Short stories

Mark Twain


Millington & McCluskey's Band furnished the music for the Sanitary Ball on Thursday night, and also for the Odd Fellow's Ball the other evening in Gold Hill, and the excellence of the article was only equalled by the industry and perseverance of the performers. We condsider that the man who can fiddle all through one of those Virginia reels without losing his grip, may be depended upon in any kind of emergency.



Are we to be scared to death every time we venture into the street? May we be allowed to go quietly about our business, or are we to be assailed at every corner by fearful apparitions. As we were plodding home at the ghostly hour last night, thinking about the haunted house humbug, we were suddenly riveted to the pavement in a paroxysm of terror by that blue and yellow phantom who watches over the destinies of the shooting gallery, this side of the International. Seen in daylight, placidly reclining against his board in the doorway, with his blue coat, and his yellow pants, and his high boots, and his fancy hat, just lifted from his head, he is rather an engaging youth, than otherwise; but at dead of night, when he pops out his pallid face at you by candle light, and stares vacantly upon you with his uplifted hat and the eternal civility of his changeless brow, and the ghostliness of his general appearance heightened by that grave-stone inscription over his stomach, "to-day shooting for chickens here," you are apt to think of spectres starting up from behind tomb-stones, and you weaken accordingly--the cold chills creep over you--our hair stands on end--you reverse your front, and with all possible alacrity, you change your base.



We learn from Messrs. Hatch & Bro., who do a heavy business in the way of supplying this market with vegetables, that the rigorous weather accompanying the late storm was so severe on the mountains as to cause a loss of life in several instances. Two sacks of sweet potatoes were frozen to death on the summit, this side of Strawberry. The verdict rendered by the coroner's jury was strictly in accordance with the facts.



Owing to the fact that our stock reporter attended a wedding last evening, our report of transactions in that branch of robbery and speculation is not quite as complete and satisfactory as usual this morning. About eleven o'clock last night the aforesaid remarker pulled himself up stairs by the banisters, and stumbling over the stove, deposited the following notes on our table, with the remark: "S(hic)am, just 'laberate this, w(hic)ill, yer?" We said we would, but we couldn't. If any of our readers think they can, we shall be pleased to see the translation. Here are the notes: "Stocks brisk, and Ophir has taken this woman for your wedded wife. Some few transactions have occurred in rings and lace veils, and at figures tall, graceful and charming. There was some inquiry late in the day for parties who would take them for better OR for worse but there were few offers. There seems to be some depression in this stock. We mentioned yesterday that our Father which art in heaven. Quotations of lost reference, and now I lay me down to sleep," &c., &c., &c.

[Editor's Note: We figure Twain is talking about Dan DeQuille here.]



Judge Brumfield's nightmare--the Storey county delegation--have straggled in, one at a time, until they are all at home once more. Messrs. Mills, Mitchell, Meagher and Minneer returned several days ago, and we had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Davenport, also, yesterday. We do not know how long the latter gentleman has been here, but we offer him the unlimited freedom of the city, anyhow. Justice to a good representative is justice, you know, whether it be tardy or otherwise.



On our first page, to-day, will be found the opening chapters of a thrilling tale, entitled "An Act to amend and supplemental to an Act to provide for Assessing and Collecting County and Territorial Revenue." This admirable story was written especially for the columns of this paper by several distinguished authors. We have secured a few more productions of the same kind, at great expense, and we design publishing them in their regular order. Our readers will agree with us that it will redound considerably to their advantage to read and preserve these documents.

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