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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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That’s all he said. He was the innocentest, best old soul I ever see. But it warn’t surprising; because he warn’t only just a farmer, he was a preacher, too, and had a little one-horse log church down back of the plantation, which he built it himself at his own expense, for a church and schoolhouse, and never charged nothing for his preaching, and it was worth it, too. There was plenty other farmer-preachers like that, and done the same way, down South. That’s all he said. He was the sweetest, most innocent soul I’d ever seen. It wasn’t surprising, though, because he wasn’t just a farmer—he was a preacher too. He had a tiny little log cabin church at the rear of the plantation, which he’d built himself at his own expense. He used it as a church and as a schoolhouse and he didn’t charge anything for his preaching, though he could have. There were lots of other farmer-preachers in the South who did the same thing.
In about half an hour Tom’s wagon drove up to the front stile, and Aunt Sally she see it through the window, because it was only about fifty yards, and says: Tom’s wagon pulled up to the front of the stile about a half an hour later. Aunt Sally saw it through the window, because it was only about fifty yards away. She said:
“Why, there’s somebody come! I wonder who ’tis? Why, I do believe it’s a stranger. Jimmy” (that’s one of the children) “run and tell Lize to put on another plate for dinner.” “Look! Someone’s here! I wonder who it is? Why, I think it’s a stranger. Jimmy”—that was one of the children—“run and tell Lize to put on another plate at the table for dinner.”
Everybody made a rush for the front door, because, of course, a stranger don’t come EVERY year, and so he lays over the yaller-fever, for interest, when he does come. Tom was over the stile and starting for the house; the wagon was spinning up the road for the village, and we was all bunched in the front door. Tom had his store clothes on, and an audience—and that was always nuts for Tom Sawyer. In them circumstances it warn’t no trouble to him to throw in an amount of style that was suitable. He warn’t a boy to meeky along up that yard like a sheep; no, he come ca’m and important, like the ram. When he got a-front of us he lifts his hat ever so gracious and dainty, like it was the lid of a box that had butterflies asleep in it and he didn’t want to disturb them, and says: Everyone rushed to the front door because, of course, strangers didn’t come that often. Tom had made it over the stile and was headed toward the house. The wagon was headed up the road toward the village, and we were all bunched around the front door. Tom was wearing his store-bought clothes and he’d drawn an audience—that’s just how Tom Sawyer liked it. In these circumstances, Tom could easily thrown a suitable amount of style into whatever he was doing. He wasn’t the kind of boy to walk through the yard up toward the house like a meek little lamb. No, he walked up calmly but confidently, like a ram. When he stood in front of us he lifted his hat graciously and daintily, like it was the lid of a box that had butterflies asleep in it that he didn’t want to disturb. He said:
“Mr. Archibald Nichols, I presume?” “Mr. Archibald Nichols, I presume?”
“No, my boy,” says the old gentleman, “I’m sorry to say ’t your driver has deceived you; Nichols’s place is down a matter of three mile more. Come in, come in.” “No, my boy,” said the old gentleman. “I’m sorry to say your driver has taken you to the wrong house. Nichols’s place is about three miles or so down the road. But come in, come in.”
Tom he took a look back over his shoulder, and says, “Too late—he’s out of sight.” Tom took a look over his shoulder and said, “Too late—the driver is already out of sight.”
“Yes, he’s gone, my son, and you must come in and eat your dinner with us; and then we’ll hitch up and take you down to Nichols’s.” “Yes, he’s gone, my son. You must come in and have dinner with us. Then we’ll hitch up the wagon and take you to the Nichols’s.”
“Oh, I CAN’T make you so much trouble; I couldn’t think of it. I’ll walk—I don’t mind the distance.” “Oh, I COULDN’T trouble you like that—I wouldn’t dream of it. I’ll walk—it’s not too far, and I don’t mind.”
“But we won’t LET you walk—it wouldn’t be Southern hospitality to do it. Come right in.” “But we won’t LET you walk—it wouldn’t be in the nature of Southern hospitality to let you. Please, come on in.”
“Oh, DO,” says Aunt Sally; “it ain’t a bit of trouble to us, not a bit in the world. You must stay. It’s a long, dusty three mile, and we can’t let you walk. And, besides, I’ve already told ’em to put on another plate when I see you coming; so you mustn’t disappoint us. Come right in and make yourself at home.” “Oh DO,” said Aunt Sally. “It’s no trouble for us at all, not a bit in the world. You must stay. It’s a long, dusty three miles to the Nichols’s, and we can’t let you walk it. Besides, I’ve already told them to set another plate at the table when I saw you coming, so you mustn’t disappoint us. Come right in, and make yourself at home.”
So Tom he thanked them very hearty and handsome, and let himself be persuaded, and come in; and when he was in he said he was a stranger from Hicksville, Ohio, and his name was William Thompson—and he made another bow. Tom thanked them heartily and handsomely and let them persuade him to come inside. When he was inside he said he was a stranger named William Thompson, who’d come from Hicksville, Ohio. Then he made another bow.
Well, he run on, and on, and on, making up stuff about Hicksville and everybody in it he could invent, and I getting a little nervious, and wondering how this was going to help me out of my scrape; and at last, still talking along, he reached over and kissed Aunt Sally right on the mouth, and then settled back again in his chair comfortable, and was going on talking; but she jumped up and wiped it off with the back of her hand, and says: He talked on and on, making up stuff about Hicksville and everyone who lived there. I started to get a little nervous and wondered how this was going to help me out of my predicament. Finally, while still talking, he reached over and kissed Aunt Sally right on the mouth. Then he settled back comfortably in his chair and kept on talking. She jumped up, though, and wiped the kiss off her lips with the back of her hand, and said:
“You owdacious puppy!” “Why, you little rascal!”
He looked kind of hurt, and says: He looked kind of hurt, and said:
“I’m surprised at you, m’am.” “I’m surprised at you, ma’am.”
“You’re s’rp—Why, what do you reckon I am? I’ve a good notion to take and—Say, what do you mean by kissing me?” “You’re surprised… Well, who do you think I am? I have a half a mind to take and… Why did you kiss me?”
He looked kind of humble, and says: He looked looked down humbly and said:
“I didn’t mean nothing, m’am. I didn’t mean no harm. I—I—thought you’d like it.” “I didn’t mean anything by it, ma’am. I didn’t mean any harm. I… I… I thought you’d like it.”
“Why, you born fool!” She took up the spinning stick, and it looked like it was all she could do to keep from giving him a crack with it. “What made you think I’d like it?” “Why you little fool!” She picked up the spinning stick, and it looked like it was taking all her effort not to smack him with it. “Why did you think I’d like it?”
“Well, I don’t know. Only, they—they—told me you would.” “I don’t know. It’s just that they… they… they told me you would.”

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