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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, February 16, 1913, Image 20

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1913-02-16/ed-1/seq-20/

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jurisdiction of a court of justice. The planter is
the law of his own'"plantation and settles all dis
putes. The justice of .-..the peace, like- the genii in
the bottle, is easy enough to let out. but difficult to
coax back.
George Washington -/Johnson death loves a
lawsuit; he hankers after, wordy contention; he
tice court and to hear the hired .shysters
wrangle. When he and his neighbor liti
gate the proprietorship of .a two-bit pup,.
the planter finds his gin stopped,' ;his
fields deserted, while cotton pickers and
gin hands crowd the court room. Law
yers' fees and court costs tax these
negroes ten or fifteen dollars each. A ...
hundred other hands lose precious time
in getting the cotton to market, which
makes litigation a luxury that the planter,
who must pay these fees and stand the
loss, can not afford. That is why the
planter dishes out extemporaneous jus
tice, adjusting all minor controversies
without cost or delay. Where property
rights become involved, he goes with his
tenant and employs reputable counsel.
In the towns, we sometimes find a
situation like this: Here's a white land
lord who owns a row of houses which he rents to
negroes at, say, five dollars a month each. These
tenants understand that they are not to quarrel
among themselves and hale one another before the
justice of the peace. Suppose negro woman No. 1
has her neighbor arrested for "abusive language"
and fined five dollars with the costs. The neighbor
immediately retaliates by going to another constable
Author of Mark Twain A Biography
Illustrations Jtp HORACE TAYLOR
¥%? permission of Harper and Brot hen, the author-
MM M **d biographer of Mark Twain contribute* to
*hm following personal reminiscences and anecdotes
gathered during his long and intimate association
""v!. *. nm f 1 *"* humorist, selected from the recently
published Life of Mark Twain.
eleeled Governor of New York
when Mark Twain and George
\V. Cable, on a lecture tour, ar
rived at Albany. They decided
to call on him, and drove to the
capitol. The Governor made
them welcome and, a tier a hearty
greeting, said:
"Mr. Clemens, 1 was a fellow
citizen of yours in Buffalo for a
good many months some years
ago, but you never called on vie then. How do you
explain it?"
"Oh, that's \or\ simple, your Excellency 1 In
Buffalo you were a sheriff. 1 kept away from the
sheriff as much as possible; but you 're Governor
now, and on your way to the Presidency."
ONCE in the course of a conversation I had with
him in Bermuda, not long before the end, Mark
forgot a word and denounced his poor memory:
"I'll forget the Lord's middle name some time,"
he d roily declared, "right in the midst of a storm,
when I need all the help I can get."
WHEN I was young I could remember anything,
whether it happened or not; but I am getting
old, and soon I shall remember only the latter."
I HAVE tried to do good in this world, and it is
marvelous in how many different ways I have
done good, and it is comforting to reflect — now,
there 's H. H. Rogers — just out of the affection I
bear that man, many a time I have given him
points in finance that he never thought of —
and charging No. 1 with •'malicious mischief," for
pulling a pick't off her fence. Five dollars and
costs. The constable gets Vm going and Coming,
plays both ends against the middle. That puis the
two Women square with each other; but the landlord
vets his relit from neither. So, the landlord tells
I hem Hat footedlv : •"When you have a quarrel, 1
"Mink Jones, stand up!'
must be your judge. If you can 't get along as
neighbors, I will find out who is wrong, and make
that one move away." *
Southern courts are presided over by white men;
and, as a rule, white men constitute the juries. It is
asserted that these juries convict negroes, and fail
to convict white men —which is partly, and de
plorably, true. But it is also true, in every court
and if he could lay aside envy, prejudice and
superstition, and utilize those ideas in his
business, it would make a difference in his
WHEN the Czar of Russia proposed the dis
armament of the nations, the late William
T. Stead wrote for Mark Twain's opinion, lie
replied: "The Czar is ready to disarm. 1 am
ready to disarm. Collect the others; it should
not he much of a task now."
"Youth, don't you think it will be a little etnbar
ranting for him, your being in bed?" And he heard
Twain's easy, gentle, deliberate voice reply:
"Why, Livy, if you think so, we might have the
other bed made up for him."
LET us endeavor so to live that when we die even
the undertaker will be sorry," was a bit of his
semi-serious counsel.
TT was about the end of 1907 that the new St.
» Louis Harbor boat was completed. A St. Louis
editor reported that it had been christened Mark
Twain, and asked for a word of comment. Clem
ens answered: "May. my namesake follow in my
righteous footsteps, then neither of us will need
any fire insurance."
American correspondent wrote,
every where, lhal the man of inlkicnce who retains
shrewd attorneys is apt to fare better than the
friendless pauper. The hobo stealing junk from a
railroad scrap-heap will be convicted, while the
looter who "absorbs" the railroad itself may become
B famous financier. The southern sili is not one of
commission, but omission; if is not that innocent
negroes are "senl up" because of prejudice, but that
too many guilty whiles go free. This failure of
judicial methods is broadly national, and not co„
lined to the south.
On the other hand, it is paradoxical thai for cer
lain offenses these same white jurors will convict
white men and refuse to. punish negroes.
Let a white man desert his own home, and sup
plant some other white man; white man No. 'J would,
.make prompt trouble; But negro No. 2 rambles
amiably around unfit lie finds negro No. 3 whom he
pushes away from fireside No. 3, out into the cold,
cold world. Negro No; 3 may be glad enough to get
shoved out, for he pla\s even on negro No. 4.
Variety is the spice of this matrimonial merry-go
round. None of them lose social prestige; the
women, perhaps, sing in the choir, while the men
are fellow-deacons in the same church. There was
the cheerful case of Pomp who came late to his
work, and the foreman inquired: "What's the
matter, Fomp? Sick?" .
"No sub. boss; please suh, don't fuss at me. I
got married las' night, an' dem niggers kep' me
danein' till attar daylight."
"Look here, Fomp, ain't you getting married kind
o' rapid and regular nowadays/"
"No suh, boss. I ain't married nary time sence I
tuk Lily dis las' gone summer."
"Is Lily dead?"
"No suh, she's well; Lily's mighty well."
(Continued on Page 9)
I LIKE Joan of Arc best of all my books; and it is
* the besl ; I know it perfectly well. And besides,
it furnished me seven times the pleasure afforded me
by any of the others: twelve years of preparation
and two years of writing. The others needed no
preparation, and got none."
NOTHING so needs reforming as other people's
FFW things are harder lo put up with than the
annoyance of a good example."
into a billiard room casually,* and
picked up a cue and began to
knock the balls around. The pro
prietor, who was a red-haired
man, with such hair as I have
never seen anywhere except on a
torch, asked me if I would like
to play.
"I said, 'Yes.'
"He said, 'Knock the balls
{Continued on Page 8)

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