The $30,000 Bequest, and Other Stories

By Mark Twain

Page 0

...THE $30,000 BEQUEST

and Other Stories


by Mark Twain

(Samuel L. Clemens)



CONTENTS



THE $30,000 BEQUEST

CHAPTER I

CHAPTER II

CHAPTER III

CHAPTER IV

CHAPTER...

Page 1

...went to eight hundred a year, then, and
meantime two children had arrived and increased the...

Page 2

...him most of his troubles and exasperations, and
he wished to place it where there was...

Page 3

...went out of his face.

"Oh, Aleck!" he said, reproachfully. "We've always worked so hard and
been...

Page 4

..._one _while, I reckon, if my last act was giving
away money for the sake of...

Page 5

...turned it over twice; once in
oil and once in wheat."

"Why, Aleck, it's splendid! How does...

Page 6

...she was out of the house, Aleck
eagerly tore the wrapper from the paper, and her...

Page 7

...a little unfair, maybe, but there it was, and
had to be put up with. They...

Page 8

...sufficient reflection Sally responded:

"I'd feel I was lucky I hadn't got caught with it _in_...

Page 9

...do you?"

Hesitatingly, "N-no, I suppose not." Then, with feeling and admiration,
"And yet, when it comes...

Page 10

...studied these as diligently
all the week as she studied her Bible Sundays. Sally was lost...

Page 11

...sale was made on the very day
that the coal venture had returned with its rich...

Page 12

...was going to live forever; what the nation _could _they
celebrate? That was Sally's way of...

Page 13

...Three several persons
remarked, without suspecting what clever shots they were making:

"It's as if they'd come...

Page 14

...matrimonial
matter again. Neither the dentist nor the lawyer was mentioned; there
was no occasion, they were...

Page 15

...and sugar and
calico all day and every day; Aleck was cooking and washing dishes and
sweeping...

Page 16

...of it was gone. She was pained, she was grieved, she was
ashamed; but she said...

Page 17

...to the Episcopal camp, on account of its large official
titles; next she became High-church on...

Page 18

...other fast bloods,
multimillionaires in money and paupers in character. When she was
building her first foundling...

Page 19

...without blemish? Alas, she knew she was not.
She was keeping a secret from him, she...

Page 20

...awfully discouraging, Aleck! Since then, what a procession!
You turned down the baronets for a pair...

Page 21

...of Europe: our grandchildren will sit upon
thrones!"

"True as you live, Aleck--and bear scepters, too; and...

Page 22

...the cat in the wash and fed milk to
the soiled linen. Everybody was stunned and...

Page 23

...flow, and her great spirit
rose to its full stature again. With flashing eye and grateful...

Page 24

...could contain
no more. They sat with bowed heads, dead to all things but the ache...

Page 25

...it was only
show: she got the words by listening in the dining-room and drawing-room
when there...

Page 26

...anything; so when he'd hail and ask her
to cash in, I (the only dog on...

Page 27

...words only, but by example, and that is the best way
and the surest and the...

Page 28

...a new name, but called me by my old one that was dear to me
because...

Page 29

...a few minutes on the baby's
affairs; other times I romped and raced through the grounds...

Page 30

...the
waist-band, and tugged it along, and we fell to the floor together in a
cloud of...

Page 31

...vague twilight of the garret had long ago
been blotted out by black darkness.

Then in that...

Page 32

...food, they
couldn't be satisfied with anything but game and delicacies that were
out of season; and...

Page 33

...you
know--and after days and days a little shrub or a flower came up there,
and it...

Page 34

...and the puppy and I used to play in the summer in
the shade of a...

Page 35

...world with this presence
in it; in shuddering to think how desolate it would be with...

Page 36

...suffer for it?

But the aunts were obdurate in their righteousness, and said the law
that visited...

Page 37

...it, expanded
it to "The _only _Christian." Of these two titles, the latter had the
wider currency;...

Page 38

...the other aunt, impressively, "tell your mother all. Purge
your soul; leave nothing unconfessed."

Standing stricken and...

Page 39

...I'll brain you--if you've got
the materials for it."

They sat down, distressed and indignant, but obedient,...

Page 40

...a low voice, but with decision:

"Nor his soul?"

No one spoke for a while; then the...

Page 41

...But it will do no good for
him to try it this time--but, laws! Hannah! after...

Page 42

...What is
the difference between lying with your eyes and lying with your mouth?
There is none;...

Page 43

...both, said; coldly:

"We have lied; we perceive it; it will occur no more. To lie...

Page 44

...lips trembled piteously; she choked down a sob, and said:

"Oh, Hannah, it was a sin,...

Page 45

...in the mother's face, then alarm. Hester saw it,
recognized the imminence of the danger, and...

Page 46

...and dwelling with deep contentment upon its closing paragraph:

"Mousie darling, if I could only see...

Page 47

...carried her message, and piously delivered it
to unheeding ears. The girl babbled on unaware; looking...

Page 48

...another's; and she went to her rest murmuring, "Oh, mamma, I am
so happy--I longed for...

Page 49

...said again, "We have but a little time to wait, darling mother,
then we shall be...

Page 50

...prevail, and so be saved, but we are lost."

They lifted their heads in supplication. The...

Page 51

...frankly--yes, and very hopefully, too, poor fellow--says
in his preface. The money never came--no penny of...

Page 52

...an inflamed
eulogy of Woman--simply Woman in general, or perhaps as an
Institution--wherein, among other compliments to...

Page 53

...village. After he had received the
desired information, and was about taking his leave, the youth...

Page 54

...is
safe from that accident; an uncredited quotation from him would always
be recognizable. When a boy...

Page 55

...charity of the combat, and to a
land of victory. I read another destiny in thy...

Page 56

...as for
genius to spend its research beneath its spreading shades. He entered
its classic walls in...

Page 57

...attempted before. Military celebrities have been disguised and
set at lowly occupations for dramatic effect, but...

Page 58

...whom she felt herself more closely
bound, because he sought the hand of no other. Elfonzo...

Page 59

...and
under all circumstances, by the frowns and cold looks of crabbed old
age, which should continually...

Page 60

...no matter about that: there stands the hero,
compact and visible; and he is no mean...

Page 61

...you have a costly gift for me--the noblest that man
can make--_your heart!_ You should not...

Page 62

...little, and be a man, and forget it all.
When Homer describes the battle of the...

Page 63

...undaunted mind like the "topmost topaz of an ancient
tower"; he was used to making them...

Page 64

...to understand that clearly. So the two sit
together in the orchestra, in the midst of...

Page 65

...solitary
apartment, when she exclaimed, "Elfonzo! Elfonzo! oh, Elfonzo! where
art thou, with all thy heroes? haste,...

Page 66

...leaving the victory with their solitary
adversary and his crowbar. This is the first time this...

Page 67

...enemy conquered." "Hold," said Elfonzo,
"thy dashing steed." "Ride on," said Ambulinia, "the voice of thunder...

Page 68

...virtues are but slightly appreciated by thousands.
Those who should raise the standard of female worth,...

Page 69

...early
afflictions. It gushes forth from the expansive fullness of a tender and
devoted heart, where the...

Page 70

...to act a villainous part, and
prove a traitor in the revolution of his mission, and...

Page 71

...of
the heart for their dominion, they are not satisfied merely with
interrupting her better feelings; but...

Page 72

...gone so far as to say it was an unnatural one. So long has
she been...

Page 73

...the hero whose bosom beats with aspirations to conquer the enemy
that would tarnish his name,...

Page 74

...and shall
ever be ready to give you any assistance in my official capacity, and
whatever this...

Page 75

...was blind; but now
the path of life is plain before me, and my sight is...

Page 76

...illiterate and inexperienced little dream of; and now if you
will receive me as I am,...

Page 77

...she felt
herself more closely bound, because he sought the hand of no other.
Elfonzo was roused...

Page 78

...rage in the forest, he
resolves for the first time to shake off his embarrassment and...

Page 79

...frankness. I have
loved you from my earliest days; everything grand and beautiful hath
borne the image...

Page 80

...sun set in the Tigris." As she spake these words she grasped the
hand of Elfonzo,...

Page 81

...bowed at beauty's shrine.

Elfonzo again wends his way to the stately walls and new-built village.
He...

Page 82

...gently.
Ambulinia, who sat in the parlor alone, suspecting Elfonzo was near,
ventured to the door, opened...

Page 83

...and my
presence bring thee some relief." "Then, indeed, I will be cheerful,"
said Ambulinia, "and I...

Page 84

...view of the auditory. This
fortuitous circumstances added more the bliss of the Major than a
thousand...

Page 85

...the performance
of the evening--retained his position apparently in defiance of all the
world; he waited, he...

Page 86

...with storms in the watery way.

(Enter Gracia.)

G. Oh, Amelia, is it you, the object of...

Page 87

...renowned spot of my hymeneal
moments; how replete is your chart with sublime reflections! How many
profound...

Page 88

...your God. I would not slay thy unprotected
spirit. I call to Heaven to be my...

Page 89

...give me grace and
fortitude to stand this hour of trial.

F. Amen, I say, with all...

Page 90

...to you, and it may be some kind angel will
show to you that I am...

Page 91

...had returned, some kind window would have been opened to her
relief. But, alas! she is...

Page 92

...society, but one that called aloud the act of the
parties to make it perfect and...

Page 93

...her father. In an
instant, like the flash of lightning, a thought ran through her mind
that...

Page 94

...perish in its ruins.
Where is the philosophy, where is the consistency, where is the charity,
in...

Page 95

...their impudence and ignorance? No. My equals! I
know not where to find them. My inferiors!...

Page 96

...finally be reconciled to our marriage; but as I have
waited in vain, and looked in...

Page 97

...you never know
the pangs of love. Had I never loved, I never would have been...

Page 98

...but like most young men who happened to
win the heart of a beautiful girl, he...

Page 99

...Esquire Valeer, whose pride was already
touched, resolved to preserve the dignity of his family. He...

Page 100

...forever blasted?
Forbid it, father; oh! forbid it, mother; forbid it, Heaven." "I have
seen so many...

Page 101

...fame should soar on the blood of the slumberer."
Mr. Valeer stands at his door with...

Page 102

...preferable than this
lonely cell. My heart shall speak for thee till the latest hour; I...

Page 103

...Gentlemen," continued he, "if Elfonzo is so much
of a distinguished character, and is so learned...

Page 104

...with any of the parties. Other arrangements were made by Ambulinia;
she feigned herself to be...

Page 105

...been, this blustering evening,
Mrs. Valeer?" inquired he. "Oh, she and I have been taking a...

Page 106

...at Rural Retreat, where they
dismounted, and were united with all the solemnities that usually attend
such...

Page 107

...rather lost
his wealth, and had then in his humiliation resolved to sever all
communication with his...

Page 108

...was in my heart showed in my face, and the man
saw it and was pleased;...

Page 109

...knew he was trying to help me by
furtive indications with his eye, so I tried...

Page 110

...broke down my good resolution. I would stay and take
the risk. That night we smoked...

Page 111

...his name. "Lord, we miss her so!" he said.

Saturday afternoon I found I was taking...

Page 112

...by side, and began to
play some rattling dance-music, and beat time with their big boots.

It...

Page 113

...girls; there's only three of us now, and the girls are gone. We
drug him to...

Page 114

...up the divide, along with
Dixon and Parker and Smith. It had two rooms, one for...

Page 115

...hear.

I appeal to you to grant me this favor. With deepest gratitude I think
you for...

Page 116

...I haven't.

H. Ah-h. How long have you known her?

C. I don't know her.

H. Don't know...

Page 117

...years ago.

H. What a basis to judge a book upon! As first you said you...

Page 118

...have observed, in many
cities, that the sex always shrink from calling up the central office
themselves....

Page 119

...and impressive, if you
get the andantino and the pianissimo right.

Pause.

Oh, gum-drops, gum-drops! But I never...

Page 120

...persuaded
to yield up his play-things to him.

When the children were a little older, Georgie became...

Page 121

...he was a quiet but steady and reliable helper in the
church, the temperance societies, and...

Page 122

...was really not to be had. He was astonished to see how
soon his face became...

Page 123

...three months, but was faithfully
rescued and wrought with, every time, and good situations were found...

Page 124

...three-eights of a cent for each bank in the Union. The
cashier's own bank testified its...

Page 125

...I would choose
wisely."



Chapter II

The fairy appeared, and said:

"Four of the gifts remain. Choose once more;...

Page 126

...and he was gaunt and wan and hollow-eyed, and clothed in
rags; and he was gnawing...

Page 127

...type-machine as well as to the rest of us. At the
beginning of that interval a...

Page 128

...a young woman, and did my first dictating (letters,
merely), and my last until now. The...

Page 129

...wiser and better.
As soon as he got wiser and better he traded it to a...

Page 130

...it up for
places where I want to express applause or admiration. The fourth word
has a...

Page 131

...up in a scandal
is more interesting than a whole Sodom and Gomorrah of outlanders gone
rotten....

Page 132

...general sweepings of the outside world--thanks be! Today
I find only a single importation of the...

Page 133

...certainties, and leave steeped in a haunting and adorable
mystery an incident which had been vulgar...

Page 134

...most out of it, and then where are you at? You conjecture that
the spectator which...

Page 135

...must learn its game and play the limit.

I had noticed, in other foreign languages, that...

Page 136

...those details myself; therefore I thought them
out and wrote them down, and sent for the...

Page 137

...was
also ready, with a stenographer. We were in a room called the Rope-Walk.
This is a...

Page 138

...while. The
commander said:

"I fear you are disappointed."

"Yes," I said; "they are too monotonous, too singsong,...

Page 139

...ticket, there
is no doubt about it. What is the next squad?"

"The Imperfect."

"How does it go?"

"_Io...

Page 140

...the usual softened
jangle of church-bells, Florentine and suburban, that bursts out in
murmurous response; by labor-union...

Page 141

...tree never had but one limb to it, and that that one stuck
out at right...

Page 142

...and move his "trunk"
further aft, and then watch the effect. If the ship was "by...

Page 143

...and kept his eagle eye on, always
made good fair time across the ocean. But if...

Page 144

...and one that easily commends itself
to us by the eloquent, persuasive flavor of probability there...

Page 145

...it strike you?



HOW TO TELL A STORY

The Humorous Story an American Development.--Its Difference from Comic
and...

Page 146

...before
him, Nye and Riley and others use it today.

But the teller of the comic story...

Page 147

...he came to make them; remembering things which he forgot
to put in in their proper...

Page 148

...point is passed, and
the audience have had time to divine that a surprise is intended--and
then...

Page 149

...upstairs en jump in de
bed en kiver up, head and years, en lay da shiverin'...

Page 150

...intellect
was unimpaired, and his memory tenacious, up to within a few minutes of
his decease. He...

Page 151

...of President Washington, the
surrender of Cornwallis, the battles of Trenton and Monmouth, and
Bunker Hill, the...

Page 152

...it is safe to assert that
the body-servant of General Washington was in the neighborhood of
two...

Page 153

...toward one
so sinning. He was a stern, unsmiling man, and hated all forms of
precocity. If...

Page 154

...to his names."

I said:

"All right. Isaac and Jacob are good enough for yours truly. Pass...

Page 155

...the flat, sickly things these
"two-years-olds" say in print nowadays? In my opinion there would have
been...

Page 156

...person capable of doing the
following-described things--and not only doing them, but with incredible
innocence _printing them_...

Page 157

...then some Christian hide peeled off with them." It is
monstrous. Such statements are simply lies--there...

Page 158

...child to find that the water is "as pure and fresh as if
the well had...

Page 159

...larger experience, he will eventually "begin to take an
absorbing interest in them"--the vulgar boor.

That we...

Page 160

...Twain's "_Jumping Frog_" it's the finest
bit of humor and sarcasm that we've come across in...

Page 161

...as to
the authorship of the article in question are entirely true. Perhaps
I may get wealthy...

Page 162

...to be identical with the one published in _The Galaxy._ The best
thing for Mark to...

Page 163

...marred by the necessity for
haste and by the confusion and waste of time arising from...

Page 164

...the Other Side, and
replacing them with clauses of a more judicious character. I should,
of course,...

Page 165

...The insane oddity of a
monument set up in a village to preserve a name that...

Page 166

...still in business. It
is odd; but the freaks of mental telegraphy are usually odd.



A HUMANE...

Page 167

...that is, that
this celebrated little phrase-book will never die while the English
language lasts. Its delicious...

Page 168

...who the little book (for the care what we wrote him, and
for her typographical correction)...

Page 169

...TO LITTLE GIRLS

Good little girls ought not to make mouths at their teachers for every
trifling...

Page 170

..._must frequently
be touched by these plaintive tributes to extinguished worth. In
Philadelphia, the departure of a...

Page 171

...read the poetry about little Ferguson,
the word torture but vaguely suggests the anguish that rends...

Page 172

...dear Lies sleeping with the dead.

A tear within a father's eye, A mother's aching heart,...

Page 173

...not
counterfeit it. It is noticeable that the country editor who published
it did not know that...

Page 174

...her God
and friends in peace, And leave this world of care.

1. Written in 1870.



THE DANGER...

Page 175

...people had really lost their lives by those disasters
in the preceding twelve months. The Erie...

Page 176

...as many
in New York--say about 25,000 or 26,000. The health of the two places is
the...

Page 177

...no, not for anything
this world can give. But look back still further and recall my...

Page 178

...has received unbounded
praise from all classes of the community, but that which gratifies me
most is...

Page 179

...and
stay awhile with Napoleon at Wilhelmshohe? It shall not cost you a cent.
William III.



DOES THE...

Page 180

...that idea;
it had been worn threadbare several hundred centuries before America
was discovered. European girls still...

Page 181

...along there? It is Mr. Rockefeller."

Watch his eye. It is a combination of power and...

Page 182

...hotel--and the rest of the alphabet in that line; the
class A prize-fighter--and the rest of...

Page 183

...have heard a dear little girl say to a frowzy and
disreputable dog: "He came right...

Page 184

...all cast--that they are a
nobility-conferring power apart.

We all like these things. When the gate-guard at...

Page 185

...a village
church struck by lightning. It will be said, more or less causally, by
everybody in...

Page 186

...another
minute before he could play; then he said in as mean a way as I...

Page 187

...in no instance would it be true. We
have a large population, but we have not...

Page 188

...three who
would answer your letter if you failed to call them "Governor" in it.
I know...

Page 189

...the several
state capitals and in Washington, there are five thousand Senators who
take very kindly to...

Page 190

...I
am not used to company. I wish it would stay with the other animals....
Cloudy today,...

Page 191

...high-handed, it seems to me. And
already there is a sign up:

KEEP OFF THE GRASS

My life...

Page 192

...escaped last Tuesday night, and traveled two days, and
built me another shelter in a secluded...

Page 193

...then all day and I don't see that they are any happier there then
they were...

Page 194

...asked her what she meant by such nonsense, and snatched them
away and threw them down,...

Page 195

...the Serpent mentioned
that very jest, and called it the First Chestnut, and said it was...

Page 196

...but now
they come handy.

WEDNESDAY.--It isn't a fish. I cannot quite make out what it is....

Page 197

...in the woods. It seems odd that it
should be the only one, yet it must...

Page 198

...for it supports itself by
holding to her finger, and thus goes a few steps on...

Page 199

...hunted these
woods a hundred years, I never would have run across that thing.

NEXT DAY.--I have...

Page 200

...are going to be important to the historian
some day. For I feel like an experiment,...

Page 201

...excuse for not saying anything
about it. For I do love moons, they are so pretty...

Page 202

...head--my very first one; _The scratched
experiment shuns the thorn_. I think it is a very...

Page 203

...was trying to catch the little
speckled fishes that play in the pool, and I had...

Page 204

...silence. In
this way I have saved him many embarrassments. I have no defect like
this. The...

Page 205

...first sorrow.

SUNDAY.--It is pleasant again, now, and I am happy; but those were heavy
days; I...

Page 206

...my despair I said, "Break, my heart; I
cannot bear my life any more!" and hid...

Page 207

...thin, transparent bluish film rose out of the hole,
and I dropped everything and ran! I...

Page 208

...wrought again; and when I had made a good deal of fire-dust I emptied
it into...

Page 209

...well and had worked hard. But he was not
pleased, and turned away and left me....

Page 210

...is a good sample of
the lack of harmony that prevails in our views of things....

Page 211

...and wag their tail,
if they've got one, and they are always ready for a romp...

Page 212

...it does in the dark, because the pool never goes dry, which
it would, of course,...

Page 213

...the other is a fake, and let a person take
his choice.

By watching, I know that...

Page 214

...account of his gracious and considerate ways and his
delicacy that I love him. No, he...

Page 215

...first that has examined
this matter, and it may turn out that in my ignorance and...