Darmowy fragment publikacji:
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Ilustracja na okładce: Huck creeps into his window, 1884.
Wydawnictwo Wymownia: www.wymownia.pl
Polska wersja językowa w tłumaczeniu Teresy Prażmowskiej.
Angielska wersja językowa zgodna z wydaniem z roku 1884.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
You don t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of
Tom Sawyer; but that ain t no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the
truth, mainly. There were things which he 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
widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly--Tom s Aunt Polly, she is--and Mary, and the Widow
Douglas is all told about in that book, which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I
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 Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but
it was rough living in the house all the time, considering 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. 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 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, Don t put your feet up there,
Huckleberry; and Don t scrunch up like that, Huckleberry--set up straight; and pretty 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 somewheres; 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 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 lonesome 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 horseshoe 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 on to the shed. Then I slipped down to the ground and crawled in
among the trees, and, sure enough, there was Tom Sawyer waiting for me.
WE went tiptoeing 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 nigger, 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, listening.
Then he says:
He listened some more; then he come tiptoeing 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 anywheres
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 know 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 itching 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 comfortable again.
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, 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
wanted 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 would do Tom but he
must crawl to where Jim was, on his hands and knees, and play something on him. I waited,
and it seemed a good while, everything was 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 be witched him and put him in a trance, and rode him all over
the State, and then set him under the trees 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. Niggers 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 anything 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 stuck up on account of having seen the
devil and been rode by witches.
Well, when Tom and me got to the edge of the hilltop we looked away down into the village
and could see three or four lights twinkling, where there was sick folks, maybe; 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 Harper 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, whichever 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 Rogers 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 tanyard, 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 once I thought of a way, and so I offered them Miss Watson--they could kill her.
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
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, or--
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 different, but mostly it s considered best to kill
them--except some that you bring to the cave here, and keep them till they re ransomed.
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 per aps if we keep them till they re ransomed, it means that we keep
them till they re dead.
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, anyhow. 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 waked 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 started home.
I clumb 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.
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 awhile 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 snuffbox that was stole? Why can t Miss Watson fat
up? No, says I to my self, 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 people; 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 considerable show with the widow s
Providence, but if Miss Watson 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 a-going 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 drownded, about twelve mile above town, so people said. They
judged it was him, anyway; said this drownded man was just his size, and was ragged, and had
uncommon 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, because I happened to think of something. I knowed mighty well that a
drownded 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, hadn t killed any people, but only just pretended. We used to hop out of the
woods and go charging down on hog-drivers 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 powwow 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 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 broomsticks,
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, Saturday, 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 elephants. 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, too, 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, said 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
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 nothing of pulling a shot-tower up by the roots, and
belting a Sunday-school superintendent over the head with it--or any other man.
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 flat-heads 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-
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.
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 sometimes,
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 worried
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 to the front garden and clumb 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 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 shinning down the hill. I looked over my shoulder every now and then,
but I didn t see nobody. I was at Judge Thatcher s as quick as I could get there. He said:
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 had better let me invest it along with your six thousand, because if you take it you ll spend
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 says:
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 I see. You want to SELL all your property to me--not give it. That s the correct
Then he wrote something on a paper and read it over, and says:
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 going 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 t other 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. Sometimes 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 t other one is dark. One is rich en t other 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 hung.
When I lit my candle and went up to my room that night there sat pap--his own self!
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 bothring 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 t other 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 lid.
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 clumb 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 educated, 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.
I took up a book and begun something about General Washington and the wars. When I d read
about a half a minute, 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 good.
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.
Looky 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 want it.
I hain t got no money.
It s a lie. Judge Thatcher s got it. You git it. I want it.
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--
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
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 for HIM.
When he got out the new judge said he was a-going to make a man of him. So he took him to
his own house, and dressed him up clean and nice, and had him to breakfast and dinner and
supper with the family, and was just old pie to him, so to speak. And after supper he talked to
him about temperance and such things till the old man cried, and said he d been a fool, and
fooled away his life; but now he was a-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 them words; so he cried, and his wife she cried again; pap
said he d been a man that had always been misunderstood before, 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 says:
Look at it, gentlemen and ladies all; take a-hold 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 ll 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 some time he got powerful thirsty and clumb out on to the porch-roof
and slid down a stanchion and traded his new coat for a jug of forty-rod, and clumb 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 old man with a
shotgun, maybe, but he didn t know no other way.
WELL, 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 outrun 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 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 more. 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 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 chance.
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 drownded.
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 begun 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 property. Here s what the law does: The law
takes a man worth six thousand dollars and up ards, 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 a-near 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 rights.
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 shirt 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 lection 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 country 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 nigger 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
govment 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 a hold of a prowling, thieving,
infernal, white-shirted free nigger, and--
Pap was agoing on so he never noticed where his old limber 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 rattling 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 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 t other. 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 yelling 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 screaming and saying there was devils a-hold 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, very low:
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; let go. Oh, let a poor
Then he went down on all fours and crawled off, begging them to let him alone, and he rolled
himself up in his blanket and wallowed in under the old pine table, still a-begging; and then he
went to crying. I could hear him through the blanket.
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 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 clumb up as easy as
I could, not to make any noise, and got down the gun. I slipped the ramrod down it to make
sure it was loaded, 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.
GIT up! What you bout?
I 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 doin 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 cordwood 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 sawmill.
I went along up the bank with one eye out for pap and t other 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
clumb 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
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 a piece 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 asking questions. We got five catfish off 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 follow 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 another 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 following me.
About twelve o clock we turned out and went along up the bank. The river was coming up pretty
fast, and lots of driftwood 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. Anybody
but pap would a waited and seen the day through, so 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 t other 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
woodpile, and I knowed why I was going to leave that. I fetched out the gun, and now I was
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 never notice it; and besides, this was the back of the cabin, and it warn t likely anybody
would go fooling around there.
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
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