WORD LISTS

"The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"

February 7, 2013
Learn these 30 words before you read Mark Twain's 1867 story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County."
garrulous
IN compliance with the request of a
friend of mine, who wrote me from
the East, I called on good-natured,
garrulous old Simon Wheeler, and inquired
after my friend's friend, Leonidas W. Smiley,
as requested to do, and I hereunto append the
result.
design
If that was the design, it certainly
succeeded.
dilapidated
I found Simon Wheeler dozing comfortably
by the bar-room stove of the old, dilapidated
tavern in the ancient mining camp of Angel's,
and I noticed that he was fat and bald-headed,
and had an expression of winning gentleness
and simplicity upon his tranquil countenance.
rouse
He roused up and gave me good-day.
cherish
I told
him a friend of mine had commissioned me to
make some inquiries about a cherished compa-
nion of his boyhood named Leonidas W. Smi-
ley -- Rev. Leonidas W. Smiley -- a young min-
ister of the Gospel, who he had heard was at
one time a resident of Angel's Camp.
obligation
I added
that, if Mr. Wheeler could tell me any thing
about this Rev. Leonidas W. Smiley, I would
feel under many obligations to him.
blockade
Simon Wheeler backed me into a corner and
blockaded me there with his chair, and then sat
me down and reeled off the monotonous narra-
tive which follows this paragraph.
spectacle
To me, the spectacle of a man drifting serenely
along through such a queer yarn without ever
smiling, was exquisitely absurd.
interrupt
I let him go on in his own way, and
never interrupted him once:
satisfied
Any way that suited the other
man would suit him -- any way just so's he got
a bet, he was satisfied.
mention
He was always ready and laying for
a chance; there couldn't be no solitry thing
mentioned but that feller'd offer to bet on it,
and take any side you please, as I was just tell-
ing you.
bound
If he even seen
a straddle-bug start to go anywheres, he would
bet you how long it would take him to get
wherever he was going to, and if you took him
up, he would foller that straddle-bug to Mexico
but what he would find out where he was bound
for and how long he was on the road.
considerable
Parson Walker's wife laid
very sick once, for a good while, and it seemed
as if they warn't going to save her; but one
morning he come in, and Smiley asked how she
was, and he said she was considerable better --
thank the Lord for his inf'nit mercy -- and
coming on so smart that, with the blessing of
risk
Anyways, I've got my opinion, and I'll
risk forty dollars that he can outjump any frog
in Calaveras county."
fetch
Well, Smiley kept the beast in a little lattice
box, and he used to fetch him down town
sometimes and lay for a bet.
ornery
And he had a little small bull pup, that to
look at him you'd think he wan't worth a cent,
but to set around and look ornery, and lay for
a chance to steal something.
limp
He give Smiley a look, as much as to
say his heart was broke, and it was his fault,
for putting up a dog that hadn't no hind legs
for him to take holt of, which was his main de-
pendence in a fight, and then he limped off a
piece and laid down and died.
circumstances
It was a good
pup, was that Andrew Jackson, and would
have made a name for hisself if he'd lived, for
the stuff was in him, and he had genius -- I
know it, because he hadn't had no opportuni-
ties to speak of, and it don't stand to reason
that a dog could make such a fight as he could
under them circumstances, if he hadn't no tal-
ent.
constant
He got
him up so in the matter of catching flies, and
kept him in practice so constant, that he'd nail
a fly every time as far as he could see him.
education
Smiley said all a frog wanted was education,
and he could do most any thing -- and I believe
him.
modest
You
never see a frog so modest and straightfor'ard
as he was, for all he was so gifted.
level
Jumping on a dead level was his strong
suit, you understand; and when it come to
that, Smiley would ante up money on him as
long as he had a red.
monstrous
Smiley was monstrous
proud of his frog, and well he might be, for
fellers that had traveled and been everywheres,
all said he laid over any frog that ever they see.
particular
The feller took the box again, and took
another long, particular look, and give it back
to Smiley, and says, very deliberate, "Well, I
don't see no p'ints about that frog that's any
better'n any other frog."
experience
"May be
you understand frogs, and may be you don't
understand 'em; may be you've had experience,
and may be you an't only a amature, as it
were.
opinion
Anyways, I've got my opinion, and I'll
risk forty dollars that he can outjump any frog
in Calaveras county."
budge
Then he says, "One
-- two -- three -- jump!" and him and the feller
touched up the frogs from behind, and the new
frog hopped off, but Dan'l give a heave, and
hysted up his shoulders -- so -- like a French-
man, but it wan't no use -- he couldn't budge;
he was planted as solid as an anvil, and he
couldn't no more stir than if he was anchored
out.
blame
And he
ketched Dan'l by the nap of the neck, and
lifted him up and says, "Why, blame my
cats, if he don't weigh five pound!" and
turned him upside down, and he belched out
a double handful of shot.
enterprising
But, by your leave, I did not think that a
continuation of the history of the enterprising
vagabond Jim Smiley would be likely to afford
me much information concerning the Rev. Leoni-
das W. Smiley, and so I started away.
depart
I muttered, good-naturedly, and bidding the
old gentleman good-day, I departed.

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