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    A rather turgid orator, noted for his verbosity and heaviness, was once assigned to do some campaigning in a mining camp in the mountains. There were about fifty miners present when he began; but when, at the end of a couple of hours, he gave no sign of finishing, his listeners dropped away.

    Some went back to work, but the majority sought places to quench their thirst, which had been aggravated by the dryness of the discourse.

    Finally there was only one auditor left, a dilapidated, weary-looking old fellow. Fixing his gaze on him, the orator pulled out a large six-shooter and laid it on the table. The old fellow rose slowly and drawled out:

    "Be you going to shoot if I go?"

    "You bet I am," replied the speaker. "I'm bound to finish my speech, even if I have to shoot to keep an audience."

    The old fellow sighed in a tired manner, and edged slowly away, saying as he did so:

    "Well, shoot if you want to. I may jest as well be shot as talked to death."



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