THE $30,000 BEQUEST and Other Stories by Mark Twain

FRIDAY. The naming goes recklessly on, in spite of anything I can do.

I had a very good name for the estate, and it was musical and pretty–

GARDEN OF EDEN. Privately, I continue to call it that, but not any

longer publicly. The new creature says it is all woods and rocks

and scenery, and therefore has no resemblance to a garden. Says it

LOOKS like a park, and does not look like anything BUT a park.

Consequently, without consulting me, it has been new-named NIAGARA

FALLS PARK. This is sufficiently high-handed, it seems to me.

And already there is a sign up:



My life is not as happy as it was.

SATURDAY.–The new creature eats too much fruit. We are going

to run short, most likely. “We” again–that is ITS word; mine, too,

now, from hearing it so much. Good deal of fog this morning.

I do not go out in the fog myself. This new creature does.

It goes out in all weathers, and stumps right in with its muddy feet.

And talks. It used to be so pleasant and quiet here.

SUNDAY.–Pulled through. This day is getting to be more and more trying.

It was selected and set apart last November as a day of rest.

I had already six of them per week before. This morning found

the new creature trying to clod apples out of that forbidden tree.

MONDAY.–The new creature says its name is Eve. That is all right,

I have no objections. Says it is to call it by, when I want it

to come. I said it was superfluous, then. The word evidently

raised me in its respect; and indeed it is a large, good word

and will bear repetition. It says it is not an It, it is a She.

This is probably doubtful; yet it is all one to me; what she is were

nothing to me if she would but go by herself and not talk.

TUESDAY.–She has littered the whole estate with execrable names

and offensive signs:

This way to the Whirlpool

This way to Goat Island

Cave of the Winds this way

She says this park would make a tidy summer resort if there was

any custom for it. Summer resort–another invention of hers–

just words, without any meaning. What is a summer resort?

But it is best not to ask her, she has such a rage for explaining.

FRIDAY.–She has taken to beseeching me to stop going over the Falls.

What harm does it do? Says it makes her shudder. I wonder why;

I have always done it–always liked the plunge, and coolness.

I supposed it was what the Falls were for. They have no other

use that I can see, and they must have been made for something.

She says they were only made for scenery–like the rhinoceros and

the mastodon.

I went over the Falls in a barrel–not satisfactory to her.

Went over in a tub–still not satisfactory. Swam the Whirlpool and

the Rapids in a fig-leaf suit. It got much damaged. Hence, tedious

complaints about my extravagance. I am too much hampered here.

What I need is a change of scene.

SATURDAY.–I escaped last Tuesday night, and traveled two days,

and built me another shelter in a secluded place, and obliterated my

tracks as well as I could, but she hunted me out by means of a beast

which she has tamed and calls a wolf, and came making that pitiful

noise again, and shedding that water out of the places she looks with.

I was obliged to return with her, but will presently emigrate again

when occasion offers. She engages herself in many foolish things;

among others; to study out why the animals called lions and tigers

live on grass and flowers, when, as she says, the sort of teeth they

wear would indicate that they were intended to eat each other.

This is foolish, because to do that would be to kill each other,

and that would introduce what, as I understand, is called “death”;

and death, as I have been told, has not yet entered the Park.

Which is a pity, on some accounts.

SUNDAY.–Pulled through.

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Categories: Twain, Mark