ometimes by another, according to occasion and circumstance. He was constructing what seemed to be some kind of a frail mechanical toy; and was apparently very much interested in his work. He was a white-headed man, now, but otherwise he was as young, alert, buoyant, visionary and enterprising as ever. His loving old wife sat near by, contentedly knitting and thinking, with a cat asleep in her lap. The room was large, light, and had a comfortable look, in fact a home-like look, though the furniture was of a humble sort and not over abundant, and the knickknacks and things that go to adorn a living-room not plenty and not costly. But there were natural flowers, and there was an abstract and unclassifiable something about the place which betrayed the presence in the house of somebody with a happy taste and an effective touch.
Even the deadly chromos on the walls were somehow without offence; in fact they seemed to belong there and to add an attraction to the room- -a fascination, anyway; for whoever got
The book is a novel, not Twain's best work, it isn't even as good as Pudd'nhead Wilson. It serves to allow him to shoot zingers at the English aristocracy, and America's illusions about itself. It's a farce, and while all of the characters are distinct, they are not as fully-fleshed as his better books.
Worth reading as a curiosity, and for the sheer sparse elegance of Twain's writing.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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