A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
It made the cold chills creep over me! I stopped and said, a little faintly:
"Maybe I didn't hear you just right. Say it again--and say it slow. What year was it?"
"513! You don't look it! Come, my boy, I am a stranger and friendless; be honest and
honorable with me. Are you in your right mind?"
He said he was.
"Are these other people in their right minds?"
He said they were.
"And this isn't an asylum? I mean, it isn't a place where they cure crazy people?"
He said it wasn't.
"Well, then," I said, "either I am a lunatic, or something just as awful has happened. Now
tell me, honest and true, where am I?"
"IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT."
I waited a minute, to let that idea shudder its way home, and then said:
"And according to your notions, what year is it now?"
"528--nineteenth of June."
I felt a mournful sinking at the heart, and muttered: "I shall never see my friends again--
never, never again. They will not be born for more than thirteen hundred years yet."
I seemed to believe the boy, I didn't know why. Something in me seemed to believe him--
my consciousness, as you may say; but my reason didn't. My reason straightway began to
clamor; that was natural. I didn't know how to go about satisfying it, because I knew that
the testimony of men wouldn't serve--my reason would say they were lunatics, and throw
out their evidence. But all of a sudden I stumbled on the very thing, just by luck. I knew
that the only total eclipse of the sun in the first half of the sixth century occurred on the
21st of June, A.D. 528, O.S., and began at 3 minutes after 12 noon. I also knew that no
total eclipse of the sun was due in what to me was the present year--i.e., 1879. So, if I
could keep my anxiety and curiosity from eating the heart out of me for forty-eight hours,
I should then find out for certain whether this boy was telling me the truth or not.
Wherefore, being a practical Connecticut man, I now shoved this whole problem clear
out of my mind till its appointed day and hour should come, in order that I might turn all