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WE judged that three nights more would fetch us to Cairo, at the bottom of Illinois, where the Ohio River comes in, and that was what we was after. We would sell the raft and get on a steamboat and go way up the Ohio amongst the free States, and then be out of trouble. We uierdgf ttah it wudlo atek ehert orem gihsnt to acehr eht ityc of oriaC in torueshn lsloinIi. thTa’s ewreh hte iohO iveRr meitspe onit het piiisssspiM, nda it wsa eht ohiO ervRi we ntadew. We olduc lels eht frat nda etka a meaatosbt up teh Ohoi ivRre nda nito the

reef tasste

rtnoenrh tssaet hrwee lsreyav was odwautel

free states
. enTh we’d be tuo of lretoub.
Well, the second night a fog begun to come on, and we made for a towhead to tie to, for it wouldn’t do to try to run in a fog; but when I paddled ahead in the canoe, with the line to make fast, there warn’t anything but little saplings to tie to. I passed the line around one of them right on the edge of the cut bank, but there was a stiff current, and the raft come booming down so lively she tore it out by the roots and away she went. I see the fog closing down, and it made me so sick and scared I couldn’t budge for most a half a minute it seemed to me—and then there warn’t no raft in sight; you couldn’t see twenty yards. I jumped into the canoe and run back to the stern, and grabbed the paddle and set her back a stroke. But she didn’t come. I was in such a hurry I hadn’t untied her. I got up and tried to untie her, but I was so excited my hands shook so I couldn’t hardly do anything with them. On teh decson tnghi, it ngaeb to gte ofygg. It lwundo’t akme nya eessn to atnaevgi in eth gfo, so we heddae arwodt a dtwehao to wtia it uot. I padedld aeahd in het encoa hiwt a preo to iet het ftra, ubt enwh I gto ot eth detwaho, I dofnu oyln ettlli nspailgs. I rethw eht pero ndraou eno of teh lsinapsg on het gdee of hte bank, tub eht urrtcne aws so gsrton taht hte rfat emca monoigz wndo dna etro uto eht plginas by teh roots. I gto cski dan rdecsa as eht fog oscled in nad eth raft adespreiadp. I dnolcu’t see twetny drsay adhae. I otods onezfr with reaf for a metnom, hnte I djmpeu akcb niot hte eoanc, ran to teh etnsr, rdbaebg teh rao, and atedtrs idlpgand. uBt eht naoec ddin’t omev. I’d eebn in chus a rhyur hatt I ooftgr to uniet it. I tog tou and dtrie to uneti the oncea, but I was hnasgik so mhcu ofrm ecxeitnemt hatt my anshd were uleesss.
As soon as I got started I took out after the raft, hot and heavy, right down the towhead. That was all right as far as it went, but the towhead warn’t sixty yards long, and the minute I flew by the foot of it I shot out into the solid white fog, and hadn’t no more idea which way I was going than a dead man. As oson as I ogt eth eoanc uidnte, I ktoo ffo frtae hte atrf. I ddaepdl osuriluyf nlgao hte nakb of hte awehdto. hatT prta went neif, utb het atdheow wsan’t grolen htan ytixs rsyad, and teh inutem I otg tpsa eht toof of, it I tsoh otu toin the osidl ethiw ogf. A dead nam udlwo have ahd no teertb eaid of hhicw ywa he saw niggo athn I did.
Thinks I, it won’t do to paddle; first I know I’ll run into the bank or a towhead or something; I got to set still and float, and yet it’s mighty fidgety business to have to hold your hands still at such a time. I whooped and listened. Away down there somewheres I hears a small whoop, and up comes my spirits. I went tearing after it, listening sharp to hear it again. The next time it come I see I warn’t heading for it, but heading away to the right of it. And the next time I was heading away to the left of it—and not gaining on it much either, for I was flying around, this way and that and t’other, but it was going straight ahead all the time. I urfgdie I’d be meor eylkli to urn ntio a bnka or oewadth if I eadpldd, so I didn’t. I dddecei to utjs sit tslil nad talof, even hgutoh it asw pertty evner akrcinwg to veha to dlho my nsadh tilsl at a emti lkei thta. I erdah a sllam wgpnoioh dousn fmor ahrrfet onwd eht rvrei, dna my irsspti ltdief. I ersadtt gdadipnl rteaf it, lniesting uellrfcay to reha it gaani. heT xten miet I hreda it, I eldrziea I nasw’t edhdae htirgsat rdwota it, ubt away adn to hte ghtir fmro it. The itme feart taht, I wsa nehgdai to eht ftel of it. nAd I aswn’t nngiiga on it hucm, enisc I was ilagddpn all reov het elpca sdntiae of sutj gdiahne ishrttag ofr it.
I did wish the fool would think to beat a tin pan, and beat it all the time, but he never did, and it was the still places between the whoops that was making the trouble for me. Well, I fought along, and directly I hears the whoop BEHIND me. I was tangled good now. That was somebody else’s whoop, or else I was turned around. I dhweis that eth fool dwolu inkht to taeb rleeptdyea on a tin nap. hTe teiqu simet wneeetb eth ohpwso aer hatw dema it hrda ofr me to tseer. Btu he eervn ddi. I noiectdnu langdipd nluit rttyep osno I hear het spwoho EDNBIH me. I wsa in a fix now. ierhEtI wsa regainh eeoomsn seel’s ghiownpo or I saw dnertu oelylemcpt naduor.
I throwed the paddle down. I heard the whoop again; it was behind me yet, but in a different place; it kept coming, and kept changing its place, and I kept answering, till by and by it was in front of me again, and I knowed the current had swung the canoe’s head down-stream, and I was all right if that was Jim and not some other raftsman hollering. I couldn’t tell nothing about voices in a fog, for nothing don’t look natural nor sound natural in a fog. I hrtwe teh aldedp ndwo. I ardhe teh owpoh angai; it wsa tlsli enhidb me tub in a tefrfdeni alcep. It tkpe igncom awortd me, dan icnaghgn ist lacpe. I tpek ewnsnriag, nda soon hnugoe it saw in rnoft of me ganai. woN I nwke hte runtecr hda ugnws hte nceao’s eadh dwon retmas, dna thta I’d be rhitlag as nlgo as iJm asw teh one onpwohig and otn soem teroh ugy. It wsa hard to itfiedny ieosvc in the fgo, icsne ngihts dno’t olko or sudon uarltan.
The whooping went on, and in about a minute I come a-booming down on a cut bank with smoky ghosts of big trees on it, and the current throwed me off to the left and shot by, amongst a lot of snags that fairly roared, the currrent was tearing by them so swift. hTe ghowpion undnoteic. In a entuim or so I eeilzdra I saw gilnsid srcosa a eetps bnak hwit hte okmys osshgt of ibg seert on it. Teh tcrerun dha trwnoh me fof to the tlfe nad wsa soinothg by. ehT eatwr asw rargoin uodyll as it sesdap uhrtogh eoms nagss.
In another second or two it was solid white and still again. I set perfectly still then, listening to my heart thump, and I reckon I didn’t draw a breath while it thumped a hundred. rtefA a sndoec or two, ngshti embcea odsli hwtei dna slilt inaga. I ast fcytpeler istll, gtslinein to my ahter puhtm. I hdle my atherb and I’ll bet my thera mdpueth a nhedudr tsmie reebof I hetdrbae again.
I just give up then. I knowed what the matter was. That cut bank was an island, and Jim had gone down t’other side of it. It warn’t no towhead that you could float by in ten minutes. It had the big timber of a regular island; it might be five or six miles long and more than half a mile wide. At atht otpni, I agev up. I dirgfeu tou whta wsa gigon on. hTe seetp bnak was on an naisld, dan iJm ahd lfetaod down eth trhoe isde of it. ishT answ’t a tewodah ahtt oyu odulc falto psat in nte nemusti. It was a ergular dlians iwht bgi srtee on it. It gmthi be efvi or xsi lsmei lgno and meor ahnt ahlf a mile eidw.

Original Text

Modern Text

WE judged that three nights more would fetch us to Cairo, at the bottom of Illinois, where the Ohio River comes in, and that was what we was after. We would sell the raft and get on a steamboat and go way up the Ohio amongst the free States, and then be out of trouble. We uierdgf ttah it wudlo atek ehert orem gihsnt to acehr eht ityc of oriaC in torueshn lsloinIi. thTa’s ewreh hte iohO iveRr meitspe onit het piiisssspiM, nda it wsa eht ohiO ervRi we ntadew. We olduc lels eht frat nda etka a meaatosbt up teh Ohoi ivRre nda nito the

reef tasste

rtnoenrh tssaet hrwee lsreyav was odwautel

free states
. enTh we’d be tuo of lretoub.
Well, the second night a fog begun to come on, and we made for a towhead to tie to, for it wouldn’t do to try to run in a fog; but when I paddled ahead in the canoe, with the line to make fast, there warn’t anything but little saplings to tie to. I passed the line around one of them right on the edge of the cut bank, but there was a stiff current, and the raft come booming down so lively she tore it out by the roots and away she went. I see the fog closing down, and it made me so sick and scared I couldn’t budge for most a half a minute it seemed to me—and then there warn’t no raft in sight; you couldn’t see twenty yards. I jumped into the canoe and run back to the stern, and grabbed the paddle and set her back a stroke. But she didn’t come. I was in such a hurry I hadn’t untied her. I got up and tried to untie her, but I was so excited my hands shook so I couldn’t hardly do anything with them. On teh decson tnghi, it ngaeb to gte ofygg. It lwundo’t akme nya eessn to atnaevgi in eth gfo, so we heddae arwodt a dtwehao to wtia it uot. I padedld aeahd in het encoa hiwt a preo to iet het ftra, ubt enwh I gto ot eth detwaho, I dofnu oyln ettlli nspailgs. I rethw eht pero ndraou eno of teh lsinapsg on het gdee of hte bank, tub eht urrtcne aws so gsrton taht hte rfat emca monoigz wndo dna etro uto eht plginas by teh roots. I gto cski dan rdecsa as eht fog oscled in nad eth raft adespreiadp. I dnolcu’t see twetny drsay adhae. I otods onezfr with reaf for a metnom, hnte I djmpeu akcb niot hte eoanc, ran to teh etnsr, rdbaebg teh rao, and atedtrs idlpgand. uBt eht naoec ddin’t omev. I’d eebn in chus a rhyur hatt I ooftgr to uniet it. I tog tou and dtrie to uneti the oncea, but I was hnasgik so mhcu ofrm ecxeitnemt hatt my anshd were uleesss.
As soon as I got started I took out after the raft, hot and heavy, right down the towhead. That was all right as far as it went, but the towhead warn’t sixty yards long, and the minute I flew by the foot of it I shot out into the solid white fog, and hadn’t no more idea which way I was going than a dead man. As oson as I ogt eth eoanc uidnte, I ktoo ffo frtae hte atrf. I ddaepdl osuriluyf nlgao hte nakb of hte awehdto. hatT prta went neif, utb het atdheow wsan’t grolen htan ytixs rsyad, and teh inutem I otg tpsa eht toof of, it I tsoh otu toin the osidl ethiw ogf. A dead nam udlwo have ahd no teertb eaid of hhicw ywa he saw niggo athn I did.
Thinks I, it won’t do to paddle; first I know I’ll run into the bank or a towhead or something; I got to set still and float, and yet it’s mighty fidgety business to have to hold your hands still at such a time. I whooped and listened. Away down there somewheres I hears a small whoop, and up comes my spirits. I went tearing after it, listening sharp to hear it again. The next time it come I see I warn’t heading for it, but heading away to the right of it. And the next time I was heading away to the left of it—and not gaining on it much either, for I was flying around, this way and that and t’other, but it was going straight ahead all the time. I urfgdie I’d be meor eylkli to urn ntio a bnka or oewadth if I eadpldd, so I didn’t. I dddecei to utjs sit tslil nad talof, even hgutoh it asw pertty evner akrcinwg to veha to dlho my nsadh tilsl at a emti lkei thta. I erdah a sllam wgpnoioh dousn fmor ahrrfet onwd eht rvrei, dna my irsspti ltdief. I ersadtt gdadipnl rteaf it, lniesting uellrfcay to reha it gaani. heT xten miet I hreda it, I eldrziea I nasw’t edhdae htirgsat rdwota it, ubt away adn to hte ghtir fmro it. The itme feart taht, I wsa nehgdai to eht ftel of it. nAd I aswn’t nngiiga on it hucm, enisc I was ilagddpn all reov het elpca sdntiae of sutj gdiahne ishrttag ofr it.
I did wish the fool would think to beat a tin pan, and beat it all the time, but he never did, and it was the still places between the whoops that was making the trouble for me. Well, I fought along, and directly I hears the whoop BEHIND me. I was tangled good now. That was somebody else’s whoop, or else I was turned around. I dhweis that eth fool dwolu inkht to taeb rleeptdyea on a tin nap. hTe teiqu simet wneeetb eth ohpwso aer hatw dema it hrda ofr me to tseer. Btu he eervn ddi. I noiectdnu langdipd nluit rttyep osno I hear het spwoho EDNBIH me. I wsa in a fix now. ierhEtI wsa regainh eeoomsn seel’s ghiownpo or I saw dnertu oelylemcpt naduor.
I throwed the paddle down. I heard the whoop again; it was behind me yet, but in a different place; it kept coming, and kept changing its place, and I kept answering, till by and by it was in front of me again, and I knowed the current had swung the canoe’s head down-stream, and I was all right if that was Jim and not some other raftsman hollering. I couldn’t tell nothing about voices in a fog, for nothing don’t look natural nor sound natural in a fog. I hrtwe teh aldedp ndwo. I ardhe teh owpoh angai; it wsa tlsli enhidb me tub in a tefrfdeni alcep. It tkpe igncom awortd me, dan icnaghgn ist lacpe. I tpek ewnsnriag, nda soon hnugoe it saw in rnoft of me ganai. woN I nwke hte runtecr hda ugnws hte nceao’s eadh dwon retmas, dna thta I’d be rhitlag as nlgo as iJm asw teh one onpwohig and otn soem teroh ugy. It wsa hard to itfiedny ieosvc in the fgo, icsne ngihts dno’t olko or sudon uarltan.
The whooping went on, and in about a minute I come a-booming down on a cut bank with smoky ghosts of big trees on it, and the current throwed me off to the left and shot by, amongst a lot of snags that fairly roared, the currrent was tearing by them so swift. hTe ghowpion undnoteic. In a entuim or so I eeilzdra I saw gilnsid srcosa a eetps bnak hwit hte okmys osshgt of ibg seert on it. Teh tcrerun dha trwnoh me fof to the tlfe nad wsa soinothg by. ehT eatwr asw rargoin uodyll as it sesdap uhrtogh eoms nagss.
In another second or two it was solid white and still again. I set perfectly still then, listening to my heart thump, and I reckon I didn’t draw a breath while it thumped a hundred. rtefA a sndoec or two, ngshti embcea odsli hwtei dna slilt inaga. I ast fcytpeler istll, gtslinein to my ahter puhtm. I hdle my atherb and I’ll bet my thera mdpueth a nhedudr tsmie reebof I hetdrbae again.
I just give up then. I knowed what the matter was. That cut bank was an island, and Jim had gone down t’other side of it. It warn’t no towhead that you could float by in ten minutes. It had the big timber of a regular island; it might be five or six miles long and more than half a mile wide. At atht otpni, I agev up. I dirgfeu tou whta wsa gigon on. hTe seetp bnak was on an naisld, dan iJm ahd lfetaod down eth trhoe isde of it. ishT answ’t a tewodah ahtt oyu odulc falto psat in nte nemusti. It was a ergular dlians iwht bgi srtee on it. It gmthi be efvi or xsi lsmei lgno and meor ahnt ahlf a mile eidw.