Mark Twain in the West: An Exhibition
Roughing It and Comments on Bret Harte

Exasperation for “The Great Deadwood Mystery”

Mark Twain’s exasperated comments on Bret Harte’s “The Great Deadwood Mystery” in the 1879 edition of The Twins of Table Mountain and Other Stories. In the margin of pages 164–65, he writes:

A damned impossible lot of damned nonsense.

Goddn the idiot, was it an arterial wound?

All this between a Boston young lady & a person of hostler grade—damned nonsense.

And in the margin of pages 174–75, he writes:

How did he come to have her in his arms? Bret Harte is the very dullest observer that ever pretended to write about the ways of man.

So she is falling in love with this hoodlum who is learned & says “Freeze to the old gal,” &c.

He held her in his arms an entire minute, between the ground & the saddle!

University of California, Berkeley Mark Twain Papers and Project Exasperation for 'Deadwood' On three 1879 tales On 'Roaring Camp' and 'Outcasts' The lost Roughing It manuscript Bret Harte, 1871 Maps Roughing It and Comments on Bret Harte Retracing Clemens's Steps A 'Call' to Literature California Gold Country San Francisco Correspondent Writing for the Enterprise Mining in Nevada Territory Exhibit Home Introduction and Chronology