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Mark Twain
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The Mysterious Stranger 1908-1910
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“Now, I have known so many burglars—not exactly known, but so many of them have come near me in my various dwelling-places, that I am disposed to allow them credit for whatever good qualities they possess. Chief among these, and, indeed, the only one I just now think of, is their great care while doing their business to avoid disturbing people’s sleep. Noiseless as they may be, however, the effect of their visitation is to murder sleep later on.”—Mark Twain, “Of books and burglars” speech, 1908

Courtesy of The Mark Twain Project, Bancroft Library, Berkeley
Courtesy of The Mark Twain Project,
Bancroft Library, Berkeley
With one of the Angel-fishes, Dorothy Quick
With one of the Angel-fishes, Dorothy Quick
Courtesy of Brown Brothers
With Another Angel-fish, 1909
With Another Angel-fish, 1909
Courtesy of The Mark Twain House, Hartford
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Jocelyn Chadwick, “He Rallies”
 

With Children on Ship Deck
With Children On Ship Deck
Courtesy of The Mark Twain House, Hartford

Late in life, Clemens collected a club surrogate grandchildren, all girls under the age of sixteen.

“All the ten school-girls...are my angel-fishes, and constitute my Club, whose name is ‘The Aquarium’, and contains no creature but these angel-fishes and one slave. I am the slave. The Bermudian angel-fish, with its splendid blue decorations, is easily the most beautiful fish that swims, I think...

The club’s badge is the angel-fish’s splendors reproduced in enamels and mounted for service as a lapelpin—at least that is where the girls wear it. I get these little pins in Bermuda; they are made in Norway.”—Mark Twain, Autobiographical dictation in Mark Twain’s Aquarium, ed. John Cooley, 1991.

Notice to the BurglarsNotice to the Burglars
Courtesy of The Mark Twain House, Hartford
 
 
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