _____________________________________________Comment

Were the descriptions ______Sufficient? ______ Too vague? ______Too detailed?

Which part of the book was too tedious or uninteresting for you?

Which part of the book did you like best?__________________________________________

Did you think the pictures chosen for the book enhanced the reality and understanding of it for you ______A little? ______A lot?
_______Were there too many? ______Not enough? ______about right?

OVERALL, WHAT DID YOU TRULY THINK OF THE BOOK, and how many of my "FOUR E's" were met for YOU?
______EXCITE ______ENTERTAIN ______EDUCATE(inform) ______EXHILARATE

WHAT AUTHOR (if any), would you declare this book the equal of? ____________________

Your Name__________________________________________Date__________________

Address __________________________________________________________________


Email Address____________________________

                                                        T H A N K Y O U !


                                    The History of Chili  ~
Compiled by Emil T. Miller
                (This information was researched/compiled from various articles, sources, and personal knowledge.)

                                             We are talking  RED Chili here. Green chili,
                                 which is a “Johnny-come-lately”, is an entirely different dish. . . .

                                           ~ (A Good Chili Recipe follows this article!) ~

     Have you ever wondered as to the origins of “Chili” (the Official dish of Texas), and why so many people claim to make the “world’s best”? I have, and have delved into the matter to some extent over the years. I share my findings with you here, gratis.  
t must be stated that definitive rock-solid proof of the exact origin of "Chili" will be forever elusive, but herein is the next best to it.  In my efforts at thoroughness, I researched many sources, books, old articles, stories told me by old ranchers I have known in Texas and the Southwest who were still living as they always have, and the origins of the 2 best known old original powdered Chili seasoning mixes.  First to clear the air, one theory (and that is all it is), as offered in the publications of the The International Chili society, is excerpted as follows:
     "In California, about 1977, Rufus (Rudy) Valdez, a full-blooded Ute Indian, won the 'world chili championship' (one of many such, claiming "World Chili Championship" contests), using what he claimed to be a two thousand-year-old recipe.  'Originally,' said Valdez, "chili was made with meat of horses or deer, chile peppers and cornmeal from ears of stalks that grew only to the knee.   No beans."   Valdez said he got his recipe from his grandmother when he was a boy on the Ute reservation near Ignacio, Colorado.  She lived to the age of 102 and Valdez says she credited her longevity and that of her relatives to the powers of chili. Actually, he says, chili was invented by the Pueblo cliff dwellers in Mesa Verde who passed it on to the Navajos before it became popular with the Utes."
     This is not credible as to "Chili", since he obviously and arbitrarily used it giving no background, verification or proof whatsoever as to that descriptive name when he attached it to his grandmother's recipe - for whatever concoction that actually was).  I do however, give the combination of ingredients due credibility inasmuch as they were what was generally available at the time.  Beef was not yet on the scene, but horse, mule meat and Deer venison were available, along with Ancho Chilies and the stunted corn managed to be grown by the indigenous Indians in those semi-arid regions (by The Basketweavers of Mesa Verde for instance).  Corn otherwise, has never at any time been an ingredient of "Chili".  But to continue, the following history and origins of "Chili" has to my knowledge, never been disputed:

     First let me say that it appears to be universally accepted by easterners and far westerners that “Chili” is a dish which came from Mexico. I myself thought this early in life. Indeed such is absolutely NOT the case. In fact one Mexican dictionary, not happy with the notion that Chili may have Mexican roots, goes so far in debunking this notion that it states: “This dish is a detestable food with a false Mexican title, sold in the United States from Texas to New York.” Another Mexican publication defines chili as “a dish made of shredded cattle to which powdered chili peppers have been added,” and still another states flatly that “it is an incendiary dog food widely eaten in Texas". Mexican defamation notwithstanding, the fact is that “Chili” is a distinctly delectable and satisfying concoction which originated in the American Southwest.
     Texas to be precise. The further happy fact is that the lack of a clear definition and precise production procedure has made it possible for all of us to be Chili “experts” both in fact and in egotistical allegation.
     As to its’ precise origins, it seems that based more on the preponderance of historical fact rather than legend (of which there are several), the first recognizable chili-type “stew” was created by Texas cowboys and adventurers during the 1840's. It is maintained by several sources that these hardy, inventive people pounded dried beef and/or venison, fat, salt, and wild chili peppers into a concentrated, pemmican-like paste, or chili-brick, to carry with them on their sorties into the wilds. Pieces were then broken off as needed, and boiled to make a hearty hot meal; used to flavor beans but especially with those together with the meat du jour, especially when it was scarce or none too desirable. However, it appears that this “Chili Pemmican” was not widely accepted in Texas or elsewhere for more than two decades. Neither is there any evidence that Texas soldiers ate such chili during the Civil War, though they and most other Confederates even back east, routinely ate beans heavily flavored with dried, ground chili peppers.
     Research indicates that "Chili" did not become a universally popular food in Texas or anywhere else until the late 1800's when finally at such time it became a standard menu item in Texas prisons. It seems that Texas prison cooks discovered that chili peppers and beans, when combined with certain spices and herbs, could work wonders with cheap, inferior cuts of meats and extend its’ volume considerably. In Texas, "jailhouse chili" was so popular a dish that former inmates from time to time, wrote back to prison systems requesting the recipe, claiming that they could not find a chili nearly as good on the outside!
     Just prior to this same time in the early 1890's a phenomena had arisen in San Antonio, Texas known as “Chili Queens”. These so nicknamed, gaudily dressed and mostly Spanish women, knowing most men and especially cowboys craved this treat, started selling their chili brews from bubbling cauldrons in the downtown plazas, including the Alamo plaza, and down along the river which runs through the town. These picturesque vendors spiced up the evenings when they set up their large crude tables covered with red and white oilcloths with bright checkerboard patterns. Each woman also set up a large, ornate oil lamp and dressed gaily to attract customers drawn by the wonderful Chili smells. Each pot was delicious, each different, and each recipe jealously guarded. This happy situation continued all the way to 1943 when the town began applying the same sanitation standards to the Chili Queens as applied to the regular restaurants, at which time these open-air vendors quickly disappeared since it was impossible for them to conform. (Sound familiar? Let a good thing spring up and sooner or later the "government" will either tax it or regulate it out of existence). But, by this time chili was well on its’ way to becoming one of the most popular dishes in Texas, and indeed, the rest of the country as well.
     One of the reasons chili became so popular in the 1890's was the invention of the first chili powder seasoning mix. Two men living in different parts of Texas will forever live in the annals of Chili-mania. In Ft. Worth, one DeWitt Clinton Pendery created a popular and widely accepted recipe to be used with his personal blend of powdered chili peppers, oregano, cumin seed, and garlic, which he sold and called “Chilo-maline”. This product is still made to this day, and sold by a company which also bears his name.
    Folks in San Antonio however, give credit for this type of easy made chili to a man of German pioneer descent, one William Gebhard of nearby New Braunfels, Texas. He sold his chili blend under the trademark of Eagle Brand Chili Powders, and the original formula is still used to make this wonderful spice blend - and also still sold by a company which bears his name as well.
     Unfortunately, during World War II, strict rationing removed chili con carne (chili with meat) from most restaurants and home menus, and Chili suffered a temporary decline. Then in 1947 the Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI) was founded, and at this present writing it has chapters all over the world.
     In the late l960's two different events revived the popularity of chili in this country. The most significant was the publication of a book written by that well-known historian of the Southwest, Chili lover and cook, Frank X. Tolbert, entitled “A Bowl of Red”. Shortly thereafter it became widely known that President Lyndon B. Johnson was also a Chili lover. These two happenings fostered a veritable Chili popularity explosion.
     Then in the fall of 1967, Mr. Tolbert and his friends contrived a tongue-in-cheek marketing plan to promote further sales of his book. They organized the worlds’, America’s and Texas’ first “Chili Cook-Off”, a prankish event which was held in Terlingua, Texas, then still a ghost town from the silver mining era in that arid, sparsely settled, moon-scaped part of Texas. Chili-lovers converged here by the hundreds, and I will note that Yours Truly was in attendance at this singularly epic and extremely raucous beer-guzzeling event, casting my vote with discriminating culinary expertise. This Chili cook-off pitted the chief cook of CASI, Texan Wick Fowler, against Dave Chasen, the well-known Beverly Hills restauranteur; it being well-known that Texans and Californians looked on each other’s Chili formulas with considerable disdain. But Chasen became ill just before the event and the organizers were forced to find an alternate opponent. Fortunately, H. Allen Smith, a popular humorist from New York had just written an article for HOLIDAY MAGAZINE entitled “Nobody Knows More About Chili Than I Do”, in which article he lambasted Texas-style Chili, thereby incurring the considerable wrath of Texans en masse. Pitting a Texas hero against an up eastern Yankee smart-mouth then transformed this contest into a widely publicized grudge match made in heaven!
     After some taunting back and forth between Smith and Tolbert, Smith accepted the challenge and the match was on. Even though the match ended in dispute and was settled with a tie due to bizarre circumstances (I personally favored Wick Fowler’s concoction by far, and he got my vote), this epic event started a national infatuation with the “Bowl of Red” that continues unabated to this day, with thousands of Chili cook-offs held in every part of the country (and in many other countries as well), each year.
     What is “Chili” then? It is a gastronomical wonder-food which has risen to almost mythical status, being adopted as the official dish of Texas in 1977, and even now having a national group annually lobbying in Washington to make it the official dish of the United States. And this for the least defined of all dishes!
     Can just anyone make good chili? OF COURSE! Providing certain basic rules are followed. In the past I have held that there are only three kinds of chili; good, better, and best. However, as I get older and my system becomes more delicate I do not ignore those who hold that the three types are; good, bad, and dog food. Good chili is when all the basic ingredients are used, and in proportions which are so balanced as to agree with each other to the effect that the concoction culminates in a culinary delight. For most people this is easily done. Bad chili is certainly the opposite, while just about any canned chili relegates it to dog food status. A possible exception to this is Wolf Brand Chili (made in Texas of course. A half-eaten bowl is solid evidence of both bad chili and that which should be given to the dog.
     So then, what are the basics? The heart and soul of Chili con Carne (Chili with meat) is of course the CHILI PEPPER. There are over 300 varieties of chili peppers, each having its own flavor and “heat value”. Not to belabor this treatise, the favorites and most used are; Cascabel, Ancho, Chipotal, Mulato, Pasilla, New Mexico, and Chiltepin. Of these the most favored is the Ancho, a rather mild pepper, brownish/red, about 4 ½ to 5 1/2 inches long, with a deep, rich flavor. Next is the New Mexico chili pepper which is similar and matures to a deep red when left on the bush, is medium to hot, and has a distinctive “Chili” flavor. This is the one that is favored throughout Texas and the Southwest. A word to the wise here; you want to stay away from the many varieties of the Habanero chili pepper unless you have an asbestos lined digestive system (put the toilet paper in the ice box, ole son!).
       I show Paprika as a requirement, although many hold that it doesn't have to be used.  My support for this is found when looking at the ingredients listed on the aforementioned Chil-O-Maline and on the Eagle Brand Chili Powder, and thus its' use cannot be disputed.  Paprika is an ingredient that can be used too little or too much without detriment to the final result, but which is necessary for the blending and flavoring effects of all the chili peppers together.  Think of it as Allspice for Chili.
     Next, the backbone of any Chili is the MEAT. Some say that lamb, chicken, pork, etc., is permissible. Such is NOT chili dear hearts. Beef or Venison, or a combination thereof! In South Texas however, goat meat is not to be disdained.  Other than this, pork is the only exception (in Tennessee), and only when used in combination with beef or venison. And don’t waste money on high-priced cuts of beef. Toughness in chili meat is a virtue, and is not an issue when properly diced and cooked. If there is a universally acclaimed meat to be cited for Chili, I have in the past argued in favor of goat meat but have been unable to prevail in but a few situations other than amongst my South Texas Latino friends. Only when I myself use it in one of my concoctions without revealing what the meat is until after it eaten with gusto and heartily complimented by second, and third bowlfuls does it get any credibility at all. (Even then the revelation is usually dismissed as a bad joke on my part).
     When it comes to spices and herbs, it is best to use only the required and accepted ones and not to stray too far with others if you must experiment. Without COMINO (Cumin) it will not be chili (and without this wonderously magnificent ingredient Mexican food would not exist either - and Tex-Mex? Fo'gettaboutit). Over the years I have used both whole seeds and ground Comino, but have found that crushed seeds - as in running them through a coffee grinder once, or pounding them lightly in a mortar with a pestle, gives the perfect flavoring. I will also point out here that Comino is one ingredient that is almost impossible to use too much of.  I know I will get some argument on this point, but I know from where I stand.  If in doubt, throw in some more!  GARLIC too, along with those wickedly wonderful weeds we call  ONIONS, are basic requirements as is OREGANO. Some hold that whole Clove, Coriander, and Allspice are necessary - I and most Texans do not, with the possible exception of Allspice. This most wonderful and versatile flavor-enhancer will in no way ruin good chili. As to the Oregano, the Greek is my preference, as the Mexican Oregano is quite strong and can dominate all the other ingredients if not used correctly - and even I, exceptionally great chili-maker that I am, have not learned how to use the Mexican variety correctly. CAYENNE (Red) pepper, yet another variety of the chili, is required for the correct flavor so as to raise the taste and temperature to the upper level of human tolerance - or as desired.  Other additives? Most are up-eastern abominations or California dreaming, and so are to be conscientiously avoided.
     A little FAT is necessary for the flavoring it brings to the pot also. Some skim it ALL off afterwards, and this is a mistake. My order of preference is sliced salt pork or bacon drippings, venison fat (highly desireable), or beef fat. If there is absolutely too much, some is easily skimmed off the top or picked out after refrigerating when it has solidified.
     TOMATOES in large chunks, either fresh or canned, though not originally used, have been considered compulsory since the days of the San Antonio "Chili Queens", but still remain optional. 
or no Beans? Dealers’ choice, but there is little argument here. Beans are and have always been a natural compliment to chili and the very best “extender” in whatever dish used.  I and most people much prefer them. Only Pinto beans however, along with as much as an equal amount of Red Kidney beans are universally acceptable (and for Cajuns, rice in the bowl first then the Chili poured over, is tolerated, but mainly only in South Louisiana where various other unidentifiable meats have sometimes been observed in their Chili).  Beer? Although many people use some in the Chili brew, let me emphasize here that alcohol is a detriment to the flavorings of chili, and if used (some like the subtle change in taste it gives), it must first be cooked in a separate pot for sufficient time to vaporize the alcohol.

     So much for the basics. Now let’s make a Bowl of Red”!
                                                                                                         . . .© Emil T.Miller
                                                                                               (Click here for the AUTHOR'S BIO)

               Click here to us know what you think of the above article:


                     A Texas - Tennessee BOWL of RED 

                                                  (Tony & Shirley's "Fast Favorite")
                         (Consider first reading the article above, for THE HISTORY OF CHILI)

     If there is an outstanding, top-notch Chili that satisfies most everyone's little Chili whims and hang-ups, a Chili that is truly what most Southwesterners AND Southerners will consider an authentic Texas "Bowl of Red", this is it. Here it is not like an act of congress to make Chili because this can be fairly quickly made on impulse and is consistently as great tasting as nearly anything struggled over for hours and hours. Sometimes your mood on a cold winters' day is to take all day making chili. Other times you want it QUICK, you want it NOW, and this is it.   But for sure, don't stop trying new chili recipes until you've tried throwing THIS ONE together!   Just don't get too worked up over exact ingredients or amounts.


5 small dried Cayenne Chili Peppers or 1/2 tblspn crushed or powdered Cayenne Pepper
2 dried Ancho Peppers or 2 tblspns of Chili Powder
3 Tblspns Paprika
3/4 lb Beef Round Steak (or other tough cut) cut into ½-inch cubes
3/4 lb boneless Pork cut into ½-inch cubes
A handful of beef tallow (or Venison tallow, or 2 tblspns Bacon drippings, or Cooking Oil)
1 cup chopped Onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tblspns whole crushed Comino seed  [or 1 1/2 tblspn ground Cumin (Comino)]
1 heaping tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp ground Black Pepper
1-14 ½ oz can Beef Broth
1 #3 can crushed Tomatoes
1-12 oz can Beer (your option naturally, but stew off the alcohol in it before adding)
3 cups cooked pinto beans (and/or hot steameded Rice put in your bowl first before the Chili)
Add Cayenee Pepper and Salt to taste, just before removing from stove
**Sliced Jalapeño Peppers, grated cheese, and slice of lemon for garnish (optional)


     Crush the hot chili peppers, if using. If using, remove stems but not the seeds from the Ancho peppers. and cut into 1-inch pieces. Put hot peppers and Ancho peppers into a blender container or food processor bowl. Cover and blend or process until ground. (If using crushed red pepper and chili powder, stir them together with the Paprika). Set pepper mixture aside.
     In a large saucepan or Dutch oven mix the beef, pork and tallow. Cook half in the hot fat grease until brown. Remove and set aside. Add to remaining meat, the onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, ground black pepper, tallow and ground chili pepper mixture (or the crushed red pepper and chili powder mixture, if using). Cook until the meat is brown. Now return all the meat to the saucepan. Stir in the beef broth and bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer covered for 45 minutes. Uncover and simmer about 30 minutes more or until the meat is tender and the sauce is the desired consistency, stirring occasionally. In separate pan simmer the beer until alcohol evaporates, stir it and the Pinto beans into the Chili, adjust the seasonings, and (if your name ends with "...eaux", "...not", "...lanc", or "...ard"), serve over hot rice with and eat with "soda crackers" - you know what I mean. If desired you can garnish with sliced jalapeno peppers, more onion. grated cheese, and slice of lemon.     Makes about 6 servings.

NOTE: This is mighty tasty made just as indicated above, or a "near approximation".  However, the great fun of Chili concoction is to experiment and over time to arrive at the recipe that suits YOU best!  Chili is one dish where even failures are usually tasty anyway.


“I wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili.”
                                      . . .widely reported to be the dying words of frontier scout Kit Carson

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