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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

hand and said it had been the funniest thing they had ever heard, and "it was all they
could do to keep from laughin' right out in meetin'." That anecdote never saw the day that
it was worth the telling; and yet I had sat under the telling of it hundreds and thousands
and millions and billions of times, and cried and cursed all the way through. Then who
can hope to know what my feelings were, to hear this armor-plated ass start in on it again,
in the murky twilight of tradition, before the dawn of history, while even Lactantius
might be referred to as "the late Lactantius," and the Crusades wouldn't be born for five
hundred years yet? Just as he finished, the call-boy came; so, haw-hawing like a demon,
he went rattling and clanking out like a crate of loose castings, and I knew nothing more.
It was some minutes before I came to, and then I opened my eyes just in time to see Sir
Gareth fetch him an awful welt, and I unconsciously out with the prayer, "I hope to
gracious he's killed!" But by ill-luck, before I had got half through with the words, Sir
Gareth crashed into Sir Sagramor le Desirous and sent him thundering over his horse's
crupper, and Sir Sagramor caught my remark and thought I meant it for him.
Well, whenever one of those people got a thing into his head, there was no getting it out
again. I knew that, so I saved my breath, and offered no explanations. As soon as Sir
Sagramor got well, he notified me that there was a little account to settle between us, and
he named a day three or four years in the future; place of settlement, the lists where the
offense had been given. I said I would be ready when he got back. You see, he was going
for the Holy Grail. The boys all took a flier at the Holy Grail now and then. It was a
several years' cruise. They always put in the long absence snooping around, in the most
conscientious way, though none of them had any idea where the Holy Grail really was,
and I don't think any of them actually expected to find it, or would have known what to
do with it if he had run across it. You see, it was just the Northwest Passage of that day,
as you may say; that was all. Every year expeditions went out holy grailing, and next year
relief expeditions went out to hunt for them. There was worlds of reputation in it, but no
money. Why, they actually wanted me to put in! Well, I should smile.
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