The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg

By Mark Twain

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...Transcribed from the 1907 Chatto & Windus edition by David Price, email
ccx074@coventry.ac.uk





THE MAN THAT CORRUPTED...

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...ten at night. He got a sack
out of the buggy, shouldered it, and staggered...

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...will explain. I was a gambler. I say I WAS. I was...

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...days from now, let the candidate appear at the town-hall at
eight in...

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...men in this village are
worth that much. Give me the paper."

He skimmed through it...

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...best-hated man
among us, except the Reverend Burgess."

"Well, Burgess deserves it--he will never get another congregation...

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...know,
because he is always trying to be friendly with us, as little
encouragement as we give...

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...marks. He had only one vanity; he
thought he could give advice better than any...

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...thing that had happened, and they had talked it over eagerly,
and guessed that the late...

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...a heated sort--a new thing; there had
been discussions before, but not heated ones, not ungentle...

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...a mean town, a hard,
stingy town, and hasn't a virtue in the world but this...

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... By breakfast-time the next morning the name of
Hadleyburg the Incorruptible was on every lip...

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...quite so happy as they did a day or two ago; and next
he claimed that...

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...them off. Two or three hours later his wife
got wearily up and was going...

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...citizen of Hadleyburg
these virtues are an unfailing inheritance, and so I am...

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...so. Let us keep away from that ground. Now--that is all gone by;
let...

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...there was still one other
detail that kept pushing itself on his notice: of course he...

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...a
limelight in his own memory instead of being an inconspicuous service
which he had possibly rendered...

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... They were exact copies of the letter received by
Richards--handwriting and all--and were all signed...

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...suddenly now. First one
and then another chief citizen's wife said to him privately:

"Come to...

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...being dead--but it
never occurred to him that all this crowd might be claimants. When...

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...priceless value; that under Providence its value had
now become inestimably enhanced, for the recent episode...

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...special
virtue which has made our town famous throughout the land--Mr. Billson!"

The house had gotten itself...

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...been a
mistake somewhere, but surely that is all. If Mr. Wilson gave me an
envelope--and...

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...and filching family
secrets. If it is not unparliamentary to suggest it, I will remark...

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...resumed--as follows:

"'_Go, and reform--or, mark my words--some day, for your sins you will
die and go...

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...helpless collapse. But
Wilson was a lawyer. He struggled to his feet, pale and...

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...Wilson has the floor."

Billson's friends pulled him into his seat and quieted him, and Wilson
went...

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...wondering:

"'The remark which I made to the stranger--[Voices. "Hello! how's
this?"]--was this: 'You are far...

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...a final line--

"But the Symbols are here, you bet!"

That was sung, with...

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... I see your generous purpose in your face,
but I cannot allow you to plead...

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...we fell. It was my purpose when I got up before to make confession
and...

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...Voices [derisively.] "That's it! Divvy! divvy! Be kind to the
poor--don't keep them...

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...a penny. I was afraid of Goodson. He was neither born nor
reared in...

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...bids at a dollar, the Brixton folk and Barnum's
representative fought hard for it, the people...

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... Yes, he saw my deuces--_and_ with a straight
flush, and by rights the pot is...

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... He
was one of the two very rich men of the place, and Pinkerton was...

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...the congratulators had been gloating over them and reverently
fingering them. Edward did not answer...

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...escaped somehow or other; and now he is
trying a new way. If it is...

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...representing more than gold
and jewels, and keep it always. But now--We could not live...

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...easy to sleep under; but now it was
different: the sermon seemed to bristle with accusations;...

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...Mary--!"

"Oh, it is dreadful--I know what you are going to say--he didn't return
your transcript of...

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...and flicker toward
extinction.

Six days passed, then came more news. The old couple were dying.
Richards's...