Abroad with Mark Twain and Eugene Field/Mark's Idiomatic Gems


"0f course you have had no serious quarrel with the Church?" he was asked by Dr. Dryander, the former Kaiser's body chaplain.

"Oh, my, no—far from it," vowed Mark. "Such expressions as 'the duck that runs the gospel mill' and 'the boss of the doxology works who waltzed a dead 'un through handsome,' are idiomatic gems I picked up in the mining camps. They are not meant in derision.

"William was talking with my cousin. General Von Versen," added Mark, reporting the case at Mr. Phelps' office a few days afterwards—otherwise, you may be sure, he would have ordered me flayed alive, for isn't he the identical gander bossing the German gospel mill?"