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A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain

A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain

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Published by: api-3714708 on Oct 18, 2008
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03/18/2014

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of such folk as little as possible; perhaps this indulgent custom owes its
origin to this.

One day I was listening to some conversation upon this subject when an
American student said that for some time he had been under sentence for a
slight breach of the peace and had promised the constable that he would
presently find an unoccupied day and betake himself to prison. I asked the
young gentleman to do me the kindness to go to jail as soon as he
conveniently could, so that I might try to get in there and visit him, and see
what college captivity was like. He said he would appoint the very first day
he could spare.

His confinement was to endure twenty-four hours. He shortly chose his
day, and sent me word. I started immediately. When I reached the
University Place, I saw two gentlemen talking together, and, as they had
portfolios under their arms, I judged they were tutors or elderly students; so
I asked them in English to show me the college jail. I had learned to take it
for granted that anybody in Germany who knows anything, knows English,
so I had stopped afflicting people with my German. These gentlemen
seemed a trifle amused--and a trifle confused, too--but one of them said he
would walk around the corner with me and show me the place. He asked
me why I wanted to get in there, and I said to see a friend--and for
curiosity. He doubted if I would be admitted, but volunteered to put in a
word or two for me with the custodian.

He rang the bell, a door opened, and we stepped into a paved way and then
up into a small living-room, where we were received by a hearty and
good-natured German woman of fifty. She threw up her hands with a
surprised "ACH GOTT, HERR PROFESSOR!" and exhibited a mighty
deference for my new acquaintance. By the sparkle in her eye I judged she
was a good deal amused, too. The "Herr Professor" talked to her in
German, and I understood enough of it to know that he was bringing very
plausible reasons to bear for admitting me. They were successful. So the
Herr Professor received my earnest thanks and departed. The old dame got
her keys, took me up two or three flights of stairs, unlocked a door, and we
stood in the presence of the criminal. Then she went into a jolly and eager

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