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Article on Mark Twain Papers in Bancroftiana

The Fall 2013 issue of Bancroftiana, the newsletter of the Bancroft Library at the University of California–Berkeley, has an article by Victor Fischer on the Mark Twain Project’s editors at the Elmira 2013 Mark Twain Conference. Included is a picture of the four Mark Twain directors, a rare convergence. You will have to scroll to page 10, but you can read about Rube Goldberg on the way. Congratulations to Robert Hirst on his well-deserved award!
http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/bancroftiana/ucb/text/bancroftiana_143.pdf


1 Comment

  1. john mariani says:

    In HF, Huck uses the word “texas” several times, seeming to refer to a part of a
    steamship. In looking through various dictionaries of slang and regional
    English, I can find no description of what this might mean. Do you know?

    In one passage, Huck says:

    ” blame’ well alone, as de good book says. Like as not dey’s a watchman on dat
    wrack.”

    “Watchman your grandmother,” I says; “there ain’t nothing to watch but the texas
    and the pilot-house; and do you reckon anybody’s going to resk his life for a
    texas and a pilot-house such a night as this, when it’s likely to break up and
    wash off down the river any minute?” Jim couldn’t say nothing to that, so he
    didn’t try. “And besides,” I says, “we might borrow something worth having out
    of the captain’s stateroom. Seegars, I bet you—and cost five cents apiece,
    solid cash. Steamboat captains is always rich, and get sixty dollars a month,
    and they don’t care a cent what a thing costs, you know, long as they want it.
    Stick a candle in your pocket; I can’t rest, Jim, till we give her a rummaging.
    Do you reckon Tom Sawyer would ever go by this thing? Not for pie, he
    wouldn’t. He’d call it an adventure—that’s what he’d call it; and he’d land on
    that wreck if it was his last act. And wouldn’t he throw style into
    it?—wouldn’t he spread himself, nor nothing? Why, you’d think it was
    Christopher C’lumbus discovering Kingdom-Come. I wish Tom Sawyer was here.”

    Jim he grumbled a little, but give in. He said we mustn’t talk any more than we
    could help, and then talk mighty low. The lightning showed us the wreck again
    just in time, and we fetched the stabboard derrick, and made fast there.

    The deck was high out here. We went sneaking down the slope of it to labboard,
    in the dark, towards the texas, feeling our way slow with our feet, and
    spreading our hands out to fend off the guys, for it was so dark we couldn’t see
    no sign of them. Pretty soon we struck the forward end of the skylight, and
    clumb on to it; and the next step fetched us in front of the captain’s door,
    which was open, and by Jimminy, away down through the texas-hall we see a light!
    and all in the same second we seem to hear low voices in yonder!”

    Can anyone help?

    John Mariani

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