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.
his breath again he would ask her what it meant.  And she always told him.  He was never expecting this but thought he would catch her; so when she told him, he was the one that looked ashamed, whereas he had thought it was going to be she.  The others were always waiting for this, and glad of it and proud of her, for they knew what was going to happen, because they had had experience.  When she told the meaning of a big word they were all so taken up with admiration that it never occurred to any dog to doubt if it was the right one; and that was natural, because, for one thing, she answered up so promptly that it seemed like a dictionary speaking, and for another thing, where could they find out whether it was right or not? for she was the only cultivated dog there was.  By and by, when I was older, she brought home the word Unintellectual, one time, and worked it pretty hard all the week at different gatherings, making much unhappiness and despondency; and it was at this time that I noticed that during that week she was asked for the meaning at eight different assemblages, and flashed out a fresh definition every time, which showed me that she had more presence of mind than culture, though I said nothing, of course.  She had one word which she always kept on hand, and ready, like a life-preserver, a kind of emergency word to strap on when she was likely to get washed overboard in a sudden way—­that was the word Synonymous.  When she happened to fetch out a long word which had had its day weeks before and its prepared meanings gone to her dump-pile, if there was a stranger there of course it knocked him groggy for a couple of minutes, then he would come to, and by that time she would be away down wind on another tack, and not expecting anything; so when he’d hail and ask her to cash in, I (the only dog on the inside of her game) could see her canvas flicker a moment —­but only just a moment—­then it would belly out taut and full, and she would say, as calm as a summer’s day, “It’s synonymous with supererogation,” or some godless long reptile of a word like that, and go placidly about and skim away on the next tack, perfectly comfortable, you know, and leave that stranger looking profane and embarrassed, and the initiated slatting the floor with their tails in unison and their faces transfigured with a holy joy.

And it was the same with phrases.  She would drag home a whole phrase, if it had a grand sound, and play it six nights and two matinees, and explain it a new way every time—­which she had to, for all she cared for was the phrase; she wasn’t interested in what it meant, and knew those dogs hadn’t wit enough to catch her, anyway.  Yes, she was a daisy!  She got so she wasn’t afraid of anything, she had such confidence in the ignorance of those creatures.  She even brought anecdotes that she had heard the family and the dinner-guests laugh and shout over; and as a rule she got the nub of one chestnut hitched onto another chestnut, where,

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