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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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“Why,” said he, “a magician could call up a lot of genies, and they would hash you up like nothing before you could say Jack Robinson. They are as tall as a tree and as big around as a church.” “Why, a magician could summon a lot of genies,” he said, “and they would carve you up like mincemeat before you could say Jack Robinson. They’re as tall as a tree and as big around as a church.”
“Well,” I says, “s’pose we got some genies to help US—can’t we lick the other crowd then?” “Well,” I said, “suppose we got some of our own genies. Wouldn’t we be able to beat the other genies then?”
“How you going to get them?” “How are you going to get any genies?”
“I don’t know. How do THEY get them?” “I don’t know. How did the magicians get them?”
“Why, they rub an old tin lamp or an iron ring, and then the genies come tearing in, with the thunder and lightning a-ripping around and the smoke a-rolling, and everything they’re told to do they up and do it. They don’t think nothing of pulling a shot-tower up by the roots, and belting a Sunday-school superintendent over the head with it—or any other man.” “Well, they rub an old tin lamp or an iron ring and then the genies appear with a bang of thunder and lightening and smoke. And they have to do everything they’re told to do. They wouldn’t think twice about pulling up a whole

shot-tower

large, smokestack-like structure used to make lead shot, or bullets.

shot-tower
and smacking a Sunday school teacher or any other man over the head with it.”
“Who makes them tear around so?” “Who makes them do such things?”
“Why, whoever rubs the lamp or the ring. They belong to whoever rubs the lamp or the ring, and they’ve got to do whatever he says. If he tells them to build a palace forty miles long out of di’monds, and fill it full of chewing-gum, or whatever you want, and fetch an emperor’s daughter from China for you to marry, they’ve got to do it—and they’ve got to do it before sun-up next morning, too. And more: they’ve got to waltz that palace around over the country wherever you want it, you understand.” “Whoever rubs the lamp or ring, that’s who. Whoever does the rubbing becomes the person in charge of the genies, and they have to do whatever he says. If he tells them to build a diamond palace that’s forty miles long and fill it with chewing gum or whatever else you want and then get you a daughter of the emperor of China for you to marry, then the genies have got to do it—before sun-up the next day, too. What’s more, they’ve got to put that palace anywhere you want it.”
“Well,” says I, “I think they are a pack of flat-heads for not keeping the palace themselves ’stead of fooling them away like that. And what’s more—if I was one of them I would see a man in Jericho before I would drop my business and come to him for the rubbing of an old tin lamp.” “Well,” I said. “I think they’re a bunch of idiots for giving palaces away like that and not keeping them for themselves. What’s more, if I were a genie I would rather put any guy who rubbed my lamp in

Jericho

ancient walled city that was destroyed numerous times

Jericho
than have to drop whatever I was doing and come to him.”
“How you talk, Huck Finn. Why, you’d HAVE to come when he rubbed it, whether you wanted to or not.” “Listen to yourself talk, Huck Finn! You’d HAVE to come when he rubbed your lamp, whether you wanted to or not.”
“What! and I as high as a tree and as big as a church? All right, then; I WOULD come; but I lay I’d make that man climb the highest tree there was in the country.” “Ha! With me as tall as a tree and as big as a church? Fine then: I WOULD come if he rubbed the lamp, but I’d make him climb the highest tree in the whole country.”
“Shucks, it ain’t no use to talk to you, Huck Finn. You don’t seem to know anything, somehow—perfect saphead.” “Geez, it’s no use talking to you, Huck Finn. You don’t seem to know anything—you’re a perfect moron.”
I thought all this over for two or three days, and then I reckoned I would see if there was anything in it. I got an old tin lamp and an iron ring, and went out in the woods and rubbed and rubbed till I sweat like an Injun, calculating to build a palace and sell it; but it warn’t no use, none of the genies come. So then I judged that all that stuff was only just one of Tom Sawyer’s lies. I reckoned he believed in the A-rabs and the elephants, but as for me I think different. It had all the marks of a Sunday-school. I thought about all this for two ro three days, and then I reckoned I would see if there was anything to it. I got an old tim lamp and an iron ring and went out into the woods and rubbed and rubbed until I was sweating like an Indian. I figured I could build a palace so that I could sell it. But it wasn’t any use—none of the genies came. I decided that all that stuff about genies was just more of Tom Sawyer’s lies. I decided he actually believed in the Arabs and the elephants, but me, I knew better. It sounded about as real as all that stuff you learn about in Sunday school.

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