Home | Quotations | Newspaper Articles | Special Features | Links | Search

San Francisco Alta California, December 14, 1866


EDITORS ALTA: I leave for the States in the Opposition steamer to-morrow, and I ask, as a special favor, that you will allow me to say good-bye to my highway-robber friends of the Gold Hill and Virginia Divide, and convince them that I have got ahead of them. They had their joke in robbing me and returning the money, and I had mine in the satisfaction of knowing that they came near freezing to death while they were waiting two hours for me to come along the night of the robbery. And at this day, so far from bearing them any ill will, I want to thank them kindly for their rascality. I am pecuniarily ahead on the transaction. I got a telegram from New York, last night, which reads as follows:

"New York, December 12th.

"Mark Twain: Go to Nudd, Lord & Co., Front street, collect amount of money equal to what highwaymen took from you. (Signed.) A.D.N."

I took that telegram and went to that store and called for a thousand dollars, with my customary modesty; but when I found they were going to pay it, my conscience smote me and I reduced the demand to a hundred. It was promptly paid, in coin, and now if the robbers think they have got the best end of that joke, they are welcome -- they have my free consent to go on thinking so. {It is barely possible that the heft of the joke is on A.D.N., now.}

Good-bye, felons -- good-bye. I bear you no malice. And I sincerely pray that when your cheerful career is closing, and you appear finally before a delighted and appreciative to be hanged, that you will be prepared to go, and that it will be as a ray of sunshine amid the gathering blackness of your damning recollections, to call to mind that you never got a cent out of me. So-long, brigands.


Return to Alta index


Quotations | Newspaper Articles | Special Features | Links | Search