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Sketches New and Old By Mark Twain Characters: 1774

Updated: 2017-11-29 00:04

[ Scene-The Studio.]

"Oh, John, friend of my boyhood, I am the unhappiest of men."

"You're a simpleton!"

"I have nothing left to love but my poor statue of America-and see, even she has no sympathy for me in her cold marble countenance-so beautiful and so heartless!"

"You're a dummy!"

"Oh, John!"

"Oh, fudge! Didn't you say you had six months to raise the money in?"

"Don't deride my agony, John. If I had six centuries what good would it do? How could it help a poor wretch without name, capital, or friends?"

"Idiot! Coward! Baby! Six months to raise the money in-and five will do!"

"Are you insane?"

"Six months-an abundance. Leave it to me. I'll raise it."

"What do you mean, John? How on earth can you raise such a monstrous sum for me?"

"Will you let that be my business, and not meddle? Will you leave the thing in my hands? Will you swear to

submit to whatever I do? Will you pledge me to find no fault with my actions?"

"I am dizzy-bewildered-but I swear."

John took up a hammer and deliberately smashed the nose of America! He made another pass and two of her fingers fell to the floor-another, and part of an ear came away-another, and a row of toes was mangled and dismembered-another, and the left leg, from the knee down, lay a fragmentary ruin!

John put on his hat and departed.

George gazed speechless upon the battered and grotesque nightmare before him for the space of thirty seconds, and then wilted to the floor and went into convulsions.

John returned presently with a carriage, got the broken-hearted artist and the broken-legged statue aboard, and drove off, whistling low and tranquilly.

He left the artist at his lodgings, and drove off and disappeared down the Via Quirinalis with the statue.

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