Scrap Book
Mark Twain
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Tom Sawyer's Days 1835-1853
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Pranks and Play

“One time Tom sent a boy to run about town with a blazing stick, which he called a slogan (which was the sign for the Gang to get together), and then he said he had got some secret news by his spies that the next day a whole parcel of Spanish merchants and A-rabs was going to camp in Cave Hollow with two hundred elephants, and six hundred camels, and over a thousand “sumter” mules, all loaded down with di’monds, and they didn’t have only a guard of four hundred soldiers, so we would lay in ambuscade, as he called it, and kill the lot and scoop the things. He said we must slick up our swords and guns, and get ready. He never could go after even a turnip-cart but he must have the swords and guns all scoured up for it; even though they were only lath and broom sticks, and you might scour at them till you rotted and then they warn’t worth a mouthful of ashes more than what they was before. I didn’t believe we could lick such a crowd of Spaniards and A-rabs, but I wanted to see the camels and elephants, so I was on hand next day, Saturday, in the ambuscade; and when we got the word, we rushed out of the woods and down the hill. But there warn’t no Spaniards and A-rabs, and there warn’t no camels nor no elephants. It warn’t anything but a Sunday-school picnic, and only a primer class at that.”—Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1884

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Ron Powers, “An Eden”

Illustration from Tom Sawyer
Illustration from
Tom Sawyer
The Gadget
Illustration of ‘Cadets
of Temperance’
Courtesy of The Mark Twain
House, Hartford

“Don’t you meddle with old unloaded firearms. They are the most deadly and unerring things that have ever been created by man. You don’t have to take any pains at all with them. You don’t have to have a rest. You don’t have to have any sights on the gun. You don’t have to aim, even. No, you just pick out a relative and bang away, and you are sure to get him. A youth who can’t hit a cathedral at thirty yards with a Gatling gun in three-quarters of an hour can take up an old empty musket and bag his grandmother every time at a hundred.”—Mark Twain “Advice to Youth” speech, 1882