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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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There was another clan of aristocracy around there—five or six families—mostly of the name of Shepherdson. They was as high-toned and well born and rich and grand as the tribe of Grangerfords. The Shepherdsons and Grangerfords used the same steamboat landing, which was about two mile above our house; so sometimes when I went up there with a lot of our folks I used to see a lot of the Shepherdsons there on their fine horses. There was another aristocratic clan around those parts—made up of five or six families—by the name of Shepherdson. They were as high class, wellborn, rich, and grand as the Grangerfords. The Shepherdsons and the Grangerfords used the same steamboat landing, which was about two miles up the river from our house. So sometimes when I went up there with a lot of our folks, I would see a lot of the Shepherdsons riding their fine horses there.
One day Buck and me was away out in the woods hunting, and heard a horse coming. We was crossing the road. Buck says: One day Buck and I were deep in the woods hunting. We heard a horse coming as we were crossing the road. Buck said:
“Quick! Jump for the woods!” “Quick! Into the woods!”
We done it, and then peeped down the woods through the leaves. Pretty soon a splendid young man come galloping down the road, setting his horse easy and looking like a soldier. He had his gun across his pommel. I had seen him before. It was young Harney Shepherdson. I heard Buck’s gun go off at my ear, and Harney’s hat tumbled off from his head. He grabbed his gun and rode straight to the place where we was hid. But we didn’t wait. We started through the woods on a run. The woods warn’t thick, so I looked over my shoulder to dodge the bullet, and twice I seen Harney cover Buck with his gun; and then he rode away the way he come—to get his hat, I reckon, but I couldn’t see. We never stopped running till we got home. The old gentleman’s eyes blazed a minute—’twas pleasure, mainly, I judged—then his face sort of smoothed down, and he says, kind of gentle: We dove into the woods, and then peered out through the leaves. Pretty soon, a splendid young man came galloping down the road, riding his horse gracefully and looking like a soldier. He had his gun resting across the horn of his saddle. I’d seen him before—it was young Harney Shepherdson. I heard Buck’s gun go off next to my ear, and saw Harney’s hat tumble off his head. He grabbed his gun and rode straight to the spot where we were hiding. But we didn’t wait—we started running through the woods. The woods weren’t thick, so I looked over my shoulder to dodge the bullets. Twice I saw Harney aim his gun at Buck. Then he rode back the way he’d come—to get his hat I guess, though I couldn’t see. We didn’t stop running until we got home. The old gentleman’s eyes blazed for a minute—mainly because he was pleased, I think—then his face calmed down, and he said gently:
“I don’t like that shooting from behind a bush. Why didn’t you step into the road, my boy?” “I don’t like the fact that you shot him from behind the bush. Why didn’t you step out into the road, my boy?”
“The Shepherdsons don’t, father. They always take advantage.” “The Shepherdsons don’t do that, father. They always take any advantage they can get.”
Miss Charlotte she held her head up like a queen while Buck was telling his tale, and her nostrils spread and her eyes snapped. The two young men looked dark, but never said nothing. Miss Sophia she turned pale, but the color come back when she found the man warn’t hurt. Miss Charlotte held her head up like a queen while Buck was telling the story. Her nostrils flared and her eyes snapped. The two young men brooded, but they didn’t say anything. Miss Sophia turned pale, but her color came back when she found out that the man hadn’t been hurt.
Soon as I could get Buck down by the corn-cribs under the trees by ourselves, I says: As soon as I could get Buck alone by the

corn cribs

huts used for storing and drying corn

corn cribs
under the trees, I said:
“Did you want to kill him, Buck?” “Did you want to kill him, Buck?”
“Well, I bet I did.” “You bet I did.”
“What did he do to you?” “Why? What did he do to you?”
“Him? He never done nothing to me.” “Him? He never did anything to me.”
“Well, then, what did you want to kill him for?” “Well, why did you want to kill him, then?”
“Why, nothing—only it’s on account of the feud.” “No reason—just because of the feud.”
“What’s a feud?” “What’s a feud?”
“Why, where was you raised? Don’t you know what a feud is?” “What? Where were you raised? Don’t you know what a feud is?”
“Never heard of it before—tell me about it.” “I’ve never heard of it before—tell me about it.”
“Well,” says Buck, “a feud is this way: A man has a quarrel with another man, and kills him; then that other man’s brother kills HIM; then the other brothers, on both sides, goes for one another; then the COUSINS chip in—and by and by everybody’s killed off, and there ain’t no more feud. But it’s kind of slow, and takes a long time.” “Well,” Buck said, “a feud works like this: A man gets in a fight with another man and kills him. Then that other man’s brother kills HIM. Then the rest of the brothers from both sides go after each other. Then the cousins get involved. Pretty soon, everyone’s been killed off, and the feud’s over. This all happens kind of slowly, and takes place over a long time.”
“Has this one been going on long, Buck?” “Has this one been going on for a long time, Buck?”
“Well, I should RECKON! It started thirty year ago, or som’ers along there. There was trouble ’bout something, and then a lawsuit to settle it; and the suit went agin one of the men, and so he up and shot the man that won the suit—which he would naturally do, of course. Anybody would.” “I would say so! It started around thirty years ago. There was a fight over something, and then a lawsuit to settle it. The suit went against one guy, so he went and shot the man that won the suit—which he had to do, of course. Any man would have done the same.”
“What was the trouble about, Buck?—land?” “What was the fight about, Buck? Was it over land?”
“I reckon maybe—I don’t know.” “I suppose it was—I don’t know.”
“Well, who done the shooting? Was it a Grangerford or a Shepherdson?” “Well, who did the shooting? Was it a Grangerford or a Shepherdson?”
“Laws, how do I know? It was so long ago.” “Lord, how should I know? It was so long ago.”
“Don’t anybody know?” “Doesn’t anyone know?”
“Oh, yes, pa knows, I reckon, and some of the other old people; but they don’t know now what the row was about in the first place.” “Oh sure, I’d guess pa knows, and some of the other old people. But they’ve probably forgotten what the fight was about in the first place.”
“Has there been many killed, Buck?” “Have a lot of people been killed, Buck?”
“Yes; right smart chance of funerals. But they don’t always kill. Pa’s got a few buckshot in him; but he don’t mind it ’cuz he don’t weigh much, anyway. Bob’s been carved up some with a bowie, and Tom’s been hurt once or twice.” “Yes. there’s been many funerals. But people don’t always die when they get shot. Pa has some buckshot in him, but he doesn’t mind because it doesn’t weigh much. Bob’s been carved up with a Bowie knife before, and Tom’s been hurt once or twice.”
“Has anybody been killed this year, Buck?” “Has anyone been killed this year, Buck?”
“Yes; we got one and they got one. ’Bout three months ago my cousin Bud, fourteen year old, was riding through the woods on t’other side of the river, and didn’t have no weapon with him, which was blame’ foolishness, and in a lonesome place he hears a horse a-coming behind him, and sees old Baldy Shepherdson a-linkin’ after him with his gun in his hand and his white hair a-flying in the wind; and ’stead of jumping off and taking to the brush, Bud ’lowed he could out-run him; so they had it, nip and tuck, for five mile or more, the old man a-gaining all the time; so at last Bud seen it warn’t any use, so he stopped and faced around so as to have the bullet holes in front, you know, and the old man he rode up and shot him down. But he didn’t git much chance to enjoy his luck, for inside of a week our folks laid HIM out.” “Yes—we killed one, and they killed one. About three months ago, my fourteen year old cousin, Bud, was riding through the woods on the other side of the river. He wasn’t carrying any weapons, which was plain foolish. He was in a secluded spot when he suddenly heard a horse coming up from behind. He saw it was old Baldy Shepherdson riding up with, gun in his hand and white hair flying in the wind. Instead of dismounting and running into the bush, Bud decided to try and outrun him. The chase went on for about five miles, with the old man gaining on him the whole time. Bud finally realized it wouldn’t be any use to keep running. He stopped and turned to face the old man, so that the bullet holes would be in the front of his body, you know. The old man just rode up and shot him down. He didn’t get much chance to celebrate, though. Our people killed him within the week.”

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