I kept quiet, with my ears cocked, about fifteen minutes, I reckon. I was
floating along, of course, four or five miles an hour; but you don’t ever
think of that. No, you FEEL like you are laying dead still on the water; and
if a little glimpse of a snag slips by you don’t think to yourself how fast
YOU’RE going, but you catch your breath and think, my! how that snag’s
tearing along. If you think it ain’t dismal and lonesome out in a fog that
way by yourself in the night, you try it once—you’ll see.
I kept quiet with my ears cocked for what I imagine was about fifteen
minutes. I was still floating along at about four or five miles an hour,
though I wasn’t really didn’t notice. At a time like that, you FEEL like
you’re sitting still on the water. If a see a snag slip past you don’t think
to yourself how fast YOU’RE going. Instead, you catch your breath and think
about how fast that snag is moving. If you don’t think it isn’t sad and
loney being out in a fog by yourself at night, then try it sometime. You’ll
see what I mean.
Next, for about a half an hour, I whoops now and then; at last I hears the
answer a long ways off, and tries to follow it, but I couldn’t do it, and
directly I judged I’d got into a nest of towheads, for I had little dim
glimpses of them on both sides of me—sometimes just a narrow channel
between, and some that I couldn’t see I knowed was there because I’d hear
the wash of the current against the old dead brush and trash that hung over
the banks. Well, I warn’t long loosing the whoops down amongst the towheads;
and I only tried to chase them a little while, anyway, because it was worse
than chasing a Jack-o’-lantern. You never knowed a sound dodge around so,
and swap places so quick and so much.
Well, I whooped every now and then for about half and hour. At last, I
heard another whoop answer me from a long ways off. I tried to follow it,
but I couldn’t. I figured I’d gotten caught in a patch of towheads, since
sometimes I’d catch little glimpses of the narrow little channel between
them. There were others that I couldn’t see, but I could hear the sound of
the current against the old dead brush and trash that hung over their banks.
Well, it wasn’t long before I lost the whoops completely in the towheads. I
briefly tried going after them, but it was harder to chase them than it was
a Jack o’lantern. You can’t imagine how much the sound jumped around and
I had to claw away from the bank pretty lively four or five times, to keep
from knocking the islands out of the river; and so I judged the raft must be
butting into the bank every now and then, or else it would get further ahead
and clear out of hearing—it was floating a little faster than what I
I had to work to claw myself away from the bank four or five time, to keep
from knocking too hard against the towheads. I figured the raft must also be
bumping into the bank every now and then, otherwise it would have gotten
farther ahead and would have been clear out of hearing range. The raft was
floating a little faster than I was.
Well, I seemed to be in the open river again by and by, but I couldn’t
hear no sign of a whoop nowheres. I reckoned Jim had fetched up on a snag,
maybe, and it was all up with him. I was good and tired, so I laid down in
the canoe and said I wouldn’t bother no more. I didn’t want to go to sleep,
of course; but I was so sleepy I couldn’t help it; so I thought I would take
jest one little cat-nap.
Well, after a little while, I seemed to be back in the open river, but I
couldn’t hear any whooping sounds. I figured Jim had gotten caught on a snag
and that he was a goner. I was pretty tired, so I lay back in the canoe and
said it was no use trying anymore. I didn’t want to go to sleep, of course.
But I was so sleepy that I just couldn’t help it, so I decided to take a
But I reckon it was more than a cat-nap, for when I waked up the stars was
shining bright, the fog was all gone, and I was spinning down a big bend
stern first. First I didn’t know where I was; I thought I was dreaming; and
when things began to come back to me they seemed to come up dim out of last
It turned out to be more than a cat nap, though. When I woke up, the stars
were shining bright. The fog was all gone, and I was spinning around a big
bend stern first. At first I didn’t know where I was, and I thought I was
dreaming. But then things began to slowly come back to me, as if everything
that had happened took place a long time ago.
It was a monstrous big river here, with the tallest and the thickest kind
of timber on both banks; just a solid wall, as well as I could see by the
stars. I looked away down-stream, and seen a black speck on the water. I
took after it; but when I got to it it warn’t nothing but a couple of
sawlogs made fast together. Then I see another speck, and chased that; then
another, and this time I was right. It was the raft.
The river was extremely wide at this point. The tall, thick trees growing
on both riverbanks formted a solid wall that blocked out the stars. I looked
far down stream and saw a black speck on the water. I took off after it, but
when I reached it, I saw that it was only a couple of sawed logs stuck
together. Then I saw another speck and chased after that one too. This time
I was right—it was the raft.
When I got to it Jim was setting there with his head down between his
knees, asleep, with his right arm hanging over the steering-oar. The other
oar was smashed off, and the raft was littered up with leaves and branches
and dirt. So she’d had a rough time.
When I got to it, Jim was sitting there asleep with his head down between
his knees and his right arm hanging over the steering oar. The other oar had
smashed off, and the raft was littered with leaves and branches and dirt.
The raft looked like it’d had rough time coming down the river.
I made fast and laid down under Jim’s nose on the raft, and began to gap,
and stretch my fists out against Jim, and says:
I tied the canoe to the raft, then lay down on the raft at Jim’s feet. I
began to yawn, and I stretched my fists out against Jim and said:
“Hello, Jim, have I been asleep? Why didn’t you stir me up?”
“Hello, Jim. Have I been asleep? Why didn’t you wake me up?”
“Goodness gracious, is dat you, Huck? En you ain’ dead—you ain’
drownded—you’s back agin? It’s too good for true, honey, it’s too good for
true. Lemme look at you chile, lemme feel o’ you. No, you ain’ dead! you’s
back agin, ’live en soun’, jis de same ole Huck—de same ole Huck, thanks to
“Goodness gracious! Is that you, Huck? And you aren’t dead—you didn’t
drown. You’re back? It’s too good to be true, pal, too good to be true. Let
me look at you, child. Let me feel you. No, you aren’t dead! You’re back,
alive and well. You’re just the same old Huck—the same old Huck! Thank
“What’s the matter with you, Jim? You been a-drinking?”
“What’s the matter with you, Jim? Have you been drinking?”
“Drinkin’? Has I ben a-drinkin’? Has I had a chance to be
“Drinking? Have I been drinking? Have I had the chance to drink?”
“Well, then, what makes you talk so wild?”
“Well then, why are you talking so crazy?”
“How does I talk wild?”
“What do you mean crazy? Do I sound like I’m crazy?”
“HOW? Why, hain’t you been talking about my coming back, and all that
stuff, as if I’d been gone away?”
“DO YOU? Haven’t you been talking about me coming back and all? As if I’d