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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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WE was feeling pretty good after breakfast, and took my canoe and went over the river a-fishing, with a lunch, and had a good time, and took a look at the raft and found her all right, and got home late to supper, and found them in such a sweat and worry they didn’t know which end they was standing on, and made us go right off to bed the minute we was done supper, and wouldn’t tell us what the trouble was, and never let on a word about the new letter, but didn’t need to, because we knowed as much about it as anybody did, and as soon as we was half up stairs and her back was turned we slid for the cellar cupboard and loaded up a good lunch and took it up to our room and went to bed, and got up about half-past eleven, and Tom put on Aunt Sally’s dress that he stole and was going to start with the lunch, but says: We were feeling pretty good after breakfast. We took my canoe and went fishing out in the river. We brought lunch with us and had a good time. We also checked in on the raft and it was okay. We got home late to supper and found that the family was so worried that they didn’t know their right hand from their left. They wouldn’t tell us what was bothering them, but they made us go straight to bed the minute we were done with supper. They didn’t need to tell us anything, though, because we knew more about it than anyone else. As soon as Aunt Sally’s back was turned and we were halfway up the stairs, we snuck back down and into the cellar cupboard. We loaded up with all sorts of food for lunch and took it back to our room. We went to bed, but got up again around eleven-thirty. Tom put on Aunt Sally’s dress and was going to put together the lunch, but said:
“Where’s the butter?” “Where’s the butter?”
“I laid out a hunk of it,” I says, “on a piece of a corn-pone.” “I got out a big chunk of it,” I said. “It was on a piece of cornpone.”
“Well, you LEFT it laid out, then—it ain’t here.” “Well, you LEFT it downstairs then, because it isn’t here.”
“We can get along without it,” I says. “We can do without it,” I said.
“We can get along WITH it, too,” he says; “just you slide down cellar and fetch it. And then mosey right down the lightning-rod and come along. I’ll go and stuff the straw into Jim’s clothes to represent his mother in disguise, and be ready to BA like a sheep and shove soon as you get there.” “We can do WITH it too,” he said. “Just go back down to the cellar and bring it up. Then slid down the lightning rod and catch up with me. I’ll go and stuff the straw into Jim’s clothes to make it look like his mother in disguise. Be ready to baaa like a sheep then head out as soon as you get there.”
So out he went, and down cellar went I. The hunk of butter, big as a person’s fist, was where I had left it, so I took up the slab of corn-pone with it on, and blowed out my light, and started up stairs very stealthy, and got up to the main floor all right, but here comes Aunt Sally with a candle, and I clapped the truck in my hat, and clapped my hat on my head, and the next second she see me; and she says: He left, and I went down to the cellar. That hunk of butter, which was as big as a person’s fist, was right where I’d left it. I took the entire slab of cornpone that I’d set it on too. I blew out the light and started to climb back up the stairs quietly. I got to the main floor without a problem. Then ran into Aunt Sally with a candle. I threw the butter and cornpone under my hat and put my hat on my head. She saw me the next second and said:
“You been down cellar?” “Have you been down in the cellar?”
“Yes’m.” “Yes, ma’m.”
“What you been doing down there?” “What were you doing down there?”
“Noth’n.” “Nothing.”
“NOTH’N!” “NOTHING!”
“No’m.” “No, ma’m.”
“Well, then, what possessed you to go down there this time of night?” “Well, what made you go down there at this time of night in the first place?”
“I don’t know ’m.” “I don’t know, ma’m.”
“You don’t KNOW? Don’t answer me that way. Tom, I want to know what you been DOING down there.” “You don’t KNOW? Don’t tell me that. Tom, I want to know what you’ve been DOING down there.”
“I hain’t been doing a single thing, Aunt Sally, I hope to gracious if I have.” “I haven’t been doing anything, Aunt Sally. I swear, I haven’t.”
I reckoned she’d let me go now, and as a generl thing she would; but I s’pose there was so many strange things going on she was just in a sweat about every little thing that warn’t yard-stick straight; so she says, very decided: I figured she’d let me go, and under normal circumstances she would have. But I suppose there were so many strange things going on that she was in a frenzy about every little thing that wasn’t perfectly normal. She said, in a very matter-of-fact way:
“You just march into that setting-room and stay there till I come. You been up to something you no business to, and I lay I’ll find out what it is before I’M done with you.” “Just march into the sitting room, and stay there until I come. You’ve been up to something you shouldn’t be doing, and I swear I’ll find out what it is before I’M done with you.”
So she went away as I opened the door and walked into the setting-room. My, but there was a crowd there! Fifteen farmers, and every one of them had a gun. I was most powerful sick, and slunk to a chair and set down. They was setting around, some of them talking a little, in a low voice, and all of them fidgety and uneasy, but trying to look like they warn’t; but I knowed they was, because they was always taking off their hats, and putting them on, and scratching their heads, and changing their seats, and fumbling with their buttons. I warn’t easy myself, but I didn’t take my hat off, all the same. She walked away as I opened the door and walked into the sitting room. There was a whole crowd of people in there! There were fifteen farmers, and every one of them had a gun. I felt awfully sick, and sunk into a chair. They were sitting around, some of them talking a little in low voices. All of them were fidgety and restless, but tried to look like they weren’t. I could tell they were nervous because they kept taking off their hats and putting them back on again, scratching their heads, changing their seats, and fumbling with their buttons. I wasn’t so comfortable myself, but I didn’t take my hat off.
I did wish Aunt Sally would come, and get done with me, and lick me, if she wanted to, and let me get away and tell Tom how we’d overdone this thing, and what a thundering hornet’s-nest we’d got ourselves into, so we could stop fooling around straight off, and clear out with Jim before these rips got out of patience and come for us. I did wish Aunt Sally would come back and be done with me. She could even beat me if she wanted to. As long as I could get away and tell Tom we’d overdone it. We needed stop fooling around and just get out of here with Jim before these guys got impatient and came after us. What a mess we’d gotten ourselves into!
At last she come and begun to ask me questions, but I COULDN’T answer them straight, I didn’t know which end of me was up; because these men was in such a fidget now that some was wanting to start right NOW and lay for them desperadoes, and saying it warn’t but a few minutes to midnight; and others was trying to get them to hold on and wait for the sheep-signal; and here was Aunty pegging away at the questions, and me a-shaking all over and ready to sink down in my tracks I was that scared; and the place getting hotter and hotter, and the butter beginning to melt and run down my neck and behind my ears; and pretty soon, when one of them says, “I’M for going and getting in the cabin FIRST and right NOW, and catching them when they come,” I most dropped; and a streak of butter come a-trickling down my forehead, and Aunt Sally she see it, and turns white as a sheet, and says: Aunt Sally finally came back and started to ask me questions, but I COULDN’T answer them honestly because I was so panicked. Some of the men were so fidgety that they wanted to head out right NOW and wait for those desperadoes, saying it was only a few minutes until midnight anyway. Others were trying to get them to hold off and wait for the sheep signal. And then there was Aunty firing away with questions at me. I was shaking all over and so scared that I was wanted to just sink right into the floor. The place was getting hotter and hotter, and the butter started to melt down my neck and behind my ears. Pretty soon, one of them said, “I’M going to go and get in the cabin FIRST right NOW and catch them when they come.” I almost fainted. A streak of butter trickled down my forehead. Aunt Sally saw it, turned white as a sheet, and said:

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