The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain

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Re: The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain

Postby admin » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:49 am

CHAPTER XIX. The Prophecy Realized.

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.—Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar.

It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse-races.—Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar.

Dawson’s Landing was comfortably finishing its season of dull repose and waiting patiently for the duel. Count Luigi was waiting, too; but not patiently, rumor said. Sunday came, and Luigi insisted on having his challenge conveyed. Wilson carried it. Judge Driscoll declined to fight with an assassin—“that is,” he added significantly, “in the field of honor.”

Elsewhere, of course, he would be ready. Wilson tried to convince him that if he had been present himself when Angelo told about the homicide committed by Luigi, he would not have considered the act discreditable to 247 Luigi; but the obstinate old man was not to be moved.

Wilson went back to his principal and reported the failure of his mission. Luigi was incensed, and asked how it could be that the old gentleman, who was by no means dull-witted, held his trifling nephew’s evidence and inferences to be of more value than Wilson’s. But Wilson laughed, and said—

“That is quite simple; that is easily explicable. I am not his doll—his baby—his infatuation: his nephew is. The Judge and his late wife never had any children. The Judge and his wife were past middle age when this treasure fell into their lap. One must make allowances for a parental instinct that has been starving for twenty-five or thirty years. It is famished, it is crazed with hunger by that time, and will be entirely satisfied with anything that comes handy; its taste is atrophied, it can’t tell mud-cat from shad. A devil born to a young couple is measurably recognizable by them as a devil before long, but a devil adopted by an old couple is an angel to them, and remains so, through thick 248 and thin. Tom is this old man’s angel; he is infatuated with him. Tom can persuade him into things which other people can’t—not all things; I don’t mean that, but a good many—particularly one class of things: the things that create or abolish personal partialities or prejudices in the old man’s mind. The old man liked both of you. Tom conceived a hatred for you. That was enough; it turned the old man around at once. The oldest and strongest friendship must go to the ground when one of these late-adopted darlings throws a brick at it.”

“It’s a curious philosophy,” said Luigi.

“It ain’t a philosophy at all—it’s a fact. And there is something pathetic and beautiful about it, too. I think there is nothing more pathetic than to see one of these poor old childless couples taking a menagerie of yelping little worthless dogs to their hearts; and then adding some cursing and squawking parrots and a jackass-voiced macaw; and next a couple of hundred screeching song-birds, and presently some fetid guinea-pigs and rabbits, and a howling colony of cats. It 249 is all a groping and ignorant effort to construct out of base metal and brass filings, so to speak, something to take the place of that golden treasure denied them by Nature, a child. But this is a digression. The unwritten law of this region requires you to kill Judge Driscoll on sight, and he and the community will expect that attention at your hands—though of course your own death by his bullet will answer every purpose. Look out for him! Are you heeled—that is, fixed?”

“Yes, he shall have his opportunity. If he attacks me I will respond.”

As Wilson was leaving, he said—

“The Judge is still a little used up by his campaign work, and will not get out for a day or so; but when he does get out, you want to be on the alert.”

About eleven at night the twins went out for exercise, and started on a long stroll in the veiled moonlight.

Tom Driscoll had landed at Hackett’s Store, two miles below Dawson’s, just about half an hour earlier, the only passenger for that lonely spot, and had walked up the shore 250 road and entered Judge Driscoll’s house without having encountered any one either on the road or under the roof.

He pulled down his window-blinds and lighted his candle. He laid off his coat and hat and began his preparations. He unlocked his trunk and got his suit of girl’s clothes out from under the male attire in it, and laid it by. Then he blacked his face with burnt cork and put the cork in his pocket. His plan was, to slip down to his uncle’s private sitting-room below, pass into the bedroom, steal the safe-key from the old gentleman’s clothes, and then go back and rob the safe. He took up his candle to start. His courage and confidence were high, up to this point, but both began to waver a little, now. Suppose he should make a noise, by some accident, and get caught—say, in the act of opening the safe? Perhaps it would be well to go armed. He took the Indian knife from its hiding-place, and felt a pleasant return of his wandering courage. He slipped stealthily down the narrow stair, his hair rising and his pulses halting at the 251 slightest creak. When he was half-way down, he was disturbed to perceive that the landing below was touched by a faint glow of light. What could that mean? Was his uncle still up? No, that was not likely; he must have left his night-taper there when he went to bed. Tom crept on down, pausing at every step to listen. He found the door standing open, and glanced in. What he saw pleased him beyond measure. His uncle was asleep on the sofa; on a small table at the head of the sofa a lamp was burning low, and by it stood the old man’s small tin cash-box, closed. Near the box was a pile of bank-notes and a piece of paper covered with figures in pencil. The safe-door was not open. Evidently the sleeper had wearied himself with work upon his finances, and was taking a rest.

Tom set his candle on the stairs, and began to make his way toward the pile of notes, stooping low as he went. When he was passing his uncle, the old man stirred in his sleep, and Tom stopped instantly—stopped, and softly drew the knife from its sheath, with his heart thumping, and his eyes fastened upon 252 his benefactor’s face. After a moment or two he ventured forward again—one step—reached for his prize and seized it, dropping the knife-sheath. Then he felt the old man’s strong grip upon him, and a wild cry of “Help! help!” rang in his ear. Without hesitation he drove the knife home—and was free. Some of the notes escaped from his left hand and fell in the blood on the floor. He dropped the knife and snatched them up and started to fly; transferred them to his left hand, and seized the knife again, in his fright and confusion, but remembered himself and flung it from him, as being a dangerous witness to carry away with him.

He jumped for the stair-foot, and closed the door behind him; and as he snatched his candle and fled upward, the stillness of the night was broken by the sound of urgent footsteps approaching the house. In another moment he was in his room and the twins were standing aghast over the body of the murdered man!

Tom put on his coat, buttoned his hat under it, threw on his suit of girl’s clothes, 253 dropped the veil, blew out his light, locked the room door by which he had just entered, taking the key, passed through his other door into the back hall, locked that door and kept the key, then worked his way along in the dark and descended the back stairs. He was not expecting to meet anybody, for all interest was centered in the other part of the house, now; his calculation proved correct. By the time he was passing through the back-yard, Mrs. Pratt, her servants, and a dozen half-dressed neighbors had joined the twins and the dead, and accessions were still arriving at the front door.

As Tom, quaking as with a palsy, passed out at the gate, three women came flying from the house on the opposite side of the lane. They rushed by him and in at the gate, asking him what the trouble was there, but not waiting for an answer. Tom said to himself, “Those old maids waited to dress—they did the same thing the night Stevens’s house burned down next door.” In a few minutes he was in the haunted house. He lighted a candle and took off his girl-clothes. There 254 was blood on him all down his left side, and his right hand was red with the stains of the blood-soaked notes which he had crushed in it; but otherwise he was free from this sort of evidence. He cleansed his hand on the straw, and cleaned most of the smut from his face. Then he burned his male and female attire to ashes, scattered the ashes, and put on a disguise proper for a tramp. He blew out his light, went below, and was soon loafing down the river road with the intent to borrow and use one of Roxy’s devices. He found a canoe and paddled off down-stream, setting the canoe adrift as dawn approached, and making his way by land to the next village, where he kept out of sight till a transient steamer came along, and then took deck passage for St. Louis. He was ill at ease until Dawson’s Landing was behind him; then he said to himself, “All the detectives on earth couldn’t trace me now; there’s not a vestige of a clue left in the world; that homicide will take its place with the permanent mysteries, and people won’t get done trying to guess out the secret of it for fifty years.”

255 In St. Louis, next morning, he read this brief telegram in the papers—dated at Dawson’s Landing:

Judge Driscoll, an old and respected citizen, was assassinated here about midnight by a profligate Italian nobleman or barber on account of a quarrel growing out of the recent election. The assassin will probably be lynched.

“One of the twins!” soliloquized Tom; “how lucky! It is the knife that has done him this grace. We never know when fortune is trying to favor us. I actually cursed Pudd’nhead Wilson in my heart for putting it out of my power to sell that knife. I take it back, now.”

Tom was now rich and independent. He arranged with the planter, and mailed to Wilson the new bill of sale which sold Roxana to herself; then he telegraphed his Aunt Pratt:

Have seen the awful news in the papers and am almost prostrated with grief. Shall start by packet to-day. Try to bear up till I come.

When Wilson reached the house of mourning and had gathered such details as Mrs. Pratt and the rest of the crowd could tell him, 256 he took command as mayor, and gave orders that nothing should be touched, but everything left as it was until Justice Robinson should arrive and take the proper measures as coroner. He cleared everybody out of the room but the twins and himself. The sheriff soon arrived and took the twins away to jail. Wilson told them to keep heart, and promised to do his best in their defense when the case should come to trial. Justice Robinson came presently, and with him Constable Blake. They examined the room thoroughly. They found the knife and the sheath. Wilson noticed that there were finger-prints on the knife-handle. That pleased him, for the twins had required the earliest comers to make a scrutiny of their hands and clothes, and neither these people nor Wilson himself had found any blood-stains upon them. Could there be a possibility that the twins had spoken the truth when they said they found the man dead when they ran into the house in answer to the cry for help? He thought of that mysterious girl at once. But this was not the sort of work for a girl to be engaged in. No 257 matter; Tom Driscoll’s room must be examined.

After the coroner’s jury had viewed the body and its surroundings, Wilson suggested a search up-stairs, and he went along. The jury forced an entrance to Tom’s room, but found nothing, of course.

The coroner’s jury found that the homicide was committed by Luigi, and that Angelo was accessory to it.

The town was bitter against the unfortunates, and for the first few days after the murder they were in constant danger of being lynched. The grand jury presently indicted Luigi for murder in the first degree, and Angelo as accessory before the fact. The twins were transferred from the city jail to the county prison to await trial.

Wilson examined the finger-marks on the knife-handle and said to himself, “Neither of the twins made those marks.” Then manifestly there was another person concerned, either in his own interest or as hired assassin.

But who could it be? That, he must try to find out. The safe was not open, the 258 cash-box was closed, and had three thousand dollars in it. Then robbery was not the motive, and revenge was. Where had the murdered man an enemy except Luigi? There was but that one person in the world with a deep grudge against him.

The mysterious girl! The girl was a great trial to Wilson. If the motive had been robbery, the girl might answer; but there wasn’t any girl that would want to take this old man’s life for revenge. He had no quarrels with girls; he was a gentleman.

Wilson had perfect tracings of the finger-marks of the knife-handle; and among his glass-records he had a great array of finger-prints of women and girls, collected during the last fifteen or eighteen years, but he scanned them in vain, they successfully withstood every test; among them were no duplicates of the prints on the knife.

The presence of the knife on the stage of the murder was a worrying circumstance for Wilson. A week previously he had as good as admitted to himself that he believed Luigi had possessed such a knife, and that he still 259 possessed it notwithstanding his pretense that it had been stolen. And now here was the knife, and with it the twins. Half the town had said the twins were humbugging when they claimed that they had lost their knife, and now these people were joyful, and said, “I told you so!”

If their finger-prints had been on the handle—but it was useless to bother any further about that; the finger-prints on the handle were not theirs—that he knew perfectly.

Wilson refused to suspect Tom; for first, Tom couldn’t murder anybody—he hadn’t character enough; secondly, if he could murder a person he wouldn’t select his doting benefactor and nearest relative; thirdly, self-interest was in the way; for while the uncle lived, Tom was sure of a free support and a chance to get the destroyed will revived again, but with the uncle gone, that chance was gone, too. It was true the will had really been revived, as was now discovered, but Tom could not have been aware of it, or he would have spoken of it, in his native talky, unsecretive way. Finally, Tom was in St. Louis when 260 the murder was done, and got the news out of the morning journals, as was shown by his telegram to his aunt. These speculations were unemphasized sensations rather than articulated thoughts, for Wilson would have laughed at the idea of seriously connecting Tom with the murder.

Wilson regarded the case of the twins as desperate—in fact, about hopeless. For he argued that if a confederate was not found, an enlightened Missouri jury would hang them, sure; if a confederate was found, that would not improve the matter, but simply furnish one more person for the sheriff to hang. Nothing could save the twins but the discovery of a person who did the murder on his sole personal account—an undertaking which had all the aspect of the impossible. Still, the person who made the finger-prints must be sought. The twins might have no case with him, but they certainly would have none without him.

So Wilson mooned around, thinking, thinking, guessing, guessing, day and night, and arriving nowhere. Whenever he ran across a girl or a woman he was not acquainted with, 261 he got her finger-prints, on one pretext or another; and they always cost him a sigh when he got home, for they never tallied with the finger-marks on the knife-handle.

As to the mysterious girl, Tom swore he knew no such girl, and did not remember ever seeing a girl wearing a dress like the one described by Wilson. He admitted that he did not always lock his room, and that sometimes the servants forgot to lock the house doors; still, in his opinion the girl must have made but few visits or she would have been discovered. When Wilson tried to connect her with the stealing-raid, and thought she might have been the old woman’s confederate, if not the very thief herself disguised as an old woman, Tom seemed stuck, and also much interested, and said he would keep a sharp eye out for this person or persons, although he was afraid that she or they would be too smart to venture again into a town where everybody would now be on the watch for a good while to come.

Everybody was pitying Tom, he looked so quiet and sorrowful, and seemed to feel his great loss so deeply. He was playing a part, 262 but it was not all a part. The picture of his alleged uncle, as he had last seen him, was before him in the dark pretty frequently, when he was awake, and called again in his dreams, when he was asleep. He wouldn’t go into the room where the tragedy had happened. This charmed the doting Mrs. Pratt, who realized now, “as she had never done before,” she said, what a sensitive and delicate nature her darling had, and how he adored his poor uncle.
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Re: The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain

Postby admin » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:49 am

CHAPTER XX. The Murderer Chuckles.

Even the clearest and most perfect circumstantial evidence is likely to be at fault, after all, and therefore ought to be received with great caution. Take the case of any pencil, sharpened by any woman: if you have witnesses, you will find she did it with a knife; but if you take simply the aspect of the pencil, you will say she did it with her teeth.—Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar.

The weeks dragged along, no friend visiting the jailed twins but their counsel and Aunt Patsy Cooper, and the day of trial came at last—the heaviest day in Wilson’s life; for with all his tireless diligence he had discovered no sign or trace of the missing confederate. “Confederate” was the term he had long ago privately accepted for that person—not as being unquestionably the right term, but as being at least possibly the right one, though he was never able to understand why the twins did not vanish and escape, as 264 the confederate had done, instead of remaining by the murdered man and getting caught there.

The court-house was crowded, of course, and would remain so to the finish, for not only in the town itself, but in the country for miles around, the trial was the one topic of conversation among the people. Mrs. Pratt, in deep mourning, and Tom with a weed on his hat, had seats near Pembroke Howard, the public prosecutor, and back of them sat a great array of friends of the family. The twins had but one friend present to keep their counsel in countenance, their poor old sorrowing landlady. She sat near Wilson, and looked her friendliest. In the “nigger corner” sat Chambers; also Roxy, with good clothes on, and her bill of sale in her pocket. It was her most precious possession, and she never parted with it, day or night. Tom had allowed her thirty-five dollars a month ever since he came into his property, and had said that he and she ought to be grateful to the twins for making them rich; but had roused such a temper in her by 265 this speech that he did not repeat the argument afterward. She said the old Judge had treated her child a thousand times better than he deserved, and had never done her an unkindness in his life; so she hated these outlandish devils for killing him, and shouldn’t ever sleep satisfied till she saw them hanged for it. She was here to watch the trial, now, and was going to lift up just one “hooraw” over it if the County Judge put her in jail a year for it. She gave her turbaned head a toss and said, “When dat verdic’ comes, I’s gwine to lif’ dat roof, now, I tell you.”

Pembroke Howard briefly sketched the State’s case. He said he would show by a chain of circumstantial evidence without break or fault in it anywhere, that the principal prisoner at the bar committed the murder; that the motive was partly revenge, and partly a desire to take his own life out of jeopardy, and that his brother, by his presence, was a consenting accessory to the crime; a crime which was the basest known to the calendar of human misdeeds—assassination; that it was conceived by the blackest of hearts and 266 consummated by the cowardliest of hands; a crime which had broken a loving sister’s heart, blighted the happiness of a young nephew who was as dear as a son, brought inconsolable grief to many friends, and sorrow and loss to the whole community. The utmost penalty of the outraged law would be exacted, and upon the accused, now present at the bar, that penalty would unquestionably be executed. He would reserve further remark until his closing speech.

He was strongly moved, and so also was the whole house; Mrs. Pratt and several other women were weeping when he sat down, and many an eye that was full of hate was riveted upon the unhappy prisoners.

Witness after witness was called by the State, and questioned at length; but the cross-questioning was brief. Wilson knew they could furnish nothing valuable for his side. People were sorry for Pudd’nhead; his budding career would get hurt by this trial.

Several witnesses swore they heard Judge Driscoll say in his public speech that the twins would be able to find their lost knife 267 again when they needed it to assassinate somebody with. This was not news, but now it was seen to have been sorrowfully prophetic, and a profound sensation quivered through the hushed court-room when those dismal words were repeated.

The public prosecutor rose and said that it was within his knowledge, through a conversation held with Judge Driscoll on the last day of his life, that counsel for the defense had brought him a challenge from the person charged at this bar with murder; that he had refused to fight with a confessed assassin—“that is, on the field of honor,” but had added significantly, that he would be ready for him elsewhere. Presumably the person here charged with murder was warned that he must kill or be killed the first time he should meet Judge Driscoll. If counsel for the defense chose to let the statement stand so, he would not call him to the witness stand. Mr. Wilson said he would offer no denial. [Murmurs in the house—“It is getting worse and worse for Wilson’s case.”]

Mrs. Pratt testified that she heard no outcry, 268 and did not know what woke her up, unless it was the sound of rapid footsteps approaching the front door. She jumped up and ran out in the hall just as she was, and heard the footsteps flying up the front steps and then following behind her as she ran to the sitting-room. There she found the accused standing over her murdered brother. [Here she broke down and sobbed. Sensation in the court.] Resuming, she said the persons entering behind her were Mr. Rogers and Mr. Buckstone.

Cross-examined by Wilson, she said the twins proclaimed their innocence; declared that they had been taking a walk, and had hurried to the house in response to a cry for help which was so loud and strong that they had heard it at a considerable distance; that they begged her and the gentlemen just mentioned to examine their hands and clothes—which was done, and no blood stains found.

Confirmatory evidence followed from Rogers and Buckstone.

The finding of the knife was verified, the advertisement minutely describing it and offering 269 a reward for it was put in evidence, and its exact correspondence with that description proved. Then followed a few minor details, and the case for the State was closed.

Wilson said that he had three witnesses, the Misses Clarkson, who would testify that they met a veiled young woman leaving Judge Driscoll’s premises by the back gate a few minutes after the cries for help were heard, and that their evidence, taken with certain circumstantial evidence which he would call the court’s attention to, would in his opinion convince the court that there was still one person concerned in this crime who had not yet been found, and also that a stay of proceedings ought to be granted, in justice to his clients, until that person should be discovered. As it was late, he would ask leave to defer the examination of his three witnesses until the next morning.

The crowd poured out of the place and went flocking away in excited groups and couples, talking the events of the session over with vivacity and consuming interest, and everybody seemed to have had a satisfactory and enjoyable 270 day except the accused, their counsel, and their old-lady friend. There was no cheer among these, and no substantial hope.

In parting with the twins Aunt Patsy did attempt a good-night with a gay pretense of hope and cheer in it, but broke down without finishing.

Absolutely secure as Tom considered himself to be, the opening solemnities of the trial had nevertheless oppressed him with a vague uneasiness, his being a nature sensitive to even the smallest alarms; but from the moment that the poverty and weakness of Wilson’s case lay exposed to the court, he was comfortable once more, even jubilant. He left the court-room sarcastically sorry for Wilson. “The Clarksons met an unknown woman in the back lane,” he said to himself—“that is his case! I’ll give him a century to find her in—a couple of them if he likes. A woman who doesn’t exist any longer, and the clothes that gave her her sex burnt up and the ashes thrown away—oh, certainly, he’ll find her easy enough!” This reflection set him to admiring, for the hundredth time, the 271 shrewd ingenuities by which he had insured himself against detection—more, against even suspicion.

“Nearly always in cases like this there is some little detail or other overlooked, some wee little track or trace left behind, and detection follows; but here there’s not even the faintest suggestion of a trace left. No more than a bird leaves when it flies through the air—yes, through the night, you may say. The man that can track a bird through the air in the dark and find that bird is the man to track me out and find the Judge’s assassin—no other need apply. And that is the job that has been laid out for poor Pudd’nhead Wilson, of all people in the world! Lord, it will be pathetically funny to see him grubbing and groping after that woman that don’t exist, and the right person sitting under his very nose all the time!” The more he thought the situation over, the more the humor of it struck him. Finally he said, “I’ll never let him hear the last of that woman. Every time I catch him in company, to his dying day, I’ll ask him in the guileless affectionate way that 272 used to gravel him so when I inquired how his unborn law-business was coming along, ‘Got on her track yet—hey, Pudd’nhead?’” He wanted to laugh, but that would not have answered; there were people about, and he was mourning for his uncle. He made up his mind that it would be good entertainment to look in on Wilson that night and watch him worry over his barren law-case and goad him with an exasperating word or two of sympathy and commiseration now and then.

Wilson wanted no supper, he had no appetite. He got out all the finger-prints of girls and women in his collection of records and pored gloomily over them an hour or more, trying to convince himself that that troublesome girl’s marks were there somewhere and had been overlooked. But it was not so. He drew back his chair, clasped his hands over his head, and gave himself up to dull and arid musings.

Tom Driscoll dropped in, an hour after dark, and said with a pleasant laugh as he took a seat—

“Hello, we’ve gone back to the amusements 273 of our days of neglect and obscurity for consolation, have we?” and he took up one of the glass strips and held it against the light to inspect it. “Come, cheer up, old man; there’s no use in losing your grip and going back to this child’s-play merely because this big sunspot is drifting across your shiny new disk. It’ll pass, and you’ll be all right again,”—and he laid the glass down. “Did you think you could win always?”

“Oh, no,” said Wilson, with a sigh, “I didn’t expect that, but I can’t believe Luigi killed your uncle, and I feel very sorry for him. It makes me blue. And you would feel as I do, Tom, if you were not prejudiced against those young fellows.”

“I don’t know about that,” and Tom’s countenance darkened, for his memory reverted to his kicking; “I owe them no good will, considering the brunette one’s treatment of me that night. Prejudice or no prejudice, Pudd’nhead, I don’t like them, and when they get their deserts you’re not going to find me sitting on the mourner’s bench.”

274 He took up another strip of glass, and exclaimed—

“Why, here’s old Roxy’s label! Are you going to ornament the royal palaces with nigger paw-marks, too? By the date here, I was seven months old when this was done, and she was nursing me and her little nigger cub. There’s a line straight across her thumb-print. How comes that?” and Tom held out the piece of glass to Wilson.

“That is common,” said the bored man, wearily. “Scar of a cut or a scratch, usually”—and he took the strip of glass indifferently, and raised it toward the lamp.

All the blood sunk suddenly out of his face; his hand quaked, and he gazed at the polished surface before him with the glassy stare of a corpse.

“Great Heavens, what’s the matter with you, Wilson? Are you going to faint?”

Tom sprang for a glass of water and offered it, but Wilson shrank shuddering from him and said—

“No, no!—take it away!” His breast was rising and falling, and he moved his head 275 about in a dull and wandering way, like a person who had been stunned. Presently he said, “I shall feel better when I get to bed; I have been overwrought to-day; yes, and over worked for many days.”

“Then I’ll leave you and let you to get to your rest. Good-night, old man.” But as Tom went out he couldn’t deny himself a small parting gibe: “Don’t take it so hard; a body can’t win every time; you’ll hang somebody yet.”

Wilson muttered to himself, “It is no lie to say I am sorry I have to begin with you, miserable dog though you are!”

He braced himself up with a glass of cold whisky, and went to work again. He did not compare the new finger-marks unintentionally left by Tom a few minutes before on Roxy’s glass with the tracings of the marks left on the knife-handle, there being no need for that (for his trained eye), but busied himself with another matter, muttering from time to time, “Idiot that I was!—Nothing but a girl would do me—a man in girl’s clothes never occurred to me.” First, he hunted out the 276 plate containing the finger-prints made by Tom when he was twelve years old, and laid it by itself; then he brought forth the marks made by Tom’s baby fingers when he was a suckling of seven months, and placed these two plates with the one containing this subject’s newly (and unconsciously) made record.

“Now the series is complete,” he said with satisfaction, and sat down to inspect these things and enjoy them.

But his enjoyment was brief. He stared a considerable time at the three strips, and seemed stupefied with astonishment. At last he put them down and said, “I can’t make it out at all—hang it, the baby’s don’t tally with the others!”

He walked the floor for half an hour puzzling over his enigma, then he hunted out two other glass plates.

He sat down and puzzled over these things a good while, but kept muttering, “It’s no use; I can’t understand it. They don’t tally right, and yet I’ll swear the names and dates are right, and so of course they ought to tally. 277 I never labeled one of these thing carelessly in my life. There is a most extraordinary mystery here.”

He was tired out, now, and his brains were beginning to clog. He said he would sleep himself fresh, and then see what he could do with this riddle. He slept through a troubled and unrestful hour, then unconsciousness began to shred away, and presently he rose drowsily to a sitting posture. “Now what was that dream?” he said, trying to recall it; “what was that dream?—it seemed to unravel that puz—”

He landed in the middle of the floor at a bound, without finishing the sentence, and ran and turned up his light and seized his “records.” He took a single swift glance at them and cried out—

“It’s so! Heavens, what a revelation! And for twenty-three years no man has ever suspected it!”
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Re: The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain

Postby admin » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:50 am


He is useless on top of the ground; he ought to be under it, inspiring the cabbages.—Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar.

April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.—Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar.

Wilson put on enough clothes for business purposes and went to work under a high pressure of steam. He was awake all over. All sense of weariness had been swept away by the invigorating refreshment of the great and hopeful discovery which he had made. He made fine and accurate reproductions of a number of his “records,” and then enlarged them on a scale of ten to one with his pantograph. He did these pantograph enlargements on sheets of white cardboard, and made each individual line of the bewildering maze of whorls or curves or loops which constituted the “pattern,” of a “record” stand out bold and black by reinforcing 279 it with ink. To the untrained eye the collection of delicate originals made by the human finger on the glass plates looked about alike; but when enlarged ten times they resembled the markings of a block of wood that has been sawed across the grain, and the dullest eye could detect at a glance, and at a distance of many feet, that no two of the patterns were alike. When Wilson had at last finished his tedious and difficult work, he arranged its results according to a plan in which a progressive order and sequence was a principal feature; then he added to the batch several pantograph enlargements which he had made from time to time in bygone years.

The night was spent and the day well advanced, now. By the time he had snatched a trifle of breakfast it was nine o’clock, and the court was ready to begin its sitting. He was in his place twelve minutes later with his “records.”

Tom Driscoll caught a slight glimpse of the records, and nudged his nearest friend and said, with a wink, “Pudd’nhead’s got a rare eye to business—thinks that as long as he 280 can’t win his case it’s at least a noble good chance to advertise his palace-window decorations without any expense.” Wilson was informed that his witnesses had been delayed, but would arrive presently; but he rose and said he should probably not have occasion to make use of their testimony. [An amused murmur ran through the room—“It’s a clean backdown! he gives up without hitting a lick!”] Wilson continued—“I have other testimony—and better. [This compelled interest, and evoked murmurs of surprise that had a detectable ingredient of disappointment in them.] If I seem to be springing this evidence upon the court, I offer as my justification for this, that I did not discover its existence until late last night, and have been engaged in examining and classifying it ever since, until half an hour ago. I shall offer it presently; but first I wish to say a few preliminary words.

“May it please the Court, the claim given the front place, the claim most persistently urged, the claim most strenuously and I may even say aggressively and defiantly insisted upon by the prosecution, is this—that the person 281 whose hand left the blood-stained finger-prints upon the handle of the Indian knife is the person who committed the murder.” Wilson paused, during several moments, to give impressiveness to what he was about to say, and then added tranquilly, “We grant that claim.”

It was an electrical surprise. No one was prepared for such an admission. A buzz of astonishment rose on all sides, and people were heard to intimate that the overworked lawyer had lost his mind. Even the veteran judge, accustomed as he was to legal ambushes and masked batteries in criminal procedure, was not sure that his ears were not deceiving him, and asked counsel what it was he had said. Howard’s impassive face betrayed no sign, but his attitude and bearing lost something of their careless confidence for a moment. Wilson resumed:

“We not only grant that claim, but we welcome it and strongly endorse it. Leaving that matter for the present, we will now proceed to consider other points in the case which we propose to establish by evidence, 282 and shall include that one in the chain in its proper place.”

He had made up his mind to try a few hardy guesses, in mapping out his theory of the origin and motive of the murder—guesses designed to fill up gaps in it—guesses which could help if they hit, and would probably do no harm if they didn’t.

“To my mind, certain circumstances of the case before the court seem to suggest a motive for the homicide quite different from the one insisted on by the State. It is my conviction that the motive was not revenge, but robbery. It has been urged that the presence of the accused brothers in that fatal room, just after notification that one of them must take the life of Judge Driscoll or lose his own the moment the parties should meet, clearly signifies that the natural instinct of self-preservation moved my clients to go there secretly and save Count Luigi by destroying his adversary.

“Then why did they stay there, after the deed was done? Mrs. Pratt had time, although she did not hear the cry for help, but woke up some moments later, to run to that 283 room—and there she found these men standing and making no effort to escape. If they were guilty, they ought to have been running out of the house at the same time that she was running to that room. If they had had such a strong instinct toward self-preservation as to move them to kill that unarmed man, what had become of it now, when it should have been more alert than ever? Would any of us have remained there? Let us not slander our intelligence to that degree.

“Much stress has been laid upon the fact that the accused offered a very large reward for the knife with which this murder was done; that no thief came forward to claim that extraordinary reward; that the latter fact was good circumstantial evidence that the claim that the knife had been stolen was a vanity and a fraud; that these details taken in connection with the memorable and apparently prophetic speech of the deceased concerning that knife, and the final discovery of that very knife in the fatal room where no living person was found present with the slaughtered man but the owner of the knife and his brother, 284 form an indestructible chain of evidence which fixes the crime upon those unfortunate strangers.

“But I shall presently ask to be sworn, and shall testify that there was a large reward offered for the thief, also; and it was offered secretly and not advertised; that this fact was indiscreetly mentioned—or at least tacitly admitted—in what was supposed to be safe circumstances, but may not have been. The thief may have been present himself. [Tom Driscoll had been looking at the speaker, but dropped his eyes at this point.] In that case he would retain the knife in his possession, not daring to offer it for sale, or for pledge in a pawn-shop. [There was a nodding of heads among the audience by way of admission that this was not a bad stroke.] I shall prove to the satisfaction of the jury that there was a person in Judge Driscoll’s room several minutes before the accused entered it. [This produced a strong sensation; the last drowsy-head in the court-room roused up, now, and made preparation to listen.] If it shall seem necessary, I will prove by the Misses Clarkson 285 that they met a veiled person—ostensibly a woman—coming out of the back gate a few minutes after the cry for help was heard. This person was not a woman, but a man dressed in woman’s clothes.” Another sensation. Wilson had his eye on Tom when he hazarded this guess, to see what effect it would produce. He was satisfied with the result, and said to himself, “It was a success—he’s hit!”

“The object of that person in that house was robbery, not murder. It is true that the safe was not open, but there was an ordinary tin cash-box on the table, with three thousand dollars in it. It is easily supposable that the thief was concealed in the house; that he knew of this box, and of its owner’s habit of counting its contents and arranging his accounts at night—if he had that habit, which I do not assert, of course;—that he tried to take the box while its owner slept, but made a noise and was seized, and had to use the knife to save himself from capture; and that he fled without his booty because he heard help coming.

286 “I have now done with my theory, and will proceed to the evidences by which I propose to try to prove its soundness.” Wilson took up several of his strips of glass. When the audience recognized these familiar mementoes of Pudd’nhead’s old-time childish “puttering” and folly, the tense and funereal interest vanished out of their faces, and the house burst into volleys of relieving and refreshing laughter, and Tom chirked up and joined in the fun himself; but Wilson was apparently not disturbed. He arranged his records on the table before him, and said—

“I beg the indulgence of the court while I make a few remarks in explanation of some evidence which I am about to introduce, and which I shall presently ask to be allowed to verify under oath on the witness stand. Every human being carries with him from his cradle to his grave certain physical marks which do not change their character, and by which he can always be identified—and that without shade of doubt or question. These marks are his signature, his physiological autograph, so to speak, and this autograph 287 can not be counterfeited, nor can he disguise it or hide it away, nor can it become illegible by the wear and mutations of time. This signature is not his face—age can change that beyond recognition; it is not his hair, for that can fall out; it is not his height, for duplicates of that exist; it is not his form, for duplicates of that exist also, whereas this signature is each man’s very own—there is no duplicate of it among the swarming populations of the globe! [The audience were interested once more.]

“This autograph consists of the delicate lines or corrugations with which Nature marks the insides of the hands and the soles of the feet. If you will look at the balls of your fingers,—you that have very sharp eyesight,—you will observe that these dainty curving lines lie close together, like those that indicate the borders of oceans in maps, and that they form various clearly defined patterns, such as arches, circles, long curves, whorls, etc., and that these patterns differ on the different fingers. [Every man in the room had his hand up to the light, now, and his head canted to one side, and 288 was minutely scrutinizing the balls of his fingers; there were whispered ejaculations of ‘Why, it’s so—I never noticed that before!’] The patterns on the right hand are not the same as those on the left. [Ejaculations of ‘Why, that’s so, too!’] Taken finger for finger, your patterns differ from your neighbor’s. [Comparisons were made all over the house—even the judge and jury were absorbed in this curious work.] The patterns of a twin’s right hand are not the same as those on his left. One twin’s patterns are never the same as his fellow-twin’s patterns—the jury will find that the patterns upon the finger-balls of the accused follow this rule. [An examination of the twins’ hands was begun at once.] You have often heard of twins who were so exactly alike that when dressed alike their own parents could not tell them apart. Yet there was never a twin born into this world that did not carry from birth to death a sure identifier in this mysterious and marvelous natal autograph. That once known to you, his fellow-twin could never personate him and deceive you.”

289 Wilson stopped and stood silent. Inattention dies a quick and sure death when a speaker does that. The stillness gives warning that something is coming. All palms and finger-balls went down, now, all slouching forms straightened, all heads came up, all eyes were fastened upon Wilson’s face. He waited yet one, two, three moments, to let his pause complete and perfect its spell upon the house; then, when through the profound hush he could hear the ticking of the clock on the wall, he put out his hand and took the Indian knife by the blade and held it aloft where all could see the sinister spots upon its ivory handle; then he said, in a level and passionless voice—

“Upon this haft stands the assassin’s natal autograph, written in the blood of that helpless and unoffending old man who loved you and whom you all loved. There is but one man in the whole earth whose hand can duplicate that crimson sign,”—he paused and raised his eyes to the pendulum swinging back and forth,—“and please God we will produce 290 that man in this room before the clock strikes noon!”

Stunned, distraught, unconscious of its own movement, the house half rose, as if expecting to see the murderer appear at the door, and a breeze of muttered ejaculations swept the place. “Order in the court!—sit down!” This from the sheriff. He was obeyed, and quiet reigned again. Wilson stole a glance at Tom, and said to himself, “He is flying signals of distress, now; even people who despise him are pitying him; they think this is a hard ordeal for a young fellow who has lost his benefactor by so cruel a stroke—and they are right.” He resumed his speech:

“For more than twenty years I have amused my compulsory leisure with collecting these curious physical signatures in this town. At my house I have hundreds upon hundreds of them. Each and every one is labelled with name and date; not labelled the next day or even the next hour, but in the very minute that the impression was taken. When I go upon the witness stand I will repeat under oath the things which I am now saying. I 291 have the finger-prints of the court, the sheriff, and every member of the jury. There is hardly a person in this room, white or black, whose natal signature I cannot produce, and not one of them can so disguise himself that I cannot pick him out from a multitude of his fellow-creatures and unerringly identify him by his hands. And if he and I should live to be a hundred I could still do it. [The interest of the audience was steadily deepening, now.]

“I have studied some of these signatures so much that I know them as well as the bank cashier knows the autograph of his oldest customer. While I turn my back now, I beg that several persons will be so good as to pass their fingers through their hair, and then press them upon one of the panes of the window near the jury, and that among them the accused may set their finger-marks. Also, I beg that these experimenters, or others, will set their finger-marks upon another pane, and add again the marks of the accused, but not placing them in the same order or relation to the other signatures as before—for, by one 292 chance in a million, a person might happen upon the right marks by pure guess-work once, therefore I wish to be tested twice.”

He turned his back, and the two panes were quickly covered with delicately-lined oval spots, but visible only to such persons as could get a dark background for them—the foliage of a tree, outside, for instance. Then, upon call, Wilson went to the window, made his examination, and said—

“This is Count Luigi’s right hand; this one, three signatures below, is his left. Here is Count Angelo’s right; down here is his left. Now for the other pane: here and here are Count Luigi’s, here and here are his brother’s.” He faced about. “Am I right?”

A deafening explosion of applause was the answer. The Bench said—

“This certainly approaches the miraculous!”

Wilson turned to the window again and remarked, pointing with his finger—

“This is the signature of Mr. Justice Robinson. [Applause.] This, of Constable Blake. [Applause.] This, of John Mason, juryman. [Applause.] This, of the sheriff. [Applause.] 293 I cannot name the others, but I have them all at home, named and dated, and could identify them all by my finger-print records.”

He moved to his place through a storm of applause—which the sheriff stopped, and also made the people sit down, for they were all standing and struggling to see, of course. Court, jury, sheriff, and everybody had been too absorbed in observing Wilson’s performance to attend to the audience earlier.

“Now, then,” said Wilson, “I have here the natal autographs of two children—thrown up to ten times the natural size by the pantograph, so that any one who can see at all can tell the markings apart at a glance. We will call the children A and B. Here are A’s finger-marks, taken at the age of five months. Here they are again, taken at seven months. [Tom started.] They are alike, you see. Here are B’s at five months, and also at seven months. They, too, exactly copy each other, but the patterns are quite different from A’s, you observe. I shall refer to these again presently, but we will turn them face down, now.

294 “Here, thrown up ten sizes, are the natal autographs of the two persons who are here before you accused of murdering Judge Driscoll. I made these pantograph copies last night, and will so swear when I go upon the witness stand. I ask the jury to compare them with the finger-marks of the accused upon the window panes, and tell the court if they are the same.”

He passed a powerful magnifying-glass to the foreman.

One juryman after another took the cardboard and the glass and made the comparison. Then the foreman said to the judge—

“Your honor, we are all agreed that they are identical.”

Wilson said to the foreman—

“Please turn that cardboard face down, and take this one, and compare it searchingly, by the magnifier, with the fatal signature upon the knife-handle, and report your finding to the court.”

Again the jury made minute examinations, and again reported—

295 “We find them to be exactly identical, your honor.”

Wilson turned toward the counsel for the prosecution, and there was a clearly recognizable note of warning in his voice when he said—

“May it please the court, the State has claimed, strenuously and persistently, that the blood-stained finger-prints upon that knife-handle were left there by the assassin of Judge Driscoll. You have heard us grant that claim, and welcome it.” He turned to the jury: “Compare the finger-prints of the accused with the finger-prints left by the assassin—and report.”

The comparison began. As it proceeded, all movement and all sound ceased, and the deep silence of an absorbed and waiting suspense settled upon the house; and when at last the words came—

“They do not even resemble,” a thunder-crash of applause followed and the house sprang to its feet, but was quickly repressed by official force and brought to order again. Tom was altering his position every few minutes, 296 now, but none of his changes brought repose nor any small trifle of comfort. When the house’s attention was become fixed once more, Wilson said gravely, indicating the twins with a gesture—

“These men are innocent—I have no further concern with them. [Another outbreak of applause began, but was promptly checked.] We will now proceed to find the guilty. [Tom’s eyes were starting from their sockets—yes, it was a cruel day for the bereaved youth, everybody thought.] We will return to the infant autographs of A and B. I will ask the jury to take these large pantograph facsimilies of A’s marked five months and seven months. Do they tally?”

The foreman responded—


“Now examine this pantograph, taken at eight months, and also marked A. Does it tally with the other two?”

The surprised response was—

“No—they differ widely!”

“You are quite right. Now take these two pantographs of B’s autograph, marked 297 five months and seven months. Do they tally with each other?”


“Take this third pantograph marked B, eight months. Does it tally with B’s other two?”

“By no means!”

“Do you know how to account for those strange discrepancies? I will tell you. For a purpose unknown to us, but probably a selfish one, somebody changed those children in the cradle.”

This produced a vast sensation, naturally; Roxana was astonished at this admirable guess, but not disturbed by it. To guess the exchange was one thing, to guess who did it quite another. Pudd’nhead Wilson could do wonderful things, no doubt, but he couldn’t do impossible ones. Safe? She was perfectly safe. She smiled privately.

“Between the ages of seven months and eight months those children were changed in the cradle”—he made one of his effect-collecting pauses, and added—“and the person who did it is in this house!”

298 Roxy’s pulses stood still! The house was thrilled as with an electric shock, and the people half rose as if to seek a glimpse of the person who had made that exchange. Tom was growing limp; the life seemed oozing out of him. Wilson resumed:

“A was put into B’s cradle in the nursery; B was transferred to the kitchen and became a negro and a slave, [Sensation—confusion of angry ejaculations]—but within a quarter of an hour he will stand before you white and free! [Burst of applause, checked by the officers.] From seven months onward until now, A has still been a usurper, and in my finger-record he bears B’s name. Here is his pantograph at the age of twelve. Compare it with the assassin’s signature upon the knife-handle. Do they tally?”

The foreman answered—

“To the minutest detail!”

Wilson said, solemnly—

“The murderer of your friend and mine—York Driscoll of the generous hand and the kindly spirit—sits in among you. Valet de Chambre, negro and slave,—falsely called 299 Thomas à Becket Driscoll,—make upon the window the finger-prints that will hang you!”

Tom turned his ashen face imploring toward the speaker, made some impotent movements with his white lips, then slid limp and lifeless to the floor.

Wilson broke the awed silence with the words—

“There is no need. He has confessed.”

Roxy flung herself upon her knees, covered her face with her hands, and out through her sobs the words struggled—

“De Lord have mercy on me, po’ misable sinner dat I is!”

The clock struck twelve.

The court rose; the new prisoner, handcuffed, was removed.
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Re: The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain

Postby admin » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:50 am


It is often the case that the man who can’t tell a lie thinks he is the best judge of one.—Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar.

October 12, the Discovery. It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more wonderful to miss it.—Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar.

The town sat up all night to discuss the amazing events of the day and swap guesses as to when Tom’s trial would begin. Troop after troop of citizens came to serenade Wilson, and require a speech, and shout themselves hoarse over every sentence that fell from his lips—for all his sentences were golden, now, all were marvelous. His long fight against hard luck and prejudice was ended; he was a made man for good.

And as each of these roaring gangs of enthusiasts marched away, some remorseful 301 member of it was quite sure to raise his voice and say—

“And this is the man the likes of us have called a pudd’nhead for more than twenty years. He has resigned from that position, friends.”

“Yes, but it isn’t vacant—we’re elected.”

The twins were heroes of romance, now, and with rehabilitated reputations. But they were weary of Western adventure, and straightway retired to Europe.

Roxy’s heart was broken. The young fellow upon whom she had inflicted twenty-three years of slavery continued the false heir’s pension of thirty-five dollars a month to her, but her hurts were too deep for money to heal; the spirit in her eye was quenched, her martial bearing departed with it, and the voice of her laughter ceased in the land. In her church and its affairs she found her only solace.

The real heir suddenly found himself rich and free, but in a most embarrassing situation. He could neither read nor write, and 302 his speech was the basest dialect of the negro quarter. His gait, his attitudes, his gestures, his bearing, his laugh—all were vulgar and uncouth; his manners were the manners of a slave. Money and fine clothes could not mend these defects or cover them up; they only made them the more glaring and the more pathetic. The poor fellow could not endure the terrors of the white man’s parlor, and felt at home and at peace nowhere but in the kitchen. The family pew was a misery to him, yet he could nevermore enter into the solacing refuge of the “nigger gallery”—that was closed to him for good and all. But we cannot follow his curious fate further—that would be a long story.

The false heir made a full confession and was sentenced to imprisonment for life. But now a complication came up. The Percy Driscoll estate was in such a crippled shape when its owner died that it could pay only sixty per cent. of its great indebtedness, and was settled at that rate. But the creditors came forward, now, and complained that inasmuch as through an error for which they were 303 in no way to blame the false heir was not inventoried at the time with the rest of the property, great wrong and loss had thereby been inflicted upon them. They rightly claimed that “Tom” was lawfully their property and had been so for eight years; that they had already lost sufficiently in being deprived of his services during that long period, and ought not to be required to add anything to that loss; that if he had been delivered up to them in the first place, they would have sold him and he could not have murdered Judge Driscoll; therefore it was not he that had really committed the murder, the guilt lay with the erroneous inventory. Everybody saw that there was reason in this. Everybody granted that if “Tom” were white and free it would be unquestionably right to punish him—it would be no loss to anybody; but to shut up a valuable slave for life—that was quite another matter.

As soon as the Governor understood the case, he pardoned Tom at once, and the creditors sold him down the river.
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Re: The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain

Postby admin » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:54 am

Transcriber's Notes


1. Background.

Welcome to Project Gutenberg's presentation of Pudd'nhead Wilson. The Italian twins in this novel, Luigi and Angelo, were inspired by a real pair of Italian conjoined twins who toured America in the 1890s. These were Giacomo and Giovanni Battista Tocci.

Homer Plessy was arrested for sitting in a whites-only passenger car on June 7, 1892, and one month later he stood before Judge John Howard Ferguson to plead his case. Plessy was an octaroon who could easily "pass white." Four years later, the Supreme Court condoned "Separate but Equal" laws in the famous Plessy vs. Ferguson case, which affirmed the decision of Justice Ferguson in local court. These events in 1892 unfolded as Twain wrote this story, and changed the tale that he ended up telling.

Arthur Conan Doyle released his best-selling collection of short stories, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, on October 14, 1892. The stories had already appeared in The Strand Magazine, one each month, from July 1891 to June 1892. Holmes inspired Twain to add a component of forensics to this story.

2. Dialect.

The soliloquies and conversations in the novel follow some general rules. Twain introduced some variations in the spelling of dialect, and sometimes the sound of dialect, but the end meaning seems to be the same thing. Below is a table of some of these words, and alternatives found in the text:

Dialect used in Pudd’nhead Wilson

English Dialect, Alternative, Another

and / en
against / agin, / ag’in, / ag’in’
because / ’ca’se
going / gwine, / gwyne
more / mo’
that / dat
the / de
then / den
there / dere, / dah
these / dese
they / dey, / deh
this / dis
was / ’uz
with / wid
where / whah

The above table was presented as a foundation which played into the decision to make some emendations, below, that were not authorized by Twain in 1899. One curious notation is that there was sometimes pronounced dere, but also dah. Along the same lines, they most often became dey, but in one case, deh.

3. This version.

Our version is based on the 1894 publication of this novel in Hartford. This was Twain's original American release of the novel in book form. A scanned copy of this book is available through Hathitrust. The book contained some spaces in contractions: I 'll, dat 'll, had n't, could n't, dis 'll, 't ain't / t ain't, and dey 'll are some examples. These spaces were not retained in our transcription, and are not identified. We did make a few other emendations. These emendations were checked with the 1899 version of Pudd’nhead Wilson published by Harper & Brothers.

4. Notes on emendations.

The errors on Page 233 and Page 288, were not changed in the 1899 book, so the case for making those changes may be found in the Detailed Notes section. The remaining errors were corrected in the 1899 publication, presumably authorized by Twain, who essentially made the case for those emendations.

In the HTML version of this e-book, you can place your cursor over the faint silver dotted lines below the changed text to discover the original text. The Detailed Notes section of these notes describe these emendations.

5. Other versions.

Please note that many print versions of Pudd’nhead Wilson include the phrase ‘spelling and usage have been brought into conformity with modern usage,’ and editors have been liberal with their renditions of Twain's story.

6. Detailed notes.

The Detailed Notes Section also includes issues that have come up during transcription. One common issue is that words are sometimes split into two lines for spacing purposes in the original text. These words are hyphenated in the physical book, but there is a question sometimes as to whether the hyphen should be retained in transcription. The reasons behind some of these decisions are itemized.

Production Notes Section:

1. Chapter Titles.

The Chapter Titles, such as Doom in Chapter XXI., were not part of Twain's book. They remain from another version of this book. The chapter titles are used in PG's Mark Twain index, so we have retained them.

2. The Author's Note.

The Author’s Note to Those Extraordinary Twins is actually the author's introduction to the novella, Those Extraordinary Twins. Twain originally produced this book with two parts: Pudd'nhead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins.

Project Gutenberg offers both stories, so we present the Author's Note as the Introduction to Those Extraordinary Twins, as Twain intended. If you want to read the Author's Note, please visit the Introduction of our production of the novella, Those Extraordinary Twins.

Detailed Notes Section:

Chapter 1.

On Page 19, barber-shop was hyphenated between two lines for spacing. The 1899 Harper & Brothers version used "barber shop" in this spot. Even though barber-shop cannot be transcribed as such, the assumption is that the 1894 version put in the hyphen by mistake. We transcribed the word barber shop.

Chapter 2.

On Page 34, changed ca’se to ’ca’se, used as dialect for because, in the clause: "but dat’s ca’se it’s mine." The author used ’ca’se eighteen other times as dialect for because, and did not use ca’se again.

Chapter 3.

On Page 43, insert missing period after tomb.

Chapter 6.

On Page 81, add a comma after door: "The twins took a position near the door the widow stood at Luigi’s side, Rowena stood beside Angelo,..."

Chapter 7.

On Page 88, add a period after fault in the sentence: The Judge laid himself out hospitably to make them have a good time, and if there was a defect anywhere it was not his fault.

Chapter 9.

On Page 114, there is a word missing before the semicolon in the clause: Tom sprang up and seized a billet of wood and raised ; the 1899 Harper & Brothers version provided the missing word, "it."

Chapter 11.

On Page 131, change dicision to decision in the clause: Luigi reserved his dicision.

On Page 133, change comma to a period after years in the sentence: “I never got a chance to try my hand at it, and I may never get a chance; and yet if I ever do get it I shall be found ready, for I have kept up my law-studies all these years,”

On Page 149, Correct spelling of Cappello to Capello. The surname of the twins was Capello in the letter on page 73, and two other times in Chapter 6.

Chapter 13.

On Page 167, Change ’ to ” in the sentence: “Why, my boy, you look desolate. Don’t take it so hard. Try and forget you have been kicked.’

On Page 176, ship-shape was hyphenated and split between two lines for spacing. The 1899 Harper & Brothers version of the novel used shipshape, and so will we.

Chapter 14.

On Page 182, changed period after hatching to question mark in the sentence: What could be hatching.

On Page 184, remove comma after sha'n't, in the clause: but if he doesn’t, I sha’n’t, let on.

On Page 189, low-down is hyphenated and split between two lines for spacing. On Page 188, low-down is spelled with a hyphen, and on pages 241 and 243 low-downest is also hyphenated. There is no occurrence of lowdown. We transcribed low-down with a hyphen: like a ornery low-down hound!

Chapter 16.

On Page 216, Changed ? to ! in the sentence: En keep on sayin’ it?

Chapter 18.

On Page 229, Changed 'against to against in the clause: with fury ’against the planter’s wife.

On Page 233, Changed de to den in the clause "en de good gracious me." The author always used den for then, except in this case. De is dialect for the. Twain did not correct this in the 1899 Harper & Brothers version of the novel, but den makes more sense then de. Roxy was floating on the river, and then she cried good gracious me, because she spotted the Grand Mogul.

Changed day to dey in two places. The novel used dey as dialect for they regularly, and almost consistently, except in two cases. Both cases were presumed errata:

On Page 232, en day warn’t gwine to hurry
On Page 229, en day knows how to whale ’em, too.

Chapter 19.

On Page 253, back-yard is hyphenated and split between two lines for spacing. The 1899 Harper & Brothers version of the novel used back-yard, and so will we.

Chapter 20.

On Page 273, changed countenence to countenance in the clause: “I don’t know about that,” and Tom’s countenence darkened,...

Chapter 21.

On Page 288, there are two quotes made by the crowd in double quotes. Twain did not correct this in the 1899 version of the novel by Harper & Brothers. But these lines are surrounded by Wilson's narrative, which is already in double quotes. Therefore, we have used single quotes for the two remarks from the gallery.

‘Why, it’s so—I never noticed that before!’
‘Why, that’s so, too!’


On Page 302, removed in from the sentence: "But we cannot follow his curious fate further—that in would be a long story."
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