The Stolen White Elephant
"The Stolen White Elephant" is a short story written by Mark Twain and published in 1882 by James R. Osgood. In this detective mystery, an Indian elephant, en route from India to Britain as a gift to the Queen, disappears in New Jersey. The local police department goes into high gear to solve the mystery but it all comes to a tragic end.
The main characters of the story include:
- Mark Twain, who functions as the initial speaker and author of the story.
- An elderly Indian gentleman who had at one time spoken to Twain during a train ride; he was once a member of his nation’s civil service and in charge of transporting the white elephant.
- Chief Inspector Blunt, a detective who is in charge of finding the lost elephant; he first receives the report of the elephant’s disappearance.
- “Hassan Ben Ali Ben Selim Abdallah Mohammed Moist Alhammal Jamsetjejeebhoy Dhuleep Sultan Ebu Bhudpoor” or “Jumbo”, the white elephant
- Alaric, a young worker at the detectives’ office.
- Captain Burns, another employee of the detectives’ office; he is in charge of carrying out Inspector Blunt’s orders.
- The Queen of England plays a non-speaking role.
- The Emperor of India plays a non-speaking role.
Also, A number of other detectives, servants and civilians play minor roles in the story.
- 'The Stolen White Elephant' text on Project Gutenberg
- Recording of 'The Stolen White Elephant' on Internet Archive
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