The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches

The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches
In this first and most well known sketch Mark interviews Simon Wheeler in search of information regarding one Leonidas W. Smiley. He found Mr. Wheeler in a "dilapidated tavern in the ancient mining camp of Angel's". What he got was a series of tales about the gambling exploits of one Jim Smiley, most notably the tale of the jumping frog.
Mark received a correspondence from a young lady named Aurelia. She was in a quandary as to whether she should go ahead and marry her beau, who had a problem of loosing his body parts.
Mark explains the faults of letters from home, primarily that they contain nothing of interest, then provides an example of an appropriate letter, one from an eight year old niece.
Mark answers a number of correspondents on a number of topics including moral statistics, serenading young ladies from the street, and a correspondence from Simon Wheeler, the source of tales presented in the title story of this volume.
Mark calls on Dennis McCarthy, editor of the San Francisco journal, The Irish People. He has some difficulties with the language.
Mark tells the story of a bad little boy named Jim. Jim escapes all the usual consequences suffered by such rapscallions as portrayed in Sunday School stories.
Mark describes a series of sure fire cold remedies he tried while trying to shake one himself.
Mark ponders the usefulness of insurance coverage.
Mark asks to borrow a book from a bald-headed ex-corporal named Coon, found in the Angel's Camp hotel. He hears the story of the man's copy of an old Webster Unabridged that has been circulated about the region.
Mark's attempt at a society column. He describes the belles of a ball - the Pioneers' - that occurred at the Occidental. This includes descriptions of glass eyes, the blowing of noses and the piecemeal construction of at least one of the attendees.
Poor Lucretia dismisses the love of her life before she realizes he has done exactly as she wishes he would have done, enlisted to go to war. An ironic tale of a type one might expect from OHenry, albeit a bit more sarcastic.
Mark "translates" the news story of the murder of Julius Caesar. He apparently discovered the original latin reportage of the event as printed in Daily Evening Fasces, a local Roman newspaper of the time.
An incomprehensible item, published in The Californian, comes under the scrutiny of Mark.
Mark attends a seance and converses with the spirit of John Smith.
Mark provides a synopsis of the youth and subsequent career of George Washington.
How to develop tolerance for those learning to play a musical instrument.
Dealing with after shocks of the San Francisco earthquake of October 8, 1865.
The benefits of moving from the United States to Nevada.
Mark is distracted from observing the launch of a newly constructed steamer by a tale about a scriptural panoramist.
Brief notes on the origins of certain individuals of interest.
Some behavioral recommendations for getting ones own way and staying out of trouble.
Mark doesn't care for the manner in which chambermaids fulfill their responsibilities.
Keeping one's priorities in unusual circumstances.
Mark is not the usual inhabitant of Honolulu.
Mark selects the most sedate horse in the stable.
Dreams indicate the final resting place of King Kamehameha the First.
Survival in a lifeboat.

This is the first of what I hope will be an on-going collection of readings from the works of Mark Twain. The readings are from public domain versions of the texts, as published in The Oxford Mark Twain collection. Recordings were created using the least expensive Plantronics microphone/headphone set available and the Audacity program. The quality should improve as adjustments are made to input volume settings etc.

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