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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain


CHAPTER XXXIII

Edward as King

MILES HENDON was picturesque enough before he got into the riot on London
Bridge-he was more so when he got out of it. He had but little money when he
got in, none at all when he got out. The pickpockets had stripped him of his last
farthing.

But no matter, so he found his boy. Being a soldier, he did not go at his task in a
random way, but set to work, first of all, to arrange his campaign.

What would the boy naturally do? Where would he naturally go? Well-argued
Miles-he would naturally go to his former haunts, for that is the instinct of
unsound minds, when homeless and forsaken, as well as of sound ones.
Whereabouts were his former haunts? His rags, taken together with the low
villain who seemed to know him and who even claimed to be his father,
indicated that his home was in one or other of the poorest and meanest districts
of London. Would the search for him be difficult, or long? No, it was likely to be
easy and brief. He would not hunt for the boy, he would hunt for a crowd; in the
center of a big crowd or a little one, sooner or later he should find his poor little
friend, sure; and the mangy mob would be entertaining itself with pestering and
aggravating the boy, who would be proclaiming himself king, as usual. Then
Miles Hendon would cripple some of those people, and carry off his little ward,
and comfort and cheer him with loving words, and the two would never be
separated any more.

So Miles started on his quest. Hour after hour he tramped through back alleys
and squalid streets, seeking groups and crowds, and finding no end of them, but
never any sign of the boy. This greatly surprised him, but did not discourage
him.

To his notion, there was nothing the matter with his plan of campaign; the only
miscalculation about it was that the campaign was becoming a lengthy one,
whereas he had expected it to be short.

When daylight arrived at last, he had made many a mile, and canvassed many a
crowd, but the only result was that he was tolerably tired, rather hungry, and
very sleepy. He wanted some breakfast, but there was no way to get it. To beg
for it did not occur to him; as to pawning his sword, he would as soon have
thought of parting with his honor; he could spare some of his clothes-yes, but
one could as easily find a customer for a disease as for such clothes.

At noon he was still tramping-among the rabble which followed after the royal
procession now; for he argued that this regal display would attract his little
lunatic powerfully. He followed the pageant through all its devious windings
about London, and all the way to Westminster and the Abbey. He drifted here
and there among the multitudes that were massed in the vicinity for a weary
long time, baffled and perplexed, and finally wandered off thinking, and trying
to contrive some way to better his plan of campaign. By and by, when he came
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