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The Stolen White Elephant

Mark Twain

Book Overview: 

In this Mark Twain short story an Indian elephant, en route from India to Britain as a gift to Queen, disappears in New Jersey. The local police department goes into high gear to solve the mystery but it all comes to a tragic end.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Have fifty thousand copies of this printed at once and mailed to every detective office and pawnbroker's shop on the continent." Alaric retired. "There—so far, so good. Next, I must have a photograph of the property."

I gave him one. He examined it critically, and said:

"It must do, since we can do no better; but he has his trunk curled up and tucked into his mouth. That is unfortunate, and is calculated to mislead, for of course he does not usually have it in that position." He touched his bell.

"Alaric, have fifty thousand copies of this photograph made the first thing in the morning, and mail them with the descriptive circulars."

Alaric retired to execute his orders. The inspector said:

"It will be necessary to offer a reward, of course. Now as to the amount?"

"What sum would you suggest?"

"To begin with, I should say—well, twenty-five thousand dollars. It is an intricate and dif. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Read January 23, 2010, re-read August 4, 2015. Absolutely hilarious.

The following curious history was related to me by a chance railway acquaintance.

A little known short story by Mark Twain, The Stolen White Elephant, deserves much more notoriety than it has received. It is truly a satirical jewel propped full with Clements’ wit, humor and genius. It is a detective spoof that far outdistances the fabled tales of the great Sherlock Holmes and...more

ENGLISH: Scathing criticism of American journalism and, above all, of the official police and their methods.

ESPAÑOL: Mordaz crítica del periodismo estadounidense y, sobre todo, de la policía oficial y sus métodos.

It's so awkward what happened with this book

Un libro brevissimo che si legge in neanche un'oretta ma bello per la storia e per gli spunti di riflessione sull'inettitudine delle forze dell'ordine e sulla criminalità e corruzzione.

bellissima l'edizione della NUOVA EDITRICE BERTI

LO CONSIGLIO

lo he leído a ciegas, como me gusta hacer si el escritor es bueno y lo he leído antes. La historia es, a mi modo de verla, una ironía en estado puro y un detective muy espabilado. Se lee en un ratito y merece la pena. Lo recomiendo!.

A funny collection of witty, silly stories. My favorite was the one by the same title, The Stolen White Elephant. The least favorite would have to be The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

I love Twain. The man’s mind is an utter marvel; so unique and subversive it’s almost difficult to believe such genius could be held within a single mind. And yet, here we are.

This addition to the Little Black Classics range is comprised of four of Twain’s short stories. The titular title, Th...more

If those Grimm brothers were around today they should be pointed out two stories and told this is how you do it!

The Story of the Bad Little Boy Who Didn't Come to Grief and The Story of the Good Little Boy Who Did Not Prosper.

Delightfully subersive tales that gets all the...more

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