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Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton

In which two New Friends disport themselves

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"'I didn't know you thought of going out,' he said, 'or I would have told you all about it. An' now sit down an' quiet yourself, an' I'll tell you jus' how things is.' So down we sits, an' says he, jus' as carm as a summer cloud, 'My dear, this is a lunertic asylum. Now, don't jump,' he says; 'I didn't bring you here, because I thought you was crazy, but because I wanted you to see what kind of people they was who imagined themselves earls and earl-esses, an' all that sort o' thing, an' to have an idea how the thing worked after you'd been doing it a good while an' had got used to it. I thought it would be a good thing, while I was Earl Jiguel and you was a noble earl-ess, to come to a place where people acted that way. I knowed you had read lots o' books about knights and princes an' bloody towers, an' that you knowed all about them things, but I didn't suppose you did know how them same things looked in these days, an' a lunertic asylum was the only place where you could see 'em. So I went to a doctor I knowed,' he says, 'an' got a certificate from him to this private institution, where we could stay for a while an' get posted on romantics.'

"'Then,' says I, 'the upshot was that you wanted to teach a lesson.'

"'Jus' that,' says he.

"'All right,' says I; 'it's teached. An' now let's get out of this as quick as we kin.'

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"'That'll suit me,' he says, 'an' we'll leave by the noon train. I'll go an' see about the trunk bein' sent down.'

"So off he went to see the man who kept the house, while I falls to packin' up the trunk as fast as I could."

"Weren't you dreadfully angry at him?" asked Euphemia, who, having a romantic streak in her own composition, did not sympathize altogether with this heroic remedy for Pomona's disease.

"No, ma'am," said Pomona, "not long. When I thought of Mrs. General Jackson and Tom Thumb, I couldn't help thinkin' that I must have looked pretty much the same to my husband, who, I knowed now, had only been makin'-believe to make-believe. An' besides, I couldn't be angry very long for laughin, for when he come back in a minute, as mad as a March hare, an' said they wouldn't let me out nor him nuther, I fell to laughin' ready to crack my sides.

"'They say,' said he, as soon as he could speak straight, 'that we can't go out without another certificate from the doctor. I told 'em I'd go myself an' see him about it but they said no, I couldn't, for if they did that way everybody who ever was sent here would be goin' out the next day to see about leavin'. I didn't want to make no fuss, so I told them I'd write a letter to the doctor and tell him to send an order that would soon show them whether we could go out or not. They said that would be the best thing to do, an so I'm goin' to write it this minute,'--which he did.

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Rudder Grange
Frank R. Stockton

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