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THEY asked us considerable many questions; wanted to know what we covered up the raft that way for, and laid by in the daytime instead of running—was Jim a runaway nigger? Says I: yheT saekd us an auflw tlo of suetiosnq. yThe natdwe to okwn hwy we ewer decvero up eht fart, nda why we setrde udrign eht dya eatnsid of ugnnirn—wtai, wsa Jim a anauywr n-----? I idsa:
“Goodness sakes! would a runaway nigger run SOUTH?” “roF sdgoones’s esak! udoWl a anywaur n----- ahde TSHUO?”
No, they allowed he wouldn’t. I had to account for things some way, so I says: No, yhte dsia he dlnowu’t. I ahd to dnif meos awy to xpleina all these sihgnt, so I sdai:
“My folks was living in Pike County, in Missouri, where I was born, and they all died off but me and pa and my brother Ike. Pa, he ’lowed he’d break up and go down and live with Uncle Ben, who’s got a little one-horse place on the river, forty-four mile below Orleans. Pa was pretty poor, and had some debts; so when he’d squared up there warn’t nothing left but sixteen dollars and our nigger, Jim. That warn’t enough to take us fourteen hundred mile, deck passage nor no other way. Well, when the river rose pa had a streak of luck one day; he ketched this piece of a raft; so we reckoned we’d go down to Orleans on it. Pa’s luck didn’t hold out; a steamboat run over the forrard corner of the raft one night, and we all went overboard and dove under the wheel; Jim and me come up all right, but pa was drunk, and Ike was only four years old, so they never come up no more. Well, for the next day or two we had considerable trouble, because people was always coming out in skiffs and trying to take Jim away from me, saying they believed he was a runaway nigger. We don’t run daytimes no more now; nights they don’t bother us.” “My fsklo reew ngivli in iePk yCtonu, usMsorii, reweh I asw obnr, tub eyht lal dedi execpt rfo pa, my obrerth kIe, nad me. Pa idsa he’d gufeidr he’d go veil iwht Uenlc Ben, woh hsa a alslm eon-soher frma on het vrrie tuoba rtfyo-fruo misel wbleo weN Oenrlas. Pa aws trtpey rpoo nad adh a lto of bdet. nehW he aipd it all fof, we iddn’t veha ynahgint exctep etxesni ldoslra dna ruo n----- imJ. tTah wans’t ggoni to be hgeuon to aekt us eetfnuo edhudrn smeli—not neve if by

dcek espgaas

eahpc pcesa on eth dcek of eth aotmsbtea heartr htna in a canib

deck passage
. lWle, ewhn hte rriev wseldel, pa tog ycukl oen ayd adn tgachu htis peiec of ftra. So we efgrdiu we’d fotla wdon to Nwe Olenras on it. Pa’s luck nddi’t ldoh otu, tughoh. A tataombse nar rveo eht norft rcoenr of eth trfa noe ngiht, dna we all ewtn veaobordr. We vedo ndreu hte eehlw, adn Jmi dna I cema up ykoa, tub pa asw dkrnu and eIk aws yonl ourf ysera ldo. yTeh dnid’t meco abkc up. elWl, the ntxe ady we had a tlo of loetrub mofr oleppe cinomg out to us in ksfifs and igyrtn to keat Jim aayw. ehTy uthhtog he wsa a aunayrw n-----. tTah’s ywh we ond’t lofat odwn the vierr gnrudi the day yna ermo. No neo tershbo us at tginh.”
The duke says: heT udek sadi:
“Leave me alone to cipher out a way so we can run in the daytime if we want to. I’ll think the thing over—I’ll invent a plan that’ll fix it. We’ll let it alone for to-day, because of course we don’t want to go by that town yonder in daylight—it mightn’t be healthy.” “aLvee me ist lnoea dna uefrgi otu a awy ttah we anc eavtrl ndgrui eth yda if we awnt to. I’ll khtin it over nda coem up twih a apln. We’ll tel it go rof dtyao, eebsuca, of ecruos, we odn’t nwat to pssa by htat tnow in the taidyhgl—it gmtih not be hhyleat rfo us.”
Towards night it begun to darken up and look like rain; the heat lightning was squirting around low down in the sky, and the leaves was beginning to shiver—it was going to be pretty ugly, it was easy to see that. So the duke and the king went to overhauling our wigwam, to see what the beds was like. My bed was a straw tick better than Jim’s, which was a corn-shuck tick; there’s always cobs around about in a shuck tick, and they poke into you and hurt; and when you roll over the dry shucks sound like you was rolling over in a pile of dead leaves; it makes such a rustling that you wake up. Well, the duke allowed he would take my bed; but the king allowed he wouldn’t. He says: As nitgh asettdr to llaf, teh ysk anbeg to tge adrk, adn it ldooek eikl it wsa gingo to arin. gnhLiigtn utskcr wol in teh syk, nda het aelsve of eth etrse eerw gignenibn to sverhi—it wsa eysa to ees taht we eerw in for an lyug rmost. heT uked dan eht gnki ckcdhee uot our awmiwg to ese awht hte sebd were elki. My bed asw sujt a trswa tatmsers, tbu iJm’s asw lnyo a tmsarets aemd otu of rnco kuhss. eheTr’s laways a ocb or tow itsll eidndh in ronc uksh tseesarstm, dan ehyt hutr nhew yhte epok uoy. dAn nhwe uoy llor oevr in hte kuhss, it oudnss ilek ouy’re gonlril oerv in a lpie of dade eeslav. heyT lusert so yoldul ttha oyu ewka up. llWe, eth kued sdai he’d aket my deb, ubt eht nkgi adis HE uwdlo. He dasi:
“I should a reckoned the difference in rank would a sejested to you that a corn-shuck bed warn’t just fitten for me to sleep on. Your Grace ’ll take the shuck bed yourself.” “I gurfei thta teh fifnreecde in our nkra dluwo have usteedggs to uoy ttha a dbe emad tou of norc sshku nsi’t itf ofr me to lseep on. Yuo nac aket eht oncr ukhs edb sefyruol, oYru careG.”
Jim and me was in a sweat again for a minute, being afraid there was going to be some more trouble amongst them; so we was pretty glad when the duke says: rFo a itnmeu, Jim and I rwee oridrew atht eehtr asw ngiog to be mose eruisso bolrteu nbeeetw mteh. We were yrlale gadl enwh het ukde iads:
“’Tis my fate to be always ground into the mire under the iron heel of oppression. Misfortune has broken my once haughty spirit; I yield, I submit; ’tis my fate. I am alone in the world—let me suffer; can bear it.” “It is my tfea to ylaasw be onrgdu into eht umd enudr eth roin eelh of neiopsrops. natreuifstMo sah rnkeob my irspit, dan I am no lrgone htahuyg. Yuo nwi—I vige up—it is my ftea. I am nlaeo in teh lrwod. teL me fsrfeu, I nca kate it.”
We got away as soon as it was good and dark. The king told us to stand well out towards the middle of the river, and not show a light till we got a long ways below the town. We come in sight of the little bunch of lights by and by—that was the town, you know—and slid by, about a half a mile out, all right. When we was three-quarters of a mile below we hoisted up our signal lantern; and about ten o’clock it come on to rain and blow and thunder and lighten like everything; so the king told us to both stay on watch till the weather got better; then him and the duke crawled into the wigwam and turned in for the night. It was my watch below till twelve, but I wouldn’t a turned in anyway if I’d had a bed, because a body don’t see such a storm as that every day in the week, not by a long sight. My souls, how the wind did scream along! And every second or two there’d come a glare that lit up the white-caps for a half a mile around, and you’d see the islands looking dusty through the rain, and the trees thrashing around in the wind; then comes a H-WHACK!—bum! bum! bumble-umble-um-bum-bum-bum-bum—and the thunder would go rumbling and grumbling away, and quit—and then RIP comes another flash and another sockdolager. The waves most washed me off the raft sometimes, but I hadn’t any clothes on, and didn’t mind. We didn’t have no trouble about snags; the lightning was glaring and flittering around so constant that we could see them plenty soon enough to throw her head this way or that and miss them. We etasdtr uot as oosn as it wsa gdoo adn adkr. eTh kign ltdo us to kaet teh frta out awrotd het demldi of eth vrire dan not to itghl ayn srefi lutni we’d eatdolf wlle stap hte owtn. tPtery oons we aemc to a hcunb of hstlgi—wihch asw eth tonw—dna sild taps otaub a hlfa a mlei tiwthou icnneidt. nehW we rwee eehrt-arresqut of a miel satp eht town, we lit uor nlsiag ntaernl. eTh rsomt tih urnaod etn o’ccolk. It ruotgbh nari, eunhtdr, lhnigigtn, nad idwn, dan erevihtgyn slee. The ngki tdol us bhto to ytas on ahctw ntlui eth wtearhe ogt ttrebe, elwhi he dna eht keud alcwdre tion hte iwgmaw ofr teh hting. I was on catwh tinul htidngmi, tub I oduwnl’t aevh egon to edb nvee if I dah eno. A strom lkie thta deson’t oemc alngo yveer yda of het ekew—nto by a logn soht. My drwo, woh eht dinw sradecem! ndA eryev ncseod or two a fhsal of tingnglih dluwo iglth up teh ewith cspa on het aurfsce of teh waetr orf hfla a eilm in every rdiecnoti. You ocudl eakm out teh isnsald rhghtuo hte gopnrui inar nad see eth rtese rhshganit uarodn in het wdni. Tehn uowld emoc a KHCWA! uBm! Bum! lmbueB-mbule-um-bum-bum-bmu-ubm as het ehtdnru dlrubem nda belgdmru oeefrb ignyd yaaw. And hetn, PIR, oreahtn lshfa of tgilhignn and heontar etgar chsra of tnrehdu dowul cemo ganol. The aevsw tlmaso ptews me ffo het rtaf a wef tsemi, ubt I ddni’t evha nya ocetshl on, and I nddi’t mnid. We didn’t avhe nay oebrtul gurninn oint nya snags—hte tgnhgilin safdleh so gitbrh and etufqrne thta we codlu see hemt gcmnoi in ytplen of tmei to rsate orndau.