My hand went to my hip pocket. With a quick shake I uncoiled the rawhide, and without consciously aiming, I let all the practice I'd put in do its stuff.
The whip snaked around the side of the lilac bushes and over the steps. Its tip circled the white tube of paper just as though it were sticking from a crack in the utility pole. I gave the "come-back" wrist flick, and the un-lighted cigarette flew across the yard to me. The banjo player was left, holder in mouth, lighted match in hand, but with no cigarette to light. Talk about commotion....
The banjo player let out a squawk, my sister gave a shriek, I muttered, "Oh, golly," and started to run. They never caught me, but eventually I had to come home.
My father, who had been forced by prohibition to give up his customary hock and port with his meals, blamed it on the WCTU. My mother blamed it on the evil influence of the movies.
After the banjo player had taken his disgruntled departure, my sister staggered into the house and everyone thought she was having hysterics; it turned out that the whoops, screams and tears were whoops, screams and tears of laughter. When at last she could talk, she gasped that never had she seen anything so funny as the expression on the banjo player's face when the cigarette was snatched from him and he was left with the holder in his mouth and the lighted match in his hand.
Dad confiscated my whip for a week and then gave it back on my promise never to use it against any living thing. After that I lost interest in it, and when the next movie I saw showed the hero performing dizzying feats around the rigging of a ship, I decided to become an acrobat and started learning to walk on my hands and do back flips.