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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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All of a sudden, bang! bang! bang! goes three or four guns—the men had slipped around through the woods and come in from behind without their horses! The boys jumped for the river—both of them hurt—and as they swum down the current the men run along the bank shooting at them and singing out, “Kill them, kill them!” It made me so sick I most fell out of the tree. I ain’t a-going to tell ALL that happened—it would make me sick again if I was to do that. I wished I hadn’t ever come ashore that night to see such things. I ain’t ever going to get shut of them—lots of times I dream about them. All of a sudden there was a Bang! Bang! Bang! Three or four guns went off—the men had snuck around through the woods and come in on foot from behind! Both of the boys got injured, but they ran for the river. As they swum downstream with the current, the men ran up to the bank and started shooting at them, yelling, “Kill them! Kill them!” The scene made me so sick that I nearly fell out of the tree. It would make me sick to tell EVERYTHING that happened there. Seeing such things made me wished I’d never come to shore that night. I’ll never forget what I saw. I dream about it a lot.
I stayed in the tree till it begun to get dark, afraid to come down. Sometimes I heard guns away off in the woods; and twice I seen little gangs of men gallop past the log store with guns; so I reckoned the trouble was still a-going on. I was mighty downhearted; so I made up my mind I wouldn’t ever go anear that house again, because I reckoned I was to blame, somehow. I judged that that piece of paper meant that Miss Sophia was to meet Harney somewheres at half-past two and run off; and I judged I ought to told her father about that paper and the curious way she acted, and then maybe he would a locked her up, and this awful mess wouldn’t ever happened. I was so afraid to come down that I stayed in the tree until it began to get dark. Sometimes I would hear the sound of guns way off in the woods. Twice I saw little gangs of men with guns gallop past the log store, so I figured that the fighting was still going on. I was feeling pretty sad. I made up my mind that I would never go near that house again, because I figured that I was somehow to blame. I figured that piece of paper meant that Miss Sophia was supposed to meet Harney somewhere at half past two o’clock so that they could run off together. And I figured I ought to have told her father about the paper and the funny way she’d acted. Then maybe he would have locked her up and this awful mess wouldn’t have happened.
When I got down out of the tree I crept along down the river bank a piece, and found the two bodies laying in the edge of the water, and tugged at them till I got them ashore; then I covered up their faces, and got away as quick as I could. I cried a little when I was covering up Buck’s face, for he was mighty good to me. Once I got down out of the tree, I crept downstream along the riverbank for a bit. I found two bodies lying in the edge of the water, and I tugged them ashore. Then I covered up their faces and snuck away as quickly as I could. I cried a little when I was covering up Buck’s face, because he’d been really good to me.
It was just dark now. I never went near the house, but struck through the woods and made for the swamp. Jim warn’t on his island, so I tramped off in a hurry for the crick, and crowded through the willows, red-hot to jump aboard and get out of that awful country. The raft was gone! My souls, but I was scared! I couldn’t get my breath for most a minute. Then I raised a yell. A voice not twenty-five foot from me says: It was dark now. I didn’t go near the house. Instead I headed back into the woods toward the swamp. Jim wasn’t on his island, so I hurried off toward the creek. I pushed through the willows, anxious to jump aboard the raft and get out of this awful place. But the raft was gone! My goodness, I was so scared! It took me a moment to catch my breath. Then I started yelling. A voice not twenty-five feet away from me said:
“Good lan’! is dat you, honey? Doan’ make no noise.” “Good land! Is that you, kid? Don’t make any more noise.”
It was Jim’s voice—nothing ever sounded so good before. I run along the bank a piece and got aboard, and Jim he grabbed me and hugged me, he was so glad to see me. He says: It was Jim’s voice. Nothing had ever sounded so good before. I ran along the bank a bit and got aboard. Jim grabbed me and hugged me, he was so glad to see me. He said:
“Laws bless you, chile, I ’uz right down sho’ you’s dead agin. Jack’s been heah; he say he reck’n you’s ben shot, kase you didn’ come home no mo’; so I’s jes’ dis minute a startin’ de raf’ down towards de mouf er de crick, so’s to be all ready for to shove out en leave soon as Jack comes agin en tells me for certain you IS dead. Lawsy, I’s mighty glad to git you back again, honey.” “Lord bless you, child. Again, I was sure you were dead. Jack’s been here—he says he supposed you’d been shot because you never came back home. So I was going to head out on the raft this very minute toward the mouth of the creek. I was all ready to leave as soon as he came back again and told me for certain that you WERE dead. Lord, I’m mighty glad to have you back again, kid.”
I says: I said:
“All right—that’s mighty good; they won’t find me, and they’ll think I’ve been killed, and floated down the river—there’s something up there that ’ll help them think so—so don’t you lose no time, Jim, but just shove off for the big water as fast as ever you can.” “All right—that’s great—that means they won’t be able to find me. They’ll think I’ve been killed and floated down the river. Something’s up there that will help make them think that I am dead, so… so don’t waste any time, Jim. Just head toward the big river as fast as you can.”
I never felt easy till the raft was two mile below there and out in the middle of the Mississippi. Then we hung up our signal lantern, and judged that we was free and safe once more. I hadn’t had a bite to eat since yesterday, so Jim he got out some corn-dodgers and buttermilk, and pork and cabbage and greens—there ain’t nothing in the world so good when it’s cooked right—and whilst I eat my supper we talked and had a good time. I was powerful glad to get away from the feuds, and so was Jim to get away from the swamp. We said there warn’t no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don’t. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft. I couldn’t relax until the raft was about two miles down river and out in the middle of the Mississippi. Then we hoisted our signal lantern and figured that we were free and safe once again. I hadn’t had a bite to eat since the day before, so Jim got out some fried cornmeal, buttermlike, pork, cabbage, and greens. There nothing in the world that’s better than when those things are cooked just right. While I ate my supper we talked and had a good time. I was awfully glad to get away from the feuds, and Jim was just as glad to get away from the swamp. We agreed there was no better home than a raft. Other places seem claustrophobic, but a raft doesn’t. You can feel free and relaxed and comfortable on a raft.

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