One of the few instances in Mark Twain's writings in which he fished for pleasure as well as food was his pointless, invariably unsuccessful efforts to hook one of the visible yet finicky trout swimming around in Lake Tahoe in Chapter 23 of Roughing It. One related configuration discernible in Twain's treatments of work and play is the most pervasive: more often than not, thoughtless play has severe consequences or is stringently punished rather than rewarded. Apparently in Mark Twain's imagination the paradisiacal aspects of play, as in the boys' mischiefs in St. Petersburg, were not destined for unconditional enjoyment by either children or adults. Samuel Clemens's complicated longing for play and subsequent guilt about its dangers likely originated in part from a number of incidents in his childhood in which play led either to nearly irreparable harm or to outright death .