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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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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. Now that she had started, Miss Watson went on and on about Heaven. She said the only thing people do there is sing and play the harp forever and ever. This didn’t sound so great to me. I didn’t tell her this, though. I asked if she thought Tom Sawyer would go to Heaven, and she said not by a long shot. This made me happy, because I wanted the two of us 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. Miss Watson kept lecturing me, which made me tired and lonely. Pretty soon they called the n------ in to say their prayers, and then everybody went off to bed. I took a candle up to my room, and put it on the table. Then I sat down in a chair by the window and tried to think of something cheerful, but it was no use. I felt so lonely I wished I were dead. The stars were out and the leaves were rustling sadly in the woods. I heard an owl in the distance, hooting as if someone had died, and a whippowill and a dog howling as if someone were going to die. I heard the wind blowing as if it was trying to tell me something I couldn’t understand. It gave me the creeps. Then way out in the woods I heard the kind of sound that a ghost makes when it wants to tell you something important but can’t make itself understood—this is why it can’t rest in peace and is doomed to haunt the living forever. All this made me feel so depressed and scared that I wished someone were with me. Pretty soon a spider crawled up my shoulder. I flicked it off, and it landed in the candle and shriveled up before I could save it. I didn’t need anyone to tell me that this was a bad sign and would bring me bad luck, and so I felt even more scared. I shivered so much that I nearly shook my clothes off. I stood up, turned around, and crossed myself three times. Then I used a piece of thread to tie a bit of my hair in a knot to keep away any witches. But this didn’t make me feel any better, since that trick only works when you’ve lost a horseshoe that you’ve found, instead of nailing it up over the doorway. I’d never heard anyone say it would work to keep away the bad luck when you’ve 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. I sat down again, shaking all over. I pulled out my pipe to have a smoke, since the house was quiet and the widow wouldn’t find out. After a long while, I heard the clock way off in the town chime twelve times. Then it was still again, stiller than ever. Pretty soon I heard a twig snap in the dark somewhere among the trees—something was moving around down there. I sat still and listened until I could just barely make out a “Me-yow! Me-yow!” That was good! I answered, “Me-yow! “Me-yow!” back and then scrambled out the window and down onto the shed. I slipped down to the ground and crawled into the woods. Sure enough, there was Tom Sawyer waiting for me.

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