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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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“For the land’s sake, what IS the matter with the child? He’s got the brain-fever as shore as you’re born, and they’re oozing out!” “Lord’s sake! What is the MATTER with this child? He’s got the brain fever for sure! His brains are just oozing right out!”
And everybody runs to see, and she snatches off my hat, and out comes the bread and what was left of the butter, and she grabbed me, and hugged me, and says: Everybody ran over to see. Aunt Sally snatched off my hat and out came the bread and what was left of the butter. She grabbed me, hugged me, and said:
“Oh, what a turn you did give me! and how glad and grateful I am it ain’t no worse; for luck’s against us, and it never rains but it pours, and when I see that truck I thought we’d lost you, for I knowed by the color and all it was just like your brains would be if—Dear, dear, whyd’nt you TELL me that was what you’d been down there for, I wouldn’t a cared. Now cler out to bed, and don’t lemme see no more of you till morning!” “Oh, you scared me so much! I’m so glad and grateful to see that it isn’t worse. We’re having a streak of bad luck—when it rains, it pours—and when I saw all that stuff sliding down your head I thought we’d lost you. I thought by the color of it that it was just as if your brains had… Dear, dear, why didn’t you TELL me that’s what you’d been doing down there? I wouldn’t have cared. Now go back up to bed, and I don’t want to see you until morning!”
I was up stairs in a second, and down the lightning-rod in another one, and shinning through the dark for the lean-to. I couldn’t hardly get my words out, I was so anxious; but I told Tom as quick as I could we must jump for it now, and not a minute to lose—the house full of men, yonder, with guns! I was back upstairs in a second, then down the lightning rod in another. I ran through the dark to the lean-to. I could barely say anything because I was so anxious, but I told Tom as quickly as I could that we had to make a break for it. The house was full of men with guns, and we didn’t have a minute to lose.
His eyes just blazed; and he says: His eyes just blazed, and he said:
“No!—is that so? AIN’T it bully! Why, Huck, if it was to do overagain, I bet I could fetch two hundred! If we could put it off till—” “No! Is that so? That’s GREAT! Why, Huck, if I were to do it all over again, I bet I could get them to round up two hundred men! If we could just put this off until….”
“Hurry! HURRY!” I says. “Where’s Jim?” “Hurry! HURRY!” I said. “Where’s Jim?”
“Right at your elbow; if you reach out your arm you can touch him. He’s dressed, and everything’s ready. Now we’ll slide out and give the sheep-signal.” “He’s right at your elbow. If you reach out your arm, you can touch him. He’s dressed, and everything’s ready. Now we’ll just sneak out of hear and give the sheep signal.”
But then we heard the tramp of men coming to the door, and heard them begin to fumble with the pad-lock, and heard a man say: But right then we heard a bunch of men running to the door, and we heard them begin to fumble with the padlock. We heard a man say:
“I TOLD you we’d be too soon; they haven’t come—the door is locked. Here, I’ll lock some of you into the cabin, and you lay for ’em in the dark and kill ’em when they come; and the rest scatter around a piece, and listen if you can hear ’em coming.” “I TOLD you we’d get here too early. They haven’t come yet—the door is still locked. Here, I’ll lock some of you in the cabin, and you can wait for them in the dark and kill them when they come in. The rest of you can scatter around and listen if you can hear them coming.”
So in they come, but couldn’t see us in the dark, and most trod on us whilst we was hustling to get under the bed. But we got under all right, and out through the hole, swift but soft—Jim first, me next, and Tom last, which was according to Tom’s orders. Now we was in the lean-to, and heard trampings close by outside. So we crept to the door, and Tom stopped us there and put his eye to the crack, but couldn’t make out nothing, it was so dark; and whispered and said he would listen for the steps to get further, and when he nudged us Jim must glide out first, and him last. So he set his ear to the crack and listened, and listened, and listened, and the steps a-scraping around out there all the time; and at last he nudged us, and we slid out, and stooped down, not breathing, and not making the least noise, and slipped stealthy towards the fence in Injun file, and got to it all right, and me and Jim over it; but Tom’s britches catched fast on a splinter on the top rail, and then he hear the steps coming, so he had to pull loose, which snapped the splinter and made a noise; and as he dropped in our tracks and started somebody sings out: They came in. They couldn’t see us in the dark and almost stepped on us as we were hustling to get under the bed. We made it under all right and went out through the hole, quickly but quietly—Jim first, me next, and Tom last, just as Tom had instructed. Now we were in the lean-to and heard the tramping of feet close by. We crept to the door, and Tom stopped us there. He put his eye to the crack, but couldn’t see anything because it was so dark. He whispered that he would listen for the footsteps to get further away and then he’d nudge us so that Jim could sneak out first, me next, and him last. He put his ear to the crack and listened for a while. You could hear the footsteps out there the whole time, but he finally nudged us, and we slid out. We stooped down, not breathing and not making any noise, and slipped stealthily to the fence in single file. We made it to the fence, and Jim and I climbed over it, but Tom’s pants got caught on a plinter on the top rail. He heard footsteps coming, so he had to pull loose, which snapped the splinter and made a noise. As he dropped down beside us, somebody called out:
“Who’s that? Answer, or I’ll shoot!” “Who’s that? Answer, or I’ll shoot!”
But we didn’t answer; we just unfurled our heels and shoved. Then there was a rush, and a BANG, BANG, BANG! and the bullets fairly whizzed around us! We heard them sing out: We didn’t answer, but just dug our heels in and ran. There was some commotion and then BANG, BANG, BANG! and the bullets whizzed around us! We heard the men cry out:
“Here they are! They’ve broke for the river! After ’em, boys, and turn loose the dogs!” “They’re here! They’re running to the river! After them, boys, and turn the dogs loose!”
So here they come, full tilt. We could hear them because they wore boots and yelled, but we didn’t wear no boots and didn’t yell. We was in the path to the mill; and when they got pretty close on to us we dodged into the bush and let them go by, and then dropped in behind them. They’d had all the dogs shut up, so they wouldn’t scare off the robbers; but by this time somebody had let them loose, and here they come, making powwow enough for a million; but they was our dogs; so we stopped in our tracks till they catched up; and when they see it warn’t nobody but us, and no excitement to offer them, they only just said howdy, and tore right ahead towards the shouting and clattering; and then we up-steam again, and whizzed along after them till we was nearly to the mill, and then struck up through the bush to where my canoe was tied, and hopped in and pulled for dear life towards the middle of the river, but didn’t make no more noise than we was obleeged to. Then we struck out, easy and comfortable, for the island where my raft was; and we could hear them yelling and barking at each other all up and down the bank, till we was so far away the sounds got dim and died out. And when we stepped on to the raft I says: They came running after us at full speed. We could hear them because they wore boots and yelled, but we weren’t wearing boots and didn’t yell. We were on the path heading toward the mill, and when they got pretty close to us we dove into the bushes and let them run past. Then we got back on the path behind them. They had locked away the dogs so that they wouldn’t scare the thieves, but by then someone had set them loose. They came after us, making as much racket as a million dogs. But they were our dogs, so we stopped in our tracks until they caught up. When they saw that it was only us and that we weren’t exciting, they just stopped for a moment to say hello and then ran along barking and making noise. We started running after them until we were almost to the mill. Then we ran through the bushes to the place where I’d hidden my canoe. We hopped in and started rowing for dear life toward the middle of the river, trying to make as little noise as possible. When we got there, we relaxed a little and headed for the island where my raft was. We could hear the men and dogs yelling and barking at each other up and down the bank until we were so far away the sounds faded and died. When we stepped on the raft, I said:

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