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This is an annotated version of the book1.contains an updated biography of the author at the end of the book for a better understanding of the text.2.This book has been checked and corrected for spelling errorsPudd'nhead Wins His Name.Tell the truth or trump--but get the trick.--Pudd'nhead Wilson'sCalendar.The scene of this chronicle is the town of Dawson's Landing, on theMissouri side of the Mississippi, half a day's journey, per steamboat, below St. Louis.In 1830 it was a snug little collection of modest one- and two-storyframe dwellings whose whitewashed exteriors were almost concealed fromsight by climbing tangles of rose-vines, honeysuckles, andmorning-glories. Each of these pretty homes had a garden in front fencedwith white palings and opulently stocked with hollyhocks, marigolds, touch-me-nots, prince's-feathers and other old-fashioned flowers; whileon the window-sills of the houses stood wooden boxes containingmoss-rose plants and terra-cotta pots in which grew a breed of geraniumwhose spread of intensely red blossoms accented the prevailing pink tintof the rose-clad house-front like an explosion of flame. When there wasroom on the ledge outside of the pots and boxes for a cat, the cat wasthere--in sunny weather--stretched at full length, asleep and blissful, with her furry belly to the sun and a paw curved over her nose. Thenthat house was complete, and its contentment and peace were mademanifest to the world by this symbol, whose testimony is infallible. Ahome without a cat--and a well-fed, well-petted and properly reveredcat--may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?All along the streets, on both sides, at the outer edge of the bricksidewalks, stood locust-trees with trunks protected by wooden boxing, and these furnished shade for summer and a sweet fragrance in springwhen the clusters of buds came forth. The main street, one block backfrom the river, and running parallel with it, was the sole businessstreet. It was six blocks long, and in each block two or three brickstores three stories high towered above interjected bunches of littleframe shops. Swinging signs creaked in the wind, the street's wholelength. The candy-striped pole which indicates nobility proud andancient along the palace-bordered canals of Venice, indicated merely thehumble barber shop along the main street of Dawson's Landing. On a chiefcorner stood a lofty unpainted pole wreathed from top to bottom with tinpots and pans and cups, the chief tinmonger's noisy notice to the world(when the wind blew) that his shop was on hand for business at thatcorner.The hamlet's front was washed by the clear waters of the great river;its body stretched itself rearward up a gentle incline; its mostrearward border fringed itself out and scattered its houses about thebase-line of the hills; the hills rose high, inclosing the town in ahalf-moon curve, clothed with forests from foot to summit.Steamboats passed up and down every hour or so. Those belonging to thelittle Cairo line and the little Memphis line always stopped; the bigOrleans liners stopped for hails only, or to land passengers or freight;and this was the case also with the great flotilla of "transients."These latter came out of a dozen rivers--the Illinois, the Missouri, theUpper Mississippi, the Ohio, the Monongahela, the Tennessee, the RedRiver, the White River, and so on; and were bound every whither andstocked with every imaginable comfort or necessity which theMississippi's communities could want, from the frosty Falls of St.Anthony down through nine climates to torrid New Orleans.Dawson's Landing was a slaveholding town, with a rich slave-worked grainand pork country back of it. The town was sleepy and comfortable andcontented. It was fifty years old, and was growing slowly--very slowly, in fact, but still it was growing.