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           When his father died, the boy left school and for 10 ye­ars he worked as a printer. While he was a printer he spent his free time in the libraries. Samuel began to write for newspapers and other publications, sending travel letters as he journeyed about the country from job to job. In 1857 he found a job on a boat and travelled up and down the Mississippi. This is where he got his pen-name "Mark Twain".

          Later the young man went to Nevada where he worked as a miner. It was here that he began to write short stories and sent them to newspapers. The publisher of the paper liked them and he was invited to work as a journalist. Samuel started his literary activity as a humorist. His humorous stories about the life of the common people of America soon become very popular.

          The writer was a humorist not only in his literary works but in real life, too. Here are some episodes about M. Twain.



           Once Mark Twain was fishing. A stranger came along and asked him, "Any luck? How many fish have you caught?"

           "I caught fifteen trout yesterday," Mark Twain said.

           "Is that so?" said the stranger. "Well, do you know who I am?"

            'No," said Mark Twain.

            "Well, I am the fishing inspector of this place and this is the wrong season to catch trout," answered the stranger.

            Mark Twain thought for a while. Then he said, "By the way, do you know who I am?"

            "No," replied the fishing inspector.

            "Well, I am the biggest liar in this place," said Mark Twain.


              Mark Twain often received letters and photos from men who had been told that they looked like him. One was from Florida and the man in the photo was so much like Mark Twain that the writer answered him:

          "My dear sir! I thank you very much for your letter and photo. We are so like each other that I am sure that if you stood before me in a mirrorless frame, I could shave by looking at you."


             Mark Twain was a guest of honour at a party which went to listen to an opera. His hostess talked all the time during the performance and greatly irritated the writer. Towards the end of the performance, she turned to him and said, "Oh, my dear Mr. Jemens, I want you so much to be with us next Friday evening. I'm certain you will like it the opera will be "Tosca"."

          "Charming, I'm sure," replied Mark Twain. "I've never


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