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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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“Look sharp, now; the current sets in the closest here, and maybe he’s washed ashore and got tangled amongst the brush at the water’s edge. I hope so, anyway.” “Look sharp now. The current comes closest to land here, and maybe he has washed ashore and gotten tangled among the brush at the water’s edge. I hope so anyway.”
I didn’t hope so. They all crowded up and leaned over the rails, nearly in my face, and kept still, watching with all their might. I could see them first-rate, but they couldn’t see me. Then the captain sung out: I didn’t hope so. They all crowded around and leaned over the railing until it seemed like they were right up in my face. They kept still, looking with all their might. I could see them perfectly clearly, but they couldn’t see me. Then the captain called out:
“Stand away!” and the cannon let off such a blast right before me that it made me deef with the noise and pretty near blind with the smoke, and I judged I was gone. If they’d a had some bullets in, I reckon they’d a got the corpse they was after. Well, I see I warn’t hurt, thanks to goodness. The boat floated on and went out of sight around the shoulder of the island. I could hear the booming now and then, further and further off, and by and by, after an hour, I didn’t hear it no more. The island was three mile long. I judged they had got to the foot, and was giving it up. But they didn’t yet a while. They turned around the foot of the island and started up the channel on the Missouri side, under steam, and booming once in a while as they went. I crossed over to that side and watched them. When they got abreast the head of the island they quit shooting and dropped over to the Missouri shore and went home to the town. “Fire!” The cannon let off such a loud blast right in front of me that it made me deaf and almost blind with noise and smoke. I thought I was a dead man. If they’d actually put a cannon ball in there, I imagine they would’ve found the corpse they were looking for. Well, I saw I wasn’t hurt, thank goodness. The boat floated on down the river and disappeared around the shoulder of the island. I could hear the booming now and then but it got farther and farther away. After an hour or so I couldn’t hear it any more. The island was three miles long, and I’d figured they’d reached the foot of it and had given up the search. But, no, they continued for awhile longer. They turned around the foot of the island and used steam power to move up the channel on the Missouri side of the river. They boomed once in a while as they went. I crossed over to that side and watched them. When they reached the head of the isand, they stopped shooting and went over to the Missouri shore to head back to town.
I knowed I was all right now. Nobody else would come a-hunting after me. I got my traps out of the canoe and made me a nice camp in the thick woods. I made a kind of a tent out of my blankets to put my things under so the rain couldn’t get at them. I catched a catfish and haggled him open with my saw, and towards sundown I started my camp fire and had supper. Then I set out a line to catch some fish for breakfast. I knew I was all right now—no one would be coming looking for me any more. I got my traps out of the canoe and made a nice little camp in the thick woods. I used my blankets to fashion a makeshift tent to put my things under so that the rain wouldn’t get them wet. I caught a catfish and cut it open with my saw. Toward sundown, I lit my campfire and had supper. Then I set up a fishing line to catch some fish for breakfast.
When it was dark I set by my camp fire smoking, and feeling pretty well satisfied; but by and by it got sort of lonesome, and so I went and set on the bank and listened to the current swashing along, and counted the stars and drift logs and rafts that come down, and then went to bed; there ain’t no better way to put in time when you are lonesome; you can’t stay so, you soon get over it. When it got dark, I sat by my campfire smoking and feeling pretty good about things. But pretty soon I got kind of lonely, so I went and sat on the bank and listened to the sound of the current. I counted the stars and the driftwood and rafts that floated down the river. Then I went to bed. There’s no better way of passing time when you’re lonely than going to bed. You can’t stay lonely when you’re sleeping, so the feeling soon passes.
And so for three days and nights. No difference—just the same thing. But the next day I went exploring around down through the island. I was boss of it; it all belonged to me, so to say, and I wanted to know all about it; but mainly I wanted to put in the time. I found plenty strawberries, ripe and prime; and green summer grapes, and green razberries; and the green blackberries was just beginning to show. They would all come handy by and by, I judged. Three days and nights passed this way. Nothing changed—everything stayed the same. On the fourth day I explored the island. I was boss of the island—it all belonged to me, so to speak, and I wanted to know all about it. Mainly, I just wanted to kill some time. I found plenty of ripe strawberries. I also found green summer grapes. The green raspberries and blackberries were just beginning to show, and I figured they’d ripened soon so I could eat them.
Well, I went fooling along in the deep woods till I judged I warn’t far from the foot of the island. I had my gun along, but I hadn’t shot nothing; it was for protection; thought I would kill some game nigh home. About this time I mighty near stepped on a good-sized snake, and it went sliding off through the grass and flowers, and I after it, trying to get a shot at it. I clipped along, and all of a sudden I bounded right on to the ashes of a camp fire that was still smoking. I wandered around in the deep woods until I figured I wasn’t too far from the foot of the island. I had my gun with me, but I hadn’t shot anything—I kept it for protection. Maybe I’d kill some game on the way home. Around this time I almost stepped on a good-sized snake. It went sliding off through the grass and flowers, and I chased after it, trying to get a shot at it. I ran along until all of a sudden I came to the ashes of a campfire that were still smoking.
My heart jumped up amongst my lungs. I never waited for to look further, but uncocked my gun and went sneaking back on my tiptoes as fast as ever I could. Every now and then I stopped a second amongst the thick leaves and listened, but my breath come so hard I couldn’t hear nothing else. I slunk along another piece further, then listened again; and so on, and so on. If I see a stump, I took it for a man; if I trod on a stick and broke it, it made me feel like a person had cut one of my breaths in two and I only got half, and the short half, too. My heart jump up into my lungs. I didn’t hesitate a moment, but uncocked my gun and backtracked on my tiptoes as fast as I could. Every now and then I stopped briefly among the thick leaves and listened, but I was breathing so hard that I couldn’t hear anything else. I slunk a little ways further, then listened again. I did this again and again. If I saw a stump, I thought it was a man. If I stepped on a stick and broke it, I lost my breath. I felt like someone had chopped my breath into two uneven pieces and given me the short half.
When I got to camp I warn’t feeling very brash, there warn’t much sand in my craw; but I says, this ain’t no time to be fooling around. So I got all my traps into my canoe again so as to have them out of sight, and I put out the fire and scattered the ashes around to look like an old last year’s camp, and then clumb a tree. I wasn’t feeling too good about the situation when I got back to my camp. I wasn’t panicking, but I figured this wasn’t the time to take any chances. So I got all my traps into my canoe and made sure they were hidden. I put out the fire and scattered the ashes around to make it look like the remains of an old camp. Then I climbed a tree.

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