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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Mr. Pepper
By Artemus Ward (Charles Farrar Browne) (1834–1867)
 
From ‘Artemus Ward: His Travels’

MY arrival at Virginia City was signalized by the following incident:—  1
  I had no sooner achieved my room in the garret of the International Hotel than I was called upon by an intoxicated man, who said he was an Editor. Knowing how rare it is for an Editor to be under the blighting influence of either spirituous or malt liquors, I received this statement doubtfully. But I said:  2
  “What name?”  3
  “Wait!” he said, and went out.  4
  I heard him pacing unsteadily up and down the hall outside.  5
  In ten minutes he returned, and said, “Pepper!”  6
  Pepper was indeed his name. He had been out to see if he could remember it, and he was so flushed with his success that he repeated it joyously several times, and then, with a short laugh, he went away.  7
  I had often heard of a man being “so drunk that he didn’t know what town he lived in,” but here was a man so hideously inebriated that he didn’t know what his name was.  8
  I saw him no more, but I heard from him. For he published a notice of my lecture, in which he said that I had a dissipated air!  9
 
 
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