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Toppleton's Client

by John Kendrick Bangs

An extravaganza that ranges all the way from dry Stocktonian humor to roaring farce. The central idea is that of the exchange of souls between bodies, and we may easily imagine the opportunities it offers a writer intent only upon the possible humorous complications. The "client" is an exiled spirit whose body is occupied by a usurping fiend, and who engages Toppleton (a lawyer whose chief work of reference is the "Comic Blackstone") to possess him once more of the bodily estate that he has lost. But the fiend is too sharp for the lawyer, and, preferring Toppleton's corporeal tenement to that in which he has been fraudulently dwelling, effects a substitution, and leaves Toppleton helpless, either to protect the rights of his client or to re-establish his own.

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