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An Encounter with an Interviewer                373
" Oh, it is no matter, so you will try to do the best you can."
" I will. I will put my whole mind on it."
" Thanks. Are you ready to begin?"
" Ready."
Q. How old are you?
A. Nineteen, in June.
Q. Indeed. I would have taken you to be thirty-five or six. Where were you born?
A. In Missouri.
Q. When did you begin to write?
A. In 1836.
Q. Why, how could that be, if you are only nineteen now?
A. I don't know. It does seem curious, some­how.
Q. It does, indeed. Whom do you consider the most remarkable man you ever met ?
A. Aaron Burr.
Q. But you never could have met Aaron Burr, if you are only nineteen years —
A. Now, if you know more about me than I do, what do you ask me for?
Q. Well, it was only a suggestion; nothing more. How did you happen to meet Burr?
A. Well, I happened to be at his funeral one day, and he asked me to make less noise, and —
Q. But, good heavens! if you were at his funeral, he must have been dead, and if he was dead how could he care whether you made a noise or not?
A. I don't know. He was always a particular kind of a man that way.
Q. Still, I don't understand it at all. You say he spoke to you, and that he was dead.
A. I didn't say he was dead.
Q. But wasn't he dead?