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The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson Mark Twain

Roxana Insists Upon Reform

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"They've got pluck enough, I suppose; what they lack is judgment. _I_ wouldn't have stood there."

"Nobody's accusin' you!"

"Did anybody else get hurt?"

"Yes, we all got hit 'cep' de blon' twin en de doctor en de seconds. De Jedge didn't git hurt, but I hear Pudd'nhead say de bullet snip some o' his ha'r off."

"'George!" said Tom to himself, "to come so near being out of my trouble, and miss it by an inch. Oh dear, dear, he will live to find me out and sell me to some nigger trader yet--yes, and he would do it in a minute." Then he said aloud, in a grave tone:

"Mother, we are in an awful fix."

Roxana caught her breath with a spasm, and said:

"Chile! What you hit a body so sudden for, like dat? What's be'n en gone en happen'?"

"Well, there's one thing I didn't tell you. When I wouldn't fight, he tore up the will again, and--"

Roxana's face turned a dead white, and she said:

"Now you's _done!_--done forever! Dat's de end. Bofe un us is gwine to starve to--"

"Wait and hear me through, can't you! I reckon that when he resolved to fight, himself, he thought he might get killed and not have a chance to forgive me any more in this life, so he made the will again, and I've seen it, and it's all right. But--"

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"Oh, thank goodness, den we's safe ag'in!--safe! en so what did you want to come here en talk sich dreadful--"

"Hold ON, I tell you, and let me finish. The swag I gathered won't half square me up, and the first thing we know, my creditors-- well, you know what'll happen."

Roxana dropped her chin, and told her son to leave her alone-- she must think this matter out. Presently she said impressively:

"You got to go mighty keerful now, I tell you! En here's what you got to do. He didn't git killed, en if you gives him de least reason, he'll bust de will ag'in, en dat's de _las'_ time, now you hear me! So--you's got to show him what you kin do in de nex' few days. You got to be pison good, en let him see it; you got to do everything dat'll make him b'lieve in you, en you got to sweeten aroun' ole Aunt Pratt, too--she's pow'ful strong with de Jedge, en de bes' frien' you got. Nex', you'll go 'long away to Sent Louis, en dat'll _keep_ him in yo' favor. Den you go en make a bargain wid dem people. You tell 'em he ain't gwine to live long--en dat's de fac', too--en tell 'em you'll pay 'em intrust, en big intrust, too--ten per--what you call it?"

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The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson
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