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


Yes, I like that way, too; but I think it’s better to baste it

on with Valenciennes or bombazine, or something of that sort.

It gives it such an air–and attracts so much noise.


It’s forty-ninth Deuteronomy, sixty-forth to ninety-seventh inclusive.

I think we ought all to read it often.


Perhaps so; I generally use a hair pin.


What did you say? (ASIDE.) Children, do be quiet!


OH! B FLAT! Dear me, I thought you said it was the cat!


Since WHEN?


Why, _I_ never heard of it.


You astound me! It seems utterly impossible!


WHO did?


Good-ness gracious!


Well, what IS this world coming to? Was it right in CHURCH?


And was her MOTHER there?


Why, Mrs. Bagley, I should have died of humiliation! What did

they DO?

Long pause.

I can’t be perfectly sure, because I haven’t the notes by me;

but I think it goes something like this: te-rolly-loll-loll, loll

lolly-loll-loll, O tolly-loll-loll-LEE-LY-LI-I-do! And then REPEAT,

you know.


Yes, I think it IS very sweet–and very solemn and impressive,

if you get the andantino and the pianissimo right.


Oh, gum-drops, gum-drops! But I never allow them to eat striped candy.

And of course they CAN’T, till they get their teeth, anyway.




Oh, not in the least–go right on. He’s here writing–it doesn’t

bother HIM.


Very well, I’ll come if I can. (ASIDE.) Dear me, how it does tire

a person’s arm to hold this thing up so long! I wish she’d–


Oh no, not at all; I LIKE to talk–but I’m afraid I’m keeping you

from your affairs.




No, we never use butter on them.


Yes, that is a very good way; but all the cook-books say they

are very unhealthy when they are out of season. And HE doesn’t

like them, anyway–especially canned.


Oh, I think that is too high for them; we have never paid over fifty

cents a bunch.


MUST you go? Well, GOOD-by.


Yes, I think so. GOOD-by.


Four o’clock, then–I’ll be ready. GOOD-by.


Thank you ever so much. GOOD-by.


Oh, not at all!–just as fresh–WHICH? Oh, I’m glad to hear you

say that. GOOD-by.

(Hangs up the telephone and says, “Oh, it DOES tire a person’s

arm so!”)

A man delivers a single brutal “Good-by,” and that is the end of it.

Not so with the gentle sex–I say it in their praise; they cannot

abide abruptness.



These two were distantly related to each other–seventh cousins,

or something of that sort. While still babies they became orphans,

and were adopted by the Brants, a childless couple, who quickly

grew very fond of them. The Brants were always saying: “Be pure,

honest, sober, industrious, and considerate of others, and success

in life is assured.” The children heard this repeated some thousands

of times before they understood it; they could repeat it themselves

long before they could say the Lord’s Prayer; it was painted over

the nursery door, and was about the first thing they learned to read.

It was destined to be the unswerving rule of Edward Mills’s life.

Sometimes the Brants changed the wording a little, and said:

“Be pure, honest, sober, industrious, considerate, and you will never

lack friends.”

Baby Mills was a comfort to everybody about him. When he wanted

candy and could not have it, he listened to reason, and contented

himself without it. When Baby Benton wanted candy, he cried for it

until he got it. Baby Mills took care of his toys; Baby Benton

always destroyed his in a very brief time, and then made himself

to insistently disagreeable that, in order to have peace in the house,

little Edward was persuaded to yield up his play-things to him.

When the children were a little older, Georgie became a heavy expense

in one respect: he took no care of his clothes; consequently, he

shone frequently in new ones, with was not the case with Eddie.

The boys grew apace. Eddie was an increasing comfort, Georgie an

increasing solicitude. It was always sufficient to say, in answer

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Categories: Twain, Mark