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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Then I struck up the road, and when I passed the mill I see a sign on it, “Phelps’s Sawmill,” and when I come to the farm-houses, two or three hundred yards further along, I kept my eyes peeled, but didn’t see nobody around, though it was good daylight now. But I didn’t mind, because I didn’t want to see nobody just yet—I only wanted to get the lay of the land. According to my plan, I was going to turn up there from the village, not from below. So I just took a look, and shoved along, straight for town. Well, the very first man I see when I got there was the duke. He was sticking up a bill for the Royal Nonesuch—three-night performance—like that other time. They had the cheek, them frauds! I was right on him before I could shirk. He looked astonished, and says: Then I headed up the road. When I passed the mill, I saw a sign on it that said, “Phelps’s Sawmill.” I came to the farmhouses about two or three hundred yards further along. I looked around but didn’t see anyone, even though it was broad daylight by now. I didn’t mind, though, because I didn’t want to see anyone just yet—I just wanted to get the lay of the land. According to my plan, I was going to show up at the Phelps’s place from the direction of the village, not from downstream. So I took a quick look, then headed straight for the town. The first man I saw when I got there was the duke! He was posting a bill for the Royal Nonesuch scam, a three-night performance, just like before. They sure had guts, those frauds! Unfortunately, I ran into him before I could get away without being seen. He looked astonished and said:
“Hel-LO! Where’d YOU come from?” Then he says, kind of glad and eager, “Where’s the raft?—got her in a good place?” “HEL-LO! Where’d you come from?” Then he said, kind of eagerly and happily: “Where’s the raft? Hidden it in a good place?”
I says: I said:
“Why, that’s just what I was going to ask your grace.” “Why, that’s just what I was going to ask YOU, Your Grace.”
Then he didn’t look so joyful, and says: Then he didn’t look so happy. He said:
“What was your idea for asking ME?” he says. “Why would you ask ME that?”
“Well,” I says, “when I see the king in that doggery yesterday I says to myself, we can’t get him home for hours, till he’s soberer; so I went a-loafing around town to put in the time and wait. A man up and offered me ten cents to help him pull a skiff over the river and back to fetch a sheep, and so I went along; but when we was dragging him to the boat, and the man left me a-holt of the rope and went behind him to shove him along, he was too strong for me and jerked loose and run, and we after him. We didn’t have no dog, and so we had to chase him all over the country till we tired him out. We never got him till dark; then we fetched him over, and I started down for the raft. When I got there and see it was gone, I says to myself, ’They’ve got into trouble and had to leave; and they’ve took my nigger, which is the only nigger I’ve got in the world, and now I’m in a strange country, and ain’t got no property no more, nor nothing, and no way to make my living;’ so I set down and cried. I slept in the woods all night. But what DID become of the raft, then?—and Jim—poor Jim!” “Well,” I said, “when I saw the king in that saloon yesterday, I knew that we wouldn’t be able to get him home for hours until he sobered up. So I wandered around town to kill some time. A man came up to me and offered me ten cents to help him pull a skiff across the river and back to get a sheep. I said yes and went with him. We were dragging the sheep to the boat, when the man left me to hold the rope while he went behind it to push it forward. The sheep was too strong for me, though, and jerked loose and ran away. We had to run after it. We didn’t have a dog, so we had to chase the sheep all over the countryside until it was exhausted. We didn’t catch him until dark. Then we brought him over, and I headed out to the raft. But when I got there, I saw it was gone. So I said to myself, ‘They must’ve gotten into trouble and left, and they took my n-----, which is the only n----- I have in the whole world. And now I’m in a strange place, and I don’t have any property any more or anything and no way to make a living.’ So I sat down and cried. I slept in the woods all night. But then, what DID become of the raft? And Jim! Poor Jim!”
“Blamed if I know—that is, what’s become of the raft. That old fool had made a trade and got forty dollars, and when we found him in the doggery the loafers had matched half-dollars with him and got every cent but what he’d spent for whisky; and when I got him home late last night and found the raft gone, we said, ’That little rascal has stole our raft and shook us, and run off down the river.’” “Darned if I know what’s become of the raft. That old fool made a deal and got forty dollars, and when we found him in the saloon, those loafers had traded half dollars with him and tricked him out of every cent, aside from what he’d already spent on whisky. And when I got him home late last night and found the raft gone, we said, ‘That little rascale has stolen our raft and run off down the river.’”
“I wouldn’t shake my NIGGER, would I?—the only nigger I had in the world, and the only property.” “I wouldn’t runaway from my N-----, would I? He’s the only n----- I had in the whole world, and he was the only thing I owned.”
“We never thought of that. Fact is, I reckon we’d come to consider him OUR nigger; yes, we did consider him so—goodness knows we had trouble enough for him. So when we see the raft was gone and we flat broke, there warn’t anything for it but to try the Royal Nonesuch another shake. And I’ve pegged along ever since, dry as a powder-horn. Where’s that ten cents? Give it here.” “Well, we never thought of that. The fact is, I suppose we had come to think of him as OUR n-----. Yes, we did think of him that way—goodness knows we went to a lot of trouble for him. So when we saw that the raft was gone and that we were flat broke, the only thing left to do was to try the Royal Nonesuch scam again. I’ve been scraping by ever since—my wallet is as dry as a

powder horn

container used to hold gunpowder

powder horn
. Where’s that ten cents? Give it to me.”
I had considerable money, so I give him ten cents, but begged him to spend it for something to eat, and give me some, because it was all the money I had, and I hadn’t had nothing to eat since yesterday. He never said nothing. The next minute he whirls on me and says: I had quite a lot of money, so I gave him ten cents, but I begged him to spend it on something to eat for the both of us. I told him it was all the money I had and I hadn’t eaten anything since yesterday. He didn’t say anything, though. The next minute, he turned suddenly to me and said:
“Do you reckon that nigger would blow on us? We’d skin him if he done that!” “Do you think that n----- would rat us out? We’d skin him if he did that!”
“How can he blow? Hain’t he run off?” “Rat us out?! Hasn’t he run off?”
“No! That old fool sold him, and never divided with me, and the money’s gone.” “No! That old fool sold him, and didn’t even give me a share. And now the money’s gone.”
“SOLD him?” I says, and begun to cry; “why, he was MY nigger, and that was my money. Where is he?—I want my nigger.” “SOLD him?!” I said, beginning to cry. “But, he was MY n-----, and that was MY money. Where is he? I want my n------!”

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