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In "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" by Mark Twain the narrator gets involved with Simon Wheeler and his rambling story telling because of the narrator's friend. This friend intentionally sets up the narrator knowing that Simon Wheeler will "trap" the narrator with an uncomfortable, time consuming, one-sided conversation. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and there was no way to politely get out of it? This is what the narrator's friend does to him.
The narrator's friend instructs the narrator to find Simon Wheeler and ask him about an old acquaintance named Rev. Leonidas Smiley. Leonidas Smiley does not exist, but the narrator's friend knows this will remind Simon Wheeler of a man named Jim Smiley. This sets the story of Jim Smiley in motion.
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