-I,- '''~:I rj):'l
(TOM SAWYER'S COMRADE).
SCENE: The Mississippi Valley.
TIME: Forty to Fifty Years Ago.
CHARLES L. WEBSTER & CO.
BY SAMUEL L. CLEMENS.
(All rights reserved.)
JENKINS & M CCOWAN,
PERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narrative will
be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be
banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR
PER G. G., CHIEF OF ORDNANCE.
IN this book a number of dialects are used, to wit: the Mis-
souri negro dialect; the extremes form of the backwoods
South-Western dialect; the ordinary "Pike-County" dialect;
and four modified varieties of this last. The shadings have
not been done in a hap-hazard fashion, or by guess-work; but
pains-takingly, and with the trustworthy guidance and support
of personal familiarity with these several forms of speech.
I make this explanation for the reason that without it many
readers would suppose that all these characters were trying to
talk alike and not succeeding.
CHAPTER I. PAGE.
Civilizing Huck.-Miss Watson.-Tom Sawyer Waits......... 17
The Boys Escape Jim.-Tom Sawyer's Gang.-Deep-laid Plans. 22
A Good Going-over.-Grace Triumphant.-" One of Tom Saw-
yer's Lies "............ ................................. 28
Huck and the Judge.-Superstition .......................... 32
Huck's Father.-The Fond Parent.--Reform ................... 36
He Went for Judge Thatcher.-Huck Decides to Leave.-Polit-
ical Economy.-Thrashing Around ......................... 41
Laying for Him.-Locked in the Cabin.-Sinking the Body.-
Resting...........: .................................... 48
Sleeping in the Woods.-Raising the Dead.-Exploring the Isl-
and.-Finding Jim.-Jim's Escape.--Signs.--Balum........ 54
CHAPTER IX. PAGE
The Cave.-The Floating House.................... ......... 65
The Find.-Old Hank Bunker.-In Disguise.................. 70
Huck and the Woman.-The Search.-Prevarication.-Going to
Slow Navigation.-Borrowing Things.-Boarding the Wreck.-
The Plotters.-Hunting for the Boat...................... 82
Escaping from the Wreck.-The Watchman.-Sinking .......... go
A General Good Time.-The Harem.-French................. 96
Huck Loses the Raft.-In the Fog.-Huck Finds the Raft.-Trash Ioi
Expectation.-A White Lie.-Floating Currency.-Running by
Cairo.-Swimming Ashore .............................. 107
An Evening Call.-The Farm in Arkansaw.--Interior Decora-
tions.-Stephen Dowling Bots.-Poetical Effusions.......... 16
Col. Grangerford.-Aristocracy. --Feuds.-The Testament.--
Recovering the Raft.-The Wood-pile.-Pork and Cabbage. 126
CHAPTER XIX. PAGE
Tying Up Day-Times.-An Astronomical Theory.-Running a
Temperance Revival. -The Duke of Bridgewater. -The
Troubles of Royalty................................ ... .. 138
Huck Explains.-Laying Out a Campaign.-Working the Camp-
meeting.-A Pirate at the Camp-meeting.-The Duke as a
Printer .............................. ........ ........ 148
Sword Exercise.-Hamlet's Soliloquy.-They Loafed Around
Town.-A Lazy Town.-Old Boggs.-Dead.............. 158
Sherburn.-Attending the Circus.-Intoxication in the Ring.-
The Thrilling Tragedy................................... 167
Sold.-Royal Comparisons.--Jim Gets Home-sick............... 173
Jim in Royal Robes.-They Take a Passenger.--Getting Informa-
tion.-Family Grief .................. .................. 179
Is It Them ?-Singing the Doxologer."-Awful Square.-Fu-
neral Orgies.-A Bad Investment ....................... 186
A Pious King.-The King's Clergy.-She Asked His Pardon.-
Hiding in the Room.-Huck Takes the Money............. 193
The Funeral.-Satisfying Curiosity.-Suspicious of Huck.-
Quick Sales and Small Profits ........................... 202
CHAPTER XXVIII. PAGE
The Trip to England.-" The Brute "-Mary Jane Decides to
Leave.-Huck Parting with Mary Jane.-Mumps.-The Op-
position Line............................................ 209
Contested Relationship.-The King Explains the Loss.-A Ques-
tion of Handwriting.-Digging up the Corpse.-Huck Escapes 219
The King Went for Him.-A Royal Row.-Powerful Mellow.... 229
Ominous Plans.-News from Jim.-Old Recollections.-A Sheep
Story.-Valuable Information.......................... 233
Still and Sunday-like.-Mistaken Identity.-Up a Stump.-In a
Dilemma.................. .......................... 242
A Nigger Stealer.-Southern Hospitality.-A Pretty Long Bless-
ing.-Tar and Feathers ................................. 248
The Hut by the Ash Hopper.-Outrageous.-Climbing the Light-
ning Rod.-Troubled with Witches ...................... 256
Escaping Properly.-Dark Schemes.-Discrimination in Stealing.
-A Deep Hole ......................................... 262
The Lightning Rod.-His Level Best.-A Bequest to Posterity.-
A High Figure .......................................... 269
CHAPTER XXXVII. PAGE
The Last Shirt.-Mooning Around.-Sailing Orders.-The Witch
The Coat of Arms.-A Skilled Superintendent.-Unpleasant
Glory.-A Tearful Subject............................ 282
Rats.-Lively Bed-fellows.-The Straw Dummy .............. 290
Fishing.-The Vigilance Committee.-A Lively Run.-Jim Ad-
vises a Doctor............................................ 295
The Doctor.-Uncle Silas.-Sister Hotchkiss.-Aunt Sally in
Trouble ............................................. 3o
Tom Sawyer Wounded.-The Doctor's Story.-Tom Confesses.
-Aunt Polly Arrives.-Hand Out Them Letters........... 308
CHAPTER THE LAST.
Out of Bondage.-Paying the Captive.-Yours Truly, Huck Finn 317
Huckleberry Finn ................................Frontispiece.
The W idow's................................... ........... 17
Learning about Moses and the Bulrushers ".................. 18
Huck Stealing Away ................. ..................... 21
Jim .................................. ... ............ 23
! ............ ..... ..................................... 33
" Pap ".......................................... .. .......... 37
Jim and the Ghost.......... ...... ... .................... 59
In the Cave............................. .. .. .......... 66
Jim Sees a Dead Man ...................................... 69
"A Fair Fit"............................................... 72
" Hump Yourself".......................................... 80
He Sometimes Lifted a Chicken .............................. 84
"Oh! Lordy, Lordy! "....................................... 89
We Turned In and Slept ........ ......................... 95
Solomon and His Million Wives ......................... 97
Climbing Up the Bank.................. ............. 115
" It Made Her Look Spidery "............... ................. 120
The House ............................... ............... 125
" And Dogs A-Coming".................................... 140
" By Rights I Am a Duke!"................................ 143
" I Am the Late Dauphin".................................. 145
The King as Juliet................... ................... 151
Another Little Job ...................................... 156
A Dead Head................ .... ..................... 17
" Alas, Our Poor Brother"................. ........ ...... 183
Supper with the Hare-lip ............................ ....... 194
Huck Takes the Money.................................... 2o0
Jawing.............. .................................. 207
The Auction..... ..................................... 217
" Gentlemen-Gentlemen! "................................ 225
The Duke Went for Him ................................... 231
Striking for the Back Country ............................... 240
A Pretty Long Blessing ..................................... 253
Travelling by Rail.... *.. .............................. 254
Tom Advises a Witch Pie................................... 273
In a Tearing Way ......................................... 279
Jim's Coat of Arms............... ............. ............ 283
Irrigation................................................ .. 287
Aunt Sally Talks to Huck ......................... ........ 306
Tom Sawyer W ounded....................................... 3o9
Tom Rose Square in Bed .............................. ..... 315
The End. Yours Truly, Huck Finn ........................ 318
lt(berry rlr i
Clajfc I Ir
-a.Y"O U don't know about me, without
"*' you have read a book by the
name of The Adventures of
I Tom Sawyer," but that ain't
no matter. That book was
made by Mr. Mark Twain,
and he told the truth, mainly.
There was things which he
r iS stretched, but mainly he told
the truth. That is nothing. I
never seen anybody but lied,
one time or another, without
it was Aunt Polly, or the
S. widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt
S-Polly-Tom's Aunt Polly, she
is-and Mary, and the Widow
THE WIDOW'S. Douglas, is all told about in
that book-which is mostly a
true book; with some stretchers, as I said before.
Now the way that the book winds up, is this: Tom and me
found the money that the robbers hid in the cave, and it
made us rich. We got six thousand dollars apiece-all gold.
It was an awful sight of money when it was piled up. Well,
Judge Thatcher, he took it and put it out at interest, and it
fetched us a dollar a day apiece, all the year round-more
than a body could tell what to do with. The Widow Doug-
las, she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize
me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, consid-
ering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all
her ways; and so when I couldn't stand it no longer, I lit out.
THE ADVENTURES OF
I got into my old rags, and my sugar-hogshead again, and
was free and satisfied. But Tom Sawyer, he hunted me up
and said he was going to start a band of robbers, and I might
join if I would go back to the widow and be respectable. So
I went back.
The widow she cried over me, and called me a poor lost
lamb, and she called me a lot of other names, too, but she
LEARNING ABOUT MOSES AND THE BULRUSHERS."
never meant no harm by it. She put me in them new clothes
again, and I couldn't do nothing but sweat and sweat, and
feel all cramped up. Well, then, the old thing commenced
again. The widow rung a bell for supper, and you had to
come to time. When you got to the table you couldn't go
right to eating, but you had to wait for the widow to tuck
down her head and grumble a little over the victuals, though
there warn't really anything the matter with them. That is,
nothing only everything was cooked by itself. In a barrel
of odds and ends it is different; things get mixed up, and
the juice kind of swaps around, and the things go better.
After supper she got out her book and learned me about
Moses and the Bulrushers; and I was in a sweat to find out
all about him; but by-and-by she let it out that Moses had
been dead a considerable long time; so then I didn't care no
more about him; because I don't take no stock in dead people.
Pretty soon I wanted to smoke, and asked the widow to let
me. But she wouldn't. She said it was a mean practice and
wasn't clean, and I must try to not do it any more. That is
just the way with some people. They get down on a thing
when they don't know nothing about it. Here she was a
bothering about Moses, which was no kin to her, and no use
to anybody, being gone, you see, yet finding a power of fault
with me for doing a thing that had some good in it. And
she took snuff too; of course that was all right, because she
done it herself.
Her sister, Miss Watson, a tolerable slim old maid, with
goggles on, had just come to live with her, and took a set at
me now, with a spelling-book. She worked me middling hard
for about an hour, and then the widow made her ease up. I
couldn't stood it much longer. Then for an hour it was
deadly dull, and I was fidgety. Miss Watson would say,
"Dont put your feet up there, Huckleberry;" and don'tt
scrunch up like that, Huckleberry-set up straight;" and pret-
ty soon she would say, Don't gap and stretch like that,
Huckleberry-why don't you try to behave ?" Then she
told me all about the bad place, and I said I wished I was
there. She got mad,[then, but I didn't mean no harm. All I
wanted was to go somewhere; all I wanted was a change, I
warn't particular. She said it was wicked to say what I said;
said she wouldn't say it for the whole world; she was going
to live so as to go to the good place. Well, I couldn't see no
advantage in going where she was going, so I made up my
mind I wouldn't try for it. But I never said so, because it
would only make trouble, and wouldn't do no good.
Now she had got a start, and she went on and told me all
about the good place. She said all a body would have to do
THE ADVENTURES OF
there was to go around all day long with a harp and sing,
forever and ever. So I didn't think much of it. But I never
said so. I asked her if she reckoned Tom Sawyer would go
there, and, she said, not by a considerable sight. I was glad
about that, because I wanted him and me to be together.
Miss Watson she kept pecking at me, and it got tiresome
and lonesome. By-and-by they fetched the niggers in and
had prayers, and then everybody was off to bed. I went up
to my room with a piece of candle and put it on the table.
Then I set down in a chair by the window and tried to think
of something cheerful, but it warn't no use. I felt so lone-
some I most wished I was dead. The stars were shining, and
the leaves rustled in the woods ever so mournful; and I heard
an owl, away off, who-whooing about somebody that was dead,
and a whippowill and a dog crying about somebody that was
going to die; and the wind was trying to whisper something
to me and I couldn't make out what it was, and so it made
the cold shivers run over me. Then away out in the woods
I heard that kind of a sound that a ghost makes when it
wants to tell about something that's on its mind and can't
make itself understood, and so can't rest easy in its grave and
has to go about that way every night grieving. I got so
down-hearted and scared, I did wish I had some company.
Pretty soon a spider went crawling up my shoulder, and I
flipped it off and it lit in the candle; and before I could budge
it was all shriveled up. I didn't need anybody to tell me that
that was an awful bad sign and would fetch me some bad
luck, so I was scared and most shook the clothes off of me.
I got up and turned around in my tracks three times and
crossed my breast every time; and then I tied up a little lock
of my hair with a thread to keep witches away. But I hadn't
no confidence. You do that when you've lost a horse-shoe
that you've found, instead of nailing it up over the door, but
I hadn't ever heard anybody say it was any way to keep off
bad luck when you'd killed a spider.
I set down again, a shaking all over, and got out my pipe
for a smoke; for the house was all as still as death, now, and
so the widow wouldn't know. Well, after a long time I heard
the clock away off in the town go boom-boom-boom-
twelve licks-and all still again-stiller than ever. Pretty
soon I heard a twig snap, down in the dark amongst the trees
-something was a stirring. I set still and listened. Directly
I could just barely hear a me-yow me-yow down there.
That was good! Says I, me-yow me-yow as soft as I
could, and then I put out the light and scrambled out of the
window onto the shed. Then I slipped down to the ground
and crawled in amongst the trees, and sure enough there was
Tom Sawyer waiting for me.
JHK S G
HUCK STEALING AWAY.
TIE ADVENTURES OF
W E went tip-toeing along a path amongst the trees back
towards the end of the widow's garden, stooping down
so as the branches wouldn't scrape our heads. When we was
passing by the kitchen I fell over a root and made a noise.
We scrouched down and laid still. Miss Watson's big nig-
ger, named Jim, was setting in the kitchen door; we could
see him pretty clear, because there was a light behind him.
He got up and stretched his neck out about a minute, listen-
ing. Then he says,
He listened some more; then he come tip-toeing down and
stood right between us; we could a touched him, nearly.
Well, likely it was minutes and minutes that there warn't a
sound, and we all there so close together. There was a
place on my ankle that got to itching; but I dasn't scratch
it; and then my ear begun to itch; and next my back, right
between my shoulders. Seemed like I'd die if I couldn't
scratch. Well, I've noticed that thing plenty times since.
If you are with the quality, or at a funeral, or trying to go
to sleep when you ain't sleepy-if you are anywhere where
it won't do for you to scratch, why you will itch all over in
upwards of a thousand places. Pretty soon Jim says:
"Say-who is you? Whar is you? Dog my cats ef I
didn' hear sumf'n. Well, I knows what I's gwyne to do. I's
gwyne to set down here and listen tell I hears it agin."
So he set down on the ground betwixt me and Tom. He
leaned his back up against a tree, and stretched his legs out
till one of them most touched one of mine. My nose begun
to itch. It itched till the tears come into my eyes. But I
dasn't scratch. Then it begun to itch on the inside. Next I
got to itching underneath. I didn't know how I was going to
set still. This miserableness went on as much as six or seven
minutes; but it seemed a sight longer than that. I was itch-
ing in eleven different places now. I reckoned I couldn't
stand it more'n a minute longer, but I set my teeth hard and
got ready to try. Just then Jim begun to breathe heavy;
next he begun to snore-and then I was pretty soon com-
Tom he made a sign to me-kind of a little noise with his
mouth-and we went creeping away on our hands and knees.
When we was ten foot off,
Tom whispered to me and
wanted to tie Jim to the
tree for fun; but I said no;
he might wake and make a '
disturbance, and then
they'd find out I warn't .:-
in. Then Tom said he -
hadn't got candles enough, I s
and he would slip in the
kitchen and get some more.
I didn't want him to try.
I said Jim might wake up
and come. But Tom want-
ed to resk it; so we slid in
there and got three candles,
and Tom laid five cents on
the table for pay. Then we
got out, and I was in a sweat
to get away; but nothing I've
would do Tom but he must l
crawl to where Jim was, on \
his hands and knees, and ;
play something on him. I p'iI jiY
waited, and it seemed a "- ....
good while, everything was JIM.
so still and lonesome.
As soon as Tom was back, we cut along the path, around
the garden fence, and by-and-by fetched up on the steep top
of the hill the other side of the house. Tom said he slipped
Jim's hat off of his head and hung it on a limb right over him,
and Jim stirred a little, but he didn't wake. Afterwards Jim
said the witches bewitched him and put him in a trance, and
rode him all over the State, and then set him under the trees
THE ADVENTURES OF
again and hung his hat on a limb to show who done it. And
next time Jim told it he said they rode him down to New
Orleans; and after that, every time he told it he spread it
more and more, till by-and-by he said they rode him all over
the world, and tired him most to death, and his back was all
over saddle-boils. Jim was monstrous proud about it, and
he got so he wouldn't hardly notice the other niggers. Nig-
gers would come miles to hear Jim tell about it, and he was
more looked up to than any nigger in that country. Strange
niggers would stand with their mouths open and look him all
over, same as if he was a wonder. Niggers is always talking
about witches in the dark by the kitchen fire; but whenever
one was talking and letting on to know all about such things,
Jim would happen in and say, Hm! What you know 'bout
witches?" and that nigger was corked up and had to take a
back seat. Jim always kept that five-center piece round his
neck with a string and said it was a charm the devil give to him
with his own hands and told him he could cure anybody with
it and fetch witches whenever he wanted to, just by saying
something to it; but he never told what it was he said to it.
Niggers would come from all around there and give Jim any-
thing they had, just for a sight of that five-center piece; but
they wouldn't touch it, because the devil had had his hands
on it. Jim was most ruined, for a servant, because he got so
stuck up on account of having seen the devil and been rode
Well, when Tom and me got to the edge of the hill-top,
we looked away down into the village and could see three or
four lights twinkling, where there was sick folks, may be;
and the stars over us was sparkling ever so fine; and down
by the village was the river, a whole mile broad, and awful
still and grand. We went down the hill and found Jo Har-
per, and Ben Rogers, and two or three more of the boys, hid
in the old tanyard. So we unhitched a skiff and pulled down
the river two mile and a half, to the big scar on the hillside,
and went ashore.
We went to a clump of bushes, and Tom made everybody
swear to keep the secret, and then showed them a hole in the
hill, right in the thickest part of the bushes. Then we lit
the candles and crawled in on our hands and knees. We
went about two hundred yards, and then the cave opened up,
Tom poked about amongst the passages and pretty soon
ducked under a wall where you wouldn't a noticed that there
was a hole. We went along a narrow place and got into a
kind of room, all damp and sweaty and cold, and there we
stopped. Tom says:
"Now we'll start this band of robbers and call it Tom
Sawyer's Gang. Everybody that wants to join has got to
take an oath, and write his name in blood."
Everybody was willing. So Tom got out a sheet of paper
that he had wrote the oath on, and read it. It swore every
boy to stick to the band, and never tell any of the secrets;
and if anybody done anything to any boy in the band, which-
ever boy was ordered to kill that person and his family must
do it, and he mustn't eat and he mustn't sleep till he had
killed them and hacked a cross in their breasts, which was
the sign of the band. And nobody that didn't belong to the
band could use that mark, and if he did he must be sued;
and if he done it again he must be killed. And if anybody
that belonged to the band told the secrets, he must have his
throat cut, and then have his carcass burnt up and the ashes
scattered all around, and his name blotted off of the list with
blood and never mentioned again by the gang, but have a
curse put on it and be forgot, forever.
Everybody said it was a real beautiful oath, and asked
Tom if he got it out of his own head. He said, some of it,
but the rest was out of pirate books, and robber books, and
every gang that was high-toned had it.
Some thought it would be good to kill the families of boys
that told the secrets. Tom said it was a good idea, so he
took a pencil and wrote it in. Then Ben Roger says:
"Here's Huck Finn, he hain't got no family-what you
going to do 'bout him ? "
Well, hain't he got a father ?" says Tom Sawyer.
"Yes, he's got a father, but you can't never find him,
these days. He used to lay drunk with the hogs in the tan-
yard, but he hain't been seen in these parts for a year or more."
They talked it over, and they was going to rule me out,
because they said every boy must have a family or somebody
to kill, or else it wouldn't be fair and square for the others.
Well, nobody could think of anything to do-everybody was
stumped, and set still. I was most ready to cry; but all at
THE ADVENTURES OF
once I thought of a way, and so I offered them Miss Watson
-they could kill her. Everybody said:
Oh, she'll do. That's all right. Huck can come in."
Then they all stuck a pin in their fingers to get blood to
sign with, and I made my mark on the paper.
"Now," says Ben Rogers, "what's the line of business of
this Gang ? "
Nothing only robbery and murder," Tom said.
"But who are we going to rob ? houses-or cattle-
Stuff stealing cattle and such things ain't robbery, it's
burglary," says Tom Sawyer. We ain't burglars. That ain't
no sort of style. We are highwaymen. We stop stages and
carriages on the road, with masks on, and kill the people and
take their watches and money."
Must we always kill the people ? "
"Oh, certainly. It's best. Some authorities think dif-
ferent, but mostly it's considered best to kill them. Except
some that you bring to the cave here and keep them till
"Ransomed ? What's that?"
"I don't know. But that's what they do. I've seen it in
books; and so of course that's what we've got to do."
But how can we do it if we don't know what it is ? "
Why blame it all, we've got to do it. Don't I tell you it's
in the books ? Do you want to go to doing different from
what's in the books, and get things all muddled up ? "
"Oh, that's all very fine to say, Tom Sawyer, but how in
the nation are these fellows going to be ransomed if we don't
know how to do it to them ? that's the thing I want to get at.
Now what do you reckon it is ?"
"Well I don't know. But perhaps if we keep them till
they're ransomed, it means that we keep them till they're
"Now, that's something like. That'll answer. Why
couldn't you said that before ? We'll keep them till they're
ransomed to death-and a bothersome lot they'll be, too,
eating up everything and always trying to get loose."
How you talk, Ben Rogers. How can they get loose
when there's a guard over them, ready to shoot them down
if they move a peg? "
"A guard. Well, that is good. So somebody's got to set
up all night and never get any sleep, just so as to watch them.
I think that's foolishness. Why can't a body take a club and
ransom them as soon as they get here ?"
"Because it ain't in the books so-that's why. Now Ben
Rogers, do you want to do things regular, or don't you?-
that's the idea. Don't you reckon that the people that made
the books knows what's the correct thing to do ? Do you
reckon you can learn 'em anything ? Not by a good deal. No,
sir, we'll just go on and ransom them in the regular way."
"All right. I don't mind; but I say it's a fool way, any-
how. Say-do we kill the women, too ? "
"Well, Ben Rogers, if I was as ignorant as you I wouldn't
let on. Kill the women ? No-nobody ever saw anything
in the books like that. You fetch them to the cave, and
you're always as polite as pie to them; and by-and-by they
fall in love with you and never want to go home any more."
Well, if that's the way, I'm agreed, but I don't take no
stock in it. Mighty soon we'll have the cave so cluttered up
with women, and fellows waiting to be ransomed, that there
won't be no place for the robbers. But go ahead, I ain't got
nothing to say."
Little Tommy Barnes was asleep, now, and when they wak-
ed him up he was scared, and cried, and said he wanted to
go home to his ma, and didn't want to be a robber any more.
So they all made fun of him, and called him cry-baby, and
that made him mad, and he said he would go straight and
tell all the secrets. But Tom give him five cents to keep
quiet, and said we would all go home and meet next week
and rob somebody and kill some people.
Ben Rogers said he couldn't get out much, only Sundays,
and so he wanted to begin next Sunday; but all the boys
said it would be wicked to do it on Sunday, and that settled
the thing. They agreed to get together and fix a day as
soon as they could, and then we elected Tom Sawyer first
captain and Jo Harper second captain of the Gang, and so
I dumb up the shed and crept into my window just before
day was breaking. My new clothes was all greased up and
clayey, and I was dog-tired.
THE ADVENTURES OF
WELL, I got a good going-over in the morning, from old
Miss Watson, on account of my clothes; but the widow
she didn't scold, but only cleaned off the grease and clay and
looked so sorry that I thought I would behave a while if I
could. Then Miss Watson she took me in the closet and
prayed, but nothing come of it. She told me to pray every
day, and whatever I asked for I would get it. But it warn't
so. I tried it. Once I got a fish-line, but no hooks. It warn't
any good to me without hooks. I tried for the hooks three
or four times, but somehow I couldn't make it work. By-
and-by, one day, I asked Miss Watson to try for me, but she
said I was a fool. She never told me why, and I couldn't
make it out no way.
I set down, one time, back in the woods, and had a long
think about it. I says to myself, if a body can get anything
they pray for, why don't Deacon Winn get back the money
he lost on pork? Why can't the widow get back her silver
snuff-box that was stole? Why can't Miss Watson fat up?
No, says I 'to myself, there ain't nothing in it. I went and
told the widow about it, and she said the thing a body could
get by praying for it was "spiritual gifts." This was too
many for me, but she told me what she meant-I must help
other people, and do everything I could for other people, and
look out for them all the time, and never think about myself.
This was including Miss Watson, as I took it. I went out in
the woods and turned it over in my mind a long time, but I
couldn't see no advantage about it-except for the other peo-
ple-so at last I reckoned I wouldn't worry about it any more,
but just let it go. Sometimes the widow would take me one
side and talk about Providence in a way to make a body's
mouth water; but maybe next day Miss Watson would take
hold and knock it all down again. I judged I could see that
there was two Providences, and a poor chap would stand con-
HUCKLEBERRY FINN. 29
siderable show with the widow's Providence, but if Miss Wat-
son's got him there warn't no help for him any more. I
thought it all out, and reckoned I would belong to the widow's,
if he wanted me, though I couldn't make out how he was ago-
ing to be any better off then than what he was before, seeing
I was so ignorant and so kind of low-down and ornery.
Pap he hadn't been seen for more than a year, and that
was comfortable for me; I didn't want to see him no more.
He used to always whale me when he was sober and could
get his hands on me; though I used to take to the woods most
of the time when he was around. Well, about this time he
was found in the river drowned, about twelve mile above town,
so people said. They judged it was him, anyway; said this
drowned man was just his size, and was ragged, and had un-
common long hair-which was all like pap-but they couldn't
make nothing out of the face, because it had been in the
water so long it warn't much like a face at all. They said he
was floating on his back in the water. They took him and
buried him on the bank. But I warn't comfortable long, be-
cause I happened to think of something. I knowed mighty
well that a drowned man don't float on his back, but on his
face. So I knowed, then, that this warn't pap, but a woman
dressed up in a man's clothes. So I was uncomfortable again.
I judged the old man would turn up again by-and-by, though
I wished he wouldn't.
We played robber now and then about a month, and then
I resigned. All the boys did. We hadn't robbed nobody, we
hadn't killed any people, but only just pretended. We used
to hop out of the woods and go charging down on hog-driv-
ers and women in carts taking garden stuff to market, but we
never hived any of them. Tom Sawyer called the hogs
"ingots," and he called the turnips and stuff "julery" and
we would go to the cave and pow-wow over what we had done
and how many people we had killed and marked. But I
couldn't see no profit in it. One time Tom sent a boy to run
about town with a blazing stick, which he called a slogan
(which was the sign for the Gang to get together), and then
he said he had got secret news by his spies that next day a
whole parcel of Spanish merchants and rich A-rabs was going
to camp in Cave Hollow with two hundred elephants, and six
hundred camels, and over a thousand "sumter" mules, all
THE ADVENTURES OF
loaded down with di'monds, and they didn't have only a guard
of four hundred soldiers, and so we would lay in ambuscade,
as he called it, and kill the lot and scoop the things. He said
we must slick up our swords and guns, and get ready. He
never could go after even a turnip-cart but he must have the
swords and guns all scoured up for it; though they was only
lath and broom-sticks, and you might scour at them till you
rotted and then they warn't worth a mouthful of ashes more
than what they was before. I didn't believe we could lick
such a crowd of Spaniards and A-rabs, but I wanted to see
the camels and elephants, so I was on hand next day, Satur-
day, in the ambuscade; and when we got the word, we rushed
out of the woods and down the hill. But there warn't no
Spaniards and A-rabs, and there warn't no camels nor no ele,
phants. It warn't anything but a Sunday-school picnic, and
only a primer-class at that. We busted it up, and chased the
children up the hollow; but we never got anything but some
doughnuts and jam, though Ben Rogers got a rag doll, and
Jo Harper got a hymn-book and a tract; and then the teacher
charged in and made us drop everything and cut. I didn't
see no di'monds, and I told Tom Sawyer so. He said there
was loads of them there, anyway; and he said there was
A-rabs there, toe, and elephants and things. I said, why
couldn't we see them, then ? He said if I warn't so ignorant,
but had read a book called Don Quixote," I would know
without asking. He said it was all done by enchantment.
He said there was hundreds of soldiers there, and elephants
and treasure, and so on, but we had enemies which he called
magicians, and they had turned the whole thing into an infant
Sunday school, just out of spite. I said, all right, then the
thing for us to do was to go for the magicians. Tom Sawyer
said I was a numskull.
Why," says he, a magician could call up a lot of genies,
and they would hash you up like nothing before you could say
Jack Robinson. They are as tall as a tree and as big around
as a church."
"Well," I says, "s'pose we got some genies to help us-
can't we lick the other crowd then ?"
"How you going to get them ?"
"I don't know. How do they get them?"
"Why they rub an old tin lamp or an iron ring, and then
the genies come tearing in, with the thunder and lightning
a-ripping around and the smoke a-rolling, and everything
they're told to do they up and do it. They don't think noth-
ing of pulling a shot tower up by the roots, and belting a
Sunday-school superintendent over the head with it-or any
"Who makes them tear around so ?"
"Why, whoever rubs the lamp or the ring. They belong
to whoever rubs the lamp or the ring, and they've got to do
whatever he says. If he tells them to build a palace forty
miles long, out of di'monds, and fill it full of chewing gum,
or whatever you want, and fetch an emperor's daughter from
China for you to marry, they've got to do it-and they've got
to do it before sun-up next morning, too. And more-they've
got to waltz that palace around over the country wherever
you want it, you understand."
Well," says I, I think they are a pack of flatheads for
not keeping the palace themselves 'stead of fooling them away
like that. And what's more-if I was one of them I would
see a man in Jericho before I would drop my business and
come to him for the rubbing of an old tin lamp."
"How you talk, Huck Finn. Why, you'd have to come
when he rubbed it, whether you wanted to or not."
"What, and I as high as a tree and as big as a church ?
All right, then; I would come; but I lay I'd make that man
climb the highest tree there was in the country."
"Shucks, it ain't no use to talk to you, Huck Finn. You
don't seem to know anything, somehow-perfect sap-head."
I thought all this over for two or three days, and then I
reckoned I would see if there was anything in it. I got an
old tin lamp and an iron ring and went out in the woods and
rubbed and rubbed till I sweat like an Injun, calculating to
build a palace and sell it; but it warn't no use, none of the
genies come. So then I judged that all that stuff was only
just one of Tom Sawyer's lies. I reckoned he believed in the
A-rabs and the elephants, but as for me I think different. It
had all the marks of a Sunday school.
THE ADVENTURES OF
WELL, three or four months run along, and it was well
into the winter, now. I had been to school most all
the time, and could spell, and read, and write just a little,
and could say the multiplication table up to six times seven
is thirty-five, and I don't reckon I could ever get any
further than that if I was to live forever. I don't take no
stock in mathematics, anyway.
At first I hated the school, but by-and-by I got so I could
stand it. Whenever I got uncommon tired I played hookey,
and the hiding I got next day done me good and cheered me
up. So the longer I went to school the easier it got to be.
I was getting sort of used to the widow's ways, too, and they
warn't so raspy on me. Living in a house, and sleeping in a
bed, pulled on me pretty tight, mostly, but before the cold
weather I used to slide out and sleep in the woods, some-
times, and so that was a rest to me. I liked the old ways
best, but I was getting so I liked the new ones, too, a little
bit. The widow said I was coming along slow but sure, and
doing very satisfactory. She said she warn't ashamed of me.
One morning I happened to turn over the salt-cellar at
breakfast. I reached for some of it as quick as I could, to
throw over my left shoulder and keep off the bad luck, but
Miss Watson was in ahead of me, and crossed me off. She
says, Take your hands away, Huckleberry-what a mess
you are always making." The widow put in a good word for
me, but that warn't going to keep off the bad luck, I knowed
that well enough. I started out, after breakfast, feeling wor-
ried and shaky, and wondering where it was going to fall on
me, and what it was going to be. There is ways to keep off
some kinds of bad luck, but this wasn't one of them kind; so
I never tried to do anything, but just poked along low-spirited
and on the watch-out.
I went down the front garden and dumb over the stile,
where you go through the high board fence. There was an
inch of new snow on the ground, and I seen somebody's tracks.
They had come up from the quarry and stood around the stile
a while, and then went on around the garden fence. It was
funny they hadn't come in, after standing around so. I
couldn't make it out. It was very curious, somehow. I was
going to follow around, but I stooped down to look at the
y' *' r
tracks first. I didn't notice anything at first, but next I did.
There was a cross in the left boot-heel made with big nails, to
keep off the devil.
I was up in a second and shinninig down the hill. I looked
over my shoulder every now and then, but I didn't see no-
body. I was at Judge Thatcher's as quick as I could get
there. He said:
THE ADVENTURES OF
Why, my boy, you are all out of breath. Did you come
for your interest ?"
No sir," I says; "is there some for me ?"
Oh, yes, a half-yearly is in, last night. Over a hundred
and fifty dollars. Quite a fortune for you. You better let
me invest it along with your six thousand, because if you take
it you'll spend it."
No sir," I says, I don't want to spend it. I don't want
it at all-nor the six thousand, nuther. I want you to take
it; I want to give it to you-the six thousand and all."
He looked surprised. He couldn't seem to make it out. He
Why, what can you mean, my boy ? "
I says, Don't you ask me no questions about it, please.
You'll take it-won't you ? "
Well I'm puzzled. Is something the matter? "
Please take it," says I, and don't ask me nothing-then
I won't have to tell no lies."
He studied a while, and then he says:
"Oho-o. I think Isee. You want to scelall your property
to me-not give it. That's the correct idea."
Then he wrote something on a paper and read it over, and
There-you see it says for a consideration.' That means
I have bought it of you and paid you for it. Here's a dollar
for you. Now, you sign it."
So I signed it, and left.
Miss Watson's nigger, Jim, had a hair-ball as big as your
fist, which had been took out of the fourth stomach of an ox,
and he used to do magic with it. He said there was a spirit
inside of it, and it knowed everything. So I went to him that
night and told him pap was here again, for I found his tracks
in the snow. What I wanted to know, was, what he was go-
ing to do, and was he going to stay ? Jim got out his hair-
ball, and said something over it, and then he held it up and
dropped it on the floor. It fell pretty solid, and only rolled
about an inch. Jim tried it again, and then another time,
and it acted just the same. Jim got down on his knees and
put his ear against it and listened. But it warn't no use; he
said it wouldn't talk. He said sometimes it wouldn't talk
without money. I told him I had an old slick counterfeit
quarter that warn't no good because the brass showed through
the silver a little, and it wouldn't pass nohow, even if the
brass didn't show, because it was so slick it felt greasy, and
so that would tell on it every time. (I reckoned I wouldn't
say nothing about the dollar I got from the judge.) I said it
was pretty bad money, but maybe the hair-ball would take it,
because maybe it wouldn't know the difference. Jim smelt
it, and bit it, and rubbed it, and said he would manage so the
hair-ball would think it was good. He said he would split
open a raw Irish potato and stick the quarter in between and
keep it there all night, and next morning you couldn't see no
brass, and it wouldn't feel greasy no more, and so anybody
in town would take it in a minute, let alone a hair-ball. Well,
I knowed a potato would do that, before, but I had forgot it.
Jim put the quarter under the hair-ball and got down and
listened again. This time he said the hair-ball was all right.
He said it would tell my whole fortune if I wanted it to. I
says, go on. So the hair-ball talked to Jim, and Jim told it
to me. He says:
Yo' ole father doan' know, yit, what he's a-gwyne to do.
Sometimes he spec he'll go 'way, en den agin he spec he'll
stay. De bes' way is to res' easy en let de ole man take his
own way. Dey's two angels hoverin' roun' 'bout him. One
uv 'em is white en shiny, en otherr one is black. De white
one gits him to go right, a little while, den de black one sail
in en bust it all up. A body can't tell, yit, which one gwyne to
fetch him at de las'. But you is all right. You gwyne to
have considable trouble in yo' life, en considable joy. Some-
times you gwyne to git hurt, en sometimes you gwyne to git
sick; but every time you's gwyne to git well agin. Dey's two
gals flyin' 'bout you in yo' life. One uv'em's light en otherr
one is dark. One is rich en otherr is po'. You's gwyne to
marry de po' one fust en de rich one by-en-by. You wants
to keep 'way fum de water as much as you kin, en don't run
no resk, 'kase it's down in de bills dat you's gwyne to git
When I lit my candle and went up to my room that night,
there set pap, his own self !
THE ADVENTURES OF
I HAD shut the door to. Then I turned around, and there
he was. I used to be scared of him all the time, he tanned
me so much.. I reckoned I was scared now, too; but in a
minute I see I was mistaken. That is, after the first jolt, as
you may say, when my breath sort of hitched-he being so
unexpected; but right away after, I see I warn't scared of
him worth bothering about.
He was most fifty, and he looked it. His hair was long
and tangled and greasy, and hung down, and you could see
his eyes shining through like he was behind vines. It was all
black, no gray; so was his long, mixed-up whiskers. There
warn't no color in his face, where his face showed; it was
white; not like another man's white, but a white to make a
body sick, a white to make a body's flesh crawl-a tree-toad
white, a fish-belly white. As for his clothes-just rags, that
was all. He had one ankle resting on otherr knee; the boot
on that foot was busted, and two of his toes stuck through,
and he worked them now and then. His hat was laying on
the floor; an old black slouch with the top caved in, like a
I stood a-looking at him; he set there a-looking at me,
with his chair tilted back a little. I set the candle down. I
noticed the window was up; so he had dumb in by the shed.
He kept a-looking me all over. By-and-by he says:
Starchy clothes-very. You think you're a good deal of
a big-bug, don't you ?"
"Maybe I am, maybe I ain't," I says.
"Don't you give me none o' your lip," says he. "You've
put on considerable many frills since I been away. I'll take
you down a peg before I get done with you. You're edu-
cated, too, they say; can read and write. You think you're
better'n your father, now, don't you, because he can't? I'll
take it out of you. Who told you you might meddle with
such hifalut'n foolishness, hey ?-who told you you could ?"
The widow. She told me."
"The widow, hey ?-and who told the widow she could put'
in her shovel about a thing that ain't none of her business? "
Nobody never told her."
Well, I'll learn her how to meddle. And looky here-
you drop that school, you hear ? I'll learn people to bring
up a boy to put on airs over his own father and let on to be
better'n what he is. You lemme catch you fooling around
that school again, you hear? Your mother couldn't read,
and she couldn't write, nuther, before she died. None of the
family couldn't, before they died. I can't; and here you're
a-swelling yourself up like this. I ain't the man to stand it
-you hear? Say-lemme hear you read."
THE ADVENTURES OF
I took up a book and begun something about General
Washington and the wars. When I'd read about a half a min-
ute, he fetched the book a whack with his hand and knocked
it across the house. He says:
"It's so. You can do it. I had my doubts when you told
me. Now looky here; you stop that putting on frills. I
won't have it. I'll lay for you, my smarty; and if I catch
you about that school I'll tan you good. First you know
you'll get religion, too. I never see such a son."
He took up a little blue and yaller picture of some cows
and a boy, and says:
What's this ? "
"It's something they give me for learning my lessons
He tore it up, and says-
I'll give you something better-I'll give you a cowhide."
He set there a-mumbling and a-growling a minute, and
then he says-
"Ain't you a sweet-scented dandy, though? A bed; and
bedclothes; and a look'n-glass; and a piece of carpet on the
floor-and your own father got to sleep with the hogs in the
tanyard. I never see such a son. I bet I'll take some o'
these frills out o' you before I'm done with you. Why
there ain't no end to your airs-they say you're rich. Hey ?
-how's that ?"
"They lie-that's how."
Look here-mind how you talk to me; I'm a-standing
about all I can stand, now-so don't gimme no sass. I've
been in town two days, and I hain't heard nothing but about
you bein' rich. I heard about it away down the river, too.
That's why I come. You git me that money to-morrow-I
I hain't got no money."
"It's a lie. Judge Thatcher's got it. Yougit it. I want
"I hain't got no money, I tell you. You ask Judge
Thatcher; he'll tell you the same."
All right. I'll ask him; and I'll make him pungle,.too,
or I'll know the reason why. Say-how much you got in /
your pocket ? I want it."
"I hain't got only a dollar, and I want that to--"
HUCKLEBERRY FINN. 39
It don't make no difference what you want it for-you
just shell it out."
He took it and bit it to see if it was good, and then he said he
was going down town to get some whisky; said he hadn't had a
drink all day. When he had got out on the shed, he put his
head in again, and cussed me for putting on frills and trying to
be better than him; and when I reckoned he was gone, he come
back and put his head in again, and told me to mind about
that school, because he was going to lay for me and lick me
if I didn't drop that.
Next day he was drunk, and he went to Judge Thatcher's
and bullyragged him and tried to make him give up the
money, but he couldn't, and then he swore he'd make the
law force him.
The judge and the widow went to law to get the court to
take me away from him and let one of them be my guardian;
but it was a new judge that had just come, and he didn't
know the old man; so he said courts mustn't interfere and
separate families if they could help it; said he'd druther not
take a child away from its father. So Judge Thatcher and
the widow had to quit on the business.
That pleased the old man till he couldn't rest. He said
he'd cowhide me till I was black and blue if I didn't raise
some money for him. I borrowed three dollars from Judge
Thatcher, and pap took it and got drunk and went a-blowing
around and cussing and whooping and carrying on; and he
kept it up all over town, with a tin pan, till most midnight;
then they jailed him, and next day they had him before
court, and jailed him again for a week. But he said he was
satisfied; said he was boss of his son, and he'd make it warm
When he got out'the new judge said he was going to make
a man of him. So he took him to his own house, and dress-
ed him up clean and nice, and had him to breakfast and din-
ner and supper with the family, and was just old pie to him,
so to speak. And after supper he talked to him about tem-
perance and such things till the old man cried, and said he'd
been a fool, and fooled away his life; but now he was going
to turn over a new leaf and be a man nobody wouldn't be
ashamed of, and he hoped the judge would help him and not
look down on him. The judge said he could hug him for
THE ADVENTURES OF
them words; so he cried, and his wife she cried again; pap
said he'd been a man that had always been misunderstood be-
fore, and the judge said he believed it. The old man said
that what a man wanted that was down, was sympathy; and
the judge said it was so; so they cried again. And when it
was bedtime, the old man rose up and held out his hand, and
"Look at it gentlemen, and ladies all; take ahold of it;
shake it. There's a hand that was the hand of a hog; but it
ain't so no more; it's the hand of a man that's started in on
a new life, and '11 die before he'll go back. You mark them
words-don't forget I said them. It's a clean hand now;
shake it-don't be afeard."
So they shook it, one after the other, all around, and cried.
The judge's wife she kissed it. Then the old man he signed
a pledge-made his mark. The judge said it was the holiest
time on record, or something like that. Then they tucked
the old man into a beautiful room, which was the spare room,
and in the night sometime he got powerful thirsty and dumb
out onto the porch-roof and slid down a stanchion and traded
his new coat for a jug of forty-rod, and dumb back again
and had a good old time; and towards daylight he crawled
out again, drunk as a fiddler, and rolled off the porch and
broke his left arm in two places and was most froze to death
when somebody found him after sun-up. And when they
come to look at that spare room, they had to take soundings
before they could navigate it.
The judge he felt kind of sore. He said he reckoned a
body could reform the ole man with a shot-gun, maybe, but
he didn't know no other way.
ELL, pretty soon the old man was up and around again,
and then he went for Judge Thatcher in the courts to
make him give up that money, and he went for me, too, for not
stopping school. He catched me a couple of times and
thrashed me, but I went to school just the same, and dodged
him or out-run him most of the time. I didn't want to go to
school much, before, but I reckoned I'd go now to spite pap.
That law trial was a slow business; appeared like they warn't
ever going to get started on it; so every now and then I'd
borrow two or three dollars off of the judge for him, to keep
from getting a cowhiding. Every time he got money he got
drunk; and every time he got drunk he raised Cain around
town; and every time he raised Cain he got jailed. He was
just suited-this kind of thing was right in his line.
He got to hanging around the widow's too much, and so
she told him at last, that if he didn't quit using around there
she would make trouble for him. Well, wasn't he mad ? He
said he would show who was Huck Finn's boss. So he watched
out for me one day in the spring, and catched me, and took
me up the river about three mile, in a skiff, and crossed over
to the Illinois shore where it was woody and there warn't no
houses but an old log hut in a place where the timber was so
thick you couldn't find it if you didn't know where it was.
He kept me with him all the time, and I never got a chance
to run off. We lived in that old cabin, and he always locked
the door and put the key under his head, nights. He had a
gun which he had stole, I reckon, and we fished and hunted,
and that was what we lived on. Every little while he locked
me in and went down to the store, three miles, to the ferry,
and traded fish and game for whisky and fetched it home and
got drunk and had a good time, and licked me. The widow
she found out where I was, by-and-by, and she sent a man
over to try to get hold of me, but pap drove him off with the
THE ADVENTURES OF
gun, and it warn't long after that till I was used to being
Where I was, and liked it, all but the cowhide part.
It-was kind of lazy and jolly, laying off comfortable all
day, smoking and fishing, and no books nor study. Two
months or more run along, and my clothes got to be all
rags and dirt, and I didn't see how I'd ever got to like it so
well at the widow's, where you had to wash, and eat on
a plate, and comb up, and go to bed and get up regular,
and be forever bothering over a book and have old Miss
Watson pecking at you all the time. I didn't want to go
back no more. I had stopped cussing, because the widow
didn't like it; but now I took to it again because pap hadn't
no objections. It was pretty good times up in the woods
there, take it all around.
But by-and-by pap got too handy with his hick'ry, and I
couldn't stand it. I was all over welts. He got to going away
so much, too, and locking me in. Once he locked me in and
was gone three days. It was dreadful lonesome. I judged
he had got drowned and I wasn't ever going to get out any
'iore. I was scared. I made up my mind I would fix up
some way to leave there. I had tried to get out of that cabin
many a time, but I couldn't find no way. There warn't a
window to it big enough for a dog to get through. I couldn't
get up the chimbly, it was too narrow. The door was thick
solid oak slabs. Pap was pretty careful not to leave a knife
or anything in the cabin when he was away; I reckon I had
hunted the place over as much as a hundred times; well, I
was 'most all the time at it, because it was about the only way
to put in the time. But this time I found something at last;
I found an old rusty wood-saw without any handle; it was
laid in between a rafter and the clapboards of the roof. I
greased it up and went to work. There was an old horse-
blanket nailed against the logs at the far end of the cabin
behind the table, to keep the wind from blowing through the
chinks and putting the candle out. I got under the table and
raised the blanket and went to work to saw a section of the
big bottom log out, big enough to let me through. Well, it
was a good long job, but I was getting towards the end of it
when I heard pap's gun in the woods. I got rid of the signs
of my work, and dropped the blanket and hid my saw, and
pretty soon pap come in.
Pap warn't in a good humor-so he was his natural self.
He said he was down to town, and everything was going wrong.
His lawyer said he reckoned he would win his lawsuit and get
the money, if they ever got started on the trial; but then
there was ways to put it off a long time, and Judge Thatcher
knowed how to do it. And he said people allowed there'd be
another trial to get me away from him and give me to the
widow for my guardian, and they guessed it would win, this
time. This shook me up considerable, because I didn't want
to go back to the widow's any more and be so cramped up
and sivilized, as they called it. Then the old man got to
cussing, and cussed everything and everybody he could think
of, and then cussed them all over again to make sure he hadn't
skipped any, and after that he polished off with a kind of a
general cuss all round, including a considerable parcel of
people which he didn't know the names of, and so called them
what's-his-name, when he got to them, and went right along
with his cussing.
He said he would like to see the widow get me. He said
he would watch out, and if they tried to come any such game
on him he knowed of a place six or seven mile off, to stow me
in, where they might hunt till they dropped and they couldn't
find me. That made me pretty uneasy again, but only for a
minute; I reckoned I wouldn't stay on hand till he got that
The old man made me go to the skiff and fetch the things
he had got. There was a fifty-pound sack of corn meal, and
a side of bacon, ammunition, and a four-gallon jug of whisky,
and an old book and two newspapers for wadding, besides
some tow. I toted up a load, and went back and set down
on the bow of the skiff to rest. I thought it all over, and I
reckoned I would walk off with the gun and some lines, and
take to the woods when I run away. I guessed I wouldn't
stay in one place, but just tramp right across the country,
mostly night times, and hunt and fish to keep alive, and so
get so far away that the old man nor the widow couldn't ever
find me any more. I judged I would saw out and leave that
night if pap got drunk enough, and I reckoned he would. I
got so full of it I didn't notice how long I was staying, till
the old man hollered and asked me whether I was asleep or
THE ADVENTURES OF
I got the things all up to the cabin, and then it was about
dark. While I was cooking supper the old man took a swig
or two and got sort of warmed up, and went to ripping again.
He had been drunk over in town, and laid in the gutter all
night, and he was a sight to look at. A body would a thought
he was Adam, he was just all mud. Whenever his liquor be-
gun to work, he most always went for the govment. This
time he says:
"Call this a govment! why, just look at it and see what it's
like. Here's the law a-standing ready to take a man's son
away from him-a man's own son, which he has had all the
trouble and all the anxiety and all the expense of raising.
Yes, just as that man has got that son raised at last, and
ready to go to work and begin to do suthin' for him and give
him a rest, the law up and goes for him. And they call that
govment! That ain't all, nuther. The law backs that old
Judge Thatcher up and helps him to keep me out o' my prop-
erty. Here's what the law does. The law takes a man
worth six thousand dollars and upards, and jams him into an
old trap of a cabin like this, and lets him go round in clothes
that ain't fitten for a hog. They call that govment! A man
can't get his rights in a govment like this. Sometimes I've a
mighty notion to just leave the country for good and all.
Yes, and I told 'em so; I told old Thatcher so to his face.
Lots of 'em heard me, and can tell what I said. Says I, for
two cents I'd leave the blamed country and never come anear
it agin. Them's the very words. I says, look at my hat-if
you call it a hat-but the lid raises up and the rest of it goes
down till it's below my chin, and then it ain't rightly a hat at
all, but more like my head was shoved up through a jint o'
stove-pipe. Look at it, says I-such a hat for me to wear-
one of the wealthiest men in this town, if I could git my
"Oh, yes, this is a wonderful govment, wonderful. Why,
looky here. There was a free nigger there, from Ohio; a
mulatter, most as white as a white man. He had the whitest
.hirt on you ever see, too, and the shiniest hat; and there ain't
a man in that town that's got as fine clothes as what he had;
and he had a gold watch and chain, and a silver-headed cane
-the awfulest old gray-headed nabob in the State. And
what do you think? they said he was a p'fessor in a college,
and could talk all kinds of languages, and knowed everything.
And that ain't the wust. They said he could vote, when he
was at home. Well, that let me out. Thinks I, what is the
country a-coming to ? It was electionn day, and I was just
about to go and vote, myself, if I warn't too drunk to get
there; but when they told me there was a State in this coun-
try where they'd let that nigger vote, I drawed out. I says
I'll never vote agin. Them's the very words I said; they all
heard me; and the country may rot for all me-I'll never
vote agin as long as I live. And to see the cool way of that
nigger-why, he wouldn't a give me the road if I hadn't shoved
him out o' the way. I says to the people, why ain't this nig-
ger put up at auction and sold ?-that's what I want to know.
And what do you reckon they said? Why, they said he
couldn't be sold till he'd been in the State six months, and
he hadn't been there that long yet. There, now-that's a
specimen. They call that a govment that can't sell a free
nigger till he's been in the State six months. Here's a gov-
ment that calls itself a govment, and lets on to be a govment,
and thinks it is a govment, and yet's got to set stock-still for
six whole months before it can take ahold of a prowling,
thieving, infernal, white-shirted free nigger, and- "
Pap was going on so, he never noticed where his old lim-
ber legs was taking him to, so he went head over heels over
the tub of salt pork, and barked both shins, and the rest of
his speech was all the hottest kind of language-mostly hove
at the nigger and the govment, though he give the tub some,
too, all along, here and there. He hopped around the cabin
considerable, first on one leg and then on the other, holding
first one shin and then the other one, and at last he let out
with his left foot all of a sudden and fetched the tub a rat-
tling kick. But it warn't good judgment, because that was
the boot that had a couple of his toes leaking out of the front
end of it; so now he raised a howl that fairly made a body's
hair raise, and down he went in the dirt, and rolled there,
and held his toes; and the cussing he done then laid over
anything he had ever done previous. He said so his own
self, afterwards. He had heard old Sowberry Hagan in his
best days, and he said it laid over him, too; but I reckon that
was sort of piling it on, maybe.
After supper pap took the jug, and said he had enough
THE ADVENTURES OF
whisky there for two drunks and one delirium tremens. That
was always his word. I judged he would be blind drunk in
about an hour, and then I would steal the key, or saw myself
out, one or othere. He drank, and drank, and tumbled down
on his blankets, by-and-by; but luck didn't run my way. He
didn't go sound asleep, but was uneasy. He groaned, and
moaned, and thrashed around this way and that, for a long
time. At last I got so sleepy I couldn't keep my eyes open,
all I could do, and so before I knowed what I was about I
was sound asleep, and the candle burning.
I don't know how long I was asleep, but all of a sudden
there was an awful scream and I was up. There was pap,
looking wild and skipping around every which way and yell-
ing about snakes. He said they was crawling up his legs;
and then he would give a jump and scream, and say one had
bit him on the cheek-but I couldn't see no snakes. He
started and run round and round the cabin, hollering "take
him off! take him off! he's biting me on the neck! I never
see a man look so wild in the eyes. Pretty soon he was all
fagged out, and fell down panting; then he rolled over and
over, wonderful fast, kicking things every which way, and
striking and grabbing at the air with his hands, and scream-
ing, and saying there was devils ahold of him. He wore out,
by-and-by, and laid still a while, moaning. Then he laid
stiller, and didn't make a sound. I could hear the owls and
the wolves, away off in the woods, and it seemed terrible still.
He was laying over by the corner. By-and-by he raised up,
part way, and listened, with his head to one side. He says
Tramp-tramp-tramp; that's the dead; tramp-tramp
tramp; they're coming after me; but I won't go- Oh, they're
here! don't touch me-don't! hands off-they're cold; letgo
- Oh, let a poor devil alone!"
Then he went down on all fours and crawled off begging
them to let him alone, and he rolled himself up in his blan-
ket and wallowed in under the old pine table, still a-begging;
and then he went to crying. I could hear him through the
By-and-by he rolled out and jumped up on his feet looking
wild, and he see me and went for me. He chased me round
and round the place,with a clasp-knife, calling me the Angel
HUCKLEBERRY FINN. 47
of Death, and saying he would kill me and then I couldn't
come for him no more. I begged, and told him I was only
Huck, but he laughed such a screechy laugh, and roared and
cussed, and kept on chasing me up. Once when I turned
short and dodged under his arm he made a grab and got me
by the jacket between my shoulders, and I thought I was
gone; but I slid out of the jacket quick as lightning, and
saved myself. Pretty soon he was all tired out, and dropped
down with his back against the door, and said he would rest
a minute and then kill me. He put his knife under him, and
said he would sleep and get strong, and then he would see
who was who.
So he dozed off, pretty soon. By-and-by I got the old
split-bottom chair and dumb up, as easy as I could, not to
make any noise, and got down the gun. I slipped the ram-
rod down it to make sure it was loaded, and then I laid it
across the turnip barrel, pointing towards pap, and set down
behind it to wait for him to stir. And how slow and still the
time did drag along.
THE ADVENTURES OF
"' 'IT up! what you 'bout! "
GjI opened my eyes and looked around, trying to make
out where I was. It was after sun-up, and I had been sound
asleep. Pap was standing over me, looking sour-and sick,
too. He says-
"What you doing' with this gun ?"
I judged he didn't know nothing about what he had been
doing, so I says:
"Somebody tried to get in, so I was laying for him."
Why didn't you roust me out ?"
"Well I tried to, but I couldn't; I couldn't budge you."
"Well, all right. Don't stand there palavering all day,
but out with you and see if there's a fish on the lines for
breakfast. I'll be along in a minute."
He unlocked the door and I cleared out, up the river
bank. I noticed some pieces of limbs and such things
floating down, and a sprinkling of bark; so I knowed the
river had begun to rise. I reckoned I would have great times,
now, if I was over at the town. The June rise used to be
always luck for me; because as soon as that rise begins,
here comes cord-wood floating down, and pieces of log rafts
-sometimes a dozen logs together; so all you have to do
is to catch them and sell them to the wood yards and the
I went along up the bank with one eye out for pap and
otherr one out for what the rise might fetch along.- Well,
all at once, here comes a canoe ; just a beauty, too, about
thirteen or fourteen foot long, riding high like a duck. I
shot head first off of the bank, like a frog, clothes and all
on, and struck out for the canoe. I just expected there'd
be somebody laying down in it, because people often done
that to fool folks, and when a chap had pulled a skiff out
most to it they'd raise up and laugh at him. But it
warn't so this time. It was a drift-canoe, sure enough,
and I dumb in and paddled her ashore. Thinks I, the
old man will be glad when he sees this-she's worth ten
dollars. But when I got to shore pap wasn't in sight yet,
and as I was running her into a little creek like a gully, all
hung over with vines and willows, I struck another idea; I
judged I'd hide her good, and then, stead of taking to the
woods when I run off, I'd go down the river about fifty mile
and camp in one place for good, and not have such a rough
time tramping on foot.
It was pretty close to the shanty, and I thought I heard
the old man coming, all the time ; but I got her hid ; and
then I out and looked around a bunch of willows, and there
was the old man down the path apiece just drawing a bead
on a bird with his gun. So he hadn't seen anything.
When he got along, I was hard at it taking up a "trot"
line. He abused me a little for being so slow, but I told him
I fell in the river and that was what made me so long. I
knowed he would see I was wet, and then he would be ask-
ing questions. We got five cat-fish off of the lines and went
While we laid off, after breakfast, to sleep up, both of us
being about wore out, I got to thinking that if I could fix
up some way to keep pap and the widow from trying to fol-
low me, it would be a certainer thing than trusting to luck to
get far enough off before they missed me ; you see, all kinds
of things might happen. Well, I didn't see no way for a
while, but by-and-by pap raised up a minute, to drink an-
other barrel of water, and he says :
"Another time a man comes a-prowling round here, you
roust me out, you hear ? That man warn't here for no good.
I'd a shot him. Next time, you roust me out, you hear? "
Then he dropped down and went to sleep again-but what
he had been saying give me the very idea I wanted. I says
to myself, I can fix it now so nobody won't think of follow-
About twelve o'clock we turned out and went along up
the bank. The river was coming up pretty fast, and lots of
drift-wood going by on the rise. By-and-by, along comes
part of a log raft-nine logs fast together.. We went out with
the skiff and towed it ashore. Then we had dinner. Any-
body but pap would a waited and seen the day through, so
THE ADVENTURES OF
as to catch more stuff ; but that warn't pap's style. Nine
logs was enough for one time; he must shove right over to
town and sell. So he locked me in and took the skiff and
started off towing the raft about half-past three. I judged
he wouldn't come back that night. I waited till I reckoned
he had got a good start, then I out with my saw and went
to work on that log again. Before he was otherr side of the
river I was out of the hole ; him and his raft was just a speck
on the water away off yonder.
I took the sack of corn meal and took it to where the
canoe was hid, and shoved the vines and branches apart and
put it in ; then I done the same with the side of bacon ; then
the whisky jug ; I took all the coffee and sugar there was,
and all the ammunition; I took the wadding; I took the
bucket and gourd, I took a dipper and a tin cup, and my old
saw and two blankets, and the skillet and the coffee-pot. I
took fish-lines and matches and other things-everything that
was worth a cent. I cleaned out the place. I wanted an
axe, but there wasn't any, only the one out at the wood pile,
and I knowed why I was going to leave that. I fetched out
the gun, and now I was done.
I had wore the ground a good deal, crawling out of the
hole and dragging out so many things. So I fixed that as
good as I could from the outside by scattering dust on the
place, which covered up the smoothness and the sawdust.
Then I fixed the piece of log back into its place, and put two
rocks under it and one against it to hold it there,-for it was
bent up at that place, and didn't quite touch ground. If you
stood four or five foot away and didn't know it was sawed,
you wouldn't ever notice it; and besides, this was the back
of the cabin and it warn't likely anybody would go fooling
It was all grass clear to the canoe ; so I hadn't left a track.
I followed around to see. I stood on the bank and looked
out over the river. All safe. So I took the gun and went
up a piece into the woods and was hunting around for some
birds, when I see a wild pig; hogs soon went wild in them
bottoms after they had got away from the prairie farms. I
shot this fellow and took him into camp.
I took the axe and smashed in the door-I beat it and
hacked it considerable, a-doing it. I fetched the pig in and
took him back nearly to the table and hacked into his throat
with the ax, and laid him down on the ground to bleed-I
say ground, because it was ground-hard packed, and no
boards. Well, next I took an old sack and put a lot of big
rocks in it,-all I could drag-and I started it from the pig
and dragged it to the door and through the woods down to the
river and dumped it in, and down it sunk, out of sight. You
could easy see that something had been dragged over the
ground. I did wish Tom Sawyer was there, I knowed he
would take an interest in this kind of business, and throw in
the fancy touches. Nobody could spread himself like Tom
Sawyer in such a thing as that.
Well, last I pulled out some of my hair, and blooded the
ax good, and stuck it on the back side, and slung the ax in
the corner. Then I took -up the pig and held him to my
breast with my jacket (so he couldn't drip) till I got a good
piece below the house and then dumped him into the river.
Now I thought of something else. So 1 went and got the bag
of meal and my old saw out of the canoe and fetched them
to the house. I took the bag to where it used to stand, and
ripped a hole in the bottom of it with the saw, for there warn't
no knives and forks on the place-pap done everything with
his clasp-knife, about the cooking. Then I carried the sack
about a hundred yards across the grass and through the wil-
lows east of the house, to a shallow lake that was five mile
wide and full of rushes-and ducks too, you might say, in the
season. There was a slough or a creek leading out of it on
the other side; that went miles away, I don't know where, but
it didn't go to the river. The meal sifted out and made a
little track all the way to the lake. I dropped pap's whet-
stone there too, so as to look like it had been done by acci-
dent. Then I tied up the rip in the meal sack with a string,
so it wouldn't leak no more, and took it and my saw to the
It was about dark, now; so I dropped the canoe down the
river under some willows that hung over the bank, and waited
for the moon to rise. I made fast to a willow ; then I took a
bite to eat, and by-and-by laid down in the canoe to smoke a
pipe and lay out a plan. I says to myself, they'll follow the
track of that sackful of rocks to the shore and then drag the
river for me. And they'll follow that meal track to the lake
THE ADVENTURES OF
and go browsing down the creek that leads out of it to find
the robbers that killed me and took the things. They won't
ever hunt the river for anything but my dead carcass. They'll
soon get tired of that, and won't bother no more about me.
All right; I can stop anywhere I want to. Jackson's Island
is good enough for me; I know that island pretty well, and
nobody ever comes there. And then I can paddle over to
town, nights, and slink around and pick up things I want.
Jackson's Island's the place.
I was pretty tired, and the first thing I knowed, I was
asleep. When I woke up I didn't know where I was, for a
minute. I set up and looked around, a little scared. Then
I remembered. The river looked miles and miles across. The
moon was so bright I could a counted the drift logs that went
a slipping along, black and still, hundred of yards out from
shore. Everything was dead quiet, and it looked late, and
smelt late. You know what I mean-I don't know the words
to put it in.
I took a good gap and a stretch, and was just going to un-
hitch and start, when I heard a sound away over the water.
I listened. Pretty soon I made it out. It was that dull kind
of a regular sound that comes from oars working in rowlocks
when it's a still night. I peeped out through the willow
branches, and there it was-a skiff, away across the water. I
couldn't tell how many was in it. It kept a-coming, and
when it was abreast of me I see there warn't but one man in
it. Think's I, maybe it's pap, though I warn't expecting him.
He dropped below me, with the current, and by-and-by he
come a-swinging up shore in the easy water, and he went by
so close I could a reached out the gun and touched him.
Well, it was pap, sure enough-and sober, too, by the way
he laid to his oars.
I didn't lose no time. The next minute I was a-spinning
down stream soft but quick in the shade of the bank. I
made two mile and a half, and then struck out a quarter of a
mile or more towards the middle of the river, because pretty
soon I would be passing the ferry landing and people might
see me and hail me. I got out amongst the drift-wood and
then laid down in the bottom of the canoe and let her float.
I laid there and had a good rest and a smoke out of my pipe,
looking away into the sky, not a cloud in it. The sky looks
ever so deep when you lay down on your back in the moon-
shine ; I never knowed it before. And how far a body can
hear on the water such nights I heard people talking at
the ferry landing. I heard what they said, too, every word
of it. One man said it was getting towards the long days and
the short nights, now. 'Tother one said this warn't one of
the short ones, he reckoned-and then they laughed, and he
said it over again and they laughed again ; then they waked
up another fellow and told him, and laughed, but he didn't
laugh ; he ripped out something brisk and said let him alone.
The first fellow said he 'lowed to tell it to his old woman-
she would think it was pretty good ; but he said that warn't
nothing to some things he had said in his time. I heard one
man say it was nearly three o'clock, and he hoped daylight
wouldn't wait more than about a week longer. After that,
the talk got further and further away, and I couldn't make
out the words any more, but I could hear the mumble; and
now and then a laugh, too, but it seemed a long ways off.
I was away below the ferry now. I rose up and there was Jack-
son's Island, about two mile and a half down stream, heavy-
timbered and standing up out of the middle of the river, big and
dark and solid, like a steamboat without any lights. There
warn't any signs of the bar at the head-it was all under water,
It didn't take me long to get there. I shot past the head at
a ripping rate, the current was so swift, and then I got into the
dead water and landed on the side towards the Illinois shore.
I run the canoe into a deep dent in the bank that I knowed
about; I had to part the willow branches to get in; and when
I made fast nobody could a seen the canoe from the outside.
I went up and set down on a log at the head of the island
and looked out on the big river and the black driftwood, and
away over to the town, three mile away, where there was three
or four lights twinkling. A monstrous big lumber raft was
about a mile up stream, coming along down, with a lantern in
the middle of it. I watched it come creeping down, and
when it was most abreast of where I stood I heard a man say,
" Stern oars, there heave her head to stabboard !" I heard
that just as plain as if the man was by my side.
There was a little gray in the sky, now ; so I stepped into
the woods and laid down for a nap before breakfast.
THE ADVENTURES OF
T HE sun was up so high when I waked, that I judged it
was after eight o'clock. I laid there in the grass and
the cool shade, thinking about things and feeling rested and
ruther comfortable and satisfied. I could see the sun out at
one or two holes, but mostly it was big trees all about, and
gloomy in there amongst them. There was freckled places
on the ground where the light sifted down through the leaves,
and the freckled places swapped about a little, showing there
was a little breeze up there. A couple of squirrels set on a
limb and jabbered at me very friendly.
I was powerful lazy and comfortable-didn't want to get
up and cook breakfast. Well, I was dozing off again, when
I thinks I hears a deep sound of "boom!" away up the river.
I rouses up and rests on my elbow and listens; pretty soon I
hears it again. I hopped up and went and looked out at a
hole in the leaves, and I see a bunch of smoke laying on the
water a long ways up-about abreast the ferry. And there
was the ferry-boat full of people, floating along down. I
knowed what was the matter, now. "Boom!" I see the
white smoke squirt out of the ferry-boat's side. You see,
they was firing cannon over the water, trying to make my
carcass come to the top.
I was pretty hungry, but it warn't going to do for me to
start a fire, because they might see the smoke. So I set
there and watched the cannon-smoke and listened to the
boom. The river was a mile wide, there, and it always looks
pretty on a summer morning-so I was having a good enough
time seeing them hunt for my remainders, if I only had a
bite to eat. Well, then I happened to think how they always
put quicksilver in loaves of bread and float them off because
they always go right to the drowned carcass and stop there.
So says I, I'll keep a lookout, and if any of them's floating
around after me, I'll give them a show. I changed to the
Illinois edge of the island to see what luck I could have, and
I warn't disappointed. A big double loaf come along, and I
most got it, with a long stick, but my foot slipped and she
floated out further. Of course I was where the current set
in the closest to the shore-I knowed enough for that. But
by-and-by along comes another one, and this time I won. I
took out the plug and shook out the little dab of quicksilver,
and set my teeth in. It was "baker's bread"-what the
quality eat-none of your low-down corn-pone.
I got a good place amongst the leaves, and set there on a
log, munching the bread and watching the ferry-boat, and
very well satisfied. And then something struck me. I
says, now I reckon the widow or the parson or somebody
prayed that this bread would find me, and here it has gone
and done it. So there ain't no doubt but there is something
in that thing. That is, there's something in it when a body
like the widow or the parson prays, but it don't work for me,
and I reckon it don't work for only just the right kind.
I lit a pipe and had a good long smoke and went on watch-
ing. The ferry-boat was floating with the current, and I al-
lowed I'd have a chance to see who was aboard when she
come along, because she would come in close, where the
bread did. When she'd got pretty well along down towards
me, I put out my pipe and went to where I fished out the
bread, and laid down behind a log on the back in a little
open place. Where the log forked I could peep through.
By-and-by she come along, and she drifted in so close that
they could a run out a plank and walked ashore. Most
everybody was on the boat. Pap, and Judge Thatcher, and
Bessie Thatcher, and Jo Harper, and Tom Sawyer, and. his
old Aunt Polly, and Sid and Mary, and plenty more. Every-
body was talking about the murder, but the captain broke in
"Look sharp, now; the current sets in the closest here,
and maybe he's washed ashore and got tangled amongst the
brush at the water's edge. I hope so, anyway."
I didn't hope so. They all crowded up and leaned over
the rails, nearly in my face, and kept still, watching with all
their might. I could see them first-rate, but they couldn't
see me. Then the captain sung out:
"Stand away! and the cannon let off such a blast right
THE ADVENTURES OF
before me that it made me deef with the noise and pretty
near blind with the smoke, and I judged I was gone. If they'd
a had some bullets in, I reckon they'd a got the corpse they
was after. Well, I see I warn't hurt, thanks to goodness. The
boat floated on and went out of sight around the shoulder of
the island. I could hear the booming, now and then, further
and further off, and by-and-by after an hour, I didn't hear it
no more. The island was three mile long. I judged they had
got to the foot, and was giving it up. But they didn't yet a
while. They turned around the foot of the island and start-
ed up the channel on the Missouri side, under steam, and
booming once in a while as they went. I crossed over to
that side and watched them. When they got abreast the
head of the island they quit shooting and dropped over to the
Missouri shore and went home to the town.
I knowed I was all right now. Nobody else would come
a-hunting after me. I got my traps out of the canoe and
made me a nice camp in the thick woods. I made a kind of
a tent out of my blankets to put my things under so the rain
couldn't get at them. I catched a cat-fish and haggled him
open with my saw, and towards sundown I started my camp
fire and had supper. Then I set out a line to catch some fish
When it was dark I set by my camp-fire smoking, and feel-
ing pretty satisfied; but by-and-by it got sort of lonesome,
and so I went and set on the bank and listened to the cur-
rents washing along, and counted the stars and drift-logs and
rafts that come down, and then went to bed; there ain't no
better way to put in time when you are lonesome; you can't
stay so, you soon get over it.
And so for three days and nights. No difference-just the
same thing. But the next day I went exploring around down
through the island. I was boss of it; it all belonged to me,
so to say, and I wanted to know all about it; but mainly I
wanted to put in the time. I found plenty strawberries, ripe
and prime; and green summer-grapes, and green razberries;
and the green blackberries was just beginning to show. They
would all come handy by-and-by, I judged.
Well, I went fooling along in the deep woods till 1 judged
I warn't far from the foot of the island. I had my gun along,
but I hadn't shot nothing; it was for protection; thought I
would kill some game nigh home. About this time I mighty
near stepped on a good sized snake, and it went sliding off
through the grass and flowers, and I after it, trying to get a
shot at it. I clipped along, and all of a sudden I bounded
right on to the ashes of a camp fire that was still smoking.
My heart jumped up amongst my lungs. I never waited for
to look further, but uncocked my gun and went sneaking back
on my tip-toes as fast as ever I could. Every now and then
I stopped a second, amongst the thick leaves, and listened,
but my breath come so hard I couldn't hear nothing else. I
slunk along another piece further, then listened again; and so
on, and so on; if I see a stump, I took it for a man; if I trod
on a stick and broke it, it made me feel like a person had cut
one of my breaths in two and I only got half, and the short
When I got to camp I warn't feeling very brash, there
warn't much sand in my craw; but I says, this ain't no time
to be fooling around. So I got all my traps into my canoe
again so as to have them out of sight, and I put out the fire
and scattered the ashes around to look like an old last year's
camp, and then dumb a tree.
I reckon I was up in the tree two hours; but I didn't see
nothing, I didn't hear nothing-I only thought I heard and
seen as much as a thousand things. Well, I couldn't stay up
there forever; so at last I got down, but I kept in the thick
woods and on the lookout all the time. All I could get to
eat was berries and what was left over from breakfast.
By the time it was night I was pretty hungry. So when it
was good and dark, I slid out from shore before moonrise and
paddled over to the Illinois bank-about a quarter of a mile.
I went out in the woods and cooked a supper, and I had about
made up my mind I would stay there all night, when I hear a
plunkety-plunk, plunkety-plunk, and says to myself, horses com-
ing; and next I hear people's voices. I got everything into
the canoe as quick as I could, and then went creeping
through the woods to see what I could find out. I hadn't got
far when I hear a man say:
"We better camp here, if we can find a good place; the
horses is about beat out. Let's look around."
I didn't wait, but shoved out and paddled away easy. I tied
up in the old place, and reckoned I would sleep in the canoe.
THE ADVENTURES OF
I didn't sleep much. I couldn't, somehow, for thinking.
And every time I waked up I thought somebody had me by
the neck. So the sleep didn't do me no good. By-and-by I
says to myself, I can't live this way; I'm going to find out
who it is that's here on the island with me; I'll find it out or
bust. Well, I felt better, right off.
So I took my paddle and slid out from shore just a step or
two, and then let the canoe drop along down amongst the
shadows. The moon was shining, and outside of the shadows
it made it most as light as day. I poked along well onto an
hour, everything still as rocks and sound asleep. Well by
this time I was most down to the foot of the island. A little
ripply, cool breeze begun to blow, and that was as good as
saying the night was about done. I give her a turn with the
paddle and brung her nose to shore; then I got my gun and
slipped out and into the edge of the woods. I set down there
on a log and looked out though the leaves. I see the moon
go off watch and the darkness begin to blact the river. But
in a little while I see a pale streak over the tree-tops, and
knowed the day was coming. So I took my gun and slipped
off towards where I had run across that camp fire, stopping
every minute or two to listen. But I hadn't no luck, some-
how; I couldn't seem to find the place. But by-and-by, sure
enough, I catched a glimpse of fire, away through the trees.
I went for it, cautious and slow. By-and-by I was close
enough to have a look, and there laid a man on the ground.
It most give me the fan-tods. He had a blanket around his
head, and his head was nearly in the fire. I set there behind
a clump of bushes, in about six foot of him, and kept my eyes
on him steady. It was getting gray daylight, now. Pretty
soon he gapped, and stretched himself, and hove off the
blanket, and it was Miss Watson's Jim! I bet I was glad to
see him. I says:
Hello, Jim! and skipped out.
He bounced up and stared at me wild. Then he drops
down on his knees, and puts his hands together and says:
Doan' hurt me-don't! I hain't ever done no harm to a
ghos'. I awluz liked dead people, en done all I could for 'em.
You go en git in de river agin, whah you b'longs, en doan' do
nuffn to Ole Jim, 'at 'uz awluz yo' fren'."
Well, I warn't long making him understand I warn't dead.
I was ever so glad to see Jim. I warn't lonesome, now. I
told him I warn't afraid of him telling the people where I was.
I talked along, but he only set there and looked at me; never
said nothing. Then I says:
"It's good daylight. Le's get breakfast. Make up your
camp fire good."
What's de use er making' up de camp fire to cook straw-
bries en sich truck? But you got a gun, hain't you ? Den
we kin git sumfn better den strawbries."
JIM AND THE GHOST.
"Strawberries and such truck," I says. Is that what you
live on ? "
"I could' git nuffn else," he says.
"Why, how long you been on the island, Jim ?"
"I come heah de night arter you's killed."
"What, all that time?"
"And ain't you had nothing but that kind of rubbage to
eat ? "
Ill ill!" ,' *' --- '-'
THE ADVENTURES OF
"No, sah-nuffn else."
Well, you must be most starved, ain't you ?"
"I reck'n I could eat a hoss. I think I could. How long
you ben on de islan' ?"
Since the night I got killed."
No! W'y, what has you lived on ? But you got a gun.
Oh, yes, you got a gun. Dat's good. Now you kill sumfn
en I'll make up de fire."
So we went over to where the canoe was, and while he built
a fire in a grassy open place amongst the trees, I fetched meal
and bacon and coffee, and coffee-pot and frying-pan, and
sugar and tin cups, -and the nigger was set back considerable,
because he reckoned it was all done with witchcraft. I
catched a good big cat-fish, too, and Jim cleaned him with
his knife, and fried him.
When breakfast was ready, we lolled on the grass and eat
it smoking hot. Jim laid it in with all his might, for he was
most about starved. Then when we had got pretty well
stuffed, we laid off and lazied.
By-and-by Jim says:
But looky here, Huck, who wuz it dat 'uz killed in dat
shanty, ef it warn'tyou ? "
Then I told him the whole thing, and he said it was smart.
He said Tom Sawyer couldn't get up no better plan than what
I had. Then I says:
How do you come to be here, Jim, and how'd you get
here ? "
He looked pretty uneasy, and didn't say nothing for a
minute. Then he says:
"Maybe I better not tell."
"Why, Jim ?"
Well, dey's reasons. But you would' tell on me ef I 'uz
to tell you, would you, Huck ? "
"Blamed if I would, Jim."
Well, I believe you, Huck. I-I run off."
But mind, 'you said you wouldn't tell-you know you
said you wouldn't tell, Huck."
"Well I did. I said I wouldn't, and I'll stick to it.
Honest injun I will. People would call me a low down
Ablitionist and despise me for keeping mum-but that don't
make no difference. I ain't going to tell, and I ain't going
back there anyways. So now, le's know all about it."
"Well, you see, it 'uz dis way. Ole Missus-dat's Miss
Watson-she pecks on me all de time, en treats me pooty
rough, but she awluz said she would' sell me down to Or-
leans. But I noticed dey wuz a nigger trader roun' de place
considable, lately, en I begin to git oneasy. Well, one night
I creeps to de do', pooty late, en de do' warn't quite shet,
en I hear ole missus tell de widder she gwyne to sell me
down to Orleans, but she didn' want to, but she could git
eight hund'd dollars for me, en it 'uz sich a big stack o'
money she could' resis'. De widder she try to git her to
say she would' do it, but I never waited to hear de res'. I
lit out mighty quick, I tell you.
"I tuck out en shin down de hill en 'spec to steal a skift
'long de sho' som'ers 'bove de town, but dey wuz people
a-stirrin' yit, so I hid in de ole tumble-down cooper shop on
de bank to wait for everybody to go 'way. Well, I wuz dah
all night. Deywuz somebody roun' all de time. 'Long'bout
six in de mawnin', skifts begin to go by, en 'bout eight er
nine every skift dat went 'long wuz talking' 'bout how yo' pap
come over to de town en say you's killed. Dese las' skifts
wuz full o' ladies en genlmen agoin' over for to see de place.
Sometimes dey'd pull up at de sho' en take a res' b'fo' dey
started acrost, so by de talk I got to know all 'bout de killing .
I 'uz powerful sorry you's killed, Huck, but I ain't no mo',
I laid dah under de shavins all day. I 'uz hungry, but I
warn't afeared; bekase I knowed ole missus en de widder
wuz goin' to start to de camp-meetn' right arter breakfast' en
be gone all day, en dey knows I goes off wid de cattle 'bout
daylight, so dey would' 'spec to see me roun' de place, en
so dey would' miss me tell arter dark in de evening De
yuther servants would' miss me, kase dey'd shin out en take
holiday, soon as de ole folks 'uz out'n de way.
Well, when it come dark I tuck out up de river road, en
went 'bout two mile er more to whah dey warn't no houses,
I'd made up my mine 'bout what I's agwyne to do. You see
ef I kep' on trying' to git away afoot, de dogs 'ud track me;
ef I stole a skift to cross over, dey'd miss dat skift, you see,
en dey'd know 'bout whah I'd lan' on de yuther side en whah
THE ADVENTURES OF
to pick up my track. So I says, a raff is what I's arter; it
doan' make no track.
I see a light a-comin' roun' de p'int, bymeby, so I wade'
in en shove' a log ahead o' me en swum more'n half-way acrost
de river, en got in 'mongst de drift-wood, en kep' my head
down low, en kinder swum agin de current tell de raff come
along. Den I swum to de stern uv it, en tuck aholt. It
clouded up en 'uz pooty dark for a little while. So I clumb
up en laid down on de planks. De men 'uz all 'way yonder
in de middle, whah de lantern wuz. De river wuz arisin en
dey wuz a good current; so I reck'n'd 'at by fo' in de mawn-
in' I'd be twenty-five mile down de river, en den I'd slip in,
jis b'fo' daylight, en swim asho' en take to de woods on de
"But I didn' have no luck. When we 'uz mos' down to
de head er de islan', a man begin to come aft wid de lantern.
I see it warn't no use fer to wait, so I slid overboard, en
struck out fer de islan'. Well, I had a notion I could lan'
mos' anywhere, but I couldn't-bank too bluff. I 'uz mos'
to de foot er de islan' b'fo' I foun' a good place. I went
into de woods en jedged I would' fool wid raffs no mo',
long as dey move de lantern roun' so. I had my pipe en a
plug er dog-leg, en some matches in my'cap, en dey warn't
wet, so I 'uz all right."
"And so you ain't had no meat nor bread to eat all this
time? Why didn't you get mud-turkles? "
How you gwyne to git'm ? You can't slip up on um en
grab um; en how's a body gwyne to hit um wid a rock?
How could a body do it in de night? en I wasn't gwyne to
show mysef on de bank in de daytime."
"Well, that's so. You've had to keep in the woods
all the time, of course. Did you hear 'em shooting the
"Oh, yes. I knowed dey was arter you. I see um go
by heah; watched um thoo de bushes."
Some young birds come along, flying a yard or two at a
time and lighting. Jim said it was a sign it was going to
rain. He said it was a sign when young chickens flew that
way, and so he reckoned it was the same way when young
birds done it. I was going to catch some of them, but Jim
wouldn't let me. He said it was death. He said his father
laid mighty sick once, and some of them catched a bird, and
his old granny said his father would die, and he did.
And Jim said you musn't count the things you are going
to cook for dinner, because that would bring bad luck. The
same if you shook the table-cloth after sundown. And he
said if a man owned a bee-hive, and that man died, the bees
must be told about it before sun-up next morning, or else the
bees would all weaken down and quit work and die. Jim said
bees wouldn't sting idiots; but I didn't believe that, because
I had tried them lots of times myself, and they wouldn't
I had heard about some of these things before, but not all of
them. Jim knowed all kinds of signs. He said he knowed
most everything. I said it looked to me like all the signs
was about bad luck, and so I asked him if there warn't any
good-luck signs. He says:
"Mighty few-an' dey ain't no use to a body. What you
want to know when good luck's a-comin' for? want to keep
it off ?" And he said: Ef you's got hairy arms en a hairy
breas', it's a sign dat you's agwyne to be rich. Well, dey's
some use in a sign like dat, 'kase it's so fur ahead. You
see, maybe you's got to be po' a long time fust, en so you
might git discourage' en kill yo'sef 'f you didn' know by de
sign dat you gwyne to be rich bymeby."
Have you got hairy arms and a hairy breast, Jim ?"
"What's de use to ax dat question ? don' you see I has ?"
"Well, are you rich ?"
"No, but I ben rich wunst, and gwyne to be rich agin.
Wunst I had foteen dollars, but I tuck to specalat'n', en got
What did you speculate in, Jim ?"
"Well, fust I tackled stock."
"What kind of stock ?"
"Why, live stock. Cattle, you know. I put ten dollars
in a cow. But I ain' gwyne to resk no mo' money in stock.
De cow up 'n' died on my han's."
So you lost the ten dollars."
No, I didn't lose it all. I on'y los' 'bout nine of it. I
sole de hide en taller for a dollar en ten cents."
You had five dollars and ten cents left. Did you spec-
ulate any more ?"
THE ADVENTURES OF
Yes. You know dat one-laigged nigger dat b'longs to old
Misto Bradish ? well, he sot up a bank, en say anybody dat
put in a dollar would git fo' dollars mo' at de en' er de year.
Well, all de niggers went in, but dey didn't have much. I
wuz de on'y one dat had much. So I stuck out for mo' dan
fo' dollars, en I said 'f I didn' git it I'd start a bank myself.
Well o' course dat nigger want' to keep me out er de busi-
ness, bekase he say dey warn't business enoughh for two banks,
so he say I could put in my five dollars en he pay me thirty-
five at de en' er de year.
"So I done it. Den I reck'n'd I'd inves' de thirty-five
dollars right off en keep things a-movin'. Dey wuz a nigger
name' Bob, dat had ketched a wood-flat, en his master didn'
know it; en I bought it off'n him en told him to take de
thirty-five dollars when de en' er de year come; but some-
body stole de wood-flat dat night, en nex' day de one-laigged
nigger say de bank 's busted. So dey didn' none uv us git
What did you do with the ten cents, Jim ?"
"Well, I 'uz gwyne to spen' it, but I had a dream, en de
dream tole me to give it to a nigger name' Balum-Balum's
Ass dey call him for short, he's one er dem chuckle-heads,
you know. But he's lucky, dey say, en I see I warn't lucky.
De dream say let Balum inves' de ten cents en he'd make a
raise for me. Well, Balum he tuck de money, en when he
wuz in church he hear de preacher say dat whoever give to
de po' len' to de Lord, en bound' to git his money back a
hund'd times. So Balum he tuck en give de ten cents to de
po', en laid low to see what wuz gwyne to come of it."
"Well, what did come of it, Jim ?"
"Nuffn' never come of it. I could' manage to k'leck dat
money no way; en Balum he couldn. I ain' gwyne to len'
no mo' money 'dout I see de security. Boun' to git yo'
money back a hund'd times, de preacher says! Ef I could
git de ten cents back, I'd call it squah, en be glad er de
Well, it's all right, anyway, Jim, long as you're going to
be rich again some time or other."
"Yes-en I's rich now, come to look at it. I owns my-
sef, en I's wuth eight hund'd dollars. I wisht I had de
money, I would' want no mo'."
I WANTED to go and look at a place right about the
middle of the island, that I'd found when I was explor-
ing; so we started and soon got to it, because the island was
only three miles long and a quarter of a mile wide.
This place was a tolerable long steep hill or ridge, about
forty foot high. We had a rough time getting to the top, the
sides was so steep and the bushes so thick. We tramped and
dumb around all over it, and by-and-by found a good big
cavern in the rock, most up to the top on the side towards
Illinois. The cavern was as big as two or three rooms bunch-
ed together, and Jim could stand up straight in it. It was
cool in there. Jim was for putting our traps in there, right
away, but I said we didn't want to beclimbing up and down
there all the time.
Jim said if we had the canoe hid in a good place, and had
all the traps in the cavern, we could rush there if anybody
was to come to the island, and they would never find us with-
out dogs. And besides, he said them little birds had said it
was going to rain, and did I want the things to get wet ?
So we went back and got the canoe and paddled up abreast
the cavern, and lugged all the traps up there. Then we
hunted up a place close by to hide the canoe in, amongst the
thick willows. We took some fish off of the lines and set
them again, and begun to get ready for dinner.
The door of the cavern was big enough to roll a hogshead
in, and on one side of the door the floor stuck out a lil1e bit
and was flat and a good place to build a fire on. So we built
it there and cooked dinner.
We spread the blankets inside for a carpet, and eat our din-
ner in there. We put all the other things handy at the back
of the cavern. Pretty soon it darkened up and begun to
thunder and lighten; so the birds was right about it. Direct-
ly it begun to rain, and it rained like all fury, too, and I never
THE ADVENTURES OF
see the wind blow so. It was one of these regular summer
storms. It would get so dark that it looked all blue-black
outside, and lovely; and the rain would thrash along by so
thick that the trees off a little ways looked dim and spider-
webby; and here would come a blast of wind that would bend
the trees down and turn up the pale underside of the leaves;
and then a perfect ripper of a gust would follow along and
set the branches to tossing their arms as if they was just wild;
IN THE CAVE.
and next, when it was just about the bluest and blackest-
fst! it was as bright as glory and you'd have a little glimpse
of tree-tops a-plunging about, away off yonder in the storm,
hundreds of yards further than you could see before; dark as
sin again in a second, and now you'd hear the thunder let go
with an awful crash and then go rumbling, grumbling, tum-
bling down the sky towards the under side of the world, like
rolling empty barrels down stairs, where it's long stairs and
they bounce a good deal, you know.
"Jim, this is nice," I says. "I wouldn't want to be no-
where else but here. Pass me along another hunk of fish and
some hot corn-bread."
Well, you wouldn't a ben here 'f it hadn't a ben for Jim.
You'd a ben down dah in de woods widout any dinner, en gittn'
mos' drowned, too, dat you would, honey. Chickens knows
when it's gwyne to rain, en so do de birds, chile."
The river went on raising and raising for ten or twelve days,
till at last it was over the banks. The water was three or four
foot deep on the island in the low places and on the Illinois
bottom. On that side it was a good many miles wide; but on
the Missouri side it was the same old distance across-a half
a mile-because the Missouri shore was just a wall of high
Daytimes we paddled all over the island in the canoe. It
was mighty cool and shady in the deep woods even if the sun was
blazing outside. We went winding in and out amongst the
trees; and sometimes the vines hung so thick we had to back
away and go some other way. Well, on every old broken-down
tree, you could see rabbits, and snakes, and such things; and
when the island had been overflowed a day or two, they got
so tame, on account of being hungry, that you could paddle
right up and put your hand on them if you wanted to; but
not the snakes and turtles-they would slide off in the
water. The ridge our cavern was in, was full of them. We
could a had pets enough if we'd wanted them.
One night we catched a little section of a lumber raft-
nice pine planks. It was twelve foot wide and about fifteen
or sixteen foot long, and the top stood above water six or
seven inches, a solid level floor. We could see saw-logs go
by in the daylight, sometimes, but we let them go; we didn't
show ourselves in daylight.
Another night, when we was up at the head of the island,
just before daylight, here comes a frame house down, on the
west side. She was a two-story, and tilted over, consider-
able. We paddled out and got aboard--dumb in at an up-
stairs window. But it was too dark to see yet, so we made
the canoe fast and set in her to wait for daylight.
The light begun to come before we got to the foot of the
island. Then we looked in at the window. We could make
out a bed, and a table, and two old chairs, and lots of things
THE ADVENTURES OF
around about on the floor; and there was clothes hanging
against the wall. There was something laying on the floor
in the far corner that looked like a man. So Jim says:
"Hello, you! "
But it didn't budge. So I hollered again, and then Jim
De man ain't asleep-he's dead. You hold still-I'll go
He went and bent down and looked, and says:
"It's a dead man. Yes, indeedy; naked, too. He's ben
shot in de back. I reck'n he's ben dead two er three days.
Come in, Huck, but doan' look at his face-it's too gashly."
I didn't look at him at all. Jim throwed some old rags
over him, but he needn't done it; I didn't want to see him.
There was heaps of old greasy cards scattered around over
the floor, and old whisky bottles, and a couple of masks made
out of black cloth; and all over the walls was the ignorantest
kind of words and pictures, made with charcoal. There was
two old dirty calico dresses, and a sun-bonnet, and some
women's underclothes, hanging against the wall, and some
men's clothing, too. We put the lot into the canoe; it might
come good. There was a boy's old speckled straw hat on
the floor; I took that too. And there was a bottle that had
had milk in it; and it had a rag stopper for a baby to suck.
We would a took the bottle, but it was broke. There was a
seedy old chest, and an old hair trunk with the hinges broke.
They stood open, but there warn't nothing left in them that
was any account. The way things was scattered about, we
reckoned the people left in a hurry and warn't fixed so as to
carry off most of their stuff.
We got an old tin lantern, and a butcher knife without any
handle, and a bran-new Barlow knife worth two bits in any
store, and a lot of tallow candles, and a tin candlestick, and
a gourd, and a tin cup, and a ratty old bed-quilt off the bed,
and a reticule with needles and pins and beeswax and buttons
and thread and all such truck in it, and a hatchet and some
nails, and a fish-line as thick as my little finger, with some
monstrous hooks on it, and a roll of buckskin, and a leather
dog-collar, and a horse-shoe, and some vials of medicine that
didn't have no label on them; and just as we was leaving I
found a tolerable good curry-comb, and Jim he found a ratty
old fiddle-bow, and a wooden leg. The straps was broke off
of it, but barring that, it was a good enough leg, though it
was too long for me and not long enough for Jim, and we
couldn't find the other one, though we hunted all around.
And so, take it all around, we made a good haul. When
we was ready to shove off, we was a quarter of a mile below
the island, and it was pretty broad day; so I made Jim lay
down in the canoe and cover up with the quilt, because if he
set up, people could tell he was a nigger a good ways off. I
paddled over to the Illinois shore, and drifted down most a
half a mile doing it. I crept up the dead water under the
bank, and hadn't no accidents and didn't see nobody. We
got home all safe.
JIM SEES A DEAD MAN.
THE ADVENTURES OF
AFTER breakfast I wanted to talk about the dead man
and guess out how he come to be killed, but Jim
didn't want to. He said it would fetch bad luck; and be-
sides, he said, he might come and ha'nt us; he said a man
that warn't buried was more likely to go a-ha'nting around
than one that was planted and comfortable. That sounded
pretty reasonable, so I didn't say no more; but I couldn't
keep from studying over it and wishing I knowed who shot
the man, and what they done it for.
We rummaged the clothes we'd got, and found eight dol-
lars in silver sewed up in the lining of an old blanket over-
coat. Jim said he reckoned the people in that house stole
the coat, because if they'd a knowed the money was there
they wouldn't a left it. I said I reckoned they killed him,
too; but Jim didn't want to talk about that. I says:
"Now you think it's bad luck; but what did you say when
I fetched in the snake-skin that I found on the top of the
ridge day before yesterday? You said it was the worst bad
luck in the world to touch a snake-skin with my hands.
Well, here's your bad luck! We've raked in all this truck
and eight dollars besides. I wish we could have some bad
luck like this every day, Jim."
"Never you mind, honey, never you mind. Don't you git
too peart. It's a-comin'. Mind I tell you, it's a-comin'."
It did come, too. It was a Tuesday that we had that talk.
Well, after dinner Friday, we was laying around in the grass
at the upper end of the ridge, and got out of tobacco. I
went to the cavern to get some, and found a rattlesnake in
there. I killed him, and curled him up on the foot of Jim's
blanket, ever so natural, thinking there'd be some fun when
Jim found him there. Well, by night I forgot all about the
snake, and when Jim flung himself down on the blanket while
I struck a light, the snake's mate was there, and bit him.
He jumped up yelling, and the first thing the light showed
was the varmint curled up and ready for another spring. I
laid him out in a second with a stick, and Jim grabbed pap's
whisky jug and begun to pour it down.
He was barefooted, and the snake bit him right on the heel.
That all comes of my being such a fool as to not remember
that wherever you'leave a dead snake its mate always comes
there and curls around it. Jim told me to chop off the
snake's head and throw it away, and then skin the body and
roast a piece of it. I done it, and he eat it and said it would
help cure him. He made me take off the rattles and tie them
around his wrist, too. He said that that would help. Then
I slid out quiet and throwed the snakes clear away amongst
the bushes; for I warn't going to let Jim find out it was all
my fault, not if I could help it.
Jim sucked and sucked at the jug, and now and then he
got out of his head and pitched around and yelled; but every
time he come to himself he went to sucking at the jug again.
His foot swelled up pretty big, and so did his leg; but by-
and-by the drunk begun to come, and so I judged he was all
right; but I'd druther been bit with a snake than pap's
Jim was laid up for four days and nights. Then the swell-
ing was all gone and he was around again. I made up my
mind I wouldn't ever take aholt of a snake-skin again with
my hands, now that I see what had come of it. Jim said he
reckoned I would believe him next time. And he said that
handling a snake-skin was such awful bad luck that maybe
we hadn't got to the end of it yet. He said he druther see
the new moon over his left shoulder as much as a thousand
times than take up a snake-skin in his hand. Well, I was
getting to feel that way myself, though I've always reckoned
that looking at the new moon over your left shoulder is one
of the carelessest and foolishest things a body can do. Old
Hank Bunker done it once, and bragged about it; and in less
than two years he got drunk and fell off of the shot tower
and spread himself out so that he was just a kind of a layer,
as you may say; and they slid him edgeways between two
barn doors for a coffin, and buried him so, so they say, but I
didn't see it. Pap told me. But anyway, it all come of look-
ing at the moon that way, like a fool.
THE ADVENTURES OF
Well, the days went along, and the river went down be-
tween its banks again; and about the first thing we done was
to bait one of the big hooks with a skinned rabbit and set it
and catch a cat-fish that was as big as a man, being six foot
two inches long, and weighed over two hundred pounds.
We couldn't handle him, of course; he would a flung us into
Illinois. We just set there and watched him rip and tear
"A FAIR FIT."
around till he drowned. We found a brass button in his
stomach, and a round ball, and lots of rubbage. We split
the ball open with the hatchet, and there was a spool in it.
Jim said he'd had it there a long time, to coat it over so and
make a ball of it. It was as big a fish as was ever watched
in the Mississippi, I reckon. Jim said he hadn't ever seen a
bigger one. He would a been worth a good deal over at the
village. They peddle out such a fish as that by the pound in
the market house there; everybody buys some of him; his
meat's as white as snow and makes a good fry.
Next morning I said it was getting slow and dull, and I
wanted to get a stirring up, some way. I said I reckoned I
would slip over the river and find out what was going on.
Jim liked that notion; but he said I must go in the dark
and look sharp. Then he studied it over and said, couldn't
I put on some of them old things and dress up like a girl ?
That was a good notion, too. So we shortened up one of the
calico gowns and I turned up my trowser-legs to my knees
and got into it. Jim hitched it behind with the hooks, and it
was a fair fit. I put on the sun-bonnet and tied it under my
chin, and then for a body to look in and see my face was like
looking down a joint of stove-pipe. Jim said nobody would
know me, even in the daytime, hardly. I practiced around
all day to get the hang of the things, and by-and-by I could
do pretty well in them, only Jim said I didn't walk like a girl;
and he said I must quit pulling up my gown to get at my
britches pocket. I took notice, and done better.
I started up the Illinois shore in the canoe just after dark.
I started across to the town from a little below-the ferry
landing, and the drift of the current fetched me in at the bot-
tom of the town. I tied up and started along the bank.
There was a light burning in a little shanty that hadn't been
lived in for a long time, and I wondered who had took up
quarters there. I slipped up and peeped in at the window.
There was a woman about forty year old in there, knitting by
a candle that was on a pine table. I didn't know her face;
she was a stranger, for you couldn't start a face in that town
that I didn't know. Now this was lucky, because I was
weakening; I was getting afraid I had come; people might know
my voice and find me out. But if this woman had been in such
a little town two days she could tell me all I wanted to know;
so I knocked at the door, and made up my mind I wouldn't
forget I was a girl.
THE ADVENTURES OF
'C OME in," says the woman, and I did. She says:
r "Take a cheer."
I done it. She looked me all over with her little shiny
eyes, and says:
"What might your name be ?"
"Where 'bouts do you live ? In this neighborhood ?"
"No'm. In Hookerville, seven mile below. I've walked
all the way and I'm all tired out."
Hungry, too, I reckon. I'll find you something."
"No'm, I ain't hungry. I was so hungry I had to stop two
mile below here at a farm; so I ain't hungry no more. It's
what makes me so late. My mother's down sick, and out of
money and everything, and I come to tell my uncle Abner
Moore. He lives at the upper end of the town, she says. I
hain't ever been here before. Do you know him ? "
"No; but I don't know everybody yet. I haven't lived
here quite two weeks. It's a considerable ways to the upper
end of the town. You better stay here all night. Take off
"No," I says, I'll rest a while, I reckon, and go on. I
ain't afeard of the dark."
She said she wouldn't let me go by myself, but her husband
would be in by-and-by, maybe in a hour and a half, and she'd
send him along with me. Then she got to talking about her
husband, and about her relations up the river, and her rela-
tions down the river, and about how much better off they used
to was, and how they didn't know but they'd made a mistake
coming to our town, instead of letting well alone-and so on
and so on, till I was afeard Ihad made a mistake coming to
her to find out what was going on in the town; but by-and-by
she dropped onto pap and the murder, and then I was pretty
willing to let her clatter right along. She told about me and
T'om Sawyer finding the six thousand dollars (only she got it
ten) and all about pap and what a hard lot he was, and what
a hard lot I was, and at last she got down to where I was mur-
dered. I says:
Who done it? We've heard considerable about these
goings on, down in Hookerville, but we don't know who 'twas
that killed Huck Finn."
Well I reckon there's a right smart chance of people here
that'd like to know who killed him. Some think old Finn
done it himself."
No-is that so ? "
Most everybody thought it at first. He'll never know
how nigh he come to getting lynched. But before night they
changed around and judged it was done by a runaway nigger
"Why he- "
I stopped. I reckoned I better keep still. She run on, and
never noticed I had put in at all.
"The nigger run off the very night Huck Finn was killed.
So there's a reward out for him-three hundred dollars. And
there's a reward out for old Finn too-two hundred dollars.
You see, he come to town the morning after the murder, and
told about it, and was out with 'em on the ferry-boat hunt,
and right away after he up and left. Before night they wanted
to lynch him, but he was gone, you see. Well, next day they
found out the nigger was gone; they found out he hadn't ben
seen sence ten o'clock the night the murder was done. So
then they put it on him, you see, and while they was full of
it, next day back comes old Finn and went boo-hooing to
Judge Thatcher to get money to hunt for the nigger all over
Illinois with. The judge give him some, and that evening he
got drunk and was around till after midnight with a couple of
mighty hard looking strangers, and then went off with them.
Well, he hain't come back sence, and they ain't looking for
him back till this thing blows over a little, for people thinks
now that he killed his boy and fixed things so folks would
think robbers done it, and then he'd get Huck's money with-
out having to bother a long time with a lawsuit. People do
say he warn't any too good to do it. Oh, he's sly, I reckon.
If he don't come back for a year, he'll be all right. You can't
prove anything on him, you know; everything will be quieted
THE ADVENTURES OF
down then, and he'll walk in Huck's money as easy as noth-
"Yes, I reckon so, 'm. I don't see nothing in the way of
it. Has everybody quit thinking the nigger done it ? "
"u Oh, no, not everybody. A good many thinks he done it.
But they'll get the nigger pretty soon, now, and maybe they
can scare it out of him."
"Why, are they after him yet ?"
"Well, you're innocent, ain't you! Does three hundred
dollars lay round every day for people to pick up? Some
folks thinks the nigger ain't farjfrom here. I'm one of them
-but I hain't talked it around. A few days ago I was talking
with an old couple that lives next door in the log shanty, and
they happened to say hardly anybody ever goes to that island
over yonder that they call Jackson's Island. Don't anybody
live there? says I. No, nobody, says they. I didn't say
any more, but I done some thinking. I was pretty near cer-
tain I'd seen smoke over there, about the head of the island,
a day or two before that, so I says to myself, like as not that
nigger's hiding over there; anyway, says I, it's worth the
trouble to give the place a hunt. I hain't seen any smoke
sence, so I reckon maybe he's gone, if it was him; but hus-
band's going over to see-him and another man. He was
gone up the river; but he got back to-day and I told him as
soon as he got here two hours ago."
I had got so uneasy I couldn't set still. I had to do some-
thing with my hands; so I took up a needle off of the table
and went to threading it. My hands shook, and I was mak-
ing a bad job of it. When the woman stopped talking, I
looked up, and she was looking at me pretty curious, and
smiling a little. I put down the needle and thread and let on
to be interested-and I was, too-and says:
Three hundred dollars is a power of money. I wish my
mother could get it. Is your husband going over there to-
Oh, yes. He went up town with the man I was telling
you of, to get a boat and see if they could borrow another
gun. They'll go over after midnight."
Couldn't they see better if they was to wait till daytime ?"
"Yes. And couldn't the nigger see better, too? After
midnight he'll likely be asleep, and they can slip around
through the woods and hunt up his camp fire all the better for
the dark, if he's got one."
"I didn't think of that."
The woman kept looking at me pretty curious, and I didn't
feel a bit comfortable. Pretty soon she says:
"What did you say your name was, honey ?"
Somehow it didn't seem to me that I said it was Mary be-
fore, so I didn't look up; seemed to me I said it was Sarah;
so I felt sort of cornered, and was afeared maybe I was look-
ing it, too. I wished the woman would say something more;
the longer she set still, the uneasier I was. But now she
"Honey, I thought you said it was Sarah when you first
Oh, yes'm, I did. Sarah Mary Williams. Sarah's my
first name. Some calls me Sarah, some calls me Mary."
Oh, that's the way of it ? "
I was feeling better, then, but I wished I was out of there,
anyway. I couldn't look up yet.
Well, the woman fell to talking about how hard times was,
and how poor they had to live, and how the rats was as free
as if they owned the place, and so forth, and so on, and then
I got easy again. She was right about the rats. You'd see
one stick his nose out of a hole in the corner every little
while. She said she had to have things handy to throw at
them when she was alone, or they wouldn't give her no peace.
She showed me a bar of lead, twisted up into a knot, and said
she was a good shot with it generly, but she'd wrenched her
arm a day or two ago, and didn't know whether she could
throw true, now. But she watched for a chance, and directly
she banged away at a rat, but she missed him wide, and said
" Ouch!" it hurt her arm so. Then she told me to try for
the next one. I wanted to be getting away before the old
man got back, but of course I didn't let on. I got the thing,
and the first rat that showed his nose I let drive, and if he'd
a stayed where he was he'd a been a tolerable sick rat. She said
that was first-rate, and she reckoned I would hive the next
one. She went and got the lump of lead and fetched it back
and brought along a hank of yarn, which she wanted me to
THE ADVENTURES OF
help her with. I held up my two hands and she put the hank
over them and went on talking about her and her husband's
matters. But she broke off to say:
"Keep your eye on the rats. You better have the lead in
your lap, handy."
So she dropped the lump into my lap, just at that moment,
and I clapped my legs together on it and she went on talking.
But only about a minute. Then she took off the hank and
looked me straight in the face, and very pleasant, and says:
Come, now-what's your real name ?"
"Wh-what, mum? "
"What's your real name ? Is it Bill, or Tom, or Bob ?-or
what is it?"
I reckon I shook like a leaf, and I didn't know hardly what
to do. But I says:
Please to don't poke fun at a poor girl like me, mum. If
I'm in the way, here, I'll- "
No, you won't. Set down and stay where you are. I
ain't going to hurt you, and I ain't going to tell on you,
nuther. You just tell me your secret, and trust me. I'll
keep it; and what's more, I'll help you. So'll my old man,
if you want him to. You see, you're a runaway 'prentice-
that's all. It ain't anything. There ain't any harm in it.
You've been treated bad, and you made up your mind to
cut. Bless you, child, I wouldn't tell on you. Tell me all
about it, now-that's a good boy."
So I said it wouldn't be no use to try to play it any longer,
and I would just make a clean breast and tell her everything,
but she mustn't go back on her promise. Then I told her
my father and mother was dead, and the law had bound me
out to a mean old farmer in the country thirty mile back from
the river, and he treated me so bad I couldn't stand it no
longer ; he went away to be gone a couple of days, and so I
took my chance and stole some of his daughter's old clothes,
and cleared out, and I had been three nights coming the
thirty miles ; I traveled nights, and hid day-times and slept,
and the bag of bread and meat I carried from home lasted
me all the way and I had a plenty. I said I believed my
uncle Abner Moore would take care of me, and so that was
why I struck out for this town of Goshen."
Goshen, child ? This ain't Goshen. This is St. Peters-
burg. Goshen's ten mile further up the river. Who told you
this was Goshen ?"
Why, a man I met at day-break this morning, just as I
was going to turn into the woods for my regular sleep. He
told me when the roads forked I must take the right hand,
and five mile would fetch me to Goshen."
"He was drunk I reckon. He told you just exactly
"Well, he did act like he was drunk, but it ain't no
matter now. I got to be moving along. I'll fetch Goshen
Hold on a minute. I'll put you up a snack to eat. You
might want it."
So she put me up a snack, and says:
"Say-when a cow's laying down, which end of her gets
up first? Answer up prompt, now-don't stop to study over
it. Which end gets up first ?"
"The hind end, mum."
Well, then, a horse?"
The for'rard end, mum."
Which side of a tree does the most moss grow on ?"
"If fifteen cows is browsing on a hillside, how many of
them eats with their heads pointed the same direction ?"
The whole fifteen, mum."
"Well, I reckon you have lived in the country. I thought
maybe you was trying to hocus me again. What's your real
George Peters, mum."
"Well, try to remember it, George. Don't forget and tell
me it's Elexander before you go, and then get out by saying
it's George-Elexander when I catch you. And don't go
about women in that old calico. You do a girl tolerable
poor, but you might fool men, maybe. Bless you, child,
when you set out to thread a needle, don't hold the thread
still and fetch the needle up to it ; hold the needle still and
poke the thread at it-that's the way a woman most always
does ; but a man always does otherr way. And when you
throw at a rat or anything, hitch yourself up a tip-toe and
fetch your hand up over your head as awkward as you can,
and miss your rat about six or seven foot. Throw stiff-
THE ADVENTURES OF
armed from the shoulder, like there was a pivot there for it to
turn on-like a girl ; not from the wrist and elbow, with your
arm out to one side, like a boy. And mind you, when a girl
tries to catch anything in her lap, she throws her knees apart;
she don't clap them together, the way you did when you
catched the lump of lead. Why, I spotted you for a boy
when you was threading the needle; and I contrived the
other things just to make certain. Now trot along to your
uncle, Sarah Mary Williams George Elexander Peters, and
if you get into trouble you send word to Mrs. Judith Loftus,
which is me, and I'll do what I can to get you out of it. Keep
the river road, all the way, and next time you tramp, take
shoes and socks with you. The river road's a rocky one,
and your feet '11 be in a condition when you get to Goshen,
I went up the bank about fifty yards, and then I doubled
on my tracks and slipped back to where my canoe was, a
good piece below the house. I jumped in and was off in a
hurry. I went up stream far enough to make the head of the
island, and then started across. I took off the sun-bonnet,
for I didn't want no blinders on, then. When I was about
the middle, I hear the clock begin to strike ; so I stops and
listens; the sound come faint over the water, but clear-
eleven. When I struck the head of the island I never waited
to blow, though I was most winded, but I shoved right into
the timber where my old camp used to be, and started a good
fire there on a high-and-dry spot.
Then I jumped in the canoe and dug out for our place a
mile and a half below, as hard as I could go. I landed, and
slopped through the timber and up the ridge and into the
cavern. There Jim laid, sound asleep on the ground. I
roused him out and says:
Git up and hump yourself, Jim There ain't a minute
to lose. They're after us !"
Jim never asked no questions, he never said a word ; but
the way he worked for the next half an hour showed about how
he was scared. By that time everything we had in the world
was on our raft and she was ready to be shoved out from
the willow cove where she was hid. We put out the camp
fire at the cavern the first thing, and didn't show a candle
outside after that.
I took the canoe out from shore a little piece and took a
look, but if there was a boat around I couldn't see it, for
stars and shadows ain't good to see by. Then we got out the
raft and slipped along down in the shade, past the foot of the
island dead still, never saying a word.
THE ADVENTURES OF
T must a been close onto one o'clock when we got below
the island at last, and the raft did seem to go mighty
slow. If a boat was to come along, we was going to take
to the canoe and break for the Illinois shore; and it was
well a boat didn't come, for we hadn't ever thought to put
the gun into the canoe, or a fishing-line or anything to eat.
We was in ruther too much of a sweat to think of so many
things. It warn't good judgment to put everything on the
If the men went to the island, I just expect they found
the camp fire I built, and watched it all night for Jim to
come. Anyways, they stayed away from us, and if my build-
ing the fire never fooled them it warn't no fault of mine. I
played it as low-down on them as I could.
When the first streak of day begun to show, we tied up
to a tow-head in a big bend on the Illinois side, and hacked
off cotton-wood branches with the hatchet and covered up
the raft with them so she looked like there had been a cave-
in in the bank there. A tow-head is a sand-bar that has cot-
ton-woods on it as thick as harrow-teeth.
We had mountains on the Missouri shore and heavy tim-
ber on the Illinois side, and the channel was down the Mis-
souri shore at that place, so we warn't afraid of anybody
running across us. We laid there all day and watched the
rafts and steamboats spin down the Missouri shore, and up-
bound steamboats fight the big river in the middle. I told
Jim all about the time I had jabbering with that woman; and
Jim said she was a smart one, and if she was to start after
us herself she wouldn't set down and watch a camp fire-no,
sir, she'd fetch a dog. Well, then, I said, why couldn't she
tell her husband to fetch a dog ? Jim said he bet she did
think of it by the time the men was ready to start, and he
believed they must a gone up town to get a dog and so they
lost all that time, or else we wouldn't be here on a tow-head
sixteen or seventeen mile below the village-no, indeedy,
we would be in that same old town again. So I said I
didn't care what was the reason they didn't get us, as long as
When it was beginning to come on dark, we poked our
heads out of the cottonwood thicket and looked up, and
down, and across ; nothing in sight; so Jim took up some
of the top planks of the raft and built a snug wigwam to get
under in blazing weather and rainy, and to keep the things
dry. Jim made a floor for the wigwam, and raised it a foot
or more above the level of. the raft, so now the blankets and
all the traps was out of the reach of steamboat waves. Right
in the middle of the wigwam we made a layer of dirt about
five or six inches deep with a frame around it for to hold it
to its place ; this was to build a fire on in sloppy weather or
chilly; the wigwam would keep it from being seen. We
made an extra steering oar, too, because one of the others
might get broke, on a snag or something. We fixed up a
short forked stick to hang the old lantern on; because we
must always light the lantern whenever we see a steamboat
coming down stream, to keep from getting run over ; but we
wouldn't have to light it for up-stream boats unless we see
we was in what they call a crossing ;" for the river was
pretty high yet, very low banks being still a little under
water ; so up-bound boats didn't always run the channel, but
hunted easy water.
This second night we run between seven and eight hours,
with a current that was making over four mile an hour. We
catched fish, and talked, and we took a swim now and then
to keep off sleepiness. It was kind of solemn, drifting down
the big still river, laying on our backs looking up at the stars,
and we didn't ever feel like talking loud, and it warn't often
that we laughed, only a little kind of a low chuckle. We
had mighty good weather, as a general thing, and nothing
ever happened to us at all, that night, nor the next, nor the
Every night we passed towns, some of them away up on
black hillsides, nothing but just a shiny bed of lights, not a
house could you see. The fifth night we passed St. Louis,
and it was like the whole world lit up. In St. Petersburg they
THE ADVENTURES OF
used to say there was twenty or thirty thousand people in St.
Louis, but I never believed it till I see that wonderful spread
of lights at two o'clock that still night. There warn't a sound
there; everybody was asleep.
Every night, now, I used to slip ashore, towards ten o'clock,
at some little village, and buy ten or fifteen cents' worth of
I ii, I 1 y 1 *" f I(t j;
chicken that aren't roosting comfortable, and took him along.
S I I
body that does, and a good deed ain't ever forgot. I never
see pap wheor bacon or othe didn't want tohe chicken hsoimself, but that is
see pap when he didn't want the chicken himself, but that is
what he used to say, anyway.
Mornings, before daylight, I slipped into corn fields and
borrowed a watermelon, or a mushmelon, or a punkin, or
some new corn, or things of that kind. Pap always said it
warn't no harm to borrow things, if you was meaning to pay
them back, sometime; but the widow said it warn't anything
but a soft name for stealing, and no decent body would do it.
Jim said he reckoned the widow was partly right and pap was
partly right; so the best way would be for us to pick out two
or three things from the list and say we wouldn't borrow them
any more-then he reckoned it wouldn't be no harm to bor-
row the others. So we talked it over all one night, drifting
along down the river, trying to make up our minds whether to
drop the watermelons, or the cantelopes, or the mushmelons or
what. But towards daylight we got it all settled satisfactory,
and concluded to drop crabapples and p'simmons. We warn't
feeling just right, before that, but it was all comfortable now.
I was glad the way it come out, too, because crabapples ain't
ever good, and the p'simmons wouldn't be ripe for two or
three months yet.
We shot a water-fowl, now and then, that got up too early
in the morning or didn't go to bed early enough in the even-
ing. Take it all around, we lived pretty high.
The fifth night below St. Louis we had a big storm after
midnight, with a power of thunder and lightning, and the rain
poured down in a solid sheet. We stayed in the wigwam and
let the raft take care of itself. When the lightning glared out
we could see a big straight river ahead, and high rocky bluffs
on both sides. By-and-by says I, "Hel-lo, Jim, looky yon-
der!" It was a steamboat that had killed herself on a rock.
We was drifting straight down for her. The lightning showed
her very distinct. She was leaning over, with part of her up-
per deck above water, and you could see every little chimbly-
guy clean and clear, and a chair by the big bell, with an old
slouch hat hanging on the back of it when the flashes come.
Well, it being away in the night, and stormy, and all so
mysterious-like, I felt just the way any other boy would a felt
when I see that wreck laying there so mournful and lonesome
in the middle of the river. I wanted to get aboard of her and
slink around a little, and see what there was there. So I says:
"Le's land on her, Jim."
But Jim was dead against it, at first. He says:
THE ADVENTURES OF
"I doan' want to go fool'n 'long er no wrack. We's doin'
blame' well, en we better let blame' well alone, as de good
book says. Like as not dey's a watchman on dat wrack."
"Watchman your grandmother," I says; "there ain't
nothing to watch but the texas and the pilot-house; and do
you reckon anybody's going to resk his life for a texas and a
pilot-house such a night as this, when it's likely to break up
and wash off down the river any minute?" Jim couldn't say
nothing !to that, so he didn't try. "And besides," I says,
"we might borrow something worth having, out of the cap-
tain's stateroom. Seegars, I bet-you-and cost five cents
apiece, solid cash. Steamboat captains is always rich, and
get sixty dollars a month, and they don't care a cent what a
thing costs, you know, long as they want it. Stick a candle
in your pocket; I can't rest, Jim, till we give her a rummag-
ing. Do you reckon Tom Sawyer would ever go by this
thing? Not for pie, he wouldn't. He'd call it an adventure
-that's what he'd call it; and he'd land on that wreck if it
was his last act. And wouldn't he throw style into it?-
wouldn't he spread himself, nor nothing? Why, you'd think
it was Christopher C'lumbus discovering Kindgom-Come. I
wish Tom Sawyer was here."
Jim he grumbled a little, but give in. He said we mustn't
talk any more than we could help, and then talk mighty low.
The lightning showed us the wreck again, just in time, and
we fetched the starboard derrick, and made fast there.
The deck was high out, here. We went sneaking down the
slope of it to labboard, in the dark, towards the texas, feel-
ing our way slow with our feet, and spreading our hands out
to fend off the guys, for it was so dark we couldn't see no sign
of them. Pretty soon we struck the forward end of the sky-
light, and dumb onto it; and the next step fetched us in front
of the captain's door, which was open, and by Jimminy, away
down through the texas-hall we see a light! and all in the
same second we seem to hear low voices in yonder!
Jim whispered and said he was feeling powerful sick, and
told me to come along. I says, all right; and was going to
start for the raft; but just then I heard a voice wail out and
Oh, please don't, boys; I swear I won't ever tell! "
Another voice said, pretty loud:
"It's a lie, Jim Turner. You've acted this way before.
You always want more'n your share of the truck, and you've
always got it, too, because you've swore 't if you didn't you'd
tell. But this time you've said it jest one time too many.
You're the meanest, treacherousest hound in this country."
By this time Jim was gone for the raft. I was just a-biling
with curiosity; and I says to myself, Tom Sawyer wouldn't
back out now, and so I won't either; I'm going to see what's
going on here. So I dropped on my hands and knees, in the
little passage, and crept aft in the dark, till there warn't but
about one stateroom betwixt me and the cross-hall of the
texas. Then, in there I see a man stretched on the floor and
tied hand and foot, and two men standing over him, and one
of them had a dim lantern in his hand, and the other one had
a pistol. This one kept pointing the pistol at the man's head
on the floor and saying-
"I'd like to! And I orter, too, a mean skunk!"
The man on the floor would shrivel up, and say: "Oh,
please don't, Bill-I hain't ever goin' to tell."
And every time he said that, the man with the lantern would
laugh, and say:
"'Deed you ain't! You never said no truer thing 'n that,
you bet you." And once he said: Hear him beg! and yit
if we hadn't got the best of him and tied him, he'd a killed
us both. And what for Jist for noth'n. Jist because we
stood on our rights-that's what for. But I lay you ain't
agoin' to threaten nobody any more, Jim Turner. Put up
that pistol, Bill."
I don't want to, Jake Packard. I'm for killing' him-and
didn't he kill old Hatfield jist the same way-and don't he
"But I don't want him killed, and I've got my reasons for it."
"Bless yo' heart for them words, Jake Packard! I'll never
forgit you, long's I live!" says the man on the floor, sort of
Packard didn't take no notice of that, but hung up his lan-
tern on a nail, and started towards where I was, there in the
dark, and motioned Bill to come. I crawfished as fast as I
could, about two yards, but the boat slanted so that I couldn't
make very good time; so to keep from getting run over and
THE ADVENTURES OF
catched I crawled into a stateroom on the upper side. The
man came a-pawing along in the dark, and when Packard got
to my stateroom, he says:
"Here-come in here."
And in he come, and Bill after him. But before they got
in, I was up in the upper berth, cornered, and sorry I come.
Then they stood there, with their hands on the ledge of the
berth, and talked. I couldn't see them, but I could tell where
they was, by the whisky they'd been having. I was glad I
didn't drink whisky; but it wouldn't made much difference,
anyway, because most of the time they couldn't a treed me
because I didn't breathe. I was too scared. And besides,
a body couldn't breathe, and hear such talk. They talked
low and earnest. Bill wanted to kill Turner. He says:
He's said he'll tell, and he will. If we was to give both
our shares to him now, it wouldn't make no difference after
the row, and the way we've served him. Shore's you're born,
he'll turn State's evidence; now you hear me. I'm for put-
ting him out out of his troubles."
"So'm I," says Packard, very quiet.
"Blame it, I'd sorter begun to think you wasn't. Well,
then, that's all right. Les' go and do it."
"Hold on a minute; I hain't had my say yit. You listen
to me. Shooting's good, but there's quieter ways if the
thing's got to be done. But what I say, is this; it ain't good
sense to go court'n around after a halter, if you can git at
what you're up to in some way that's jist as good and at the
same time don't bring you into no resks. Ain't that so ?"
"You bet it is. But how you goin' to manage it this time ?"
"Well, my idea is this: we'll rustle around and gether up
whatever pickins we've overlooked in the staterooms, and
shove for shore and hide the truck. Then we'll wait. Now I
say it ain't agoin' to be more 'n two hours befo' this wrack
breaks up and washes off down the river. See ? He'll be
drowned, and won't have nobody to blame for it but his own
self. I reckon that's a considerable sight better'n killing' of him.
I'm unfavorable to killing' a man as long as you can git
around it; it ain't good sense, it ain't good morals. Ain't I
Yes-I reck'n you are. But s'pose she don't break up and
"Well, we can wait the two hours, anyway, and see, can't
"All right, then; come along."
So they started, and I lit out, all in a cold sweat, and scram-
bled forward. It was dark as pitch there; but I said in a kind
of a coarse whisper, Jim! and he answered up, right at my
elbow, with a sort of a moan, and I says:
"Quick, Jim, it ain't no time for fooling around and moan-
ing; there's a gang of murderers in yonder, and if we don't
hunt up their boat and set her drifting down the river so these
fellows can't get away from the wreck, there's one of 'em going
to be in a bad fix. But if we find their boat we can put all of
'em in a bad fix-for the Sheriff'll get 'em. Quick-hurry!
I'll hunt the labboard side, you hunt the stabboard. You start
at the raft, and- "
Oh, my lordy, lordy! Raf' ? Dey ain' no raf' no mo', she
done broke loose en gone !-'en here we is!"
"OH! LORDY LORDY !"
THE ADVENTURES OF
WELL, I catched my breath and most fainted. Shut
up on a wreck with such a gang as that! But it
warn't no time to be sentimentering. We'd got to find that
boat, now-had to have it for ourselves. So we went a-quak-
ing and shaking down the stabboard side, and slow work it
was, too-seemed a week before we got to the stern. No
sign of a boat. Jim said he didn't believe he could go any
further-so scared he hadn't hardly any strength left, he
said. But I said come on, if we get left on this wreck, we
are in a fix, sure. So on we prowled, again. We struck for
the stern of the texas, and found it, and then scrabbled along
forwards on the skylight, hanging on from shutter to shutter,
for the edge of the skylight was in the water. When we got
pretty close to the cross-hall door, there was the skiff, sure
enough I could just barely see her. I felt ever so thank-
ful. In another second I would a been aboard of her; but
just then the door opened. One of the men stuck his head
out, only about a couple of foot from me, and I thought I
was gone; but he jerked it in again, and says :
Heave that blame lantern out o' sight, Bill "
He flung a bag of something into the boat, and then got
in himself, and set down. It was Packard. Then Bill he
come out and got in. Packard says, in a low voice:
"All ready-shove off "
I couldn't hardly hang onto the shutters, I was so weak.
But Bill says:
Hold on-'d you go through him ?"
"No. Didn't you?"
No. So he's got his share o' the cash, yet."
"Well, then, come along-no use to take truck and leave
Say-won't he suspicion what we're up to ?"
Maybe he won't. But we got to have it anyway. Come
So they got out and went in.
The door slammed to, because it was on the careened side;
and in a half second I was in the boat, and Jim come tum-
bling after me. I out with my knife and cut the rope, and
away we went !
We didn't touch an oar, and we didn't speak nor whisper,
nor hardly even breathe. We went gliding swift along, dead
silent, past the tip of the paddle-box, and past the stern;
then in a second or two more we was a hundred yards below
the wreck, and the darkness soaked her up, every last sign of
her, and we was safe, and knowed it.
When we was three or four hundred yards down stream,
we see the lantern show like a little spark at the texas door,
for a second, and we knowed by that that the rascals had
missed their boat, and was beginning to understand that they
was in just as much trouble, now, as Jim Turner was.
Then Jim manned the oars, and we took out after our raft.
Now was the first time that I begun to worry about the men
-I reckon I hadn't had time to before. I begun to think
how dreadful it was, even for murderers, to be in such a fix.
I says to myself, there ain't no telling but I might come to
be a murderer myself, yet, and then how would I like it ?
So says I to Jim:
"The first light we see, we'll land a hundred yards below
it or above it, in a place where it's a good hiding-place for
you and the skiff, and then I'll go and fix up some kind of a
yarn, and get somebody to go for that gang and get them
out of their scrape, so they can be hung when their time
But that 'idea was a failure; for pretty soon it begun to
storm again, and this time worse than ever. The rain pour-
ed down, and never a light showed; everybody in bed, I
reckon. We boomed along down the river, watching for
lights and watching for our raft. After a long time the rain
let up, but the clouds staid, and the lightning kept whimper-
ing, and by-and-by a flash showed us a black thing ahead,
floating, and we made for it.
It was the raft, and mighty glad was we to get aboard of
it again. We seen a light, now, away down to the right, on
THE ADVENTURES OF
shore. So I said I would go for it. The skiff was half full
of plunder which that gang had stole, there on the wreck.
We hustled it onto the raft in a pile, and I told Jim to float
along down, and show a light when he judged he had gone
about two mile, and keep it burning till I come; then I man-
ned my oars and shoved for the light. As I got down to-
wards -it, three or four more showed-up on a hillside. It
was a village. I closed in above the shore-light, and laid on
my oars and floated. As I went by, I see it was a lantern
hanging on the jackstaff of a double-hull ferry-boat. I skim-
med around for the watchman, a-wondering whereabouts he
slept; and by-and-by I found him roosting on the bitts, for-
ward, with his head down between his knees. I gave his
shoulder two or three little shoves, and begun to cry.
He stirred up, in a kind of a startlish way; but when he see
it was only me, he took a good gap and stretch, and then he
"Hello, what's up ? Don't cry, bub. What's the trouble ?"
"Pap, and mam, and sis, and-"
Then I broke down. He says:
Oh, dang it, now, don't take on so, we all has to have our
troubles and this'n '11 come out all right. What's the matter
with 'em ? "
They're-they're-are you the watchman of the boat ?"
"Yes," he says, kind of pretty-well-satisfied like. "I'm
the captain and the owner, and the mate, and the pilot, and
watchman, and head deck-hand ; and sometimes I'm the
freight and passengers. I ain't as rich as old Jim Hornback,
and I can't be so blame' generous and good to Tom, Dick
and Harry as what he is, and slam around money the way he
does; but I've told him a many a time 't I wouldn't trade
places with him; for, says I, a sailor's life's the life for me,
and I'm derned if I'd live two mile out o' town, where there
ain't nothing ever goin' on, not for all his spondulicks and as
much more on top of it. Says I- "
I broke in and says:
They're in an awful peck of trouble, and-"
Who is ?"
"Why, pap, and mam, and sis, and Miss Hooker; and if
you'd take your ferry-boat and go up there- "
Up where ? Where are they ?"
"On the wreck."
"Why, there ain't but one."
"What, you don't mean the Walter Scott ?"
Good land! what are they doin' there, for gracious sakes ?"
"Well, they didn't go there a-purpose."
"I bet they didn't! Why, great goodness, there ain't no
chance for 'em if they don't git off mighty quick! Why, how
in the nation did they ever git into such a scrape ? "
"Easy enough. Miss Hooker was a-visiting, up there to
"Yes, Booth's Landing-go on."
"She was a-visiting, there at Booth's Landing, and just in
the edge of the evening she started over with her nigger woman
in the horse-ferry, to stay all night at her friend's house, Miss
What-you-may-call-her, I disremember her name, and they
lost their steering-oar, and swung around and went a-floating
down, stern-first, about two mile, and saddle-baggsed on the
wreck, and the ferry man and the nigger woman and the
horses was all lost, but Miss Hooker she made a grab and
got aboard the wreck. Well, about an hour after dark, we
come along down in our trading-scow, and it was so dark we
didn't notice the wreck till we was right on it; and so we
saddle-baggsed; but all of us was saved but Bill Whipple-
and oh, he was the best cretur!-I most wish't it had been
me, I do."
My George! It's the beatenest thing I ever struck. And
then what did you all do ?"
"Well, we hollered and took on, but it's so wide there, we
couldn't make nobody hear. So pap said somebody got to
get ashore and get help somehow. I was the only one that
could swim, so I made a dash for it, and Miss Hooker she
said if I didn't strike help sooner, come here and hunt up her
uncle, and he'd fix the thing. I made the land about a mile
below, and been fooling along ever since, trying to get people
to do something, but they said, 'What, in such a night and
such a current ? there ain't no sense in it; go for the steam-
ferry.' Now if you'll go, and- "
By Jackson, I'd like to, and blame it I don't know but I
THE ADVENTURES OF
will; but who in the dingnation's agoin' to pay for it? Do
you reckon your pap- "
"Why that's all right. Miss Hooker she tole me,particular,
that her uncle Hornback- "
Great guns! is he her uncle ? Looky here, you break for
that light over yonder-way, and turn out west when you git
there, and about a quarter of a mile out you'll come to the
tavern; tell 'em to dart you out to Jim Hornback's and he'll
foot the bill. And don't you fool around any, because he'll
want to know the news. Tell him I'll have his niece all safe
before he can get to town. Hump yourself, now; I'm going
up around the corner here, to roust out my engineer."
I struck for the light, but as soon as he turned the corner
I went back and got into my skiff and bailed her out and then
pulled up shore in the easy water about six hundred yards,
and tucked myself in among some woodboats; for I couldn't
rest easy till I could see the ferry-boat start. But take it all
around, I was feeling ruther comfortable on accounts of tak-
all this trouble for that gang, for not many would a done it.
I wished the widow knowed about it. I judged she would be
proud of me for helping these rapscallions, because rapscal-
lions and dead beats is the kind the widow and good people
takes the most interest in.
Well, before long, here- comes the wreck, dim and dusky,
sliding along down! A kind of cold shiver went through me,
and then I struck out for her. She was very deep, and I see
in a minute there'warn't much chance for anybody being alive
in her. I pulled all around her and hollered a little, but there
wasn't any answer; all dead still. I felt a little bit heavy-
hearted about the gang, but not much, for I reckoned if they
could stand it, I could.
Then here comes the ferry-boat; so I shoved for the mid-
dle of the river on a long down-stream slant; and when I
judged I was out of eye-reach, I laid on my oars, and looked
back and see her go and smell around the wreck for Miss
Hooker's remainders, because the captain would know her
uncle Hornback would want them; and then pretty soon the
ferry-boat give it up and went for shore, and I laid into my
work and went a-booming down the river.
It did seem a powerful long time before Jim's light showed
up; and when it did show, it looked like it was a thousand
mile off. By the time I got there the sky was beginning to
get a little gray in the east; so we struck for an island, and
hid the raft, and sunk the skiff, and turned in and slept like
2 j \'L'Uk^ "
I II, ., .,,,,I.
,' jI\ I -' ." -. .
,,', ; i "5~~ .. ..
WE TURNED IN AND SLEPT.
THE ADVENTURES OF
BY-AND-BY, when we got up, we turned over the truck
the gang had stole off of the wreck, and found boots,
and blankets, and clothes, and all sorts of other things, and
a lot of books, and a spyglass, and three boxes of seegars.
We hadn't ever been this rich before, in neither of our lives.
The seegars was prime. We laid off all the afternoon in the
woods talking, and me reading the books, and having a gen-
eral good time. I told Jim all about what happened inside
the wreck, and at the ferry-boat; and I said these kinds of
things was adventures; but he said he didn't want no more
adventures. He said that when I went in the texas and he crawl-
ed'back to get on the raft and found her gone, he nearly died;
because he judged it was all up with him, anyway it could be
fixed; for if he didn't get saved he would get drowned; and
if he did get saved, whoever saved him would send him back
home so as to get the reward, and then Miss Watson would
sell him South, sure. Well, he was right; he was most always
right; he had an uncommon level head; for a nigger.
I read considerable to Jim about kings, and dukes, and
earls, and such, and how gaudy they dressed, and how much
style they put on, and called each other your majesty, and
your grace, and your lordship, and so on, 'stead of mister;
and Jim's eyes bugged out, and he was interested. He says:
I didn' know dey was so many un um. I hain't hearn
'bout none un um, skasely, but ole King Sollermun, onless
you counts dem kings dat's in a pack er k'yards. How much
do a king git ? "
Get ?" I says; why, they get a thousand dollars a month
if they want it; they can have just as much as they want;
everything belongs to them."
"Ain' dat gay ? En what dey got to do, Huck ?"
They don't do nothing! Why how you talk. They just
No-is dat so ? "
Of course it is. They just set around. Except maybe
when there's a war; then they go to the war. But other times
they just lazy around; or go hawking-just hawking and sp-
Sh!-d' you hear a noise? "
We skipped out and looked; but it warn't nothing but the
flutter of a steamboat's wheel, away down coming around the
point; so we come back.
Yes," says I, and other times, when things is dull, they
SOLOMON AND HIS MILLION WIVES.
fuss with the parlyment; and if everybody don't go just so he
whacks their heads off. But mostly they hang round the
Roun' de which ? "
"What's de harem ?"
"The place where he keeps his wives. Don't you know
THE ADVENTURES OF
about the harem? Solomon had one; he had about a mil-
"Why, yes, dat's so; I-I'd done forgot it. A harem's
a bo'd'n-house, I reck'n. Mos' likely dey has rackety times
in de nussery. En I reck'n de wives quarrels considable; en
dat 'crease de racket. Yit dey say Sollermun de wises' man
dat ever live'. I doan' take no stock in dat. Bekase why:
would a wise man want to live in de mids' er sich a blim-
blammin' all de time ? No-'deed he wouldn't. A wise
man 'ud take en buil' a biler-factry; en den he could shet
down de biler-factry when he want to res'."
"Well, but he was the wisest man, anyway; because the
widow she told me so, her own self."
I doan k'yer what de widder say, he warn't no wise man,
nuther. He had some er de dad-fetchedes' ways I ever see.
Does you know 'bout dat chile dat he 'uz gwyne to chop in
Yes, the widow told me all about it."
Well, den! Warn' dat de beatenes' notion in de world' ?
You jes' take en look at it a minute. Dah's de stump, dah
-dat's one er de women; heah's you-dat's de yuther one;
I's Sollermun; en dish-yer dollar bill's de chile. Bofe un
you claims it. What does I do ? Does I shin around' mongs'
de neighbors en fine out which un you de bill do b'long to,
en han' it over to de right one, all safe en soun', de way dat
anybody dat had any gumption would ? No I take en
whack de bill in two, en give half un it to you, en de yuther
half to de yuther woman. Dat's de way Sollermun was
gwyne to do wid de chile. Now I want to ast you: what's de
use er dat half a bill ?-can't buy noth'n wid it. En what
use is a half a chile? I would' give a dern for a million
"But hang it, Jim, you've clean missed the point-blame
it, you've missed it a thousand mile."
"Who? Me? Go 'long. Doan' talk to me 'bout yo'
pints. I reck'n I knows sense when I sees it; en dey ain' no
sense in sich doin's as dat. De 'spute warn't 'bout a half a
chile, de 'spute was 'bout a whole chile; en de man dat think
he kin settle a 'spute 'bout a whole chile wid a half a chile,
doan' know enough to come in out'n de rain. Doan' talk to
me 'bout Sollermun, Huck, I knows him by de back."
"But I tell you you don't get the point."
"Blame de pint! I reck'n I knows what I knows. En
mine you, de real pint is down furder-it's down deeper. It
lays in de way Sollermun was raised. You take a man dat's
got on'y one er two chillen; is dat man gwyne to be waseful
o' chillen? No, he ain't; he can't 'ford it. He know how
to value 'em. But you take a man dat's got 'bout five million
chillen running' roun' de house, en it's diffunt. He as soon
chop a chile in two as a cat. Dey's plenty mo'. A chile er
two, mo' er less, wasn't no consekens to Sollermun, dad
I never see such a nigger. If he got a notion in his head
once, there warn't no getting it out again. He was the most
down on Solomon of any nigger I ever see. So I went to
talking about other kings, and let Solomon slide. I told
about Louis Sixteenth that got his head cut off in France
long time ago; and about his little boy the dolphin, that
would a been a king, but they took and shut him up in jail,
and some say he died there.
Po' little chap."
"But some says he got out and got away, and come to
"Dat's good! But he'll be pooty lonesome-dey ain' no
kings here, is dey, Huck ?"
"Den he can't git no situation. What he gwyne to do ?"
"Well, I don't know. Some of them gets on the police,
and some of them learns people how to talk French."
"Why, Huck, doan' de French people talk de same way
we does ?"
"No, Jim; you couldn't understand a word they said-not
a single word."
Well, now, I be ding-busted! How do dat come?"
"Idon't know; but it's so. I got some of their jabber
out of a book. Spose a man was to come to you and say
Polly-voo-franzy-what would you think?"
"I would' think nuff'n; I'd take en bust him over de
head. Dat is, if he warn't white. I wouldn't 'low no nigger
to call me dat."
"Shucks, it ain't calling you anything. It's only saying
do you know how to talk French."