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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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“It ain’t no use, it can’t be done. What you reckon I better do? Can’t you think of no way?” “It isn’t any use. It can’t be done. What do you think I should do? Can you think of any way up?”
“Yes,” I says, “but I reckon it ain’t regular. Come up the stairs, and let on it’s a lightning-rod.” “Yes,” I said. “But I suppose it’s a bit irregular. Just come up the stairs and pretend it’s a lightning rod.”
So he done it. So he did.
Next day Tom stole a pewter spoon and a brass candlestick in the house, for to make some pens for Jim out of, and six tallow candles; and I hung around the nigger cabins and laid for a chance, and stole three tin plates. Tom says it wasn’t enough; but I said nobody wouldn’t ever see the plates that Jim throwed out, because they’d fall in the dog-fennel and jimpson weeds under the window-hole—then we could tote them back and he could use them over again. So Tom was satisfied. Then he says: The next day Tom stole a pewter spoon and a brass candlestick from the house to use to make some pens for Jim. He also took six tallow candles. I hung around the n----- cabins and waited for my chance to steal three tin plates. Tom said it wasn’t enough, but I said no one would see the tin plates that Jim threw out, because they’d fall among the dog-fennel and jimpson weeds that grew under the window-hole. I said we could just pick them up, carry them back, and use them again. That satisfied Tom. Then he said:
“Now, the thing to study out is, how to get the things to Jim.” “Now we’ve got to figure out how to get these things to Jim.”
“Take them in through the hole,” I says, “when we get it done.” “Just put them through the hole,” I said, “after we finish making it.”
He only just looked scornful, and said something about nobody ever heard of such an idiotic idea, and then he went to studying. By and by he said he had ciphered out two or three ways, but there warn’t no need to decide on any of them yet. Said we’d got to post Jim first. He looked scornfully at me and said something about never having heard of such an idiotic idea. Then he started thinking to himself. Pretty soon he said he’d figured out two or three ways, but that we didn’t need to decide which one to use just yet. He said we had to get word to Jim first.
That night we went down the lightning-rod a little after ten, and took one of the candles along, and listened under the window-hole, and heard Jim snoring; so we pitched it in, and it didn’t wake him. Then we whirled in with the pick and shovel, and in about two hours and a half the job was done. We crept in under Jim’s bed and into the cabin, and pawed around and found the candle and lit it, and stood over Jim awhile, and found him looking hearty and healthy, and then we woke him up gentle and gradual. He was so glad to see us he most cried; and called us honey, and all the pet names he could think of; and was for having us hunt up a cold-chisel to cut the chain off of his leg with right away, and clearing out without losing any time. But Tom he showed him how unregular it would be, and set down and told him all about our plans, and how we could alter them in a minute any time there was an alarm; and not to be the least afraid, because we would see he got away, SURE. So Jim he said it was all right, and we set there and talked over old times awhile, and then Tom asked a lot of questions, and when Jim told him Uncle Silas come in every day or two to pray with him, and Aunt Sally come in to see if he was comfortable and had plenty to eat, and both of them was kind as they could be, Tom says: That night we climbed down the lightning rod a little after ten o’clock. We took one of the candles along and listendd under the window-hole to the sound of Jim snoring. Then we threw the candle in, though it didn’t wake him up. We started digging again with the pick and shovel, and finally finished after about two and a half hours. We crept through the hole and into the cabin under Jim’s bed, and felt around for the candle. We lit it and stood over Jim for a while. He looked pretty hearty and healthy. We woke him up slowly and gently. He was so glad to see us that he almost cried. He called us honey and all the other pet names he could think of. He wanted us to find him a metal chisel right away so that he could cut the chains off his leg and runaway without losing valuable time. But Tom explained how irregular this would be. He sat down and told Jim all about our plans and how we could alter them in a minute’s notice if we thought we were in trouble. He told Jim that he shouldn’t be afraid, because we would make SURE he got away. Jim said that was fine. We sat there and talked about the old days until Tom started asking a lot of questions. Jim told him that Uncle Silas came in every day or two to pray with him. Aunt Sally checked in to see if he was comfortable and make sure he had plenty to eat. Both of them were as kind as they could be. Tom said:
“NOW I know how to fix it. We’ll send you some things by them.” “NOW I know how we can do it! We’ll send you some things with them.”
I said, “Don’t do nothing of the kind; it’s one of the most jackass ideas I ever struck;” but he never paid no attention to me; went right on. It was his way when he’d got his plans set. I said, “That’s one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard—don’t do anything like that,” but he never paid any attention to me. He kept going on like he always did when he made up his mind.
So he told Jim how we’d have to smuggle in the rope-ladder pie and other large things by Nat, the nigger that fed him, and he must be on the lookout, and not be surprised, and not let Nat see him open them; and we would put small things in uncle’s coat-pockets and he must steal them out; and we would tie things to aunt’s apron-strings or put them in her apron-pocket, if we got a chance; and told him what they would be and what they was for. And told him how to keep a journal on the shirt with his blood, and all that. He told him everything. Jim he couldn’t see no sense in the most of it, but he allowed we was white folks and knowed better than him; so he was satisfied, and said he would do it all just as Tom said. He told Jim how we’d have to smuggle in the rope-ladder pie and other large things by way of Nat, the n----- that fed him. Tom told Jim to always be on the lookout and not let Nat catch him opening these things. We told him about all the small things we’d send to him and what they were for. We’d put some items in Uncle Silas’s coat pockets so Jim needed to pickpocket. We would tie some items to Aunt Sally’s apron string or put them in her apron pocket if we got the chance. Tom taught Jim how to keep a journal on the shirt with his blood, and all that too. He told him everything. Jim didn’t see the point in most of it, but he figured we knew better than he did because we were white. He was satisfied and said he’d do as Tom had instructed.
Jim had plenty corn-cob pipes and tobacco; so we had a right down good sociable time; then we crawled out through the hole, and so home to bed, with hands that looked like they’d been chawed. Tom was in high spirits. He said it was the best fun he ever had in his life, and the most intellectural; and said if he only could see his way to it we would keep it up all the rest of our lives and leave Jim to our children to get out; for he believed Jim would come to like it better and better the more he got used to it. He said that in that way it could be strung out to as much as eighty year, and would be the best time on record. And he said it would make us all celebrated that had a hand in it. Jim had plenty of corn cob pipes and tobacco, so we had a good time chatting away. Then we crawled out through the hole and back to bed. Our hands looked like they’d been chewed up. Tom was in high spirits—he said it was the most fun he’d ever had in his life, and the most intellectual time too. He said he wished we could keep doing this for the rest of our lives, and then leave Jim to our children so they could have fun breaking him out too. He thought Jim would like it more and more as he got used to it. He said we could keep this going for another eighty years and make it the best break out on record. And he said that we’d be celebrated for our role in it.

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