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0105_001E Part I Mark Twain

Chapter X - General Alison And Dorcas

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"Do you really believe they do, Dorcas?"

"I don't only just believe it, Marse Tom, I know it. Day before yesterday they knew something was going to happen. They were that excited, and whispering around together; why, anybody could see that they - But my! I must get back to her, and I haven't got to my errand yet."

"What is it, Dorcas?"

"Well, it's two or three things. One is, the doctor don't salute when he comes . . . Now, Marse Tom, it ain't anything to laugh at, and so - "

"Well, then, forgive me; I didn't mean to laugh - I got caught unprepared."

"You see, she don't want to hurt the doctor's feelings, so she don't say anything to him about it; but she is always polite, herself, and it hurts that kind for people to be rude to them."

"I'll have that doctor hanged."

"Marse Tom, she don't WANT him hanged. She - "

"Well, then, I'll have him boiled in oil."

"But she don't WANT him boiled. I - "

"Oh, very well, very well, I only want to please her; I'll have him skinned."

"Why, SHE don't want him skinned; it would break her heart. Now - "

"Woman, this is perfectly unreasonable. What in the nation DOES she want?"

"Marse Tom, if you would only be a little patient, and not fly off the handle at the least little thing. Why, she only wants you to speak to him."

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"Speak to him! Well, upon my word! All this unseemly rage and row about such a - a - Dorcas, I never saw you carry on like this before. You have alarmed the sentry; he thinks I am being assassinated; he thinks there's a mutiny, a revolt, an insurrection; he - "

"Marse Tom, you are just putting on; you know it perfectly well; I don't know what makes you act like that - but you always did, even when you was little, and you can't get over it, I reckon. Are you over it now, Marse Tom?"

"Oh, well, yes; but it would try anybody to be doing the best he could, offering every kindness he could think of, only to have it rejected with contumely and . . . Oh, well, let it go; it's no matter - I'll talk to the doctor. Is that satisfactory, or are you going to break out again?"

"Yes, sir, it is; and it's only right to talk to him, too, because it's just as she says; she's trying to keep up discipline in the Rangers, and this insubordination of his is a bad example for them - now ain't it so, Marse Tom?"

"Well, there IS reason in it, I can't deny it; so I will speak to him, though at bottom I think hanging would be more lasting. What is the rest of your errand, Dorcas?"

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A Horse's Tale
Mark Twain

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