A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
I found Clarence alone in his quarters, drowned in melancholy; and in place of the
electric light, he had reinstituted the ancient rag-lamp, and sat there in a grisly twilight
with all curtains drawn tight. He sprang up and rushed for me eagerly, saying:
"Oh, it's worth a billion milrays to look upon a live person again!"
He knew me as easily as if I hadn't been disguised at all. Which frightened me; one may
easily believe that.
"Quick, now, tell me the meaning of this fearful disaster," I said. "How did it come
"Well, if there hadn't been any Queen Guenever, it wouldn't have come so early; but it
would have come, anyway. It would have come on your own account by and by; by luck,
it happened to come on the queen's."
"And Sir Launcelot's?"
"Give me the details."
"I reckon you will grant that during some years there has been only one pair of eyes in
these kingdoms that has not been looking steadily askance at the queen and Sir
"Yes, King Arthur's."
"--and only one heart that was without suspicion--"
"Yes--the king's; a heart that isn't capable of thinking evil of a friend."
"Well, the king might have gone on, still happy and unsuspecting, to the end of his days,
but for one of your modern improvements-- the stock-board. When you left, three miles
of the London, Canterbury and Dover were ready for the rails, and also ready and ripe for
manipulation in the stock-market. It was wildcat, and everybody knew it. The stock was
for sale at a give-away. What does Sir Launcelot do, but--"
"Yes, I know; he quietly picked up nearly all of it for a song; then he bought about twice
as much more, deliverable upon call; and he was about to call when I left."
"Very well, he did call. The boys couldn't deliver. Oh, he had them--and he just settled
his grip and squeezed them. They were laughing in their sleeves over their smartness in