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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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WELL, three or four months run along, and it was well into the winter now. I had been to school most all the time and could spell and read and write just a little, and could say the multiplication table up to six times seven is thirty-five, and I don’t reckon I could ever get any further than that if I was to live forever. I don’t take no stock in mathematics, anyway. Well, three or four months passed, and it was well into winter. I had gone to school most of the time, and by this point I could spell and read and write a little. I could also say the multiplication table up to six times seven is thirty-five, but I don’t think I could get any farther than that even if I lived forever. I don’t think mathematics is that useful anyway.
At first I hated the school, but by and by I got so I could stand it. Whenever I got uncommon tired I played hookey, and the hiding I got next day done me good and cheered me up. So the longer I went to school the easier it got to be. I was getting sort of used to the widow’s ways, too, and they warn’t so raspy on me. Living in a house and sleeping in a bed pulled on me pretty tight mostly, but before the cold weather I used to slide out and sleep in the woods sometimes, and so that was a rest to me. I liked the old ways best, but I was getting so I liked the new ones, too, a little bit. The widow said I was coming along slow but sure, and doing very satisfactory. She said she warn’t ashamed of me. At first I hated school, but after awhile I was able to stand it. The longer I went to school, the easier it got to be. I played hookey whenever I got bored. The spanking I got next day would cheer me up and do me good. I was kind of getting used the widow’s ways, too, and they didn’t bother me so much. Living in a house and sleeping in a bed felt confining, but I’d take breaks from it by sneaking out and sleeping in the woods sometimes, at least until winter came. I liked my old way of living best, but I also liked the new ways a little bit. The widow said I was making progress slowly but surely. She was satisfied and said that she wasn’t ashamed of me.
One morning I happened to turn over the salt-cellar at breakfast. I reached for some of it as quick as I could to throw over my left shoulder and keep off the bad luck, but Miss Watson was in ahead of me, and crossed me off. She says, “Take your hands away, Huckleberry; what a mess you are always making!” The widow put in a good word for me, but that warn’t going to keep off the bad luck, I knowed that well enough. I started out, after breakfast, feeling worried and shaky, and wondering where it was going to fall on me, and what it was going to be. There is ways to keep off some kinds of bad luck, but this wasn’t one of them kind; so I never tried to do anything, but just poked along low-spirited and on the watch-out. One morning I happened to knock over the salt shaker at breakfast. I reached for some of it as quick as I could so that I could throw it over my shoulder to keep off the bad luck. But Miss Watson intercepted my hand before I could. She said, “Keep your hands away, Huckleberry. What a mess you’re always making!” The widow put in a good word for me, but I knew enough to know that wasn’t enough to keep off the bad luck. I left the house after breakfast feeling nervous. I wondering when the bad luck would strike and what it would bring. There are ways to keep some kinds of bad luck away, but this wasn’t one of them. So I didn’t take any risks, and just continued on my way, glum but on the lookout.
I went down to the front garden and clumb over the stile where you go through the high board fence. There was an inch of new snow on the ground, and I seen somebody’s tracks. They had come up from the quarry and stood around the stile a while, and then went on around the garden fence. It was funny they hadn’t come in, after standing around so. I couldn’t make it out. It was very curious, somehow. I was going to follow around, but I stooped down to look at the tracks first. I didn’t notice anything at first, but next I did. There was a cross in the left boot-heel made with big nails, to keep off the devil. I went down to the garden in the front of the house and climbed over the gate in the tall fence. There was an inch of snow on the ground, and I spotted somebody’s tracks. The person had come up from the quarry and stood by the gate for awhile before going around the garden fence. It was funny that they just stood there instead of coming in. It was defintely strange, and I couldn’t figure it out. I was about to follow the tracks around the fence, but decided to bend down and inspect them a bit closer. At first I didn’t notice anything, but then I saw a cross made with big nails hammered into the left boot-heel to keep away the devil.
I was up in a second and shinning down the hill. I looked over my shoulder every now and then, but I didn’t see nobody. I was at Judge Thatcher’s as quick as I could get there. He said: I got up quick and sprinted down the hill to Judge Thatcher’s house as quick as I could. I kept looking over my shoulder every now and then, but I didn’t see anybody. When I got there, Judge Thatcher said:
“Why, my boy, you are all out of breath. Did you come for your interest?” “Why you’re all out of breath, my boy. Did you come to collect some of the interest you’ve made on your money?”
“No, sir,” I says; “is there some for me?” “No, sir,” I said. “Is there any?”
“Oh, yes, a half-yearly is in last night—over a hundred and fifty dollars. Quite a fortune for you. You had better let me invest it along with your six thousand, because if you take it you’ll spend it.” “Oh yes, a half-yearly sum arrived last night. It came to over a hundred and fifty dollars. That’s quite a fortune. You had better let me invest it along with your six thousand, so you don’t go and spend it.”
“No, sir,” I says, “I don’t want to spend it. I don’t want it at all—nor the six thousand, nuther. I want you to take it; I want to give it to you—the six thousand and all.” “No, sir,” I said. “I don’t want to spend it. I don’t want any of it—not the interest or the six thousand. I want you to take it. I want to give it all to you.”
He looked surprised. He couldn’t seem to make it out. He says: He looked surprised, and didn’t seem to understand. He said:
“Why, what can you mean, my boy?” “Why, what do you mean, my boy?”
I says, “Don’t you ask me no questions about it, please. You’ll take it—won’t you?” “Don’t ask me any questions about it, please,” I said. “You’ll take it, though, won’t you?”
He says: He said:
“Well, I’m puzzled. Is something the matter?” “Well, I’m confused. Is something wrong?”
“Please take it,” says I, “and don’t ask me nothing—then I won’t have to tell no lies.” “Please take it,” I said, “and don’t as me any questions, because I don’t want to have to lie to you.”
He studied a while, and then he says: He thought for a moment, then said:
“Oho-o! I think I see. You want to SELL all your property to me—not give it. That’s the correct idea.” “Ah ha! I think I understand. You want to SELL all your property to me, not give it away. That’s what you mean.”

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