The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
Cunning and Cleverness Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
So he set there a good while thinking and thinking to hisself, and then he got the frog out and prized his mouth open and took a tea- spoon and filled him full of quail shot filled him pretty near up to his chin and set him on the floor. Smiley he went to the swamp and slopped around in the mud for a long time, and finally he ketched a frog, and fetched him in, and give him to this feller, and says:
"Now, if you're ready, set him alongside of Dan'l, with his fore- paws just even with Dan'l, and I'll give the word." Then he says, "One two three jump!" and him and the feller touched up the frogs from behind, and the new frog hopped off, but Dan'l give a heave, and hysted up his shoulders so like a Frenchman, but it wan's no use he couldn't budge; he was planted as solid as an anvil, and he couldn't no more stir than if he was anchored out. Smiley was a good deal surprised, and he was disgusted too, but he didn't have no idea what the matter was, of course. (para. 17-18)
The stranger cheats and wins the bet. Smiley, ironically, is clueless – mostly because, although he fools others with his animals, he doesn’t cheat. He’s clever, but he isn’t a liar. In a way, he’s actually kind of innocent. The reason that he didn’t suspect the stranger of trickery beforehand is that he has an expectation that other people have a core decency that won’t allow them to break the rules entirely.
But, by your leave, I did not think that a continuation of the history of the enterprising vagabond Jim Smiley would be likely to afford me much information concerning the Rev. Leonidas W. Smiley, and so I started away. (para. 19-22)
The narrator realizes he’s been tricked, just like Smiley. Although the narrator seems to have good manners and talks well, he’s kind of sneaky and tactless when he tries to escape from the bar without Wheeler noticing him.