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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 282 pages of information about The 30,000 Dollar Bequest and Other Stories.

“Why, doctor, it is pure nonsense; you know it yourself.  Look here:  If I have had a had, or have wanted to have had a had, or was in a position right then and there to have had a had that hadn’t had any chance to go out hadding on account of this foolish discrimination which lets one Had go hadding in any kind of indefinite grammatical weather but restricts the other one to definite and datable meteoric convulsions, and keeps it pining around and watching the barometer all the time, and liable to get sick through confinement and lack of exercise, and all that sort of thing, why—­why, the inhumanity of it is enough, let alone the wanton superfluity and uselessness of any such a loafing consumptive hospital-bird of a Had taking up room and cumbering the place for nothing.  These finical refinements revolt me; it is not right, it is not honorable; it is constructive nepotism to keep in office a Had that is so delicate it can’t come out when the wind’s in the nor’west—­I won’t have this dude on the payroll.  Cancel his exequator; and look here—­”

“But you miss the point.  It is like this.  You see—­”

“Never mind explaining, I don’t care anything about it.  Six Hads is enough for me; anybody that needs twelve, let him subscribe; I don’t want any stock in a Had Trust.  Knock out the Prolonged and Indefinitely Continuous; four-fifths of it is water, anyway.”

“But I beg you, podere!  It is often quite indispensable in cases where—­”

“Pipe the next squad to the assault!”

But it was not to be; for at that moment the dull boom of the noon gun floated up out of far-off Florence, followed by the usual softened jangle of church-bells, Florentine and suburban, that bursts out in murmurous response; by labor-union law the Colazione [1] must stop; stop promptly, stop instantly, stop definitely, like the chosen and best of the breed of Hads.

1.  Colazione is Italian for a collection, a meeting, a seance, a sitting.—­M.T.

A BURLESQUE BIOGRAPHY

Two or three persons having at different times intimated that if I would write an autobiography they would read it when they got leisure, I yield at last to this frenzied public demand and herewith tender my history.

Ours is a noble house, and stretches a long way back into antiquity.  The earliest ancestor the Twains have any record of was a friend of the family by the name of Higgins.  This was in the eleventh century, when our people were living in Aberdeen, county of Cork, England.  Why it is that our long line has ever since borne the maternal name (except when one of them now and then took a playful refuge in an alias to avert foolishness), instead of Higgins, is a mystery which none of us has ever felt much desire to stir.  It is a kind of vague, pretty romance, and we leave it alone.  All the old families do that way.

Arthour Twain was a man of considerable note—­a solicitor on the highway in William Rufus’s time.  At about the age of thirty he went to one of those fine old English places of resort called Newgate, to see about something, and never returned again.  While there he died suddenly.

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