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

not able to make out. I think it is a man. I had never seen a man,

but it looked like one, and I feel sure that that is what it is.

I realize that I feel more curiosity about it than about any

of the other reptiles. If it is a reptile, and I suppose it is;

for it has frowzy hair and blue eyes, and looks like a reptile.

It has no hips; it tapers like a carrot; when it stands, it spreads

itself apart like a derrick; so I think it is a reptile, though it may

be architecture.

I was afraid of it at first, and started to run every time it

turned around, for I thought it was going to chase me; but by

and by I found it was only trying to get away, so after that I

was not timid any more, but tracked it along, several hours,

about twenty yards behind, which made it nervous and unhappy.

At last it was a good deal worried, and climbed a tree. I waited

a good while, then gave it up and went home.

Today the same thing over. I’ve got it up the tree again.

SUNDAY.–It is up there yet. Resting, apparently. But that is

a subterfuge: Sunday isn’t the day of rest; Saturday is appointed

for that. It looks to me like a creature that is more interested

in resting than it anything else. It would tire me to rest so much.

It tires me just to sit around and watch the tree. I do wonder

what it is for; I never see it do anything.

They returned the moon last night, and I was SO happy! I think

it is very honest of them. It slid down and fell off again,

but I was not distressed; there is no need to worry when one has

that kind of neighbors; they will fetch it back. I wish I could

do something to show my appreciation. I would like to send them

some stars, for we have more than we can use. I mean I, not we,

for I can see that the reptile cares nothing for such things.

It has low tastes, and is not kind. When I went there yesterday

evening in the gloaming it had crept down and was trying to catch

the little speckled fishes that play in the pool, and I had

to clod it to make it go up the tree again and let them alone.

I wonder if THAT is what it is for? Hasn’t it any heart?

Hasn’t it any compassion for those little creature? Can it be

that it was designed and manufactured for such ungentle work?

It has the look of it. One of the clods took it back of the ear,

and it used language. It gave me a thrill, for it was the first time I

had ever heard speech, except my own. I did not understand the words,

but they seemed expressive.

When I found it could talk I felt a new interest in it, for I

love to talk; I talk, all day, and in my sleep, too, and I am

very interesting, but if I had another to talk to I could be twice

as interesting, and would never stop, if desired.

If this reptile is a man, it isn’t an IT, is it? That wouldn’t

be grammatical, would it? I think it would be HE. I think so.

In that case one would parse it thus: nominative, HE; dative, HIM;

possessive, HIS’N. Well, I will consider it a man and call it he

until it turns out to be something else. This will be handier

than having so many uncertainties.

NEXT WEEK SUNDAY.–All the week I tagged around after him and tried

to get acquainted. I had to do the talking, because he was shy,

but I didn’t mind it. He seemed pleased to have me around, and I

used the sociable “we” a good deal, because it seemed to flatter him

to be included.

WEDNESDAY.–We are getting along very well indeed, now, and getting

better and better acquainted. He does not try to avoid me any more,

which is a good sign, and shows that he likes to have me with him.

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Categories: Twain, Mark