The $30,000 bequest, and.., p.1
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       The $30,000 Bequest, and Other Stories, p.1

           Mark Twain
 
The $30,000 Bequest, and Other Stories


  Produced by An Anonymous Volunteer, and David Widger

  THE $30,000 BEQUEST

  and Other Stories

  by Mark Twain

  (Samuel L. Clemens)

  CONTENTS

  THE $30,000 BEQUEST

  CHAPTER I

  CHAPTER II

  CHAPTER III

  CHAPTER IV

  CHAPTER V

  CHAPTER VI

  CHAPTER VII

  CHAPTER VIII

  A DOG'S TALE

  CHAPTER I

  CHAPTER II

  CHAPTER III

  WAS IT HEAVEN? OR HELL?

  CHAPTER I

  CHAPTER II

  CHAPTER III

  CHAPTER IV

  CHAPTER V

  CHAPTER VI

  CHAPTER VII

  CHAPTER VIII

  CHAPTER IX

  CHAPTER X

  A CURE FOR THE BLUES

  THE CURIOUS BOOK

  THE CALIFORNIAN'S TALE

  A HELPLESS SITUATION

  A TELEPHONIC CONVERSATION

  EDWARD MILLS AND GEORGE BENTON: A TALE

  THE FIVE BOONS OF LIFE

  Chapter I

  Chapter II

  Chapter III

  Chapter IV

  Chapter V

  THE FIRST WRITING-MACHINES

  ITALIAN WITHOUT A MASTER

  ITALIAN WITH GRAMMAR

  A BURLESQUE BIOGRAPHY

  HOW TO TELL A STORY

  GENERAL WASHINGTON'S NEGRO BODY-SERVANT

  WIT INSPIRATIONS OF THE "TWO-YEAR-OLDS"

  AN ENTERTAINING ARTICLE

  A LETTER TO THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY

  AMENDED OBITUARIES

  A MONUMENT TO ADAM

  A HUMANE WORD FROM SATAN

  INTRODUCTION TO "THE NEW GUIDE OF THE CONVERSATION IN PORTUGUESE ANDENGLISH"

  ADVICE TO LITTLE GIRLS

  POST-MORTEM POETRY (1)

  THE DANGER OF LYING IN BED

  PORTRAIT OF KING WILLIAM III

  DOES THE RACE OF MAN LOVE A LORD?

  EXTRACTS FROM ADAM'S DIARY

  EVE'S DIARY

  EXTRACT FROM ADAM'S DIARY

  THE $30,000 BEQUEST

  CHAPTER I

  Lakeside was a pleasant little town of five or six thousand inhabitants,and a rather pretty one, too, as towns go in the Far West. It had churchaccommodations for thirty-five thousand, which is the way of the FarWest and the South, where everybody is religious, and where each of theProtestant sects is represented and has a plant of its own. Rank wasunknown in Lakeside--unconfessed, anyway; everybody knew everybody andhis dog, and a sociable friendliness was the prevailing atmosphere.

  Saladin Foster was book-keeper in the principal store, and the onlyhigh-salaried man of his profession in Lakeside. He was thirty-fiveyears old, now; he had served that store for fourteen years; he hadbegun in his marriage-week at four hundred dollars a year, and hadclimbed steadily up, a hundred dollars a year, for four years; fromthat time forth his wage had remained eight hundred--a handsome figureindeed, and everybody conceded that he was worth it.

  His wife, Electra, was a capable helpmeet, although--like himself--adreamer of dreams and a private dabbler in romance. The first thing shedid, after her marriage--child as she was, aged only nineteen--was tobuy an acre of ground on the edge of the town, and pay down the cash forit--twenty-five dollars, all her fortune. Saladin had less, by fifteen.She instituted a vegetable garden there, got it farmed on shares by thenearest neighbor, and made it pay her a hundred per cent. a year. Out ofSaladin's first year's wage she put thirty dollars in the savings-bank,sixty out of his second, a hundred out of his third, a hundred and fiftyout of his fourth. His wage went to eight hundred a year, then, andmeantime two children had arrived and increased the expenses, but shebanked two hundred a year from the salary, nevertheless, thenceforth.When she had been married seven years she built and furnished apretty and comfortable two-thousand-dollar house in the midst of hergarden-acre, paid half of the money down and moved her family in. Sevenyears later she was out of debt and had several hundred dollars outearning its living.

  Earning it by the rise in landed estate; for she had long ago boughtanother acre or two and sold the most of it at a profit to pleasantpeople who were willing to build, and would be good neighbors andfurnish a general comradeship for herself and her growing family. Shehad an independent income from safe investments of about a hundreddollars a year; her children were growing in years and grace; andshe was a pleased and happy woman. Happy in her husband, happy in herchildren, and the husband and the children were happy in her. It is atthis point that this history begins.

  The youngest girl, Clytemnestra--called Clytie for short--was eleven;her sister, Gwendolen--called Gwen for short--was thirteen; nice girls,and comely. The names betray the latent romance-tinge in the parentalblood, the parents' names indicate that the tinge was an inheritance. Itwas an affectionate family, hence all four of its members had petnames, Saladin's was a curious and unsexing one--Sally; and so wasElectra's--Aleck. All day long Sally was a good and diligent book-keeperand salesman; all day long Aleck was a good and faithful mother andhousewife, and thoughtful and calculating business woman; but in thecozy living-room at night they put the plodding world away, and lived inanother and a fairer, reading romances to each other, dreaming dreams,comrading with kings and princes and stately lords and ladies in theflash and stir and splendor of noble palaces and grim and ancientcastles.

 
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