"Made a mighty narrow escape," said he.

"How?" said I.

"B' George, the Countess was there!"

"Well, what of that?--don't she know you?"

"Know me? Absolutely worships me. I just did happen to catch a glimpse of her before she saw me--and out I shot. Haven't seen her for two months--to rush in on her without any warning might have been fatal. She could not have stood it. I didn't know she was in town--thought she was at the castle. Let me lean on you--just a moment--there; now I am better--thank you; thank you ever so much. Lord bless me, what an escape!"

So I never got to call on the Earl, after all. But I marked the house for future reference. It proved to be an ordinary family hotel, with about a thousand plebeians roosting in it.

In most things Rogers was by no means a fool. In some things it was plain enough that he was a fool, but he certainly did not know it. He was in the "deadest" earnest in these matters. He died at sea, last summer, as the "Earl of Ramsgate."

Mark Twain
Classic Literature Library

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