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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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“Mercy sakes!” “For heaven’s sake!”
“—and load up the cabin with rats and snakes and so on, for company for Jim; and then you kept Tom here so long with the butter in his hat that you come near spiling the whole business, because the men come before we was out of the cabin, and we had to rush, and they heard us and let drive at us, and I got my share, and we dodged out of the path and let them go by, and when the dogs come they warn’t interested in us, but went for the most noise, and we got our canoe, and made for the raft, and was all safe, and Jim was a free man, and we done it all by ourselves, and WASN’T it bully, Aunty!” “… and fill up the cabin with rats and snakes and whatnot to keep Jim company. And then you kept Tom here so long with the butter in his hat that you came pretty close to ruining the whole thing, because the men came before we were out of the cabin and we had to rush and they heard us and chased us, and I got shot, and we left the path and let them run by. But the dogs weren’t interested in us and continued to chase after all the noise. And we got our canoe and headed out to the raft and were all safe and Jim was a free man. We did it all by ourselves, and it was so much FUN, Aunty!”
“Well, I never heard the likes of it in all my born days! So it was YOU, you little rapscallions, that’s been making all this trouble, and turned everybody’s wits clean inside out and scared us all most to death. I’ve as good a notion as ever I had in my life to take it out o’ you this very minute. To think, here I’ve been, night after night, a—YOU just get well once, you young scamp, and I lay I’ll tan the Old Harry out o’ both o’ ye!” “Well, I’ve never heard anything like it in all my days! So it was YOU, you little rapscallions, that have been making all this trouble and driving us out of our minds and scaring us all to death. I have half a mind to beat you two this very minute. To think, here I’ve been, night after night, and… YOU just get well, you little scamp, and then I’ll tan the both of your hides!”
But Tom, he WAS so proud and joyful, he just COULDN’T hold in, and his tongue just WENT it—she a-chipping in, and spitting fire all along, and both of them going it at once, like a cat convention; and she says: But Tom was SO proud and happy. He just couldn’t hold it in. He just talked and talked, and she continued to interrupt and scold him, and the two of them just kept going at it at the same time, just like a couple of cats fighting. Then she said:
“WELL, you get all the enjoyment you can out of it NOW, for mind I tell you if I catch you meddling with him again—” “Well, you get all the fun out of it that you can NOW, because I tell you if I catch you messing around with him again…”
“Meddling with WHO?” Tom says, dropping his smile and looking surprised. “Messing around with WHOM?” Tom asked, dropping his smile and looking surprised.
“With WHO? Why, the runaway nigger, of course. Who’d you reckon?” “With WHOM? Why, the runaway n-----, of course. Who do you think?”
Tom looks at me very grave, and says: Tom looked at me very seriously and said:
“Tom, didn’t you just tell me he was all right? Hasn’t he got away?” “Tom, didn’t you just tell me he was all right? Hasn’t he gotten away?”
“HIM?” says Aunt Sally; “the runaway nigger? ’Deed he hasn’t. They’ve got him back, safe and sound, and he’s in that cabin again, on bread and water, and loaded down with chains, till he’s claimed or sold!” “HIM?” asked Aunt Sally. “The runaway n-----? He sure hasn’t. They’ve got him out back, safe and sound. He’s in that cabin again, tied up in chains. He’ll stay that way and be eating nothing but bread and water until he’s either claimed or sold!”
Tom rose square up in bed, with his eye hot, and his nostrils opening and shutting like gills, and sings out to me: Tom rose up straight in bed with anger in his eyes. His nostrils flared as if they were gills, and he cried out to me:
“They hain’t no RIGHT to shut him up! SHOVE!—and don’t you lose a minute. Turn him loose! he ain’t no slave; he’s as free as any cretur that walks this earth!” “They have no RIGHT to lock him up! DAMN IT! Don’t you waste a minute! Set him free! He isn’t a slave—he’s as free as any creature that walks this earth!”
“What DOES the child mean?” “What DOES the child mean?”
“I mean every word I SAY, Aunt Sally, and if somebody don’t go, I’LL go. I’ve knowed him all his life, and so has Tom, there. Old Miss Watson died two months ago, and she was ashamed she ever was going to sell him down the river, and SAID so; and she set him free in her will.” “I mean every word that I’m SAYING, Aunt Sally, and if someone doesn’t go out there and do it, I’ll go out there myself. I’ve known him all his life and so has Tom here. Old Miss Watson died two months ago, and she was ashamed that she was ever going to sell him down the river. She SAID so, and she set him free in her will.”
“Then what on earth did YOU want to set him free for, seeing he was already free?” “Then what on earth did YOU want to set him free for if he was already free?”
“Well, that IS a question, I must say; and just like women! Why, I wanted the ADVENTURE of it; and I’d a waded neck-deep in blood to—goodness alive, AUNT POLLY!” “What kind of question is THAT? Women! Why, I wanted to have an ADVENTURE, of course. I wanted to wade neck-deep in blood to… goodness gracious, AUNT POLLY!”
If she warn’t standing right there, just inside the door, looking as sweet and contented as an angel half full of pie, I wish I may never! I’ll be darned—she was standing right there, just inside the door, looking as sweet and contented as an angel stuff full of pie.
Aunt Sally jumped for her, and most hugged the head off of her, and cried over her, and I found a good enough place for me under the bed, for it was getting pretty sultry for us, seemed to me. And I peeped out, and in a little while Tom’s Aunt Polly shook herself loose and stood there looking across at Tom over her spectacles—kind of grinding him into the earth, you know. And then she says: Aunt Sally jumped for her and almost hugged her head off. She cried and cried, and I found a good place to hide in under the bed since it seemed to me it was getting a little too hot and dangerouns in here. I peered out from under the bed, and after awhile saw Tom’s Aunt Polly shake herself loose and stand there looking at Tom over the rim of her eyeglasses—inspecting him thoroughly. And then she said:
“Yes, you BETTER turn y’r head away—I would if I was you, Tom.” “Yes, you BETTER turn your head away, if I were you, Tom.”
“Oh, deary me!” says Aunt Sally; “IS he changed so? Why, that ain’t TOM, it’s Sid; Tom’s—Tom’s—why, where is Tom? He was here a minute ago.” “Oh dear me!” said Aunt Sally. “Has he changed that much? Why, that’s not TOM—that’s Sid. Tom is… hey, where is Tom? He was here a minute ago.”
“You mean where’s Huck FINN—that’s what you mean! I reckon I hain’t raised such a scamp as my Tom all these years not to know him when I SEE him. That WOULD be a pretty howdy-do. Come out from under that bed, Huck Finn.” “You mean where’s HUCK FINN—that’s what you mean! I imagine I haven’t raised a little tramp like Tom all my life to not recognize him when I see him. That WOULD be something, wouldn’t it. Come out from under that bed, Huck Finn.”

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