Fantastic Fables

by Ambrose Bierce

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The Returned Californian

A MAN was hanged by the neck until he was dead.

"Whence do you come?" Saint Peter asked when the Man presented himself at the gate of Heaven.

"From California," replied the applicant.

"Enter, my son, enter; you bring joyous tidings."

When the Man had vanished inside, Saint Peter took his memorandum- tablet and made the following entry:

"February 16, 1893. California occupied by the Christians."

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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.