|THE sun was up so high when I waked that I judged it was after eight o’clock. I laid there in the grass and the cool shade thinking about things, and feeling rested and ruther comfortable and satisfied. I could see the sun out at one or two holes, but mostly it was big trees all about, and gloomy in there amongst them. There was freckled places on the ground where the light sifted down through the leaves, and the freckled places swapped about a little, showing there was a little breeze up there. A couple of squirrels set on a limb and jabbered at me very friendly.||When I woke up, the sun was up so high that I figured it was after eight o’clock in the morning. I lay there in the cool shade and the grass thinking about things. I was feeling rested and rather comfortable and satisfied. Through one or two holes I could see the sun, but mostly I just saw big trees all around, and the gloom in the gaps between them. There were flecks of light on the ground where the sun shone through the leaves. The leaves moved around a little bit, which suggested there was a light breeze blowing. A couple of squirrels sat on a limb, squeaking at me in a friendly way.|
|I was powerful lazy and comfortable—didn’t want to get up and cook breakfast. Well, I was dozing off again when I thinks I hears a deep sound of “boom!” away up the river. I rouses up, and rests on my elbow and listens; pretty soon I hears it again. I hopped up, and went and looked out at a hole in the leaves, and I see a bunch of smoke laying on the water a long ways up—about abreast the ferry. And there was the ferryboat full of people floating along down. I knowed what was the matter now. “Boom!” I see the white smoke squirt out of the ferryboat’s side. You see, they was firing cannon over the water, trying to make my carcass come to the top.||I was awfully lazy and comfortable, and I didn’t want to get up and cook breakfast. I started dozing off again when I thought I heard a loud “boom!” farther up the river. I got up, rested on my elbows, and listened. Pretty soon I heard it again. I hopped up and went to look through a hole in the leaves. I saw a bunch of smoke over the water a long ways upriver. If drifted next to a ferryboat full people that was floating down the river. I knew what was wrong now. “Boom!” I saw the white smoke squirt out of the ferry’s side. They were firing cannon over the water, trying to make my body rise to the surface.|
|I was pretty hungry, but it warn’t going to do for me to start a fire, because they might see the smoke. So I set there and watched the cannon-smoke and listened to the boom. The river was a mile wide there, and it always looks pretty on a summer morning—so I was having a good enough time seeing them hunt for my remainders if I only had a bite to eat. Well, then I happened to think how they always put quicksilver in loaves of bread and float them off, because they always go right to the drownded carcass and stop there. So, says I, I’ll keep a lookout, and if any of them’s floating around after me I’ll give them a show. I changed to the Illinois edge of the island to see what luck I could have, and I warn’t disappointed. A big double loaf come along, and I most got it with a long stick, but my foot slipped and she floated out further. Of course I was where the current set in the closest to the shore—I knowed enough for that. But by and by along comes another one, and this time I won. I took out the plug and shook out the little dab of quicksilver, and set my teeth in. It was “baker’s bread"—what the quality eat; none of your low-down corn-pone.||
I was pretty hungry, but it wouldn’t make sense for me to start a fire
since they might see the smoke. So I sat there and watched the cannon smoke
and listened to the boom. The river was a mile wide at that point, and it
always looked pretty on a summer morning, so I was enjoying watching them
hunt for my remains. If only I had a bite to eat. Just then I happened to
remember how people always put |
mercuryquicksilver in loaves of bread and set them on the water, because they always go straight to a drowned body and stop. So I told myself I’d keep a lookout and give them a good show if I see any loaves floating by. I moved to the Illinois side of the island to try my luck over there, and I wasn’t disappointed. A big double loaf came along, and I was able to use a long stick to pull it toward me. But my foot slipped, pushing it further away. Of course, I was standing where the current came closest to the shore—I knew enough to know that. Pretty soon another one came along, and this time I got it. I took out the plug, shook out the little dab of quicksilver, and took a bite. It was “baker’s bread”—the kind of bread made from wheat that rich people eat. It wasn’t the cheap stuff, like
cornbreadcorn pone, that the poor folk eat.
|I got a good place amongst the leaves, and set there on a log, munching the bread and watching the ferry-boat, and very well satisfied. And then something struck me. I says, now I reckon the widow or the parson or somebody prayed that this bread would find me, and here it has gone and done it. So there ain’t no doubt but there is something in that thing—that is, there’s something in it when a body like the widow or the parson prays, but it don’t work for me, and I reckon it don’t work for only just the right kind.||I settled down in a good place on a log among the leaves, munching the bread and watching the ferry. I was feeling pretty good. And then something struck me. I figured the widow or the parson or someone else prayed that this bread would find me. And it did. So there isn’t any doubt that there’s something to prayer; that is, there’s something to it when a person like the widow or the parson prays. It doesn’t work for me, and I figure it only works for the right kind of people.|
|I lit a pipe and had a good long smoke, and went on watching. The ferryboat was floating with the current, and I allowed I’d have a chance to see who was aboard when she come along, because she would come in close, where the bread did. When she’d got pretty well along down towards me, I put out my pipe and went to where I fished out the bread, and laid down behind a log on the bank in a little open place. Where the log forked I could peep through.||I lit a pipe and had a good long smoke and kept on watching. The ferry was floating with the current, and I figured it would come so close to where I was sitting, just like the bread had, that I’d have a chance to see who was on board. When it got close, I put out my pipe and went to the spot where I pulled out the bread and laid down behind a log on the bank in a little open place. I could peer through in the spot where the log forked.|
|By and by she come along, and she drifted in so close that they could a run out a plank and walked ashore. Most everybody was on the boat. Pap, and Judge Thatcher, and Bessie Thatcher, and Jo Harper, and Tom Sawyer, and his old Aunt Polly, and Sid and Mary, and plenty more. Everybody was talking about the murder, but the captain broke in and says:||Pretty soon the ferry came along. It got so close to me that they could have extended a plank and walked to shore. Almost everyone I knew was on board: pap, Judge Thatcher, Bessie Thatcher, Jo Harper, Tom Sawyer and his old Aunt Polly, Sid and Mary, and plenty of others. Everyone was talking about the murder, until the captain interrupted and said:|
Take a Study Break!