Roughing It

Roughing It

3.5 79
by Mark Twain, Hamlin Hill
     
 

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In his youth Mark Twain drifted through the West. He worked as a civil servant, gold prospector, reporter, lecturer. ROUGHING IT is Twain's record--fact and impression--of those early years.

Twain tried his luck at everything. He disputed with vigilantes; crossed Slade the Terrible, whose equally terrible wife shot not from the hip but from the petticoat; met people

Overview

In his youth Mark Twain drifted through the West. He worked as a civil servant, gold prospector, reporter, lecturer. ROUGHING IT is Twain's record--fact and impression--of those early years.

Twain tried his luck at everything. He disputed with vigilantes; crossed Slade the Terrible, whose equally terrible wife shot not from the hip but from the petticoat; met people famous and obscure, from Brigham Young, the ambitious Mormon leader, to Hank Erickson, a farmer who sought advice on turnips from Horace Greeley and fulminated against him because he could not decipher the answer.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101127759
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/17/1981
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
592
File size:
905 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER I.


MY brother had just been appointed Secretary of Nevada Territory - an office of such majesty that it concentrated in itself the duties and dignities of Treasurer, Comptroller, Secretary of State, and Acting Governor in the Governor's absence. A salary of eighteen hundred dollars a year and the title of "Mr. Secretary," gave to the great position an air of wild and imposing grandeur. I was young and ignorant, and I envied my brother. I coveted his distinction and his financial splendor, but particularly and especially the long, strange journey he was going to make, and the curious new world he was going to explore. He was going to travel! I never had been away from home, and that word "travel" had a seductive charm for me. Pretty soon he would be hundreds and hundreds of miles away on the great plains and deserts, and among the mountains of the Far West, and would see buffaloes and Indians, and prairie dogs, and antelopes, and have all kinds of adventures, and maybe get hanged or scalped, and have ever such a fine time, and write home and tell us all about it, and be a hero. And he would see the gold mines and the silver mines, and maybe go about of an afternoon when his work was done, and pick up two or three pailfuls of shining slugs and nuggets of gold and silver on the hillside. And by and by he would become very rich, and return home by sea, and be able to talk as calmly about San Francisco and the ocean, and "the isthmus" as if it was nothing of any consequence to have seen those marvels face to face. What I suffered in contemplating his happiness, pen cannot describe. And so, when he offered me, in cold blood, the sublime position of private secretary under him, it appeared to me that the heavens and the earth passed away, and the firmament was rolled together as a scroll! I had nothing more to desire. My contentment was complete. At the end of an hour or two I was ready for the journey. Not much packing up was necessary, because we were going in the overland stage from the Missouri frontier to Nevada, and passengers were only allowed a small quantity of baggage apiece. There was no Pacific railroad in those fine times of ten or twelve years ago - not a single rail of it.

I only proposed to stay in Nevada three months - I had no thought of staying longer than that. I meant to see all I could that was new and strange, and then hurry home to business. I little thought that I would not see the end of that three-month pleasure excursion for six or seven uncommonly long years!

I dreamed all night about Indians, deserts, and silver bars, and in due time, next day, we took shipping at the St. Louis wharf on board a steamboat bound up the Missouri River.

We were six days going from St. Louis to "St. Joe" - a trip that was so dull, and sleepy, and eventless that it has left no more impression on my memory than if its duration had been six minutes instead of that many days. No record is left in my mind, now, concerning it, but a confused jumble of savage-looking snags, which we deliberately walked over with one wheel or the other; and of reefs which we butted and butted, and then retired from and climbed over in some softer place; and of sand-bars which we roosted on occasionally, and rested, and then got out our crutches and sparred over. In fact, the boat might almost as well have gone to St. Joe by land, for she was walking most of the time, anyhow - climbing over reefs and clambering over snags patiently and laboriously all day long. The captain said she was a "bully" boat, and all she wanted was more "shear" and a bigger wheel. I thought she wanted a pair of stilts, but I had the deep sagacity not to say so.

Meet the Author

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American humorist, novelist, writer and lecturer. Twain's greatest contribution to American literature is generally considered to be his novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
November 30, 1835
Date of Death:
April 21, 1910
Place of Birth:
Florida, Missouri
Place of Death:
Redding, Connecticut

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Roughing It 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
jchas More than 1 year ago
I have read this book 3 times over the years. The first time it literally had me laughing out loud as I read it on my lunch hours in the company bresk room. It is a hilarious tale of Twains travel adventure by stage coach from the Mississippi to Californias gold fields with a unique historical perspective of the California gold rush that you wont find any where else. Much more entertaining than his other "travel" books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mark Twain is always great. For those who want a trip back into our past, Roughing It is fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As someone who has travelled the areas Twain describes, I can truly appreciate his perspective. Hope its not lost on those that haven't witnessed it first hand. A bit wordy in some areas, but a great book nonetheless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Entertaining autobiographical book
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has no discernable plot or other literary pretenseions to distract from the fun of seeing Virginia City and the Comstock Lode in their heyday through the eyes of a young Samuel Clemens. It could be subtitled 'Autobiography of a Splendid Liar.' It wanders about, goes nowhere in particular and trails off into idle reminiscences, but it's a great trip.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it is one of the best books i ever read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Educational, historical,  and hilarious.  Join Mark Twain on his journey across 19th century America.  It makes history fun.
MikeLaville More than 1 year ago
awesome book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This version wasunfortunately unreadable.
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dranowalker More than 1 year ago
Covers Twain's travels from St Joe, MO to the west coast. Highly entertaining. Must read if you liked Huck and Tom from Twain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book))
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a full book
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AUDONIANO More than 1 year ago
Even that this is a very long book wont get you tire, Twain show how was to travel through the country when he was alive. It was fun to read!
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