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

understand that a loving good heart is riches, and riches enough,

and that without it intellect is poverty.

Although he talks so little, he has quite a considerable

vocabulary. This morning he used a surprisingly good word.

He evidently recognized, himself, that it was a good one, for he

worked in in twice afterward, casually. It was good casual art,

still it showed that he possesses a certain quality of perception.

Without a doubt that seed can be made to grow, if cultivated.

Where did he get that word? I do not think I have ever used it.

No, he took no interest in my name. I tried to hide my disappointment,

but I suppose I did not succeed. I went away and sat on the

moss-bank with my feet in the water. It is where I go when I hunger

for companionship, some one to look at, some one to talk to.

It is not enough–that lovely white body painted there in the pool–

but it is something, and something is better than utter loneliness.

It talks when I talk; it is sad when I am sad; it comforts me with

its sympathy; it says, “Do not be downhearted, you poor friendless girl;

I will be your friend.” It IS a good friend to me, and my only one;

it is my sister.

That first time that she forsook me! ah, I shall never forget that–

never, never. My heart was lead in my body! I said, “She was all

I had, and now she is gone!” In my despair I said, “Break, my heart;

I cannot bear my life any more!” and hid my face in my hands,

and there was no solace for me. And when I took them away,

after a little, there she was again, white and shining and beautiful,

and I sprang into her arms!

That was perfect happiness; I had known happiness before, but it was

not like this, which was ecstasy. I never doubted her afterward.

Sometimes she stayed away–maybe an hour, maybe almost the

whole day, but I waited and did not doubt; I said, “She is busy,

or she is gone on a journey, but she will come.” And it was so:

she always did. At night she would not come if it was dark, for she

was a timid little thing; but if there was a moon she would come.

I am not afraid of the dark, but she is younger than I am; she was

born after I was. Many and many are the visits I have paid her;

she is my comfort and my refuge when my life is hard–and it is

mainly that.

TUESDAY.–All the morning I was at work improving the estate;

and I purposely kept away from him in the hope that he would get

lonely and come. But he did not.

At noon I stopped for the day and took my recreation by flitting all

about with the bees and the butterflies and reveling in the flowers,

those beautiful creatures that catch the smile of God out of the

sky and preserve it! I gathered them, and made them into wreaths

and garlands and clothed myself in them while I ate my luncheon–

apples, of course; then I sat in the shade and wished and waited.

But he did not come.

But no matter. Nothing would have come of it, for he does not

care for flowers. He called them rubbish, and cannot tell one

from another, and thinks it is superior to feel like that. He does

not care for me, he does not care for flowers, he does not care

for the painted sky at eventide–is there anything he does care for,

except building shacks to coop himself up in from the good clean rain,

and thumping the melons, and sampling the grapes, and fingering

the fruit on the trees, to see how those properties are coming along?

I laid a dry stick on the ground and tried to bore a hole in it

with another one, in order to carry out a scheme that I had,

and soon I got an awful fright. A thin, transparent bluish film

rose out of the hole, and I dropped everything and ran! I thought

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Categories: Twain, Mark