322 Concerning the Carnival of Crime in Connecticut
" Smith is the noblest man in all this section, and the purest; and yet is always breaking his heart because he cannot be good ! Only a conscience could find pleasure in heaping agony upon a spirit like that. Do you know my aunt Mary's conscience?"
"I have seen her at a distance, but am not acquainted with her. She lives in the open air altogether, because no door is large enough to admit her."
" I can believe that. Let me see. Do you know the conscience of that publisher who once stole some sketches of mine for a ' series ' of his, and then left me to pay the law expenses I had to incur in order to choke him off?"
" Yes. He has a wide fame. He was exhibited, a month ago, with some other antiquities, for the benefit of a recent Member of the Cabinet's conscience that was starving in exile. Tickets and fares were high, but I traveled for nothing by pretending to be the conscience of an editor, and got in for half-price by representing myself to be the conscience of a clergyman. However, the publisher's conscience, which was to have been the main feature of the entertainment, was a failure — as an exhibition. He was there, but what of that? The management had provided a microscope with a magnifying power of only thirty thousand diameters, and so nobody got to see him, after all. There was great and general dissatisfaction, of course, but—"
Just here there was an eager footstep on the stair; I opened the door, and my aunt Mary burst into the room. It was a joyful meeting and a cheery bombardment of questions and answers concerning family matters ensued. By and by my aunt said:
"But I am going to abuse you a little now. You promised me, the day I saw you last, that you would look after the needs of the poor family around the