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I HAVE always had an idea that it would be delightful to meet persons of whom we have read in books, to have them about me, talk to them and question them, and at last my wish has been gratified. I have the Interrogation Point in my entry. Mark Twain says, that when he knew him he was not learned or wise, but he would be some day if he remembered the answers to all his questions. Mark was too sanguine, or else his memory failed him; he is not wise yet. However, he is still trying just as hard as ever.
He comes flying into my room about twenty-five times a day on the average to ask me where my chum is, or to ask my chum where I am, or to ask us both where some one else is. When he has found out he goes contentedly back to his room, to sit down and think about it, I suppose. He don't want to see the man he asks for, not at all. It is only his consuming thirst for knowledge that makes him ask.
I rather liked the fellow at first. I thought he was a fresh and ingenuous youth, for whose benefit I could pour forth my reserved stores of wisdom. But after I had told him about fifty times how old I was, how large my allowance was, etc., it began to grow monotonous. I said, "Look here, old fellow! I'll just write down all those things, such as how old I am, how much money my father has, how many sisters I have, how old they are, etc., and then you can nail it up on your door so that you need not bother yourself to come in here when you want to find out, you know." No go. He came in just the same. The only result has been to give him a great idea of my superior wisdom, the consequence of which is that he appeals to me for confirmation every time he screws up his courage to venture an opinion on some abstruse subject, the weather for instance. "What do you think, Jack?" is his favorite formula at present.
Now I don't think. I don't want to. I am not an instructor paid to do the thinking for every idiot who can't do it for himself. So I answer, "I don't know," and he straightway wants to know why I don't know. Now what fellow can be expected to know why he don't know whether it will rain?
It is really getting too much for human endurance. I know I shall feel an insane desire to put "Don't know" after every question on the examination-paper next time, and if this thing goes on until the semiannuals, I shall be dropped.
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