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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Well, the old man he liked that speech, and he mighty soon got it so he could do it first-rate. It seemed like he was just born for it; and when he had his hand in and was excited, it was perfectly lovely the way he would rip and tear and rair up behind when he was getting it off. Well, the old man liked the speech, and after a short while he had it memorized. It seemed like he was born to deliver it. He would get excited and had his hands going—it was wonderful they way he’d put so much into his performance.
The first chance we got the duke he had some showbills printed; and after that, for two or three days as we floated along, the raft was a most uncommon lively place, for there warn’t nothing but sword fighting and rehearsing—as the duke called it—going on all the time. One morning, when we was pretty well down the State of Arkansaw, we come in sight of a little one-horse town in a big bend; so we tied up about three-quarters of a mile above it, in the mouth of a crick which was shut in like a tunnel by the cypress trees, and all of us but Jim took the canoe and went down there to see if there was any chance in that place for our show. The duke got some handbills printed the first chance we got. And for two or three days after that, that raft got to be a pretty lively place as we floated along, since all we’d do was swordfight and rehearse, as the duke called it. One morning, when we were pretty far down the river and into the state of Arkansas, we spotted a little one-horse town on a big bend in the river. The duke tied the raft on the shore about three quarters of a mile upstream, just inside the mouth of a creek that was clovered by the cypress trees. All of us except for Jim went down into the town in the canoe to see if it would be a good place to put on our show.
We struck it mighty lucky; there was going to be a circus there that afternoon, and the country people was already beginning to come in, in all kinds of old shackly wagons, and on horses. The circus would leave before night, so our show would have a pretty good chance. The duke he hired the courthouse, and we went around and stuck up our bills. They read like this: We got pretty lucky; the country folk were already beginning to come into town since there was going to be a circus there that afternoon. They came on horseback and rickety old wagons. The circus would leave before nightfall, so our show would have a pretty good chance of being successful. The duke rented the courthouse to use as a theater, and we went around town putting up our bills. They said:
Shaksperean Revival ! ! ! Shakespearean Revival ! ! !
Wonderful Attraction! Wonderful Attraction!
For One Night Only! For One Night Only!
The world renowned tragedians, David Garrick the Younger, of Drury Lane Theatre London, and Edmund Kean the elder, of the Royal Haymarket Theatre, Whitechapel, Pudding Lane, Piccadilly, London, and the Royal Continental Theatres, in their sublime Shaksperean Spectacle entitled The world renowned tragedians, David Garrick the Younger, of Drury Lane Theatre, London, and Edmund Kean the elder, of the Royal Haymarket Theater, Whitechapel, Pudding Lane, Picadilly, London, and the Royal Continental Theatres, in their sublime Shakesperean Spectacle entitled
The Balcony Scene in Romeo and Juliet ! ! ! The Balcony Scene in Romeo and Juliet ! ! !
Romeo...................Mr. Garrick Romeo…………… Mr. Garrick
Juliet..................Mr. Kean Juliet……………... Mr. Kean
Assisted by the whole strength of the company! Assisted by the whole strength of the company!
New costumes, new scenes, new appointments! New costumes, new scenes, new appointments!
Also: The thrilling, masterly, and blood-curdling Also: The thrilling, masterly, and blood-curdling
Broad-sword conflict In Richard III. ! ! ! Broadsword conflict in Richard III ! ! !
Richard III.............Mr. Garrick Richard III……………….. Mr. Garrick
Richmond................Mr. Kean Richmond………………... Mr. Kean
Also: (by special request) Hamlet’s Immortal Soliloquy ! ! Also: (by special request) Hamlet’s Immortal Soliloquy ! ! !
By The Illustrious Kean! Done by him 300 consecutive nights in Paris! By the Illustrious Kean! Done by him 300 consecutive nights in Paris!
For One Night Only, On account of imperative European engagements! For One Night Only, On account of imperative European engagements!
Admission 25 cents; children and servants, 10 cents. Admission 25 cents; children and servants, 10 cents.
Then we went loafing around town. The stores and houses was most all old, shackly, dried up frame concerns that hadn’t ever been painted; they was set up three or four foot above ground on stilts, so as to be out of reach of the water when the river was over-flowed. The houses had little gardens around them, but they didn’t seem to raise hardly anything in them but jimpson-weeds, and sunflowers, and ash piles, and old curled-up boots and shoes, and pieces of bottles, and rags, and played-out tinware. The fences was made of different kinds of boards, nailed on at different times; and they leaned every which way, and had gates that didn’t generly have but one hinge—a leather one. Some of the fences had been white-washed some time or another, but the duke said it was in Clumbus’ time, like enough. There was generly hogs in the garden, and people driving them out. After that, we wandered around town. The store and houses were all old, ramshackled buildings that hadn’t ever been painted. They were all built on stilts three or four feet off the ground so that they wouldn’t be damaged when the river flooded. The houses had little gardens around them, but nothing seemed to be growing in them except for jimpson weeds and sun flowers, piles of ash from old fires, worn out old boots and shoes, pieces of bottles, rags, and banged up tin pots and pans. The fences were made from different kinds of boards, all nailed on at different times. They leaned in all sorts of directions, and the gates only had leather hinges. Some of the fences had been whitewashed at some point, but the duke said it’d likely been done back during Columbus’s time. There were lots of pigs in the gardens, and people were driving them out.
All the stores was along one street. They had white domestic awnings in front, and the country people hitched their horses to the awning-posts. There was empty drygoods boxes under the awnings, and loafers roosting on them all day long, whittling them with their Barlow knives; and chawing tobacco, and gaping and yawning and stretching—a mighty ornery lot. They generly had on yellow straw hats most as wide as an umbrella, but didn’t wear no coats nor waistcoats, they called one another Bill, and Buck, and Hank, and Joe, and Andy, and talked lazy and drawly, and used considerable many cuss words. There was as many as one loafer leaning up against every awning-post, and he most always had his hands in his britches-pockets, except when he fetched them out to lend a chaw of tobacco or scratch. What a body was hearing amongst them all the time was: All the stores were on one street. They had white, homey looking awnings in front. The country folk would hitch their horses to the awning posts, and there were empy drygoods boxes under the awnings. People would loiter around them all day long, whittling them with their Barlow knives, chewing tobacco, yawning, stretching, and staring—they looked like a pretty mean bunch. There was about one guy loitering at each awning post, and he’d usually have his hands in his pants pockets, except when he took them out to put a piece of chewing tobacco in his mouth or to scratch himself. They generally wore yellow straw hats that were as wide as umbrellas, but they didn’t wear any coats or vests. They called each other Bill or Buck or Hank and Joe and Andy and had lazy, drawling voices. They swore a lot too. And you could hear them say:
“Gimme a chaw ’v tobacker, Hank.” “Gimme some chewing tobacco, Hank.”
“Cain’t; I hain’t got but one chaw left. Ask Bill.” “Can’t—I only got enough for myself left. Ask Bill.”
Maybe Bill he gives him a chaw; maybe he lies and says he ain’t got none. Some of them kinds of loafers never has a cent in the world, nor a chaw of tobacco of their own. They get all their chawing by borrowing; they say to a fellow, “I wisht you’d len’ me a chaw, Jack, I jist this minute give Ben Thompson the last chaw I had"—which is a lie pretty much everytime; it don’t fool nobody but a stranger; but Jack ain’t no stranger, so he says: Maybe Bill would give him some tobacco, or maybe Bill would lie and say he doesn’t have any. Some loiterers like them never have a cent in the world or any chewing tobacco of their own. They get all their tobacco by borrowing it from others. They’ll say to a fellow, “I wished you’d lend me some tobacco, Jack—I gave my last bit to Ben Thompson just a minute ago.” This is pretty much a lie every time, and doesn’t fool anyone except strangers. But Jack isn’t a stranger, so he’d say:

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