Abroad with Mark Twain and Eugene Field/Mark's Martyrdom


"Well, how did you like your reception in England?" Mark was asked during his last visit there.

"Overwhelming, indescribable! There are no other words for it," he said, "but let me get hold of Andy (Carnegie). His country, Scotland, used truly fiendish means for humiliating me, though I spent a whole day riding across the blamed island—couldn't do better, for the train between Edinburgh and London wouldn't, or couldn't, go slower.

"Well, at Edinburgh I crept into one of those rat-cages they call railway carriage, first class, and opened the 'Irish Times,' that I bought at the station. I kidded myself, hoping that the unfurling of that paper would promote conversation, or trouble or something, with fellow passengers. But there was only one, and he got even with me in the most awful and bloodthirsty style. Namely, he pulled out of his valise a copy of the 'Innocents,' in two volumes, and after lighting a pipe, began reading. I watched him, first out of a corner of my eye, then with the whole eye, then with the pair of them. Nothing doing—that horse thief didn't crack a single smile over the first two hundred and fifty pages.

"After luncheon—even the excellent salmon was gall and the other thing to me—Mr. Scotchman repeated his torture, heaping more red-hot coals on my mane, the insides of my hands and of my shoes—that is, he read the second story through likewise without as much as a squint."

And Mark got up and left without another word.