After he catches his listener, how does Wheeler tell his story in "Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"?After he catches his listener, Wheeler won't let him get away.  How does he tell...

After he catches his listener, how does Wheeler tell his story in "Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"?

After he catches his listener, Wheeler won't let him get away.  How does he tell his story?

Asked on by nagolbus36

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Wheeler "back(s) (his listener) into a corner and blockade(s) (him) there with his chair", making it impossible for him to escape while he "reel(s) off (his) monotonous narrative".  Wheeler never shows any animation or emotion while telling his long, drawn-out tale, but he speaks with "a vein of impressive earnestness and sincerity", which makes the listener believe that he "regard(s) (his story) as a really important matter, and admire(s) its two heroes as men of transcendent genius in finesse".  For that reason, the listener "let(s) (Wheeler) go on in his own way, and never interrupt(s) him once".

The listener has been referred to "garrulous old Simon Wheeler" by a friend, who has asked him to inquire about another friend, Leonidas W. Smiley.  As it turns out, Wheeler does not know a man by that name, but is reminded of another person, Jim Smiley, who was an incorrigible gambler who trained an ordinary frog to jump with incredible ability, and won a good deal of money encouraging others to bet against him.  It is the tale of Jim Smiley which Wheeler relates at such great length, and after awhile, the listener begins to suspect that there never was a man by the name of Leonidas W. Smiley at all, and that the request of his friend to ask Wheeler about Leonidas W. Smiley was no more than a ruse to "bore (the listener) to death by getting Wheeler to talk interminably about the other Mr. Smiley, Jim.

Fortunately for the listener, Wheeler is called away by someone in the front yard.  Wheeler instructs the listener to "just set where (he is)...and rest easy", as he doesn't plan on being gone for more than a second.  The listener takes the opportunity to get away however, and although he is accosted at the door by the returning Mr. Wheeler, who attempts to resume his story, the listener does not wait this time, but determinedly "(takes) his leave".

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