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"Riding the rail" was a punishment in Colonial America in which someone was made to straddle a fence rail held on the shoulders of at least two men, with other men on either side to keep him upright. The victim was then paraded around town or taken to the city limits and dumped. Intense pain came from the weight of the body resting on the sharp, narrow edge and injuries from the ride could, if the victim were stripped, cut the crotch and make walking painful.

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Q: What is the significance of being carried out of a room on a beam of wood or pole?
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