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Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg - Mark Twain

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The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg

It was many years ago.  Hadleyburg was the most honest and upright
town in all the region round about.  It had kept that reputation
unsmirched during three generations, and was prouder of it than of
any other of its possessions.  It was so proud of it, and so anxious
to insure its perpetuation, that it began to teach the principles of
honest dealing to its babies in the cradle, and made the like
teachings the staple of their culture thenceforward through all the
years devoted to their education.  Also, throughout the formative
years temptations were kept out of the way of the young people, so
that their honesty could have every chance to harden and solidify,
and become a part of their very bone.  The neighbouring towns were
jealous of this honourable supremacy, and affected to sneer at
Hadleyburg's pride in it and call it vanity; but all the same they
were obliged to acknowledge that Hadleyburg was in reality an
incorruptible town; and if pressed they would also acknowledge that
the mere fact that a young man hailed from Hadleyburg was all the
recommendation he needed when he went forth from his natal town to
seek for responsible employment.

But at last, in the drift of time, Hadleyburg had the ill luck to
offend a passing stranger--possibly without knowing it, certainly
without caring, for Hadleyburg was sufficient unto itself, and cared
not a rap for strangers or their opinions.  Still, it would have
been well to make an exception in this one's case, for he was a
bitter man, and revengeful.  All through his wanderings during a
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