374 An Encounter with an Interviewer
A. Well, some said he was, some said he wasn't.
Q. What did you think?
A. Oh, it was none of my business! It wasn't any of my funeral.
Q. Did you — However, we can never get this matter straight. Let me ask about something else. What was the date of your birth?
A. Monday, October 31, 1693.
Q. What! Impossible! That would make you a hundred and eighty years old. How do you account for that?
A. I don't account for it at all.
Q. But you said at first you were only nineteen, and now you make yourself out to be one hundred and eighty. It is an awful discrepancy.
A. Why, have you noticed that? (Shaking hands.) Many a time it has seemed to me like a discrepancy, but somehow I couldn't make up my mind. How quick you notice a thing!
Q. Thank you for the compliment, as far as it goes. Had you, or have you, any brothers or sisters?
A. Eh! I — I — I think so — yes — but I don't remember.
Q. Well, that is the most extraordinary statement I ever heard!
A. Why, what makes you think that?
Q. How could I think otherwise? Why, look here! Who is this a picture of on the wall? Isn't that a brother of yours?
A. Oh, yes, yes, yes! Now you remind me of it; that was a brother of mine. That's William — Bill we called him. Poor old Bill i
Q. Why? Is he dead, then?
A. Ah! well, I suppose so. We never could tell. There was a great mystery about it.
Q. That is sad, very sad. He disappeared, then?