Fantastic Fables

by Ambrose Bierce

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The Highwayman and the Traveller

A HIGHWAYMAN confronted a Traveller, and covering him with a firearm, shouted: "Your money or your life!"

"My good friend," said the Traveller, "according to the terms of your demand my money will save my life, my life my money; you imply you will take one or the other, but not both. If that is what you mean, please be good enough to take my life."

"That is not what I mean," said the Highwayman; "you cannot save your money by giving up your life."

"Then take it, anyhow," the Traveller said. "If it will not save my money, it is good for nothing."

The Highwayman was so pleased with the Traveller's philosophy and wit that he took him into partnership, and this splendid combination of talent started a newspaper.

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It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.