The 30,000 Dollar Bequest and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 282 pages of information about The 30,000 Dollar Bequest and Other Stories.
But if a ship still loitered in spite of all he could do, his indignation would grow till he could contain himself no longer —­and then he would take that ship home where he lived and keep it there carefully, expecting the owners to come for it, but they never did.  And he would try to get the idleness and sloth out of the sailors of that ship by compelling them to take invigorating exercise and a bath.  He called it “walking a plank.”  All the pupils liked it.  At any rate, they never found any fault with it after trying it.  When the owners were late coming for their ships, the Admiral always burned them, so that the insurance money should not be lost.  At last this fine old tar was cut down in the fullness of his years and honors.  And to her dying day, his poor heart-broken widow believed that if he had been cut down fifteen minutes sooner he might have been resuscitated.

Charles Henry Twain lived during the latter part of the seventeenth century, and was a zealous and distinguished missionary.  He converted sixteen thousand South Sea islanders, and taught them that a dog-tooth necklace and a pair of spectacles was not enough clothing to come to divine service in.  His poor flock loved him very, very dearly; and when his funeral was over, they got up in a body (and came out of the restaurant) with tears in their eyes, and saying, one to another, that he was a good tender missionary, and they wished they had some more of him.

Pah-go-to-wah-wah-pukketekeewis (Mighty-Hunter-with-a-Hog-Eye-Twain) adorned the middle of the eighteenth century, and aided General Braddock with all his heart to resist the oppressor Washington.  It was this ancestor who fired seventeen times at our Washington from behind a tree.  So far the beautiful romantic narrative in the moral story-books is correct; but when that narrative goes on to say that at the seventeenth round the awe-stricken savage said solemnly that that man was being reserved by the Great Spirit for some mighty mission, and he dared not lift his sacrilegious rifle against him again, the narrative seriously impairs the integrity of history.  What he did say was: 

“It ain’t no (hic) no use.  ‘At man’s so drunk he can’t stan’ still long enough for a man to hit him.  I (hic) I can’t ’ford to fool away any more am’nition on him.”

That was why he stopped at the seventeenth round, and it was a good, plain, matter-of-fact reason, too, and one that easily commends itself to us by the eloquent, persuasive flavor of probability there is about it.

I also enjoyed the story-book narrative, but I felt a marring misgiving that every Indian at Braddock’s Defeat who fired at a soldier a couple of times (two easily grows to seventeen in a century), and missed him, jumped to the conclusion that the Great Spirit was reserving that soldier for some grand mission; and so I somehow feared that the only reason why Washington’s case is remembered and the others forgotten is, that in his the prophecy came true, and in that of the others it didn’t.  There are not books enough on earth to contain the record of the prophecies Indians and other unauthorized parties have made; but one may carry in his overcoat pockets the record of all the prophecies that have been fulfilled.

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The 30,000 Dollar Bequest and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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