What does Smiley entice the stranger to do in "The Nortorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"?

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Quite simply, Smiley entices the stranger to place a forty dollar bet on an ordinary frog.  Smiley is convinced that his frog named Dan'l Webster can "outjump any frog in Calaveras county."  The way that Smiley entices the stranger is by using a sort of reverse psychology.  Smiley is so confident in his frog that he goes out of his way to make his frog seem ordinary by saying things like "it's only just a frog" and that this frog is really only "good enough for one thing."  The stranger just can't pass up this bet, especially after Smiley makes the stranger get defensive by saying, "maybe you understand frogs and maybe you don't understand 'em; maybe you've had experience, and maybe you ain't only an amateur."  Even though the stranger has no frog, Smiley offers to get the stranger a frog.  Ha!  Of course, the stranger fills Dan'l Webster full of shot while Smiley is off tromping through the muck finding a frog; therefore, the stranger wins the bet.

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