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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Then we talked about the money. It was a pretty good raise—twenty dollars apiece. Jim said we could take deck passage on a steamboat now, and the money would last us as far as we wanted to go in the free States. He said twenty mile more warn’t far for the raft to go, but he wished we was already there. Then we talked about the money. It was a pretty good haul—twenty dollars each. Jim said we could take deck passage on a steamboat now, and the money would last us as far as we wanted to go in the free states. He said twenty miles more wasn’t far for the raft to go, but he wished we were already there.
Towards daybreak we tied up, and Jim was mighty particular about hiding the raft good. Then he worked all day fixing things in bundles, and getting all ready to quit rafting. Toward daybreak we tied up on shore. Jim was pretty intent on really making sure the raft was hidden well. Then he worked all day tying all of our stuff up in bundles and getting us ready to abandon the raft.
That night about ten we hove in sight of the lights of a town away down in a left-hand bend. Around ten o’clock that night, we came within sight of the lights of a town way down on a bend on the left bank of the river.
I went off in the canoe to ask about it. Pretty soon I found a man out in the river with a skiff, setting a trot-line. I ranged up and says: I set out in the canoe to learn more about the lights. Pretty soon I found a man out in the river on a skiff who was setting a

trotline

long fishing line with multiple hooks on it

trotline
. I pulled up and said:
“Mister, is that town Cairo?” “Mister, is that town over there Cairo?”
“Cairo? no. You must be a blame’ fool.” “Cairo? No. You must be crazy.”
“What town is it, mister?” “What town is it, mister?”
“If you want to know, go and find out. If you stay here botherin’ around me for about a half a minute longer you’ll get something you won’t want.” “If you want to know, go and find out for yourself. If you bug me for even another half minute, you’ll get something you’re not going to like.”
I paddled to the raft. Jim was awful disappointed, but I said never mind, Cairo would be the next place, I reckoned. I paddled back to the raft. Jim was awfully disappointed, but I told him not to worry. I figured Cairo would be the next town.
We passed another town before daylight, and I was going out again; but it was high ground, so I didn’t go. No high ground about Cairo, Jim said. I had forgot it. We laid up for the day on a towhead tolerable close to the left-hand bank. I begun to suspicion something. So did Jim. I says: We passed another town before daylight. I was going to go out again, but I didn’t because the bank was too steep. The banks aren’t steep around Cairo, Jim said. I’d forgotten about that. We spent another day hidding on a towhead that was close to the left bank of the river. I began to get suspicious about something, and so did Jim. I said:
“Maybe we went by Cairo in the fog that night.” “Maybe we went past Cairo in the fog that night.”
He says: He said:
“Doan’ le’s talk about it, Huck. Po’ niggers can’t have no luck. I awluz ’spected dat rattlesnake-skin warn’t done wid its work.” “Let’s not talk about it, Huck. Poor n------ can catch a break. I always suspected that rattlesnake skin hadn’t finished giving me my bad luck.”
“I wish I’d never seen that snake-skin, Jim—I do wish I’d never laid eyes on it.” “I wish I’d never seen that snakeskin, Jim. I realy wish I’d never lain my eyes on it.”
“It ain’t yo’ fault, Huck; you didn’ know. Don’t you blame yo’self ’bout it.” “It isn’t your faul, Huck. You didn’t know. Don’t blame yourself.”
When it was daylight, here was the clear Ohio water inshore, sure enough, and outside was the old regular Muddy! So it was all up with Cairo. When it was daylight, I saw that the clear waters of the Ohio River were running along the shore, while in the middle of the river was the muddy waters of the Mississippi! We had to give up on Cairo.
We talked it all over. It wouldn’t do to take to the shore; we couldn’t take the raft up the stream, of course. There warn’t no way but to wait for dark, and start back in the canoe and take the chances. So we slept all day amongst the cottonwood thicket, so as to be fresh for the work, and when we went back to the raft about dark the canoe was gone! We talked about what to do next. We couldn’t go ashore, and we couldn’t take the raft upstream, of course. All we could do was to wait for dark and then take our chances paddling upstream in the canoe. We slept all day in the cottonwood thicket, so we’d be well rested and refreshed for the long night of paddling ahead. But when we went back to the raft around dark, the canoe was gone!
We didn’t say a word for a good while. There warn’t anything to say. We both knowed well enough it was some more work of the rattlesnake-skin; so what was the use to talk about it? It would only look like we was finding fault, and that would be bound to fetch more bad luck—and keep on fetching it, too, till we knowed enough to keep still. We didn’t say a word for a long while. There wasn’t anything TO say. We both knew well enough that this was the result of the rattlesnake skin, so what was the use to talk about it? It would only look like we were each blaminig the other, and that was bound to bring only more bad luck—and keep on bringing it until we learned to shut up.
By and by we talked about what we better do, and found there warn’t no way but just to go along down with the raft till we got a chance to buy a canoe to go back in. We warn’t going to borrow it when there warn’t anybody around, the way pap would do, for that might set people after us. After a while, we started talking about what we should do. We decided that we didn’t really have a choice but to continue floating down the river on the raft until we had a chance to buy a new canoe to paddle back upstream. We weren’t going to “borrow” the canoe when no one was looking, as pap would do. People to start coming after us if we did.
So we shoved out after dark on the raft. So we set out after dark on the raft.
Anybody that don’t believe yet that it’s foolishness to handle a snake-skin, after all that that snake-skin done for us, will believe it now if they read on and see what more it done for us. Anyone who doesn’t believe that it’s foolish to handle a snakeskin after hearing about all the bad luck that snakeskin brought us will certainly believe it after they read about what else happened to us.
The place to buy canoes is off of rafts laying up at shore. But we didn’t see no rafts laying up; so we went along during three hours and more. Well, the night got gray and ruther thick, which is the next meanest thing to fog. You can’t tell the shape of the river, and you can’t see no distance. It got to be very late and still, and then along comes a steamboat up the river. We lit the lantern, and judged she would see it. Up-stream boats didn’t generly come close to us; they go out and follow the bars and hunt for easy water under the reefs; but nights like this they bull right up the channel against the whole river. The best place to buy a canoe is off one of those rafts that are tied to the shore. But we didn’t see any rafts on the shore, so we continued floating down the river for three hours or so. Well, the night got pretty gray and thick, which is the next worse thing after fog. You can’t tell the shape of the river and you can’t see very far ahead. It got to be pretty late and the night was still. All of the sudden we saw a steamboat coming up the river. We lit the lantern and figured the men on board would see it. Boats chugging upstream generally didn’t come close to us because they hunt for easy water under the reefs by the sandbars. But on nights like this, they chug up the middle against the current of the river.

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