This collection of lesser known gems by Mark Twain (1835 1910) begins with a witty account of a fictional town called Hadleyburg, which prides itself on its long untarnished tradition of incorruptible citizens. One day someone in the town offends a stranger passing through and he vows to take revenge by plotting an elaborate scheme to show the whole nation just how corruptible this sanctimonious bastion of virtue really is. Twain is at his best here poking fun at small town hypocrisy as the self satisfied pillars of the community are done in by their own greed. Also included are fourteen other short pieces of fiction and nonfiction, including Twain's account of his literary debut as a reporter, an essay on the famous author's 'first lie,' an amusing tongue in cheek petition to Queen Victoria regarding a tax bill sent to Twain by the English revenue office, an 'Esquimau Maiden's Romance,' a detective story, and other intriguing and scarcely known pieces. These entertaining short works will be a welcome discovery to all those who have enjoyed Twain's popular novels and stories.