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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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“I don’t know.” “I don’t know.”
“Well, guess.” “Well, take a guess.”
“I don’t know. A month and a half.” “I don’t know—a month and a half.”
“THIRTY-SEVEN YEAR—and he come out in China. THAT’S the kind. I wish the bottom of THIS fortress was solid rock.” “Thirty-seven YEARS. And he popped out in China. That’s the way to do it. I wish the bottom of THIS fortress was solid rock.”
“JIM don’t know nobody in China.” “JIM doesn’t know anyone in China.”
“What’s THAT got to do with it? Neither did that other fellow. But you’re always a-wandering off on a side issue. Why can’t you stick to the main point?” “What’s THAT got to do with it? Neither did that other fellow. But you’re always wandering off topic. Why can’t you ever stick to the main point?”
“All right—I don’t care where he comes out, so he COMES out; and Jim don’t, either, I reckon. But there’s one thing, anyway—Jim’s too old to be dug out with a case-knife. He won’t last.” “All right—I don’t care where he comes out so long as he COMES out. And Jim doesn’t either, I suppose. But there’s one other thing—Jim’s too old to be dug out with a pocket knife. He wouldn’t last that long.”
“Yes he will LAST, too. You don’t reckon it’s going to take thirty-seven years to dig out through a DIRT foundation, do you?” “Yes he will LAST that long. You don’t think it’s going to take us thirty-seven years to dig through a DIRT foundation, do you?”
“How long will it take, Tom?” “Well how long will it take us, Tom?”
“Well, we can’t resk being as long as we ought to, because it mayn’t take very long for Uncle Silas to hear from down there by New Orleans. He’ll hear Jim ain’t from there. Then his next move will be to advertise Jim, or something like that. So we can’t resk being as long digging him out as we ought to. By rights I reckon we ought to be a couple of years; but we can’t. Things being so uncertain, what I recommend is this: that we really dig right in, as quick as we can; and after that, we can LET ON, to ourselves, that we was at it thirty-seven years. Then we can snatch him out and rush him away the first time there’s an alarm. Yes, I reckon that ’ll be the best way.” “Well, we can’t risk taking as much time as it should take, because it might not be long before Uncle Silas sends word back from New Orleans. He’ll find out that Jim isn’t from there. Then his next move will be to advertise Jim as a runaway slave, or something like that. We can’t risk spending too much time digging. We should take a couple of years, but we can’t. With things being so uncertain, I recommend that we dig right in as quickly as we can, then we PRETEND that it took us thirty-seven years. Then we can snatch Jim out of there and take him away the first time there’s an alarm. Yes, I think that’s the best way to do it.”
“Now, there’s SENSE in that,” I says. “Letting on don’t cost nothing; letting on ain’t no trouble; and if it’s any object, I don’t mind letting on we was at it a hundred and fifty year. It wouldn’t strain me none, after I got my hand in. So I’ll mosey along now, and smouch a couple of case-knives.” “Now THAT makes sense,” I said. “Pretending doesn’t cost anything or bring any trouble. And I wouldn’t mind pretending that it took us a hundred and fifty years to do it. I wouldn’t care much either after it’s done. So I’ll go along now and steal a couple of pocket knives.”
“Smouch three,” he says; “we want one to make a saw out of.” “Steal three,” he said. “We want to make a saw out of one.”
“Tom, if it ain’t unregular and irreligious to sejest it,” I says, “there’s an old rusty saw-blade around yonder sticking under the weather-boarding behind the smoke-house.” “Tom, I don’t mean to be rude or disrespectful,” I said, “but there’s an old rusty saw blade over there that’s sticking under the weather boarding behind the smokehouse.”
He looked kind of weary and discouraged-like, and says: Looking discouraged and kind of tired, he said:
“It ain’t no use to try to learn you nothing, Huck. Run along and smouch the knives—three of them.” So I done it. “It isn’t any use trying to teach you anything, Huck. Go on and steal the knives—three of them.” So I did.

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