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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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“COME in,” says the woman, and I did. She says: “Take a cheer.” “Come in,” said the woman. I went in, and she said: “Have a seat.”
I done it. She looked me all over with her little shiny eyes, and says: I sat down. She looked me up and down with her shiny little eyes and said:
“What might your name be?” “What might your name be?”
“Sarah Williams.” “Sarah Williams.”
“Where ’bouts do you live? In this neighborhood?’ “Where 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.” “No, ma’am. I live in Hookerville, seven miles down stream. I walked all the way here, and I’m exhausted.”
“Hungry, too, I reckon. I’ll find you something.” “You’re hungry, too, I imagine. I’ll find you something to eat.”
“No’m, I ain’t hungry. I was so hungry I had to stop two miles 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, ma’am, I’m not hungry. I was so hungry that I stopped at a farm two miles back. I ate there, so I’m not hungry any more. That’s why I’m so late getting here. My mother’s sick in bed, and I’ve come here to tell my uncle Abner Moore that she’s run out of money. She said that he lives at the north end of town. I’ve never 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 your bonnet.” “No, but I don’t know everyone in town yet. I’ve lived here just under two weeks. It’s pretty far from here to the north end of town. You better stay here tonight. Take off your bonnet.”
“No,” I says; “I’ll rest a while, I reckon, and go on. I ain’t afeared of the dark.” “No,” I said. “I’ll rest awhile, I figure, and then go on. I’m not afraid 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 relations 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 I had made a mistake coming to her to find out what was going on in the town; but by and by she dropped on to pap and the murder, and then I was pretty willing to let her clatter right along. She told about me and Tom 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 murdered. I says: She said she wouldn’t let me go by myself, but would have her husband go with me when he got home in about an hour and a half. Then she started talking about her husband and all her relatives up and down the river. She talked a lot about how much better off financially they used to be, but they made a mistake in moving to this town instead of staying where they were. She talked on an on, and I started to think I’d made a mistake in coming to her to find out what was going on about town. Pretty soon, though, she started talking about my pap and the murder, so I was happy to let her chatter on. She told me about how Tom Sawyer had found the six thousand dollars (only she thought it was ten thousand). Then she talked about pap and what an unpleasant character he was, and what an unpleasant sort his son, Huckleberry, was. At last she got to my murder. I said:
“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.” “Who did it? We’ve heard a lot about the murder down in Hookerville, but we don’t know who 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.” “Well, I imagine there are quite a few people HERE who’d like to know who killed him, too. Some think old man Finn killed Huck himself.”
“No—is that so?” “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 named Jim.” “That’s what almost everyone thought at first. He’ll never know how close he was to being hanged. But before nightfall, they changed their minds and figured that Huck had been killed by a runaway n----- named Jim.”
“Why HE—” “But he…”
I stopped. I reckoned I better keep still. She run on, and never noticed I had put in at all: I stopped myself, figuring I had better shut up. She kept on talking without noticing that I had started to interrupt her:
“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 ferryboat 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 gave 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 without 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 down then, and he’ll walk in Huck’s money as easy as nothing.” “The n----- ran away the same night that Huck Finn was killed, so there’s a reward of three hundred dollars out for him. And there’s a two hundred dollar reward out for old man Finn, too. You see, he came in to town the morning after the murder and told everyone about it. He even went out with them on the ferryboat to hunt for the body, but right after, he left. By nightfall they wanted to hang him, but he was gone. Well, the next day they found out that the n----- was missing and hadn’t been seen since ten o’clock on the night of the murder. So they pinned it on him, you see. And that’s when old man Finn appears again and goes crying to Judge Thatcher to give him money to hunt for that n----- all over Illinois. The judge gave him some money, but that night, he got drunk and out til well past midnight with couple of tough looking men. He went off with them, and he hasn’t come back since. And he probably won’t come back until this whole thing blows over, since everyone now thinks that he killed his boy and arranged everything to look like robbers had done it. That way, he could get Huck’s money without having to waste time filing another lawsuit. Everyone says it wouldn’t be beneath him to do something like that. Oh, he’s pretty clever. He knows that no one can prove he did it. He’ll be fine if he just stays away for a year or so. Then everything will have quited down, and he’ll be able to get Huck’s money pretty easily.”

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