Fantastic Fables

by Ambrose Bierce

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The Return of the Representative

HEARING that the Legislature had adjourned, the people of an Assembly District held a mass-meeting to devise a suitable punishment for their representative. By one speaker it was proposed that he be disembowelled, by another that he be made to run the gauntlet. Some favoured hanging, some thought that it would do him good to appear in a suit of tar and feathers. An old man, famous for his wisdom and his habit of drooling on his shirt- front, suggested that they first catch their hare. So the Chairman appointed a committee to watch for the victim at midnight, and take him as he should attempt to sneak into town across-lots from the tamarack swamp. At this point in the proceedings they were interrupted by the sound of a brass band. Their dishonoured representative was driving up from the railway station in a coach- and-four, with music and a banner. A few moments later he entered the hall, went upon the platform, and said it was the proudest moment of his life. (Cheers.)

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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.