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AUTHOR'S NOTE The six stories in this volume are the result of some three or four years of occasional work. The dates of their writing are far apart, their origins are various. None of them are connected directly with personal experiences. In all of them the facts are inherently true, by which I mean that they are not only possible but that they have actually happened. For instance, the last story in the volume, the one I call Pathetic, whose... more...

THE TELEGRAM It was the great ball of the season at Fort Ellsworth. For a special reason it had begun unusually late; but, though the eighth dance was on, the great event of the evening had not happened yet. Until that should happen, the rest, charming though it might be, was a mere curtain-raiser to keep men amused before the first act of the play. The band of the —th was playing the "Merry Widow" waltz, still a favourite at the fort,... more...

It seems inexcusable to remind the public that one has written a book. Poppa says I ought not to feel that way about it—that he might just as well be shy about referring to the baking soda that he himself invented—but I do, and it is with every apology that I mention it. I once had such a good time in England that I printed my experiences, and at the very end of the volume it seemed necessary to admit that I was engaged to Mr. Arthur... more...

INTRODUCTION A Voyage to Cacklogallinia appeared in London, in 1727, from the pen of a pseudonymous "Captain Samuel Brunt." Posterity has continued to preserve the anonymity of the author, perhaps more jealously than he would have wished. Whatever his real parentage, he must for the present be referred only to the literary family of which his progenitor "Captain Lemuel Gulliver" is the most distinguished member. Like so many other works of that... more...

A TERRIBLE ADVENTURE WITH HYENAS There are many mighty hunters, and most of them can tell of many very thrilling adventures personally undergone with wild beasts; but probably none of them ever went through an experience equalling that which Arthur Spencer, the famous trapper, suffered in the wilds of Africa. As the right-hand man of Carl Hagenbach, the great Hamburg dealer in wild animals, for whom Spencer trapped some of the finest and rarest... more...


CHAPTER I. YOU don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter.  That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly.  There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth.  That is nothing.  I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary.  Aunt Polly—Tom's... more...

CHAPTER I. YOU don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter.  That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly.  There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth.  That is nothing.  I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary.  Aunt Polly—Tom's... more...

CHAPTER VI. WELL, pretty soon the old man was up and around again, and then he went for Judge Thatcher in the courts to make him give up that money, and he went for me, too, for not stopping school.  He catched me a couple of times and thrashed me, but I went to school just the same, and dodged him or outrun him most of the time.  I didn't want to go to school much before, but I reckoned I'd go now to spite pap.  That law trial... more...

CHAPTER XI. "COME in," says the woman, and I did.  She says:  "Take a cheer." I done it.  She looked me all over with her little shiny eyes, and says: "What might your name be?" "Sarah Williams." "Where 'bouts do you live?  In this neighborhood?' "No'm.  In Hookerville, seven mile below.  I've walked all the way and I'm all tired out." "Hungry, too, I reckon.  I'll find you something." "No'm, I ain't... more...

CHAPTER XVI. WE slept most all day, and started out at night, a little ways behind a monstrous long raft that was as long going by as a procession.  She had four long sweeps at each end, so we judged she carried as many as thirty men, likely.  She had five big wigwams aboard, wide apart, and an open camp fire in the middle, and a tall flag-pole at each end.  There was a power of style about her.  It AMOUNTED to something... more...