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Terrell Dempsey <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 24 Jan 2002 23:59:15 -0600
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For God's sake John, Hush up!  I'm finishing a book on Sam and slavery and I'm counting on this forgiving attitude holding a while longer.  That way if I make a bunch of mistakes folk will let me slide like Ken. If they don't I can look 'em right in the eye and say, "Don't you dare criticize me, I exposed at least a dozen of my closest friends and family to Twain."
    That will send them reeling.
    If it doesn't, I'll smack them with a solid, "and they may be curious enough to go learn more because of me." That argument packs more wallop than a double-ought load from both barrels.
     Finally, if pushed into a corner, I will fall back on my prestige and honor. Why these Twain scholars should count themselves lucky I gave of my valuable time to even look at the subject! Don't they know who I am?  Why I can't walk through Walmart without people stopping to tell me hello. Attorneys are really important here in Hannibal. My celebrity should be worth something.
    The truth is I'm disappointed you are stirring this up again. You might go and spoil it for me with more of this history and fact-checking stuff.
    You ought to be ashamed of yourself.