Skip over navigation

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Original Text

Modern Text

Somebody says: Someone said:
“Well, it sounds very good, doctor, I’m obleeged to say.” “Well, I have to say, that all sounds very good.”
Then the others softened up a little, too, and I was mighty thankful to that old doctor for doing Jim that good turn; and I was glad it was according to my judgment of him, too; because I thought he had a good heart in him and was a good man the first time I see him. Then they all agreed that Jim had acted very well, and was deserving to have some notice took of it, and reward. So every one of them promised, right out and hearty, that they wouldn’t cuss him no more. Then the others softened up a little too, and I was very thankful to that old doctor for helping Jim out. I’m glad my gut instinct had been right, too, since I’d fingered him for being a good man with a good heart the first time I saw him. They all agreed that Jim had acted very nobly and deserved to be commended and rewarded for it. So every one of them promised right then and there that they wouldn’t swear at him any more.
Then they come out and locked him up. I hoped they was going to say he could have one or two of the chains took off, because they was rotten heavy, or could have meat and greens with his bread and water; but they didn’t think of it, and I reckoned it warn’t best for me to mix in, but I judged I’d get the doctor’s yarn to Aunt Sally somehow or other as soon as I’d got through the breakers that was laying just ahead of me—explanations, I mean, of how I forgot to mention about Sid being shot when I was telling how him and me put in that dratted night paddling around hunting the runaway nigger. Then locked him up and left the cabin. I hoped they were going to say that they’d take one or two chains off him, because they were awfully heavy, or that he could eat meat and vegetables with his bread and butter, but they didn’t seem to think of doing that. I supposed it wouldn’t be good for me to but in, either. Still, I decided to make sure Aunt Sally heard the doctor’s story somehow or other as soon as I got through the trouble that was about to come. I’d have a lot of explaining to do since I’d forgotten to mention anything about Sid having been shot when I had told her how he and I had been paddling around in search of the runaway n-----.
But I had plenty time. Aunt Sally she stuck to the sick-room all day and all night, and every time I see Uncle Silas mooning around I dodged him. But I had plenty of time. Aunt Sally stayed in the sick room all day and all night. And every time I saw Uncle Silas hanging around, I turned and headed the other way.
Next morning I heard Tom was a good deal better, and they said Aunt Sally was gone to get a nap. So I slips to the sick-room, and if I found him awake I reckoned we could put up a yarn for the family that would wash. But he was sleeping, and sleeping very peaceful, too; and pale, not fire-faced the way he was when he come. So I set down and laid for him to wake. In about half an hour Aunt Sally comes gliding in, and there I was, up a stump again! She motioned me to be still, and set down by me, and begun to whisper, and said we could all be joyful now, because all the symptoms was first-rate, and he’d been sleeping like that for ever so long, and looking better and peacefuller all the time, and ten to one he’d wake up in his right mind. The next morning I heard that Tom was feeling better, and they said that Aunt Sally was going to take a nap. So I slipped into the sick room and figured that we could come up with a believable story if he was awake. But he was sleeping pretty peacefully. He was pale, not all red in the face like he was when the doctor had brought him here. So I sat down and waited for him to wake up. Aunt Sally came in after about half and hour, and there I was—trapped! She motioned for me to be still, then sat down beside me. She began to whisper and say that we could all be happy now, because all the signs pointed to a full recovery. She said he’d been sleeping like that for a long time, looking better and more peaceful all the time, and that there were ten-to-one odds that he’d wake up in his right mind again.
So we set there watching, and by and by he stirs a bit, and opened his eyes very natural, and takes a look, and says: So we sat there watching him. Pretty soon he started to stir a bit. He opened his eyes very naturally, took a look around, and said:
“Hello!—why, I’m at HOME! How’s that? Where’s the raft?” “Hey! I’m HOME! How’d that happen? Where’s the raft?”
“It’s all right,” I says. “It’s all right,” I said.
“And JIM?” “And JIM?”
“The same,” I says, but couldn’t say it pretty brash. But he never noticed, but says: “The same,” I said, but couldn’t say it with much confidence. He didn’t notice, though, and said:
“Good! Splendid! NOW we’re all right and safe! Did you tell Aunty?” “Good! Splendid NOW we’re all right and safe! Did you tell Aunty?”
I was going to say yes; but she chipped in and says: “About what, Sid?” I was going to say yes, but Aunt Sally chimed in and said, “About what, Sid?”
“Why, about the way the whole thing was done.” “Why, about the whole thing that we did, of course.”
“What whole thing?” “What whole thing?”
“Why, THE whole thing. There ain’t but one; how we set the runaway nigger free—me and Tom.” “THE whole thing. There’s only one thing we did. You know, how we set the runaway n----- free—me and Tom.”
“Good land! Set the run—What IS the child talking about! Dear, dear, out of his head again!” “Goodness gracious! Set the run…What IS this child talking about? Oh dear, oh dear, he’s lost his mind again!”
“NO, I ain’t out of my HEAD; I know all what I’m talking about. We DID set him free—me and Tom. We laid out to do it, and we DONE it. And we done it elegant, too.” He’d got a start, and she never checked him up, just set and stared and stared, and let him clip along, and I see it warn’t no use for ME to put in. “Why, Aunty, it cost us a power of work—weeks of it—hours and hours, every night, whilst you was all asleep. And we had to steal candles, and the sheet, and the shirt, and your dress, and spoons, and tin plates, and case-knives, and the warming-pan, and the grindstone, and flour, and just no end of things, and you can’t think what work it was to make the saws, and pens, and inscriptions, and one thing or another, and you can’t think HALF the fun it was. And we had to make up the pictures of coffins and things, and nonnamous letters from the robbers, and get up and down the lightning-rod, and dig the hole into the cabin, and made the rope ladder and send it in cooked up in a pie, and send in spoons and things to work with in your apron pocket—” “No, I haven’t lost my MIND—I know what I’m talking about. We DID set him free—Tom and I. We planned the whole thing, and we did it beautifully.” He was on a roll, and she didn’t bother to stop him. She just sat there and stared and let him keep talking. I saw that it wasn’t any use for me to chime in. “Aunty, it took us a lot of work—weeks worth—hours and hours every night while you were asleep. And we had to steal candles and the sheet and the shirt and your dress and spoons and tin plates and pocketknives and the warming pan and the grindstone and flour and all sorts of other things. You have no idea how much work it took to make the saws and the pens and the inscriptions and everything else, and you have no idea how FUN it was. And we had to draw the pictures of the coffins and things and the anonymous letters from the robbers and climb up and down the lightning rod and dig the hole into the cabin and make the rope ladder and deliver it to Jim in a pie and sneak in the spoons and stuff in your apron pocket….”

More Help

Previous Next