Fitz Smythe says: "On examination of their boots they discovered that they had more real estate than blacking on the outer surface, and an examination of their pockets showed conclusively both parties were teetotally impecunious." How sparkling! What a fine flow of humor! And yet how low-spirited it makes a man feel to read it. Translated into simple English, and despoiled of its gorgeous panoply of funniness, the quotation becomes: "Their boots were soiled with dust and they had no money."
[published in Early Tales & Sketches, Volume 2, 1864-1865,
University of California Press, 1981, p. 491.]
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