A Tramp Abroad By Mark Twain






































































































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I was saved.  Yes, I was saved, and by the merciful instinct
of ingratitude which nature had planted in the - Page 360
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I Was Saved.

Yes, I was saved, and by the merciful instinct of ingratitude which nature had planted in the breast of that treacherous beast.

The grace which eloquence had failed to work in those men's hearts, had been wrought by a laugh. The ram was set free and my life was spared.

We lived to find out that that guide had deserted us as soon as he had placed a half-mile between himself and us. To avert suspicion, he had judged it best that the line should continue to move; so he caught that ram, and at the time that he was sitting on it making the rope fast to it, we were imagining that he was lying in a swoon, overcome by fatigue and distress. When he allowed the ram to get up it fell to plunging around, trying to rid itself of the rope, and this was the signal which we had risen up with glad shouts to obey. We had followed this ram round and round in a circle all day - a thing which was proven by the discovery that we had watered the Expedition seven times at one and same spring in seven hours. As expert a woodman as I am, I had somehow failed to notice this until my attention was called to it by a hog. This hog was always wallowing there, and as he was the only hog we saw, his frequent repetition, together with his unvarying similarity to himself, finally caused me to reflect that he must be the same hog, and this led me to the deduction that this must be the same spring, also - which indeed it was.

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