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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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“Come to think, the logs ain’t a-going to do; they don’t have log walls in a dungeon: we got to dig the inscriptions into a rock. We’ll fetch a rock.” “Come to think of it, the logs aren’t going to do—they don’t have log walls in dungeons. We’ve got to carve the inscriptions into a rock. We’ll have to get a rock.”
Jim said the rock was worse than the logs; he said it would take him such a pison long time to dig them into a rock he wouldn’t ever get out. But Tom said he would let me help him do it. Then he took a look to see how me and Jim was getting along with the pens. It was most pesky tedious hard work and slow, and didn’t give my hands no show to get well of the sores, and we didn’t seem to make no headway, hardly; so Tom says: Jim said that the rock would be worse than the logs. He said it would take him such a long time to carve the words into the rock that he’d never get out. But Tom said he’d let me help him do it. Then he looked to see how Jim and I were coming along with the pens. It was hard work and very tedious, and it wasn’t helping my hands to heal. We didn’t seem to be making any headway, so Tom said:
“I know how to fix it. We got to have a rock for the coat of arms and mournful inscriptions, and we can kill two birds with that same rock. There’s a gaudy big grindstone down at the mill, and we’ll smouch it, and carve the things on it, and file out the pens and the saw on it, too.” “I know how to fix it. We’ve got to have a rock for the coat of arms and somber inscriptions. We can kill two birds with one stone by just using that same rock for both. There’s a pretty big grindstone down at the mill—we’ll steal it, carve the things on it, and file the pens and the saw on it too.”
It warn’t no slouch of an idea; and it warn’t no slouch of a grindstone nuther; but we allowed we’d tackle it. It warn’t quite midnight yet, so we cleared out for the mill, leaving Jim at work. We smouched the grindstone, and set out to roll her home, but it was a most nation tough job. Sometimes, do what we could, we couldn’t keep her from falling over, and she come mighty near mashing us every time. Tom said she was going to get one of us, sure, before we got through. We got her half way; and then we was plumb played out, and most drownded with sweat. We see it warn’t no use; we got to go and fetch Jim. So he raised up his bed and slid the chain off of the bed-leg, and wrapt it round and round his neck, and we crawled out through our hole and down there, and Jim and me laid into that grindstone and walked her along like nothing; and Tom superintended. He could out-superintend any boy I ever see. He knowed how to do everything. It wasn’t a bad idea. And though it was no little lgrindstone, we figured we’d tackle it. It wasn’t quite midnight yet, so we left Jim to work and headed out for the mill. We stole the grindstone and started to roll it back home, but it was the toughest job in the world. Try as we might, we couldn’t keep it from falling over, and it nearly smashed us every time. Tom said it was going to crush one of us for sure before we’d finished. We got it halfway before we were exhausted and drenched in sweat. We saw it wasn’t going to be any use—we had to go and get Jim. So he lifted up the end of his bed and slid the chain off the bed leg. He wrapped it round and round his neck, and we crawled out through our hole and down to the place where we’d left the stone. Jim and I pushed that grindstone with all our might and got it moving like it was nothing. Tom supervised. He could supervise better than any boy I’d ever seen. He knew how to do everything.
Our hole was pretty big, but it warn’t big enough to get the grindstone through; but Jim he took the pick and soon made it big enough. Then Tom marked out them things on it with the nail, and set Jim to work on them, with the nail for a chisel and an iron bolt from the rubbage in the lean-to for a hammer, and told him to work till the rest of his candle quit on him, and then he could go to bed, and hide the grindstone under his straw tick and sleep on it. Then we helped him fix his chain back on the bed-leg, and was ready for bed ourselves. But Tom thought of something, and says: The hole we’d dug was pretty big, but it wasn’t big enough to get the grindstone through. So Jim took the pick and soon made it big enough. Then Tom drew those things on the grindstone with the nail, and got Jim started carving them in. He used the nail for a chisel and an old iron bolt from the garbage in the lean-to as a hammer. Tom told Jim to work until the rest of the candle burned out. At that point it would be time for bed, and Jim could hide the grindstone under his straw mattress to sleep on. We helped Jim put his chain back on the bed leg, and we were ready for bed ourselves. But Tom thought of something and said:
“You got any spiders in here, Jim?” “Are there any spiders in here, Jim?”
“No, sah, thanks to goodness I hain’t, Mars Tom.” “No, sir. Thank goodness there aren’t, Master Tom.”
“All right, we’ll get you some.” “All right, we’ll get you some.”
“But bless you, honey, I doan’ WANT none. I’s afeard un um. I jis’ ’s soon have rattlesnakes aroun’.” “But bless you, honey, I don’t WANT any. I’m afraid of them. I would just as soon have rattlesnakes around.”
Tom thought a minute or two, and says: Tom thought for a minute or two, then said:
“It’s a good idea. And I reckon it’s been done. It MUST a been done; it stands to reason. Yes, it’s a prime good idea. Where could you keep it?” “That’s a good idea. And I bet it’s been done before. It MUST have been done—it makes sense that it would have. Yes, it’s a really good idea. Where could you keep it?”
“Keep what, Mars Tom?” “Keep what, Master Tom?”
“Why, a rattlesnake.” “A rattlesnake, of course.”
“De goodness gracious alive, Mars Tom! Why, if dey was a rattlesnake to come in heah I’d take en bust right out thoo dat log wall, I would, wid my head.” “Goodness gracious, Master Tom! Why, if a rattlesnake came in here, I’d bust right through that log wall with my head!”
“Why, Jim, you wouldn’t be afraid of it after a little. You could tame it.” “But Jim, you wouldn’t be afraid of it after awhile. You could tame it.”
“TAME it!” “TAME it!”
“Yes—easy enough. Every animal is grateful for kindness and petting, and they wouldn’t THINK of hurting a person that pets them. Any book will tell you that. You try—that’s all I ask; just try for two or three days. Why, you can get him so in a little while that he’ll love you; and sleep with you; and won’t stay away from you a minute; and will let you wrap him round your neck and put his head in your mouth.” “Yeah—it’s easy. Every animal is grateful for kindness and petting. They wouldn’t THINK of hurting a person that pets them. Any book will tell you that. Just try it, that’s all I ask. Try it for two or three days. Why, you can work him so that after awhile he’ll love you and sleep with you and won’t leave you for a minute. He’ll let you wrap him around your neck and put his head in your mouth.”
“PLEASE, Mars Tom—DOAN’ talk so! I can’t STAN’ it! He’d LET me shove his head in my mouf—fer a favor, hain’t it? I lay he’d wait a pow’ful long time ’fo’ I AST him. En mo’ en dat, I doan’ WANT him to sleep wid me.” “PLEASE, Master Tom—DON’T talk like that! I can’t stand it! He’d LET me shove his head in my mouth—as a favor, huh? I guess he’d wait a long while before I ASKED him. And what’s more, I don’t WANT him to sleep with me.”

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