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The Tragedy of 


And the Comedy 




(Samuel L. Clemens) 

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Copyright, 1894, by OLIVIA L. CLEMENS 
The right of dramatization and translation reserved. 

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There is no character, howsoever good and fine, but it can 
be destroyed by ridicule, howsoever poor and witless. Observe 
the ass, for instance : his character is about perfect, he is the 
choicest spirit among all the humbler animals, yet see what 
ridicule has brought him to. Instead of feeling complimented 
when we are called an ass, we are left in doubt. — Pudd'nhead 
WilsofCs Calendar. 

A PERSON who is ignorant of legal matters is al- 
ways liable to make mistakes when he tries to pho- 
tograph a court scene with his pen ; and so I was 
not willing to let the law chapters in this book go to 
press without first subjecting them to rigid and ex- 
hausting revision and correction by a trained barris- 
ter—if that is what they are called. These chapters 
are right, now, in every detail, for they were rcwrit-f 
ten under the immediate eye of William Hicks, 
who studied law part of a while in southwest M[s-'> 
souri thirty-five years ago and then came over here 
to Florence for his health and is still helping for 
exercise and board in Macaroni Vermicelli's horse* 
feed shed which is up the back alley as you turn 
around the corner out of the Piazza del Duoino just 
beyond the house where that stone that Dante used 
to sit on six hundred years ago is let into the wall 





A Whisper to the Reader. 

when he let on to be watching them build Giotto's 
campanile and yet always got tired looking as soon 
as Beatrice passed along on her way to get a chunk 
of chestnut cake to defend herself with in case of a 
Ghibelline outbreak before she got to school, at the 
same old stand where they sell the same old cake to 
this day and it is just as light and good as it was 
then, too, and this is not flattery, far from it. He 
was a little rusty on his law, but he rubbed up for 
this book, and those two or three legal chapters are 
right and straight, now. He told me so himself. 

Given under my hand this second day of January, 
1893, at the Villa Viviani, village of Settignano, 
three miles back of Florence, on the hills — the same 
certainly affording the most charming view to be 
found on this planet, and with it the most dream- 
like and enchanting sunsets to be found in any 
p]anet or even in any solar system — and given, too, 
in the swell room of the house, with the busts of 
Cerretani senators and other grandees of this line 
looking approvingly down upon me as they used to 
" ^t look down upon Dante, and mutely asking me to 
^^} adopt them into my family, which I do with pleas- 
' ure, for my remotest ancestors are but spring chick- 
^ ens compared with these robed and stately antiques, 
and it will be a great and satisfying lift for me, that 
six hundred years will. 

Mark Twain. 

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Tell the truth or trump — ^but get the trick. — Pudd'n- 
head Wilson's Calendar, 

The scene of this chronicle is the town of 
Dawson's Landing, on the Missouri side of 
the Mississippi, half a day's journey, per 
steamboat, below St. Louis. 

In .1830 it was a snug little collection of 
modest one- and two-story frame dwellings 
whose whitewashed exteriors were almost 
concealed from sight by climbing tangles of 
rose-vines, honeysuckles and morning-glories. 
Each of these pretty homes had a garden in 
front fenced with white palings and opulently 
stocked with hollyhocks, marigolds, touch-me- 
nots, prince's-feathers and other old-fashioned 
flowers ; while on the window-sills of the 
houses stood wooden boxes containing moss- 


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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 



rose plants and terra-cotta pots in which grew 
a breed of geranium whose spread of intensely 
red blossoms accented the prevailing pink tint 
of the rose-clad house-front like an explosion 
of flame. When there was room on the 
ledge outside of the pots and boxes for a cat^ 
the cat was there — in sunny weather — 
stretched at full length, asleep and blissfuU 
with her furry belly to the sun and a paw 
curved over her nose. Then that house was 
complete, and its contentment and peace were 
made manifest to the world by this symbol, 
whose testimony is infallible. A home with- 
out a cat — and a well-fed, well-petted and 
prqperly revered cat — may be a perfect home, 
perhaps, but how can it prove title ? 

All along the streets, on both sides, at the 
outer edge of the brick sidewalks, stood 
locust-trees with trunks protected by wooden 
boxing, and these furnished shade for sum- 
mer and a sweet fragrance in spring when the 
clusters of buds came forth. The main street, 
one block back from the river, and running 
parallel with it, was the sole business street. 
It was six blocks lonjj, and in each block two 


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or three brick stores three stories high towered 
above interjected bunches of little frame shops. 
Swinorine si^j^ns creaked in the wind, the 
street's whole length. The candy-striped 
pole which indicates nobility proud and 
ancient along the palace-bordered canals of 
Venice, indicated merely the humble barber- 
shop along the main street of Dawson's 
Landing. On a chief corner stood a lofty 
unpainted pole wreathed from top to bottom 
with tin pots and pans and cups, the chief 
tinmonger's noisy notice to the world (when 
the wind blew) that his shop was on hand for 
business at that corner. 

The hamlet's front was washed by the clear 
waters of the great river ; its body stretched 
itself rearward up a gentle incline ; its most 
rearward border fringed itself out and scat- 
tered its houses about the base-line of the 
hills ; the hills rose high, inclosing the town 
in a half-moon curve, clothed with forests 
from foot to summit. 

Steamboats passed up and down every hour 
or so. Those belonging to the little Cairo 
line and the little Memphis line always 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

stopped ; the big Orleans liners stopped for 
hails only, or to land passengers or freight ; 
and this was the case also with the great 
flotilla of *' transients." These latter came 
out of a dozen rivers — the Illinois, the Miss- 
ouri, the Upper Mississippi, the Ohio, the 
Monongahela, the Tennessee, the Red River, 
the White River, and so on ; and were bound 
every whither and stocked with every imagin- 
able comfort or necessity which the Miss- 
&,^^0 issippi's communities could want, from the 
frosty Falls of St. Anthony down through 
nine climates to torrid New Orleans. 

Dawson's Landing was a slaveholding 
town, with a rich slave-worked grain and pork 
country back of it. The town was sleepy and 
comfortable and contented. It was fifty years 
^ old, and was growing slowly — very slowly, in 
fact, but still it was growing. 
t) The chief citizen was York Leicester Dris- 
~ ^'^^^coll, about forty years old, judge of the 
^!;i^_ "l|| county court. He was very proud of his old 
Virginian ancestry, and in his hospitalities 
and his rather formal and stately manners he 
kept up its traditions. He was fine and just 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


and generous. To be a gentleman — a gentle- 
man without stain or blemish — was his only 
religion, and to it he was always faithful. 
He was respected, esteemed and beloved by 
all the community. He was well off, and was 
gradually adding to his store. He and his 
wife were very nearly happy, but not quite, 
for they had no children. The longing for 
the treasure of a child h id grown stronger 
and stronger as the years slipped away, but 
the blessing never came — and was never to 

With this pair lived the Judge's widowed 
sister, Mrs. Rachel Pratt, and she also was 
childless — childless, and sorrowful for that 
reason, and not to be comforted. The women 
were good and commonplace people, and did 
their duty and had their reward in clear con- 
sciences and the community's approbation. 
They were Presbyterians, the Judge was a 

Pembroke Howard, lawyer and bachelor, 
aged about forty, was another old Virginian 
grandee with proved descent from the First 
Families. He was a fine, brave, majestic 




Pudd'nhead Wilson. 






creature, a gentleman according to the nicest 
requirements of the Virginia rule, a devoted 
Presbyterian, an authority on the **code," and 
a man always courteously ready to stand up 
before you in the field if any act or word of 
his had seemed doubtful or suspicious to you, 
and explain it with any weapon you might 
prefer from brad-awls to artillery. He was 
very popular with the people, and was the 
Judge's dearest friend. 

Then there was Colonel Cecil Burleigh 
Essex, another F. F. V. of formidable caliber 
— however, with him we have no concern. 

Percy Northumberland Driscoll, brother to 
the Judge, and younger than he by five years, 
was a married man, and had had children 
around his hearthstone ; but they were at- 
tacked in detail by measles, croup and scar- 
let fever, and this had given the doctor a 
chance with his effective antediluvian methods ; 
so the cradles were empty. He was a pros- 
perous man, with a good head for specula- 
tions, and his fortune was growing. On the 
1st of February, 1830, two boy babes were 
born in his house : one to him, the other to 




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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


one of his slave girls, Roxana by name. 
Roxana was twenty years old. She was up 
and around the same day, with her hands full, 
for she was tending both babies. 

Mrs. Percy Driscoll died within the week. 
Roxy remained in charge of the children. 
She had her own way, for Mr. Driscoll soon 
absorbed himself in his speculations and left 
her to her own devices. 

In that same month of February, Dawson's 
Landing gained a new citizen. This was Mr. 
David Wilson, a young fellow of Scotch 
parentage. He had wandered to this remote 
region from his birthplace in the interior of 
the State of New Yofk, to seek his fortune. 
He was twenty-five years old, college-bred, 
and had finished a post-college course in an 
Eastern law school a couple of years before. 

He was a homely, freckled, sandy-haired 
young fellow, with an intelligent blue eye that 
had frankness and comradeship in it and a 
covert twinkle of a pleasant sort. But for an 
unfortunate remark of his, he would no doubt 
have entered at once upon a successful career at 
Dawson's Landing. But he made his fatal re- 




PuDD'NiiEAD Wilson. 

mark the first day he spent in the village, and it 
*' gaged " him. He had just made the acquain- 
tance of a group of citizens when an invisible 
dog began to yelp and snarl and howl and 
make himself very comprehensively disagree- 
able, whereupon young Wilson said, much as 
one who is thinking aloud — 

" I wish I owned half of that dog." 

" Why ? " somebody asked. 

*' Because I would kill my half." 

The group search.ed his face with curiosity^ 
with anxiety even, but found no light there, no 
expression that they could read. They fell 
away from him as from something uncanny, and 
went into privacy to discuss him. One said : 

** Tears to be a fool." 
I *• Tears ?" said another. ** /s, I reckon you 
better say." 

'* Said he wished he owned half oi the dog» 
the idiot," said a third. ** What did he reckon 
would become of the other half if he killed his 
half ? Do you reckon he thought it would 
live ? " 

'* Why, he must have thought it, unless he is 
the downrightest fool in the world; because if 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


he had n't thought it, he would have wanted 
to own the whole dog, knowing that if he killed 
his half and the other half died, he would be 
responsible for that half just the same as if he 
had killed that half instead of his own. Don't 
it look that way to you, gents ?" 

** Yes, it does. If he owned one half of the 
general dog, it would be so ; if he owned one 
end of the dog and another person owned the 
other end, it would be so, just the same ; par- 
ticularly in the first case, because if you kill one 
half of a general dog, there ain't any man that 
can tell whose half it was, but if he owned one 
end of the dog, maybe he could kill his end of 
it and " 

*' No, he could n't either; he could n't and 
not be responsible if the other end died, which f^ 
it would. In my opinion the man ain't in his 
right mifid." 

*' In my opinion he \\^An\ goi any mind." 

No. 3 said : '* Well, he 's a lummox, any- 

*' That 's what he is," said No. 4, " he 's a 
labrick — ^just a Simon-pure labrick, if ever C^^ 
there was one.*' \ 

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" Yes, Sir, he 's a dam fool, that's the way I 
put him up," said No. 5. '* Anybody can think 
different that wants to, but those are my senti- 

** I 'm with you, gentlemen," said No. 6. 
" Perfect jackass — yes, and it ain't going too 
far to say he is a pudd'nhead. If he ain't a 
pudd'nhead, I ain't no judge, that's all." 

Mr. Wilson stood elected. The incident was 
told all over the town, and gravely discussed 
by everybody. Within a week he had lost his 
first name; Pudd'nhead took its place. In 
time he came to be liked, and well liked too ; 
but by that time the nickname had got well 
stuck on, and it stayed. That first day's ver- 
dict made him a fool, and he was not able to 
get it set aside, or even modified. The nick- 
name soon ceased to carry any harsh or un- 
friendly feeling with it, but it held its place, and 
was to continue to hold its place for twenty long 

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Adam was but human — this explains it all. He did 
not want the apple for the apple's sake, he wanted it only 
because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not for- 
bidding the serpent ; then he would have eaten the ser- 
pent. — Puditnhead Wilson's Calendar, 

Pudd'nhead Wilson had a trifle of money 
when he arrived, and he bought a small house 
on the extreme western verge of the town. Be- 
tween it and Judire Driscoirs house there was 
only a grassy yard, with a paling fence divid- J^^^^^^^^4 
ing the properties in the middle. He hired a 
small office down in the town and hung out [| ^foj 
a tin sio:n with these words on it : sun^rr-^pTyc 





CQhTi **»*C<^Q Cil 



But his deadly remark had ruined his chance 
-at least in the law. No clients came. He 



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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

took down his sign, after a while, and put it up 
on his own house with the law features knocked 
out of it. It offered his services now in the 
humble capacities of land-surveyor and expert 
accountant. Now and then he got a job of sur- 
veying to do, and now and then a merchant got 
him to straighten out his books. With Scotch 
patience and pluck he resolved to live down his 
reputation and work his way into the legal 
field yet. Poor fellow, he could not foresee 
that it was going to take him such a weary 
long time to do it. 

He had a rich abundance of idle time, but 
it never hung heavy on his hands, for he in- 
terested himself in every new thing that was 
born into the universe of ideas, and studied it 
and experimented upon it at his house. One 
^J^'^ of his pet fads was palmistry. To another one 
^^he gave no name, neither would he explain to 
anybody what its purpose was, but merely said 
It was an amusement. In fact he had found 
that his fads added to his reputation as a pud- 
d'nhead ; therefore he was growing chary of 
being too communicative about them. The 
fad without a name w^as one which dealt with 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


people's finger-marks. He carried in his coat 
pocket a shallow box with grooves in it, and 
in the grooves strips of glass five inches long 
and three inches wide. Along the lower edge 
of each strip was pasted a slip of white paper. 
He asked people to pass their hands through 
their hair (thus collecting upon them a thin 
coating of the natural oil) and then make a 
thumb-mark on a glass strip, following it with 
the mark of the ball of each finger in succes- 
sion. Under this row of faint grease-prints he 
would write a record on the strip of white pa- 
per — thus : 

John Smith, right hand — 

and add the day of the month and the year, 
then take Smith's left hand on another glass ,, 
strip, and add name and date and the words/ I' 1 
" left hand." The strips were now returned 
to the grooved box, and took their place "—^ 
among what Wilson called his ** records." 

He often studied his records, examining and 
poring over them with absorbing interest until 
far into the night ; but what he found there — 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

if he found anything — he revealed to no one. 
Sometimes he copied on paper the involved 
and delicate pattern left by the ball of a finger, 
and then vastly enlarged it with a pantograph 
so that he could examine its web of curving 
lines with ease and convenience. 

One sweltering afternoon — it was the first 
day of July, 1830 — he was at work over a set 
of tangled account-books in his work-room, 
which looked westward over a stretch of va- 
cant lots, when a conversation outside dis- 
turbed him. It was carried on in yells, which 
showed that the people engaged in it were not 
close together : 

** Say, Roxy, how does yo' baby come on ?'" 
This from the distant voice. 

" Fust-rate ; how does you come on, Jas- 
per ?" This yell was from close by. 

•' Oh, I 's middlin' ; hain't got noth'n' to 
complain of. I 's gwine to come a-court'n' 
you bimeby, Roxy." 

'* You is, you black mud-cat ! Yah — yah — 
yah ! I got somep'n' better to do den 'sociat'n^ 
wid niggers as black as you is. Is ole Miss 
Cooper's Nancy done give you de mitten ? '" 

ytoed by Google 

Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


Roxy followed this sally with another dis- 
charge of care-free laughter. 

"You 's jealous, Roxy, dat 's what 's de 
matter wid you, you hussy — yah — yah — yah ! 
Dat 's de time I got you !" 

*' Oh, yes, you got me, hain't you. 'Clah to 
goodness if dat conceit o' yo'n strikes in, Jas- 
per, it gwine to kill you sho*. If you belonged 
to me I 'd sell you down de river 'fo' you git 
too fur gone. Fust time I runs acrost yo' 
niarster, I 's gwine to tell him so." 

This idle and aimless jabber went on and 
on, both parties enjoying the friendly duel and 
each, well satisfied with his own share of the 
wit exchanged — for wit they considered it. 

Wilson stepped to the window to observe 
the combatants ; he could not work while their 
chatter continued. Over in the vacant lots was 
Jasper, young, coal-black and of magnificent 
build, sitting on a wheelbarrow in the pelting 
sun — at work, supposably, whereas he was in 
fact only preparing for it by taking an hour's 
rest before beginning. In front of Wilson's 
porch stood Roxy, with a local hand-made 
baby-wagon, in which sat her two charges — 

^. V.' V^ 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


i •' 

one at each end and facing each other. From 
Roxy's manner of speech, a stranger would 
have expected her to be black, but she was 
not. Only one sixteenth of her was black, and 
that sixteenth did not show. She was of ma- 
jestic form and stature, her attitudes were 
imposing and statuesque, and her gestures 
and movements distinguished by a noble and 
stately grace. Her complexion was very fair, 
with the rosy glow of vigorous health in the 
cheeks, her face was full of character and ex- 
..pression, her eyes were brown and liquid, and 
^ she had a heavy suit of fine soft hair which was 
.; also brown, but the fact was not apparent be- 
., cause her head was bound about with acheck- 
-. ered handkerchief and the hair was concealed 
.. under it. Her face was shapely, intelligent 
and comely — even beautiful. She had an easy, 
independent carriage — when she was among 
- her own caste — and a high and *' sassy " way, 
withal ; but of course she was meek and hum- 
ble enough where white people were. 

To all intents and purposes Roxy was as 
white as anybody, but the one sixteenth of 
her which was black outvoted the other fifteen 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


parts and made her a negro. She was a 
slave, and salable as such. Her child was 
thirty-one parts white, and he, too, was a 
slave, and by a fiction of law and custom a 
negro. He had blue eyes and flaxen curls 
like his white comrade, but even the father 
of the white child was able to tell the children 
apart — little as he had commerce with them — -_i; 
by their clothes : for the white babe wore 
ruffled soft muslin and a coral necklace, while 
the other wore merely a coarse tow-linen 
shirt which barely reached to its knees, and 
no jewelry. 

The white child's name was Thomas k 
Becket Driscoll, the other's name was Valet 
de Chambre : no surname — slaves had n't the 
privilege. Roxana had heard that phrase 
somewhere, the fine sound of it had pleased 
her ear, and as she had supposed it was a 
name, she loaded it on to her darling. It 
soon got shortened to *' Chambers," of course. 

Wilson knew Roxy by sight, and when the 
duel of wit began to play out, he stepped out- 
side to gather in a record or two. Jasper 
went to work energetically, at once, perceiv- 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

ing that his leisure was observed. Wilson 
inspected the children and asked — 

** How old are they, Roxy ?" 

" Bofe de same age, sir — five months. 
Bawn de fust o* February." 

** They're handsome little chaps. One's 
just as handsome as the other, too." 

A delighted smile exposed the girl's white 
teeth, and she said : 

*' Bless yo' soul, Misto Wilson, it 's pow'fui 
nice o* you to say dat, 'ca'se one of 'em ain't 
on'y a nigger. Mighty prime little nigger, / 
al'ays says, but dat's case it's mine, o' course." 

*' How do you tell them apart, Roxy, when 
they have n't any clothes on ? " 

Roxy laughed a laugh proportioned to her 
I ( size, and said : 

** Oh, / kin tell 'em 'part, Misto Wilson, but 
I bet Marse Percy could n't, not to save his 

Wilson chatted along for awhile, and pres- 
"^ ently got Roxy's finger-prints for his collec- 
tion — right hand and left — on a couple of his 
glass strips ; then labeled and dated them, and 
took the '* records " of both children, and 
labeled and dated them also. 




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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


Two months later, on the 3d of September, 
he took this trio of finger-marks again. He 
liked to have a ** series," two or three ** tak- 
ings " at intervals during the period of child- 
hood, these to be followed by others at inter- 
vals of several years. 

The next day — that is to say, on the 4th of 
September — something occurred which pro- 
foundly impressed Roxana. Mr. Driscoll 
missed another small sum of money — which is 
a way of saying that this was not a new thing, 
but had happened before. In truth it had 
happened three times before. Driscoll's 
patience was exhausted. He was a fairly 
humane man toward slaves and other animals ; 
he was an exceedingly humane man toward 
the erring of his own race. Theft he could 
not abide, and plainly there was a thief in his 
house. Necessarily the thief must be one of 
his negroes. Sharp measures must be taken. 

X^'- '^ 




i - 


He called his servants before him. There ^ ^'V 'X wj 
were three of these, besides Roxy : a man, a kV*^'.,,;*''^*'"^ 

woman, and a boy twelve years old, 
were not related. Mr. Driscoll said : 

** You have all been warned before* It has I 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

done no good. This time I will teach you a 
lesson. I will sell the thief. Which of you 
is the guilty one ?" 

They all shuddered at the threat, for here 
they had a good home, and a new one was 
likely to be a change for the worse. The de- 
nial was general. None had stolen anything 
— not money, anyway — a little sugar, or cake, 
or honey, or something like that, that ** Marse 
Percy wouldn't mind or miss," but not money 
— never a cent of money. They were elo- 
quent in their protestations, but Mr. Driscoll 
was not moved by them. He answered each 
in turn with a stern ** Name the thie^!" 

The truth was, all were guilty buf Roxana ; 
she suspected that the others were guilty, but 
she did not know them to be so. She was 
horrified to think how near she had come to 
being guilty herself ; she had been saved in 
the nick of time by a revival in the colored 
Methodist Church, a fortnight before, at 
which time and place she *'got religion/* 
The very next day after that gracious experi- 
ence, while her change of style was fresh 
upon her and she was vain of her purified 

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condition, her master left a couple of dollars 
lying unprotected on his desk, and she hap- 
pened upon that temptation when she was 
polishing around with a dust-rag. She looked 
at the money awhile with a steadily rising re- 
sentment, then she burst out with — 

** Dad blame dat revival, I wisht it had V 
be'n put off till to-morrow ! " 

Then she covered the tempter with a book, 
and another member of the kitchen cabinet 
got it. She made this sacrifice as a matter of 
religious etiquette ; as a thing necessary just 
now, but by no means to be wrested into a 
precedent ; no, a week or two would limber 
up her piety, then she would be rational 
again, and the next two dollars that got left 
out in the cold would find a comforter — and 
she could name the comforter. 

Was she bad? Was she worse than the 
general run of her race ? No, They had an 
unfair show in the battle of life, and they held 
It no sin to take military advantage of the en- 
emy — in a small way ; in a small way, but not 
in a large one. They would smouch provi- 
sions from the pantry whenever they got a 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

chance ; or a brass thimble, or a cake of wax, 
or an emery-bag, or a paper of needles, or a 
silver spoon, or a dollar bill, or small articles 
of clothing, or any other property of light 
value ; and so far were they from considering 
such reprisals sinful, that they would go to 
church and shout and pray the loudest and 
sincerest with their plunder in their pockets. 
A farm smoke-house had to be kept heavily 
padlocked, for even the colored deacon . him- 
self could not resist a ham when Providence 
showed him in a dream, or otherwise, where 
^ such a thing hung lonesome and longed for 
some one to love. But with a hundred hang- 
ing before him the deacon would not take 
two — that is, on the same night. On frosty 
nights the humane negro prowler would warm 
the end of a plank and put it up under the 
^ /c. '"^ / ^ ..>-/ cold claws of chickens roostihcr in a tree ; a 
# -^ drowsy hen would step on to the comfortable 

^-^^ .,# board, softly clucking her gratitude, and the 

prowler would dump her into his bag, and 

/ later into his stomach, perfectly sure that in 

C,<3:' <^ jltakini/ this triiltf from the man who daily 



treasure — his 

ed by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


liberty — he was not committing any sin thai 
God would remember against him in the Last 
Great Day. 

'* Name the thief ! " 

For the fourth time Mr. Driscoll had said 
it, and always in the same hard tone. And 
now he added these words of awful import : 

** I give you one minute " — he took out his 
-watch. '* If at the end of that time you have 
not confessed, I will not only sell all four of 
you, but — I will sell you down the river!" 

It was equivalent to condemning them to 
hell! No Missouri negro doubted this. 
Roxy reeled in her tracks and the color van- 
ished out of her face ; the others dropped to ^^ 
their knees as if they had been shot ; tears 
gushed from their eyes, their supplicating 
hands went up, and three answers came in the 
one instant : 

" I done it ! " 

" I done it 1 " 

" I done it 1 — have mercy, marster — Lord 
have mercy on us po' niggers ! " 

** Very good," said the master, putting up his 
watch, '* I will sell you here though you don't 



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40 Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

deserve it. You ought to be sold down the 

The culprits flung themselves prone, in an 
ecstasy of gratitude, and kissed his feet, de- 
claring that they would never forget his good- 
ness and never cease to pray for him as long 
as they lived. They were sincere, for like a 
god he had stretched forth his mighty hand 
and closed the gates of hell against them. 
He knew, himself, that he had done a noble 
and gracious thing, and was privately well 
pleased with his magnanimity ; and that night 
he set the incident down in his diary, so that 
his son might read it in after years, and be 
thereby moved to deeds of gentleness and 
humanity himself. 

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Whoever has lived long enough to find out what life is, 
knows how deep a debt of gratitude we owe to Adam, the 
first great benefactor of our race. He brought death into 
the world. — Fudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar. 

Percy Driscoll slept well the night he 
saved his house-minions from going down the 
river, but no wink of sleep visited Roxy s 
eyes. A profound terror had taken posses- 
sion of her. Her child could grow up and be 
sold down the river ! The thought crazed her 
with horror. If she dozed and lost herself 
for a moment, the next moment she was on 
her feet flying to her child's cradle to see if it 
was still there. Then she would gather it 
to her heart and pour out her love upon it in 
a frenzy of kisses, moaning, crying, and say- 
ing •* Dey sha n't, oh, dey sha'fit / — yo' po' 
mammy will kill you fust ! " 

Once, when she was tucking it back in its 



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cradle again, the other child nestled in its 
sleep and attracted her attention. She went 
and stood over it a long time communing with 
herself : 

*' What has my po' baby done, dat he 
couldn't have yo' luck ? He hain't done 
noth'n'. God was good to you ; why warn't 
he good to him ? Dey can't sell j'^« down de 
river. I hates yo' pappy ; he hain't got no 
heart — for niggers he hain't, anyways. I 
hates him, en I could kill him !" She paused 
awhile, thinking ; then she burst into wild 
sobbings again, and turned away, saying, 
** Oh, 1 got to kill my chile, dey ain't no 
yuther way, — killin' him wouldn't save de chile 
fum goin' down de river. Oh, I got to do it, 
yo' po' mammy's got to kill you to save you, 
honey " — she gathered her baby to her bosom, 
now, and began to smother it with caresses — 
"Mammy's got to kill you — how kin I do it ! 
But yo' mammy ain't gwine to desert yoU — 
no, no ; daJi, don't cry — she gwine xuid you, 
she gwine to kill herself too. Come along, 
honey, come along wid mammy ; we gwine to 
jump in de river, den de troubles o' dis worl' 

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IS all over — dey don't sell po' niggers down the 
river ov^v yonder.'' 

She started toward the door, crooning to the 
<:hild and hushing it; midway she stopped, 
suddenly. She had caught sight of her new 
Sunday gown — a cheap curtain-calico thing, 
a conflagration of gaudy colors and fantastic 
figures. She surveyed it wistfully, longingly. 

" Hain't ever wore it yet," she said, ** en it s 
jist lovely." Then she nodded her head in re- 
sponse to a pleasant idea, and added, ** No, I 
ain't gwine to be fished out, wid everybody 
lookin' at me, in dis mis'able ole linsey- 

She put down the child and made the change. 
She looked in the glass and was astonished at 
her beauty. She resolved to make her death- 
toilet perfect. She took off her handkerchief- 
turban and dressed her glossy wealth of hair 
^' like white folks " ; she added some odds and 
ends of rather lurid ribbon and a spray of atro- 
cious artificial flowers ; finally she threw over 
her shoulders a fluffy thing called a *' cloud " 
in that day, which was of a blazing red com- 
plexion. Then she was ready for the tomb 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

She gathered up her baby once more ; but 
when her eye fell upon its miserably short 
little gray tow-linen shirt and noted the con- 
trast between its pauper shabbiness and her 
own volcanic irruption of infernal splendors, 
her mother-heart was touched, and she was 

" No, dolling, mammy ain't gwine to treat 
you so. De angels is gwine to *mire you jist 
as much as dey does yo* mammy. Ain't 
gwine to have *em putt'n* dey ban's up *fo' 
dey eyes en sayin* to David en Goliah en 
dem yuther prophets, * Dat chile is dress' too 
indelicate fo* dis place.' " 

By this time she had stripped off the shirt. 
Now she clothed the naked little creature in 
one of Thomas k Becket's snowy long baby- 
gowns, with its bright blue bows and dainty 
flummery of ruffles. 

" Dah — now you's fixed." She propped the 
child in a chair and stood off to inspect it. 
Straightway her eyes began to widen with 
astonishment and admiration, and she clapped 
her hands and cried out, ** Why, it do beat 
all ! — I never knowed you was so lovely. 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


Marse Tommy ain't a bit puttier — not a single 

She stepped over and glanced at the other 
infant ; she flung a glance back at her own ; 
then one more at the heir of the house. Now 
a strange light dawned in her eyes, and in a 
moment she was lost in thought. She seemed 
in a trance ; when she came out of it she mut- 
tered, " When I 'uz a-washin* 'em in de tub, 
yistiddy, his own pappy asked me which of 
*em was his n.'* 

She began to move about like one in a 
dream. She undressed Thomas h Becket, ^^ 
stripping him of everything, and put the tow- V |f 
linen shirt on him. She put his coral neck- A" 
lace on her own child's neck. Then she ^wSf 
placed the children side by side, and after C<(/ 
earnest inspection she muttered — 

'* Now who would b'lieve clo'es could do de 
like o* dat ? Dog my cats if it ain't all /kin 
do to tell t' other fum which, let alone his 

She put her cub in Tommy's elegant cra- 
dle and said — 

"You's young Marse Tom fum dis out, en 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

I got to practise and git used to 'memberin'' 
to call you dat, honey, or I *s gwine to make 
a mistake some time en git us bofe into trou- 
ble. Dah — now you lay still en don't fret no 
mo*, Marse Tom — oh, thank de good Lord in 
heaven, you's saved, you's saved ! — dey ain't 
no man kin ever sell mammy's po* little 
honey down de river now !" 

She put the heir of the house in her own 
child's unpainted pine cradle, and said, con» 
templating its slumbering form uneasily — 

•* I 's sorry for you, honey ; I 's sorry, God 
knows I is, — but what kin I do, what could I 
do ? Yo' pappy would sell him to somebody^ 
some time, en den he'd go down de river^ 
sho', en I could n't, could n't, could nt stan' it." 

She flung herself on her bed and began to 
think and toss, toss and think. By and by 
she sat suddenly upright, for a comforting 
thought had flown through her worried mind — 

'*'T ain't no sin — white folks has done it ! 
It ain't no sin, glory to goodness it ain't no 
sin ! Dey *s done it — yes, en dey was de 
biggest quality in de whole bilin', too — 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


She began to muse ; she was trying to 
gather out of her memory the dim particulars 
of some tale she had heard some time or 
other. At last she said — 

** Now I 's got it ; now I 'member. It was 
dat ole nigger preacher dat tole it, de time he 
come over here fum Illinois en preached in 
de nigger church. He said dey ain't nobody 
kin save his own self — can't do it by faith, 
can't do it by works, can't do it no way at all. 
Free grace is de any way, en dat don't come 
fum nobody but jis' de Lord ; en /le kin give 
it to anybody he please, saint or sinner — Ac 
don't kyer. He do jis' as he's a mineter. 
He s'lect out anybody dat suit him, en put 
another one in his place, en make de fust one 
happy forever en leave t'other one to burn wid 
Satan. De preacher said it was jist like dey 
done in Englan' onetime, longtime ago. De 
queen she lef her baby layin' aroun' one day, 
en went out callin' ; en one o' de niggers roun'- 
'bout de place dat was 'mos* white, she come 
in en see de chile layin' aroun', en tuck en 
put her own chile's clo'es on de queen's chile, 
en put de queen's chile's clo'es on her own 

# oogle 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

chile, en den lef her own chile layin' aroun' 
en tuck en toted de queen's chile home to de 
nigger-quarter, en nobody ever foun* it out, 
en her chile was de king bimeby, en sole de 
queen's chile down de river one time when 
dey had to settle up de estate. Dah, now — 
de preacher said it his own self, en it ain't no 
sin, 'ca se white folks done it. Dey done it 
— yes, dey done it ; en not on'y jis' common 
white folks nuther. but de biggest quality dey 
is in de whole bilin*. Oh, I 's so glad I 
'member 'bout dat ! " 

She got up light-hearted and happy, and 
went to the cradles and spent what was left 
of the night ** practising." She would give 
her own child a light pat and say humbly, 
" Lay still, Marse Tom," then give the real 
Tom a pat and say with severity, *' Lay still. 
Chambers ! — dofes you want me to take 
somep'n* to you ? " 

As she progressed with her practice, she 
was surprised to see how steadily and surely 
the awe which had kept her tongue reverent 
^>^^^ I'^T and her manner humble toward her young 
"^^^^ff^^ master was transferring itself to her speech 



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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


and manner toward the usurper, and how 
similarly handy she was becoming in trans- 
ferring her motherly curtness of speech and 
peremptoriness of manner to the unlucky heir 
of the ancient house of Driscoll. 

She took occasional rests from practising, 
and absorbed herself in calculating her chances. 

" Dey '11 sell dese niggers to-day fo* stealin* 
de money, den dey *11 buy some mo' dat don't 
know de chillen — so dat's all right. When I 
takes de chillen out to git de air, de minute 
I 's roun' de corner I 's gwine to gaum dey 
mouths all roun' wid jam, den dey can't 
nobody notice dey 's changed. Yes, I gwine- 
ter do dat till I 's safe, if it 's a year. 

" Dey ain't but one man dat I 's afeard of, 
en dat 's dat Pudd'nhead Wilson. Dey calls <aP^ 
him a pudd'nhead, en says he 's a fool. My 
Ian', dat man ain't no mo' fool den I is ! He's 
de smartes' man in dis town, less'n it's Jedge 
Driscoll or maybe Pem Howard. Blame dat 
man, he worries me wid dem ornery glasses o' 
hisn ; / b'lieve he 's a witch. But nemmine, 
I 's gwine to happen aroun' dah one o' dese 
days en let on dat I reckon he wants to print 


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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

de chillen's fingers ag'in ; en if he don't notice 
dey's changed, I bound dey ain't nobody 
gwine to notice it, en den I 's safe, sho'. 
But I reckon I *11 tote along a hoss-shoe to 
keep off de witch-work." 

The new negroes gave Roxy no trouble, of 
course. The master gave her none, for one 
of his speculations was in jeopardy, and his 
mind was so occupied that he hardly saw the 
children when he looked at them, and all Roxy 
had to do was to get them both into a gale of 
laughter when he came about ; then their 
faces were mainly cavities exposing gums, and 
he was gone again before the spasm passed 
and the little creatures resumed a human 

Within a few days the fate of the specu- 
lation became so dubious that Mr. Percy 
went away with his brother the Judge, to 
see what could be done with it. It was a 
f^ land speculation as usual, and it had gotten 
complicated with a lawsuit. The men were 
.^ gone seven weeks. Before they got back 
i v'^Roxy had paid her visit to Wilson, and was 
"^ satisfied. Wilson took the finger-prints,. 

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labeled them with the names and with the 
date — October the first — put them carefully 
away and continued his chat with Roxy, 
who seemed very anxious that he should ad- 
mire the great advance in flesh and beauty 
which the babies had made since he took their 
finger-prints a month before. He compli- 
mented their improvement to her content- 
ment ; and as they were without any dis- 
guise of jam or other stain, she trembled all 
the while and was miserably frightened lest 
at any moment he — 

But he did n*t. He discovered nothing; 
and she went home jubilant, and dropped all 
concern about the matter permanently out of 
her mind. 


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Adam and Eve had many advantages, but the principal 
one was, that they escaped teething. — Pudd*nhead Wil- 
son's Calendar, 

There is this trouble about special providences — 
namely, there is so often a doubt as to which party was 
intended to be the beneficiary. In the case of the chil- 
dren, the bears and the prophet, the bears got more real 
satisfaction out of the episode than the prophet did, be- 
cause they got the children. — Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calen- 

This history must henceforth accommodate 
itself to the change which Roxana has con- 
summated, and call the real heir ''Chambers" 
and the usurping little slave " Thomas a 
Becket" — shortening this latter name to 
*' Tom," for daily use, as the people about 
him did. 

'* Tom " was a bad baby, from the very 
beginning of his usurpation. He would cry 
for nothing ; he would burst into storms of 
devilish temper without notice, and let go 


Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


scream after scream and squall after squall, 
then climax the thing with ''holding his 
breath " — that frightful specialty of the teeth- 
ing nursling, in the throes of which the creat- 
ure exhausts its lungs, then is convulsed with 
noiseless squirmings and twistings and kick- 
ings in the effort to get its breath, while the 
lips turn blue and the mouth stands wide and 
rigid, offering for inspection one wee tooth 
set in the lower rim of a hoop of red gums; 
and when the appalling stillness has endured 
until one is sure the lost breath will never 
return, a nurse comes flying, and dashes water 
in the child's face, and — presto ! the lungs fill, 
and instantly discharge a shriek, or a yell, or 
a howl which bursts the listeninor ear and sur- 
prises the owner of it into saying words which 
would not go well with a halo if he had one. 
The baby Tom would claw anybody who came 
within reach of his nails, and pound anybody 
he could reach with his rattle. He would 
scream for water until he got it, and then 
throw cup and all on the floor and scream for 
more. He was indulged in all his caprices, 
howsoever troublesome and exasperating they 


Digitized by 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


-^; . 

might be ; he was allowed to eat anything he 
wanted, particularly things that would give 
him the stomach-ache. 

When he got to be old enough to begin to 
toddle about and say broken words and get 
an idea of what his hands were for, he was a 
more consummate pest than even Roxy got 
no rest while he was awake. He would call 
for anything and everything he saw, simply 
saying **Awnt it!" (want it), which was a 
command. When it was brought, he said in 
a frenzy, and motioning it away with his 
hands, ** Don't awnt it ! don't awnt it!" and 
the moment it was gone he set up frantic yells 
of ** Awnt it ! awnt it! awnt it!" and Roxy 
had to give wings to her heels to get that 
thing back to him again before he could get 
time to carry out his intention of going into 
convulsions about it. 

What he preferred above all other things 
was the tongs. This was because his " father" 
had forbidden him to have them lest he break 
windows and furniture with them. The 
moment Roxy's back was turned he would 
toddle to the presence of the tongs and say 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


"**Likeit!" and cock his eye to one side to 
see if Roxy was observing; then, *' Awnt it!" 
and cock his eye again; then, " Hab it!" 
with another furtive glance ; and finally, 
** Take it!" — and the prize was his. The 
next moment the heavy implement was raised 
aloft ; the next, there was a crash and a 
squall, and the cat was off on three legs to 
meet an engagement ; Roxy would arrive just 
as the lamp or a window went to irremediable 

Tom got all the petting. Chambers got 
none. Tom got all the delicacies. Chambers 
got mush and milk, and clabber without 
sugar. In consequence Tom was a sickly 
■child and Chambers was n't. Tom was ** frac- 11 ., 
tious," as Roxy called it, and overbearing ;^ f ,^ 
Chambers was meek and docile. 

With all her splendid common sense and 
practical every-day ability, Roxy was a dot- 
ing fool of a mother. She was this toward 
her child — and she was also more than this : 
by the fiction created by herself, he was be- 
come her master ; the necessity of recogniz- 
ing this relation outwardly and of perfecting 



Pudu'nhead Wilson. 

herself in the forms required to express the 
recognition, had moved her to such diligence 
and faithfulness in practicing these forms that 
this exercise soon concreted itself into habit ; 
it became automatic and unconscious; then a 
natural result followed : deceptions intended 
solely for others gradually grew practically 
into self-deceptions as well ; the mock rever- 
ence became real reverence, the mock obse- 
quiousness real obsequiousness, the mock 
homage real homage ; the little counterfeit rift 
of separation between imitation-slave and 
imitation-master widened and widened, and 
became an abyss, and a very real one — and 
on one side of it stood Roxy, the dupe of her 
own deceptions, and on the other stood her 
child, no longer a usurper to her, but her 
accepted and recognized master. He was her 
darling, her master, and her deity all in one, 
and in her worship of him she forgot who she 
was and what he had been. 

In babyhood Tom cuffed and banged and 
^ scratched Chambers unrebuked, and Cham- 
bers early learned that between meekly bear- 
ng it and resenting it, the advantage all lay 


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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


with the former policy. The few times that 
his persecutions had moved him beyond con- 
trol and made him fight back had cost him 
very dear at headquarters ; not at the hands 
of Roxy, for if she ever went beyond scolding 
him sharply for **forgitt'n* who his young 
marster was," she at least never extended her 
punishment beyond a box on the ear. No, 
Percy Driscoll was the person. He told 
Chambers that under no provocation what- 
ever was he privileged to lift his hand against 
his little master. Chambers overstepped the jT^ 
line three times, and got three such convinc- Y\ /fT 
ing canings from the man who was his father 
and did n*t know it, that he took Tom's cruel- 
ties in all humility after that, and made no 
more experiments. 

Outside of the house the two boys were to- 
gether all through their boyhood. Chambers 
was strong beyond his years, and a good 
fighter; strong because he was coarsely fed 
and hard worked about the house, and a good 
fighter because Tom furnished him plenty of 
practice — on white boys whom he hated and 
was afraid of. Chambers was his constant 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

body-guard, to and from school ; he was pres- 
ent on the playground at recess to protect his 
charge. He fought himself into such a for- 
midable reputation, by and by, that Tom could 
have changed clothes with him, and ** ridden 
in peace," like Sir Kay in Launceiot's armor. 
He was good at games of skill, too. Tom 
staked him with marbles to play '* keeps" 
with, and then took all the winnings away 
from him. In the winter season Chambers 
was on hand, in Tom's worn-out clothes, with 
"holy" red mittens, and "holy" shoes, and 
pants " holy " at the knees and seat, to drag 
a sled up the hill for Tom, warmly clad, to 
^ ,j^ ride down on ; but he never got a ride him- 
^V self. He built snow men and snow fortifica- 
* ' tions under Tom's directions. He was Tom's 
patient target when Tom wanted to do some 
snowballing, but the target could n't fire back. 
Chambers carried Tom's skates to the river 
and strapped them on him, then trotted around 
after him on the ice, so as to be on hand 
7" when wanted ; but he was n't ever asked to try 
the skates himself. 

In summer the pet pastime of the boys of 


«^ >>1itizedbyG00Qle 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 59 

Dawson's Landing was to steal apples, 
peaches, and melons from the farmers fruit- 
wagons, — mainly on account of the risk they 
ran of getting their heads laid open with the 
butt of the farmer's whip. Tom was a distin- 
guished adept at these thefts — by proxy. 
Chambers did his stealing, and got the peach- 
stones, apple-cores, and melon-rinds for his 

Tom always made Chambers go in swim- 
ming with him, and stay by him as a protec- 
tion. When Tom had had enough, he would 
slip out and tie knots in Chambers's shirt, dip 
the knots in the water to make them hard to ^'^ '' 
undo, then dress himself and sit by and laugh "^S'^^^f/ -^ .c, 
while the naked shiverer tugged at the stub- ^.&/'- '^ 
born knots with his teeth. ^"^'/^ ^^ 

Tom did his humble comrade these various 
ill turns partly out of native viciousness, and 
partly because he hated him for his superiuri- 
ties of physique and pluck, and for liis mani* __^ 

fold clevernesses. Tom could n't dive, for it \-'''^:^^;k\^^ ^> 
gave him splitting headaches. Chambers ?/ 4^^"*^, 
could dive without inconvenience, and vvas f ';■"'''' A*", 
fond of doing it. He excited so much admir- 




Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


ation, one day, among a crowd of white boys, 
by throwing back somersaults from the stern 
of a canoe, that it wearied Tom's spirit, and at 
last he shoved the canoe underneath Cham- 
bers while he was in the air — so he came 
down on his head in the canoe-bottom ; and 
while he lay unconscious, several of Tom's 
ancient adversaries saw that their long-desired 
opportunity was come, and they gave the 
false heir such a drubbing that with Cham- 
bers's best help he was hardly able to drag 
himself home afterward. 

When the boys were fifteen and upward, 
Tom was "showing off" in the river one day, 
when he was taken with a cramp, and shouted 
for help. It was a common trick with the 
boys — particularly if a stranger was present — 
to pretend a cramp and howl for help ; then 
when the stranger came tearing hand over hand 
to the rescue, the howler would go on strug- 
gling and howling till he was close at hand^ 
then replace the howl with a sarcastic smile 
and swim blandly away, while the town boys 
assailed the dupe with a volley of jeers and 
laughter. Tom had never tried this joke as 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


yet, but was supposed to be trying it now, so 
the boys held warily back ; but Chambers be- 
lieved his master was in earnest, therefore he 
swam out, and arrived in time, unfortunately, 
and saved his life. 

This was the last feather. Tom had man- 
aged to endure everything else, but to have 
to remain publicly and permanently under 
such an obligation as this to a nigger, and to 
this nigger of all niggers — this was too much. 
He heaj'^d insults upon Chambers for ** pre- 
tending to think he was in earnest in calling 
for help, and said that anybody but a block- 
headed nigger would have known he was 
funning and left him alone. 

Tom's enemies were in strong force here, so 
they came out with their opinions quite freely. 
They laughed at him, and called him coward, 
liar, sneak, and other sorts of pet names, and 
told him they meant to call Chambers by a 
new name after this, and make it common in 
the town — ** Tom Driscoll's niggerpappy," — 
to signify that he had had a second birth into 
this life, and that Chambers was the author of 
his new being. Tom grew frantic under these 
taunts, and shouted — 






Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

C^ ^ 

•••■J. -'^^^ 

r f(n w^^^^d^^ ^^d a chance to escape. He 
V ^'J^i' considerably hurt, but not seriously. If 

•* Knock their heads off, Chambers 1 knock 
their heads off! What do you stand there 
with your hands in your pockets for?" 

Chambers expostulated, and said, "But^ 
Marse Tom, dey's too many of em — dey's — "^ 

** Do you hear me ? " 

*' Please, Marse Tom, don't make me T 
Dey 's so many of *em dat " 

Tom sprang at him and drove his pocket- 
knife into him tWo or three times before the 
boys could snatch him away and give the 

) ^ blade had been a little longer his career would 
have ended there. 

Tom had long ago taught Roxy ** her 
\^l place." It had been many a day now since 
^' ^ y^ she had ventured a caress or a fondling 
epithet in his quarter. Such things, from a 
'* nigger." were repulsive to him, and she had 
been warned to keep her distance and remem- 
ber who she was. She saw her darling gradu- 
ally cease from being her son, she saw ///^/ de- 
tail perish utterly ; all that was left was mas- 
ter — master, pure and simple, and it was not a 


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"'**^- /^^c 

Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


gentle mastership, either. She saw herself 
sink from the sublime height of motherhood 
to the somber depths of unmodified slavery. 
The abyss of separation between her and her 
boy was complete. She was merely his chattel, 
now, his convenience, his dog, his cringing 
and helpless slave, the humble and unresisting 
victim of his capricious temper and vicious 

Sometimes she could not go to sleep, even 
when worn out with fatigue, because her rage 
boiled so high over the day's experiences with 
her boy. She would mumble and mutter to ^„ 
herself — 

**He struck me, en I war n't no way to 
blame — struck me in de face, right before 
folks. En he's al'ays callin' me nigger-wench, 
en hussy, en all dem mean names, when I *s 
doin' de very bes' I kin. Oh, Lord, I done so 
much for him — I lift' him away up to what he 
is — en dis is what I git for it." 

Sometimes when some outrage of peculiar •'^f 
offensiveness stung her to the heart, sheS 


would plan schemes of vengeance and revels'^ 7^^ ^T«*'' %^^ t^^ 
in the fancied spectacle of his exposure to the^^'-'l^ "^ '^ v 

V ^v:% ^ ^ 

■ ^ ^ . 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

world as an impostor and a slave ; but in the 
midst of these joys fear would strike her : she 
had made him too strong; she could prove noth- 
ing, and — heavens, she might get sold down 
the river for her pains ! So her schemes al- 
ways went for nothing, and she laid them aside 
in impotent rage against the fates, and against 
herself for playing the fool on that fatal Sep- 
tember day in not providing herself with a 
witness for use in the day when such a thing 
might be needed for the appeasing of her ven- 
geance-hungry heart. 

And yet the moment Tom happei*ed to be 
good to her, and kind, — and this occurred 
every now and then, — all her sore places were 
healed, and she was happy ; happy and proud, 
for this was her son, her nigger son, lording it 
among the whites and securely avenging their 
crimes against her race. 

There were two grand funerals in Dawson's 
Landing that fall — the fall of 1845. O^^ ^^s 
tliat of Colonel Cecil Burleigh Essex, the 
other that of Percy Driscoll. 

On his death-bed Driscoll sfet Roxy free 
and delivered his idolized ostensible son sol- 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


emnly into the keeping of his brother, the 
J udge and his wife. Those childless people 
were glad to get him. Childless people are 
not difficult to please. 

Judge Driscoll had gone privately to his 
brother, a month before, and bought Cham- 
bers. He had heard that Tom had been try- 
ing to get his father to sell the boy down the 
river, and he wanted to prevent the scandal — 
for public sentiment did not approve of that 
way of treating family servants for light cause 
or for no cause. 

Percy Driscoll had worn himself out in try- 
ing to save his great speculative landed estate, 
and had died without succeeding. He was 
hardly in his grave before the boom collapsed 
and left his hitherto envied young devil of an 
Jieir a pauper. But that was nothing; his 
uncle told him he should be his heir and have 
all his fortune when he died ; so Tom was 

Roxy had no home, now ; so she resolved 

to go around and say good-by to her friends 

and then clear out and see the world — that is 

to say, she would go chambermaiding on a 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

steamboat, the darling ambition of her race 
and sex. 

Her last call was on the black giant, Jasper. 
She found him chopping Pudd'nhead Wilson's 
winter provision of wood. 

Wilson was chatting with him when Roxy ar- 
rived. He asked her how she could bear to go 
off chambermaiding and leave her boys ; and 
chaffingly offered to copy off a series of their 
finger-prints, reaching up to their twelfth year,, 
for her to remember them by ; but she sobered 
in a moment, wondering if he suspected any- 
thing ; then she said she believed she did n't 
want them. Wilson said to himself, " The 
drop of black blood in her is superstitious ; 
she thinks there 's some devilry, some witch- 
business about my glass mystery somewhere ; 
she used to come here with an old horseshoe 
in her hand ; it could have been an accident,, 
but I doubt it." 


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Training is everything. The peach was once a bit- 
ter almond ; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a 
college education. — PudcTnhead Wilson's Calendar. 

Remark of Dr. Baldwin's, concerning upstarts : We 
do n*t care to eat toadstools that think they are truffles. — 
Pudd 'nhead Wilson's Calendar, 

Mrs. York Driscoll enjoyed two years 
of bliss with that prize, Tom — bliss that was 
troubled a little at times, it is true, but bliss 
nevertheless ; then she died, and her husband 
and his childless sister, Mrs. Pratt, continued 
the bliss-business at the old stand. Tom was 
petted and indulged and spoiled to his entire 
content — or nearly that. This went on till he 
was nineteen, then he was sent to Yale. He 
went handsomely equipped with ** conditions," 
but otherwise he was not an object of distinc- 
tion there. He remained at Yale two years, 
and then threw up the struggle. He came 


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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

home with his manners a good deal improved ; 
he had lost his surliness and brusqueness, and 
was rather pleasantly soft and smooth, now ; 
he was furtively, and sometimes openly, iron- 
ical of speech, and given to gently touching 
people on the raw, but he did it with a good- 
natured semiconscious air that carried it off 
safely, and kept him from getting into trouble. 
He was as indolent as ever and showed no 
very strenuous desire to hunt up an occupa- 
tion. People argued from this that he pre- 
„-, \v;f';r'''^s ]^ ferred to be supported by his uncle until his 
^ ^' \n \ uncle*s shoes should become vacant. He 
brought back one or two new habits with him, 
one of which he rather openly practised — tip- 
t_^j:^pling — but concealed another, which was gam- 
TbHng. It would not do to gamble where his 
' uncle could hear of it ; he knew that quite well. 
Tom's Eastern polish was not popular 
among the young people. They could have 
endured it, perhaps, if Tom had stopped there ; 
but he wore gloves, and that they could n*t 
stand, and would n*t ; so he was mainly with- 
out society. He brought home with him a 
suit of clothes of such exquisite style and cut 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


and fashion, — Eastern fashion, city fashion, — 
that it filled everybody with anguish and was 
regarded as a peculiarly wanton affront. . He 
enjoyed the feeling which he was exciting, and 
paraded the town serene and happy all day ; 
but the young fellows set a tailor to work 
that night, and when Tom started out on his 
parade next morning he found the old de- 
formed negro bell-ringer straddling along in 
his wake tricked out in a flamboyant curtain- 
calico exaggeration oi' his finery, and imitating 
his fancy Eastern graces as well as he could. 
Tom surrendered, and after that clothed him- 
self in the local fashion. But the dull country- 
town was tiresome to him, since his acquain- 
tanceship with livelier regions, and it grew 
daily more and more so. He began to make 
little trips to St. Louis for refreshment. 
There he found companionship to suit him, 
and pleasures to his taste, along with more 
freedom, in some particulars, than he could' 
have at home. So, during the next two years 
his visits to the city grew in frequency and 
his tarryings there grew steadily longer in 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

He was getting into deep waters. He was 
taking chances, privately, which might get him 
into trouble some day — in fact, did. 

Judge Driscoll had retired from the bench 
and from all business activities in 1850, and 
had now been comfortably idle three years. 
He was president of the Free-thinkers' Society, 
and Pudd'nhead Wilson was the other mem- 
ben The society's weekly discussions were 
now tht old lawyer's main interest in life. 
^ Pudd'nhead was still toiling in obscurity at 
the bottom of the ladder, under the blight of 
that unlucky remark which he had let fall 
twenty-three years before about the dog. 

Judge Driscoll was his friend, and claimed 
that he had a mind above the average, but 
that was regarded as one of the Judge's whims, 
and it failed to modify the public opinion. 
Or rather, that was one of the reasons why 
it failed, but there was another and better one. 
^_^ If the Judge had stopped with bare assertion, 
^^ it would have had a good deal of effect ; but 
^^ he made the mistake of trying to prove his po- 
}M^ sition. Fur some years Wilson had been pri- 
vately at work on a whimsical almanac, for 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


his amusement — a calendar, with a little dab 
•of ostensible philosophy, usually in ironical 
form, appended to each date; and the Judge 
thought that these quips and fancies of Wil- 
son's were neatly turned and cute ; so he car- 
ried a handful of them around, one day, and 
read them to some of the chief citizens. But 
irony was not for those people; their mental 
vision was not focussed for it. They read 
those playful trifles in the solidest earnest, 
and decided without hesitancy that if there %^ 
had ever been any doubt that Dave Wilson 
was a pudd'nhead — which there had n't — this 
revelation removed that doubt for good and 
all. That is just the way in this world ; an 
«nemy can partly ruin a man, but it takes a 
g;ood-natured injudicious friend to complete 
the thing and make it perfect. After this 
the Judge felt tenderer than ever toward 
Wilson, and surer than ever that his calendar 
had merit. 

Judge Driscoll could be a free-thinker and 
still hold his place in society because he wasL 
the person of most consequence in the com- ^ 
munity, and therefore could venture to go 




Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

his own way and follow out his own notions. 
The other member of his pet organization 
was allowed the like liberty because he was a 
cipher in the estimation of the public, and 
nobody attached any importance to what he 
thought or did. He was liked, he was wel- 
come enough all around, but he simply did n't 
count for anything. 

The widow Cooper — affectionately called 
"aunt Patsy" by everybody — lived in a 
snug and comely cottage with her daughter 
Rowena, who was nineteen, romantic, amiable^ 
and very pretty, but otherwise of no conse- 
^i^'^Jl quence. Rowena had a couple of young 
^l^^^^^K^ — ^'^^ ^^ "^ consequence. 

-..-^^ -^ ! ' ^^^ widow had a large spare room which 
^^^/ y)^J she let to a lodger, with board, when she 
/ Ji'^d^i'^^^ could find one, but this room had been empty 
for a year now, to her sorrow. Her income 
was only sufficient for the family support, 
and she needed the lodging-money for trif- 
ling luxuries. But now, at last, on a flaming 
June day, she found herself happy; her te- 
dious wait was ended ; her year-worn adver- 
tisement had been answered ; and not by a 

" :^ 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


village applicant, oh, no ! — this letter was 
from away off yonder in the dim great world 
to the North : it was from St. Loui^. She sat 
on her porch gazing out with unseeing eyes 
upon the shining reaches of the mighty Mis- 
sissippi, her thoughts steeped in her good 
fortune. Indeed it was specially good for- 
tune, for she was to have two lodgers instead 
of one. 

She had read the letter to the family, and 
Rowena had danced away to see to the clean- 
ing and airing of the room by the slave woman 
Nancy, and the boys had rushed abroad in 
the town to spread the great news, for it was 
matter of public interest, and the public would ^. , 
wonder and not be pleased if not informed. "_' Z_l 
Presently Rowena returned, all ablush with ,a" 
joyous excitement, and begged for a re-read- ^^'^'^''^^ 
ing of the letter. It was framed thus : 

Honored Madam : My brother and I have seen your 
advertisement, by chance, and beg leave to take the room 
you offer. We are twenty-four years of age and twins. 
We are Italians by birth, but have lived long in the 
various countries of Europe, and several years in the 
United States. Our names are Luigi and Angelo Capello. 
You desire but one guest ; but dear Madam, if you will 

;*:5Li«/k?ar • 




Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

allow us to pay for two, we will not incommode you. 
shall be down Thursday. 


'*Italiansi! How romantic! Just think, ma 
— there's never been one in this town, and 
everybody will be dying to see them, and 
they Ve all ours / Think of that ! " 

" Yes, I reckon they '11 make a grand stir." 

" Oh, indeed they will. The whole town 

- — will be on its head ! Think — they Ve been in 

Europe and everywhere ! There *s never 

been a traveler in this town before. Ma, I 

should n't wonder if -they Ve seen kings ! " 

*' Well, a body can't tell ; but they '11 make 
stir enough, without that." 

''Yes, that *s of course. Luigi — Angelo. 
They Ve lovely names ; and so grand and 
foreign — not like Jones and Robinson and 
such. Thursday they are coming, and this is 
only Tuesday ; it *s a cruel long time to wait. 
Here comes Judge Driscoll in at the gate. 
He 's heard about it. I '11 go and open the 

The Judge was full of congratulations and 
curiosity. The letter was read and discussed. 
Soon Justice Robinson arrived with more 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


congratulations, and there was a new reading 
and a new discussion. This was the beginning. 
Neighbor after neighbor, of both sexes, fol- 
lowed, and the procession drifted in and out 
all day and evening and all Wednesday and 
Thursday. The letter was read and re-read 
until it was nearly worn out ; everybody ad- 
mired its courtly and gracious tone, and 
smooth and practised style, everybody was 
sympathetic and excited, and the Coopers 
were steeped in happiness all the while. 

The boats were very uncertain in low water, 
in these primitive times. This time 
Thursday boat had not arrived at ten 
night — so the people had waited at the land 
ing all day for nothing ; they were driven to 
their homes by a heavy storm without having 
had a view of the illustrious foreigners. 

Eleven o'clock came ; and the Cooper 
house was the only one in the town that still 
had lights burning. The rain and thunder 
were booming yet, and the anxious family 
were still waiting, still hoping. At last there 
was a knock at the door and the family 
jumped to open it. Two negro men entered. 

/ % 




Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

each carrying a trunk, and proceeded up-stairs 
toward the guest-room. Then entered the 
twins — the handsomest, the best dressed, the 
most distinguished-looking pair of young 
fellows the West had ever seen. One was a 
little fairer than the other, but otherwise 
they were exact duplicates. 

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Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die 
even the undertaker will be sorry. — Pudd^nhead Wilson's 

Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window j^j 
by any man, but coaxed down-stairs a step at a time. — ^^^ 
Puddnhead Wilson's Calendar. 

At breakfast in the morning the twins' 
charm of manner and easy and polished bear- 
ing made speedy conquest of the family's 
good graces. All constraint and formality 
quickly disappeared, and the friendliest feel- 
ing succeeded. Aunt Patsy called them by 
their Christian names almost from the begin- 
ning. She was full of the keenest curiosity 
about them, and showed it ; they responded 
by talking about themselves, which pleased 
her greatly. It presently appeared that in 
their early youth they had known poverty 
and hardship. As the talk wandered along 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 




the old lady watched for the right place to 
drop in a question or two concerning that mat- 
ter, and when she found it she said to the 
blond twin who was now doing the biog- 
raphies in his turn while the brunette one 
rested — 

''If it ain't asking what I ought not to ask,. 
Mr. Angelo, how did you come to be so 
friendless and in such trouble when you were 
little ? Do you mind telling ? But don't if 
you do." 

" Oh, we don't mind it at all, madam ; in 
our case it was merely misfortune, and no- 
body's fault. Our parents were well to do^ 
there in Italy, and we were their only child. 
We were of the old Florentine nobility " — 
Rowena's heart gave a great "bound, her 
nostrils expanded, and a fine light played in 

'^^J- ^©r* her eyes — ** and when the war broke out my 
% ^ father was on the losing side and had to fly 

fi^^ *^V^ f ^*^^ '^''^ '*f^- ^"'^ estates were confiscated, 
bis personal property seized, and there we 
S^^^ were, in Germany, strangers, friendless, and in 
fact paupers. My brother and I were ten years 
old, and well educated for that age, very stu- 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


dious, very fond of our books, and well 
grounded in the German, French, Spanish, 
and English languages. Also, we were mar- 
velous musical prodigies — if you will allow 
me to say it, it being only the truth. 

'* Our father survived his misfortunes only 
a month, our mother soon followed him, and 
we were alone in the world. Our parents 
could have made themselves comfortable by 
exhibiting us as a show, and they had many 
and large offers ; but the thought revolted 
their pride, and they said they would starve 
and die first. But what they would n't con- 
sent to do we had to do without the formality 
of consent. We were seized for the debts 
occasioned by their illness and their funerals, 
and placed among the attractions of a cheap 
museum in Berlin to earn the liquidation 
money. It took us two years to get out of 
that slavery. We traveled all about Germany 
receiving no wages, and not even our keep. 
We had to be exhibited for nothing, and beg 
our bread. 

" Well, madam, the rest is not of 
consequence. When we escaped froi 




slavery at twelve years of age, we were in 
some respects men. Experience had taught 
us some valuable things ; among others, how 
to take care of ourselves, how to avoid and 
defeat sharks and sharpers, and how to conduct 
our own business for our own profit and with- 
out other people's help. We traveled every- 
where — years and years — picking up smatter- 
ings of strange tongues, familiarizing ourselves 
with strange sights and strange customs, 
accumulating an education of a wide and 
varied and curious sort. It was a pleasant 
life. We went to Venice — to London, Paris, 
Russia, India, China, Japan " 

At this point Nancy the slave woman 
"' ^, thrust her head in at the door and exclaimed : 

" Ole Missus, de house is plum* jam full o' 

f> people, en dey *s jes a-spi*lin' to see de gen'l- 

men ! " She indicated the twins with a nod of 

her head, and tucked it back out of si^ht 


It was a proud occasion for the widow, and 
she promised herself high satisfaction in show- 
ing off her fine foreign birds before her neigh- 
bors and friends — simple folk who had hardly 

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ever seen a foreigner of any kind, and never 
one of any distinction or style. Yet her 
feeling was moderate indeed when contrasted 
with Rowena's. Rowena was in the clouds, 
she walked on air ; this was to be the greatest 
day, the most romantic episode, in the col- 
orless history of that dull country town. She 
was to be familiarly near the source of its 
glory and feel the full flood of it pour over 
her and about her ; the other girls could only 
gaze and envy, not partake. 

The widow was ready, Rowena was ready, 
so also were the foreigners. 

The party moved along the hall, the twins 
in advance, and entered the open parlor door, 
whence issued a low hum of conversation. 
The twins took a position near the door the 
widow stood at Luigi's side, Rowena stood 
beside Angelo, and the march-past and the 
introductions began. The widow was all 
smiles and contentment. She received the 
procession and passed it on to Rowena. 

"Good mornin', Sister Cooper" — hand- 

** Good morning. Brother Higgins^ — Count 



Pudd'nhead Wilson, 

Luigi Capello, Mr. Higgins" — hand-shake^ 
followed by a devouring stare and " I 'm glad 
to see ye," on the part of Higgins, and a cour- 
teous inclination of the head and a pleasant 
** Most happy !" on the part of Count Luigi, 

**Good mornin', Roweny" — hand-shake. 

"Good morning, Mr. Higgins — present 
you to Count Angelo Capello." Hand-shake^ 
admiring stare, " Glad to see ye," — courteous 
nod, smily "Most happy!" and Higgins 
passes on. 

None of these visitors was at ease, but,, 
being honest people, they did n*t pretend to 
be. None of them had ever seen a person 
bearing a title of nobility before, and none 
had been expecting to see one now, conse- 
quently the title came upon them as a kind of 
pile-driving surprise and caught them unpre- 
pared. A few tried to rise to the emergency, 
and got out an awkward " My lord," or 
" Your lordship," or something of that sort^ 
but the great majority were overwhelmed by 
the unaccustomed word and its dim and awful 
associations with gilded courts and stately 
ceremony and anointed kingship, so they only 

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Pudd'nhead WILSo^. 


fumbled through the hand-shake and passed 
on, speechless. Now and then, as happens 
at all receptions everywhere, a more than 
ordinarily friendly soul blocked the procession 
and kept it waiting while he inquired how 
the brothers liked the village, and how long 
they were going to stay, and if their families 
were well, and dragged in the weather, and 
hoped it would get cooler soon, and all that 
sort of thing, so as to be able to say, when 
they got home, ** I had quite a long talk with 
them " ; but nobody did or said anything of a 
regrettable kind, and so the great affair went 
through to the end in a creditable and satis- 
factory fashion. 

General conversation followed, and the 
twins drifted about from group to group, talk- 
ing easily and fluently and winning approval, 
compelling admiration and achieving favor 
from all. The widow followed their conquer- 
ing march with a proud eye, and every now 
and then Rowena said to herself with deep 
satisfaction, " And to think they are ours — all 


There were no idle moments for mother or 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

daughter. Eager inquiries concerning the 
twins were pouring into their enchanted ears 
all the time ; each was the constant center of 
a group of breathless listeners ; each recog- 
nized that she knew now for the first time the 
real meaning of that great word Glory, and 
perceived the stupendous value of it, and 
understood why men in all ages had been 
willing to throw away meaner happinesses, 
treasure, life itself, to get a taste of its sublime 
and supreme joy. Napoleon and all his kind 
stood accounted for — and justified. 

When Rowena had at last done all her 
duty by the people in the parlor, she went 
up-stairs to satisfy the longings of an over- 
flow-meeting there, for the parlor was not big 
enough to hold all the comers. Again she 
was besieged by eager questioners and again 
she swam in sunset seas of glory. When the 
forenoon was nearly gone, she recognized 
with a pang that this most splendid episode 
of her life was almost over, that nothing could 
prolong it, that nothing quite its equal could 
ever fall to her fortune again. But never 
inind, it was sufficient unto itself, the grand 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


occasion had moved on an ascending scale 
from the start, and was a noble and memor- 
able success. If the twins could but do some 
crowning act, now, to climax it, something un- 
usual, something startling, something to con- 
centrate upon themselves the company's 
loftiest admiration, something in the nature of 
an electric surprise — 

Here a prodigious slam-banging broke out 
below, and everybody rushed down to see. 
It was the twins knocking out a classic four- 
handed piece on the piano, in great style. 
Rowena was satisfied — satisfied down to the 
bottom of her heart. yJ> 

The young strangers were kept long at thec*^ 
piano. The villagers were astonished and ^ 
enchanted with the magnificence of their per-£-/ 
formance, and could not bear to have them 
stop. All the music that they had ever heard 
before seemed spiritless prentice-work and 
barren of grace or charm when compared 
with these intoxicating floods of melodious 
sound. They realized that for once in their 
lives they were hearing masters. 

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One of the most striking differences between a cat 
and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives. — Pudd'nhead 
Wilson's Calendar, 

The company broke up reluctantly, and 
drifted toward their several homes, chatting 
with vivacity, and all agreeing that it would 
be many a long day before Dawson's Land- 
ing would see the equal of this one again. 
The twins had accepted several invitations 
while the reception was in progress, and had 
also volunteered to play some duets at an 
amateur entertainment for the benefit of a 
local charity. Society was eager to receive 
them to its bosom. Judge Driscoll had the 
good fortune to secure them for an immediate 
drive, and to be the first to display them in 
public. They entered his buggy with him, 
and were paraded down the main street, 


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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


everybody flocking to the windows and side- 
walks to see. 

The Judge showed the strangers the new 
graveyard, and the jail, and where the richest 
man lived, and the Freemasons' hall, and the 
Methodist church, and the Presbyterian 
church, and where the Baptist church was go- 
ing to be when they got some money to build 
it with, and showed them the town hall and 
the slaughter-house, and got out the indepen- 
dent fire company in uniform and had them 
put out an imaginary fire ; then he let them 
inspect the muskets of the militia company, 
and poured out an exhaustlcss stream of en- 
thusiasm over all these splendors, and seemed 
very well satisfied with the responses he got, 
for the twins admired his admiration, and paid 
him back the best they could, though they 
could have done better if some fifteen or six- 
teen hundred thousand previous experiences 
of this sort in various countries Iiad not al- 
ready rubbed off a considerable part of the 
novelty of it. 

The Judge laid himself out hospitably to , 
make them have a good time, and if there 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


I* 1i 

rO i 

was a defect anywhere it was not his fauh 
He told them a good many humorous anec 
dotes, and always forgot the nub, but they 
were always able to furnish it, for these yarns 
were of a pretty early vintage, and they had 
had many a rejuvenating pull at them before. 
And he told them all about his several dig- 
nities, and how he had held this and that and 
the other place of honor or profit, and had 
once been to the legislature, and was now 
president of the Society of Free-thinkers. 
He said the society had been in existence 
four years, and already had two members, 
and was firmly established. He would call 
for the brothers in the evening if they would 
like to attend a meeting of it. 

Accordingly he called for them, and on the 
way he tbld them all about Pudd'nhead Wil- 
son, in order that they might get a favorable 
impression of him in advance and be pre- 
pared to like him. This scheme succeeded — 
the favorable impression was achieved. Later 
it was confirmed and solidified when Wilson 
proposed that out of courtesy to the strangers 
the usual topics be put aside and the hour be 


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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


devoted to conversation upon ordinary sub- 
jects and the cultivation of friendly relations 
and good-fellowship, — a, proposition which 
was put to vote and carried. 

The hour passed quickly away in lively 
talk, and when it was ended the lonesome and 
neglected Wilson was richer by two friends 
than he had been when it began. He invited 
the twins to look in at his lodgings, presently, 
after disposing of an intervening engagement, 
and they accepted with pleasure. 

Toward the middle of the evening they 
found themselves on the road to his house. 
Pudd'nhead was at home waiting for them 
and putting in his time puzzling over a thing 
which had come under his notice that morn- 
ing. The matter was this : He happened to 
be up very early — at dawn, in fact ; and he 
crossed the hall which divided his. cottage 
through the center, and entered a room to get 
something there. The window of the room 
had no curtains, for that side of the house 
had long been unoccupied, and through this 
window he caught sight of something which 
surprised and interested him. It was a 



Pudd'nheau Wilson. 


"""7Z '^m 

young woman — a young woman where prop- 
erly no young woman belonged ; for she was 
in Judge Driscoirs house, and in the bedroom 
over the Judge's private study or sitting- 
room. This was young Tom Driscoirs bed- 
room. He and the Judge, the Judge's 
widowed sister Mrs. Pratt and three negro 
servants were the only people who belonged 
in the house. Who, then, might this young 
lady be ? The two houses were separated by 
an ordinary yard, with a low fence running 
back through its middle from the street in 
front to the lane in the rear. The distance 
was not great, and Wilson was able to see the 
girl very well, the window-shades of the room 
she was in being up, and the window also. 
The girl had on a neat and trim summer 
dress, patterned in broad stripes of pink and 
white, and her bonnet was equipped with a 
pink veil. She was practising steps, gaits 
and attitudes, apparently; she was doing the 
thing gracefully, and was very much absorbed 
in her work. Who could she be, and how 
canity she to be in young Tom Driscoll's 
room ? 




. *r •"^'^ 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


Wilson had quickly chosen a position from 
which he could watch the girl without run- 
ning much risk of being seen by her, and he 
remained there hoping she would raise her 
veil and betray her face. But she dis- 
appointed him. After a matter of twenty 
minutes she disappeared, and although he 
stayed at his post half an hour longer, she 
came no more. 

Toward noon he dropped in at the Judge's 
and talked with Mrs. Pratt about the great 
event of the day, the levee of the dis- 
tinguished foreigners at Aunt Patsy Cooper's. 
He asked after her nephew Tom, and she 
said he was on his way home, and that she 
was expecting him to arrive a little before 
night; and added that she and the Judge 
were gratified to gather from his letters that 
he was conducting himself very nicely and 
creditably — at which Wilson winked to him- 
self privately. Wilson did not ask if there 
was a newcomer in the house, but he asked 
questions that would have brought light- 
throwing answers as to that matter if Mrs. 
Pratt had had any light to throw ; so he went 





away satisfied that he knew of things that 
were going on in her house of which she her- 
self was not aware. 

He was now waiting for the twins, and still 
puzzling over the problem of who that girl 
might be, and how she happened to be in 
that young fellow's room at daybreak in the 

Digitized by 



The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and 
steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last 
through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money. — 
Pudd^nhead Wilson's Calendar, 

Consider well the proportions of things. It is better to 
be a young June-bug than an old bird of paradise. — 
Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar. 

It is necessary now, to hunt up Roxy. 

At the time she was set free and went away 
chambermaiding, she was thirty-five. She got 
a berth as second chambermaid on a Cincin- 
nati boat in the New Orleans trade, the Grand 
Mogul. A couple of trips made her wonted 
and easy-going at the work, and infatuated J| 
her with the stir and adventure and indepen- 
dence of steamboat life. Then slie was pro 
moted and became head chambertitaid. Shell 
was a favorite with the officers, and exceed- 
ingly proud of their joking and friendly ways 
with her. 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

During eight years she served three parts 
of the year on that boat, and the winters on a 
Vicksburg packet. But now for two months 
she had had rheumatism in her arms, and was 
obliged to let the wash-tub alone. So she re- 
signed. But she was well fixed — rich, as she 
would have described it ; for she had lived a 
steady life, and had banked four dollars every 
month in New Orleans as a provision for her 
old age. She said in the start that she had *• put 
shoes on one bar' footed nigger to tromple on 
her with," and that one mistake like that was 
enough ; she would be independent of the 
human race thenceforth forevermore if* hard 
work and economy could accomplish it. 
When the boat touched the levee at New 
Orleans she bade good-by to her comrades on 
the Grand Mogul diX\d moved her kit ashore. 

But she was back in an hour. The bank had 
gone to smash and carried her four hundred 
dollars with it. She was a pauper, and home- 
less. Also disabled bodily, at least for the 
present. The officers were full of sympathy 
for her in her trouble, and made up a little 
purse for her. She resolved to go to her birth- 


Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


place; she had friends there among the ne- 
groes, and the unfortunate always help the 
unfortunate, she was well aware of that ; 
those lowly comrades of her youth would not 
let her starve. 

She took the little local packet at Cairo, 
and now she was on the home-stretch. Time 
had worn away her bitterness against her son, 
and she was able to think of him with serenity. 
She put the vile side of him out of her mind, 
and dwelt only on recollections of his occa- 
sional acts of kindness to her. She gilded and 
otherwise decorated these, and made them 
very pleasant to contemplate. She began to 
long to see him. She would go and fawn 
upon him, slave-like — for this would have to be 
her attitude, of course — and maybe she would 
find that time had modified him, and that he=-4 
would be glad to see his long-forgotten old 
nurse and treat her gently. That would be 
lovely ; that would make her forget her woes 
and her poverty. - 

Her poverty! That thought inspired her_ 
to add another castle to her dream : maybe l| 
he would give her a trifle now and then — 


^.~- *> 




""VI VJ...-.' 

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maybe a dollar, once a month, say ; any little 
thing like that would help, oh, ever so much. 

By the time she reached Dawson's Landing 
she was her old self again ; her blues were 
gone, she was in high feather. She would 
get along, surely ; there were many kitchens 
where the servants would share their meals 
with her, and also steal sugar and apples and 
other dainties for her to carry home — or give 
her a chance to pilfer them herself, which 
would answer just as well. And there was 
the church. She was a more rabid and de- 
voted Methodist than ever, and her piety was 
no sham, but was strong and sincere. Yes, 
with plenty of creature comforts and her old 
place in the amen-corner in her possession 
again, she would be perfectly happy and at 
peace thenceforward to the end. 

She went to Judge DriscolKs kitchen first of 

all. She was received there in great form and 

^ with vast enthusiasm. Her wonderful travels, 

- itfT— j ' 1 and the strange countries she had seen and the 


adventures she had had, made her a marvel, and 
a heroine of romance. The negroes hung en- 
chanted upon the great story of her experi- 
|-l^ences. interrupting her all along with eager 

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questions, with laughter, exclamations of de- 
light and expressions of applause ; and she was 
obliged to confess to herself that if there was 
anything better in this world than steamboat- 
ing, it was the glory to be got by telling about 
it The audience loaded her stomach with 
their dinners, and then stole the pantry bare 
to load up her basket. 

Tom was in St. Louis. The servants said 
he had spent the best part of his time there 
c\uring the previous two years. Roxy came 
every day, and had many talks about the family | 
and its affairs. Once she asked why Tom was 
away so much. The ostensible ** Chambers" 
said : 

** De fac* is, ole marster kin git along bet- 
ter when young marster 's away den he kin 
when he 's in de town ; yes, en ne love him bet- 


ter, too; so he gives him fifty dollahs a \<'%-^^,- 
month " 

*' No, is dat so ? Chambers, you 's a-jokin', 
ain't you?" 

**'Clah to goodness I ain't, mammy ; l\Tarse 
Tom tole me so his own self. But nemmine, 
't ain't enough." 











Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

" My Ian', what de reason 't ain't enough ?^ 

** Well, I 's gwine to tell you, if you gimme 
a chanst, mammy. De reason it ain't enough 
is 'ca'se Marse Tom gambles." 

Roxy threw up her hands in astonishment 
and Chambers went on — 

** Ole marster found it out, 'ca'se he had to 
pay two hundred dollahs for Marse Tom's gam- 
blin' debts, endat's true, mammy, jes as dead 
certain as you 's bawn." 

** Two — hund'd — dollahs ! Why, what is you 
talkin' 'bout ? Two — hund'd — dollahs. Sakes 
alive, it 's 'mos' enough to buy a tol'able good 
second-hand nigger wid. En you ain't 
lyin', honey? — you would n't lie to yo' ole 
mammy ?" 

**It's God's own truth, jes as I tell you — 
two hund'd dollahs — I wisht I may never stir 
outen my tracks if it ain't so. En, oh, my 
Ian', ole Marse was jes a-hoppin' ! he was 
b'ilin' mad, I tell you ! He tuck 'n' dissen- 
hurrit him." 

He licked his chops with relish after that 
stately word. Roxy struggled with it a mo- 
ment, then gave it up and said — 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


** Diss^nzvA/c/ied him ? " 

** Dissenhurrit him." 

" What 's dat ? What do it mean ? " 

" Means he bu'sted de will." 

'* Bu's — ted de will ! He would n't ever 
treat him so ! Take it back, you mis'able 
imitation nigger dat I bore in sorrow e;n trib- 

Roxy's pet castle — an occasional dollar from 
Tom's pocket — was tumbling to ruin before ^ 
her eyes. She could not abide such a disaster 
as that ; she could n't endure the thougl 
it. Her remark amused Chambers : 

'* Yah-yah-yah ! jes listen to dat! If I 's 
imitation, what is you ? Bofe of us is imita- 
tion white — dat's what we is — en pow'ful 
good imitation, too — yah-yah-yah ! — we don't 
'mount to noth'n as imitation niggers; en as 
for " 

** Shet upyo' foolin', 'fo' I knock you side 
de head, en tell me 'bout de will. Tell me 
't ain't bu'sted — do, honey, en I 'II never forgit 

" Well, Uaint — 'ca'se dey 's a new one made, 
en Marse Tom's all right ag'in. Rut what is 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


you in sich a sweat 'bout it for, mammy ? 
'Tain't none o* your business I don't reckon." 

" 'Tain't none o' my business ? Whose 

business is it den, I 'd like to know ? Wuz I 

his mother tell he was fifteen years old, or 

wus n't I ? — you answer me dat. En you 

speck I could see him turned out po' en ornery 

on de worl' en never care noth 'n' 'bout it ? 

I reckon if you 'd ever be'n a mother yo'self, 

Valet de Chambers, you would n't talk sich 

^ ^^ foolishness as dat." 

V^ Ja^A '* Well, den, ole Marse forgive him en fixed 

\ up de will ag'in — do dat satisfy you ?" 

Yes, she was satisfied now, and quite happy 
and sentimental over it. She kept coming 
daily, and at last she was told that Tom had 
come home. She began to tremble with 
emotion, and straightway sent to beg him to 
let his '* po' ole nigger mammy have jes one 
sight of him en die for joy." 

Tom was stretched at his lazy ease on a 
sofa when Chambers brought the petition. 
Time had not modified his ancient detestation 
of the humble drudge and protector of his 
boyhood ; it was still bitter and uncom- 


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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


promising. He sat up and bent a severe 
gaze upon the fair face of the young fellow 
whose name he was unconsciously using and 
whose family rights he was enjoying. He 
maintained the gaze until the victim of it had 
become satisfactorily pallid with terror, then 
he said — 

" What does the old rip want with 

The petition was meekly repeated. 

** Who gave you permission to come and 
disturb me with the social attentions of nig- 

Tom had risen. The other young man 
was trembling now, visibly. He saw what 
was coming, and bent his head sideways, and 
put up his left arm to shield it. Tom rained 
cuffs upon the head and its shield, saying no 
word : the victim received each blow with a 
beseeching " Please, Marse Tom ! — oh, please, 
Marse Tom !" Seven blows — then Tom said, 
" Face the door — march !' He followed be- 
hind with one, two. three solid kicks. The 
last one helped the pure-white slave over the 
door-sill, and he limped away mopping liis 


Digitized by 




Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

eyes with his old ragged sleeve. Tom 
shouted after him, " Send her in ! " 

Then he flung himself panting on the sofa 
again, and rasped out the remark, "He ar- 
rived just at the right moment ; I was full to 
the brim with bitter thinkings, and nobody to 
take it out of. How refreshing it was ! I 
feel better." 

Tom's mother entered now, closing the 
door behind her, and approached her son with 
all the wheedling and supplicating servilities 
that fear and interest can impart to the words 
and attitudes of the born slave. She stopped 
a yard from her boy and made two or three 
admiring exclamations over his manly stature 
and general handsomeness, and Tom put an 
arm under his head and hoisted a leg over 
the sofa-back in order to look properly in- 

" My Ian', how you is growed. honey ! 
*Clah to goodness, I would n't a-knowed you, 
Marse Tom ! 'deed I would n't ! Look at me 
good ; does you 'member old Roxy ? — does 
you know yo' old nigger mammy, honey? 
Well now, I kin lay down en die in peace, 
'ca'se I 'se seed " 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


it, cut it short ! What 

" Cut it short, 
is it you want? " 

** You heah dat ? Jes de same old Marse 
Tom, al'ays so gay and funnin' wid de ole 
mammy. I 'uz jes as shore " 

**Cut it short, I tell you, and get along! 
What do you want." 

This was a bitter disappointment. Roxy had 
for so many days nourished and fondled and 
petted her notion that Tom would be glad to 
see his old nurse, and would make her proud 
and happy to the marrow with a cordial word 
or two, that it took two rebuffs to convince 
her that he was not funning, and that her 
beautiful dream was a fond and foolish 
vanity, a shabby and pitiful mistake. She 
was hurt to the heart, and so ashamed that 
for a moment she did not quite know what to 
do or how to act. Then her breast began to 
heave, the tears came, and in her forlornness 
she was moved to try that other dream of 
hers — an appeal to her boy's charity ; and so, 
upon the impulse, and without reflection, she 
offered her supplication ; 

*' Oh, Marse Tom, de po' ole mammy is in 

-zs^Z~^W>^ ij Google 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

sich hard luck dese days ; en she *s kinder 
crippled in de arms en can't work, en if you 
could gimme a dollah — on*y jes one little 
dol " 

Tom was on his feet so suddenly that the 
supplicant was startled into a jump herself. 

" A dollar ! — give you a dollar ! I 've a 
notion to strangle you ! Is that your errand 
here ? Clear out ! and be quick about it ! " 

Roxy backed slowly toward the door. 
^__.^ \ When she was half-way she stopped, and said 
mournfully : 

** Marse Tom, I nussed you when you was 
a little baby, en I raised you all by myself tell 
you was 'most a young man ; en now you is 
young en rich, en I is po' en gitt'n ole, en I 
come heah b'lievin' dat you would he'p de ole 
mammy 'long down de little road dat 's leF 
'twix' her en de grave, en " 

Tom relished this tune less than any that 
had preceded it, for it began to wake up a 
sort of echo in his conscience ; so he in- 
terrupted and said with decision, though with- 
out asperity, that he was not in a situation to 
help her, and was n't going to do it. 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


" Ain't you ever gwine to he'p me, Marse 

** No ! Now go away and don't bother me 
any more." 

Roxy s head was down, in an attitude of 
humility. But now the fires of her old wrongs 
flamed up in her breast and began to burn 
fiercely. She raised her head slowly, till it 
was well up, and at the same time her great 
frame unconsciously assumed an erect and 
masterful attitude, with all the majesty and 
grace of her vanished youth in it. She raised 
her finger and punctuated with it : 

** You has said de word. You has had yo' 
chance, en you has trompled it under yo' 
foot. When you git another one, you '11 git 
down on yo' knees en beg for it !" 

A cold chill went to Tom's heart, he did n't 
know why ; for he did not reflect that such 
words, from such an incongruous source, and 
so solemnly delivered, could not easily fail of 
that effect. However, he did the natural 
thing : he replied with bluster and mockery : 

" You 'II give me a chance — you / Perhaps 
I *d better get down on my knees now ! But 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

in case I don't — ^just for argument's sake — 
what 's going to happen, pray ? " 

" Dis is what is gwine to happen. I *s 
gwine as straight to yo* uncle as I kin walk, 
en tell him every las' thing I knows 'bout 

Tom's cheek blenched, and she saw it. 
Disturbing thoughts began to chase each 
other through his head. " How can she 
know ? And yet she must have found out — 
she looks it. I 've had the will back only 
three months, and am already deep in debt 
again, and moving heaven and earth to save 
myself from exposure and destruction, with a 
reasonably fair show of getting the thing 
covered up if I 'm let alone, and now this 
fiend has gone and found me out somehow or 
other. I wonder how much she knows? 
Oh, oh, oh, it *s enough to break a body's 
heart ! But I Ve got to humor her — there 's 
no other way." 

Then he worked up a rather sickly sample 
of a gay laugh and a hollow chipperness of 
manner, and said : 

** Well, well, Roxy dear, old friends like 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


you and me must n't quarrel. Here *s your 
dollar — now tell me what you know." 

He held out the wild-cat bill ; she stood as 
she was, and made no movement. It was her 
turn to scorn persuasive foolery, now, and she 
did not waste it. She said, with a grim im- 
placability in voice and manner which made 
Tom almost realize that even a former slave 
can remember for ten minutes insults and in- 
juries returned for compliments and flatteries 
received, and can also enjoy taking revenge 
for them when the opportunity offers : 

" What does I know ? I '11 tell you what 1 
knows. I knows enough to bu'st dat will to 
flinders — en more, mind you, more /'* 

Tom was aghast. 

"More?" he said. "What do you call 
more? Where 's there any room for more ? " 

Roxy laughed a mocking laugh, and said 
scoffingly, with a toss of her head, and her 
hands on her hips — 

** Yes ! — oh, I reckon ! Cose you 'd like to 
know — wid yo' po* little ole rag dollah. What 
you reckon I 's gwine to tell you for ? — you 
ain't got no money. I *s gwine to tell yo* 




Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


uncle — en I '11 do it dis minute, too — he *11 
gimme five dollahs for de news, en mighty 
glad, too." 

She swung herself around disdainfully, and 
started away. Tom was in a panic. He 
>^seized her skirts, and implored her to wait. 
y^^ ^ She turned and said, loftily — 

\\\ ** Look-a-heah, what 'uz it I tole you ? " 

"You — you — I don't remember anything. 
What was it you told me ? " 
A ** I tole you dat de next time I give you a 
^\ chance you *d git down on yo* knees en beg 
for it." 

Tom was stupefied for a moment. He was 
panting with excitement. Then he said : 

'* Oh, Roxy, you would n't require your 
young master to do such a horrible thing. 
You can't mean it." 

'* I '11 let you know mighty quick whether I 
means it or not ! You call me names, en as 
good as spit on me when I comes here po' en 
ornery en 'umble, to praise you for bein*^ 
growed up so fine en handsome, en tell you 
how I used to nuss you en tend you en watch 
you when you 'uz sick en had n't no mother 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


but me in de whole worF, en beg you to give de 
po' ole nigger a dollah for to git her som'n* to 
eat, en you call me names — names, dad blame 
you ! Yassir, I gives you jes one chance mo\ 
and dat 's nozv, en it las' on*y a half a second 
— you hear ? " 

Tom slumped to his knees and began to 
beg, saying-— 

" You see I 'm begging, and it 's honest 
begging, too ! Now tell me, Roxy, tell me." 

The heir of two centuries of unatoned in- 
sult and outrage looked down on him and 
seemed to drink in deep draughts of satisfac- 
tion. Then she said — 

" Fine nice young white genTman kneelin* 
down to a nigger-wench ! I 's wanted to see 
dat jes once befo' I 's called. Now, Gabr'el, 
blow de hawn, I *s ready . . . Git up ! " 

Tom did it. He said, humbly — 

*• Now, Roxy, don't punish me any more. 
I deserved what I Ve got, but be good and 
let me off with that. Don't go to uncle, h. 
Tell me — I *11 give you the five dollars." 

'*Yes, I bet you will; en you won't stop' 
dah, nuther. But I ain't ^vine to tell you, 

heah " 







Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


*' Good gracious, no ! " 

•* Is you 'feared o' de ha'nted house?'' 

" N-no." 

" Well, den, you come to de ha nted house 
*bout ten or *leven to-night, en climb up de 
ladder, 'ca'se de sta'r-steps is broke down, en 
you *11 find me. I *s a-roostin' in de ha nted 
house *ca*se I can't *ford to roos' nowhers* 
else." She started toward the door, but 
stopped and said, *' Gimme de dollah bill ! " 
He gave it to her. She examined it and 
said, ** H'm — like enough de bank 's bu'sted.'^ 
She started again, but halted again. " Has 
you got any whisky ?" 

"Yes. a little." 

•• Fetch it ! " 

He ran to his room overhead and brought 
down a bottle which was two-thirds full. She 
tilted it up and took a drink. Her eyes spar- 
kled with satisfaction, and she tucked the bot- 
tle under her shawl, saying, " It 's prime. 
I *11 take it along." 

Tom humbly held the door for her, and she 
marched out as grim and erect as a grenadier,. 

u\Digiti|t A/Google 


Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a 
funeral ? It is because we are not the person involved. — 
Pudd*nhead Wilson's Calendar, 

It is easy lo find fault, if one has that disposition. There 
was once a man who, not being able to find any other 
fault with his coal, complained that there were too many 
prehistoric toads in it. — Pudd'nhead Wilson^ s Calendar. 

Tom flung himself on the sofa, and put his 
throbbing head in his hands, and rested his 
elbows on his knees. He rocked himself 
back and forth and moaned. 

** I Ve knelt to a nigger wench!" he mut- -- 
tered. " I thought I had struck the deepest - 
depths of degradation before, but oh, dear, it ^^^^^^h^^^ 
was nothing to this. . . . Well, there is one 
consolation, such as it is^I 've struck bottom 
this time ; there's notliing lower." 

But that was a hasty conclusion. 

At ten that night he climbed the ladder in ^ 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 




the haunted house, pale, weak and wretched. 
Roxy was standing in the door of one of the 
rooms, waiting, for she had heard him. 

This was a two-story log house which had 
acquired the reputation a few years before of 
being haunted, and that was the end of its use- 
fulness. Nobody would live in it afterward, 
or go near it by night, and most people even 
gave it a wide berth in the daytime. As it 
had no competition, it was called the haunted 
house. It waj getting crazy and ruinous, 
now, from long neglect. It stood three hun- 
dred yards beyond Pudd'nhead Wilson's 
house, with nothing between but vacancy. It 
was the last house in the town at that end. 

Tom followed Roxy into the room. She 
had a pile of clean straw in the corner for a 
bed, some cheap but well-kept clothing was 
hanging on the wall, there was a tin lantern 
freckling the floor with little spots of light, 
and there were various soap-and-candle boxes 
scattered about, which served for chairs. The 
two sat down. Roxy said — 

'* Now den, I '11 tell you straight off. en I '11 
begin to k'leck de money later on ; I ain't in 

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no hurry. What does you reckon I 's gwine 
to tell you ? " 

"Well, you — you — oh, Roxy, don't make 
it too hard for me ! Come right out and tell 
me you 've found out somehow what a shape 
I 'm in on account of dissipation and foolish- 

" Disposition en foolishness ! No sir, dat 
ain't it. Dat jist ain't nothin' at all, 'long- 
side o' what /knows." 

Tom stared at her, and said — 

" Why, Roxy, what do you mean ?" 

She rose, and gloomed above him like a 

*' I means dis — en it's de Lord's truth.' 
You ain't no more kin to ole Marse Driscoll 
den I is! — dat's what I means!" and her 
eyes flamed with triumph. 


" Yassir, en dat ain't all ! You 's a nigger / 
— bawn a nigger en a slave / — en you 's a 
nigger en a slave dis minute ; en if I opens 
my mouf ole Marse Driscoll '11 sell you down 
de river befo' you is two days older den what 
is now ! " 




Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

"It's a thundering lie, you miserable old 
blatherskite ! " 

"It ain't no lie, nuther. It 's jes de truth,, 
en nothin* but de truth, so he p me. Yassir — 
you 's my son — " 

"You devil!" 

" En dat po* boy dat you 's be'n a-kickin* 
en a-cuffin' to-day is Percy DriscolFs son ert 
yo' marster " 

"You beast !" 

" En his name 's Tom Driscoll, txiyd name 's 
Valet de Chambers, en you ain't got no fam- 
bly name, beca'se niggers don't have em ! " 

Tom sprang up and seized a billet of wood 
and raised it ; but his mother only laughed at 
him and said — 

* Set down, you pup ! Does you think you 
kin skyer me ? It ain't in you, nor de likes of 
you. I reckon you 'd shoot me in de back, 
maybe, if you got a chance, for dat's jist yo' 
style — / knows you, throo en throo — but i 
don't mind gitt'n killec beca'se all dis is 
down in writin' en it 's in safe hands, too, en 
de man dat 's got it knows whah to look for 
de right man when I gits killed. Oh, bless 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


yo* soul, if you puts yo' mother up for as big 
a fool as you is, you's pow7ul mistaken, I kin 
tell you ! Now den, you set still en behave 
yo'self ; en don't you git up ag'in till I tell 

Tom fretted and chafed awhile in a whirl- 
wind of disorganizing sensations and emotions, 
and finally said, with something like settled 
conviction — 

** The whole thing is moonshine ; now then, 
go ahead and do your worst ; I 'm done with / 

Roxy made no answer. She took the lan- 
tern and started toward the door. Tom was 
in a cold panic in a moment. 

** Come back, come back !" he wailed. ** I 
did n't mean it, Roxy ; I take it all back, and 
I *11 never say it again ! Please come back> 

The woman stood a moment, then she said 
gravely : 

** Dat 's one thing you *s got to stop. Valet 
de Chambers. You can't call me Roxy^ same 
as if you was my equal. Chillen don't speak 
to dey mammies like dat. You '11 call me ma 






Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

or mammy, dat 's what you *11 call me — least- 
ways when dey ain't nobody aroun'. Say 

It cost Tom a struggle, but he got it out. 
" Dat 's all right. Don't you ever forgit it 
agin, if you knows what's good for you. 
Now den, you has said you would n't ever 
call it lies en moonshine ag'in. I '11 tell you 
dis, for a warnin' : if you ever does say it 
ag'in, it 's de las' time you '11 ever say it to 
me ; I '11 tramp as straight to de Judge as I 
kin walk, en tell him who you is, en prove it. 
Does you b'lieve me when I says dat?" 

" Oh," groaned Tom, " I more than believe 
it ; I know it." 

Roxy knew her conquest was complete. 
She could have proved nothing to anybody, 
and her threat about the writings was a He ; 
but she knew the person she was dealing 
v/ith, and had made both statements without 
any doubt as to the effect they would produce. 
She went and sat down on her candle-box, 
and the pride and pomp of her victorious atti- 
tude made it a throne. She said — 

"Now den, Chambers, we's gwine to talk 

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business, en dey ain't gwine to be no mo' fool- 
ishness. In de fust place, you gits fifty dol- 
lahs a month; you's gwine to han* over half 
of it to yo' ma. Plank it out !" 

But Tom had only six dollars in the world. 
He gave her that, and promised to start fair 
on next month's pension. 

"Chambers, how much is you in debt ?" 
Tom shuddered, and said — 
** Nearly three hundred dollars." 
" How is you gwine to pay it ? " 
Tom groaned out — **Oh, I don't know; 
don't ask me such awful questions." 

But she stuck to her point until she wearied 
a confession out of him : he had been prowl- 
ing about in disguise, stealing small valuables 
from private houses ; in fact, had made a ^^oikI 
deal of a raid on his fellow-villagers a fortnight 
before, when he was supposed to be in St, 
Louis; but he doubted if he had sent away 
enough stuff to realize the required amount, 
and was afraid to make a furtlier venture in 
the present excited state of the town. His 
mother approved of his conduct, ai 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

to help, but this frightened him. He trem- 
blingly ventured to say that if she would retire 
from the town he should feel better and safer, 
and could hold his head higher — and was go- 
ing on to make an argument, but she inter- 
rupted and surprised him pleasantly by saying 
she was ready ; it did n't make any difference 
to her where she stayed, so that she got her 
share of the pension regularly. She said she 
would not go far, and would call at the 
haunted house once a month for her money. 
Then she said — 

** I don't hate you so much now, but I 've 
hated you a many a year — and anybody 
would. Did n*t I change you off, en give 
you a good fambly en a good name, en made 
you a white genTman en rich, wid store 
clothes on — en what did I git for it ? You de- 
spised me all de time, en was al'ays sayin* 
mean hard things to me befo* folks, en 
would n*t ever let me forgit I 's a nigger — en 
—en •' 

She fell to sobbing, and broke down. Tom 
said — * Hut you know I didn't know you 
were my mother ; and besides " 

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PuDD*NiiEAD Wilson. 


** Well, nemmine 'bout dat, now ; let it go. 
1 's gwine to fo'git it.** Then she added 
fiercely, ** En don't ever make me remember 
it agin, or you '11 be sorry, /tell you." 

When they were parting, Tom said, in the 
most persuasive way he could command — 

** Ma, would you mind telling me who was 
my father ? " 

He had supposed he was asking an embar- 
rassing question. He was mistaken. Roxy 
drew herself up with a proud toss of her head, 
and said — 

** Does I mine tellin' you ? No, dat I^j 
don't ! You ain't got no 'casion to be 
shame' o' yo' father, /kin tell you. Hewu2 
de highest quality in dis whole town — ole Vir- 
ginny stock. Fust famblies, he wuz. Jes as 
good stock as de Driscolls en de Howards, de 
bes' day dey ever seed." She put on a little 
prouder air, if possible, and added impres- 
sively : "Does you 'member Gunnel Cecil 
Burleigh Essex, dat died de same year yo' 
young Marse Tom Driscoll's pappy died, en 
all de Masons en Odd Fellers en Churches 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

turned out en give him de bigges' funeral dis 
town ever seed ? Dat 's de man." 

Under the inspiration of her soaring com- 
placency the departed graces of her earlier 
days returned to her, and her bearing took to 
itself a dignity and state that might have 
passed for queenly if her surroundings had 
been a little more in keeping with it. 

" Dey ain't another nigger in dis town dat 's 
as high-bawn as you is. Now den, go 'long ! 
En jes you hold yo' head up as high as you 
want to — you has de right, en dat I kin swah.'* 

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All say, ** How hard it is that we have to die *' — a 
strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who 
have had to live. — Pudd'nhead Wilson^ s Calendar, 

When angry, count four ; when very angry, swear. — 
Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar. 

Every now and then, after Tom went to 
bed, he had sudden wakings out of his sleep, 
and his first thought was, •* Oh, joy, it was all 
a dream ! " Then he laid himself heavily 
down again, with a groan and the muttered 
words, ** A nigger ! I am a nigger ! Oh, I 
wish I was dead ! '* 

He woke at dawn with one more repetition 
of this horror, and then he resolved to meddle 
no more with that treacherous sleep. He be- 
gan to think. Sufficiently bitter thinkings 
they were. They wandered along something 
aiter this fashion : 




Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


**Why were niggers and whites made? 
What crime did the uncreated first nigger 
commit that the curse of birth was decreed 
for him ? And why is this awful difference 
made between white and black? . . . How 
hard the nigger's fate seems, this morning ! — 
yet until last night such a thought never 
entered my head." 

He sighed and groaned an hour or more 
away. Then ** Chambers ** came humbly in to 
say that breakfast was nearly ready. **Tom" 
blushed scarlet to see this aristocratic white 
youth cringe to him, a nigger, and call him 
** Young Marster." He said roughly — 

"Get out of my sight!" and when the 
youth was gone, he muttered, ** He has done 
me no harm, poor wretch, but he is an eyesore 
to me now, for he is Driscoll the young gentle- 
man, and I am a — oh, I wish I was dead !" 

A gigantic irruption, like that of Krakatoa 
a few years ago, with the accompanying earth- 
quakes, tidal waves, and clouds of volcanic 
dust, changes the face of the surrounding 
landscape beyond recognition, bringing down 
^* the high landsp elevating the low, making fair 





lakes where deserts had been, and deserts where 
green prairies had smiled before. The tre- 
mendous catastrophe which had befallen Tom 
had changed his moral landscape in much the 
same way. Some of his low places he found 
lifted to ideals, some of his ideals had sunk 
to the valleys, and lay there with the sack- 
•cloth and ashes of pumice-stone and sulphur 
on their ruined heads. 

For days he wandered in lonely places, 
thinking, thinking, thinking — trying to get 
his bearincrs. It was new work. If he met a 
friend, he found that the habit of a lifetime 
had in some mysterious way vanished — his vi, ^ 
arm hung limp, instead of involuntarily ^^^.3 rp>^/ ^ 
tending the hand for a shake. It was the f^. ""-3 A 
** nigger" in him asserting its humility, and ' ^ VI 
he blushed and was abashed. And the **nig-'H/ 
ger" in him was surprised when the white'^."*^ 

-white rowdy and loafer. When Ro\vena,fe.-;^Af <= rsj^ 

the dearest thing his heart knew, tlie idolji?]<[|;Jf:'p|^ 

of his secret worship, invited him in, the ** nig-lfc^-^ " ^^^'^l--^ 




r Digitiz( 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


ger " in him made an embarrassed excuse and 
was afraid to enter and sit with the dread 
white folks on equal terms. The "nigger" 
in him went shrinking and skulking here and 
^/ ^ '■'^^%'5'r^ there and yonder, and fancying it saw suspi- 
*^tf<».V''7 . ^*^" ^'^^ maybe detection in all faces, tones, 
-^ j?--^ } ^j^j gestures. So strange and uncharacteris- 

"^X. tic was Tom's conduct that people noticed it, 
t^J^' and turned to look after him when he passed 
.-^ y^on ; and when he glanced back — as he couid 
i' ^ not help doing, in spite of his best resistance 
■^f^^ — ^"^ caught that puzzled expression in a 
'^is^f^' person's face, it gave him a sick feeling, and 
'"^ ^ he took himself out of view as quickly as he 
\ *.i could. He presently came to have a hunted 

sense and a hunted look, and then he fled 
away to the hill-tops and the solitudes. He 
said to himself that the curse of Ham was 
upon him. 

He dreaded his meals ; the *' nigger " in him 
was ashamed to sit at the white folks' table, 
and feared discovery all the time ; and once 
when Judge Driscoll said, "What's the mat- 
ter with you ? You look as meek as a nig- 
ger," he felt as secret murderers are said to feel 

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when the accuser says, "Thou art the man !'* 
Tom said he was not well, and left the table. 

His ostensible ** aunt's" solicitudes and en- 
dearments were become a termor to him, and 
he avoided them. 

And all the time, hatred of his ostensible 
'* uncle " was steadily growing in his heart ; 
for he said to himself, ** He is white ; and I 
am his chattel, his property, his goods, and 
he can sell me, just as he could his dog." 

For as much as a week after this, Tom 
imagined that his character had undergone a 
pretty radical change. But that was because 
he did not know himself. 

In several ways his opinions were totally 
changed, and would never go back to what 
they were before, but the main structure of 
his character was not changed, and could not 
be changed. One or two very important 
features of it were altered, and in time: effects 
would result from this, if opportunity offered 
— effects of a quite, serious nature, too* 
Under the influence of a great meiUiil andjj 
moral upheaval his character and habits had 
taken on the appearance of complete cimnge, I 

jMfapi^ ^ ^ 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

but after a while with the subsidence of the 
storm both began to settle toward their for- 
mer places. He dropped gradually back into 
his old frivolous and easy-going ways and 
conditions of feeling and manner of speech, 
and no familiar of his could have detected 
anything in him that differentiated him from 
the weak and careless Tom of other days. 

The theft-raid which he had made upon the 
village turned out better than he had ventured 
to hope. It produced the sum necessary to 
pay his gaming-debts, and saved him from ex- 
posure to his uncle and another smashing of 
the will. He and his mother learned to like 
each other fairly well. She couldn't love 
him, as yet, because there ** warn *t nothing 
to him." as she expressed it, but her nature 
needed something or somebody to rule over, 
and he was better than nothing. Her strong 
character and aggressive and commanding 
ways compelled Tom's admiration in spite of 
the fact that he got more illustrations of them 
than he needed for his comfort. However, 
as a rule her conversation was made up of 
racy tattle about the privacies of the chief 


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Pudd'nhead- Wilson. 



families of the town (for she went harvesting 

among their kitchens every time she came to 

the village), and Tom enjoyed this. It was 

just in his line. She always collected her half 

of his pension punctually, and he was always 

at the haunted house to have a chat with her 

on these occasions. Every now and then she J^ -■''^^ < 

paid him a visit there on between-days also. 

Occasionally he would run up to St. Louis 
for a few weeks, and at last temptation caught 
him again. He won a lot of money, but lost 
it, and with it a deal more besides, which he 
promised to raise as soon as possible. 

For this purpose he projected a new raid! 
on his town. He never meddled with any'f 
other town, for he was afraid to venture into n,| 
houses whose ins and outs he did not know 
and the habits of whose households he was 
not acquainted with. He arrived at the 
haunted house in disguise on the Wednesday 
before the advent of the twins — after writing 
his aunt Pratt that he would not arrive until 
two days after — and lay in hiding there with 
his mother until toward daylight Friday morn- _ 
ing, when he went to his uncle's house and 



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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 



entered by the back way with his own key, 
and slipped up to his- room, where he could 
have the use of mirror and toilet scrticles. He 
had a suit of girl's clothes with him in a bun- 
dle as a disguise for his raid, and was wearing 
a suit of his mother's clothing, with black 
gloves and veil. By dawn he was tricked out 
for his raid, but he caught a glimpse of Pudd'n- 
head Wilson through the window over tlie 
way, and knew that Pudd'nhead had caught a 
glimpse of him. So he entertained Wilson 
with some airs and graces and attitudes for a 
while, then stepped out of sight and resumed 
the other disguise, and by and by went down 
and out the back way and started down town 
to reconnoiter the scene of his intended labors. 
But he was ill at ease. He had changed 
back to Roxy's dress, with the stoop of age 
added to the disguise, so that Wilson would 
not bother himself about a humble old wp- 
man leaving a neighbor's house by the back 
'^?5ti ^'^y ^^ *"^^^ early morning, in case he was still 
£^» spying. But supposing Wilson had seen him 
leave, and had thought it suspicious, and had 
ko followed him ? 


riie thought made Tom 


' ^•.xv'^Jitizedby 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


cold. He gave up the raid for the day, and 
hurried bacjc to the haunted house by the ob- 
scurest route he knew. His mother was 
gone ; but she came back, by and by, with the 
news of the grand reception at Patsy Cooper s, 
and soon persuaded him that the opportunity ^ 
was like a special providence, it was so invit- 
ing and perfect. So he went raiding, after 
^all, and made a nice success of it while every- 
body was gone to Patsy Cooper s. Success 
gave him nerve and even actual intrepidity ; 
insomuch, indeed, that after he had conveyed 
his harvest to his mother in a back alley, he 
went to the reception himself, and added sev- 
eral of the valuables of that house to his tak- 

After this long digression we have how ar- 
rived once more at the point where Pudd'n- 
head Wilson, while waiting for the arrival of 
the twins on that same Friday evening, sat 
^puzzling over the strange apparition of that 
morning — a girl in young Tom Driscoirs bed- 
room ; fretting, and guessing, and puzzling ij 
over it, and wondering who the shamtjlessl 
creature might be. 



There are three infallible ways of pleasing an author, 
and the three form a rising scale of compliment : i, to 
tell him you have read one of his books ; 2, to tell him you 
have read all of his books ; 3, to ask him to let you read 
the manuscript of his forthcoming book. No. i admits 
you to his respect ; No. 2 admits you to his admiration ; 
No. 3 carries you clear into his heart. — Pudd'nhead Wil- 
son's Calendar, 

As to the Adjective : when in doubt, strike it out — 
Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar. 

^^ /^ The twins arrived presently, and talk be- 
gan. It flowed along chattily and sociably, 
and under its influence the new friendship 
gathered ease and strength. Wilson ggt out 
his Calendar, by request, and read a passage 
or two from it, which the twins praised quite 
cordially- This pleased the author so much 
. that he complied gladly when they asked him 
to lend them a batch of the work to read at 

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home. In the course of their wide travels they 
had found out that there are three sure ways 
of pleasing an author ; they were now work- 
ing the best of the three. 

There was an interruption, now. Young 
Tom Driscoll appeared, and joined the party. 
He pretended to be seeing the distinguished 
strangers for the first time when they rose to 
shake hands ; but this was only a blind, as he 
had already had a glimpse of them, at the re- 
ception, while robbing the house. The twins 
madd mental note that he was smooth-faced 
and rather handsome, and smooth and undu- 
latory in his movements — graceful, in fact. 
Angelo thought he had a good eye ; Luigi 
thought there was something veiled and sly 
about it. Angelo thought he had a pleasant 
free-and-easy way of talking ; Luigi thought 
it was more so than was agreeable. Angelo 
thought he was a sufficiently nice young man ; 
Luigi reserved his dicision. Tom*s first con- 
tribution to the conversation was a question 
which he had put to Wilson a hundred times 
before. It was always cheerily and good-na- 
turedly put, and always inflicted a little pang, 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

for it touched a secret sore ; but this time the 
pang was sharp, since strangers were present. 

•* Well, how does the law come on ? Had a 
case yet ?" 

Wilson bit his lip, but answered, *• No — not 
yet," with as much indifference as he could as- 
sume. Judge Driscoll had generously left the 
law feature out of the Wilson biography which 
he had furnished to the twins. Young Tom 
laughed pleasantly, and said : 

" Wilson *s c lawyer, gentlemen, but he 
does n't practise now." 

The sarcasm bit, but Wilson kept himself 
under control, and said without passion : 

*• I don't practise, it is true. It is true that 
I have never had a case, and have had to earn 
a poor living for twenty years as an expert ac- 
countant in a town where I can't get hold of 
a set of books to untangle as often as I should 
like. But it is also true that I did fit myself 
i^^ well for the practice of the law. By the time 
I was your age, Tom, I had chosen a profes- 
sion, and was soon competent to enter upon 
it." Tom winced. "I never got a chance to 
try my hand at it, and I may nevei get a 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


chance ; and yet if I ever do get it I shall be 
found ready, for I have kept up my law-stud- 
ies all these years/' 

" That 's it ; that's good grit ! I like to see 
it. I Ve a notion to throw all my business 
your way. My business and your law-practice 
ought to make a pretty gay team, Dave," and 
the young fellow laughed again. 

'• If you will throw — " Wilson had thought of 
the girl in Tom's bedroom, and was going to 
say, ** If you will throw the surreptitious and 
disreputable part of your business my way, it 
may amount to something;" but thought 
better of it and said, ** However, this matter 
does n't fit well in a general conversation." 

" All right, we '11 change the subject ; I 
guess you were about to give me another dig, 
anyway, so I *m willing to change. How 's 
the Awful Mystery flourishing these days ? 
Wilson's got a scheme for driving plain win- 
dow-glass out of the market by decorating it ^ 
with greasy finger-marks, and getting rich ^^^ 
by selling: it at famine prices to the crowned 
heads over in Europe to outfit their palaces jliljljj 
with. Fetch it out, Dave." 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

Wilson brought three of his glass strips, 
and said — 

" I get the subject to pass the fingers of his 
right hand through his hair, so as to get a lit- 
tle coating of the natural oil on them, and 
then press the balls of them on the glass. A 
fine and delicate print of the lines in the skin 
) results, and is permanent, if it does n't come 
in contact with something able to rub it off. 
You begin, Tom." 

** Why, I think you took my finger-marks 
once or twice before." 

**Yes; but you were a little boy the last 
time, only about twelve years old." 

** That 's so. Of course I *ve changed en- 
tirely since then, and variety is what the 
crowned heads want, I guess." 

He passed his fingers through his crop of 
short hair, and pressed them one at a time on 
the glass. Angelo made a print of his fingers 
on another glass, and Luigi followed with the 
third. Wilson marked the glasses with 
names and date, and put them away. Tom 
gave one of his little laughs, and said — 

•* I thought I would n*t say anything, but if 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


variety is what you are after, you have wasted ^^^j: ^ -4 
a piece of glass. The hand-print of one twin is ^ ^^^:^-:,^^^'"- 
the same as the hand-print of the fellow-twin/' ^ 

"Well, it 's done now, and I like to have '; 
them both, anyway," said Wilson, returning 
to his place. 

•' But look here, Dave," said Tom, ** you 
used to tell people's fortunes, too, when you 
took their finger-marks. Dave 's just an all- 
round genius — a genius of the first water, .^ 
gentlemen ; a great scientist running to seed (i 
here in this village, a prophet with the kind J| 
of honor that prophets generally get at home 
— for here they don't give shucks for his sci- 
entifics, and they call his skull a notion-factory 
— hey, Dave, ain't it so ? But never mind ; 
he '11 make his mark some day — finger-mark, 
you know, he-he ! But really, you want to 
let him take a shy at your palms once ; it 's 
worth twice the price of admission or your 
money's returned at the door. Why, he '11 
read your wrinkles as easy as a book, and not 
only tell you fifty or sixty things that 's going 
to happen to you, but fifty or sixty thousand 
that ain't. Come, Dave, show the gentlemen ^ 

zed bj[Google 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

what an inspired Jack-at-all-science we 've got 
in this town, and don't know it." 

Wilson winced under this nagging and not 
very courteous chaff, and the twins suffered 
with him and for him. They rightly judged^ 
now, that the best way to relieve him would 
be to take the thing in earnest and treat it 
with respect, ignoring Tom's rather overdone 
raillery ; so Luigi said — 

** We have seen something of palmistry in 
our wanderings, and know very well what 
astonishing things it can do. If it is n't a 
science, and one of the greatest of them, too, 
I don't know what its other name ought to 
be- In the Orient " 

Tom looked surprised and incredulous. 
He said^ 

" That juggling a science ? But really, you 
ain't serious, are you ?" 

"Yes, entirely so. Four years ago we had 
our liands read out to us as if our palms had 
been covered with print." 

" Well, do you mean to say there was act- 
ually anything in it?" asked Tom, his incre- 
dulity beginning to weaken a little. 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


** There was this much in it." said Angelo : 
"what was told us of our characters was mi- 
nutely exact — we could not have bettered it 
ourselves. Next, two or three memorable 
things that had happened to us were laid bare 
-:— things which no one present but ourselves 
could have known about." 

" Why, it 's rank sorcery ! " exclaimed Tom, 
who was now becoming very much interested. 
" And how did they make out with what was 
going to happen to you in the future?" 

'* On the whole, quite fairly," said Luigi. 
*• Two or three of the most striking things 
foretold have happened since; much the 
most striking one of all happened within that 
same year. Some of the minor prophecies 
have come true ; some of the minor and some 
of the major ones have not been fulfilled yet, 
and of course may never be : still, I should be 
more surprised if they failed to arrive than if 
they did n't." 

Tom was entirely sobered, and profoundly 
impressed. He said, apologetically — 

'• Dave, I was n't meaning to belittle that 
science ; I was only chafifing — chattering, I 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 



reckon I 'd better say. I wish you would 
look at their palms. Come, won't you ?" 

** Why, certainly, if you want me to ; but 
you know I Ve had no chance to become an 
expert, and don't claim to be one. When a 
past event is somewhat prominently recorded 
in the palm I can generally detect that, but 
minor ones often escape me, — not always, of 
course, but often^ — but I have n't much con- 
fidence in myself when it comes to reading 
the future. I am talking as if palmistry was 
a daily study with me, but that is not so. I 
have n't examined half a dozen hands in the 
last half dozen years ; you see, the people got 
to joking about it, and I stopped to let the talk 
die down. I '11 tell you what we '11 do. Count 
Luigi : I '11 make a try at your past, and if I 
have any success there — no, on the whole, 
I '11 let the future alone ; that 's really the 
affair of an expert.'* 

He took Luigi's hand. Tom said — 
** Wait — don't look yet, Dave ! Count Lu- 
igi, here 's paper and pencil. Set down that 
thing that you said was the most striking one 
that was foretold to you, and happened less 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


than a year afterward, and give it to me so I 
can see if Dave finds it in your hand." 

Luigi wrote a line privately, and folded up 
the piece of paper, and handed it to Tom, 
saying — 

•* I '11 tell you when to look at it, if he 
finds it." 

Wilson began to study Luigi's palm, tracing 
life lines, heart lines, head lines, and so on, 
and noting carefully their relations with the 
cobweb of finer and more delicati^ marks and 
lines that enmeshed tliem on all sides ; he 
felt of the fleshy cushion at the base of tiie 
thumbs and noted its shape ; he felt of the 
fleshy side of the liand between the wrist and 
the base of the little finger, and noted its 
shape also ; he painstakingly examined the 
fingers, observing their form, proportions, 
and natural manner of disposing themselves 
when in repose. All this process was watched 
by the three spectators with absorbing inter- 
est, their heads bent together over Lurgi's 
palm, and nobody disturbing the stillness 
with a word. Wilson now entered upon a 
close survey of the palm again, and his reve- 
lations began. 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

He mapped out Luigi's character and dis- 
position, his tastes, aversions, proclivities, am- 
bitions, and eccentricities in away which some- 
times made Luigi wince and the others laugh, 
but both twins declared that the chart was 
artistically drawn and was correct. 

Next, Wilson took up Luigi's history. He 
proceeded cautiously and with hesitation, now, 
moving his finger slowly along the great lines 
of the palm, and now and then halting it at a 
''star" or some such landmark, and examin- 
ing that neighborhood minutely. He pro- 
claimed one or two past events, Luigi con- 
firmed his correctness, and the search went on. 
Presently Wilson glanced up suddenly with a 
surprised expression — 

" Here is record of an incident which you 
would perhaps not wish me to " 

** Bring it out," said Luigi, good-naturedly ; 
" I promise you it sha'n't embarrass me." 

But Wilson still hesitated, and did not seem 
quite to know what to do. Then he said — 

** I think it is too delicate a matter to — to 
— I believe I would rather write it or whisper 
it to you, and let you decide for yoursell 
whether you want it talked out or not. " 

Digitized by ^ 

Pudd'nhead Wilson. 141 

"That will answer," said Luigi ; ''write 

Wilson wrote something on a slip of paper 
and handed it to Luigi, who read it to himself 
and said to Tom — 

** Unfold your slip and read it, Mr. Dris- 

Tom read : 

** It was prophesied that I would kill a man. 
It came true before the year was out^ 

" Tom added, ** Great Scott ! " 

Luigi handed Wilson's paper to Tom, and 
said — 

" Now read this one." 

Tom read : 

** You have killed some one, but whether 
man, woman or child, I do not make out'' 

*' Caesar s ghost ! " commented Tom, with 
astonishment. ** It beats anything that was 
ever heard of! Why, a man's own hand is 
his deadliest enemy! Just think of that — a 
man's own hand keeps a record of the deepest 
and fatalest secrets of his life, and is treacher- 
ously ready to expose him to any black-magic 
stranger that comes along. But what do you 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 



let a person look at your hand for, with that 
awful thing printed in it ?" 

*' Oh," said Luigi, reposefully, ** I don't 
mind it. I killed the man for good reasons, 
and I don't regret it." 

** What were the reasons ? " 

*• Well, he needed killing." 

" I '11 tell you why he did it, since he won't 
say himself," said Angelo, warmly. ** He did 
it to save my life, that 's what he did it for. 
So it was a noble act, and not a thing to be 
hid in the dark." 

** So it was, so it was," said Wilson ; ** to do 
such a thing to save a brother's life is a great 
and fine action." 

** Now come," said Luigi, ** it is very pleasant 
to hear you say these things, but for unsel- 
fishness, or heroism, or magnanimity, the 
circumstances won't stand scrutiny. You 
overlook one detail ; suppose I had n't saved 
Angelo's life, what would have become of 
mine ? It I had let the man kill him, 
would n't he have killed me, too ? I saved 
my own life, you see." 

"Yes; that is your way of talking," said 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


Angelo, **but I know you — I don't believe 
you thought of yourself at all. I keep that 
weapon yet that Luigi killed the man with, 
and I '11 show it to you sometime. That in- 
cident makes it interesting, and it had a his- 
tory befort: It ciuuii iiuu Luigi\s hands which 
adds to its interest* It was given to Luigi 
by a great Indian prince, the Gaikowar of 
Baroda, and it had been in his family two or 
three centuries. It killed a good many dis- 
agreeable people who troubled that hearth- 
stone at one time and another. It h n't much 
to look at, except that it is n*t shaped like 
ether knives, or dirks, or whatever it ma)^ be 
called — here, I Ml draw it for you," He took 
a sheet of paper and made a rapid sketch, 
" There it is — a broad and murderous blade, 
with edges like a razor for sharpness. The 
devices engraved on it are the ciphers or 
names of its long line of possessors — I had 
Luigi's name added in Roman letters myself 
with our coat of arms, as you see. You notice 
what a curious handle the thing has. It is 
solid ivory, polished like a mirror, and is four 
or five inches lon^^ — rounds and as thick as 





Digitized by 



Pudu'nhead Wilson. 

a large man's wrist, with the end squared off 
flat, for your thumb to rest on ; for you grasp 
it, with your thumb resting on the blunt end 
— so — and lift it aloft and strike downward. 
The Gaikowar showed us how the thing was 
done when he gave it to Luigr, and before that 
niglit was ended Luigi had used the knife, 
and tlie Gaikowar was a man short by reason 
of it. The sheath is magnificently orna- 
mented with gems of great value. You will 
find the sheath more worth lookinor at than 
thf? knife itself, of course." 

Tom said to himself — 

*' It *s lucky I came nere, I would have sold 
that knife for a song; I supposed the jewels 
were glass.'' 

'* But go on ; don't stop/' said Wilson. 
'' Our curiosity is up now, to hear about the 
homicide. Tell us about that," 

'* Wei I J briefly, the knife was to blame for 
that, all around. A native servant slipped 
into our room in the palace in the night, to 
kill us and steal the knife on account of the 
fortune incrusted on its sheath, without a 
doubt, L-uigi had it under his pillow ; we 

Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


were in bed together. There was a dim 
night-light burning. I was asleep, but Luigi 
was awake, and he thought he detected a 
vague form nearing the bed. He slipped the 
knife out of the sheath and was ready, and un- 
embarrassed by hampering bed-cloihes, for 
the weather was hot and we had n't any. 
Suddenly that native rose at the bedside, and J 
bent over me with his right hand lifted and a 
dirk in it aimed at my throat ; but Luigi 
grabbed his wrist, pulled him downward, anc',^ 
drove his own knife into the man's nedc^V 
That is the whole story." 

Wilson and Tom drew deep breaths, and 
after some general chat about the tragedy, 
Pudd'nhead said, taking Tom's hand — 

** Now, Tom, I Ve never had a look at your 
palms, as it happens ; perhaps you Ve got 
some little questionable privacies that need — 
hel-lo ! " 

Tom had snatched away his hand, and was 
looking a good deal confused. 

" Why, he 's blushing ! " said Luigi. 

Tom darted an ugly look at him, and said 
sharply — 


jitized by 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

** Well, if I am, it ain't because I *m a mur- 
derer ! " Luigi's dark face flushed, but be- 
fore he could speak or move, Tom added with 
anxious haste : '* Oh, 1 beg a thousand par* 
dons. I did n't mean that; it was out before I 
thought, and I 'm very, very sorry — you must 
forgive me ! *' 

Wilson came to the rescue, and smoothed 
things down as well as he could ; and in fact 
was entirely successful as far as the twins 
were concerned, for they felt sorrier for the 
affront put upon him by his guest's outburst 
of ill manners than for the insult offered to- 
Luigi. But the success was not so pro- 
nounced with the offender. Tom tried ta 
seem at his ease, and he went through the 
motions fairly well, but at bottom he felt re- 
sentful toward all the three witnesses of his. 
exhibition ; in fact, he felt so annoyed at them- 
for having witnessed it and noticed it that 
he almost forgot to feel annoyed at him-- 
self for placing it before them. However, 
something presently happened which made 
him almost comfortable, and brought him 
nearly back to a state of charity and friend* 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


liness. This was a little spat between the 
twins ; not much of a spat, but still a spat ; 
and before they got far with it they were 
in a decided condition of irritation with each 
other. Tom was charmed ; so pleased, in- 
deed, that he cautiously did what he could to 
increase the irritation while pretending to be 
actuated by more respectable motives. By 
his help the fire got warmed up to the blazing- 
point, and he might have had the happiness 
of seeing the flames show up, in another mo- 
ment, but for the interruption of a knock on 
the door — an interruption which fretted hipi 
as much as it gratified Wilson. Wilson 
opened the door. 

The visitor was a good-natured, ignorant, 
energetic, middle-aged Irishman named John 
Buckstone, who was a great politician in a 
small way, and always took a large share in 
public matters of every sort. One of the 
town's chief excitements, just now, was over 
the matter of rum. There was a strong rum 
party and a strong anti-rum party. Buckstone 
was training with the rum party, and he had 
been sent to hunt up the twins and invite 


Digitized by 




them to attend a mass-meeting of that faction. 
He delivered his errand, and said the clans 
were already gathering in the big hall over 
the market-house. Luigi accepted the invita- 
tion cordially, Angelo less cordially, since he 
disliked crowds, and did not drink the power- 
ful intoxicants of America. In fact, he was 
even a teetotaler sometimes — when it was 
judicious to be one. 

The twins left with Buckstone, and Tom 
Driscoll joined company with them uninvited. 
In the distance one could see a long waver- 
>^ ing line of torches drifting down the main 
!^:^ strtret, and could hear the throbbing of the 
bass druni, the; clasli of cymbals, the squeak- 
ing of a fife or two, and the faint roar of re- 
mote hurrahs. The tail-end of this procession 
was climbing the market-house stairs when 
the twins arrived in its neighborhood; when 
ihcy reached the hall !t was full of people, 
torches, smoke, noise and entlnisiasm. They 
were conducted to the platform by Buckstone 
— Tom Driscoll still following— and were 
delivered to the chairman in the mid^^t of 
a prodigious explosion of welcome. When 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


the noise had moderated a little, the chair 
proposed that ** our illustrious guests be at 
once elected, by complimentary acclamation, 
to membership in our ever-glorious organiza- 
tion, the paradise of the free and the perdition 
of the slave." 

This eloquent discharge opened the flood- 
gates of enthusiasm again, and the election 
was carried with thundering unanimity. Then 
arose a storm of cries : 

** Wet them down ! Wet them down ! 
Give them a drink ! " 

Glasses of whisky were handed to the 
twins. Luigi waved his aloft, then brought 
it to his lips ; but Angelo set his down. 
There was another storm of cries : 

'* What's the matter with the other one ?" 
** What is the blond one going back on us 
for?" *• Explain ! Explain!" 

The chairman inquired, and then reported — 

** We have made an unfortunate mistake, 
gentlemen. I find that the Count Angelo 
Cappello is opposed to our creed — is a teeto- 
taler, in fact, and was not intending to apply 
for membership with us. He desires that we 


Digitized by 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

reconsider the vote by which he was elected. 
What is the pleasure of the house ? " 

There was a general burst of laughter, plen- 
tifully accented with whistlings and cat-calls, 
but the energetic use of the gavel presently 
restored something like order. Then a man 
spoke from the crowd, and said that while he 
was very sorry that the mistake had been 
made, it would not be possible to rectify it at 
the present meeting. According to the by- 
laws it must go over to the next regular 
meeting for action. He would not offer a 
motion, as none was required. He desired to 
apologize to the gentleman in the name of 
the house, and begged to assure him that as 
far as it might lie in the power of the Sons of 
Liberty, his temporary membership in the 
order would be made pleasant to him. 

This speech was received with great ap- 
plause, mixed with cries of — 

** That 's the talk ! " " He 's a good fellow, 
anyway, if he is a teetotaler!" ** Drink his 
health!" **Give him a rouser, and no heel- 
taps ! " 

Glasses were handed around, and every- 

Digitized by 




body on the platform drank Angelo's health, 
while the house bellowed forth in song : 

For he 's a jolly good f el-low, 
For he 's a jolly good fel-low, 
For he 's a jolly good feel-low, — 
Which nobody can deny. 

Tom Driscoll drank. It was his second 
glass, for he had drunk Angelo's the moment 
that Angelo had set it down. The two drinks 
made him very merry — almost idiotically so — 
and he began to take a most lively and promi- 
nent part in the proceedings, particularly in 
the music and cat-calls and side-remarks. 

The chairman was still standing at the 
front, the twins at his side. The extraordi- 
narily close resemblance of the brothers to 
■each other suggested a witticism to Tom 
Driscoll, and just as the chairman began a 
speech he skipped forward and said with an 
air of tipsy confidence to the audience — 

** Boys, I move that he keeps still and lets 
this human philopena snip you out a speech." 

The descriptive aptness of the phrase caught 
the house, and a mighty burst of laughter fol- 



Luigfs southern blood leaped to the boiling- 
point in a moment under the sharp humilia- 
tion of this insult delivered in the presence of 
four hundred strangers. It was not in the 
young man's nature to let the matter pass, or 
to delay the squaring of the account. He 
took a couple of strides and halted behmd the 
5?* J J unsuspecting joker. Then he drew back and 
|^|Y ji*'^ delivered a kick of such titantic vigor that it 
^^^n lifted Tom clear over the footlights and landed 
'*'''^^^^ him on the heads of the front row of the Sons 
of Liberty. 

Even a sober person does not like to have 
a human being emptied on him when he is 
not doing any harm ; a person who is not 
sober cannot endure such an attention at alU 
The nest of Sons of Liberty that Driscoll 
landed in had not a sober bird in it ; in fact 
there was probably not an entirely sober one 
in the auditorium. Driscoll was promptly 
and indignantly flung on to the heads of Sons 
in the next row, and these Sons passed him 
on toward the rear, and then immediately 
began to pummel the front-row Sons who had 
passed him to them. This course was strictly 

Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


followed by bench after bench as DriscoU 
traveled in his tumultuous and airy flight 
toward the door; so he left behind him an 
ever lengthening wake of raging and plunging 
and fighting and swearing humanity. Down 
went group after group of torches, and pres- 
ently above the deafening clatter of the gavel, 
roar of angry voices, and crash of succumbing 
benches, rose the paralyzing cry of ** Fire!" 

The fighting ceased instantly ; the cursing 
ceased; for one distinctly defined moment 
there was a dead hush, a motionless calm, 
where the tempest had been ; then with one 
impulse the multitude awoke to life and 
energy again, and went surging and strug- 
gling and swaying, this way and that, its ^ 
outer edges melting away through windows / 
and doors and gradually lessening the pressure 
and relieving the mass. 

The fire-boys were never on hand so sud- 
denly before ; for there was no distance to go, 
this time, their quarters being in the rear end 
of the market-house. There was an engine 
company and a hook-and-ladder company. 
Half of each was composed of rummies and 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

the other half of anti-rummies, after the moral 

and political share-and-share-alike fashion of 

the frontier town of the period. Enough 

anti-rummies were loafing in quarters to man 

) the engine and the ladders. In two minutes 

liiey had their red shirts and helmets on— they 

iiev^er stirred officially in unofficial costume — 

and as the mass meeting overhead smashed 

through tile long row of windows and poured 

tjut upon the roof of the arcade^ the deliverers 

»vere ready for them with a powerful stream of 

svater which washed some of them off the 

roof and nearly drowned the rest. But water 

^.^3t?^)y;, was preferable to fire, and still the stampede 

ih\yi from the windows continued, and stillthe piti- 

,■, 1^"^ '$h_ less drenchings assailed it until the building 

> ^ m ..^/i ^y^g empty ; then the fire-boys mounted to the 

#f hall and flooded it with water enough to anni- 

5^:)^v^ hilate forty times as much fire as there was 

^/■^ tliere ; for a village fire-company does not of- 

iT^ L*j; ; ten oret a chance tn show off, and so when it 

'*-^^_ i:;^does get a chance It makes the most of it. 

Such citizens of that village as were of a 

^yyg^ tlioughtful and judicious temperament did not 

insure against fire; they insured against the 

ire-corn pa n\\ 


Courage is resistance lo fear, mastery of fear — not 
absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is 
not a compliment to say it is brave ; it is merely a loose 
misapplication of the word. Consider the fl.a i — incom- 
parably the bravest of all the creatures of God, if ignor- 
ance of fear were courage. Whether you are asleep or 
.awake he will attack you, caring nothing for the fact that 
in bulk and strength you are to him as are the massed 
armies of the earth to a sucking child ; he lives both day 
and night and all days and nights in the very lap i peril 
and the immediate presence of death, and yet is no more 
afraid than is the man who walks the streets of a city that 
was threatened by an earthquake ten centuries before. 
When we speak of Clive, Nelson, and Putnam as men who 
" did n't know what fear was," we ought always to add 
the flea — and put him at the head of the procession. — 
Fitd(Vnhead Wilson's Calendar. 

Judge Driscoll was in bed and asleep by 
ten o'clock on Friday night, and he was up 

f- '"•^'t^ 


gone a-fishing before daylight in ihe /: - <^^^.: j> ^^ 
ine with his frit^nd Pembroke Howard, 'j^ "' '"^^^^^i^- 

These two had been boys together in Virginia 

156 Pudd'nuead Wilson. 

when that State still ranked as the chief and 
most imposing member of the Union, and 
they still coupled the proud and affectionate 
adjective ** old " with her name when they 
spoke of her. In Missouri a recognized su- 
periority attached to any person who hailed 
from Old Virginia ; and this superiority was 
exalted to supremacy when a person of such 
nativity could also prove descent from the 
First Families of that great commonwealth. 
The Howards and Driscolls were of this aris- 
tocracy. In their eyes it was a nobility. It 
had its unwritten laws, and they were as clearly 
defined and as strict as any that could be 
found among the printed statutes of the land. 
The F. F. V. was born a gentleman ; his high- 
est duty in life was to watch over that great 
inheritance and keep it unsmirched. He 
must keep his honor spotless. Those laws 
were his chart; his course was marked out on 
it ; if he swerved from it by so much as half a 
point of the compass it meant shipwreck to 
his honor ; that is to say, degradation from his 
rank as a gentleman. These laws required 
certain things of him which his religion might 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


forbid : then his religion must yield — the laws 
could not be relaxed to accommodate religions 
or anything else. Honor stood first ; and the 
laws defined what it was and wherein it dif- 
fered in certain details from honor as defined 
by church creeds and by the social laws and 
customs of some of the minor divisions of the 
globe that had got crowded out when the 
sacred boundaries of Virginia were staked 

If Judge Driscoll was the recognized first 
citizen of Dawson's Landing, Pembroke How- 
ard was easily its recognized second citizen. 
He was called ** the great lawyer" — an earned 
title. He and Driscoll were of the same age 
— a year or two past sixty. 

Although Driscoll was a free-thinker and 
Howard a strong and determined Presbyte- 
rian, their warm intimacy suffered no impair- --ifl^u-^' c.^ 

ment in consequence. They were men whose 
opinions were their own property and not -^^S(<^ 
subject to revision and amendment, sugges- 
tion or criticism, by anybody, even their 

The day's fishing finished, they came float- 

-rt ."^ 




Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

Ing down stream in their skiff, talking national 
politics and other high matters, and presently 
met a skiff coming up from town, with a man 
in it who said : 

" I reckon you know one of the new twins 
gave your nephew a kicking last nighty 

'' Did w/ia^f" 

*• Gave him a kicking." 

The old Judge's lips paled, and his eyes be- 
ofan to flame. He choked with anorer for a 
moment, then he got out what he was trying^ 
to say — 

" Well — ^well — ^go on ! give me the details." 

The man did it. At the finish the Judge 
was silent a minute, turning over in his mind 
the shameful picture of Tom's flight over the 
footlights ; then he said, as if musing aloud — 
** H'm — I don't understand it. I was asleep • 
at home. He did n*t wake me. Thought he 
was competent to manage his affair without 
my help, I reckon." His face lit up with 
pride and pleasure at that thought, and he 
said with a cheery complacency, *' I like that 
— it 's the true old blood — hey, Pembroke ? " 

_DigJiUeehby VjOOQ IC 



Howard smiled an iron smile, and nodded 
his head approvingly. Then the nevvs-bringer 
spoke again — 

** But Tom beat the twin on the trial." 

The Judge looked at the man wonderingly, 
and said — 

'•The trial? What trial?" 

** Why, Tom had him up before Judge Rob- 
inson for assault and battery." 

The old man shrank suddenly together 
like one who has received a death-stroke. 
Howard sprang for him as he sank forward in 
a swoon, and took him in his arms, and 
bedded him on his back in the boat. He 
sprinkled water in his face, and said to the 
startled visitor — 

** Go, now — don't let him come to and find 
you here. You see what an effect your heed- 
less speech has had ; you ought to have been 
more considerate than to blurt out such a 
cruel piece of slander as that." ^ 

** I 'm right down sorry I did it now, Mr." ^ 
Howard, and I would n't have done it if I had 
thought: but it ain't slander; it s perfectly 
true, just as I told him." 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

"S^- f, i 

He rowed away. Presently the old Judge 
came out of his faint and looked up piteously 
into the sympathetic face that was bent over 

**Say it ain't true, Pembroke; tell me it 
ain't true !" he said in a weak voice. 

There was nothing weak in the deep organ- 
tones that responded — 

•' You know it 's a lie as well as I do, old 
friend. He is of the best blood of the Old 

** God bless you for saying it !" said the old 
gentleman, fervently. "Ah, Pembroke, it 
was such a blow ! " 

Howard stayed by his friend, and saw him 
home, and entered the house with him. It 
was dark, and past supper-time, but the Judge 
was not thinking of supper; he was eager to 
hear the slander refuted from headquarters, 
and as eager to have Howard hear it, too. 
Tom was sent for, and he came immediately. 
He was bruised and lame, and was not a 
happy-looking object. His uncle made him 
sit down, and said — 

** We have been hearing about your adven- 




ture, Tom, with a handsome lie added to it 
for embellishment. Now pulverize that lie to 
dust ! What measures have you taken? How 
does the thing stand ?" 

Tom answered guilelessly : ** It don't stand 
at all ; it 's all over. I had him up in court 
and beat him. Pudd'nhead Wilson defended 
him — first case he ever had, and lost it. The 
judge fined the miserable hound five dollars 
for the assault." 

Howard and the Judge sprang to their 
feet with the opening sentence — why, neither 
knew ; then they stood gazing vacantly at 
each other. Howard stood a moment, then 
sat mournfully down without saying anything. 
The Judge's wrath began to kindle, and he 
burst out — 

** You cur! You scum ! You vermin ! Do 
you mean to tell me that blood of my race 
has suffered a blow and crawled to a court 
of law about it ? Answer me ! " 

Tom*s head drooped, and he answered 
with an eloquent silence. His uncle stared 
at him with a mixed expression of amazement 
and snaine and incredulity that was sorrowful 
to see. At last he said^ 

1 1 

1 62 

Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


" Which of the twins was it ?" 

•' Count Luigi." 

** You have challenged him ?" 

'* N — no," hesitated Tom, turning pale. 

"You will challenge him to-night. Howard 
will carry it." 

Tom began to turn sick, and to show it. 
He turned his hat round and round in his 
hand, his uncle glowering blacker and blacker 
upon him as the heavy seconds drifted by ; 
then at last he began to stammer, and said 
piteously — 

** Oh, please don't ask me to do it, uncle ! 
He is a murderous devil — I never could — I — 
I 'm afraid of him ! " 

Old Driscoll's mouth opened and closed 
three times before he could get it to perform 
its office ; then he stormed out — 

'* A coward in my family ! A Driscoll a 
coward ! Oh, what have I done to deserve 
this infamy ! " He tottered to his secretary in 
the corner repeating that lament again and 
again in heartbreaking tones, and got out of 
:^^ a drawer a paper, which he slowly tore to bits 
^scattering the bits absently in his track as he 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


walked up and down the room, still grieving 
and lamenting. At last he said — 

** There it is, shreds and fragments once 
more — my will. Once more you have forced 
me to disinherit you, you base son of a most 
noble father ! Leave my sight ! Go — before 
I spit on you ! " 

The young man did not tarry. Then the 
Judge turned to Howard : 

** You will be my second, old friend ? " 

" Of course." 

*• There is pen and paper. Draft the car- 
tel, and lose no time." 

** The Count shall have it in his hands in 
fifteen minutes," said Howard. 

Tom was very heavy-hearted. His appe- 
tite was gone with his property and his self-re- 
spect. He went out the back way and 
wandered down the obscure lane grieving, 
and wondering if any course of future conduct, 
however discreet and carefully perfected and 
watched over, could win back his uncle's 
favor and persuade him to reconstruct once 
more that generous will which had just gone 
to ruin before his eyes. lie hJially concluded 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

that it could. He said to himself that he 
had accomplished this sort of triumph once 
already, and that what had been done once 
could be done again. He would set about it. 
He would bend every energy to the task, and 
he would score that triumph once more, cost 
what it might to his convenience, limit as it 
might his frivolous and liberty-loving life. 

** To begin," he said to himself, ** Til square 
up with the proceeds of my raid, and then 
gambling has got to be stopped — and stopped 
short off. It *s the worst vice I 've got — from 
my standpoint, anyway, because it s the one 
he can most easily find out, through the im- 
patience of my creditors. He thought it ex- 
pensive to have to pay two hundred dollars to 
them for me once. Expensive — that! Why, 
it cost me the whole of his fortune — but of 
course he never thought of that ; some peo- 
ple can't think of any but their own side of a 
case. If he had known how deep I am in, 
now, the will would have gone to pot without 
waiting for a duel to help. Three hundred 
dollars ! It *s a pile! But he '11 never hear 
of it, I *m thankful to say. The minute I vr 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


cleared it off, I 'm safe ; and I *11 never touch a 
card again. Anyway, I won't while he lives, 
I make oath to that. I 'm entering on my 
last reform — I know it — yes, and I '11 win ; but 
after that, if I ever slip again I 'm gone." 

Digitized by 




When I reflect upon the number of disagreeable people 
who I know have gone to a better world, I am moved to 
lead a different life. — Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar. 

October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous 
months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, 
January, September, April, November, May, March, June, 
December, August, and February. — Pudd'nhead Wilson's 

Thus mournfully communing with him- 
self Tom moped along the lane past Pudd'n- 
head Wilson's house, and still on and on be- 
tween fences inclosing vacant country on each 
hand till he neared the haunted house, then 
he came moping back again, with many sighs 

' <L^\y^/Sl^%^ ^ and heavy with trouble. He sorely wanted 

i2C/;/%/^^\r^i^^ cheerful company. Rowena! His heart gave 

•.-"C V* *'r^ ^ bound at the thought, but the next thought 

^"il^^\--, w .f^quieted it — the detested twins would be 

*6'--'^f^'|, there. 
wij.... '^ ^Tv-iC-^ If -fit. 

Me was on the Inhabited side of Wilson's 

^ vi- W^ 

Digitized by 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


house, and now as he approached it he noticed 
that the sitting-room was lighted. This 
would do ; others made him feel unwelcome 
-sometimes, but Wilson never failed in cour- 
tesy toward him, and a kindly courtesy does 
at least save one's feelings, even if it is not 
professing to stand for a w^elcome. Wilson 
heard footsteps at his threshold, then the 
clearing of a throat. 

** It 's that fickle-tempered, dissipated young 
goose — poor devil, he finds friends pretty 
scarce to-day, likely, after the disgrace of 
carrying a personal-assault case into a law- 

A dejected knock. ** Come in ! " 

Tom entered, and drooped into a chair, 
without saying anything. Wilson said 
kindly — 

** Why, my boy, you look desolate. Don't 
take it so hard. Try and forget you have 
been kicked.' 

" Oh, dear," said Tom, wretchedly, " it 's 
not that, PuJtrnhead— it 's not that. It's a 
thousand times wor^e than that— oh, yes, a 
million times worse." 


(U I 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


" Why, Tom, what do you mean ? Has 
Rowena — " 

** Flung me ? No, but the old man has." 

Wilson said to himself, ** Aha ! " and 
thought of the mysterious girl in the bedroom. 
"The Driscolls have been making discover- 
ies ! " Then he said aloud, gravely : 

** Tom, there are some kinds of dissipation 
which " 

" Oh, shucks, this has n't got anything to 
do with dissipation. He wanted me to chal- 
lenge that derned Italian savage, and I 
would n't do it." 

*' Yes, of course he would do that," said 
Wilson in a meditative matter-of-course way, 
•• but the thing that puzzled me was, why he 
did n't look to that last night, for one thing, 
and why he let you carry such a matter into 
a court of law at all, either before the duel or 
after it. It *s no place for it. It was not like 
him. I could n't understand it. How did it 
happen ? " 

** It happened because he did n't know any- 
thinjj about it He was asleep when I got 
home last night," 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


** And you did n't wake him ? Tom, is 
that possible ? " 

Tom was not getting much comfort here. 
He fidgeted a moment, then said : 

v I did n't choose to tell him — that 's all. 
He was going a-fishing before dawn, with 
Pembroke Howard, and if I got the twins into 
the common calaboose — and I thought sure I 
could — I never dreamed of their slipping out 
on a paltry fine for such an outrageous of- 
fense — well, once in the calaboose they would 
be disgraced, and uncle would n't want any 
duels with that sort of characters, and 
would n't allow any." 

** Tom, I am ashamed of you ! I don't see 
how you could treat your good old uncle so. 
I am a better friend of his than you are ; for 
if I had known the circumstances I would 
have kept that case out of court until I got 
word to him and let him have a gentleman's 

"You would?" exclaimed Tom, with lively 
surprise. " And it your first case ! And you 
know perfectly well there never would have 
been any case if he had got that chance, don't 





Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


you ? And you 'd have finished your days a 
pauper nobody, instead of being an actually 
launched and recognized lawyer to-day. And 
you would really have done that, would you ?" 


Tom looked at him a moment or two, then 
shook his head sorrowfully and said — 

** I believe you — upon my word I do. I 
[/don't know why I do, but I do. Pudd'nhead 
Wilson, I think you Ve the biggest fool I 
ever saw." 

" Thank you." 

*• Don't mention it." 

"Well, he has been requiring you to fight 
the Italian and you have refused. You degen- 
erate remnant of an honorable line ! I 'm 
thoroughly ashamed of you. Tom !" 

** Oh, that' s nothing ! I don't care for any- 
thing, now that the will *s torn up again." 

** Tom, tell me squarely — did n't he find 
any fault with you for anything but those two 
things — carrying the case into court and re- 
fusing to fight ? " 

He watched the young fellow's face nar- 
rowly, but it was entirely reposeful, and so 
also was the voice that answered : 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 171 

" No, he did n't find any other fault with 
me. If he had had any to find, he would 
have begun yesterday, for he was just in the 
humor for it. He drove that jack-pair around 
town and showed them the sights, and when 
he came home he could n't find his father sold 
silver watch that don't keep time and he 
thinks so much of, and could n't remember 
what he did with it three or four days ago 
Avhen he saw it last , and so when I arrived he 
Avas all in a sweat about it, and when I sug- 
gested that it probably was n't lost but stolen, 
it put him in a regular passion and he said I 
was a fool — which convinced me, without any 
trouble, that that was just what he was afraid 
had happened, himself, but did not want to 
believe it, because lost things stand a better 
chance of being found again than stolen 

" Whe-ew ! " whistled Wilson ; *' score an- 
other on the list." 

" Another what ? " 

••Another theft!" 

' Yes, theft. That watch is n't lost, it 's 


172 Pudd'nuead Wilson. 

stolen. There 's been another raid on the 
town — and just the same old mysterious sort 
of thing that has happened once before, as 
you remember." 

•* You don't mean it 1 '* 

" It *s as sure as you are born I Have you 
missed anything yourself ? " 

" No. That is, I did miss a silver pencil- 
case that Aunt Mary Pratt gave me last 
birthday " 

" You '11 find it stolen — that 's what you '11 

"No, I sha* n't ; for when I suggested theft 
about the watch and got such a rap, I went 
and examined my room, and the pencil-case 
was missing, but it was only mislaid, and I 
found it again." 

"You are sure you missed nothing else?" 

" Well, nothing of consequence. I missed 
a small plain gold ring worth two or three 
dollars, but that will turn up. I '11 look 

" In my opinion you '11 not find it. There 's 
been a raid, I tell you. Come ^V^/" 

Mr. Justice Robinson entered, followed by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


Buckstone and the town-constable, Jim Blake. 
They sat down, and after some wandering 
and aimless weather-conversation Wilson 
said — 

** By the way, we ve just added another to 
the list of thefts, maybe two. Judge Driscoll's 
old silver watch is gone, and Tom here has 
missed a gold ring." 

'•Well, it is a bad business," said the Jus- 
tice, " and gets worse the further it goes. The 
Hankses, the Dobsons, the Pilligrews, the Or- 
tons, the Grangers, the Hales, the Fullers, 
the Holcombs, in fact everybody that lives 
around about Patsy Cooper's has bt^en robbed 
of little things like trinkets and teaspoons and -^ 
such-like small valuables that are easily 
carried off. It *s perfectly plain that the 
thief took advantage of the reception at Patsy 
Coopers when all the neighbors were in her 
house and all their niggers hanging around 
her ience for a look at the sliow, to raid the 
vacant houses undisturbed. Patsy is miser- 
able about it; miserable on account of the 
neighbors, and particularly miserable on ac- 
count of her foreigners, of course ; so miser- 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

able on their account that she has n't any 
room to worry about her own little losses." 

" It 's the same old raider," said Wilson^ 
** I suppose there is n*t any doubt about that." 

"Constable Blake does n't think so." 

** No, you 're wrong there," said Blake ; 

man ; there was 
we know, in the 
got hands on him ; 
but this time it 's a woman." 

Wilson thought of the mysterious girl 
straight off. She was always in his mind now^ 
But she failed him again. Blake continued : 

** She 's a stoop-shouldered old woman with 
a covered basket on her arm, in a black veil, 
dressed in mourning. I saw her going aboard 
the ferry-boat yesterday. Lives in Illinois, I 
reckon ; but I don't care where she lives, I 'm 
going to get her — she can make herself sure 
of that." 

** What makes you think she 's the thief ?" 

** Well, there ain't any other, for one thing ; 
and for another, some of the nigger draymen 
,^\a.V/. -^ /^,^ that happened to be driving along saw her 

^•'^fcoming out of or going into houses, and told 



'^^r^l^af by Google 

Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


me so — and it just happens that they was 
^^^^^^ houses, every time." 

It was granted that this was plenty good 
enough circumstantial evidence. A pensive 
silence followed, which lasted some moments, 
then Wilson said — 

" There *s one good thing, anyway. She 
can'i either pawn or sell Count Luigi*s costly 
Indian dagger." 

" My ! " said Tom, '* is that gone ? " 

- Yes." 

*' Well, that was a haul ! But why can't 
she pawn it or sell it?" 

*' Because when the twins went home from ^ 
the Sons of Liberty meeting last night, news . :. 
of the raid was sifting in from everywhere, ^-v;;^^ 
and Aunt Patsy was in distress to know if -^^li/ ''^ >^" ^x 
they had lost anything. They found tnat the S^m^fs^l-.-'f''. 
dagger was gone, and they notified the police f '^^^W^^^^y 
and pawnbrokers everywhere. It was a %'^^'^^ \^^4>*^^^^^ 
haul, yes, but the old woman won't get any- 
thing out of it, because she '11 get caught 

** Did they offer a reward 

**Yrs; fivt hundred doll 
and five hundred more for 


?" asked Buckstone. OTJ ,Llltfek 

>llars for the knife, i,:^''j l'^^^qwo|JI 

the thief." 'lr!:-S2W 

Digitized by 


1/6 Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

** What a leather-headed idea ! " exclaimed 
the constable. ** The thief da's n*t go near 
them, nor send anybody. Whoever goes is 
going to get himself nabbed, for there ain't 
any pawnbroker that 's going to lose the 
chance to " 

If anybody had noticed Tom's face at that 
time, the gray-green color of it might have 
provoked curiosity ; but nobody did. He 
said to himself : ** I 'm gone ! I never can 
square up ; the rest of the plunder won't 
pawn or sell for half of the bill. Oh, I know 
it — I *m gone, I 'm gone — and this time it 's 
for good. Oh, this is awful — I don't know 
what to do, nor which way to turn ! " 

" Softly, softly," said Wilson to Blake. " I 
planned their scheme for them at midnight 
last night, and it was all finished up ship- 
shape by two this morning. They '11 get 
their dagger back, and then I '11 explain to 
you how the thing was done." 

There were strong signs of a general curi- 
osity, and Buckstone said-^ 

** Well, you have whetted us up pretty 
sharp, Wilson, and I 'm free to say that 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


if you 

don't mind telling us 

in confi- 

dence — 


** Oh, I 'd as soon tell as not, Buckstone, 
but as long as the twins and I agreed to say 
nothing about it, we must let it stand so. 
But you can take my word for it you won't 
be kept waiting three days. Somebody will 
apply for that reward pretty promptly, and 
I *11 show you the thief and the dagger both 
very soon afterward." 

The constable was disappointed, and also 
perplexed. He said — 

** It may all be — yes, and I hope it will, 
but I 'm blamed if I can see my way through 
it. It 's too many for yours truly." 

The subject seemed about talked out. No- 
body seemed to have anything further to 
offer. After a silence the justice of the peace 
informed Wilson that he and Buckstone and 
the constable had come as a committee, on 
the part of the Democratic party, to ask him 
to run for mayor — for the little town was 
about to become a city and the first charter 
election was approaching. It was the first ^. 
attention which Wilson had ever received at 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

the hands of any party; it was a sufficiently 
humble one, but it was a recognition of his 
debut into the town's life and activities at 
last ; it was a step upward, and he was deeply 
gratified. He accepted, and the committee 
departed, followed by young Tom. 

Digitized by 



The true Southern watermelon is a boon apart, and 
not to be mentioned with commoner things. It is chief 
of this world's luxuries, king by the grace of God over all 
the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows 
what the angels eat. It was not a Southern watermelon 
that Eve took : we know it because she repented. — PudiTn- 
head Wilson's Calendar. 

About the time that Wilson was bowing 
the committee out, Pembroke Howard was 
entering the next house to report. He found 
the old Judge sitting grim and straight in his 
chair, waiting. 

"Well, Howard — the news?" 

" The best in the world." 

" Accepts, does he ? " and the light of battle 
gleamed joyously in the Judge's eye. 

" Accepts ? Why, he jumped at it." 

"Did, did he? Now that's fine — that's 
very fine. I like that. When is it to be?" 

"Now! Straight off! To-night! An 
admirable fellow — admirable !" 


' V*^ 

% ^ Digitized by Google 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


** Admirable ? He 's a darling ! Why, it 's 
an honor as well as a pleasure to stand up 
before such a man. Come — off with you ! 
Go and arrange everything — and give him 
my heartiest compliments. A rare fellow, 
indeed ; an admirable fellow, as you have 

Howard hurried away, saying — 

'* I *11 have him in the vacant stretch be- 
tween Wilson's and the haunted house within 
the hour, and I '11 bring my own pistols." 

Judge Driscoll began to walk the floor in a 
state of pleased excitement ; but presently he 
stopped, and began to think — began to think 
of Tom. Twice he moved toward the secre- 
tary, and twice he turned away again ; but 
finally he said — 

'* This may be my last night in the world — 
I must not take the chance. He is worthless 
and unworthy, but it is largely my fault. He 
was intrusted to me by my brother on his dy- 
ing bed, and I have indulged him to his hurt, 
instead of training him up severely, and mak- 
ing a man of liim. I have violated my trust, 
and I must not add the sin of desertion to 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


that. I have forgiven him once already, and 
would subject him to a long and hard trial 
before forgiving him again, if I could live ; 
but I must not run that risk. No, I must re- 
store the will. But if I survive the duel, I 
will hide it away, and he will not know, and I 
will not tell him until he reforms, and I see 
that his reformation is going to be permanent." 
He re-drew the will, and his ostensible 
nephew was heir to a fortune again. As he 
was finishing his task, Tom, wearied with an- 
other brooding tramp, entered the house and 
went tiptoeing past the sitting-room door. 
He glanced in, and hurried on, for the sight 
of his uncle had nothing but terrors for him 
to-night. But his uncle was writing ! That 
was unusual at this late hour. What could he 
be writing? A chill of anxiety settled down 
upon Tom's heart. Did tlmt writing concernf 
him? He was afraid so. He reflected that 
when ill luck begins, it does not come in 
sprinkles, but in showers. He said he would 
get a glimpse of that document or know the 
reason why. He heard some one coming, 
andstepped out of sight and hearing. It was 


182 Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

Pembroke Howard. What could be hatch- 

Howard said, with great satisfaction : 
" Everything *s right and ready. He 'sgone 
:^\\M to the battle-ground with his second and the 
'^xL^ l' surgeon — also with his brother. I 've an 
^/^ fm\ r^^g^d it all with Wilson — Wilson 's his sec 
fvAvvM ^^^' ^^ ^^^ ^^ have three shots apiece." 
" Good ! How is the moon ?" 
" Bright as day, nearly. Perfect, for the 
distance — fifteen yards. No wind — not a 
breath ; hot and still." 
\.\fr'f }u S'rr^V '* ^'^ good ; all first-rate. Here, Pembroke^ 
'^ ^^^P^^ ^^^^ ^'^i^' ^"^ witness it." 





Pembroke read and witnessed the will, then, 
gave the old man's hand a hearty shake anc/ 
said : 

•* Now that 's right, York — but I knew you 
would do it. You could n't leave that poor 
chap to fight along without means or profes 
sion, with certain defeat before him, and 1 
knew you would n't, for his father's sake if not 
for his own." 

•' For his dead father's sake I could n't, I 
know ; for poor Percy — but you know what 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 183 

Percy was to me. But mind — Tom is not to 
know of this unless I fall to-night." 
" I understand. I '11 keep the secret." 
The Judge put the will away, and the two 
started for the battle-ground. In another 
minute the will was in Tom's hands. His 
misery vanished, his feelings underwent a tre- 
mendous revulsion. He put the will carefully ^;^^ 
back in its place, and spread his mouth and '-'* *^ 
swung his hat once, twice, three times around 
his head, in imitation of three rousing huzzas, 
no sound issuing from his lips. He fell to 
•communing with himself excitedly and joy- 
ously, but every now and then he let off an- 
other volley of dumb hurrahs. 

He said to himself : " I 've got the fortune 
again, but I '11 not let on that I know about 
it. And this time I 'm going to hang on to 
it. I take no more risks. I 'II gamble no 
more, I '11 drink no more, because — well, be- 
cause I '11 not go where there is any of that 
sort of thing going on, again. It's the sure 
way, and the only sure way ; I might have 
thought of that sooner — well, yes, if I had 
wanted to. But now — dear me, I 've had a 

4% Til 


"• /r^^ 

1 84 

Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

scare this time, and I *11 take no more chances. 
Not a single chance more. Land ! I per- 
suaded myself this evening that I could fetch 
him around without any great amount of 
effort, but I Ve been getting more and more 
heavy-hearted and doubtful straight along^ 
ever since. If he tells me about this thing, 
all right ; but if he does n*t. I sha' n*t, let on, 
I— well, I 'd like to tell Pudd'nhead Wilson, 
but — no, I *11 think about that ; perhaps I 
won't." He whirled off another dead huzza, 
and said, '* I 'm reformed, and this time I *11 
stay so, sure ! " 

He was about to close with a final grand 
silent demonstration, when he suddenly recol- 
lected that Wilson had put it out of his power 
to pawn or sell the Indian knife, and that he 
was once more in awful peril of exposure by 
L= his creditors for that reason. His joy 
collapsed utterly, and he turned away and 
moped toward the door moaning and lament- 
ing over the bitterness of his luck. He 
dragged himself up-stairs, and brooded in his 
room a lone time disconsolate and forlorn, 
with Luiei's Indian knife for a text. At last 
he siehed and said : 


Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


*' When I supposed these stones were glass 
and this ivory bone, the thing had n*t any in- 
terest for me because it had n't any value, and 
could n*t help me out of my trouble. But 
now — why, now it is full of interest ; yes, and 
of a sort to break a body's heart. It's a bag 
of gold that has turned to dirt and ashes in 
my hands. It could save me, and save me so 
easily, and yet I 've got to go to ruin. It's 
like drowning with a life-preserver in my 
reach. All the hard luck comes to me, and 
all the good luck goes to other people — 
Pudd'nhead Wilson, for instance ; even his 
career has got a sort of a little start at last, 
and what has he done to deserve it, I should 
like to know ? Yes, he has opened his own 
road, but he is n't content with that, but must 
block mine. It's a sordid, selfish world, and 
I wish I was out of it." He allowed the 
light of the candle to play upon the jewels of 
the sheath, but the flashings and sparklings 
had no charm for his eye; they were 
so many pangs to his heart, '* 1 
say anything to Roxy about this 
said, ** she is too daring. She woi 

1 86 


digging these stones out and selling them, 
and then — why, she would be arrested and 
the stones traced, and then — " The thought 
made him quake, and he hid the knife away, 
trembling all over and glancing furtively 
about, like a criminal who fancies that the 
accuser is already at hand. 

Should he try to sleep? Oh, no, sleep was 
not for him ; his trouble was too haunting, too 
afflicting for that. He must have somebody 
to mourn with. He would carry his despair 
to Roxy. 

He had heard several distant gunshots, but 
that sort of thing was not uncommon, and 
they had made no impression upon him. He 
.^^^ '^O?'. went out at the back door, and turned west- 
-r'z<^^3\) ward. He passed Wilson's house and pro- 
7^1%^:^ pceeded along the lane, and presently saw 
several figures approaching Wilson's place 
through the vacant lots. These were the du- 
elists returning from the fight ; he thought he 
[^ recognized them, but as he had no desire for 
iMVi/ white people's company, he stooped down be- 
hind the fence until tliey were out of his way. 

dAif> ^ 



Roxy was feeling fine. 

She said 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


"' Whah was you, child ? Warn't you in it ? " 

''In what?" 

•' In de duel." 

" Duel ? Has there been a duel ?" 

***Co'se dey has. De ole Jedge has be'n 
havin* a duel widone o* dem twins." 

** Great Scott!" Then he added to himself: 
*" That 's what made him re-make the will ; he 
thought he might get killed, and it softened 
him toward me. And that 's what he and 
Howard were so busy about. . . . Oh dear, 
if the twin had only killed him, I should be 
out of my " 

"What is you mumblin' bout, Chambers ? #^^^ 
Whah was you ? Did n't you know dey was 
gwyne to be a duel ? " 

*' No, I did n't. The old man tried to get 
me to fight one with Count Luigi, but he -, .^^ 
did n't succeed, so I reckon he concluded tof^% ' ^^ 
patch up the family honor himself." ,/ ** ^.^ > h /-^"^ 

He laughed at the idea, and went rambling l-^T^vV/^V ^, W'"^ 

.f7'...\ y\// ^.- \.«(y/^^ -^ 
on with a detailed account of his talk with the^'''' Wr/vf fe^"^ 
Judge, and how shocked and ashamed the ';v^''-^» •''^^'''/^s^ 
Judge was to find that he had a coward in his -'^^^^c^^JjX^^^^ 
family. He glanced up at last, and got a -'^''^^ ^^ ^wmii 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


shock himself. Roxana's bosom was heaving 
with suppressed passion, and she was glower- 
ing down upon him with measureless contempt 
written in her face. 

** En you refuse' to fight a man dat kicked 
you, 'stid o* jumpin* at de chance! En you 
ain't got no mo' feelin* den to come en tell me, 
dat fetched sich a po' low-down ornery rabbit 
into de worl' ! Pah ! it make me sick ! It 's 
de nigger in you, dat 's what it is. Thirty-one 
parts o' you is white, en on'y one part nigger, 
en dat po' little one part is yo' souL Tain't 
wuth savin' ; tain't wuth totin' out on a shovel 
en throwin' in de gutter. You has disgraced 
yo' birth. What would yo' pa think o' you ? 
It 's enough to make him turn in his grave." 

The last three sentences stung Tom into a 
fury, and he said to himself that if his father 
were only alive and in reach of assassination 
his mother would soon find that he had a very 
clear notion of the size of his indebtedness to 
that man, and was willing to pay it up in full, 
and would do it too, even at risk of his life ; 
but he kept his thought to himself ; that was 
safest in his mother's present state. 

Digitized by 




" Whatever has come o' yo' Essex blood ? 
Dat 's what I can't understan'. En it ain't on'y 
jist Essex blood dat 's in you, not by a long 
sight — 'deed it ain't ! My great-great-great- 
gran'father en yo'great-great-great-great-gran'- 
fatherwas Ole Cap'n John Smith, de highest / 
blood dat Ole Virginny ever turned out, en / . 
his great-great-gran'mother or somers along 
back dah, was Pocahontas de Injun queen, en 
her husbun' was a nigger king outen Africa — 
en vit here you is, a slinkin' outen a duel en "V 
disgracin' our whole line like a ornery low- > 4 ' '^' 
down hound ! Yes, it 's de nigger in you !" 

She sat down on her candle-box and fell into 
a reverie. Tom did not disturb her ; he some- 
times lacked prudence, but it was not in cir- / 
cumstances of this kind. Roxana's storm 
went gradually down, but it died hard, and 
even when it seemed to be quite gone, it 
would now and then break out in a distant 
rumble, so to speak, in the form of muttered /.^ 
ejaculations. One of these was, "Ain't nig-ir^ZZ^" 
ger enough in him to show in his finger-nails, 'L' 
en dat takes mighty little — yit dey 's enough S pS: 
to paint his soul." 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

Presently she muttered. ** Yassir, enough to 
paint a whole thimbleful of 'em." At last her 
ramblings ceased altogether, and her counte- 
nance began to clear — a welcome sign to 
Tom, who had learned her moods, and knew 
she was on the threshold of good-humor, now. 
He noticed that from time to time she uncon- 
sciously carried her finger to the end of her 
I nose. He looked closer and said : 

" Why, mammy, the end of your nose is 
skinned. How did that come?" 

She sent out the sort of whole-hearted peal 
of laughter which God has vouchsafed in its 
perfection to none but the happy angels in 
heaven and the bruised and broken black slave 
on the earth, and said : 

" Dad fetch dat duel, I be'n in it myself." 

** Gracious ! did a bullet do that ? " 

" Yassir, you bet it did ! " 

*' Well, I declare ! Why. how did that hap- 
pen ?' 

"■ Happened dis-away. I 'uz a-sett'n' here 

kinder dozin' in de dark, en che-bang! goes a 

gun, right out dah. I skips along out towards 

'otht^r end o' de house to see what *s gwyne 

■^^—.IIZ."!. — Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


on, en stops by de ole winder on de side to 
wards Pudd'nhead Wilson's house dat ain't got 
no sash in it, — but dey ain't none of em got 
any sashes, fur as dat 's concerned, — en I 
stood dah in de dark en look out, en dar in de 
moonlight, right down under me 'uz one o' de 
twins a-cussin' — not much, but jist a-cussin' -^^ 
soft — it 'uz de brown one dat 'uz cussin', 'ca'se 
he 'uz hit in de shoulder. En Doctor Clay- 
pool he 'uz a-workin'at him, en Pudd'nhead 
Wilson he 'uz a-he'pin', en ole Jedge Driscoll 
en Pem Howard 'uz a-standin' out yonder a 
little piece waitin' for 'em to git ready agin. 
En treckly dey squared off en give de word, 
en bang-bang went de pistols, en de twin he 
say, * Ouch ! ' — hit him on de han' dis time, — 
en I hear dat same bullet go spat ! ag'in, de 
logs under de winder; en de nex* time dey 
shoot, de twin say, 'Ouch !' ag'in, en I done '^^/^J/^^^f^ 
too, 'case de bullet glance' on his cheek-bone -^^^ Ip"^"^^ ' 
en skip up here en glance on de side o' de 
winder en whiz right acrost my face en tuck 
de hide off'n my nose — why, if I'd 'a 'ben jist 
a inch or a inch en a half furder 't would 'a' 
tuck de whole nose en disfiggered me, -'-^J 
Here *s de bullet ; I hunted her up-" 


^^"^- '^ I Digitized 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

" Did you stand there all the time ?" 

" Dat 's a question to ask, ain't it ! What 
else would I do ? Does I git a chance to see 
a duel every day ? " 

" Why, you were right in range ! Were n't 
you afraid ? " 

The woman gave a sniff of scorn. 

" 'Fraid ! De Smith-Pocahontases ain't 
'fraid o' nothin'. let alone bullets." 

" They've got pluck enough, I suppose ; 
what they lack is judgment. / would n't 
have stood there." 

'* Nobody 's accusin' you !" 

** Did anybody else get hurt?" 

" Yes, we all got hit 'cep' de blon* twin en 
de doctor en de seconds. De Jedge did n't 
git hurt, but I hear Pudd'nhead say de bullet 
snip some o' his ha'r off." 

'•'George !" said Tom to himself, " to come 
so near being out of my trouble, and miss it 
by an inch. Oh dear, dear, he will live to find 
me out and sell me to some nigger-trader yet 
— yes, and he would do it in a minute." Then 
he said aloud, in a grave tone — 

'• Mother, we are in an awful fix." 


Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


Roxana caught her breath with a spasm, 
and said — 

" Chile ! What you hit a body so sudden 
for, like dat ? What 's be'n en gone en hap- 
pen' ? " 

** Well, there 's one thing I did n't tell you. 
When I would n't fight, he tore up the will 
again, and — 

Roxana's face turned a dead white, and she 
said — 

" Now you 's done! — done forever ! Dat 's 


...„^^. ....... .^ _... . ^^^/njno 

I end. Bofe un us is gwyne to starve to — " //I 'm 
" Wait and hear me through, can't you \ \ // l\\ 
reckon that when he resolved to fight, himself, 
he thought he might get killed and not have 
a chance to forgive me any more in this life, 
so he made the will again, and I 've seen it, 

and it 's all right. But " 

" Oh, thank goodness, den we 's safe ag'in I 
— safe ! en so what did you want to come here 

en talk sich dreadful " 

" Hold 071, 1 tell you, and let me finish. The 
swag I gathered won't half square me up, and 
the first thing we know, my creditors — well, 
you know what '11 happen." 




Roxana dropped her chin, and told her son 
to leave her alone — she must think this mat- 
ter out. Presently she said impressively : 

'* You got to go mighty keerful now, I tell 
you ! En here 's what you got to do. He 
did n't git killed, en if you gives him de least 
reason, he '11 bust de will agin, en dat 's de 
las' time, now you hear me ! So — you 's got 
to show him what you kin do in de nex' few 
* j^^^days. You 's got to bepison good, en let him 



see it ; you got to do everything dat '11 make 
him b'lieve in you, en you got to sweeten 
aroun' ole Aunt Pratt, too, — she 's pow'ful 
strong wid de J edge, en de bes' frien' you got. 
Nex , you '11 go 'long away to Sent Louis, en 
dat '11 keep him in yo' favor. Den you go en 
make a bargain wid dem people. You tell 
'em he ain't gwyne to live long — en dat 's de 
fac', too, — en tell 'em you '11 pay 'em intrust, 
en big intrust, too, — ten per — what you call 

'*Ten per cent, a month ?" 

'* Dat 's it. Den you take and sell yo' truck 
I aroun', a little at a time, en pay de intrust. 
How long will it las'?" 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


'* I think there 's enough to pay the interest 
five or six months." 

** Den you 's all right. If he don't die in 
six months, dat don't make no diffrence — | 
Providence *11 provide. You *s gwyne to be | 
safe — if you behaves." She bent an austere 
eye on him and added, '* En you zs gwyne to 
behave — does you know dat?*' 

He laughed and said he was going to try, 
anyway. She did not unbend. She said 
gravely : 

**Tryin* ain't de thing. You *s gwyne to do 
it. You ain't gwyne to steal a pin — 'ca'se it 
ain't safe no mo* ; en you ain't gwyne into no 
bad comp'ny — not even once, you understand ; 
en you ain't gwyne to drink a drop — nary 
single drop ; en you ain't gwyne to gamble 
one single gamble — not one! Dis ain't what 
you 's gwyne to /ry to do, it 's what you *s 
gwyne to do. En T 11 tell you how I knows 
it. Dis is how. I 's gwyne to foller along to 
Sent Louis my own self ; en you 's gwyne to 
come to me every day o' yo* life, en V 11 look 
you over ; en if you fails in one single one o*^^ 
dem things — jist one — I take my oath I II 

Digitized by 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

come straight down to dis town en tell de 
J edge you *s a nigger en a slave — en prove 
it ! ** She paused to let her words sink home. 
Then she added, ** Chambers, does you b'lieve 
me when I says dat ? '* 

Tom was sober enough now. There was no 
levity in his voice when he answered : 

"Yes, mother, I know, now, that I am re- 
formed--and permanently. Permanently — 
and beyond the reach of any human tempta- 

*' Den g* long home en begin !" 

Digitized by 



Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. — 
Fudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar. 

Behold, the fool saith, " Put not all thine eggs in the one 
basket " — which is but a manner of saymg, " Scatter your 
money and your attention ; " but the wise man saith, 
" Put all your eggs in the one basket and — watch that 
basket/' — Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar, 

What a time of it Dawson's Landing was 
having ! All its life it had been asleep, but 
now it hardly got a chance for a nod, so swiftly 
did big events and crashing surprises come 
along in one another's wake : Friday morning, 
first glimpse of Real Nobility, also grand 
reception at Aunt Patsy Coopers, also great 
robber-raid ; Friday evening, dramatic kicking 
of the heir of the chief citizen in presence of 
four hundred people; Saturday morning, 
emergence as practising lawyer of the long- 
submerged Pudd'nhead Wilson ; Saturday 

Digitized by VjOC5QIC 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

night, duel between chief citizen and titled 

The people took more pride in the duel than 

in all the other events put together, perhaps. 

It was a glory to their town to have such 

a thing happen there. In their eyes the princi- 

fel pals had reached the summit of human honor. 

Everybody paid homage to their names ; their 

f-i I praises were in all mouths. Even the duel- 

||^E£|^/ ists' subordinates came in for a handsome 

fgSiSi^A'^^^'' K share of the public approbation : wherefore 

yO^ '^tfvw. Pudd'nhead Wilson was suddenly become a 

man of consequence. When asked to run for 

the mayoralty Saturday night he was risking 

ijjii defeat, but Sunday morning found him a 

made man and his success assured. 

The twins were prodigiously great, now; 
the town took them to its bosom with enthu- 
siasm. Day after day, and night after night, 
they went dining and visiting from house to 
house, making friends, enlarging and solid- 
ifying their popularity, and charming and 
surprising all with their musical prodigies, and 
now and then heightening the effects with 
samples of what they could do in other direc- 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


tions, out of their stock of rare and curious 
accomplishments. They were so pleased 
that they gave the regulation thirty days' 
notice, the required preparation for citizen- 
ship, and resolved to finish their days in this 
pleasant place. That was the climax. The 
delighted community rose as one man and 
applauded ; and when the twins were asked 
to stand for seats in the forthcoming alder- 
manic board, and consented, the public con- 
tentment was rounded and complete. 

Tom Driscoll was not happy over these ^S 
things ; they sunk deep, and hurt all the way 
down. He hated the one twin for kicking 
him, and the other one for being the kicker s 

Now and then the people wondered why 
nothing was heard of the raider, or of the 
stolen knife or the other plunder, but nobody 
was able to throw any light on that nuitten 
Nearly a week had drifted by, and still the 
thing remained a vexed mystery. 

On Saturday Constable Blake and Pudd'n 
head Wilson met on the street, and Toni^i 
Driscoll joined them in time to open tlieir 





^k^ .. 


conversation for them. He said to Blake — 
" You are not looking well, Blake ; you 
seem to be annoyed about something. Has 
anything gone wrong in the detective busi- 
ness? I believe you fairly and justifiably 
r-^;!J^<§^ claim to. have a pretty good reputation in that 
' ^^;'^ li"^» is n't it so?" — which made Blake feel 
good, and look it; but Tom added, *'for a 
country detective" — which made Blake feel 
the other way, and not only look it, but betray 
it in his voice — 

'* Yes, sir, I have got a reputation ; and it *s 
as good as anybody's in the profession, too, 
country or no country." 

'• Oh, I beg pardon ; I did n't mean any of- 
fense. What I started out to ask was only 
about the old woman that raided the town — 
the stoop-shouldered old woman, you know, 
that you said you were going to catch ; and I 
knew you would, too, because you have the 
reputation of never boasting, and — well, you 
— you 've caught the old woman ? '* 

" D the old woman ! " 

" Why, sho ! you don't mean to say you 


... .\^ 


have n't caught her ? " 



2> '>-J . 

^y >? '-T 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

20 1 

** No ; I have n't caught her. If anybody 
could have caught her, I could ; but nobody 
could n*t, I don't care who he is." 

*' I am sorry, real sorry — for your sake; be- 
cause, when it gets around that a detective 
has expressed himself so confidently, and 
then " 

** Don't you worry, that 's all — don't you 
worry ; and as for the town, the town need n't 
worry, either. She 's my meat — make your- 
self easy about that. I 'm on her track ; I 've 
got clues that " 

''That's good! Now if you could get an 
old veteran detective down from St. Louis to 
help you find out what the clues mean, and 
where they lead to, and then " 

'* I 'm plenty veteran enough myself, and I 
don't need anybody's help. I '11 have her in- 
side of a we — inside of a month. That I *11 
swear to ! " 

Tom said carelessly — 

'* I suppose that will answer — yes, that 
will answer. But I reckon she is pretty old, 
and old people don't often outlive the cau- 
tious pace of the professional detective when 


4 '4 






Pudd'nhead Wilson. 






he has got his clues together and is out on 
his still-hunt." 

Blake's dull face flusned under this gibe, 
but before he could set his retort in order 
Tom had turned to Wilson, and was saying, 
with placid indifference of manner and voice — 

**Who got the reward, Puddnhead?" 

Wilson winced slightly, and saw that his 
own turn was come. 

** What reward?" 

*' Why, the reward for the thief, and the 
other one for the knife.'* 

Wilson answered — and rather uncomfort- 
ably, to judge by his hesitating fashion of de- 
livering himself — 

** Well, the — well, in fact, nobody has 
claimed it yet." 

Tom seemed surprised. 

•* Why, is that so ? " 

Wilson showed a trifle of irritation when 
he replied — 

'* Yes, it 's so. And what of it ? " 

'* Oh, nothing. Only I thought you had 
J^ struck out a new idea, and invented a scheme 
that was going to revolutionize the time-worn 



, , *^ -C 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 203 

and ineffectual methods of the " He 

stopped, and turned to Blake, who was happy 
now that another had taken his place on the 
gridiron : ** Blake, did n*t you understand him 
to intimate that it would n*t be necessary for 
you to hunt the old woman down ?" 

** B'George, he said he 'd have thief and 
swag both inside of three days — he did, by 
hokey ! and that *s just about a week ago. 
Why, I said at the time that no thief and no 
thief's pal was going to try to pawn or sell a • 
thing where he knowed the pawnbroker could 4r 
get both rewards by taking him into camp 
with the swag. It was the blessedest idea - 
that ever / struck ! " 

"You 'd change your mind," said Wilson, 
with irritated bluntness, **if you knew the en- 
tire scheme instead of only part of it." 

*• Well," said the constable, pensively, '* I 
had the idea that it would n't work, and up to 
now I 'm right anyway." i^^^- 

'* Very well, then, let it stand at that, and v-'v^ "^x^ 
give it a further show. It has worked at J^y^--^*o> 
least as well as your own methods, you per-'l'^'*'^^' 


. . . I*.:!. ^ 





The constable had n't anything handy to 
hit back with, so he discharged a discontented 
sniff, and said nothing. 

After the night that Wilson had partly re- 
vealed his scheme at his house, Tom had tried 
/or several days to guess out the secret of the 
rest of it, but had failed. Then it occurred 
to him to give Roxana's smarter head a 
chance at it. He made up a supposititious 
case, and laid it before her. She thought it 
over, and delivered her verdict upon it. Tom 
said to himself, ** She's hit it, sure!*' He 
thought he would test that verdict, now, and 
watch Wilson's face ; so he said reflectively — 

*' Wilson, you 're not a fool — a fact of re- 
cent discovery. Whatever your scheme was, 
it had sense in it, Blake's opinion to the con- 
trary notwithstanding, I don't ask you to 
reveal it, but I will suppose a case — a case 
-^/z which will answer as a starting-point for the 
/;^real thing I am going to come at, and that 's 
spyv\/2ill I want. You offered five hundred dollars 
Pjrfor the knife, and five hundred for the thief. 
We will suppose, for argument's sake, that 
the first reward is advertised and the sec- 



^' ;M^ 

t!rj{ft '*/ '* 

TO...-^'^ •••'•' 

iljr 1 \A 

y^-*^ ^/-2.( 

Digitized by 




oncl offered hy private letter to pawnbrokers 
and " 

Blake slapped his thigh, and cried out — 

" By Jackson, he 's got you, Puddn'head ! 
Now why could n't I oxanyiooX have thought 
of that?" 

Wilson said to himself, ** Anybody with a 
reasonably good head would have thought of 
it. I am not surprised that Blake did n't de- 
tect it ; I am only surprised that Tom did 
There is more to him than I supposed." He 
said nothing aloud, and Tom went on: 

•• Very well. The thief would not suspect 
that there was a trap, and he would bring or 
send the knife, and say he bought it for a 
song, or found it in the road, or something 
like that, and try to collect the reward, and 
be arrested — would n't he ? " 

" Yes," said Wilson. 

** I think so," said Tom. ** There can't be 
any doubt of it. Have you ever seen that 

- No." 

'* Has any friend of yours ? " 

*' Not that I know of." 

Digitized by 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

'* Well, I begin to think I understand why 
your scheme failed." 

"What do you mean, Tom? What are 
you driving at ?" asked Wilson, with a dawn- 
ing sense of discomfort. 

'* Why, that there is fit any such knife." 

*• Look here, Wilson," said Blake, '* Tom 
Driscoirs right, for a thousand dollars — if I 
had it." 

Wilson's blood warmed a little, and he won- 
dered if he had been played upon by those 
strangers; it certainly had something of that 
look. But what could they gain by it? He 
threw out that suggestion. Tom replied : 

**Gain? Oh, nothing that you would 
value, maybe. But they are strangers making 
their way in a new community. Is it nothing 
to them to appear as pets of an Oriental 
prince — at no expense ? Is it nothing to them 
^C^ to be able to dazzle this poor little town with 
thousand-dollar rewards — at no expense ?" 
Wilson, there is n't any such knife, or your 
scheme would have fetched it to light. Or if 
there is any such knife, they 've got it yet. 
I believe, myself, that they've seen such a 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


knife, for Angelo pictured it out with his 
pencil too swiftly and handily for him to have 
been inventing it, and of course I can't swear 
that they've never had it; but this I'll go 
bail for — if they had it when they came to this 
town, they 've got it yet." 

Blake said — 

"It looks mighty reasonable, the way Tom 
puts it ; it most certainly does." 

Tom responded, turning to leave — 

** You find the old woman, Blake, and if she 
can't furnish the knife, go and search the 
twins ! " 

Tom sauntered away. Wilson felt a good 
deal depressed. He hardly knew what to 

think. He was loth to withdraw his faith rr 

' ' ' • ■> ,. 

from the twins, and was resolved not to do it;/ ^i^^*' - ^ 
on the present indecisive evidence; but — 1(4^' ^v 
well, he would think, and then decide how to:V^^ /l\ :• 
act. /V/- - ' 

" Blake, what do you think of this matter?" ^-i';^Ty-''/ ,^ 
" Well, Pudd'nhead, I 'm bound to say I 
put it up the way Tom does. They had n*t 
the knife; or if they had it, they've got it 





The men parted. Wilson said to himself : 
*' I believe they had it ; if it had been stolen, 
the scheme would have restored it, that is cer- 
tain. And so I believe they Ve got it yet." 

Tom had no purpose in his mind when he 

encountered those two men. When he began 

his talk he hoped to be able to gall them a 

little and gret a trifle of malicious entertain- 

ment out of it. But when he left, he left in 

great spirits, for he perceived that just by pure 

, luck and no troublesome labor he had accom- 

• '[S^plished several delightful things: he had 

touched both men on a raw spot and seen 

/•^ them squirm; he had modified Wilson's sweet- 

^ ness for the twins with one small bitter taste 

\'^^) that he would n't be able to get out of his 

. "'^ mouth right away ; and, best of all, he had 

^ iC^ taken the hated twins down a peg with the 

community; for Blake would gossip around 

freely, after the manner of detectives, and 

within a week the town would be laughing at 

them in its sleeve for offering a gaudy reward 

for a bauble which they either never possessed 

or had n't lost. Tom was very well satisfied 

with himself. 

Digitized by 




Tom's behavior at home had been perfect 
during the entire week. His uncle and aunt 
had seen nothing like it before. They could 
find no fault with him anywhere. 

Saturday evening he said to the Judge — 

*' I Ve had something preying on my mind, 
uncle, and as I am going away, and might/T^!^!^ 
never see you again, I can't bear it any longer. /^ 
I made you believe I was afraid to fight that M^fl Iff] 
Italian adventurer. I had to get out of it on' 
some pretext or other, and maybe I chose ^^^J^^'^'S^^ 
badly, being taken unawares, but no honor- '^^ "' 
able person could consent to meet him in the 
field, knowing what I knew about him." 

" Indeed ? What was that ? " 

" Count Luigi is a confessed assassin." 

•'Incredible !" 

*' It is perfectly true. Wilson detected it in 
his hand, by palmistry, and charged him with 
it, and cornered him up so close that he had 
to confess; but both twins begged us on their 
knees to keep the secret, and swore they ^ 

would lead straight lives here ; and it was all '* 
so pitiful that we gave our word of honor ^ 
never to expose them while they kept that 


w , 


promise. You would have done it yourself^ 

'* You are right, my boy ; I would. A 
man's secret is still his own property, and 
sacred, when it has been surprised out of him 
like that. You did well, and I am proud of 
you." Then he added mournfully, *' But I 
wish I could have been saved the shame of 
meeting an assassin on the field of honor." 

"It couldn't be helped, uncle. If I had 
known you were going to challenge him I 
should have felt obliged to sacrifice my 
pledged word in order to stop it, but Wilsoa 
could n't be expected to do otherwise thaii 
keep silent." 

** Oh no ; Wilson did right, and is in no way 
to blame. Tom, Tom, you have lifted a 
heavy load from my heart ; I was stung to the 
very soul when I seemed to have discovered 
that I had a coward in my family." 

*'Yoii may imagine what it cost me to 
assume such a part, uncle." 

*' Oil, I know it, poor boy, I know it. And 
} I can understand how much it has cost you to 
I remain under that unjust stigma to. this time^ 

Digitized by 




But it is all right now, and no harm is done. 
You have restored my comfort of mind, and 
with it your own ; and both of us had suffered 

The old man sat awhile plunged in thought ; 
then he looked up with a satisfied light in his 
eye, and said : *' That this assassin should 
have put the affront upon me of letting me 
meet him on the field of honor as if he were a 
gentleman is a matter which I will presently 
settle — but not now. I will not shoot him 
until after election. I see a way to ruin them 
both before ; I will attend to that first. 
Neither of them shall be elected, that I prom- 
ise. You are sure that the fact that he is 
an assassin has not got abroad ?" 

" Perfectly certain of it, sir " 

** It will bt; d youd card, I will fling a hint 
at it from the stump on the polling-day. It 
will sweep the ground from under both of 

*' There's not a doubt of it. It will finish "t? 
them." ^ 

" That and outside work among the votersr^ i' 
will, to a certainty. I want you to come 

i'"Mri ii^\ 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


down here by and by and work privately 
among the rag-tag and bobtail. You shall 
spend money among them ; I will furnish it." 
Another point scored against the detested 
twins ! Really it was a great day for Tom. 
He was encouraged to chance a parting shot, 
now, at the same target, and did it. 

**You know that wonderful Indian knife 
that the twins have been making such a to-do 
about ? Well, there 's no track or trace of it 
yet ; so the town is beginning to sneer and 
gossip and laugh. Half the .people believe 
they never had any such knife, the other half 
believe they had it and have got it still. I ve 
heard twenty people talking like that to- 

Yes, Tom's blemishless week had restored 
him to the favor of his aunt and uncle. 

His mother was satisfied with him, too. 

/ Privately, she believed she was coming to love 

yy y^ y him, but she did not say so. She told him to 

^ ^TPW ^^ along to St. Louis, now, and she would 

'; I Jl get ready and follow. Then she smashed her 

. whisky bottle and said — 

. '' *' Dah now ! I 's a-gwyne to make you 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


walk as straight as a string, Chambers, en so 
I 's bown' you ain't gwyne to git no bad 
example out o' yo' mammy. I tole you you 
could n*t go into no bad comp'ny. Well, you's 
gwyne into my comp'ny, en I 's gwyne to fill 
de bill. Now, den, trot along, trot along !" 

Tom went aboard one of the big transient 
boats that night with his heavy satchel of mis- 
cellaneous plunder, and slept the sleep of the 
unjust, which is serener and sounder than the 
other kind, as we know by the hanging-eve 
history of a million rascals. But when he got 
up in the morning, luck was against him 
again : A brother-thief had robbed him while 
he slept, and gone ashore at some intermediate 


Digitized by 



If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, 
he will not bite you. This is the principal difference be- 
tween a dog and a man. — PudcVnhead Wilson's Calendar, 

We know all about the habits of the ant, we know all 
about the habits of the bee, but we know nothing at all 
about the habits of the oyster. It seems almost certain 
that we have been choosing the wrong time for studying 
the oyster. — PudiVnhead Wilson's Calendar. 

When Roxana arrived, she found her son 
in such despair and misery that her heart was 
touched and her motherhood rose up strong 
in her. He was ruined past hope, now ; his 
destruction would be immediate and sure, 
and he would be an outcast and friendless. 
That was reason enough for a mother to love 
a child ; so she loved him, and told him so. 
It made him wince, secretly — for she was a 
" nigger." That he was one himself was far 
from reconciling him to that despised race. 


Digitized by 


Fudd'nhead Wilson. 


Roxana poured out endearments upon him, 
to which he responded uncomfortably, but as 
•well as he could. And she tried to comfort 
him, but that was not possible. These inti- 
macies quickly became horrible to him, and 
within the hour he began to try to get up 
courage enough to tell her so, and require 
that they be discontinued or very considerably 
modified. But he was afraid of her ; and be- 
sides, there came a lull, now, for she had be- 
gun to think. She was trying to invent a 
saving plan. Finally she started up. and said 
she had found a way out. Tom was almost 
suffocated by the joy of this sudden good news. 
Roxana said : 

** Here is de plan, en she *11 win, sure. I 's a 
nigger, en nobody ain't gwyne to doubt it dat 
hears me talk. I 's wuth six hund'd dollahs. 
Take en sell me, en pay off dese gamblers." 

Tom was dazed. He was not sure he had 
heard aright He was dumb for a moment ; 
then he said : 

" Do you mean that you would be soldnitO; 
slavery to save me ?" 

** Ain't you my chile ? 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

anything dat a mother won't do for her chile? 
Dey ain't nothin' a white mother won't do for 
her chile. Who made 'em so ? De Lord 
done it. En who made de niggers ? De Lord 
made 'em. In de inside, mothers is all de 
same. De good Lord he made *em so. I *s 
gwyne to be sole into slavery, en in a year 
you 's gwyne to buy yo' ole mammy free ag'in. 
I '11 show you how. Dat 's de plan." 

Tom's hopes began to rise, and his spirits 
along with them. He said — 

" It 's lovely of you, mammy — it 's just — " 

" Say it ag'in ! En keep on sayin' it ? It 's 
all de pay a body kin want in dis worl', en it's 
mo' den enough. Laws bless you, honey^ 
when I 's slavin' aroun', en dey 'buses me, if I 
knows you 's a-sayin* dat, 'way off yonder 
somers, it '11 heal up all de sore places, en I kin 
Stan em. 

" I do say it again, mammy, and I '11 keep on 
saying it, too. But how am I going to sell 
you ? You *re free, you know." 

"Much diff'rence dat make! White folks 
ain't partic'lar. De law kin sell me now if 
dey tell me to leave de State in six months 

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en I don't go. You draw up a paper — bill o' 
sale — en put it 'way off yonder, down in de 
middle 'o Kaintuck somers, en sign some 
names to it, en say you '11 sell me cheap 'ca'se 
you 's hard up ; you '11 find you ain't gwyne 
to have no trouble. You take me up de 
country a piece, en sell me on a farm ; dem 
people ain't gwyne to ask no questions if I 's 
a bargain." 

Tom forged a bill of sale and sold his 
mother to an Arkansas cotton-planter for a 
trifle over six hundred dollars. He did not 
want to commit this treachery, but luck 
threw the man in his way, and this saved 
him the necessity of going up country to 
hunt up a purchaser, with the added risk of 
having to answer a lot of questions, whereas 
this planter was so pleased with Roxy that 
he asked next to none at all. Besides, the 
planter insisted that Roxy would n't know 
where she was, at first, and that by the time 
she found out she would already have become 
contented. And Tom argued with himself 
that it was an immense advantage for Roxy 
to have a master who was so pleased with 

J , 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

her, as this planter manifestly was. In al- 
most no time his flowing reasonings carried 
/ him to the point of even half believing he was 
//' doing Roxy a splendid surreptitious service 
in selling her '* down the river." And then 
he kept diligently saying to himself all the 
time : ** It 's for only a year. In a year I 
buy her free again ; she '11 keep that in mind, 
and it '11 reconcile her." Yes ; the little 
deception could do no harm, and everything 
would come out right and pleasant in the 
end, any way. By agreement, the conversa- 
^y\y^\ tion in Roxy's presence was all about the 
I man's *' upcountry " farm, and how pleasant a 

^^MJ P^^^^ *^ ^^^» ^"^ ^^^ happy the slaves were 
there ; so poor Roxy was entirely deceived ; 
and easily, for she was not dreaming that her 
own son could be guilty of treason to a 
mother who, in voluntarily going into slav* 
ery — slavery of any kind, mild or severe, ok- 
of any duration, brief or long — was making a 
sacrifice for him compared with which death 
would have been a poor and commonplace 
one. She lavished tears and loving caresses 
upon him privately, and then went away with 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


her owner — went away broken-hearted, and 
yet proud of what she was doing, and glad 
that it was in her power to do it. 

Tom squared his accounts, and resolved to 
keep to the very letter of his reform, and 
never to put that will in jeopardy again. He 
had three hundred dollars left. According 
to his mothers plan, he was to put that 
safely away, and. add her half of his pension to 
it monthly. In one year this fund would buy 
her free again. 

For a whole week he was not able to sleep 
well, so much the villiany which he had 
played upon his trusting mother preyed upon 
his rag of a conscience ; but after that he 
began to get comfortable again, and was 
presently able to sleep like any other mis- 

The boat bore Roxy away from St. Louis 
at four in the afternoon, and she stood on 
the lower guard abaft the paddle-box and 
watched Tom through a blur of tears until <" 
he melted into the throng of people 
disappeared ; then she looked no 




sat there on a coil of cable crying till far into 
the night. When she went to her foul steer- 
age-bunk at last, between the clashing 
engines, it was not to sleep, but only to wait 
for the morning, and, waiting, grieve. 

It had been imagined that she " would not 
know," and would think she was traveling 
up stream. She ! Why, she had been 
steamboating for years. At dawn she got 
up and went listlessly and sat down on the 
cable-coil again. She passed many a snag 
whose ** break " could have told her a thingr 
to break her heart, for it showed a current 
moving in the same direction that the boat 
was going ; but her thoughts were elsewhere, 
and she did not notice. But at last the roar 
of a bigger and nearer break than usual 
brought her out of her torpor, and she looked 
up, and her practised eye fell upon that tell- 
tale rush of water. For one moment her 
petrified gaze fixed itself there. Then her 
head dropped upon her breast, and she said — 

" Oh, de good Lord God have mercy on 
po' sinful me — /*s sole down de river ! " 



Even popularity can be overdone. In Rome, along at 
first, you are full of regrets that Michelangelo died ; but 
by and by you only regret that you did n't see him do it. — 
Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar. 

July 4. Statistics show that we lose more fools on this 
day than in all the other days of the year put together. 
This proves, by the number left in stock, that one P'ourth 
of July per year is now inadequate, the country has grown 
so. — Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar. 

The summer weeks dragged by, and then 
the political campaign opened — opened in 
pretty warm fashion, and waxed hotter and 
hotter daily. The twins threw themselves 
into it with their whole heart, for their self- 
love was engaged. Their popularity, so gen- 
eral at first, had suffered afterward ; mainly 
had been diligently whispered around that it 

use they had been too popular, and so a "^^-^^r^-Al^ 
ral reaction had followed. Besides, it fJ^/Sftt^ ?'" 


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was curious — indeed, very curious — that that 
wonderful knife of theirs did not turn up — if 
it was so valuable, or if it had ever existed. 
And with the whisperings went chucklings 
and nudgings and winks, and such things 
have an effect. The twins considered that 
success in the election would reinstate them^ 
}/ and that defeat would work them irreparable 
^damage. Therefore they worked hard, but 
not harder than Judge DriscoU and Tom 
worked against them in the closing days of 
the canvas. Tom's conduct had remained so- 
letter-perfect during two whole months, now, 
that his uncle not only trusted him with 
money with which to . persuade voters, but 
trusted him to go and get it himself out of 
the safe in the private sitting-room. 

The closing speech of the campaign was 
made by Judge Driscoll, and he made it 

^^^ against both of the foreigners. It was disas» 
I pv)\ll trously effective. He poured out rivers of 

\ jCv ridicule upon them, and forced the big mass- 

Ijj?^^^ meeting to laugh and applaud. He scoffed 
V! PAgi^at them as adventurers, mountebanks, side- 

> ^^\l!_ sfiow rlff-raff» dime museum freaks ; he as- 


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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 



sailed their showy titles with measureless 
derision ; he said they were back-alley bar- 
bers disguised as nobilities, peanut pedlers 
masquerading as gentlemen, organ-grinders 
bereft of their brother monkey. At last he stop- 
ped and stood still. He waited until the place 
had become absolutely silent and expectant, 
then he delivered his deadliest shot ; de- 
livered it with ice-cold seriousness and delib- 
i;ration, with a significant emphasis upon the 
f;losing words : he said he believed that the 
reward offered for the lost knife was humbug 
and buncombe, and that its owner would know 
where to find it whenever he should have oc- 
casion to assassifiate somebody. 

Then he stepped from the stand, leaving a 
startled and impressive hush behind him in- 
stead of the customary explosion of cheers 
and party cries. ^w*^ .... ^ 

The strange remark flew far and wide over o^^^^Aa "^ 

the town and made an extraordinary sensa- 
tion. Everybody was asking, *' What could 
he mean by that ? " And everybody went on 
asking that question, but in vain ; for the 
Judge only said he knew what he was talkinj? ^. , 




about, and stopped there ; Tom said he 
had n*t any idea what his uncle meant, and 
Wilson, whenever he was asked what he 
thought it meant, parried the question by 
asking the questioner what he thought it 

Wilson was elected, the twins were de- 
feated — crushed, in fact, and left forlorn and 
substantially friendless. Tom went back to 
St. Louis happy. 

Dawson's Landing had a week of repose, 
^ now, and it needed it. But it was in an ex- 
pectant state, for the air was full of rumors of 
a new duel. Jndge Driscoll's election labors 
had prostrated him, but it was said that as 
soon as he was well enough to entertain a 
challenge he would get one from Count Luigi, 

The brothers withdrew entirely from soci- 
ety, and nursed their humiliation in privacy. 
They avoided the people, and went out for 
exercise only late at night, when the streets 
I were deserted. 

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Gratitude and treachery are merely the two extremi- 
ties of the same procession. You have seen all of it that 
is worth staying for when the band and the gaudy officials 
have gone by. — PudcVnhead Wilson's Calendar. 

Thanksgiving Day. Let all give humble, hearty, 
and snicere thanks, now, but the turkeys. In the island 
of Fiji they do not use turkeys ; they use plumbers. It 
does not become you and me to sneer at Fiji. — Pudd'n- 
head Wilson's Calendar, 

The Friday after the election was a rainy M\ ;• \\ 
one in St. Louis. It rained all day long, and ,f;t|\, si '■^ Vt 
rained hard, apparently trying its best to ^J^^^t;^i^y^' 
wash that soot-blackened town white, but ^)^m' 
course not succeeding. Toward midnight 
Tom Driscoll arrived at his lodgings from the 
theatre in the heavy downpour, and closed ^ 
his umbrella and let himself in; but when he 
would have shut the door, he found that there 
was another person entering — doubtless an- 
other lodger ; this jjcrson closed the door 




Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

and tramped up-stairs behind Tom. Tom 
found his door in the dark, and entered it and 
turned up the gas. When he faced about, 
lightly whistling, he saw the back of a man. 
The man was closing and locking his door 
for him. His whistle faded out and he felt 
uneasy. The man turned around, a wreck of 
shabby old clothes, sodden with rain and all 
a-drip, and showed a black face under an old 
slouch hat. Tom was frightened. He tried 
to order the man out, but the words refused 
j^ to come, and the other man got the start. 
He said, in a low voice — 

" Keep still— I 's yo' mother ! " 

Tom sunk in a heap on a chair, and gasped 
out — 

'* It was mean of me, and base — I know it; 
but I meant it for the best, I did indeed — I 
can swear it." 

Roxana stood awhile looking mutely down 
on him while he writhed in shame and went on 
incoherently babbling self-accusations mixed 
with pitiful attempts at explanation and palli- 
ation of his crime ; then she seated herself 
nd took off her hat, and her unkempt masses 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


of long brown hair tumbled down about her 


** It ain't no fault o' yo'n dat dat ain't 
gray," she said sadly, noticing the hair. 

** I know it, I know it ! I *m a scoundrel. 
But I swear I meant it for the best. It was a 
mistake, of course, but I thought it was for 
the best, I truly did." 

Roxy began to cry softly, and presently 
words began to find their way out between 
her sobs. They were uttered lamentingly, 
rather than angrily — 

**Sell a pusson down de river — down de 
river ! — for de bes' ! I would n't treat a dog 
so ! I is all broke down en wore out, now, en 
so I reckon it ain't in me to storm aroun' no 
mo', like I used to when I \\z trompled on en 
'bused. I don't know — but maybe it 's so. 
Leastways, I 's suffered so much dat mournin* 
seem to come mo' handy to me now den 

These words should have touched Tom 
Driscoll, but if tliey did, that effect was oblit- 
erated by a stronger one — one* which removed 
the heavy weight of fear which lay upon him, 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

and gave his crushed spirit a most grateful re- 
bound, and filled all his small soul with a deep 
sense of relief. But he kept prudently still, 
and ventured no comment. There was a 
voiceless interval of some duration, now, in 
which no sounds were heard but the beating 
of the rain upon the panes, the sighing and 
complaining of the winds, and now and then 
a muffled sob from Roxana. The sobs be- 
came more and more infrequent^ and at last 
ceased. Then the refugee began to talk 

agam : 

''Shet down dat light a little. More. 
More yit. A pusson dat is hunted don't like 
de light. Dah — dat '11 do, I kin see whah 
you is, en dat *s enough. I *s gwine to tell 
you de tale, en cut it jes as short as I kin, en 
den I '11 tell you what you's got to do. Dat 
man dat bought me ain't a bad man; he's 
good enough, as planters goes ; en if he 
could 'a' had his way I 'd 'a' be'n a house ser- 
vant in his fambly en be'n comfortable : but 
his wife she was a Yank, en not right down 
jgood lookin\ en she riz up ai^in me straight 

me out to de quarter 


fed by Google 

Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


*monofst de common fiel' han*s. Dat woman 
war n*t satisfied even wid dat, but she worked 
up de overseer ag'in' me, she *uz dat jealous 
en hateful ; so de overseer he had me out befo' 
day in de mawnin*s en worked me de whole 
long day as long as dey'uz any light to see by ; 
en many'sde lashin*s I got 'ca'se I could n*i 
come up to de work o' de stronges'. Dal 
overseer wuz a Yank, too, outen NewEnglan*, 
en anybody down South kin tell you what 
dat mean, Dey knows how to work a nigger 
to death, en day knows how to whale 'em, too 
— whale 'em till dey backs is welted like a 
washboard. 'Long at fust my marster say de 
good word for metode overseer, but dat'uz 
bad for me ; for de mistis she fine it out, en 
arterdat I jist ketched it at every turn — dey 
w^arn't no mercy for me no mo*." 

Tom's heart was fired — with fury 'against 
the planter's wife ; and he said to himself, ** But 
for that meddlesome fool, everything would 
have gone all right." He added a deep and ^t- 
bitter curse against her. %'// /^ 

The expression of this sentiment was fiercely**/ ^7^ 
written in his face, and stood tliiis revealed to 





i-T *-s' 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


Roxana by a white glare of lightning which 
turned the somber dusk of the room into daz- 
zling day at that moment. She was pleased — 
pleased and grateful ; for did not that expres- 
sion show that her child was capable of griev- 
ing for his mothers wrongs and of feeling re- 
sentment toward her persecutors? — a thing 
LW !// wh^ch she had been doubting. But her flash 
of happiness was only a flash, and went out 
again and left her spirit dark ; for she said to 
herself, ** He sole me down de river — he can't 
feel for a body long : dis *11 pass en go." Then 
she took up her tale again. 

** ' Bout ten days ago I 'uz sayin' to myself 

^V'i: ^W^^ dat I could n*t las many mo' weeks I *uz so 

'\ wore out wid de awful work en de lashin's, en 
^x so downhearted en misable. En I did n*t 
care no mo', nuther — life war n't waith noth'n' 
to me, if I got to go on like dat. Well, 
when a body is in a frame o' mine like dat, 
what do a body care what a body do ? Dey 
was a little sickly nigger wench 'bout ten year 
ole dat 'uz good to me, en had n't no mammy, 
po' thing, en I loved her en she loved me ; 

en she come out whah I 'uz w^orkin 'en she had 

- 4/ 

• - \0. • 



fw:v./tJ'zed by Google 

Pudd'nuead Wilson. 


a roasted tater, en tried to slip it to me, — rob- 
bin' herself, you see, 'ca'se she knowed de 
overseer did n't gimme enough to eat, — en he 
ketched her at it, en give her a lick acrost de 
back wid his stick, which 'uz as thick as a 
broom-handle, en she drop* screamin' on de 
groun', en squirmin' en wallerin' aroun* in 
•de dust like a spider dat 's got crippled. I 
could n't Stan* it. All de hell-fire dat 'uz ever 
in my heart flame' up, en I snatch de stick 
outen his han' en laid him flat. He laid dah 
moanin' en cussin', en all out of his head, you 
know, en de niggers 'uz plumb sk'yerd ^^ ,,^'Mf\ 
death. Dey gathered roun' him to hep' him, ^^?*^^ 
en I jumped on his hoss en took out for dtiS 
river as tight as I could go. I knowed what ^ 
dey would do wid me. Soon as he got well 
he would start in en work me to death if 
marster let him; en if dey did n't do dat, they 'd 
sell me furder down de river, en dat's desame 
thing. So I 'lowed to drown myself en git out 
o' my troubles. It 'uz gitt'n' towards dark. 
I 'uz at de river in two minutes. Den I see 
a canoe, en I says dey ain't no use to drown 
myself tell I got to; so I ties de hoss in de 




edge o* de timber en shove out down de river, 
keepin* in under de shelter o' de bluff bank en 
prayin' for de dark to shet down quick. I 
had a pow'ful good start, ca se de big house 
'uz three mile back fom de river en on'y de 
i work-mules to ride dah on, en on'y niggers to 
^ride em, en day war n't gwine to hurry — dey 'd 
^gimme all de chance dey could. Befo' a body 
could go to de house en back it would be long 
pas' dark, en dey could n't track de hoss en 
fine out which way 1 went tell mawnin*, en de 
;, ,«*^ niggers would tell 'em all de lies dey could 

^*^-^«.'^ -bout it. 

** Well, de dark come, en I went on a-spin- 
nin' down de river. I paddled mo'n two 
hours, den I war n't worried no mo', so I quit 
paddlin , en floated down de current, consider- 
in' what I 'uz gwine to do if I did n't have to 
drown myself. I made up some plans, en 
floated along, turnin' 'em over in my mine. 
^^-33^ Well, when it'uz a little pas* midnight, as I 
-^.-r"^^ - 1 reckoned, en I had come fifteen or twenty 
_-^ .ii ^r"""---^ mile, I see de lights o' a steamboat layin' at 
de bank, whah dey war n't no town en no 
woodyard, en putty soon I ketched de shape 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


de chimbly-tops ag in* de stars, en de good 
gracious me, I 'most jumped out o' my skin 
for joy ! It 'uz de Gran Mogul — I *uz 
chambermaid on her for eight seasons in de 
Cincinnati en Orleans trade. I slid 'long pas' 
— don't see nobody stirrin' nowhah — hear 'em 
a-hammerin' away in de engine-room, den I 
knowed what de matter was — some o' de ma- ijl^i^^ 
chinery's broke. I got asho' below de boat ' f^'^i- 
and turn' de canoe loose, den I goes 'long up, 
en dey 'uz jes one plank out, en I step' 'board 
de boat. It 'uz pow'ful hot, deckhan's en 
roustabouts 'uz sprawled aroun' asleep on de 
fo'casT, de second mate, Jim Bangs, he sot 
dah on de bitts wid his head down, asleep — 
'ca'se dat 's de way de second mate stan' de 
cap'n's watch ! — en de ole watchman, Billy 
Hatch, he 'uz a-noddin' on de companionway ; 
— en I knowed 'em all ; 'en, Ian', but dey did 
look good ! I says to myself, I wished old 
marster'd come along now en try to take me 
— bless yo' heart, I 's 'mong frien's, I is. So 

1 tromped right along 'mongst 'em, en went 
up on de b'iler deck en 'way back aft to de 
ladies' cabin guard, en sot down dah in de^- 




Pudd'nuead Wilson. 

/^I j same cheer dat 1 'd sot in *mos a hund'd million 
v/ ' _ times, I reckon ; en it *uz jist home ag'in, I 
'"'"^ tell you ! 

** In 'bout an hour I heard de ready-bell 
jingle, en den de racket begin. Putty soon I 
hear de gong strike. * Set her back on de out- 
side,* 1 says to myself — ' 1 reckon I knows dat 
music ! ' 1 hear de gong ag'in. * Come ahead 
on de inside,' I says. Gong ag in. * Stop de 
outside.' Gong ag'in. * Come ahead on de out- 
side — now we 's pinted for Sent I ,ouis, en 
1 *s outer de woods en ain't got to drown my- 
self at all/ I kiiowed de Mogul 'uz in de Sent 
Louis trade now, you see. It 'uz jes fair day- 
'^ 0') light when we passed our plantation, en I seed 
""^ ^ a gang o' niggers en white folks huntin' up en 
* down de sho\ en iroublin' deyselves a good 
\j deal 'bout me ; but 1 war n't troublin' myself 
none 'bout dem, 

" 'Bout dat time Sally Jackson, dat used to 
^ be my second chambermaid en 'uz head cham- 
bermaid now, she come out on de guard, en 
, \vi pow'ful glad to see me, en so 'uz all de 
^^..„j^/% officers ; en 1 tole em I 'd got k;id napped en 
V^^-sole down de river, en dey made me up 

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twenty dollahs en give it to me, en Sally she 
rigged me out wid good clo'es, en when I got 
here I went straight to whah you used to wuz, 
•en den I come to dis house, en dey say you's 
away but 'spected back every day ; so I 
did n't dast to go down de river to Dawson's, 
*ca*se I might miss you. 

** Well, las Monday I 'uz pass'n' by one o' 
dem places in Fourth street whah deh sticks 
up runaway-nigger bills, en he*ps to ketch 
*em, en I seed my marster ! I *mos* flopped 
-down on de groun', I felt so gone. He had 
his back to me, en 'uz talkin' to de man en 
givin' him some bills — nigger-bills, I reckon, 
en I 'se de nigger. He 's offerin' a reward — 
dat 's it. Ain't I right, don't you reckon ? " 

Tom had been gradually sinking into a 
state of ghastly terror, and he said to himself, 
now : ** I 'm lost, no matter what turn things 
take ! This man has said to me that he 
thinks there was something suspicious about 
that sale.- He said he had a letter from a 
passenger on the Grand Mogul saying that 
Roxy came here on that boat and that every- 1 
body on board knew all about the ca?ie ; so^ 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

he says that her coming here instead of flying 
to a free State looks bad for me. and that if I 
don't find her for him, and that pretty soon, 
he will make trouble for me. I never be- 
lieved that story ; I could n*t believe she 
would be so dead to all motherly instincts as 
to come here, knowing the risk she would 
run of getting me into irremediable trouble. 
And after all, here she is ! And I stupidly 
swore I would help him find her, thinking it 
was a perfectly safe thing to promise. If I 
venture to deliver her up, she — she — but how 
can I help myself ? Tve got to do that or 
pay the money, and whereas the money to 
come from ? I — I — well, I should think that 
if he would swear to treat her kindly here- 
after — and she says, herself, that he is a good 
^i^ man — aiul if he would swear to never allow 

J" her to be overworked, or ill fed, or " 

5^i A flash of lightning exposed Tom*s pallid 
^^Jface, drawn and rigid with these worrying 
thoiights. Roxana spoke up sharply now^ 

lere was apprehension in her voice — 
'urn up dat light ! I want to see yo"^ 

setter. Dah now — lemme look at you. 



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Chambers, you's as white as yo' shirt ! Has 
you seen dat man ? Has he be'n to see you ?" 

- Ye-s." 

- When ? " 

*' Monday noon." 

** Monday noon ! Was he on my track ? " 

** He — well, he thought he was. That 
he hoped he was. This is the bill you saw." 
He took it out of his pocket. 

*' Read it to me ! " 

She was panting with excitement, and 
there was a dusky glow in her eyes that Tom 
could not translate with certainty, but there 
seemed to be something threatening about it. 
The handbill had the usual rude woodcut of a 
turbaned negro woman running, with the cus- 
tomary bundle on a stick over her shoulder, 
and the heading in bold type, ** $100 Re- 
ward." Tom read the bill aloud — at least 
the part that described Roxana and named 
the master and his St. Louis address and the 
address of the Fourth-street agency; but he 
left out the item that applicants for the re- 
ward might also apply to Mr. Thomas Dris- 




Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


•' Gimme de bill ! " 

Tom had folded it and was putting it in his 

pocket He felt a chilly streak creeping^ 

down his back, but said as carelessly as he 

a. could — 

^r •• The bill ? Why, it isnt any use to you^ 

Tyou can't read it. What do you w^ant with 


" Gimme de bill ! " Tom gave it to her, 
but with a reluctance which he could not en- 
tirely disguise. " Did you read it all to me ?'' 

•• Certainly I did.'' 

" Hole up yo' han' en swah to it." 

Tom did it. Roxana put the bill carefully 
away in her pocket, with her eyes fixed upon 
Tom's face all the while ; then she said — 


•• What would I want to lie about it for ? " 

" I don't know — but you is. Dat 's my 
opinion, anyways. But nemmine 'bout dat. 
When I seed dat man I 'uz dat sk'yerd dat I 
could sca'cely wobble home. Den I give a 
nigger man a dollar for dese clo'es, en I ain't 
be'n in a house sence, night ner day, till now. 
* I blacked my face en laid hid in de cellar of a 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


ole house dat s burnt down, daytimes, en 
robbed de sugar hogsheads en grain sacks on 
de wharf, nights, to git somethin' to eat, en 
never dast to try to buy noth*n', en I *s *mos' 
starved. En I never dast to come near dis 
place till dis rainy night, when dey ain't no 
people roun' sca'cely. But to-night I be'n 
a-stannin' in de dark alley ever sence night 
come, waitin' for you to go by. En here I is." 
She fell to thinking. Presently she said — 
" You seed dat man at noon, las* Mon- 
day ? " 
•' Yes." 

** I seed him de middle o' dat arternoon. 
He hunted you up, didn't he?" 
'' Yes." 

" Did he give you de bill dat time ?" 
"No, he had n't got it printed yet." 
Roxana darted a suspicious glance at him. 
"Did you he'p him fix up de bill ?" 
Tom cursed himself for makini; that stupid 
blunder, and tried to rectify it by saying he^ 
remembered, now, that it was at noon Mon 
day that the man gave liim the bilk Roxana^ 
said — 



** You 's lyin* agin, sho.". Then she straight- 
ened up and raised her finger : 

** Now den! I 's gwine to askyou a ques- 
tion, en I wants to know how you 's gwine to 
git aroun' it. You knowed he *uz arter me ; 
en if you run off, 'stid o' stayin* here to he*p 
him, he'd know dey 'uz somethin' wrong 'bout 
dis business, en den he would inquire 'bout 
you, en dat would take him to yo' uncle, en 
yo' uncle would read de bill en see dat you 
be'n sellin' a free nigger down de river, en 
you know hhn, I reckon ! He'd t'ar up de 
will en kick you outen de house. Now, den, 
you answer me dis question : hain't you tole 
dat man dat I would be sho' to come here, en 
den you would fix it so he could set a trap 
en ketch me ? " 

Tom recognized that neither lies nor argu- 
ments could help him any longer — he was in a 
vise» with the screw turned on, and out of it 
there was no budging. His face began to 
take on an ugly look, and presently he said, 
with a snarl — 

*' Well, what could I do? You see, your- 

D^ifed by Google 

Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


self, that I was in his grip and could n't get 

Roxy scorched him with a scornful gaze 
awhile, then she said — 

** What could you do? You could be Ju- 
das to yo* own mother to save yo' wuthless 
hide! Would anybody b*lieve it? No — a 
door could n't ! You is de low-downest orneri- 
est hound dat was ever pup'd into dis worl* — jf_ 
en I 's 'sponsible for it ! " — and she spat on 

He made no effort to resent this. Roxy re- 
flected a moment, then she said — 

*• Now I'll tell you what you 's gwine to do. 
You's gwine to give dat man de money dat 
you 's got laid up, en make him wait till you 
kin go to de Jedge en git de res' en buy me 
free agin." 

** Thunder! what are you thinking of? Go 
and ask him for three hundred dollars and 
odd ? What would I tell him I want with it, 



Roxy's answer was delivered in a serene %f^^ 


and level voice — 

** You '11 tell him you 's sole me to pay yo ^ 




Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


gamblin' debts en dat you lied to me en was a 
villain, en dat I 'quires you to git dat money 
en buy me back ag'in." 

'' Why, you Ve gone stark mad ! He would 
tear the will to shreds in a minute — don't you 
know that?" 

'* Yes, I does." 

** Then you don't believe I *m idiot enough 
to go to him, do you ? " 

** I don't b'lieve nothin' 'bout it — I knows 
you *s a-goin*. I knows it 'ca'se you knows 
dat if you don't raise dat money I *11 go to 
him myself, en den he '11 sell you down de 
river, en you kin see how you like it ! " 

Tom rose, trembling and excited, and there 
was an evil light in his eye. He strode to 
the door and said he must get out of this 
suffocating place for a moment and clear his 
brain in the fresh air so that he could deter- 
mine what to do. The door would n't open. 
Roxy smiled grimly, and said — 

'' I s got de key, honey — set down. You 

f: need n't cleV up yo" brain none to fine out what 

";.' you gwine to do—/ knows what you 's gwine 

^ %\-o do." rom sat down and began to pass his 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


hands through his hair with a helpless and 
desperate air. Roxy said, '* Is dat man in 
dis house ? " 

Tom glanced up with a surprised expres- 
sion, and asked — 

** What gave you such an idea ?" 

" You done it. Gwine out to cle'r yo* 
brain ! In de fust place you ain't got none to 
cleV, en in de second place yo' ornery eye 
tole on you. You 's de low-downest hound 
dat ever — but I done tole you dat befo*. 
Now den, dis is Friday. You kin fix it up 
wid dat man, en tell him you 's gwine away to 
git de res' o' de money, en dat you *11 be back 
wid it nex Tuesday, or maybe Wednesday. 
You understan*?" 

Tom answered sullenly — 


**En when you gits de new bill o' sale dat 
sells me to my own self, take en send it in de 
mail to Mr. Pudd'nhead Wilson, en write on 
de back dat he's to keep it tell I come. You 
understan' ?" 



Digitized by 



** Dat 's all den. Take yo* umbreller, en 
put on yo* hat." 


** Beca se you *s gwine to see me home to 
de wharf. You see dis knife ? I *s toted it 
aroun' sence de day I seed dat man en bought 
dese clo'es en it. If he ketch me, I 's gwine to 
kill myself wid it. Now start along, en go 
sof, en lead de way; en if you gives a sign in 
dis house, or if anybody comes up to you in 
de street, I 's gwine to jam it right into you. 
Chambers, does you b'lieve me when I says 

** It 's no use to bother me with that ques- 
tion. I know your word *s good." 

** Yes, it *s different from yo'n ! Shet de 
light out en move along — here *s de key." 

They were not followed. Tom trembled 
every time a late straggler brushed by them 
on the street, and half expected to feel the 
cold steel in his back. Roxy was right at 
his heels and always in reach. After tramp- 
ing a mile they reached a wide vacancy on 
the deserted wharves, and in this dark and 
rainy tlcscrt thf^" parted. 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


As Tom trudged home his mind was full 
of dreary thoughts and wild plans ; but at 
last he said to himself, wearily — 

•* There is but the one way out. I must 
follow her plan. But with a variation — I will 
not ask for the money and ruin myself ; I will 
rob the old skinflint.*' 

Digitized by 



Few things are harder to put up with than the annoy- 
ance of a good example. — Fudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar. 

It were not best that we should all think alike ; it is 
difference of opinion that makes horse-races. — Pudd^n- 
head Wilson's Calendar, 

Dawson's Landing was comfortably finish- 
ing its season of dull repose and waiting pa- 
tiently for the duel. Count Luigi was waiting, 
too ; but not patiently, rumor said. Sunday 
came, and Luigi insisted on having his chal- 
lenge conveyed. Wilson carried it. Judge 
Driscoll declined to fight with an assassin — 
"that is," he added significantly, ** in the field 
of honor." 

Elsewhere, of course, he would be ready. 
Wilson tried to convince him that if he had 
been present himself when Angelo told about 
the homicide committed by Luigi. he would 
not have considered the act discreditable to 


Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


Luigi ; but the obstinate old man was not to 
be moved. 

Wilson went back to his principal and re- 
ported the failure of his mission. Luigi was 
incensed, and asked how it could be that the 
old gentleman, who was by no means dull- 
witted, held his trifling nephew's evidence and 
inferences to be of more value than Wilson's. 
But Wilson laughed, and said — 

*• That is quite simple; that is easily expli- 
cable. I am not his doll — his baby — his in- 
fatuation : his nephew is. The Judge and his 
late wife never had any children. The Judge 
and his wife were past middle age when this 
treasure fell into their lap. One must make 
allowances for a parental instinct that has 
been starving for twenty-five or thirty years. 
It is famished, it is crazed with hunger by 
that time, and will be entirely satisfied with 
anything that comes handy ; its taste is atro- 
phied, it can't tell mud-cat from shad. A 
devil born to a young couple is measurably 
recognizable by them as a devil before long, 
but a devil adopted by an old couple is an 
angel to them, and remains so, through thick 


248 Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

and thin. Tom is this old man's angel ; he is 
infatuated with him. Tom can persuade him 
into things which other people can't — not all 
things ; I don't mean that, but a good many — 
particularly one class of things : the things 
that create or abolish personal partialities or 
prejudices in the old man's mind. The old 
man liked both of you. Tom conceived a 
hatred for you. That was enough ; it turned 
the old man around at once. The oldest anct 
strongest friendship must go to the ground 
when one of these late-adopted darlings 
throws a brick at it." 

** It *s a curious philosophy," said Luigi. 

** It ain't a philosophy at all — it 's a fact. 
And there is something pathetic and beauti- 
ful about it, too. I think there is nothing 
more pathetic than to see one of these poor 
j^old childless couples taking a menagerie of 
yelping little worthless dogs to their hearts ; 
and then adding some cursing and squawking 
parrots and a jackass-voiced macaw ; and 
next a couple of hundred screeching song- 
birds, and presently some fetid guinea-pigs 
and rabbits, and a howling colony of cats. It 

Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


w 0^ 

is all a groping and ignorant effort to con- 
struct out of base metal and brass filings, so 
to speak, something to take the place of that 
golden treasure denied them by Nature, a 
child. But this is a digression. The un- 
written law of this region requires you to kill 
Judge Driscoll on sight, and he and the com- 
munity will expect that attention at your 
hands — though of course your own death by 
his bullet will answer every purpose. Look 
out for him ! Are you heeled — that is, fixed ? " 

** Yes ; he shall have his opportunity. If 
he attacks me I will respond." 

As Wilson was leaving, he said — 

** The Judge is still a little used up by his -a. 
campaign work, and will not get out for a !7v< 
day or so; but when he does get out, you / • 
want to be on the alert." N-^^ 

About eleven at night the twins went out 
for exercise, and started on a long stroll in 
the veiled moonlicrht. 

Tom Driscoll had landed at Hackett's ^ 
Store, two miles below Dawson's, just about 
half an hour earlier, the only passenger for ^^t-^^ 
that lonely spot, and had walked up the shore h^ ?>?5 

^ i --;§ 


Digitized by 


PuDD^MiEAD Wilson. 

road and entered Judge Driscoirs house with- 
out having encountered any one either on the 
road or under the roof. 

He pulled down his window-blinds and 
lighted his candle. He laid off his coat and 
,^hat and began his preparations. He un- 
locked his trunk and got his suit of girl's 
clothes out from under the male attire in it, 
and laid it by. Then he blacked his face 
with burnt cork and put the cork in his 
pocket. His plan was, to slip down to his un- 
cle's private sitting-room below, pass into the 
bedroom, steal the safe-key from the old 
gentleman's clothes, and then go back and 
rob the safe. He took up his candle to start. 
His courage and confidence were high, up to 
this point, but both began to waver a little, 
now. Suppose he should make a noise, by 
some accident, and get caught — say, in the 
act of opening the safe? Perhaps it would 
be well to go armed. He took the Indian 
knife from its hiding-place, and felt a 
pltiasant return of his wandering courage. 
He slipped stealthily down the narrow stair, 
his hair rising and his pulses halting at the 

Digitized by 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


slightest creak. When he was half-way down, 
he was disturbed to perceive that the landing 
below was touched by a faint glow of light. 
What could that mean ? Was his uncle still 
up ? No, that was not likely; he must have 
left his night-taper there when he went to 
bed. Tom crept on down, pausing at every 
step to listen. He found the door standing 
open, and glanced in. What he saw pleased 
him beyond measure. His uncle was asleep 
on the sofa ; on a small table at the head of 
the sofa a lamp was burning low, and by it 
stood the old man's small tin cash-box, closed. 
Near the box was a pile of bank-notes and a 
piece of paper covered with figures in pencil. 
The safe-door was not open. Evidently the 
sleeper had wearied himself 'with work upon^ 
his finances, and was taking a rest. 

Tom set his candle on the stairs, and be- ^^^-T^' 
gan to make his way toward the pile of notes, ll ^' '^ 
stooping low as he went. When he was pass- 
ing his uncle, the old man stirred in his sleep, 
and Tom stopped instantly — stopped, and 
softly drew the knife from its sheath, with his 
heart thumping, and his eyes fastened upon 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

his benefactor's face. After a moment or two 
he ventured forward again — one step — 
reached for his prize and seized it, dropping 
the knife-sheath. Then he felt the old man s 
strong grip upon him, and a wild cry of 
**Help! help!" rang in his ear. Without 
hesitation he drove the knife home — and was 
free. Some of the notes escaped from his 
left hand and fell in the blood on the floor. 
He dropped the knife and snatched them up 
and started to fly ; transferred them to his 
left hand, and seized the knife again, in his 
fright and confusion, but remembered himself 
and flung it from him, as being a dangerous 
witness to carry away with him. 

He jumped for the stair-foot, and closed 
the door behind him ; and as he snatched his 
candle and fled upward, the stillness of the 
night was broken by the sound of urgent foot- 
steps approaching the house. In another 
moment he was in his room and the twins 
were standing aghast over the body of the 
murdered man ! 

Tom put on his coat, buttoned his hat un- 
der it, threw on his suit of girFs clothes, 

Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


dropped the veil, blew out his light, locked 
the room door by which he had just entered, 
taking the key, passed through his other door 
into the back hall, locked that door and kept 
the key, then worked his way along in the 
dark and descended the back stairs. He was iS-^ 

not expecting to meet anybody, for all inter- 
est was centered in the other part of the 
house, now ; his calculation proved correct. 
By the time he was passing through the back- 
yard, Mrs. Pratt, her servants, and a dozen 
half-dressed neighbors had joined the twins 
and the dead, and accessions were still arriv- 
ing at the front door. 

As Tom, quaking as with a palsy, passed out 
at the gate, three women came flying from 
the house on the opposite side of the lane. 
They rushed by him and in at the gate, ask- ^ 

ing him what the trouble was there, but not ^\ 

waiting for an answer. Tom said to himself, ^' 
*' Those old maids waited to dress — they did ^7 ^^ 
the same thing the night Stevens's house~^ iA^ 
burned down next door." In a few minutes __II^ 
he was in the haunted lioub^t!. He li^rhted a | 
candle and took off his ylrl-clothes, TJiere 


r f 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 



.- (^"^ 

was blood on him all down his left side, and 
his right hand was red with the stains of the 
blood-soaked notes which he had crushed in 
it ; but otherwise he was free from this sort 
of evidence. He cleansed his hand on the 
straw, and cleaned most of the smut from his 
face. Then he burned his male and female 
attire to ashes, scattered the ashes, and put 
on a disguise proper for a tramp. He blew 
out his light, went below, and was soon loaf- 
ing down the river road with the intent to 
borrow and use one of Roxy's devices. He 
found a canoe and paddled off down-stream,, 
setting the canoe adrift as dawn approached,^ 
and making his way by land to the next vil- 
lage, where he kept out of sight till a tran- 
sient steamer came along, and then took deck 
passage for St. Louis. He was ill at ease un- 
til Dawson's Landing was behind him ; then 
he said to himself, *' All the detectives on 
/ / earth could n't trace me now ; there 's not a 
^"'-'^ vestige of a clue left in the world ; that homi- 
cide will take its place with the permanent 
[ mysteries, and people won't get done trying 
to guess out the secret of it for fifty years." 

:».. m 


Digitized bTV^OOQlC 

PuDi/NHEAD Wilson. 


In St. Louis, next morning, he read this 
brief telegram in the papers — dated at Daw- 
son's Landing : 

Judge Driscoll, an old and respected citizen, was as- 
sassinated here about midnight by a profligate Italian no- 
bleman or barber on account of a quarrel growing out of 
the recent election. The assassin will probably be 

** One of the twins ! " soliloquized Tom ; 
" how lucky ! It is the knife that has done 
him this grace. We never know when for- 
tune is trying to favor us. I actually cursed 
Pudd'nhead Wilson in my heart for putting it 
out of my power to sell that knife. I take it 
back, now." 

Tom was now rich and independent. He 
arranged with the planter, and mailed to Wil- 
son the new bill of sale which sold Roxana to 
herself; then he telegraphed his Aunt Pratt: 

Have seen the awful news in the papers and am almost 
prostrated with grief. Shall start by packet to-day. Try SKiei/fSm 
to bear up till I come. 4fm/^^Wf^l ^^^ 

When Wilson reached the house of mourn- '^l^^^'^^" 
ing and had gathered such details as Mrs. 
Pratt and the rest of the crowd could tell him, 




^^ n^p^ ^- 

7 ^'i^r^^. 

Digitized by 




he took command as mayor, and gave orders 
that nothing should be touched, but every- 
thing left as it was until Justice Robinson 
should arrive and take the proper measures as 
coroner. He cleared everybody out of the 
room but the twins and himself. The sheriff 
soon arrived and took the twins away to jail. 
Wilson told them to keep heart, and promised 
to do his best in their defense when the case 
should come to trial. Justice Robinson came 
presently, and with him Constable Blake. 
They examined the room thoroughly. They 
found the knife and the sheath. Wilson 
noticed that there were finger-prints on the 
knife-handle. That pleased him, for the twins 
had required the earliest comers to make a 
scrutiny of th^sir hands and clothes, and nei- 
ther these people nor Wilson himself had 
found any blood-stains upon them. Could 
there be a possibility that the twins had spoken 
the truth when they said they found the man 
dead when they ran into the house in answer 
to the cry for help ? He thought of that mys- 
terious girl at once. But this was not the 
sort of work for a girl to be engaged in. No 

Digitized by 



matter ; Tom Driscoirs room must be exam- 

After the coroner's jury had viewed the 
body and its surroundings, Wilson suggested 
a search up-stairs, and he went along. The 
jury forced an entrance to Tom's room, but 
found nothing, of course. 

The coroner s jury found that the homicide 
was committed by Luigi, and that Angelo was 
accessory to it. 

The town was bitter against the unfortu- *^ 
nates, and for the first few days after the 
murder they were in constant danger of being 
lynched. The grand jury presently indicted 
Luigi for murder in the first degree, and An- 
gelo as accessory before the fact. The twins 
were transferred from the city jail to the 
county prison to await trial. 

Wilson examined the finger-marks on the 
knife-handle and said to himself, *' Neither of 
the twins made those marks." Then manifestly 
there was another person concerned, either in 
his own interest or as hired assassin. 

But who could it be ? That, he must try 
to find out. The safe was not open, thu 




^ ^<^ 




'^' ^^^^ 



T^^— X 


Digitized by 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 




cash-box was closed, and had three thousand 
dollars in it. Then robbery was not the 
motive, and revenge was. Where had the 
murdered man an enemy except Luigi ? 
There was but that one person in the world 
with a deep grudge against him. 

The mysterious girl ! The girl was a great 
trial to Wilson. If the motive had been rob- 
bery, the girl might answer ; but there was n't 
any girl that would want to take this old 
man's life for revenge. He had no quarrels 
with girls ; he was a gentleman. 

Wilson had perfect tracings of the finger- 
marks of the knife-handle; and among his 
glass-records he had a great array of the fin- 
ger-prints of women and girls, collected during 
the last fifteen or eighteen years, but he 
scanned them in vain, they successfully with- 
stood every test ; among them were no dupli- 
cates of the prints on the knife 

The presence of the knife on the stage of 

the murder was a worrying circumstance for 

Wilson, A week previously he had as good 

as admitted to himself that lie believed Luigi 

^;^5 had possessed such a knife, and that he still 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 259 

possessed it notwithstanding his pretense that 
it had been stolen. And now here was the 
knife, and with it the twins. Half the town 
had said the twins were humbugging when 
they claimed that they had lost their knife, 
and now these people were joyful, and said, 
•• I told you so!" 

If their finger-prints had been on the han- 
dle — but it was useless to bother any further 
about that ; the finger-prints on the handle 
were not theirs — that he knew perfectly. 

Wilson refused to suspect Tom ; for first, 
Tom could n't murder anybody — he had n't 
character enough ; secondly, if he could mur- 
der a person he would n't select his doting 
benefactor and nearest relative ; thirdly, self- 
interest was in the way ; for while the uncle 
lived, Tom was sure of a free support and a 
chance to get the destroyed will revived again, 
but with the uncle gone, that chance was gone, 
too. It was true the will had really been re- 
vived, as was now discovered, but Tom could 
not have been aware of it, or he would have 'r-^ 
spoken of it, in his native talky, unsecretive 
way. Finally, Tom was in St. Louis when'^ 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


the murder was done, and got the news out of 
the morning journals, as was shown by his 
telegram to his aunt. These speculations 
were unemphasized sensations rather than 
articulated thoughts, for Wilson would have 
laughed at the idea of seriously connecting 
Tom with the murder. 

Wilson regarded the case of the twins as 
desperate — in fact, about hopeless. For he 
argued that if a confederate was not found, an 
enlightened Missouri jury would hang them, 
sure ; if a confederate was found, that would 
not improve the matter, but simply furnish one 
more person for the sheriff to hang. Noth- 
ing could save the twins but the discovery of 
a person who did the murder on his sole per- 
sonal account — an undertaking which had all 
the aspect of the impossible. Still, the person 
who made the finger-prints must be sought. 
iThe twins might have no case withVwa, but 
they certainly would have none without him. 

So Wilson mooned around, thinking, think- 
ing, guessing, guessing, day and night, and 
arriving nowhere. Whenever he ran across a 
girl or a woman he was not acquainted with. 

Digitized by 




he got her finger-prints, on one pretext or an- 
other; and they always cost him a sigh when 
he got home, for they never tallied with the 
finger-marks on the knife-handle. 

As to the mysterious girl, Tom swore he 
knew no such girl, and did not remember ever 
seeing a girl wearing a dress like the one de- 
scribed by Wilson. He admitted that he did 
not always lock his room, and that sometimes 
the servants forgot to lock the house doors ; 
still, in his opinion the girl must have made 
but few visits or she would have been discov- 
ered. When Wilson tried to connect her with 
the stealing-raid, and thought she might have 
been the old woman's confederate, if not the 
very thief herself disguised as an old woman, 
Tom seemed struck, and also much interested, 
and said he would keep a sharp eye out for 
this person or persons, although he was afraid 
that she or they would be too smart to venture 
again into a town where everybody would now 
be on the watch for a good while to come. 

Everybody was pitying Tom, he looked so 
quiet and sorrowful, and seemed to feel his 
great loss so deeply. He was playing a part, 

Digitized by 


262 Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

but it was not all a part. The picture of his 
alleged uncle, as he had last seen him, was be- 
fore him in the dark pretty frequently, when 
he was awake, and called again in his dreams, 
when he was asleep. He would n't go into 
the room where the tragedy had happened. 
This charmed the doting Mrs. Pratt, who 
realized now, ** as she had never done before," 
she said, what a sensitive and delicate nature 
her darling had, and how he adored his poor 

Digitized by 



Even the clearest and most perfect circumstantial evi- 
dence is likely to be at fault, after all, and tiierefore ought 
to be received with great caution. Take the case of any 
pencil, sharpened by any woman : if you have witnesses, 
you will find she did it with a knife ; but if you take 
simply the aspect of the pencil, you will say she did it 
with her teeth. — Pudd'nhead Wilson* s Calendar, 

The weeks dragged along, no friend visit- 
ing the jailed twins but their counsel and 
Aunt Patsy Cooper, and the day of trial came 
at last — the heaviest day in Wilson's life ; for 
with all his tireless diligence he had dis- 
covered no sign or trace of the missing con- 
federate. "Confederate" was the term he 
had long ago privately accepted for that per- 
son — not as being unquestionably the right 
term, but as being at least possibly the right 
one, though he was never able to understand 
why the twins did not vanish and escape, as 



the confederate had done, instead of remain- 
ing by the murdered man and getting caught 

The court-house was crowded, of course, 
and would remain so to the finish, for not 
only in the town itself, but in the country for 
miles around, the trial was the one topic of 
conversation among the people. Mrs. Pratt^ 
in deep mourning, and Tom with a weed on 
his hat, had seats near Pembroke Howard, 
the public prosecutor, and back of them sat a 
great array of friends of the family. The 
twins had but one friend present to keep 
their counsel in countenance, their poor 
old sorrowing landlady. She sat near Wil- 
son, and looked her friendliest. In the 
** nigger corner" sat Chambers; also Roxy, 
with good clothes on, and her bill of sale 
in her pocket. It was her most precious 
possession, and she never parted with it, day 
or night. Tom had allowed her thirty-five 
dollars a month ever since he came into his 
property, and had said that he and she ought 
to be grateful to the twins for making them 
rich ; but had roused such a temper in her by 

Digitized by 


this speech zz^ 
ment aftercs*- 
treatcd he: :- 
he dese^-- ^" 
kindness :. — - 
lan f^kr Of" - 
ever sir:f: i::::^- 







^ i that It 

* I conver- 

ii last day 

Tense had 

^ ihe person 

that he had 

d assassin — 

but had added 

be ready for 

I) tlie person here 

^^arncd that he must 

xinw. he should meet 

iisel for the defense 

fit st:uul so, he would 

I im:ss staiKb Mr. Wilson 

wo tlenial. [Murmurs in 

netting wurse and worse 

stifled that shv heard no out- 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

consummated by the cowardliest of hands; a 
crime which had broken a loving sister's heart, 
Wighted the happiness of a young nephew 
who was as dear as a son, brought inconsola- 
ble grief to many friends, and sorrow and loss 
to the whole community. The utmost penalty 
of the outraged law would be exacted, and 
upon the accused, now present at the bar, 
that penalty would unquestionably be exe- 
cuted. He would reserve further remark un- 
til his closing speech. 

He was strongly moved, and so also was 
the whole house ; Mrs. Pratt and several other 
women were weeping when he sat down, and 
many an eye that was full of hate was riveted 
upon the unhappy prisoners. 

Witness after witness was called by the 
State, and questioned at length ; but the crossi- 
questioning was brief. Wilson knew they 
could furnish nothing valuable for his side. 
People were sorry for Pudd'nhead ; his bud- 
ding career would get hurt by this trial. 

Several witnesses swore they heard Judge 
Driscoll say in his public speech that the 
twins would be able to find their lost knife 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


again when they needed it to assassinate 
somebody with. This was not news, but now 
it was seen to have been sorrowfully pro- 
phetic, and a profound sensation quivered 
through the hushed court-room when those 
dismal words were repeated. 

The public prosecutor rose and said that it 
was within his knowledge, through a conver- 
sation held with Judge Driscoll on the last day 
of his life, that counsel for the defense had 
brought him a challenge from the person 
charged at this bar with murder ; that he had 
refused to fight with a confessed assassin — 
** that is, on the field of honor," but had added 
significantly, that he would be ready for 
him elsewhere. Presumably the person here 
charged with murder was warned that he must 
kill or be killed the first time he should meet 
Judge Driscoll. If counsel for the defense 
chose to let the statement stand so, he would 
not call him to the witness stand. Mr. Wilson 
said he would offer no denial. [Murmurs in 
the house — **It is getting worse and worse 
for Wilson's case."] 

Mrs. Pratt testified that she heard no out- 




cry, and did not know what woke her up, 
unless it was the sound of rapid footsteps 
approaching the front door. She jumped up 
and ran out in the hall just as she was, and 
heard the footsteps flying up the front steps 
and then following behind her as she ran to 
the sitting-room. There she found the ac- 
cused standing over her murdered brother. 
[Here she broke down and sobbed. Sensa- 
tion in the court.] Resuming, she said the 
persons entering behind her were Mr. Rogers 
and Mr. Buckstone. 

Cross-examined by Wilson, she said the 
twins proclaimed their innocence ; declared 
that they had been taking a walk, and had 
hurried to the house in response to a cry for 
help which was so loud and strong that they 
had heard it at a considerable distance ; that 
they begged her and the gentlemen just men- 
tioned to examine their hands and clothes — 
which was done, and no blood stains found. 

Confirmatory evidence followed from Rog- 
ers and Buckstone. 

The finding of the knife was verified, the 
advertisement minutely describing it and offer- 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


ing a reward for it was put in evidence, and 
its exact correspondence with that description 
proved. Then followed a few minor details, 
and the case for the State was closed. 

Wilson said that he had three witnesses, the 
Misses Clarkson, who would testify that they 
met a veiled young woman leaving Judge 
Driscolls premises by the back gate a few 
minutes after the cries for help were heard, 
and that their evidence, taken with certain cir- 
cumstantial evidence which he would call the 
court's attention to, would in his opinion con- 
vince the court that there was still one person 
concerned in this crime who had not yet been 
found, and also that a stay of proceedings 
ought to be granted, in justice to his clients, 
until that person should be discovered. As 
it was late, he would ask leave to defer the ex- 
amination of his three witnesses until the next 

The crowd poured out of the place and went 
flocking away in excited groups and couples, 
talking the events of the session over with vi- 
vacity and consuming interest, and everybody 
seemed to have had a satisfactory and enjoy- 


Digitized by 



Pudd'nhead VVilsoxN. 


able day except the accused, their counsel, and 
their old-lady friend. There was no cheer 
among these, and no substantial hope. 

In parting with the twins Aunt Patsy did 
attempt a good-night with a gay pretense of 
hope and cheer in it, but broke down without 

Absolutely secure as Tom considered him- 
self to be, the opening solemnities of the trial 
had nevertheless oppressed him with a 
vague uneasiness, his being a nature sensitive 
to even the smallest alarms ; but from the 
moment that the poverty and weakness of 
Wilson's case lay exposed to the court, he was 
comfortable once more, even jubilant. He 
left the court-room sarcastically sorry for Wil- 
son. '* The Clarksons met an unknown 
woman in the back lane," he said to himself — 
** that is his case ! I 'II give him a century to 
find her in — a couple of them if he likes. A 
woman who does n't exist any longer, and the 
clothes that gave her her sex burnt up and the 
ashes thrown away — oh, certainly, he '11 find 
her easy enough ! " This reflection set him 
to admiring, for the hundredth time, the 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


shrewd ingenuities by which he had insured 
himself against detection — more, against even 

*' Nearly always in cases like this there is 
some little detail or other overlooked, some 
wee little track or trace left behind, and detec- 
tion follows ; but here there 's not even the 
faintest suggestion of a trace left. No more 
than a bird leaves when it flies through the 
air — yes, through the night, you may say. The 
man that can track a bird through the air in 
the dark and find that bird is the man to track 
me out and find the Judge's assassin — no other 
need apply. And that is the job that has been 
laid out for poor Pudd'nhead Wilson, of all 
people in the world ! Lord, it will be patheti- 
cally funny to see him grubbing and groping 
after that woman that don't exist, and the 
right person sitting under his very nose all 
the time !" The more he thought the situa- 
tion over, the more the humor of it struck 
him. Finally he said, *' I '11 never let him 
hear the last of that woman. Every time I 
catch him in company, to his dying day, I '11 
ask him in the guileless affectionate way that 



used to gravel him so when I inquired how 
his unborn law-business was coming along, 
* Got on her track yet — hey, Pudd'nhead ? ' '* 
He wanted to laugh, but that would not have 
answered ; there were people about, and he 
was mourning for his uncle. He made up his 
mind that it would be good entertainment to 
look in on Wilson that night and watch him 
worry over his barren law-case and goad him 
with an exasperating word or two of sympathy 
and commiseration now and then. 

Wilson wanted no supper, he had no appe- 
tite. He got out all the finger-prints of girls 
and women in his collection of records and 
pored gloomily over them an hour or more, 
trying to convince himself that that trouble- 
some girl's marks were there somewhere and 
had been overlooked. But it was not so. 
He drew back his chair, clasped his hands over 
his head, and gave himself up to dull and arid 


Tom Driscoll dropped in, an hour after 
dark, and said with a pleasant laugh as he 
took a seat — 

" Hello, we've gone back to the amusements 

'iiized by Google 

Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


of our days of neglect and obscurity for con- 
solation, have we ?" and he took up one of the 
glass strips and held it against the light to 
inspect it. " Come, cheer up, old man ; 
there *s no use in losing your grip and going 
back to this child's-play merely because this 
big sunspot is drifting across your shiny new 
disk. It '11 pass, and you '11 be all right 
again," — and he laid the glass down. " Did 
you think you could win always ? " 

*' Oh, no," said Wilson, with a sigh, *' I 
did n't expect that, but I can't believe Luigi 
killed your uncle, and I feel very sorry for 
him. It makes me blue. And you would feel 
as I do, Tom, if you were not prejudiced 
against those young fellows." 

" I don't know about that," and Tom's 
countenence darkened, for his memory re- 
verted to his kicking ; '* I owe them no good 
will, considering the brunette one*s treatment 
of me that night. Prejudice or no prejudice, 
Pudd^nhead, I don't like them, and when they 
get their deserts you 're not going to find me 
sitting on the mourner's bench. 


Digitized by 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

He took up another strip of glass, and ex- 
claimed — 

'• Why, here 's old Roxy's label ! Are you 
going to ornament the royal palaces with nig- 
ger paw-marks, too ? By the date here, 1 
was seven moflths old when this was done, 
and she was nursing me and her little nigger 
cub. There 's a line straight across her 
thumb-print. How comes that?" and Tom 
held out the piece of glass to Wilson. 

" That is common," said the bored man,, 
wearily. ** Scar of a cut or a scratch, usu- 
ally " — and he took the strip of glass indiffer- 
ently, and raised it toward the lamp. 

All the blood sunk suddenly out of his face; 
his hand quaked, and he gazed at the polished 
surface before him with the glassy stare of a 

''Great Heavens, what's the matter with 
you, Wilson ? Are you going to faint?" 

Tom sprang for a glass of water and offered 
it, but Wilson shrank shuddering from him 
and said — 

"No, no! — take it away!" His breast 
was rising and falling, and he moved his head 

Digitized by 




about in a dull and wandering way, like a per- 
son who has been stunned. Presently he 
said, *' I shall feel better when I get to bed; 
I have been overwrought to-day ; yes, and 
over worked for many days." 

*' Then I '11 leave you and let you to get to 
your rest. Good-night, old man." But as 
Tom went out he could n't deny himself a 
small parting gibe : *' Don't take it so hard ; 
a body can't win every time ; you '11 hang 
somebody yet." 

Wilson muttered to himself, *' It is no lie to 
say I am sorry I have to begin with you, 
miserable dog though you are ! " 

He braced himself up with a glass of cold 
whisky, and went to work again. He did not 
compare the new finger-marks unintentionally 
left by Tom a few minutes before on Roxy's 
glass with the tracings of the marks left on the 
knife-handle, there being no need of that (for 
his trained eye), but busied himself with 
another matter, muttering from time to time. 'i. 
" Idiot that I was ! — Nothing but a ^g/r/\ 
would do me — a man in girl's clothes never 
occurred to me." First, he hunted out the 

Digitized by 




plate containing the finger-prints made by 
Tom when he was twelve years old, and laid 
it by itself ; then he brought forth the marks 
made by Tom's baby fingers when he was a 
suckling of seven months, and placed these 
two platqs with the one containing this sub- 
ject's newly (and unconsciously) made rec- 

*' Now the series is complete," he said with 
satisfaction, and sat down to inspect these 
things and enjoy them. 

But his enjoyment was brief. He stared a 
considerable time at the three strips, and 
seemed stupefied with astonishment. At last 
he put them down and said, " I can't make it 
out at all — hang it, the baby's don't tally with 
the others !" 

He walked the floor for half an hour puz- 
zling over his enigma, then he hunted out two 
other glass plates. 

He sat down and puzzled over these things 
a good while, but kept muttering, '* It's no 
use; I can't understand it. They don't tally 
right, and yet 1 11 swear the names and dates 
are right, and so of course they ou^A/ to tally. 

•n^ i\i%Jlk'** • 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


I never labeled one of these things carelessly 
in my life. There is a most extraordinary 
mystery here." 

He was tired out, now, and his brains were 
beginning to clog. He said he would sleep 
himself fresh, and then see what he could do 
with this riddle. He slept through a troubled 
and unrestful hour, then unconsciousness be- 
gan to shred away, and presently he rose 
drowsily to a sitting posture. "Now what 
was that dream ?" he said, trying to recall it ; 
** what was that dream ? — it seemed to unravel 
that puz " 

He landed in the middle of the floor at a 
bound, without finishing the sentence, and 
ran and turned up his light and seized his 
** records." He took a single swift glance at 
them and cried out — 

*'It's so! Heavens, what a revelation! 
And for twenty-three years no man has ever 
suspected it 1 ' 

Digitized by ^ 



He is useless on top of ihe ground ; he ought to be 
under it, inspiring the cabbages. — Fud(tnhead Wilson's 

April I, This is the day upon which we are reminded 
of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four. 
— Pudd'nhead Wilsons Calendar. 

Wilson put on enough clothes for business 
purposes and went to work under a high pres- 
sure of steam. He was awake all over. All 
sense of weariness had been swept away by 
the invigorating refreshment of the great and 
hopeful discovery which he had made. He 
made fine and accurate reproductions of a num- 
ber of his *' records," and then enlarged them on 
a scale of ten to one with his pantograph. He 
did these pantograph enlargements on sheets of 
white cardboard, and made each individual line 
of the bewildering maze of whorls or curves 
or loops which constituted the ''pattern," of a 
*' record " stand out bold and black by reinfor- 

^' M. 


^-^'l^mrzed by VjOOQIC 



cing it with ink. To the untrained eye the col- 
lection of delicate originals made by the human 
finger on the glass plates looked about alike ; 
but when enlarged ten times they resembled 
the markings of a block of wood that has been 
sawed across the grain, and the dullest eye 
could detect at a glance, and at a distance of 
many feet, that no two of the patterns were 
alike. When Wilson had at last finished his 
tedious and difficult work, he arranged its re- 
sults according to a plan in which a progres- 
sive order and sequence was a principal feat- 
ure ; then he added to the batch several panto- 
graph enlargements which he had made from 
time to time in bygone years. 

The night was spent and the day well ad- 
vanced, now. By the time he had snatched //' 
a trifle of breakfast it was nine o'clock, and 
the court was ready to begin its sitting. He 
was in his place twelve minutes later with his 
^' records." 

Tom Driscoll caught a slight glimpse of the 
records, and nudged his nearest friend and 
said, with a wink, ** Pudd'nhead's got a rare 
eye to business — thinks that as long as he 




can't win his case it 'sat least a noble good 
chance to advertise his palace-window decora- 
tions without any expense." Wilson was in- 
formed that his witnesses had been delayed, but 
would arrive presently ; but he rose and said 
he should probably not have occasion to make 
use of their testimony. [An amused murmur 
ran through the room — ** It's a clean back- 
down ! he gives up without hitting a lick!"] 
Wilson continued — ** I have other testimony 
— and better. [This compelled interest, and 
evoked murmurs of surprise that had a detec- 
tible ingredient of disappointment in them.] If 
I seem to be springing this evidence upon the 
court, I offer as my justification for this, that 
I did not discover its existence until late last 
night, and have been engaged in examining 
and classifying it ever since, until half an hour 
ago. I shall offer it presently ; but first I 
wish to say a few preliminary words. 

"May it please the Court, the claim given 
the front place, the claim most persistently 
urged, the claim most strenuously and I may 
even say aggressively and defiantly insisted 
upon by the prosecution, is this — that the per- 

Digitized by 




son whose hand left the blood-stained finger- 
prints upon the handle of the Indian knife is 
the person who committed the murder." Wil- 
son paused, during several moments, to give 
impressiveness to what he was about to say, 
and then added tranquilly, " We grant that 
claim. " 

It was an electrical surprise. No one was 
prepared for such an admission. A buzz of 
astonishment rose on all sides, and people were 
heard to intimate that the overworked lawyer 
had lost his mind. Even the veteran judge, 
accustomed as he was to legal ambushes and 
masked batteries in criminal procedure, was 
not sure that his ears were not deceiving him, 
and asked counsel what it was he had said. 
Howard's impassive face betrayed no sign, but 
his attitude and bearing lost something of 
their careless confidence for a moment. Wil- 
son resumed : 

*' We not only grant that claim, but we wel- 
come it and strongly endorse it. Leaving 
that matter for the present, we will now pro- 
ceed to consider other points in the case 
which we propose to establish by evidence, 

282 Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

and shall include that one in the chain in its 
proper place." 

He had made up his mind to try a few 
hardy guesses, in mapping out his theory of 
the origin and motive of the murder — guesses 
designed to fill up gaps in it — guesses which 
could help if they hit, and would probably do 
no harm if they did n't. 

•* To my mind, certain circumstances of the 
case before the court seem to suggest a motive 
for the homicide quite different from the one 
insisted on by the State. It is my conviction 
that the motive was not revenge, but robbery. 
It has been urged that the presence of the ac- 
cused brothers in that fatal room, just after 
notification that one of them must take the 
life of Judge Driscoll or lose his own the mo- 
ment the parties should meet, clearly signifies 
' that the natural instinct of self-preservation 
moved my clients to go there secretly and save 
Count Luigi by destroying his adversary. 

"Then why did they stay there, after the 
deed was done ? Mrs. Pratt had time, al- 
though she did not hear the cry for help, but 
woke up some moments later, to run to that 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


room — and there she found these men standing 
and making no effort to escape. If they were 
guilty, they ought to have been running out 
of the house at the same time that she was 
running to that room. If they had had such 
a strong instinct toward self-preservation as 
to move them to kill that unarmed man, what 
had become of it now, when it should have 
been more alert than ever ? Would any of us 

have remained there? Let us not slander :'!!r^LiiLil^' 

our intellicrence to that degrree. 

** Much stress has been laid upon the fact 
that the accused offered a very large reward 
for the knife with which this murder was done ; 
that no thief came forward to claim that ex- 
traordinary reward ; that the latter fact was 
good circumstantial evidence that the claim 
that the knife had been stolen was a vanity 
and a fraud ; that these details taken in con- 
nection with the memorable and apparently 
prophetic speech of the deceased concerning 
that knife, and the final discovery of that very 
knife in the fatal room where no living person 
was found present with the slaughtered man 
but the owner of the knife and his brother, 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

form an indestructible chain of evidence which 
fixes the crime upon those unfortunate stran- 

'* But I shall presently ask to be sworn, and 
shall testify that there was a large reward of- 
fered for the thief y also ; that it was offered se- 
cretly and not advertised; that this fact was 
indiscreetly mentioned — or at least tacitly ad- 
/ mitted — in what was supposed to be safe cir- 
v' cumstances, but may not have been. The 
^ thief may have been present himself. [Tom 
Driscoll had been looking at the speaker, but 
dropped his eyes at this point.] In that case 
he would retain the knife in his possession, 
not daring to offer it for sale, or for pledge in 
a pawn-shop. [There was a nodding of heads 
among the audience by way of admission that 
this was not a bad stroke.] I shall prove to 
the satisfaction of the jury that there was a 
person in Judge DriscolFs room several 
minutes before the accused entered it. [This 
produced a strong sensation ; the last drowsy- 
head in the court-room roused up, now, and 
made preparation to listen.] If it shall seem 
necessary, I will prove by the Misses Clark- 

Digitized by 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


son that they met a veiled person — ostensibly 
a woman — coming out of the back gate a few 
minutes after the cry for help was heard. 
This person was not a woman, but a man 
dressed in woman's clothes." Another sensa- 
tion. Wilson had his eye on Tom when he 
hazarded this guess, to see what effect it would 
produce. He was satisfied with the result, 
and said to himself, *' It was a success — he 's 

**The object of that person in that house ^ 
was robbery, not murder. It is true that the 
safe was not open, but there was an ordinary 
tin cash-box on the table, with three thousand 
dollars in it. It is easily supposable that the 
thief was concealed in the house ; that he 
knew of this box, and of its owner's habit of 
counting its contents and arranging his ac- 
counts at night — if he had that habit, which I 
do not assert, of course ; — that he tried to take 
the box while its owner slept, but made a noise 
and was seized, and had to use the knife to 
save himself from capture ; and that he fled 
without his booty because he heard help 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

" I have now done with my theory, and will 
proceed to the evidences by which I propose 
to try to prove its soundness." Wilson took 
up several of his strips of glass. When the 
audience recognized these familiar mementoes 
of Pudd'nhead's old-time childish "puttering" 
and folly, the tense and funereal interest van- 
ished out of their faces, and the house burst 
into volleys of relieving and refreshing laugh- 
ter, and Tom chirked up and joined in the 
fun himself; but Wilson was apparently not 
disturbed. He arranged his records on the 
table before him, and said — 

** I beg the indulgence of the court while I 
make a few remarks in explanation of some 
evidence which I am about to introduce, and 
Y^ which I shall presently ask to be allowed to 
verify under oath on the witness stand. 
^;{^^^^.4c Every human beine carries with him from his 
-^ w*^ cradle to his grave certain physical marks 
which do not change their character, and by 
which he can always be identified — and that 
without shade of doubt or question. These 
marks are his signature, his physiological au- 
tograph, so to speak, and this autograph can 

Digitized by 


Pudu'nheau Wilson. 


not be counterfeited, nor can he disguise it or 
hide it away, nor can it become illegible by 
the wear and mutations of time. This signa- 
ture is not his face — age can change that 
beyond recognition ; it is not his hair, for that 
can fall out ; it is not his height, for duplicates 
of that exist ; it is not his form, for duplicates 
of that exist also, whereas this signature is 
each man's very own — there is no duplicate of 
it among the swarming populations of the 
globe ! [The audience were interested once 

** This autograph consists of the delicate lines 
or corrugations with which Nature marks the 
insides of the hands and the soles of the feet. 
If you will look at the balls of your fingers, — 
you that have very sharp eyesight, — you will 
observe that these dainty curving lines lie close 
together, like those that indicate the borders 
of oceans in maps, and that they form various 
clearly defined patterns, such as arches, circles, 
long curves, whorls, etc., and that these pat- 
terns differ on the different fingers. [Every 
man in the room had his hand up to the light, 
now, and his head canted to one side, and 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

was minutely scrutinizing the balls of his 
fingers ; there were whispered ejaculations of 
** Why, it *s so — I never noticed that before ! "] 
The patterns on the right hand are not the 
same as those on the left. [Ejaculations of 
"Why, that's so, too!"] Taken finger for 
/ "^r finger, your patterns differ from your neigh- 
bor s. [Comparisons were made all over the 
house — even the judge and jury were ab- 
sorbed in this curious work.] The patterns 
of a twin's rio^ht hand are not the same as 
those on his left. One twin's patterns are 
never the same as his fellow-twin's patterns — 
the jury will find that the patterns upon the 
finger-balls of the accused follow this rule. 
[An examination of the twins' hands was be- 
gun at once.] You have often heard of twins 
who were so exactly alike that when dressed 
alike their own parents could not tell them 
apart. Yet there was never a twin born into 
this world that did not carry from birth to 
death a sure identifier in this mysterious and 
marvelous natal autograph. That once known 
to you, his fellow-twin could never personate 
him and deceive you." 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


Wilson stopped and stood silent. Inatten- 
tion dies a quick and sure death when a 
speaker does that. The stillness gives warn- 
ing that something is coming. All palms and 
finger-balls went down, now, all slouching 
forms straightened, all heads came up, all eyes 
were fastened upon Wilson's face. He waited 
yet one, two, three moments, to let his pause 
complete and perfect its spell upon the house ; 
then, when through the profound hush he 
could hear the ticking of the clock on the 
wall, he put out his hand and took the Indian 
knife by the blade and held it aloft where all 
could see the sinister spots upon its ivory 
handle ; then he said, in a level and passion- 
less voice — 

** Upon this haft stands the assassin's natal 
autograph, written in the blood of that help- 
less and unoffending old man who loved you 
and whom you all loved. There is but one 
man in the whole earth whose hand can dupli- 
cate that crimson sign," — he paused and 
raised his eyes to the pendulum swinging back 
and forth, — ** and please God we will produce 


Digitized by 



that man in this room before the clock strikes 
noon ! " 

Stunned, distraught, unconscious of its own 
movement, the house half rose, as if expecting 
to see the murderer appear at the door, and a 
breeze of muttered ejaculations swept the 
place. ** Order in the court ! — sit down ! " 
This from the sheriff. He was obeyed, and 
quiet reigned again. Wilson stole a glance 
at Tom, and said to himself, ** He is flying 
signals of distress, now ; even people who de- 
spise him are pitying him ; they think this is a 
hard ordeal for a young fellow who has lost 
his benefactor by so cruel a stroke — and they 
are right." He resumed his speech : 

** For more than twenty years I have 
amused my compulsory leisure with collecting 
these curious physical signatures in this town. 
At my house I have hundreds upon' hundreds 
of them. Each and every one is labelled 
with name and date ; not labelled the next 
day or even the next hour, but in the very 
minute that the impression was taken. When 
I go upon the witness stand I will repeat under 
oath the things which I am now saying. I 

Digitized by 


Pudd'niiead Wilson. 


have the finger-prints of the court, the sheriff, 
and every member of the jury. There is 
hardly a person in this room, white or black, 
whose natal signature I cannot produce, and 
not one of them can so disguise himself that I 
cannot pick him out from a multitude of 
his fellow-creatures and unerringly identify 
him by his hands. And if he and I should 
live to be a hundred I could still do it. 
[The interest of the audience was steadily 
deepening, now.] 

*' I have studied some of these signatures so 
much that I know them as well as the bank 
cashier knows the autograph of his oldest cus- 
tomer. While I turn my back now, I beg 
that several persons will be so good as to pass 
their fingers through their hair, and then 
press them upon one of the panes of the win- 
dow near the jury, and that among them the 
accused may set their finger-marks. Also, I 
beg that these experimenters, or others, will 
set their finger-marks upon another pane, and 
add again the marks of the accused, but not 
placing them in the same order or relation to 
the other signatures as before— for, by one 



Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

chance in a millon, a person might happen 
upon the right marks by pure guess-work once^ 
therefore I wish to be tested twice." 

He turned his back, and the two panes were 
quickly covered with delicately-lined oval 
spots, but visible only to such persons as could 
get a dark background for them — the foliage 
of a tree, outside, for instance. Then, upon 
call, Wilson went to the window, made his 
examination, and said — 

''This is Count Luigi's right hand ; this one, 
three signatures below, is his left. Here is 
Count Angelo's right ; down here is his left. 
Now for the other pane: here and here are 
Count Luigi*s, here and here are his brother's." 
He faced about. *' Am I right?" 

A deafening explosion of applause was the 
:j answer. The Bench said — 

** This certainly approaches the miraculous ! " 

Wilson turned to the window again and 
remarked, pointing with his finger — 

** This is the signature of Mr. Justice Rob- 
inson. [Applause.] This, of Constable Blake. 
[Applause.] This, of John Mason, juryman. 
[Applause.] This, of the sheriff. [Applause.] 

\t^ ^1^ 

'^ Digitized by 




I Ccinnot name the others, but I have them 
all at home, named and dated, and could 
identify them all by my finger-print records." 

He moved to his place through a storm of 
applause — which the sheriff stopped, and also 
made the people sit down, for they were all 
standing and struggling to see, of course. 
Court, jury, sheriff, and everybody had been 
too absorbed in observing Wilson's perform- 
ance to attend to the audience earlier. 

" Now, then," said Wilson, ** I have here 
the natal autographs of two children — thrown 
up to ten times the natural size by the panto- 
graph, so that any one who can see at all can 
tell the markings apart at a glance. We will 
call the children A and B. Here are A's 
finger-marks, taken at the age of five months. 
Here they are again, taken at seven months. 
[Tom started.] They are alike, you see. 
Here are B's at five months, and also at seven 
months. They, too, exactly copy each other, 
but the patterns are quite different from As, 
you observe. I shall refer to these again 
presently, but we will turn them face down, 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


** Here, thrown up ten sizes, are the natal 
autographs of the two persons who are here 
before you accused of murdering Judge Dris- 
coll. I made these pantograph copies last 
night, and will so swear when I go upon the 
witness stand. I ask the jury to compare 
them with the finger-marks of the accused 
upon the window panes, and tell the court 
if they are the same." 

He passed a powerful magnifying-glass to 
the foreman. 

One juryman after another took the card- 
board and the glass and made the comparison. 
Then the foreman said to the judge — 

'* Your honor, we are all agreed that they 
are identical." 

Wilson said to the foreman — 

** Please turn that cardboard face down, 
and take this one, and compare it searchingly, 
by the magnifier, with the fatal signature 
upon the knife-handle, and report your finding 
to the court." 

Again the jury made minute examinations, 
and again reported— 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


** We find them to be exactly identical, 
your honor," 

Wilson turned toward the counsel for the 
prosecution, and there was a clearly recogniz- 
able note of warning in his voice when he 
said — 

*' May it please the court, the State has 
•claimed, strenuously and persistently, that 
the blood-stained finger-prints upon that 
knife-handle were left there by the assassin of 
Judge DriscoU. You have heard us grant 
that claim, and welcome it." He turned to 
the jury : ** Compare the finger-prints of the 
accused with the finger-prints left by the as- 
sassin — and report." 

The comparison began. As it proceeded, 
all movement and all sound ceased, and the 
deep silence of an absorbed and v\ alting sus- 
pense settled upon the house ; and when at 
last the words came — 

** They do nol even resemble^' a thunder- 
crash of applause followed and the house 
sprang to its feet, but was quickly repressed 
by official force and brought to order again, 
Tom was altering his position every few min* rh^^^^ 








296 Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

utes, now, but none of his changes brought 
repose nor any small trifle of comfort. When 
the house's attention was become fixed once 
more, Wilson said gravely, indicating the 
twins with a gesture — 

'* These men are innocent — I have no fur- 
ther concern with them. [Another outbreak 
of applause began, but was promptly checked.] 
We will now proceed to find the guilty. 
[Tom's eyes were starting from their sockets 
— yes, it was a cruel day for the bereaved 
youth, everybody thought.] We will return 
to the infant autographs of A and B. I will 
ask the jury to take these large pantograph 
facsimiles of A's marked five months and 
seven months. Do they tally ?" 

The foreman responded — 

'* Perfectly." 

'* Now examine this pantograph, taken at 
eight months, and also marked A. Does it 
tally with the other two ?" 

The surprised response was — 

** No — they differ zvidely f " 

**You are quite right. Now take these 
two pantographs of B's autograph, marked 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 297 

five months and seven months. Do they tally 
with each other ?" 

" Yes— perfectly." 

" Take this third pantograph marked B, 
eight months. Does it tally with B*s other 

" By no means / " 

" Do you know how to account for those 
strange discrepancies ? I will tell you. For 
a purpose unknown to us, but probably a sel- 
fish one, somebody changed those children in 
the cradle." ( 

This produced a vast sensation, naturally ; 
Roxana was astonished at this admirable 
guess, but not disturbed by it. To guess the 
exchange was one thing, to guess who did it 
quite another. Pudd'nhead Wilson could do 
wonderful things, no doubt, but he could n't 
do impossible ones. Safe ? She was per- 
fectly safe. She smiled privately. 

" Between the ages of seven months and 
eight months those children were changed in 
the cradle " — he made one of his effect-collect- 
ing pauses, and added — ** and the person who 
did It is in this house ! " 




Pudd'nhead Wilson. 



Roxy's pulses stood still ! The house was 
thrilled as with an electric shock, and the peo- 
ple half rose as if to seek a glimpse of the 
person who had made that exchange. Tom 
was growing limp ; the life seemed oozing 
out of him. Wilson resumed : 

''A was put into B's cradle in the nursery; 
B was transferred to the kitchen and became 
a negro and a slave, [Sensation — confusion 
of angry ejaculations] — but within a quarter 
of an hour he will stand before you white and 
free ! [Burst of applause, checked by the offi- 
cers.] From seven months onward until now, 
A has still been a usurper, and in my finger- 
record he bears Bs name. Here is his pan- 
tograph at the age of twelve. Compare it 
with the assassin's signature upon the knife- 
handle. Do they tally ? " 

The foreman answered — 

** To the 7ninutest detail ! " 

Wilson said, solemnly — 

** The murderer of your friend and mine — 
York Driscoll of the generous hand and the 
kindly spirit — sits in among you. Valet de 
Chaniliire, negro and slave, — falsel}' called 


t \v ; v:%;s^VS^ 


Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


Thomas k Becket Driscoll, — make upon the 
window the finger-prints that will hang you !" 

Tom turned his ashen face imploringly 
toward the speaker, made some im'potent 
movements with his white lips, then slid limp 
and lifeless to the floor. 

Wilson broke the awed silence with the 
words — 

"There is no need. He has confessed." 

Roxy flung herself upon her knees, covered 
her face with her hands, and out through her 
sobs the words struggled — 

** De Lord have mercy on me, po' misable 
sinner dat I is ! " 

The clock struck twelve. 

The court rose; the new prisoner, hand- 
cuffed, was removed. 


It is often the case that the man who can't tell a lie 
thinks he is the best judge of one. — Pudd'nhead Wilson's 

October 12, the Discoifery. It was wonderful to find 
America, but it would have been more wonderful to miss 
it. — Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar, 

The town sat up all night to discuss the 
amazing events of the day and swap guesses 
as to when Tom's trial would begin. Troop 
after troop of citizens came to serenade Wil- 
son, and require a speech, and shout them- 
selves hoarse over every sentence that fell 
from his lips — for all his sentences were 
golden, now, all were marvelous. His long 
fight against hard luck and prejudice was 
ended ; he was a made man for good. 

And as each of these roaring gangs of en- 
thusiasts marched away, some remorseful 

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member of it was quite sure to raise his voice 
and say — 

** And this is the man the likes of us have 
called a pudd'nhead for more than twenty 
years. He has resigned from that position, 

** Yes, but it is n't vacant — we Ve elected." 

The twins were heroes of romance, now, 
and with rehabilitated reputations. But they 
were weary of Western adventure, and 
straightway retired to Europe. 

Roxy's heart was broken. The young fel- 
low upon whom she had inflicted twenty-three 
years of slavery continued the false heirs 
pension of thirty-five dollars a month to her, 
but her hurts were too deep for money to 
heal ; the spirit in her eye was quenched, her 
martial bearing departed with it, and the 
voice of her laughter ceased in the land. In 
her church and its affairs she found her only 

The real heir suddenly found himself rich 
and free, but in a most embarrassing situa- 
tion. He could neither read nor write, and 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 

his speech was the basest dialect of the ne- 
gro quarter. His gait, his attitudes, his ges- 
tures, his bearing, his laugh — all were vulgar 
and uncouth ; his manners were the manners 
of a slave. Money and fine clothes could not 
mend these defects or cover them up ; they 
only made them the more glaring and the 
more pathetic. The poor fellow could not 
endure the terrors of the white man's parlor, 
and felt at home and at peace nowhere but in 
LJ^ the kitchen. The family pew was a misery 
" to him, yet he could nevermore enter into 

the solacing refuge of the ** nigger gallery" — 
that was closed to him for good and all. But 
we cannot follow his curious fate further — 
that it would be a long story. 

The false heir made a full confession and 
was sentenced to imprisonment for life. But 
now a complication came up. The Percy 
Driscoll estate was in such a crippled shape 
when its owner died that it could pay only 
sixty per cent, of its great indebtedness, and 
was settled at that rate. But the creditors 
came forward, now, and complained that inas- 
much as throii!:i[h an error for which f/tey were 

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Pudd'nhead Wilson. 


in no way to blame the false heir was not in- 
ventoried at that time with the rest of the 
property, great wrong and loss had thereby 
been inflicted upon them. They rightly 
claimed that ** Tom " was lawfully their prop- 
erty and had been so for eight years ; that 
they had already lost sufficiently in being de- 
prived of his services during that long period, 
and ought not to be required to add anything 
to that loss ; that if he had been delivered up 
to them in the first place, they would have 
sold him and he could not have murdered 
Judge Driscoll ; therefore it was not he that 
had really committed the murder, the guilt 
lay with the erroneous inventory. Every- 
body saw that there was reason in this. 
Everybody granted that if ** Tom " were 
white and free it would be unquestionably 
right to punish him — it would be no loss to 
anybody ; but to shut up a valuable slave for 
life — that was quite another matter. 

As soon as the Governor understood the 
case, he pardoned Tom at once, and the 
creditors sold him down the river. 

Digitized by 




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Copyright, 1894, by Olivia L. Clemens 

All Rights Kestrved.) 

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A MAN who is not born with the novel-writing 
gift has a troublesome time of it when he tries to 
build a novel. I know this from experience. He 
has no clear idea of his story ; in fact he has no 
story. He merely hks some people in his mind, ana 
an incident or two, also a locality. He knows these 
people, he knows the selected locality, and he trusts 
that he can plunge those people into those incident,^ 
with interesting results. So he goes to work. To 
write a novel ? No — that is a thought which comes 
later ; in the beginning he is only proposing to tell tiWf ^^ 
a little tale ; a very little tale ; a six-page tale. But 
as it is a tale which he is not acquainted with, and 
can only find out what it is by listening as it goes 
along telling itself, it is more than apt to go on and 
on and on till it spreads itself into a book. I know 
about this, because it has happened to me so many 

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Those Extraordinary Twins. 

And I have noticed another thing : that as the 
short tale grows into the long tale, the original in- 
tention (or motif) is apt to get abolished and find 
itself superseded by a quite different one. It was 
so in the case of a magazine sketch which I once 
started to write — a funny and fantastic sketch about 
a prince and a pauper ; it presently assumed a grave 
cast of its own accord, and in that new shape spread 
itself out into a book. Much the same thing hap- 
pened with ** Pudd'nhead Wilson." I had a suffi- 
ciently hard time with that tale, because it changed 
itself from a farce to a tragedy while I was going 
along with it, — a most embarrassing circumstance. 
But what was a great deal worse was, that it was 
not one story, but two stories tangled together ; 
and they obstructed and interrupted each other at 
every turn and created no end of confusion and an- 
Ijnoyance. I could not offer the book for publication, 
for I was afraid it would unseat the reader's reason, 
I did not know what was the matter with it, for I 
had not noticed, as yet, that it was two stories in 
one. It took me months to make that discovery. I 
carried the manuscript back and forth across the 
Atlantic two or three times, and read it and studied 
over it on shipboard ; and at last I saw where the 
difliculty lay. I had no further trouble. I pulled 
one of the stories out by the roots, and left the other 
one — a kind of literary Caesarean operation. 

.„*«Sl:?--^. — 



Those Extraordinary Twins. 3'i 

Would the reader care to know something about 
the story which I pulled out? He has been told 
many a time how the born-and-trained novelist 
works ; won't he let me round and complete his 
knowledge by telling him how the jack-leg does it ? 

Originally the story was called ** Those Extraordi- 
nary Twins/' I meant to make it very short. I 
had seen a picture of a youthful Italian *' freak**— 
or " freaks ** — which was — or which were — on ex- 
hibition in our cities — a combination consisting of 
two heads and four arms joined to a single body and 
a single pair of legs— and I thought I would write 
an extravagantly fantastic little story with this 
freak of nature for hero— or heroes— a silly young .^ 
Miss for heroine, and two old ladies and two boys for 
the minor parts. I lavishly elaborated these people 
and their doings, of course. But the tale keptW^ 
spreading along and spreading along, and other peo- 
ple got to intruding themselves and taking up more 
and more room with their talk and their affairs. 
Among them came a stranger named Pudd'nhead 
Wilson, and a woman named Roxana ; and presently 
the doings of these two pushed up into prominence 
a young fellow named Tom Driscoll, whose proper 
place was away in the obscure background. Before 
the book was half finished those three were taking 
things almost entirely into their own hands and 
working the whole tale as a private venture of their 

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3»2 Those Extraordinary Twins. 

own — a tale which they had nothing at all to do 
with, by rights. 

When the book was finished and I came to look 
around to see what had become of the team I had 
originally started out with— Aunt Patsy Cooper, 
Aunt Betsy Hale, the two boys, and Rowena the 
light-weight heroine— they were nowhere to be 
seen ; they had disappeared from the story some 
time or other. I hunted about and found them — 
found them stranded, idle, forgotten, and perma- 
nently useless. It was very awkward. It was awk- 
ward all around , but more particularly in the case 
of Rowena, because there was a lovematch on, be- 
tween her and one of the twins that constituted the 
freak, and I had worked it up to a blistering heat 
and thrown in a quite dramatic love-quarrel, wherein 
Rowena scathingly denounced her betrothed for 
getting drunk, and scoflfed at his explanation of how 
it had happened, and wouldn't listen to it, and had 
driven him from her in the usual "forever" way; 
^and now here she sat crying and broken-hearted ; for 
she had found that he had spoken only the truth ; 
that it was not he, but the other half of the freak 
that had drunk the liquor that made him drunk ; 
that her half was a prohibitionist and had never 
drunk a drop in his life, and although tight as a 
brick three days in the week, was wholly innocent 
of blame ; and indeed, when sober, was constantly 

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Those Extraordinary Twins. 


doing all he could to reform his brother, the other 
half, who never got any satisfaction out of drinking, 
anyway, because liquor never affected him. Yes, 
here she was, stranded with that deep injustice of 
hers torturing her poor torn heart. 

I didn't know what to do with her. I was as 
sorry for her as anybody could be, but the campaign 
was over, the book was finished, she was side- 
tracked, and there was no possible way of crowding 
her in, anywhere. I could not leave her there, of 
course ; it would not do. After spreading her out 
so, and making such a to-do over her affairs, it would 
be absolutely necessary to account to the reader for 
her. I thought and thought and studied and 
studied; but I arrived at nothing. I finally saw 
plainly that there was really no way but one^I 
must simply give her the grand bounce. It grieved 
me to do it, for after associating with her so much I 
had come to kind of like her after a fashion, notwith- 
standing she was such an ass and said such stupid, 
irritating things and was so nauseatingly sentimentaL 
Still it had to be done. So at the top of Chapter 
XVII. I put a ** Calendar ** remark concerning July 
the Fourth, and began the chapter with this statist- 
tic : 

** Rowena went out in the back yard after supper 
to see the fireworks and fell down the well and got 


Those Extkaordinary Twins. 

It seemed abrupt, but I thought maybe the reader 
wouldn't notice it, because I changed the subject 
right away to something else. Anyway it loosened 
up Rowena from where she was stuck and got her 
out of the way, and that was the main thing. It 
seemed a prompt good way of weeding out people 
that had got stalled, and a plenty good enough way 
for those others ; so I hunted up the two boys and 
said ** they went out back one night to stone the cat 
and fell down the well and got drowned.'* Next 
I searched around and found old Aunt Patsy Cooper 
1 — -and Aunt Betsy Hale where they were aground, 
-and said ** they went out back one night to visit the 
sick and fell down the well and got drowned." I 
was going to drown some of the others, but I gave 
up the idea, partly because I believed that if I kept 
that up it would arouse attention, and perhaps sym- 
pathy with those people, and partly because it was 
fOOt a large well and would not hold any more any- 


Still the story was unsatisfactory. Here was a set 
of new characters who were become inordinately 
prominent and who persisted in remaining so to the 
end ; and back yonder was an older set who made 
a large noise and a great to-do for a little while and 
then suddenly played out utterly and fell down the 
well. There was a radical defect somewhere, and I 
must search ft out and cure it. 

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Those Extraordinary Twins. 


The defect turned out to be the one already- 
spoken of — two stories in one, a farce and a tragedy. 
So I pulled out the farce and left the tragedy. This 
left the original team in, but only as mere names, 
not as characters. Their prominence was wholly 
gone ; they were not even worth drowning ; so I re- 
moved that detail. Also I took those twins apart 
and made two separate men of them. They had no 
occasion to have foreign names now, but it was too 
much trouble to remove them all through, so I left 
them christened as they were and made no explana- 


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Those Extraordinary Twins. 




The conglomerate twins were brought on 
the stage in Chapter I. of the original extrav- 
aganza. Aunt Patsy Cooper has received 
their letter applying for board and lodging, 
and Rowena, her daughter, insane with joy, is 
begging for a hearing of it : 

" Well, set down then, and be quiet a min- 
ute and don't fly around so ; it fairly makes 
me tired to see you. It starts off so : 
'Honored Madam — '" 

" I like that, ma, don't you ? It shows they 're 

" Yes, I noticed that when I first read it. 
* My brother and I have seen your advertise- 

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Those Extraordinary Twins. 

ment, by chance, in a copy of your local 
journal ' " 

** It 's so beautiful and smooth, ma — don't 
you think so ? " 

" Yes, seems so to me — ' and beg leave to 
take the room you offer. We are twenty-four 
years of age, and twins ' " 

''Twins! How sweet! I do hope they 
are handsome, and I just know they are ' 
Don't you hope they are, ma ? " 

*' Land, I ain't particular. ' We are Italians 
by birth '" 

" It 's so romantic ! Just think — there 's 
never been one in this town, and everybody 
will want to see them, and they 're all ours f 
Think of that!" 

" — 'but have lived long in the various coun- 
tries of Europe, and several years in the 
United States.'" 

" Oh, just think what wonders they 've seen, 
ma! Won't it be good to hear them talk ?" 

" I reckon so ; yes, I reckon so. ' Our 
nam^s are Luigi and Angelo Capello ' " 

•' Beautiful, perfectly beautiful ! Not like 
Jones and Robinson and those horrible names." 

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Those Extraordinary Twins. 


*' * You desire but one guest, but dear 
madam, if you will allow us to pay for two we 
will not discommode you. We will sleep 
together in the same bed. We have always 
been used to this, and prefer it.' And then he 
goes on to say they will be down Thursday." 

'* And this is Tuesday — I don't know how 
I 'm ever going to wait, ma ! The time does 
drag along so, and I 'm so dying to see them ! 
Which of them do you reckon is the tallest, 

** How do you s'pose I can tell, child? 
Mostly they are the same size — twins are." 

*' Well then, which do you reckon is the best 
looking?" / 

** Goodness knows — I don't." 

** I think Angelo is ; it 's the prettiest name, 
anyway. Don't you think it 's a sweet name, 

" Yes, it 's well enough. I VI like both of 
them better if I knew the way to pronounce 
them — the Eyetalian way, I mean, Tlic 
Missouri way and the Eyetalian way is different 
I judge." 

'* Maybe — yes. It 's Luigi that writr*^ the 



Those ExtraordIxNary Twins. 



letter. What do you reckon is the reason 
Angelo did n't write it ? '' 

" Why, how can I tell ? What 's the differ- 
ence who writes it, so long as it 's done ? " 

** Oh, I hope it was n't because he is sick ? 
You don't think he- is sick, do you, ma ?" 

" Sick your granny ; what 's to make him 

" Oh, there 's never any telling. These 
foreigners with that kind of names are so 
delicate, and of course that kind of names are 
^> not suited to our climate — you would n't ex- 
pect it." 

[And so-on and so-on, no end. The time drags 
along; Thursday comes ; the boat arrives in a 
pouring storm toward midnight.] 

rir 'f' 

At last there was a knock at the door and 
the anxious family jumped to open it. Two 
negro men entered, each carrying a trunk, and 
proceeded up-stairs toward the guest-room. 
Then followed a stupefying apparition — a 
double-headed human creature with four arms, 
one body, and a single pair of legs ! 

It — or they, as you please — bowed with 

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Those Extraordinary Twins. 


elaborate foreign formality, but the Coopers 
could not respond immediately ; they were 
paralyzed. At this moment there came from 
the rear of the group a fervent ejaculation — 
*' My Ian * ! " — followed by a crash of crockery, 
and the slave-wench Nancy stood pertified and 
staring, with a tray of wrecked tea-things at 
her feet. The incident broke the spell, and 
brought the family to consciousness. The 
beautiful heads of the new-comer bowed again, 
and one of them said with easy grace and 
dignity : 

'* I crave the honor, madam and miss, to 
introduce to you my brother. Count Luigi 
Capello," (the other head bowed) "and my- 
self — Count Angelo ; and at the same time 
offer sincere apologies for the lateness of our 
coming, which was unavoidable," and both 
heads bowed again. 

The poor old lady was in a whirl of amaze- 
ment and confusion, but she managed to stam- 
mer out : 

" Tm sure V m glad to make your acquaint- 
ance, sir — I mean, gentlemen. As for the 
delay, it is nothing, don't mention it. This 


Google ^i 


Those Extraordinary Twins. 

is my daughter Rowena, sir — gentlemen. 
Please step into the parlor and sit down and 
have a bite and sup ; you are dreadful wet 
and must be uncomfortable — both of you, I 

But to the old lady's relief they courteously 
excused themselves, saying it would be wrong 
to keep the family out of their beds longer ; 
then each head bowed in turn and uttered a 
friendly good-night, and the singular figure 
moved away in the wake of Rowena s small 
brothers, who bore candles, and disappeared 
up the stairs. 

The widow tottered into the parlor and 
sank into a chair with a gasp, and Rowena 
followed, tongue-tied and dazed. The two sat 
silent in the throbbing summer heat uncon- 
scious of the million-voiced music of the mos- 
quitoes, unconscious of the roaring gale, the 
lashing and thrashing of the rain along the win- 
dows and the roof, the white glare of the light- 
ning, the tumultuous booming and bellowing of 
the thunder ; conscious of nothing but that pro- 
^ ^"^j digy, that uncanny apparition that had come 
^ ^ and gone so suddenly — that weird strange thing 


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Those Extraordinary Twins. 


that was so soft-spoken and so gentle of man- 
ner and yet had shaken them up like an earth- 
quake with the shock of its gruesome aspect. 
At last a cold little shudder quivered along 
down the widow's meager frame and she said 
in a weak voice : 

'* Ugh, it was awful — ^just the mere look of 
that phillipene !" 

Rowena did not answer. Her faculties were 
still caked, she had not yet found her voice. 
Presently the widow said, a little resentfully : 

** Always been used to sleeping together — 
in fact, prefer it. And I was thinking it 
was to accommodate me. I thought it was 
very good of them, whereas a person situated 
as that young man is " 

•' Ma, you ought n't to begin by getting up 
a prejudice against him. I'm sure he is good- 
hearted and means well. Both of his faces 
show it." 

** I'm not so certain about that. The on 
the left — I mean the one on its left^ — has 
near as good a face, in my opinion, as its ^ 

" That's Luigi." 

,s n't #r ^'^ I 

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Those Extraordinary Twins. 

" Yes, Luigi ; anyway it 's the dark-skinned 
one ; the one that was west of his brother 
when they stood in the door. Up to all kinds 
of. mischief and disobedience when he was a 
boy, I '11 be bound. I lay his mother had 
trouble to lay her hand on him when she 
wanted him. But the one on the right is as 
good as gold, I can see that." 

'* That 's Angelo." 

** Yes, Angelo, I reckon, though I can't tell 
t' other from which by their names, yet awhile. 
But it 's the right-hand one — the blonde one. 
He has such kind blue eyes, and curly cop- 
per hair and fresh complexion " 

'* And such a noble face !— oh, it is a noble 
face, ma, just royal, you may say ! And 
beautiful — deary me, how beautiful ! But 
both are that ; the dark one 's as beautiful as 
a picture. There 's no such wonderful faces 
and handsome heads in this town — none that 
even begin. And such hands — especially 
Angelo's — so shapely and " 

** Stuff, how could you tell which they be- 
longed to ? — they had gloves on." 

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Those Extraordinary Twins. 


' Why, did n't I see them take off their 

"That don't signify. They might have 
taken off each other's hats. Nobody could 
tell. There was just k wormy squirming of 
arms in the air — seemed to be a couple of 
dozen of them, all writhing at once, and it 
just made me dizzy to see them go." 

*• Why, ma, 1 had n't any difficulty. There 's 
two arms on each shoulder " 

" There, now. One arm on each shoulder 
belongs to each of the creatures, don't it ? 
For a person to have two arms on one 
shoulder would n't do him any good, would 
it? Of course not. Each has an arm on 
each shoulder. Now then, you tell me which 
of them belongs to which, if you can. They 
don't know, themselves — they just work which- 
ever arm comes handy. Of course they do • n| 
especially if they are in a hurry and can't 
stop to think which belongs to which." 

The mother seemed to have the rights of 
the argument, so the daughter abandoned the f,, 
struggle. Presently the widow rose with a\jlj 
yawn and said : 


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Those Extraordinary Twins. 

" Poor thing, I hope it won't catch cold ; it 
was powerful wet, just drenched, you may say. 
I hope it has left lis boots outside, so they 
can be dried." Then she gave a little start, 
and looked perplexed. " Now I remember I 
heard one of them ask Joe to call him at half 
after seven — I think it was the one on the left 
— no, it was the one to the east of the other 
one — but I did n't hear the other one say 
^anything. I wonder if he wants to be called 
too. Do you reckon it 's too late to ask ? *' 

** Why, ma, it *s not necessary. Calling 
one is calling both. If one gets up, the 
other's ^(t?/ to." 

" Sho, of course ; I never thought of that. 
Well, come along, maybe we can get some 
sleep, but I don't know, I 'm so shook up with 
what we Ve been through.'' 

The stranger had made an impression on 
the boys, too. They had a word of talk as 
they were getting to bed. Henry, the gentle, 
the humane, said : 

'• I feel ever so sorry for it, don't you, Joe ? " 

But Joe was a boy of this world, active, 
enterprising, and had a theatrical side to him : 

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" Sorry ? Why, how you talk ! It can't 
stir a step without attracting attention. It 's 
just grand !" 

Henry said, reproachfully : 

" Instead of pitying it, Joe, you talk as 
if " 

" Talk as if what ? I know one thing 
mighty certain : if you can fix me so I can eat 
for two and only have to stub toes for one, I 
ain't going to fool away no such chance just 
for sentiment." 

The twins were wet and tired, and they pro- 
ceeded to undress without any preliminary 
remarks. The abundance of sleeves made 
the partnership-coat hard to get off, for it 
was like skinning a tarantula ; but it came at 
last, after much tugging and perspiring. The 
mutual vest followed. Then the brothers 
stood up before the glass, and each took off 
his own cravat and collar. The collars were 
of the standing kind, and came high up under 
the ears, like the sides of a wheelbarrow, as 
required by the fashion of the day. The 
cravats were as broad as a bank bill, with 
fringed ends which stood far out to right and 

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Those ExtraordIxNary Twins. 

left like the wings of a dragon-fly, and this 
also was strictly in accordance with the fash- 
ion of the time. Each cravat, as to color, was 
in perfect taste, so far as its owners com- 
plexion was concerned — a delicate pink, in 
the case of the blonde brother, a violent 
, 5 ^ scarlet in the case of the brunette — but as a 
\™**^''KV combination they broke all the laws of taste 
known to civilization. Nothing more fiendish 
and irreconcilable than those shrieking and 
blaspheming colors could have been contrived. 
The wet boots gave no end of trouble — to 
Luigi. When they were off at last, Angelo 
said, with bitterness : 

** I wish you would n't wear such tight 
boots, they hurt my feet." 

Luigi answered with indifference : 

** My friend, when I am in command of our 
body, I choose my apparel according to my 
own convenience, as I have remarked more 
than several times already. When you are in 
command, I beg you will do as you please." 

Angelo was hurt, and the tears came into 
his eyes. There was gentle reproach in his 
voice, but not anger, when he replied : 

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*• Luigi, I often consult your wishes, but 
you never consult mine. When I am in com- 
mand I treat you as a guest ; I try to make 
you feel at home ; when you are in command 
you treat me as an intruder, you make me 
feel unwelcome. It embarrasses me cruelly 
in company, for I can see that people notice it 
and comment on it." 

"Oh, damn the people," responded the 
brother languidly, and with the air of one who 
is tired of the subject. 

A slight shudder shook the frame of Angelo, 
but he said nothing and the conversation 
ceased. Each buttoned his own share of the 
night-shirt in silence ; then Lulgi, with Paine's 
" Age of Reason " in his hand, cat down in 
one chair and put his feet in another and lit 
his pipe, while Angelo took his ** Whole 
Duty of Man," and both began to read. 
Angelo presently began to cough ; his cough- 
ing increased and became mixed with gaspings 
for breath, and he was finally obliged to make 
an appeal to his brother's humanity : 

" Luigi, if you would only smoke a little 
milder tobacco, I am sure I could learn not to 

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330 Those Extraordinary Twins. 

mind it in time, but this is so strong, and the 
pipe is so rank that " 

** Angelo, I would n't be such a baby ! I 
have learned to smoke in a week, and the 
trouble is already over with me ; if you would 
try, you could learn too, and then you would 
stop spoiling my comfort with your everlasting 

•' Ah, brother, that is a strong word — ever- 
lasting — and isn't quite fair. 1 only complaiu 
H ^1 when I suffocate ; you know I don't complain 
^ g- when we are in the open air." 
r^^ ** Well, anyway, you could learn to smoke 


" But my principles, Luigi, you forget my 
principles. You would not have me do a 
7 thing which I regard as a sin ?" 
A -Oh, bosh!" 

The conversation ceased again, for Angelo 
"was sick and discouraged and strangling ; but 
after some time he closed his book and asked 
Luigi to sing " From Greenland's Icy Moun- 
tains" with him, but he would not, and when 
he tried to sina by himself Luigi did his best 
to drown his plaintive tenor with a rude an^ 


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Those Extraordinary Twins. 


rollicking song delivered in a thundering 

After the singing there was silence, and 
neither brother was happy. Before blowing 
the light out Luigi swallowed half a tumbler 
of whiskey, and Angelo, whose sensitive or- 
ganization could not endure intoxicants of any 
kind, took a pill to keep it from giving him 
the headache. 

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The family sat in the breakfast-room wait- 
ing for the twins to come down. The widow 
was quiet, the daughter was all alive with 
happy excitement. She said : 

'* Ah, they *re a boon, ma, just a boon ! 
don't you think so ?" 

** Laws, I hope so, I don't know." 

" Why, ma, yes you do. They Ve so fine 
and handsome, and high-bred and polite, so 
every way superior to our gawks here in this 
village ; why, they '11 make life different from 
what it was — so humdrum and commonplace, 
you know — oh, you may be sure they *re full 
of accomplishments, and knowledge of the 
world, and all that, that will be an immense 
advantage to society here. Don't you think 
so, ma?" 

** Mercy on me, how should I know, and 


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I Ve hardly set eyes on them yet.** After a 
pause she added, ''They made considerable 
noise after they went up.** 

'* Noise? Why, ma, they were singing! 
And it was beautiful, too." 

** Oh, it was well enough, but too mixed-up, 
seemed to me." 

" Now, ma, honor bright, did you ever hear 
* Greenland's Icy Mountains ' sung sweeter — 
now did you ?" 

** If it had been sung by itself, it would 
have been uncommon sweet, I don't deny it ; 
but what they wanted to mix it up with * Old 
Bob Ridley ' for, I can't make out. Why, they 
don't go together, at all. They are not of the ^^ 
same nature. * Bob Ridley ' is a common 
rackety slam-bang secular song, one of the 
rippingest and rantingest and noisiest there is. 
I am no judge of music, and I don't claim it, 
but in my opinion nobody can make those two 
songs go together right." 

" Why, ma, I thought " 

** It don't make any difference what you 
thought, it can't be done. They tried it, and 
to my mind it was a failure. I never heard 


Those Extraordinary Twins. 

such a crazy uproar ; seemed to me, sometimes^ 
the roof would come off ; and as for the cats 
— well, I Ve lived a many a year, and seen 
cats aggravated in more ways than one, but 
r ve never seen cats take on the way they took 
on last night." 

" Well, I don't think that that goes for any- 
thing, ma, because it is the nature of cats that 
any sound that is unusual " 

** Unusual ! You may well call it so. Now 
if they are going to sing duets every night, I 
do hope they will both sing the same tune at 
the same time, for in my opinion a duet that 
is made up of two different tunes is a mistake ; 
especially when the tunes ain't any kin to one 
another, that way/' 

'* But, ma, I think it must be a foreign cus- 
tom ; atul it must be ri^ht too, and the best 
way, because they have had every opportunity 
to know what is right, and it don't stand to 
reason that witli their education they would 
doanythin;^ but what the highest musical au- 
thorities have sanctioned You can't help 
■^ but admit that, ma/' 

The argument was formidably strong ; 

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the old lady could not find any way around it ; 
so, after thinking it over a while she gave in 
with a sigh of discontent, and admitted that 
the daughter s position was probably correct. 
Being vanquished, she had no mind to continue 
the topic at that disadvantage, and was about 
to seek a change when a change came of itself. 
A footstep was heard on the stairs, and she 
said : 

** There — he 's coming !" 

" They, ma — you ought to say they — it 's 
nearer right." 

The new lodger, rather shoutingly dressed 
but looking superbly handsome, stepped with 
courtly carriage into the trim little breakfast- 
room and put out all his cordial arms at once, 
like one of those pocket-knives with a multi- 
plicity of blades, and shook hands with the 
whole family simultaneously. He was so easy 
and pleasant and hearty that all embarrassment 
presently thawed away and disappeared, and 
a cheery feeling of friendliness and comrade- 
ship took its place. He — or preferably they 
— were asked to occupy the seat of lion or at 
the foot of the table. They consented with 



Those Extraordinary Twins. 

thanks, and carved the beefsteak with one set 
of their hands while they distributed it at the 
same time with the other set. 

" Will you have coffee, gentlemen, or tea ? " 

*• Coffee for Luigi, if you please, madam, 
tea for me." 

*' Cream and sugar ? ** 

** For me, yes, madam ; Luigi takes his 
coffee black. Our natures differ a good deal 
from each other, and our tastes also." 

The first time the negro girl Nancy ap- 
peared in the door and saw the two heads 
turned in opposite directions and both talking 
at once, then saw the commingling arms feed 
potatoes into one mouth and coffee into the 
other at the same time, she had to pause and 
pull herself out of a faintness that came over 
her ; but after that she held her grip and 
was able to wait on the table with fair cour- 

Conversation fell naturally into the custom- 
ary grooves. It was a little jerky, at first, be* 
cause none of the family could get smoothly 
through a sentence without a wobble in it 
here and a break there, caused by some new 

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Those Extraordinary Twins. 


surprise in the way of attitude or gesture on 
the part of the twins. The weather suffered 
the most. The weather was all finished up 
and disposed of, as a subject, before the sim- 
ple Missourians had gotten sufficiently wonted 
to the spectacle of one body feeding two 
heads to feel composed and reconciled in the 
presence of so bizarre a miracle. And even 
after everybody's mind became tranquilized 
4:here was still one slight distraction left : the 
hand that picked up a biscuit carried it to the 
wrong head, as often as any other way, and 
the wrong mouth devoured it. This was a 
puzzling thing, and marred the talk a little. 
It bothered the widow to such a degree that 
she presently dropped out of the conversation 
without knowing it, and fell to watching and 
guessing and talking to herself : 

'* Now that hand is going to take that 
coffee to — no, it 's gone to the other mouth ; 
I can't understand it ; and now, here is the 
dark complected hand with a potato on its 
fork, ril see what goes with it — there, the 
light complected head 's got it, as sure as I 
live ! " Finally Rowena said : 




Those Extraordinary Twins. 



*' Ma, what is the matter with you ? Are 
you dreaming about something ? " 

The old lady came to herself and blushed ; 
then she explained with the first random thing 
that came into her mind : ** I saw Mr. An- 
gelo take up Mr. Luigi's coffee, and I thought 
maybe he — sha' n't I give jyou a cup, Mr. An- 
gelo ? " 

** Oh no, madam, I am very much obliged,, 
but I never drink coffee, much as I would like 
to. You did see me take up Luigi's cup, it is 
true, but if you noticed, I didn't carry it to- 
my mouth, but to his." 

'* Y — es, I thought you did. Did you meaa 
to ? " 


The widow was a little embarrassed again. 
She said : 

** I don't know but what I'm foolish, and 
you must n't mind ; but you see, he got the 
coffee I was expecting to see you drink, and 
you got a potato that I thought he was going 
to gtjt. So I thought it might be a mis- 
take all around, and everybody getting what 
was n*t intended for hinv" 

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Both twins laughed and Luigi said : 

" Dear madam, there was n't any mistake. 
We are always helping each other that way. 
It is a great economy for us both ; it saves 
time and labor. We have a system of signs 
which nobody can notice 'or understand but 
ourselves. If 1 am using both my hands and 
want some cofifee, I make the sign and Angelo 
furnishes it to me ; and you saw that when he ^' 
needed a potato I delivered it." 

" How convenient !" 

** Yes, and often of the extremest value. 
Take the Mississippi boats, for instance. They 
are always over-crowded. There is table-room 
for only half of the passengers, therefore they 
have to set a second table for the second half. 
The stewards rush both parties, they give 
them no time to eat a satisfying meal, both 
divisions leave the table hungry. It is n't so 
with us. Angelo books himself for the one 
table, I book myself for the other. Neither of 
us eats anything at the other's table, but 
just simply works — works. Thus, you see 
there are four hands to feed Angelo, and the 


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Those Extraordinary Twins. 

same four to feed me. Each of us eats two 

The old lady was dazed with admiration, 
and kept saying, '* It is /^rfectly wonderful, 
perfectly wonderful !" and the boy Joe licked 
his chops enviously, but said nothing — at 
least aloud. 

" Yes," continued Luigi, " our construction 
may have its disadvantages — in fact, has — but 
it also has its compensations, of one sort and 
another. Take travel, for instance. Travel 
is enormously expensive, in all countries ; we 
have been obliged to do a vast deal of it — come 
Angelo, don't put any more sugar in your tea, 
I 'm just over one indigestion and don't want 
another right away — been obliged to do a deal 
of It, as I was saying. Well, we always travel 
as one person, since we occupy but one seat ; 
so we save half the fare." 

*' How romantic ! " interjected Rowena, with 

'* Yes, my dear young lady, and how practi- 
cal too, and economical' In Europe, beds in 
the hotels are not charged with the board, but 
separately — another saving, for we stood to 

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our rights and paid for the one bed only. The 
landlords often insisted that as both of us oc- 
cupied the bed we ought " 

•*No, they didn't," said Angelo. ** They 
did it only twice, and in both cases it was a 
double bed — a rare thing in Europe — and the 
double bed gave tliem some excuse. Be fair to 
the landlords ; twice does n't constitute 'often.' " 

" Well, that depends — that depends. I 
knew a man who fell down a well twice. He 
said he did n't mind the first time, but he 
thought the second time was once too often. 
Have I misused that word, Mrs. Cooper?" 

'* To tell the truth, I was afraid you had, 
but it seems to look, now, like you had n't." 
She stopped, and was evidently struggling 
with the difficult problem a moment, then she 
added in the tone of one who is convinced 
without being converted, " It seems so, but 
I can't somehow tell why." 

Rowena thought Luigi's retort was wonder- 
fully quick and bright, and she remarked to 
herself with satisfaction that there was n't any 
young native of Dawson's Landing that could 
have risen to the occasion like that. Luisfi 


Those Extraordinary Twins. 

detected the applause in her face, and ex- 
pressed his pleasure and his thanks with his 
eyes ; and so eloquently withal, that the girl 
was proud and pleased, and hung out the deli- 
cate sign of it on her cheeks. 

Luigi went on, with animation : 

" Both of us get a bath for one ticket, theater 
seat for one ticket, pew-rent is on the same 
basis, but at peep-shows we pay double." 

**We have much to be thankful for," said 
Angelo, impressively, with a reverent light in 
his eye and a reminiscent tone in his voice, 
** we have been greatly blessed. As a rule, 
what one of us has lacked, the other, by the 
bounty of Providence, has been able to supply. 
My brother is hardy, I am not; he is very 
masculine, assertive, aggressive ; I am much 
less so. I am subject to illness, he is never 
ill. I cannot abide medicines, and cannot take 
them, but he has no prejudice against them, 
and " 

" Why, goodness gracious," interrupted the 
widow, " when you are sick, does he take the 
medicine for you ?" 

"Always, madam.'' 

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'* Why, I never heard such a thing in my 
life ! I think it 's beautiful of you." 

'* Oh, madam, it 's nothing, don't mention it, 
it 'f really nothing at all." 

** But I say it 's beautiful, and I stick to it !" 
cried the widow, with a speaking moisture in 
her eye. '* A well brother to take the medi- 
cine for his poor sick brother — I wish I had 
such a son," and she glanced reproachfully at 
her boys. '* I declare I '11 never rest till I 've 
shook you by the hand," and she scrambled 
out of her chair in a fever of generous enthu- 
siasm, and made for the twins, blind with her 
tears, and began to shake. The boy Joe cor- 
rected her : 

"You Ve shaking the wrong one, ma." 

This flurried her, but she made a swift 
change and went on shaking. 

*• Got the wrong one again ma," said the 

'• Oh, shut up, can't you ! " said the widow, 
embarrassed and irrjtated. "Give me a// 
your hands, I want to shake them all ; for I 
know you are both just as good as you can 


Those Extraordinary Twins. 


It was a victorious thought, a master-stroke 
of diplomacy, though, that never occurred to 
her and she cared nothing for diplomacy. She 
shook the four hands in turn cordially, ^nd 
went back to her place in a state of high and 
fine exaltation that made her look young and 

" Indeed I owe everything to Luigi," said 
Angelo, affectionately. ** But for him I could 
not have survived our boyhood days, when we 
were friendless and poor — ah, so poor ! We 
lived from hand to mouth — lived on the coarse 
fare of unwilling charity, and for weeks and 
[weeks together not a morsel of food passed my 
lips, for its character revolted me and I could 
not eat it. But for Luigi I should have 
died. He ate for us both." 

" How noble ! " sighed Rowena. 

" Do you hear that ? " said the widow, se- 
verely, to her boys. '* Let it be an example to 
you — I mean you, Joe." 

Joe gave his head a barely perceptible 
disparaging toss and said: ** Et for both. It 
ain't anything — I *d a done it." 

'* Hush, if you have n*t got any better man- 

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Those Extraordinary Twins. 


ners than that. You don't see the point at 
all. It was n't good food." 

*' I don't care — it was food, and I 'd 'a et it 
if ityvas rotten." 

*• Shame ! Such language ! Can't you under- 
stand ? They were starving — actually starving 

— and he ate for both, and " 

" Shucks ! you gimme a chance and I'll — " 
" There, now — close your head ! and don't 
you open it again till you 're asked." 

[Angelo goes on and tells how his parents the Count and 
Countess had to fly from Florence for political reasons, 
and died poor in Berlin bereft of their great property by 
confiscation ; and how he and Luigi had to travel with a 
freak-show during two years and suffer semi-starvation.] 

** That hateful black-bread ! but I seldom 
ate anything during that time ; that was poor 
Luigi's affair " 

'* I '11 never Mister him again !" cried the 
widow, with strong emotion, ** he 's Luigi to 
me, from this out ! " 

" Thank you a thousand times, madam, a 
thousand times! thougli in truth I don't 
deserve it." | 

''Ah, Luigi is always the fortunate onel^ 




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346 Those Extraordinary Twins. 

when honors are showering," said Angelo, 
plaintively, '* now what have I done, Mrs. 
Cooper, that you leave me out? Come, you 
must strain a point in my favor." 

" Call you Angelo ? Why, certainly I will ; 
what are you thinking of! In the case of 
twins, why " 

" But, ma, you 're breaking up the story — 
do let him go on." 

"You keep still, Rowena Cooper, and he 
can go on all the better, I reckon. One 
interruption don't hurt, it's two that makes 
the trouble." 

** But you 've added one, now, and that is 

"Rowena! I will not allow you to talk 
back at me when you have got nothing 
rational to say." 

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[After breakfast the whole village crowded in, and there 
^vas a grand reception in honor of the twins ; and at the 
close of it the gifted " freak " captured everybody's admi- 
ration by sitting down at the piano and knocking out a 
-classic four-handed piece in great style. Then the Judge 
took it — or them — driving in his buggy and showed off 
:his village.] 

All along the streets the people crowded the 
windows and stared at the amazing twins. 
Troops of small boys flocked after the buggy, 
-excited and yelling. At first the dogs showed 
no interest. They thought they merely saw 
three men in a buggy — a matter of no conse- 
-quence ; but when they found out the facts of 
the case, they altered their opinion pretty 
radically, and joined the boys, expressing their 
minds as they came. Otlier dogs got inter- 
ested ; indeed all the dogs. It was a spirited 
sight to see them come leaping fences, tearing 
around corners, swarming out of every by- 


'' -.f: 





Those Extraordinary Twins. 

.^1 * 

Street and alley. The noise they made was 
something beyond belief — or praise. They 
did not seem to be moved by malice but only 
by prejudice, the common human prejudice 
against lack of conformity. If the twins 
turned their heads, they broke and fled in 
every direction, but stopped at a safe distance 
and faced about ; and then formed and came 
on again as soon as the strangers showed 
them their back. Negroes and farmers* 
wives took to the woods when the buggy came 
upon them suddenly, and altogether the drive 
was pleasant and animated, and a refreshment 
all around. 

[It was a long and lively drive. Angelo was a Meth- 


tk r>^^f H odist, Luigi was a Freethinker. The Judge was very 
^ proud of his Freethinker Society, which was flourishing 
along in a most prosperous way and already had twc 
members — himself and the obscure and neglected Pudd'n- 
head Wilson. It was to meet that evening, and he invited 
Luigi to join ; a thing which Luigi was glad to do, 
partly because it would please himself, and partly be- 
cause it would gravel Angelo. ] 

They had now arrived at the widow's gate,, 
and the excursion was ended. The twins po- 
litely expressed their obligations for the pleas- 

If 1 1 



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Those Extraordinary Twins. 


ant outing which had been afforded them; to 
which the Judge bowed his thanks, and then 
said he would now go and arrange for the 
Freethinkers' meeting, and would call for 
Count Luigi in the evening. 

** For you also, dear sir," he added hastily 
turning to Angelo and bowing. ** In address 
ing myself particularly to your brother, I was 
not meaning to leave you out. It was an unin- 
tentional rudeness, I assure you, and due 
wholly to accident — accident and preoccupa- 
tion. I beg you to forgive me." 

His quick eye had seen the sensitive blood 
mount into Angelo's face, betraying the wound 
that had been inflicted. The stinor of the 
slight had gone deep, but the apology was so 
prompt, and so evidently sincere, that the 
hurt was almost immediately healed, and a 
forgiving smile testified to the kindly Judge 
that all was well again. 

Concealed behind Angelo's modest and un- 
assuming exterior, and unsuspected by any 
but his intimates, was a lofty pride, a pride of 
almost abnormal proportions indeed, and this 
rendered him ever the prey of slights; and 

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Those Extraordinary Twins. 

although they were almost always imaginary 
ones, they hurt none the less on that account. 
By ill fortune Judge Driscoll had happened 
to touch his sorest point, i, e., his conviction 
that his brother's presence was welcomer every- 
where than his own ; that he was often invited, 
out of mere courtesy, where only his brother 
was wanted, and that in a majority of cases 
he would not be included in an invitation if he 
could be left out without offence. A sensitive 
nature like this is necessarily subject to moods ; 
4noods which traverse the whole gamut^of feel- 
ing ; moods which know all the climes of 
emotion, from the sunny heights of joy to the 
black abysses of despair. At times, in his 
seasons of deepest depression, Angelo almost 
wished that he and his brother might become 
segregated from each other and be separate 
individuals, like other men. But of course as 
soon as his mind cleared and these diseased 
imaginings passed away, he shuddered at the 
repulsive thought, and earnestly prayed that 

be separate, 

awkward it would 

What would he da 

O^ %^^^^^ 

<f^] it might visit him no more. To 
ff^^^' and as other men are ! How awk> 
seem; how unendurable. 


Those Extraordinary Twins. 


with his hands, his arms ? How would his 
legs feel ? How odd, and strange, and gro- 
tesque every action, attitude, movement, gest- 
ure would be. To sleep by himself, eat by 
himself, walk by himself — how lonely, how 
unspeakably lonely ! No, no, any fate but 
that. In every way and from every point, 
the idea was revolting. 

This was of course natural ; to have felt 
otherwise would have been unnatural. He 
had known no life but a combined one; he 
had been familiar with it from his birth ; he 
was not able to conceive of any other as be- 
ing agreeable, or even bearable. To him, in „ 
the privacy of his secret thoughts, all other (( M 
men were monsters, deformities ; and during \^ 
three-fourths of his life their aspect had filled 
him with what promised to be an unconquer- 
able aversion. But at eighteen his eye be- 
gan to take note of female beauty ; and little 
by little, undefined longings grew up in his 
heart, under whose softening influences the old 
stubborn aversion gradually diminished, and 
finally disappeared. Men were still monstros- 
ities to him, still deformities, and in his sober 
moments he had no desire to be like them, 




Those Extraordinary Twins. 



but their strange and unsocial and uncanny 
construction was no longer offensive to him. 

This had been a hard day for him, physi- 
cally and mentally. He had been called in 
the morning before he had quite slept off the 
effects of the liquor which Luigi had drunk; 
and so, for the first half hour had had the seedy 
feeling, and languor, the brooding depression, 
the cobwebby mouth and druggy taste that 
come of dissipation and are so ill a prepara- 
tion for bodily or intellectual activities ; the 
long violent strain of the reception had fol- 
lowed ; and this had been followed, in turn, 
by the dreary sight-seeing, the Judge's weary- 
ing explanations and laudations of the sights, 
and the stupefying clamor of the dogs. As 
a congrous conclusion, a fitting end, his feel- 
ings had been hurt, a slight had been put 
upon him. He would have been glad to 
forego dinner and betake himself to rest and 
sleep, but he held his peace and said no word, 
for he knew his brother, Luigi, was fresh, 
unweary, full of life, spirit, energy ; he would 
have scoffed at the idea of wasting valuable 
time on a bed or a sofa, and would have re- 
fused [icrniission. 



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RowENA was dining out, Joe and Harry 
were belated at play, there were but three 
chairs and four persons that noon at the home 
dinner-table — the twins, the widow, and her 
chum, Aunt^ Betsey Hale. The widow soon 
perceived that Angelo's spirits were as low as 
Luigi's were high, and also that he had a 
jaded look. Her motherly solicitude was 
aroused, and she tried to get him interested 
in the talk and win him to a happier frame of 
mind, but the cloud of sadness remained on 
his countenance. Luigi lent his help, too. 
He used a form and a phrase which he was 
always accustomed to employ in these circum- 
stances. He gave his brother an affectionate 
slap on the shoulder and said, encouragingly : 

'* Cheer up, the worst is yet to come ! "* 




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Those Extraordinary Twins. 

But this did no good. It never did. If 
anything it made the matter worse, as a rule, 
because it irritated Angelo. This made it a 
favorite with Luigi. By and by the widow 
said : 

"Angelo, you are tired, you Ve overdone 
yourself ; you go right to bed, after dinner, 
and get a good nap and a rest, then you '11 be 
all right." 

•' Indeed I would give anything if I could 
do that, madam." 

" And what 's to hender, I 'd like to know ? 
Land, the room 's yours to do what you please 
with ! The idea that you can't do what you 
like with your own ! " 

** But you see, there 's one prime essential 
— an essential of the very first importance — 
which is n't my own." 

-What is that?" 

" My body." 

The old ladies looked puzzled, and Aunt 
Betsy Hale said : 

•* Why bless your heart, how is that ?" 

•• It 's my brother's." 

*'Yoiir brothers! I don't quite under- 

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stand. I supposed it belonged to both of 

" So It does. But not to both at the same 

" That is mighty curious ; I don't see how ^ 
it can be. I should n't think it could be man 
aged that way." 

** Oh, it *s a good enough arrangement, and .# 
goes very well ; in fact it would n't do to have 
it otherwise. I find that the teetotalers and 
the anti-teetotalers hire the use of the same 
hall for their meetings. Both parties don't 
use it at the same time, do they ? " 

'* You bet they don't 1" said both old ladies 
in a breath. 

" And moreover," said Aunt Betsy, ** the 
Freethinkers and the Baptist Bible-class use 
the same room over the Market-house, but you 
can take my word for it they don't mush up 
together and use it at the same time." 

" Very well," said Angelo, " you under- 
stand it now. And it stands to reason that 
the arrangement could n't be improved. I '11 
prove it to you. If our legs tried to obey 
two wills, how could we ever get anywhere? 


Those Extraordinary Twins. 

I would start one way, Luigi would start 
another, at the same moment — the result 
would be a standstill, would n't it ? " 

*' As sure as you are born ! Now ain't 
that wonderful ! A body would never have 
thought of it." 

** We should always be arguing and fussing 
and disputing over the merest trifles. We 
should lose worlds of time, for we could n't go 
down-stairs or up, could n't go to bed, could n't 
rise, could n't wash, could n't dress, could n't 
stand up, could n't sit down, could n't even 
cross our legs, without calling a meeting first 
and explaining the case and passing resolutions, 
and getting consent. It would n't ever do— 
now would it ?" 

'* Do ? Why, it would wear a person out 
in a week ! Did you ever hear anything 
like it. Patsy Cooper ? " 

** Oh, you '11 find there 's more than one 
thing about them that ain't commonplace,'* 
said the widow, with the complacent air of a 
person with a property-right in a novelty 
that is under admiring scrutiny. 

'* Well now, how ever do you manage it ? 
I don't mind saying I 'm suffering to know." 

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" He who made us," said Angelo reverently, 
*' and with us this difficulty, also provided a 
way out of it By a mysterious law of our 
being, each of us has utter and indisputable 
command of our body a week at a time, turn 
and turn about." 

" Well, I never ! Now ain't that beautiful !" 

"Yes, it is beautiful and infinitely wise and 
just. The week ends every Saturday at mid- 
night to the minute, to the second, to the 
last shade of a fraction of a second, infallibly, 
unerringly, and in that instant the one brotht^r s 
power over the body vanishes and the othcir 
brother takes possession, asleep or awake." 

** How marvelous are His ways, and pasif' 
finding out ! " 

Luigi said : *'So exactly to the instant docs -^{jf^ J^^'^-* 
the change come, that during our stay in ^^ 

many of the great cities of the world, the 
public clocks were regulated by it ; and as 
hundreds of thousands of private clocks and 
watches were set and corrected in accordancL: 
with the public clocks, we really furnished the 
standard time for the entire city." 

"Don't tell me that He don't do m 



ttf^fr in' < 

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anymore! Blowing down the walls of Jer- 
icho with rams' horns wa n't as difficult, in 
my opinion." 

" And that is not all," said Angelo. " A 
thing that is even more marvelous, perhaps, is 
the fact that the change takes note of long- 
itude and fits itself to the meridian we are on. 
Luigi is in command this week. Now, if on 
Saturday night at a moment before midnight 
we could fly in an instant to a point fifteen 
degrees west of here, he would hold possession 
of the power another hour, for the change 
observes local time and no other." 

Betsy Hale was deeply impressed, and said 
_j,ijjii .F^ with solemnity :" 
.^^f4 4 *v' ^^ " Patsy Cooper, for ^tail it lays over the 
'^ ^ * ''^.Passage of the R.d Sea." 

Now, I should n't go as far as that," said 

int Patsy, " but if you *ve a mind to say 
Sodom and Gomorrah, I am with you, Betsy 

'* I am agreeable, then, though I do think I 

was right, and I believe Parson Maltby would 

1 say the same. Well now, there 's another 

thinjQT, Suppose one of you wants to borrow 


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the legs a minute from the one that 's got 
them, could he let him?'* 

*' Yes, but we hardly ever do that. There 
were disagreeable results, several times, and 
so we very seldom ask or grant the privilege, 
nowdays, and we never even think of such a 
thing unless the case is extremely urgent. 
Besides, a week's possession at a time seems 
so little that we can't bear to spare a minute 
of it. People who have the use of their legs |/"^|| 
all the time never think of what a blessing it j] |l. 
is, of course, it never occurs to them; it s I 
just their natural ordinary condition, and so it ^^ 
does not excite them at all. But when I 
wake up, on Sunday morning, and it 's my 
week and I feel the power all through me, oh, 
such a wave of exultation and thanksgiving 
goes surging over me, and I want to shout 
* I can walk ! I can walk ! * Madam, do 
you ever, at your uprising want to shout ' I 
can walk! I can walk' ?" 

'* No, you poor unfortunate cretur \ but I '11 ^f^ 
never get out of my bed again w^ithout doin. 
it ! Laws, to think I Ve had this unspeaka- 
ble blessing all my long life and never had 


Those Extraordinary Twins. 

the grace to thank the good Lord that gavt 
it to me ! " 

Tears stood in the eyes of both the old 
ladies and the widow said, softly : 

•'Betsy Hale, we have learned something, 
you and me." 

The conversation now drifted wide, but by 
and by floated back once more to that admired 
detail, the rigid and beautiful impartiality 
with which the possession of power had been 
distributed between the twins. Aunt Betsy 
saw in it a far finer justice than human law 
exhibits in related cases. She said: 

•*In my opinion it ain't right now, and 
never has been right, the way a twin born a 
quarter of a minute sooner than the other one 
gets all the land an^ grandeurs and nobilities 
in the old countries and his brother has to go 
bare and be a nobody. Which of you was 
born first ? " 

Angelo*s head was resting against Luigi'-s ; 
weariness had overcome him, and for the past 
five minutes he had been peacefully sleeping. 
The old ladies had dropped their voices to a 
lulling drone, to help him steal the rest his 

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brother would n't take him up-stairs to get. 
Luigi listened a moment to Angelo's regular 
breathing, then said in a voice barely audible : 

** We were both born at the same time, but 
1 am six months older than he is." 

" For the land's sake ! " 

*' 'Sh ! don't wake him up ; he would n't 
like my telling this. It has always been kept 
fiecret till now." 

** But how in the world can it be ? If you 
were both born at the same time, how can 
f)ne of you be older than the other?" 

" It is very simple, and I assure you it is 
true. I was born with a full crop of hair, he 
was as bald as an egg for six months. I 
could walk six months before he could make 
a step. I finished teething six months ahead 
of him. I began to take solids six months 
before he left the breast. I began to talk six 
months before he could say a word. Last, 
and absolutely unassailable proof, ^Ae suiures 
in my skull closed six months ahead of his. 
Always just that six months difference to a 
day. Was that accident ? Nobody is going 
to claim that, I 'm sure. It was ordained — it 

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was law — it had its meaning, and we know 
what that meaning was. Now what does this 
overwhelming body of evidence establish ? It 
establishes just one thing, and that thing it 
establishes beyond any peradventure what- 
ever. Friends, we would not have it known 
for the world, and I must beg you to keep it 
strictly to yourselves, but the truth is, we are 
no more twins than you are^ 

The two old ladies were stunned, paralyzed 
— petrified, one may almost say — and could 
only sit and gaze vacantly at each other for 
some moments; then Aunt Betsy Hale "said 
impressively : 

"There's no getting around proof like that. 
I do believe it 's the most amazing thing I 
ever heard of." She sat silent a moment or 
two and breathing hard with excitement, then 
she looked up and surveyed the strangers 
steadfastly a little while, and added : •* Well, 
it does beat me, but I would have took you 
for twins anywhere." 

'* So would I, so would I," said Aunt Patsy 
with the emphasis of a certainty that is not 
impaired by any shade of doubt. 

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*' Anybody would — anybody in the world, 
1 don't care who he is," said Aunt Betsy with 

** You won't tell," said Luigi, appealingly. 

''Oh, dear no!" answered both ladies 
promptly, " you can trust us, don't you be 

*' That is good of you, and kind. Never 
let on ; treat us always as if we were twins." 

•' You can depend on us," said Aunt Betsy, 
*^but it won't be easy, because now that I 
Icnow you ain't, you don't seem so." 

Luigi muttered to himself with satisfaction : 
" That swindle has gone through without 
change of cars." 

It was not very kind of him to load the 
poor things up with a secret like that, which 
ivould be always flying to their tongues' ends 
-every time they heard any one speak of the 
strangers as twins, and would become harder 
and harder to hang on to with every recur- 
rence of the temptation to tell it, while the 
torture of retaining it would increase with 
every new strain that was applied ; but he 
never thought of that, and probably would 
not have worried much about it if he had. 


^^ jyj Lij^ ^^la ;V '* 



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Those Extraordinary Twins. 

A visitor was announced — some one to see 
the twins. They withdrew to the parlor, and 
the two old ladies began to discuss with inter- 
est the strange things which they had been 
listening to. When they had finished the 
matter to their satisfaction, and Aunt 
Betsy rose to go, she stopped to ask a ques- 
tion : 

'* How does things come on between Row- 
eny and Tom Driscoll ? " 

" Well, about the same. He writes tolera- 
ble often, and she answers tolerable seldom." 

''Where is he?" 

"In St. Louis, I believe, though he's such 
a gad-about that a body can't be very certain 
of him, I reckon." 

" Don't Roweny know ? '* 

" Oh, yes, like enough. I have n't asked her 

" Do you know how him and the Judge are 
getting along now ? " 

" First-rate, I believe. Mrs. Pratt says so ; 
and being right in the house, and sister to the 
one and aunt to t' other, of course she ought 
to know, Slie says the Judge is real fond of 


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him when he 's away, but frets when he 's 
around and is vexed with his ways, and not 
sorry to have him go again. He has been 
gone three weeks this time — a pleasant thing 
for both of them, I reckon." 

"Tom 's ruther harum-scarum, but there 
ain't anything bad in him, I guess." 

'* Oh no, he *s just young, that 's all. Still, 
twenty-three is old, in one way. A young 
man ought to be earning his living by that 
time. If Tom were doing that, or was even 
trying to do it, the Judge would be a heap 
better satisfied with him. Tom 's always go- 
ing to begin, but somehow he can't seem to 
find just the opening he likes." 

*• Well now, it 's partly the Judge's own 
fault. Promising the boy his property was n't 
the way to set him to earning a fortune of his 
own. But what do you think — is Roweny 
beginning to lean any towards him, or ain't 
she ? " 

Aunt Patsy had a secret in her bosom ; she 
wanted to keep it there, but nature was too 
strong for her. She drew Aunt Betsy aside, 
and said in her most confidential and m 
ous manner : 


Those Extraordinary Twins. 

" Don't you breathe a syllable to a soul — 
I'm going to tell you something. In my 
opinion Tom Driscoll's chances were con- 
siderable better yesterday than they are to- 

•* Patsy Cooper, what do you mean ?" 

*' It 's so, as sure as you 're born. I wish 
you could *a' been at breakfast and seen for 

•'You don't mean it!" 

'* Well, if I 'm any judge, there 's a leaning- 
— there 's a leaning, sure." 

'* My land ! Which one of 'em is it ?" 

" I can't say for certain, but I think it's the 
youngest one — Anjy." 

Then there were handshakings, and con- 
gratulations, and hopes, and so on, and the 
old ladies parted, perfectly happy — the one 
in knowing something which the rest of the 
town didn't, and the other in having been the 
sole person able to furnish that knowledge. 

The visitor who had called to see the twins 
was the Rev. Mr, Hotchkiss, pastor of the 
Baptist church. At the reception Angelo had 
latc^ly experienced a change 

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in his religious views, and was now desirous 
of becoming a Baptist, and would immediately 
join Mr. Hotchkiss's church. There was 
no time to say more, and the brief talk ended 
at that point. The minister was much grat- 
ified, and had dropped in for a moment, now, 
to invite the twins to attend his Bible-class at 
eight that evening. Angelo accepted, and 
was expecting Luigi to decline, but he did 
not, because he knew that the Bible-class and 
the Freethinkers met in the same room, and 
he wanted to treat his brother to the em- 
barrassment of being caught in freethinking 


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[A long and vigorous quarrel follows, between the 
twins. And there is plenty to quarrel about, for Angelo 
was always seeking truth, and this obliged him to change 
and improve his religion with frequency, which wearied 
Luigi, and annoyed him loo ; for he had to be present at 
each new enlistment — which placed him in the false 
position of seeming to indorse and approve his brother's 
fickleness; moreover, he had to go to Angelo's prohi- 
bition meetings, and he hated them. On the other hand, 
when it was his week to command the legs he gave 
Angelo just cause of complaint, for he took him to cir- 
cuses and horse-races and fandangoes, exposing him to 
all sorts of censure and criticism ; and he drank, too ; 
and whatever he drank went to Angelo's head instead of 
his own and made him act disgracefully. When the 
evening was come, the two attended the Freethinkers' 
meeting, where Angelo was sad and silent ; then came the 
Bible-class and looked upon him coldly, finding him in 
such company. Then they went to Wilson's house, and 
Chapter XI. of "Pudd'nhead Wilson" follows, which 
tells of the girl seen in Tom Driscoll's room ; and closes 
with the kicking of Tom by Luigi at the anti-temperance 
mass meeting of the Sons of Liberty ; with the addition of 
some account of Roxy*s adventures as a chambermaid on 
a Mississippi boat. Her exchange of the children had 
been flippantly and farcically described in an earlier 



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Next morning all the town was a-buzz with 
great news ; Pudd'nhead Wilson had a law- 
case ! The public astonishment was so great 
and the public curiosity so intense, that when 
the justice of the peace opened his court, the 
place was packed with people, and even the 
windows were full. Everybody was flushed 
and perspiring, the summer heat was almost 

Tom Driscoll had brought a charge of as- 
sault and battery against the twins. Robert 
Allen was retained by Driscoll, David Wilson 
by the defense. Tom, his native cheerfulness 
unannihilated by his back-breaking and bone- 
bruising passage across the massed heads of 
the Sons of Liberty the previous night, 
laughed his little customary laugh, and said to 
Wilson : 

*' I Ve kept my promise, you see : I 'm 
throwing my business your way. Sooner than 
I was expecting, too." 

" It 's very good of you — particularly if you 
mean to keep it up." 

'•Well, I can't tell about that, yet. But 
we'll see. If I find you deserve it I *11 take you 




Those Extraordinary Twins. 

under my protection and make your fame 
and fortune for vou." 

'* I '11 try to deserve it, Tom." 

A jury was sworn in ; then Mr. Allen said : 

"We will detain your honor but a moment 
with thiscase. It is not one where any doubt 
of the fact of the assault can enter in. These 
gentlemen — the accused — kicked my client at 
the Market Hall last night; they kicked him 
with violence ; with extraodinary violence ; 
with even unprecedented violence, I may say ; 
insomuch that he was lifted entirely off his 
feet and discharged into the midst of the au- 
dience. We can prove this by four hundred 
witnesses — we shall call but three. Mn 
Harkness will take the stand." 

Mr. Harkness being sworn, testified that 
he was chairman upon the occasion mentioned ; 
that he was close at hand and saw the defend- 
ants in this action kick the plaintiff into the 
air and saw him descend among the audience. 

'• Take the witness," said Allen. 

"Mr. Harkness," said Wilson, "you say 
you saw these gentlemen, my clients, kick the 
Are you sure — and please remenv 

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ber that you are on oath — are you perfectly 
sure that you saw both of them kick him, or 
only one? Now be careful." 

A bewildered look began to spread itself 
over the witness's face. He hesitated, stam- 
mered, but got out nothing. His eyes wan- 
dered to the twins and fixed themselves there 
with a vacant gaze. 

** Please answer, Mr. Harkness, you are 
keeping the court waiting. It is a very sim- 
ple question." 

Counsel for the prosecution broke in with 
impatience : 

** Your honor, the question is an irrelevant 
triviality. Necessarily they both kicked him, 
for they have but the one pair of legs, and 
both are responsible for them." 

Wilson said, sarcastically : 

** Will your honor permit this new witness 
to be sworn ? He seems to possess knowledge 
which can be of the utmost value just at this 
moment — knowledge which would at once dis- 
pose of what every one must see is a very 
difficult question in this case. Brother Allen, 
will you take the stand ?" 


Those Extraordinary Twins. 

*' Go on with your case !" said Allen, petu- 
lantly. The audience laughed, and got a 
warning from the court. 

'* Now, Mr. Harkness," said Wilson, insinu- 
atingly, "we shall have to insist upon an ans- 
wer to that question." 

** I — er — well, of course I do not absolutely 
k7ioWy .but in my opinion " 

" Never mind your opinion, sir — answer the 

** I — why, I cant answer it." 

*' That will do, Mr. Harkness. Stand down." 

The audience tittered, and the discomfited 
witness retired in a state of great embarrass- 

Mr. Wakeman took the stand and swore 
that he saw the twins kick the plaintiff off the 
platform. The defence took the witness. 

*• Mr. Wakeman, you have sworn that you 
saw these gentlemen kick the plaintiff. Do I 
understand you to swear that you saw them 
both do it ?" 

•* Yes, sir," — with decision. 

'* How do you know that both did it?" 

** Because I sazv them do it." 


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The audience laughed, and got another 
warning from the court. 

** But by what means do you know that 
both, and not one, did it ?" 

"Well, in the first place, the insult was 
given to both of them equally, for they were 
called a pair of scissors. Of course they 
would both want to resent it, and so " 

" Wait ! You are theorizing now. Stick to 
facts — counsel will attend to the arguments. 
Go on." 

" Well, they both went over there — that I 

" Very good. Go on." 

*' And they both kicked him — I swear to 

" Mr. Wakeman, was Count Luigi, here 
willing to join the Sons of Liberty last 

"Yes, sir, he was. He did join, too, and 
drank a glass or two of whisky, like a man.* 

" Was his brother willing to join ?" 

** No, sir, he was n't. He is a teetotal 
and was elected through a mistak 

" Was he given a glass of whisky 

I r 


Those Extraordinary Twins. 

" Yes, sir, but of course that was another 
mistake, and not intentional. He would n't 
drink it. He set it down." A slight pause, 
then he added, casually and quite simply : 
•' The plaintiff reached for it and hogged it." 

There was a fine outburst of laughter, but 
as the justice was caught out himself, his rep- 
rimand was not very vigorous. 

Mr. Allen jumped up and exclaimed : *' I 
protest against these foolish irrelevancies. 
What have they to do with the case ? " 

Wilson said : " Calm yourself, brother, it 

was only an experiment. Now, Mr. Wakeman, 

p if one of these gentlemen chooses to join an 

association and the other does n't ; and if one 

of them enjoys whisky and the other does n't, 

^^^^ but sets it aside and leaves it unprotected " 

vTti (titter from the audience), ** it seems to show 

that they have independent minds and tastes 

and preferences, and that one of them is able 

to approve of a thing at the very moment 

that the other is heartily disapproving of it. 

Does n't it seem so to you ?" 

'•Certainly it does. It's perfectly plain." 

" Now then, it might be — I only say it 

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might be — that one of these brothers wanted 
to kick the plaintiff last night, and that the 
other did n't want that humilating punish- 
ment inflicted upon him in that public way 
and before all those people. Is n't that pos- 
sible ? 

** Of course it is. It 's more than possible. 
I don't believe the blonde one would kick 
anybody. It was the other one that- " 

'* Silence ! " shouted the plaintiff's counsel, 
and went on with an angry sentence which 
was lost in the wave of laughter that swept 
the house. 

"That will do, Mr. Wakeman," said Wil- 
son, " you may stand down." 

The third witness was called. He had seen 
the twins kick the plaintiff. Mr. Wilson took 
the witness. 

" Mr. Rogers, you say you saw these ac- 
cused gentlemen kick the plaintiff ?" 

''Yes, sir." 

"Both of them?" 

"Yes, sir." 

" Which of them kicked him first ? " 

"Why— they — they both kicked him at the_ 
same time." 




Those Extraordinary Twins. 

'* Are you perfectly sure of that ?" 

" Yes, sir." 

" What makes you sure of it ?" 

"Why, I stood right behind them, and saw 
them do it." 

*' How many kicks were delivered?" 

'* Only one." 

"If two men kick, the result should be two 
kicks, should n't it?" 

" Why — why — yes, as a rule." 

"Then what do you think went with the 
other kick ? " 

" I — well — the fact is, I was n't thinking of 
two being necessary, this time." 

"What do you think now?" 

" Well, I — I 'm sure I don't quite know 
what to think, but I reckon that one of them 
did half of the kick and the other one did the 
other half." 

Somebody in the crowd sung out: " It's 
the first sane thing that any of them has said." 

The audience applauded. The judge said : 
" Silence ! or I will clear the court." 
^"^ Mr. Allen looked pleased, but Wilson did 
not seem disturbed. He said : 


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*' Mr. Rogers, you have favored us with 
what you think and what you reckon, but as 
thinking and reckoning are not evidence, I 
will now give you a chance to come out with 
something positive, one way or the other, and 
shall require you to produce it. I will ask the 
accused to stand up and repeat the pheno- 
menal kick of last night." The twins stood up. 
" Now, Mr. Rogers, please stand behind them." 

A Voice : ** No, stand in front ! " (Laugh- 
ter. Silenced by the court.) Another Voice : 
*• No, give Tommy another highst ! " (Laugh- 
ter. Sharply rebuked by the court.) 

** Now then, Mr. Rogers, two kicks shall be 
delivered, one after the other, and I give you 
my word that at least one of the two shall be 
delivered by one of the twins alone, without 
the slightest assistance from his brother. 
Watch sharply, for you have got to render a 
decision without any if s and and's in it." 
Rogers bent himself behind the twins with his 
palms just above his knees, in the modern at- 
titude of the catcher at a base-ball match, and j^, 
riveted his eyes on the pair of legs in front of ^^^%^ 
him. ** Are you ready, Mr. Rogers ? " 

378 Those Extraordinary Twins. 

•* Ready, sir." 


The kick was launched. 

" Have you got that one classified, Mr. 
Rogers ? " 

** Let me study a minute, sir." 

** Take as much time as you please. Let 
me know when you are ready." 

For as much as a minute Rogers pondered, 
with all eyes and a breathless interest fastened 
upon him. Then he gave the word : '* Ready, 


The kick that followed was an exact dupli- 
cate of the first one. 

" Now then, Mr. Rogers, one of those kicks 
was an individual kick, not a mutual one. 
You will now state positively which was the 
mutual one." 

The witness said, with a crestfallen look : 

** I Ve got to give it up. There ain't any 
man in the world that could tell t'other from 
V which, sir." 

** Do you still assert that last night's kick 
-was a mutual kick ? " 


^ \> B- 

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'^ Indeed I don't, sir." 

*' That will do, Mr. Rogers. If my brother 
Allen desires to address the court, your honor, 
very well ; but as far as I am concerned I am 
ready to let the case be at once delivered 
into the hands of this intelligent jury without 

Mr. Justice Robinson had been in ofifice 
only two months, and in that short time had 
not had many cases to try, of course. He had 
no knowledge of laws and courts except what 
he had picked up since he came into ofifice. 
He was a sore trouble to the lawyers, for his 
rulings were pretty eccentric sometimes, and 
he stood by them with Roman simplicity and 
fortitude ; but the people were well satisfied 
with him, for they saw that his intentions were 
always right, that he was entirely impartial, 
and that he usually made up in good sense 
what he lacked in technique, so to speak. He ^\ 
now perceived that there was likely to be a 
miscarriage of justice here, and he rose to the 

** Wait a moment, gentlemen," he said, 
is plain that an assault has been committed — 


Thosk Extraordinary Twins. 




it is plain tc anybody ; but the way things are 
going, the guilty will certainly escape convic- 
tion. I cannot allow this. Now " 

''But, your honor!" said Wilson, inter- 
rupting him, earnestly but respectfully, ** you 

are deciding the case yourself, whereas the 

• ft 


** Never mind the jury, Mr. Wilson ; the jury 
will have a chance when there is a reasonable 
doubt for them to take hold of — which there 
is n't, so far. There is no doubt whatever that 
an assault has been committed. The attempt 
to show that both of the accused committed it 
has failed. Are they both to escape justice on 
that account ? Not in this court, if I can pre- 
vent it. It appears to have been a mistake to 
bring the charge against them as a corporation ; 
each should have been charged in his capacity 
as an individual, and " 

*• But your honor ! " said Wilson, ** in fair- 
ness to my clients I must insist that inasmuch 
as the prosecution did not separate the " 

'* No wrong will be done your clients, sir — 
they will be protected ; also the public and 
the offended laws. Mr. Allen, you will amend 




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your pleadings, and put one of the accused 
on trial at a time." 

Wilson broke in : ** But your honor ! this 
is wholly unprecedented ! To imperil an 
accused person by arbitrarily altering and 
widening the charge against him in order to 
compass his conviction when the charge as 
originally brought promises to fail to convict, 
is a thing unheard of before." 

*' Unheard of ivhere ? " 

'* In the courts of this or any other State." 

The judge said with dignity : *' I am not 
aquainted with the customs of other courts, 
and am not concerned to know what they 
are. I am responsible for this court, and I 
cannot conscientiously allow my judgment 
to be warped and my judicial liberty ham- 
pered by trying to conform to the caprices of 
other courts, be they " 

** But, your honor, the oldest and highest 
courts in Europe " 

•* This court is not run on the European plan,_^ 
Mr. Wilson; it is not run on any plan but its^ 
own. It has a plan of its own ; and that plan \ 
is, to find justice for both State and accused, 




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no matter what happens to be practice and cus- 
tom in Europe or anywhere else." (Great 
applause.) " Silence ! It has not been the 
custom of this court to imitate other courts ; 
it has not been the custom of this court to 
take shelter behind the decisions of other 
^courts, and we will not begin now. We will 
^^^n^o the best we can by the light that God has 
given us, and while this court continues to 
have His approval, it will remain indifferent 
to what other organizations may think of it/* 
(Applause.) " Gentlemen, I must have order I 
— quiet yourselves ! Mr. Allen, you will now 
proceed against the prisoners one at a time. 
Go on with the case." 

Allen was not at his ease. However, after 
whispering a moment with his client and 
with one or two other people, he rose and 
said : 

*' Your honor, I find it to be reported and 
believed that the accused are able to act in- 
dependently in many ways, but that this 
independence does not extend to their legs, 
authority over their legs being vested exclu- 
sively in the one brother during a specific 

[^ ^n,:; 

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term of days, and then passing to the other 
brother for a like term, and so on, by regular 
alternation. I could call witnesses who would 
prove that the accused had revealed to them ^^\^f^^ 
the existence of this extraordinary fact, and 
had also made known which of the^ii was in 
possession of the legs yesterday — and this j 1- 
would of course indicate where the guilt of 
the assault belongs — but as this would be 
mere hearsay evidence, these revelations not 
having been made under oath " 

** Never mind about that, Mr. Allen. It 
may not all be hearsay. We shall see. It 
may at least help to put us on the right track. 
Call the witnesses." 

"Then I will call Mr. John Buckstone, who 
is now present, and I beg that Mrs. Patsy 
Cooper may be sent for. Take the stand, 
Mr Buckstone." 

Buckstone took the oath, and then testified 
that on the previous evening the Count An- 
gelo Cappello had protested against go\ngy^'/>^\i\ 
to the hall, and had called all present to wit- xr^i^^.^:. y^'^ 
ness that he was going by compulsion and (/-/v:^' 
would not go if he could help himself. Also, 
'L'8CTy|) fi- 

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that the Count Luigi had replied sharply 
that he would ^t?, just the same, and that he, 
Count Luigi, would see to that, himself. Al- 
so, that upon Count Angelo's complaining 
about being kept on his legs so long, Count 
Luigi retorted with apparant surprise, 'Your 
legs ! — I like your impudence !' " 

** Now we are getting at the kernel of the 
thing," observed the judge, with grave and 
earnest satisfaction. ** It looks as if the 
Count Luigi was in possession of the battery 
at the time of the assault." 

Nothing further was elicited from Mr. 
Buckstone on direct examination. Mr. Wil- 
son took the witness. 

** Mr. Buckstone, about what time was it 
that that conversation took place?" 

" Toward nine yesterday evening, sir." 

** Did you then proceed directly to the 

" Yes, sir." 

" How long did it take you to go there?" 

" Well, we walked ; and as it was from the 
extreme edge of the town, and there was no 

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hurry, I judge it took us about twenty min- 
utes, maybe a trifle more." 

"About what hour was the kick deliv- 
ered ? " 

" At thirteen minutes and a half to ten." 

'* Admirable ! You are a pattern witness, 
Mr. Buckstone. How did you happen to 
look at your watch at that particular mo- 
ment ?*' 

** I always do it when I see an assault. ^^;\^ 
It 's likely I shall be called as a witness, and ^^(', 
it 's a good point to have." 

** It would be well if others were as 

thoughtful. Was anything said, between the 

, conversation at my house and the assault, 

upon the detail which we are now examining 


" No, sir." 

"If power over the mutual legs was in the 
possession of one brother at nine, and passed 
into the possession of the other one during 
the next thirty or forty minutes, do you think 
you could have detected the change ? ** 

" By no means ! " 

" That is all, Mr. Buckstone.*' 


386 Those Extraordlnary Twins. 

Mrs. Patsy Cooper was called. The crowd 
made way for her, and she came smiling and 
bowing through the narrow human lane, with 
Betsy Hale, as escort and support, smiling 
and bowing in her wake, the audience break- 
ing into welcoming cheers as the old favorites 
filed along. The judge did not check this. 

. ^,v, kindly demonstration of homage and affec- 

§■ '■■"'^;' ■■•6 

L^K/i^ tion, but let it run its course unrebuked. 

f4i The old ladies stopped and shook hands 

/-vy|^with the twins with effusion, then gave the 

I(v judge a friendly nod, and bustled into the 

■^4^ seats provided for them. They immediately 

began to deliver a volley of eager questions 

at the friends around them : ** What is this 

thing for?" ** What is that thing for?" 

'* Who is that young man that 's writing at 

""^ , the desk? Why, I declare, it *s Jack Bunce ! 

^iO^ I thought he was sick." " Which is the 

\ jury? Why, is that the jury? Billy Price 

and Job Turner, and Jack Lounsbury, and — 

Q^ well, I never ! " ** Now who would ever a" 

__^^ thought '• 

^^r^X^r-~^ But they were gently called to order at 
^^ \ ' i " this point, and asked not to talk in court* 

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Their tongues fell silent, but the radiant in- 
terest in their faces remained, and their grati- 
tude for the blessing of a new sensation and a 
novel experience still beamed undimmed from 
their eyes. Aunt Patsy stood up and took 
the oath, and Mr. Allen explained the point 
in issue, and asked her to go on, now, ir her 
own way, and throw as much light upon it as 
she could. She toyed with her reticule a mo- 
ment or two, as if considering where to begin, 
then she said : 

** Well, the way of it is this. They are 
Luigi's legs a week at a time, and then they 
are Angelo's, and he can do whatever he '^vl^^^^> 
wants to with them." ^^->^ 

** You are making a mistake, Aunt Patsy 
Cooper," said the judge. ** You should n't 
state that as ^ifact, because you don't know 
it to be a fact." 

'* What's the reason I don't?" said Aunt 
Patsy, bridling a little. 

** What is the reason that you do know it ? " 

**The best in the world — because they told 

** That is n't a reason." 

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" Well, for the land's sake ! Betsy Hale, 
do you hear that ? " 

''Hear it? I should think so," said Aunt 
Betsy, rising and facing the court. " Why, 
Judge, I was there and heard it myself. 
Luigi says to Angelo — no, it was Angelo said 
it to " 

" Come, come, Mrs. Hale, pray sit down, 
and " 

** Certainly, it 's all right, I 'm going to sit 
down presently, but not until I *ve *' 

" But you must sit down !" 

" Must / Well, upon my word if things 
ain't getting to a pretty pass when " 

The house broke into laughter, but was 
promptly brought to order, and meantime Mr. 
Allen persuaded the old lady to take her seat. 
Aunt Patsy continued : 

'* Yes, they told me that, and I know it s 
true. They Ve Luigi's legs this week, but — " 

"Ah, they told you that, did they?" said 
the justice, with interest. 

*' Well no, I don't know that they told me, 

but that 's neitbL-r here nor there. I know, 

^ without ihat» that at dinner yesterday, Angelo 

\sM% I 


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was as tired as a dog, and yet Luigi would n't 
lend him the legs to go up-stairs and take a 
nap with." 

'*Did he ask for them?" 

" Let me see — it seems to me somehow, 
that — that — Aunt Betsy, do you remember 
whether he " 

** Never mind about what Aunt Betsy re- 
members — she is not a witness ; we only want 
to know what you remember, yourself," said 
the judge. 

** Well, it does seem to me that you are 
most cantankerously particular about a little 
thing, Sim Robinson. Why, when I can 't 
remember a thing myself, I always " 

*' Ah, please go on ! " 

" Now how can she when you keep fussing 
at her all the time ? " said Aunt Betsy. *' Why, 
with a person pecking 2Xine that way, I should 
get that fuzzled and fuddled that " 

She was on her feet again, but Allen coaxed 
her into her seat once more, while the court 
squelched the mirth of the house. Then the 
judge said : 

*' Madam, do you know do you abso- 

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lutely know, independently of anything these 
gentlemen have told you — that the power 
over their legs passes from the one to the 
other regularly every week ? " 

*' Regularly ? Bless your heart, regularly 
ain't any name for the exactness of it ! All 
the big cities in Europe used to set the clocks 
by it." (Laughter, suppressed by the court.) 

'* How do you know? That is the ques- 
tion. Please answer it plainly and squarely." 

" Don 't you talk to me like that, Sim 
Robinson — I won't have it. How do I 
know, indeed! How do you know what you 
know? Because somebody told you. You 
did n't invent it out of your own head, 
did you ? Why, these twins are the truthful- 
est people in the world ; and I don't think it 
becomes you to sit up there and throw slurs 
at them when they have n't been doing any- 
thing to you. And they are orphans besides 
—both of them. All " 

But Aunt Betsy was up again, now, and 

both old ladies were talking at once and with 

w j clU their might; but as the house was welter- 

'iS ing in a storm of laughter, and the judge was 




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hammering his desk with an iron paper-weight, 
one could only see them talk, not hear them. 
At last, when quiet was restored, the court 
^aid : 

** Let the ladies retire." 

'* But, your honor, I have the right, in the ,^ 

interest of my clients, to cross-exam " J^ 

•'You *11 not need to exercise it, Mr. Wilson M/^ ^e^ 

Mil -^ \ 

— the evidence is thrown out." Vnl^^#V^ 

••Thrown out!" said Aunt Patsy, ruffled ;^t^(>^^yii^^ 
•' and what 's it thrown out for, I 'd like to 'PS^^JMfT' 

*• And so would I, Patsy Cooper. It seems ^\' \ 
to me that if we can save these poor persecuted 
strangers, it is our bounden duty to stand up 

here and talk for them till " 

•'There, there, there, do sit down !" 
It cost some trouble and a good deal of coax- 
ing, but they were got into their seats at last. 
The trial was soon ended, now. The twins 
themselves became witnesses in their own de- 
fense. They established the fact, upon oath, 
that the leg-power passed from one to the 
other every Saturday night at twelve o'clock, 
sharp. But on cross-examination their coun- 


Those Extraordinary Twins. 

sel would not allow them to tell whose week 
of power the current week was. The judge 
insisted upon their answering, and proposed 
to compel them , but even the prosecution 
took fright and came to the rescue then, and 
helped stay the sturdy jurist's revolutionary 
hand. So the case had to go to the jury with 
that important point hanging in the air. They 
were out an hour, and brought in this ver- 
dict : 

** We the jury do find : i, that an assault 
was committed, as charged ; 2, that it was com- 
mitted by one of the persons accused, he 
having been seen to do it by several credible 
witnesses: 3, but that his identity is so 
merged in his brother s that we have not been 
able to tell which was him. We cannot con- 
vict both, for only one is guilty. We cannot 
acquit both, for only one is innocent Our 
verdict is that justice has been defeated by 
the dispensation of God, and ask to be dis- 
charged from further duty." 

This was read aloud in court and brought 
out a burst of hearty applause. The old 
ladies iiKtde a spring at the twins, to shake and 

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congratulate, but were gently disengaged by 
Mr. Wilson and softly crowded back into their 

The Judge rose in his little tribune, laid 
aside his silver-bowed spectacles, roached his 
gray hair up with his fingers, and said, with 
dignity and solemnity, and even with a cer- 
tain pathos : 

'* In all my experience on the bench, I have 
not seen Justice bow her head in shame in 
this court until this day. You little realize 
what far-reaching harm has just been wrought 
here under the fickle forms of law. Imitation 
is the bane of courts — I thank God that this 
one is free from the contamination of that vice 
— and in no long time you will see the fatal 
work of this hour seized upon by profligate 
so-called guardians of justice in all the wide 
circumstance of this planet and perpetuated in 
their pernicious decisions. I wash my hands 
of this iniquity. I would have compelled 
these culprits to expose their guilt, but sup- 
port failed me where I had most 
pect aid and encouragement. At 
confronted by a law made in the 

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crime, which protects the criminal from testify- 
ing against himself. Yet I had precedents of 
my own whereby I had set aside that law on 
two different occasions and thus succeeded in 
convicting criminals to whose crimes there 
were no witnesses but themselves. What 

1 have you accomplished this day ? Do you 

realize it ? You have set adrift, unadmonished, 
iH . in this community, two men endowed with an 
'^^ awful and mysterious gift, a hidden and grisly 
power for evil — a power by which each in his 
turn may commit crime after crime of the 
most heinous character, and no man be able 
to tell which is the guilty or which the inno- 
cent party in any case of them all. Look to 
your homes — look to your property — look to 
your lives — for you have need ! 

** Prisoners at the bar, stand up. Through 
suppression of evidence, a jury of your — our 
— countrymen have been obliged to deliver a 
verdict concerning your case which stinks to 
heaven with the rankness of its injustice. By 
its terms you, the guilty one, go free with the 
itinocent, Depart in peace, and come no 
more ! The costs devolve upon the outraged 

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plaintiff — another iniquity. The Court stands 

Almost everybody crowded forward to over- 
whelm the twins and their counsel with con-(g^^ \il 
gratulations ; but presently the two old l^f^^ 
aunties dug the duplicates out and bore ^Jjf' 
them away in triumph through the hurrahing I i 'xl 
crowd, while lots of new friends carried Pud- 
d'nhead Wilson off tavern-w^ards to feast hini 
and ** wet down " his great and victorious 
entry into the legal arena. To Wilson, so long 
familiar with neglect and depreciation, this 
strange new incense of popularity and admi- 
ration was as a fragrance blown from the 
fields of paradise. A happy man was Wil- 




'^K..^^ ..* 




^ .-, i' 


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A DEPUTATION came in the evening and conferred upon 
Wilson the welcome honor of a nomination for mayor ; 
for the village has just been converted into a city by 
charter. Tom skulks out of challenging the twins. 
Judge Driscoll thereupon challenges Angelo, (accused by 
Tom of doing the kicking ;) he declines, but Luigi accepts 
in his place against Angelo's timid protest. 

It was late Saturday night — nearing eleven. 

The Judge and his second found the rest 
of the war party at the further end of the 
vacant ground, near the haunted house. 
Pudd'nhead Wilson advanced to meet them, 
and said anxiously — 

*' I must say a word in behalf of my prin- 
cipal's proxy, Count Luigi, to whom you have 
kindly granted the privilege of fighting my 
principal's battle for him. It is growing 
late, and Count Luigi is in great trouble lest 
midnight shall strike before the finish." 

'*It is another testimony," said Howard, 


i/^,\v *^r 

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approvingly. " That young man is fine all 
through. He wishes to save his brother the 
sorrow of fighting on the Sabbath, and he is 
right ; it is the right and manly feeling and 
does him credit. We will make all possible 

Wilson said — 

"There is also another reason — a consid- 
eration, in fact, which deeply concerns Count 
Luigi himself. These twins have command 
of their mutual legs turn about. Count 
Luigi is in command, now ; but at midnight, 
possession will pass to my principal, Count An- 
gelo, and well, you can foresee what will 

happen. He will march straight off the field, 
and carry Luigi with him." 

"Why ! sure enough!" cried the Judge, 

"we have heard something: about that ex- d-^ ••^'Viv-^'^-^ 

traodinary law of their being, already — noth- ^H^^^.J/j^-^, 

ing very definite, it is true, as regards dates -S^^tJ^'l ^^X^ 

and durations of the power, but I see it is ^^^^^^^'-^^ 

definite enough as regards to-night. Of course 

we must give Luigi every chance. Omit all 

the ceremonial possible, gentlemen, and^£.x''i^'^' 

place us in position." 



Those Extraordinary Twins. 

The seconds at once tossed up a coin ; 
Howard won the choice. He placed the 
Judge sixty feet from the haunted house and 
facing it ; Wilson placed the twins within 
fifteen feet of the house and facing the Judge 
— necessarily. The pistol-case was opened 
and the long slim tubes taken out ; when the 
moonlight glinted from them a shiver went 
through Angelo. The doctor was a fooU 
but a thoroughly well-meaning one, with a 
kind heart and a sincere disposition to oblige, 
but along with it an absence of tact which 
often hurt its effectiveness. He brought his 
box of lint and bandages, and asked Angela 
to feel and see how soft and comfortable 
they were. Angelo's head fell over against 
Luigi's in a faint, and precious time was lost 
in bringing him to ; which provoked Luigi 
into expressing his mind to the doctor with a 
«fe S^^^ deal of vigor and frankness. After 
^/*"'/'^%W^> ^'^g^'o came to he was still so weak that 
.i^VIJj;.^ s^^ Luigi was obliged to drink a stiff horn of 

brandy to brace him up. 
') y^^^w^^'- The seconds now stepped at once to their 

posts, half way between the combatants, one 


■.'■ ■■■r^ 

- .^ • . *"^ 

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Those Extraordinary Twins. 399 

of them on each side of the line of fire. Wil- 
son was to count, very deliberately, *' One — 
two — three — fire! — stop!" and the duelists 
could bang away at any time they chose during 
that recitation, but not after the last word. 
Angelo grew very nervous when he saw 
Wilson's hand rising slowly into the air as a 
i;ign to make ready, and he leaned his head 
against Luigi's and said — 

*'0, please take me away from here, I can't 
stay, I know I can't ! " 

*' What in the world are you doing ? 
Straighten up ! What 's the matter with you ? 
—you We in no danger^nobody 's going to 
shoot at you. Straighten up, I tell you !" 

Angelo obeyed, just in time to liear — 


"Bang!" Just one report, and a little 
tuft of white hair floated slowly to the Judge's \ 


feet m the moonlight. The Judge did not ^yC^\^ X ^-., 
swerve ; he still stood erect and motionless, '^^^c^ 4 
like a statue, with his pistol-arjii hanging < P^^ 
straight down at his side, 
his fire. 
'• Two—! " 

He was reserving 





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Up came the pistol-arm instantly — Angelo 
dodged with the report. He said "Ouch !'* 
and fainted again. 

The doctor examined and bandaged the 
wound. It was of no consequence, he said — 
bullet through fleshy part of arm — no bones 
broken — the gentleman was still able to fight 
— let the duel proceed. 

Next time Angelo jumped just as Luigi 
fired, which disordered his aim and caused 
him to cut a chip out of Howard's ear. The 
Judge took his time again, and when he fired 
Angelo jumped and got a knuckle skinned. 
The doctor inspected and dressed the wounds. 
Angelo now spoke out and said he was con- 
tent with the satisfaction he had got, and if 
the Judge — but Luigi shut him roughly up, 
and asked him not to make an ass of himself ; 
adding — 

"And I want you to stop dodging. You 
take a great deal too prominent a part in this 
thing for a person who has got nothing to do 
with it. You should remember that you are 

Tivr'^.>v''^'^;:5^.. , 

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here only by courtesy, and are without offi- 
cial recognition ; officially you are not here at 
all ; officially you do not even exist. To all 
intents and purposes you are absent from this 
place, and you ought for your own modesty's 
sake to reflect that it cannot become a person 
who is not present here to be taking this sort 
of public and indecent prominence in a matter 
in which he is not in the slightest degree con- 
cerned. Now, don't dodge again ; the bullets 
are not for you, they are for me; if I want 
them dodged I will attend to it myself. I 
never saw a person act so." 

Angelo saw the reasonableness of what his 
brother had said, and he did try to reform, 
but it was of no use ; both pistols went off at 
the same instant, and he jumped once more ; 
he got a sharp scrape along his cheek from 
the Judge's bullet, and so deflected Luigi's 
aim that his ball went wide and chipped a 
flake of skin from Pudd'nhead Wilson's chin. 
The doctor attended to the wounded. 

By the terms, the duel was over. But 
Luigi was entirely out of patience, and begged 
for one more exchange of shots, insisting that^ 

/ ^.y 

■7 €-3 


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he had had no fair chance, on account of his 
brother's indelicate behavior. Howard was 
opposed to granting so unusual a privilege, 
but the Judge took Luigi's part, and added 
that indeed he himself might fairly be con- 
sidered entitled to another trial, because al- 
though the proxy on the other side was in no 
way to blame for his (the Judge's) humiliat- 
ingly resultless work, the gentleman with 
whom he was fighting this duel was to blame 
for it, since if he had played no advantages 
and had held his head still, his proxy would 
have been disposed of early. He added — 

" Count Luigi's request for another ex* 
change is another proof that he is a brave and 
chivalrous gentleman, and I beg that the 
courtesy he asks may be accorded him." 

•* I thank you most sincerely for this gener- 
osity, Judge DriscoU," said Luigi, with a 
polite bow, and moving to his place. Then 
he added — to Angelo, ** Now hold your grip, 
hold yoMX grip, I tell you, and I '11 land him^ 

The men stood erect, their pistol-arms at 
their sides, the two seconds stood at their 






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official posts, the doctor stood five paces in 
Wilson's rear with his instruments and band- 
ages in his hands. The deep stillness, the 
peaceful moonlight, the motionless figures, 
made an impressive picture and the impend- 
ing fatal possibilities augmented this impres- 
siveness to solemnity. Wilson's hand began 
to rise — slowly — slowly — higher — still higher 
— in another moment — 

''Boom!'' — the first stroke of midnight 
swung up out of the distance : Angelo was 
oflf like a deer ! 

"Oh, you unspeakable traitor !" wailed his 
brother, as they went soaring over the fence. 

The others stood astonished and gazing; 
and so stood, watching that strange spectacle 
until distance dissolved it and swept it from 
their view. Then they rubbed their eyes 
like people waking out of a dream. 

•' Well, I ve never seen anything like that 
before !" said the Judge. ** Wilson, I am go- 
ing to confess, now, that T wasn't quite able 
to believe in that leg-business, and had a 
suspicion that it was a put-up convenience 
between those twins; and when Count An- 





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gelo fainted I thought I saw the whole scheme 
— thought it was pretext No. i, and would be 
followed by others till twelve o'clock should 
arrive and Luigi would get off with all the 
credit of seeming to want to fight and yet 
not have to fight, after all. But I was mis- 
taken. His pluck proved it. He's a brave 
fellow and did want to fight." 

*' There is n't any doubt about that," said 
Howard, and added in a grieved tone, "but 
what an unworthy sort of Christian that 
Angelo is — I hope and believe there are not 
many like him. It is not right to engage in 
a duel on the Sabbath — I could not approve 
of that myself ; but to finish one that has 
*^ been begun — that is a duty, let the day be 
what it may." 

They strolled along, still wondering, still 
^;^ talking. 

*' It is a curious circumstance," remarked 
the surgeon, halting Wilson a moment to 
paste some more court plaster on his chin, 
which had gone to leaking blood again, ** that 
in this duel neither of the parties who handled 
the pistols lost blood, while nearly all the 


^^ J 



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persons present in the mere capacity of guests 
got hit. I have not heard of such a thing 
before. Don't you think it unusual ? " 

•^ Yes," said the Judge, **it has struck me 
as peculiar. Peculiar and unfortunate. I 
was annoyed at it, all the time. In the case 
of Angelo it made no great difference, because 
he was in a measure concerned, though not 
officially ; but it troubled me to see the 
seconds compromised, and yet I knew no way 
to mend the matter." 

" There was no way to mend it," said 
Howard, whose ear was being readjusted 
now by the doctor ; " the code fixes our 
place, and it would not have been lawful to 
change it. If we could have stood at your 
side, or behind you, or in front of ypu, it — 
but it would not have been legitimate and the 
other parties would have had a just right to 
complain of our trying to protect ourselves 
from danger ; infractions of the code are 
certainly not permissible in any case what- 

Wilson offered no remarks. It seemed to 
him that there was very little place here for 

».o«- -- 


Those Extraordinary Twins. 

so much solemnity, but he judged that if a 
duel where nobody was in danger or got 
crippled but the seconds and the outsiders had 
nothing ridiculous about for these gentlemen, 
his pointing out that feature would probably 
not help them to see it. 

He invited them in to take a nightcap, and 
Howard and the Judge accepted, but the 
doctor said he would have to go and see how 
Angelo's principal wound was getting on. 

[It was now Sunday, and in the afternoon Angelo was 
to be received into the Baptist communion by immersion 
— a doubtful prospect, the doctor feared.] 

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When the doctor arrived at Aunt Patsy 
Cooper's house, he found the lights going and 
everybody up and dressed and in a great state 
of solicitude and excitement. The twins 
were stretched on a sofa in the sitting-room, 
Aunt Patsy was fussing at Angelo's arm, 
Nancy was flying around under her commands, 
the two young boys were trying to keep out 
of the way and always getting in it, in order 
to see and wonder, Rowena stood apart, help- 
less with apprehension and emotion, and |||i"" 
Luigi was growling in unappeasable fury over ii/ ^/ . 
Angelo's shameful flight. p'^^^Cl^C^ 

As has been reported before, the doctor „ 
was a fool — a kindhearted and well-meaning 
one, but with no tact ; and as he was by long 
odds the most learned physician in the town, 



Those Extraordinary Twins. 

and was quite well aware of it. and could talk 
his learninor with ease and precision, and liked 
to show ofif when he had an audience, he was 
sometimes tempted into revealing more of a 
case than was good for the patient. 

He examined Angelo's wound, and was 
really minded to say nothing for once ; but 
Aunt Patsy was so anxious and so pressing 
that he allowed his caution to be overcome, 
and proceeded to empty himself as follows, 
with scientific relish — 

"Without going too much into detail, 
madam — for you would probably not under- 
stand it anyway — I concede that great care is 
going to be necessary here ; otherwise exu- 
dation of the aesophagus is nearly sure to en- 
sue, and this will be followed by ossification 
and extradition of the maxillaris superioris, 
which must decompose the granular surfaces 
of the great infusorial ganglionic system, thus 
obstructing the action of the posterior vario- 
loid arteries, and precipitating compound 
strangulated sorosis of the valvular tissues, 
and ending unavoidably in the dispersion and 
combustion of the marsupial fluxes and the 

Those Extraordinary Twins. 


consequent embrocation of the bicuspid 
populo redax referendum rotulorum.*' 

A miserable silence followed. Aunt Patsy's 
heart sank, the pallor of despair invaded her 
face, she was not able to speak ; poor Rowena 
wrung her hands in privacy and silence, and 
said to herself in the bitterness of her young 
grief, ** There is no hope — it is plain there is 
no hope ; " the good-hearted negro wench, 
Nancy, paled to chocolate, then to orange, 
then to amber, and thought to herself with 
yearning sympathy and sorrow, '* Po* thing, 
he ain' gwyne to las* throo de half o' dat ; " small 
Henry choked up, and turned his head away 
to hide his rising tears, and his brother Joe 
said to himself, with a sense of loss, '* The 
baptizing 's busted, that's sure." Luigi was 
the only person who had any heart to speak. 
He said, a little bit sharply, to the doctor — 

** Well, well, there 's nothing to be gained 
by wasting precious time : give him a barrel 
of pills — I '11 take them for him." 

** You ? " asked the doctor. 

** Yes. Did you suppose he was going to 
take them himself ? " 

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Those Extraordinary Twins. 

** Why, of course." 

"Well, it's a mistake. He never took a 
dose of medicine in his life. He can't." 

'* Well, upon my word, it 's the most extraor- 
dinary thing I ever heard of ! " 

'*Oh," said Aunt Patsy, as pleased as a 
mother whose child is being admired and 
wondered at, "you'll find that there's more 
about them that 's wonderful than their just 
being made in the image of God like the rest 
of His creatures, now you can depend on that, 
'./tell you," and she wagged her complacent 
^ head like one who could reveal marvelous 
things if she chose. 

The boy Joe began — 

" Why, ma, they am/ made in the im " 

"You. shut up. and wait till you're asked, 
Joe. I '11 let you know when I want help. 
Are you looking for something, Doctor?" 

The doctor asked for a few sheets of paper 
and a pen, and said he would write a prescrip- 
tion ; which he did. It was one of Galen's ; 
in fact, it was Galen's favorite, and had been 
slaying people for sixteen thousand years. 
Galen used it for everything, applied it to 

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everything, said it would remove everything, 
from warts all the way through to lungs — and 
it generally did. Galen was still the only 
medical authority recognized in Missouri; 
his practice was the only practice known to 
the Missouri doctors, and his prescriptions 
were the only ammunition they carried when 
they went out for game. By and by Dr. 
Claypool laid down his pen and read the re- 
sult of his labors aloud, carefully and deliber- 
ately, for this battery must be constructed on 
the premises by the family, and mistakes 
could occur ; for he wrote a doctor s hand — 
the hand which from the beginning of time 
has been so disastrous to the apothecary and 
so profitable to the undertaker: 

" Take of afarabocca. henbane, corpobalsa- 
mum, each two drams and a half; of cloves, 
opium, myrrh, cyperus, each two drams ; of 
opobalsamum, Indian leaf, cinnamon, zedo- 
ary, ginger, coftus, coral, cassia, euphorbium, 
gum tragacanth, frankincense, styrax calam- / 1 
ita, Celtic, nard, spignel, hartwort, mustard, M^ 
saxifrage, dill, anise, each one dram ; of xyla- 
loes, rheum ponticum, alipta moschata," cas- 

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tor, spikenard, galangals, opoponax, anacar- 
..j. ^ dium, mastich, brimstone, peony, eringo, 

3^ 1^ P^'P ^^ <^lates, red and white hermodactyls, 
'^^^ r. ^ roses, thyme, acorns, pennyroyal, gentian, the 
>.«yA/..^ <- bark of the root of mandrake, germander, 
valerian, bishop's weed, bay-berries, long and 
white pepper, xylobalsamum, carnabadium, 
macedonian, parsley-seeds, lovage, the seeds 
1^^ of rue, and sinon, of each a dram and a half ; 
of pure gold, pure silver, pearls not perfor- 
ated, the blatta byzantina, the bone of the 
stag s heart, of each the quantity of fourteen 
grains of wheat ; of sapphire, emerald and 
^ jasper stones, each one dram ; of hazel-nut, 
,^two drams ; of pellitory of Spain, shavings of 
A";^ ivory, calamus odoratus, each the quantity of 
twenty-nine grains of wheat; of honey or 
sugar a sufficient quantity. Boil down and 
I ^ skim off." 
^:'i^j^^^- >> *' There," he said, ** that will fix the patient : 
^^^Z* \ givG his brother a dipperful every three- 

(r U^_^;^^ quarters of an hour " 

^^ -r*.-^ ^ ' — "while he survives," muttered Luigi — 

— '* and see that the room is kept whole- 
somely hot, and the doors and windows 

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closed tight. Keep Count Angelo nicely 
covered up with six or seven blankets, and 
when he is thirsty — which will be frequently 
— moisten a rag in the vapor of the tea-kettle 
and let his brother suck it. When he is 
hungry — which will also be frequently — he 
must not be humored oftener than every 
seven or eight hours ; then toast part of a 
cracker until it begins to brown, and give it 
to his brother." 

** That is all very well, as far as Angelo is 
concerned," said Luigi, ''but what am I to 

" I do not see that there is anything the 
matter with you," the doctor answered. **you 
may of course eat what you please." 

'* And also drink what I please, I suppose?" 

'* Oh, certainly — at present. When the 
violent and continuous perspiring has reduced 
your strength, I shall have to reduce your 
diet, of course, and nho bleed you, but there 
is no occasion for that yet awhile." He 
turned to Aunt Patsy and said : *' He must 
be put to bed, and sat up with, and tended 





Those Extraordinary Twins. 


with the greatest care, and not allowed to stir 
for several days and nights." 

** For one, I *m sacredly thankful for that," 
said Luigi, ''it postpones the funeral — I 'm 
not to be drowned to-day, anyhow." 
Angelo said quietly to the doctor : 
" I will cheerfully submit to all your re- 
quirements, sir, up to two o'clock this after- 
noon, and will resume them after three, but 
cannot be confined to the house during that 
intermediate hour." 
" Why, may I ask ? " 

" Because I have entered the Baptist com- 
munion, and by appointment am to be bap- 
tized in the river at that hour." 

" Oh, insanity ! — it cannot be allowed ! " 
Angelo answered with placid firmness — 
" Nothing shall prevent it, if I am alive.*' 
*' Why, consider, my dear sir, in your con- 
dition it might prove fatal." 

A tender and ecstatic smile beamed from 
Angelo's eyes, and he broke forth in a tone of 
joyous fervency — 

** Ah, how blessed it would be to die for 
such a cause — it would be martydom !" 


Those Extraordinary Twins. 


" But your brother — consider your brother ; 
you would be risking his life, too." 

" He risked mine an hour ago," responded 
Angelo, gloomily; "did he consider me?" 
A thought swept through his mind that made 
him shudder. ** If I had not run, I might 
have been killed in a duel on the Sabbath day, 
and my soul would have been lost — lost." 

"Oh, don't fret, it was n't in any danger," said 
Luigi, irritably ; ** they would n't waste it for a 
little thing like that . there 's a glass case all 
ready for it in the heavenly museum, and a 
pin to stick it up with." 

Aunt Patsy was shocked, and said — 

" Looy, Looy ! — don't talk so, dear ! " 

Rowena's soft heart was pierced by Luigi's 
unfeeling words, and she murmured to herself, 
"Oh, if I but had the dear privilege of protect- 
ing and defending him with my weak voice ! 
— but alas, this sweet boon is denied me by 
the cruel conventions of social intercourse." 

"Get their bed ready," said Aunt Patsy to 
Nancy, " and shut up the windows and doors, 
and light their candles, and see that you drive 
all the mosquitoes out of their bar, and make 


^ . ^ 




Those Extraordinary Twins. 

up a good fire in their stove, and carry up 
some bags of hot ashes to lay to his feet " 

— *' and a shovel of fire for his head, and a 
mustard plaster for his neck, and some gum 
shoes for his ears," Luigi interrupted, with 
temper ; and added, to himself, '* Damnation, 
I *m going to be roasted alive, I just know it ! " 

** Why, Looy ! Do be quiet ; I never saw 
such a fractious thing. A body would think 
you did n't care for your brother." 

** I don't — to M^/ extent. Aunt Patsy. I was 
glad the drowning was postponed a minute 
ago, but I 'm not, now. No, that is all gone 
by : I want to be drowned." 

** You '11 bring a judgment on yourself just 
as sure as you live, if you go on like that. 
Why, I never heard the beat of it. Now, 
there, — there ! you ve said enough. Not 
another word out of you, — I won't have it !" 

" But, Aunt Patsy " 

" Luigi ! Did n't you hear what I told 

'* But, Aunt Patsy, I — why, I 'm not going 

' t^to set my heart and lungs afloat in that pail of 


'^ 'W^^^& 


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Those Extraordinary Twins. 


sewage which this criminal here has been 
prescri " 

" Yes, you are, too. You are going to be 
good, and do everything I tell you, like a 
dear," and she tapped his cheek affectionately 
with her finger. " Rowena. take the prescrip- 
tion and go in the kitchen and hunt up the 
things and lay them out for me. I '11 sit up 
with my patient the rest of the night, Doctor ; 
I can't trust Nancy, she could n*t make Luigi 
take the medicine. Of course you *11 drop in 
again during the day. Have you got any 
more directions ? " 

" No, I believe not, Aunt Patsy. If I don't 
get in earlier, I '11 be along by early candlelight, JJ^ 
anyway. Meantime, don't allow him to get 
out of his bed." 

Angelo said, with calm determination — 

'* I shall be baptized at two o'clock. Noth- 
ing but death shall prevent me." 

The doctor said nothing aloud, but to him- 
self he said : - ' ^^ ^ 

''Why, this chap s got a manly side, after Lr-rZ^J 
all! Physically he *s a coward, but morally 
he 's a Hon, I Ml go and tell the others about 


Those Extraordinary Twins. 

this ; it will raise him a good deal in their 
estimation — and the public will follow their 
lead, of course." 

Privately, Aunt Patsy applauded too, and 
was proud of Angelo's courage in the moral 
field as she was of Luigi's in the field of 

The boy Henry was troubled, but the boy 
Joe said, inaudibly, and gratefully, ** We *re 
all hunky, after all ; and no postponement oa 
account of the weather.'' 





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By nine o'clock the town was humming 
with the news of the midnight duel, and 
there were but two opinions about it : one, 
that Luigi*s pluck in the field was most 
praiseworthy and Angelo's flight most scan- 
dalous; the other, that Angelo's courage in 
flying the field for conscience' sake was as '^ 
fine and creditable as was Luigi's in holding » ^ 
the field in the face of the bullets. The one 
opinion was held by half of the town, the 
other one was maintained by the other half. 
The division was clean and exact, and it 
made two parties, an Angelo party and a 
Luigi party. The twins had suddenly become 
popular idols along with Pudd'nhead Wilson, 
and haloed with a glory as intense as his. "^ ^^^ 

The children talked the duel all the way ^-\<'.^^ '"' 
Sunday-school, their elders talked it all the ,^.^f"' 



V\ •"•'■*"'. 


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Those Extraordinary Twins. 



way to church, the choir discussed it behind 
their red curtain, it usurped the place of pious 
thought in the " nigger gallery." 

By noon the doctor had added the news, 
and spread it, that Count Angelo, in spite of 
his wound and all warnings and supplications, 
'^'^'"^'was resolute in his determination to be bap- 
tised at the hour appointed. This swept the 
v3?j2^=^town like wildfire, and mightily reinforced the 
/ (^ <' VV?" enthusism of the Angelo faction, who said, 
^ .^ a3^ * ^^ ^"y doubted that it was moral courage 

vw.,^ ^h^t tQQ]^ hiPTi from the field, what have they 
to say now ! " 

•-» .'^,'> 


"4 ^^ Still the excitement grew. 

All the morn- 

^/» S /p^"S '^ ^'^^ traveling countrywards, toward all 

^^^%i^_ i^jj^'" points of the compass ; so, whereas before only 



• the farmers and their wives were intendincr to 

^^^J'^ come and witness the remarkable baptism, a 

. — general holiday was now proclaimed and the 

^~#i^-ichildren and negroes admitted to the privileges 

>^f^ of the occasion. All the farms for ten miles 

f ^' around were vacated, all the converging roads 

emptied long processions of wagons, horses and 

yeomanry into the town. The pack and cram 

of i^eople vastly exceeded any that had ever 

Those Extraordinary Twins. 421 

been seen in that sleepy region before. The 
only thing that had ever even approached it, 
was the time long gone by, but never forgot- 
ten, nor even referred to without wonder and 
pride, when two circuses and a Fourth of July 
fell together. But the glory of that occasion 
was extinguished, now, for good. It was but 
a freshet to this deluge. 

The great invasion massed itself on the 
river bank and waited hungrily for the im- 
mense event. Waited, and wondered if it 
would really happen, or if the twin who was not 
a ** professor " would stand out and prevent it. 

But they were not to be disappointed, 
Angelo w^s as good as his word. He came 
attended by an escort of honor composed of 
several hundred of the best citizt^ns, all of the 
Angelo party ; and when the immersion was 
finished they escorted him back home; and 
would even have carried him on their shoul- 
ders, but that people might think they were 
carrying Luigl 

Far into the night the citizens continued 
to discuss a 
mated pair o 



Those Extraordinary Twins. 

and exalted the past twenty-four hours above 
any other twenty-four in the history of their 
town for picturesqueness and splendid inter- 
est ; and long before the lights were out and 
burghers asleep it had been decided on all 
hands that in capturing these twins Dawson s 
Landing had drawn a prize in the great lot- 
tery of municipal fortune. 

At midnight Angelo was sleeping peacefully. 
His immersion had not harmed him, it had 
merely made him wholesomely drowsy, and he 
had been dead asleep many hours now. It 
had made Luigi drowsy, too, but he had got 
only brief naps, on account of his having to 
take the medicine every three-quarters of an 
hour — and Annt Betsy Hale was there to see 
that he did it. When he complained and 
resisted, she was quietly firm with him, and 
said in a low voice : 

'* No— no, that won't do; you must n't talk, 
and you must n't retch and gag that way, 
either — you Ml wake up your poor brother." 

" Well what of^it, Aunt Betsy, he " 

'' 'Sh-h ! Don't make a noise, dear. You 

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must n't forget that your poor brother is sick 
and " 

- Sick, is he ? Well, I wish I " 

" Sh-h-h ! Will you be quiet, Luigi ! Here, 
now, take the rest of it — don't keep me hold- 
ing the dipper all night. I declare if you 
have n't left a good fourth of it in the bottom ! 
Come — that 's a good boy." 

" Aunt Betsy, don't make me ! I feel like 
I Ve swallowed a cemetery ; I do, indeed. Do 
let me rest a little — ^just a little ; I can't take 
any more of the devilish stuff, now." 

" Luigi ! Using such language here, and 
Tiim just baptised ! Do you want the roof to 
fall on you ? " 

'* I wish to goodness it would ! " 

** Why, you dreadful thing ! I 've a good 
notion to — let that blanket alone ; do you 
want your brother to catch his death ? " 

" Aunt Betsy, I 've got to have it off, I 'm 
being roasted alive ; nobody could stand it — 
you could n't, yourself." 

" Now, then, you 'resneefing again — I just 
expected it. " 

** Because I 've caught a cold in my head. 


Those Extraordinary Twins. 

* t 


I always do, when I go in the water with my 
clothes on. And it takes me weeks to get 
over it, too. I think it was a shame to serve 
me so." 

*' Luigi, you are unreasonable; you know 
very well they could n't baptise him dry. I 
should think you would be willing to under- 
go a little inconvenience for your brother's 

** Inconvenience ! Now how you talk. 
Aunt Betsy. I came as near as anything to 
getting drowned — you saw that, yourself ; and 
do you call this inconvenience ? — the room 
shut up as tight as a drum, and so hot the 
mosquitoes are trying to get out ; and a cold 
in the head, and dying for sleep and no chance 
to get any on account of this infamous medi- 
cine that that assassin prescri " 

*' There, you 're sneezing again. I 'm going 
down and mix some more of this truck for 
you, dear." 

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During Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 
the twins grew steadily worse ; but then the 
doctor was summoned south to attend his 
mother's funeral and they got well in forty- 
eight hours. They appeared on the street on 
Friday, and were welcomed with enthusiasm 
by the new-born parties, the Luigi and Angelo 
factions. The Luigi faction carried its 
strength into the Democratic party, the An- 
gelo faction entered into a combination with 
the Whigs. The Democrats nominated Luigi 
for alderman under the new city government, 
and the Whigs put up Angelo against him. 
The Democrats nominated Pudd'nhead Wil- 
son for mayor, and he was left alone in this 
glory, for the Whigs had no man who was \| 
willing to enter the lists against such a formi- 
dable opponent. No politician had scored 




FRMAhlf ' 






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Those Extraordinary Twins. 

such a compliment as this before in the histoiy 
of the Mississippi Valley. 

The political campaign in Dawson's Land- 
ing opened in a pretty warm fashion, and 
waxed hotter every week. Luigi's whole heart 
was in it, and even Angelo developed a sur- 
prising amount of interest — which was natural, 
because he was not merely representing Whig- 
ism, a matter of no consequence to him, but he 
was representing something immensely finer 
and greater — to wit, Reform. In him was cen- 
tred the hopes of the whole reform element of 
the town ; he was the chosen and admired 
champion of every clique that had a pet re- 
form of any sort or kind at heart. He was 
president of the great Teetotaller's Union, its 
chiefest prophet and mouthpiece. 

But as the canvass went on, troubles began 
to spring up all around — troubles for the 
twins, and through them for all the parties 
and segments and fractions of parties. When- 
j ever Luigi had possession of the legs, he car- 
ried Angelo to balls, rum shops. Sons of 
Liberty parades, horse races, campaign riots, 
and everywhere else that could damage him 
with his party and the church ; and when it 

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was Angelo's week he carried Luigi diligently 
to all manner of moral and religious gather- 
ings, doing his best to regain the ground he 
had lost before. As a result of these double 
performances, there was a storm blowing all 
the time, an ever rising storm, too — a storm 
of frantic criticism of the twins, and rage over 
their extravagant, incomprehensible conduct. 

Luigi had the final chance. The legs were 
his for the closing w^eek of the canvas. He 
led his brother a fearful dance. 

But he saved his best card for the very eve 
of the election. There was to be a grand 
turn-out of the Teetotaller's Union that day, 
and Angelo was to march at the head of the 
procession and deliver a great oration after- 
ward. Luigi drank a couple of glasses of 
whiskey — which steadied his nerves and clari- 
fied his mind, but made Angelo drunk. 
Everybody who saw the march, saw that the 
Champion of the Teetotallers was half seas 
over, and noted also that his brother* who 
made no hypocritical protensions to extra 
temperance virtues, was dignified and sober. 
This eloquent fact could not be unfruitful at 
the end of a hot political canvass. At the 


Those Extraordinary Twins. 

4 ■".-I. 

mas? meeting Angelo tried to make his great 
temperance oration but was so discommoded 
by hiccoughs and thickness of tongue that he 
had to give it up ; then drowsiness overtook 
him and his head drooped against Luigi's 
and he went to sleep. Luigi apologized for 
him, and was going on to improve his oppor- 
tunity with an appeal for a moderation of what 
he called ** the prevailing teetotal madness," 
but persons in the audience began to howl and 
throw things at him, and then the meeting 
rose in wrath and chased him home. 

This episode was a crusher for Angelo in 
another way. It destroyed his chances with 
Rowena* Those chances had been growing, 
u'^ht along, for two months. Rowena had 
partly confessed that she loved him, but wanted 
time to consider Now the tender dream 
was ended, and she told him so, the moment 
he was sober enough to understand. She said 
slve would never marry a man who drank. 

"But I don't drink," he pleaded. 

'*That is nothing to the point," she said, 

coldly, " you get drunk, and that is worse." 

[There was a long and sufficiently idiotic discussion 
here» whscli t ntk^d ;is reported in a previous note.] 


V^ ^ 4 

Dawson's Landing had a week of repose, 
after the election, and it needed it, for the 
frantic and variegated nightmare which had 
tormented it all through the preceding week 
had left it limp, haggard and exhausted at 
the end. It got the week of repose because 
Angelo had the legs, and was in too subdued 
a condition to want to go out and mingle 
with an irritated community that had come to 
distrust and detest him because there was 
such a lack of harmony between his morals, 
which were confessedly excellent, and his T I i^J^, 
methods of illustrating them, which were dis- ^ ' 
tinctly damnable. 

The new city officers were sworn in on the 
following Monday — at least all but Luigj, 
There was a complication in his case. His 
election was conceded, but he could not sit 



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Those Extraordinary Twins. 


in the board of aldermen without his brother, 
and his brother could not sit there because 
he was not a member. There seemed to be 
no way out of the difficulty but to carry the 
matter into the courts, so this was resolved 
upon. The case was set for the Monday 
fortnight. In due course the time arrived. 
In the meantime the city government had 
been at a stand-still, because without Luigi 
there was a tie in the board of aldermen, 
zn — \^mZ^ whereas with him the liquor interest — the 
richest in the political field — would have one 
' majority. But the court decided that Angelo 
could not sit in the board with him, either in 
public or executive sessions, and at the same 
time forbade the board to deny admission 
to Luigi, a fairly and legally chosen alderman. 
The case was carried up and up from court 
to court, yet still the same old original decis- 
ion was confirmed every time. As a result, 
the city government not only stood still, 
with its hands tied, but everything it was 
created to protect and care 'for went a steady 
gait toward rack and ruin. There was no 
way to levy a tax, so the minor officals had 






'Ltized by Google 

Those Extraordinary Twins. 


to resign or starve ; therefore they resigned. 
There being no city money, the enormous 
legal expenses on both sides had to be de- 
frayed by private subscription. But at last 
the people came to their senses, and said — 

" Pudd'nhead was right, at the start — we 
ought to have hired the oflficial half of that 
human phillipene to resign ; but it's too late, 
now ; some of us have n*t got anything left to 
hire him with." 

" Yes, we have," said another citizen, 
"we've got this " — and he produced a halter. 

Many shouted, '* That 's the ticket" But 
others said, " No — Count Angelo is innocent ; 
we must n't hang him." 

"Who said anything about hanging him? 
We are only going to hang the other one." 

" Then that is all right — there is no objec- 
tion to that." 

So they hanged Luigi. And so ends the 
history of " Those Extraordinary Twins." 

^' ' Ji^v-- ^"V*",.. - ^-^ v^ ^j(/ 

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As you see, it was an extravagant sort of a tale, 
and had no purpose but to exhibit that monstrous 
** freak ** in all sorts of grotesque lights. But when 
Roxy wandered into the tale she had to be fur- 
nished with something to do ; so she changed the 
children in the cradle : this necessitated the invention 
of a reason for it ; this in turn resulted in making 
the children prominent personages — nothing could 
prevent it, of course. Their career began to take a 
tragic aspect, and some one had to be brought in 
to help work the machinery; so Pudd'nhead Wilson 
was introduced and taken on trial. By this time 
the whole show was being run by the new people 
and in their interest, and the original show was be- 
come side-tracked and forgotten ; the twin-monster 
and the heroine and the lads and the old ladies had 
dwindled to inconsequentialities and were merely 
in the way. Their story was one story, the new 
people's story was another story, and there was no 
connection between them, no interdependence, no 
kinship. It is not practicable or rational to try to 
tell two stories at the same time ; so I dug out the 
farce and left the tragedy. 

The reader already knew how the expert works, 
he knows now how the other kind do it. 


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