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Territorial Enterprise, April 1864

[by Dan De Quille]

Some three days since, in returning to this city from American Flat, we had the misfortune to be thrown from a fiery untamed steed of Spanish extraction -- a very strong extract, too. Our knee was sprained by our fall and we were for a day or two confined to our room -- of course knowing little of what was going on in the great world outside. Mark Twain, our confrere and room-mate, a man in whom we trusted, was our only visitor during our seclusion. We saw some actions of his that almost caused us to suspect him of contemplating treachery towards us, but it was not until we regained in some degree the use of our maimed limb that we discovered the full extent -- the infamousness of this wretch's treasonable and inhuman plottings. He wrote such an account of our accident as would lead the public to believe that we were injured beyond all hope of recovery. The next day he tied a small piece of second-hand crape about his hat, and putting on a lugubrious look, went to the Probate Court, and getting down on his knees commenced praying -- it was the first time he ever prayed for anything or to anybody -- for letters of administration on our estate. Before going to the Court to pray he had stuffed the principal part of our estate -- consisting of numerous shared in the Pewterinctum -- into his vest pocket; also had secured our tooth-brush and had been using it a whole day. He had on our only clean shirt and best socks, also was sporting our cane and smoking our meerschaum. But what most showed his heartlessness and utter depravity was the disposition he made of our boots and coat. When we missed these we applied to Marshall Cooke. The Marshall said he thought he could find them for us. He went on to say that for sometime past he had noticed the existence of a suspicious intimacy between Twain and a nigger saloon keeper, who had a dead-fall on North B street. Proceeding to this palace he found that he was correct in his conjecture. Twain had taken our boots and coat to the darkey, and traded them off for a bottle of vile whiskey, with which he got drunk; and when the police were about to snatch him for drunkenness, he commenced blubbering, saying that he was "overcome for the untimely death of poor Dan." By this dodge he escaped the lock-up, but if he does not shortly give up our Pewtertinctum stock -- which is of fabulous vale -- shell out our tooth-brush and take off our socks and best shirt, he will not so easily escape the Territorial prison.

P. S. -- We have just learned that he stole the crape he tied about his hat from the door know of Three's engine house, South B street.

[reprinted in The Washoe Giant in San Francisco, (George Fields, 1938), pp. 51-52.]

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