The excerpt represents the core issue or deciding factor on which you must meditate, and is drawn from The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg by Mark Twain:|
have said, was a serious thing. And it was--but for only one of
them. But the matter has become graver; for the honour of BOTH is
now in formidable peril. Shall I go even further, and say in
inextricable peril? BOTH left out the crucial fifteen words." He
paused. During several moments he allowed the pervading stillness
to gather and deepen its impressive effects, then added: "There
would seem to be but one way whereby this could happen. I ask these
gentlemen--Was there COLLUSION?--AGREEMENT?"
A low murmur sifted through the house; its import was, "He's got
Billson was not used to emergencies; he sat in a helpless collapse.
The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg