"He CAN'T write with his left hand," says the old gentleman. "If he could use his right hand, you would see that he wrote his own letters and mine too. Look at both, please — they're by the same hand."
The lawyer done it, and says:
"I believe it's so — and if it ain't so, there's a heap stronger resemblance than I'd noticed before, anyway. Well, well, well! I thought we was right on the track of a solution, but it's gone to grass, partly. But anyway, one thing is proved — THESE two ain't either of 'em Wilkses" — and he wagged his head towards the king and the duke.
Well, what do you think? That muleheaded old fool wouldn't give in THEN! Indeed he wouldn't. Said it warn't no fair test. Said his brother William was the cussedest joker in the world, and hadn't tried to write — HE see William was going to play one of his jokes the minute he put the pen to paper. And so he warmed up and went warbling right along till he was actuly beginning to believe what he was saying HIMSELF; but pretty soon the new gentleman broke in, and says:
"I've thought of something. Is there anybody here that helped to lay out my br — helped to lay out the late Peter Wilks for burying?"
"Yes," says somebody, "me and Ab Turner done it. We're both here."
Then the old man turns towards the king, and says:
"Perhaps this gentleman can tell me what was tattooed on his breast?"
Blamed if the king didn't have to brace up mighty quick, or he'd a squshed down like a bluff bank that the river has cut under, it took him so sudden; and, mind you, it was a thing that was calculated to make most ANYBODY sqush to get fetched such a solid one as that without any notice, because how was HE going to know what was tattooed on the man? He whitened a little; he couldn't help it; and it was mighty still in there, and everybody bending a little forwards and gazing at him. Says I to myself, NOW he'll throw up the sponge — there ain't no more use. Well, did he? A body can't hardly believe it, but he didn't. I reckon he thought he'd keep the thing up till he tired them people out, so they'd thin out, and him and the duke could break loose and get away. Anyway, he set there, and pretty soon he begun to smile, and says:
"Mf! It's a VERY tough question, AIN'T it! YES, sir, I k'n tell you what's tattooed on his breast. It's jest a small, thin, blue arrow — that's what it is; and if you don't look clost, you can't see it. NOW what do you say — hey?"
Well, I never see anything like that old blister for clean out-and-out cheek.
The new old gentleman turns brisk towards Ab Turner and his pard, and his eye lights up like he judged he'd got the king THIS time, and says:
"There — you've heard what he said! Was there any such mark on Peter Wilks' breast?"
Both of them spoke up and says:
"We didn't see no such mark."
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