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.
for a few days, but she has found me out.  Found me out, and has named the place Tonawanda —­says it looks like that.  In fact I was not sorry she came, for there are but meager pickings here, and she brought some of those apples.  I was obliged to eat them, I was so hungry.  It was against my principles, but I find that principles have no real force except when one is well fed. . . .  She came curtained in boughs and bunches of leaves, and when I asked her what she meant by such nonsense, and snatched them away and threw them down, she tittered and blushed.  I had never seen a person titter and blush before, and to me it seemed unbecoming and idiotic.  She said I would soon know how it was myself.  This was correct.  Hungry as I was, I laid down the apple half-eaten—­certainly the best one I ever saw, considering the lateness of the season —­and arrayed myself in the discarded boughs and branches, and then spoke to her with some severity and ordered her to go and get some more and not make a spectacle or herself.  She did it, and after this we crept down to where the wild-beast battle had been, and collected some skins, and I made her patch together a couple of suits proper for public occasions.  They are uncomfortable, it is true, but stylish, and that is the main point about clothes. . . .  I find she is a good deal of a companion.  I see I should be lonesome and depressed without her, now that I have lost my property.  Another thing, she says it is ordered that we work for our living hereafter.  She will be useful.  I will superintend.

Ten days later.—­She accuses me of being the cause of our disaster!  She says, with apparent sincerity and truth, that the Serpent assured her that the forbidden fruit was not apples, it was chestnuts.  I said I was innocent, then, for I had not eaten any chestnuts.  She said the Serpent informed her that “chestnut” was a figurative term meaning an aged and moldy joke.  I turned pale at that, for I have made many jokes to pass the weary time, and some of them could have been of that sort, though I had honestly supposed that they were new when I made them.  She asked me if I had made one just at the time of the catastrophe.  I was obliged to admit that I had made one to myself, though not aloud.  It was this.  I was thinking about the Falls, and I said to myself, “How wonderful it is to see that vast body of water tumble down there!” Then in an instant a bright thought flashed into my head, and I let it fly, saying, “It would be a deal more wonderful to see it tumble up there!”—­and I was just about to kill myself with laughing at it when all nature broke loose in war and death and I had to flee for my life.  “There,” she said, with triumph, “that is just it; the Serpent mentioned that very jest, and called it the First Chestnut, and said it was coeval with the creation.”  Alas, I am indeed to blame.  Would that I were not witty; oh, that I had never had that radiant thought!

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