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SKETCHES BY MARK TWAIN.

EXPERIENCE OF THE McWILLIAMSES WITH MEMBRANOUS CROUP.

AS RELATED TO THE AUTHOR OF THIS BOOK BY MR. MCWILLIAMS, A PLEASANT NEW YORK GENTLEMAN WHOM THE SAID AUTHOR MET BY CHANCE ON A JOURNEY.




WELL, to go back to where I was before I digressed to explain to you how that frightful and incurable disease, membranous croup, was ravaging the town and driving all mothers mad with terror, I called Mrs. McWilliams' attention to little Penelope and said:

"Darling, I wouldn't let that child be chewing that pine stick if I were you."

"Precious, where is the harm in it?" said she, but at the same time preparing to take away the stick for women cannot receive even the most palpably judicious suggestion without arguing it; that is, married women.

I replied:

"Love, it is notorious that pine is the least nutritious wood that a child can eat."

My wife's hand paused, in the act of taking the stick, and returned itself to her lap. She bridled perceptibly, and I said: