CONTESTED RELATIONSHIP. 251
candid and frank, I ain't very well fixed to meet it and answer it; for my brother and me has had misfortunes, he's broke his arm, and our baggage got put off at a town above here, last night in the night by a mistake. I am Peter Wilks's brother Harvey, and this is his brother William, which can't hear nor speak—and can't even make signs to amount to much, now 't he's only got one hand to work them with. We are who we say we are ; and in a day .or two, when I get the baggage, I can prove it. But, up till then, I won't say nothing more, but go to the hotel and wait."
So him and the new dummy started off ; and the king he laughs, and blethers out:
"Broke his arm—very likely ain't it ?—and very convenient, too, for a fraud that's got to make signs, and hain't learnt how. Lost their baggage! That's mighty good ! —and mighty ingenious—under the circumstances ! "
So he laughed again ; and so did everybody else, except three or four, or maybe half a dozen. One of these was that doctor ; another one was a sharp looking gentleman, with a carpet-bag of the old-fashioned kind made out of carpet-stuff, that had just come off of the steamboat and was talking to him in a low voice, and glancing towards the king now and then and nodding their heads—it was Levi Bell, the lawyer that was gone up to Louisville; and another one was a big rough husky that come along and listened to all the old gentleman said, and was listening to the king now. And when the king got done, this husky up and says :
" Say, looky here ; if you are Harvey Wilks, when'd you come to this town?"
" The day before the funeral, friend," says the king.
"But what time o' day?"
" In the evenin'—'bout an hour er two before sundown."
"Hoiv'd you come ? "
"I come down on the Susan Powell, from Cincinnati."
" Well, then, how'd you come to be up at the Pint in the mornin9—in a canoe ? "
"I warn't up at the Pint in the mornin'."
"It's a lie."