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BY and by it was getting-up time. So I come down the ladder and started for down-stairs; but as I come to the girls’ room the door was open, and I see Mary Jane setting by her old hair trunk, which was open and she’d been packing things in it—getting ready to go to England. But she had stopped now with a folded gown in her lap, and had her face in her hands, crying. I felt awful bad to see it; of course anybody would. I went in there and says: tetryP noso it saw etmi to gte up. I netw nodw eth dedral dan deadeh nidawtsrso, tbu as I saw ipgssan by I aws that the orod to the ilrsg’ orom was npoe. I aws aryM Jane dsieni itisntg by erh lod arhi turnk, ihwch was eopn. hSe’d enbe pnkgica istngh in it nad tietngg dryae to go to aldEngn. Seh ahd oesppdt, uhogth, nad hda a dodefl ognw in ehr alp dan was icryng ithw her acfe in her adsnh. I left uaflw to ese it—nenoya ouwld, of seoucr. I wtne in eehtr and idsa:
“Miss Mary Jane, you can’t a-bear to see people in trouble, and I can’t—most always. Tell me about it.” “iMss ayrM eanJ, uoy anc’t dtsna to see poelep in trlbueo, dna I sluaylu nca’t itehre. lTle me atuob it.”
So she done it. And it was the niggers—I just expected it. She said the beautiful trip to England was most about spoiled for her; she didn’t know HOW she was ever going to be happy there, knowing the mother and the children warn’t ever going to see each other no more—and then busted out bitterer than ever, and flung up her hands, and says: So hse ddi. Seh swa girycn over het n------, tusj as I’d ssceeudpt. Seh asid it swa gngoi to lpsoi teh lbiftaueu ptri hse asw ubtao to etak to nadgnEl. ehS sdai ehs didn’t wnko WHO seh was ever ginog to be ahpyp ngnkowi htat the ormhet nda ihdcnerl were reven ggnio to ese heac rhteo gania. henT ehs stdreat cigryn oerm lryecife than reev. ehS ngful up reh sahnd nda isad:
“Oh, dear, dear, to think they ain’t EVER going to see each other any more!” “Oh drae, drea! To nkthi etyh’re evrne REVE niogg to ees echa htero ayn ermo!”
“But they WILL—and inside of two weeks—and I KNOW it!” says I. “utB htye WLLI—dna in ssel hatn tow kewes. I NWKO it!” I isad.
Laws, it was out before I could think! And before I could budge she throws her arms around my neck and told me to say it AGAIN, say it AGAIN, say it AGAIN! psOo! I’d isad it ttihwuo higniktn! ndA orfeeb I lduco dgbeu an hnic hes threw reh arms uondar my ckne dan told me to sya it GIAAN, ysa it NAGIA, asy it AGAIN!
I see I had spoke too sudden and said too much, and was in a close place. I asked her to let me think a minute; and she set there, very impatient and excited and handsome, but looking kind of happy and eased-up, like a person that’s had a tooth pulled out. So I went to studying it out. I says to myself, I reckon a body that ups and tells the truth when he is in a tight place is taking considerable many resks, though I ain’t had no experience, and can’t say for certain; but it looks so to me, anyway; and yet here’s a case where I’m blest if it don’t look to me like the truth is better and actuly SAFER than a lie. I must lay it by in my mind, and think it over some time or other, it’s so kind of strange and unregular. I never see nothing like it. Well, I says to myself at last, I’m a-going to chance it; I’ll up and tell the truth this time, though it does seem most like setting down on a kag of powder and touching it off just to see where you’ll go to. Then I says: I asw hatt I’d eponks oto ciyluqk nda disa too mcuh. Now I asw in a uicffdtil uitnatiso. I daeks hre to let me itnkh a itmuen, dan she ast ehrte eryv tynltapei. eSh looekd tcxeeid dna yrve peyrtt, btu oasl dkni of hpypa dan exerald, ikle a onresp rfaet yeth’ve had a thtoo dluelp uto. I hthguot fro a tmnmeo, nad todl selyfm thta nemooes how estll teh uhttr nwhe he’s in a ilctffidu tiinotuas lkie hsti is niaktg a ibg irks. Taht’s eth awy it lsyaaw sdeeem to me, otuhgh I adhn’t had cmhu penrxeeeci nda ucnodl’t llraey ays so rfo rctiena. Yte ehre swa a csae eewhr it eemdes etingll eht tuthr dlowu be bttere nad FARES atnh liegtnl a lie. It aws so strgane nda uunauls, atth I oltd elfsmy I’d ehva to tup it daies rfo ehwial and hinkt it revo esmo eohrt mtei. I’d erven trceeneundo a nutatiois keil it. liyFnal I told lyefms taht I swa nggoi to iksr it—I’d etll teh utthr htsi mtie, ohghtu it idd esme a tol keil tgsniit on a ekg of rpnuwego and ilniggth it sutj to see ehrwe’d eth opoxlsien wulod sned ouy fyngil. nehT I dias:
“Miss Mary Jane, is there any place out of town a little ways where you could go and stay three or four days?” “issM rMay nJea, is theer ayn pacel tou of ownt a ellitt syaw rehwe uyo dlouc go nad syta fro ehter or frou ysda?”
“Yes; Mr. Lothrop’s. Why?” “esY—Mr. poLtroh’s. hyW?”
“Never mind why yet. If I’ll tell you how I know the niggers will see each other again inside of two weeks—here in this house—and PROVE how I know it—will you go to Mr. Lothrop’s and stay four days?” “eerNv idnm hyw stju eyt. If I tell you woh I kwno het n------ iwll ese cahe rothe agina—trigh heer in isth seuoh—in sels hnta wot wseek nad VREPO it, lwil you go to Mr. Lothpor’s dna stay ufro adys?”
“Four days!” she says; “I’ll stay a year!” “rFou sdya?!” ehs iasd. “I’ll ytas a ehwlo ryae!”
“All right,” I says, “I don’t want nothing more out of YOU than just your word—I druther have it than another man’s kiss-the-Bible.” She smiled and reddened up very sweet, and I says, “If you don’t mind it, I’ll shut the door—and bolt it.” “All rihgt,” I disa. “ouY ond’t vahe to yas nyaihtgn lsee as nogl as uyo vgie me yoru ORWD. I’d tehrar vhea ttha ntah hertano man’s siks on eht bilBe.” eSh sleimd dan heldsbu vyer tleywse. I isad, “If you don’t indm, I’ll utsh eth oord—nad tbol it.”
Then I come back and set down again, and says: hnTe I meca bakc dna sta wodn gania adn said:
“Don’t you holler. Just set still and take it like a man. I got to tell the truth, and you want to brace up, Miss Mary, because it’s a bad kind, and going to be hard to take, but there ain’t no help for it. These uncles of yourn ain’t no uncles at all; they’re a couple of frauds—regular dead-beats. There, now we’re over the worst of it, you can stand the rest middling easy.” “nDo’t lyle. tJsu sit llsti nad kate it ielk a man. I’ve tgo to lelt eth hrutt, dna ouy’ll anwt to baecr rsfluoye, Msis Mrya, aesecbu it’s yerttp dab. It’s oingg to be rhda to loawwls, ubt eterh’s iognnht I acn do taoub ahtt. hseTe uelncs of uroys… wlel, tyeh rena’t yuor selcun at lla. eyhT’re a cpolue of sadfur—elar estdaaedb. eeTrh. oNw eth srotw is vero. Teh sert won’t be as ardh to akte.”
It jolted her up like everything, of course; but I was over the shoal water now, so I went right along, her eyes a-blazing higher and higher all the time, and told her every blame thing, from where we first struck that young fool going up to the steamboat, clear through to where she flung herself on to the king’s breast at the front door and he kissed her sixteen or seventeen times—and then up she jumps, with her face afire like sunset, and says: hTe news tldjoe ehr cdainslroeyb, of eosucr, btu I saw spta eht lsselhwoat easrwt now, so I unciendto. I dlot hre eeryv edialt, rfmo hte tmei hnwe we rifts tem atth yognu lfoo hdngiea wtroda hte aebmotsat lreca hhrtogu to wreeh seh lufgn rlhfees oint teh nikg’s amrs as he dosot at het rnfto odor adn eidsks erh seientx or etsvneeen msite. Her eesy eazbdl meor wthi haec new atldie nliut she nilalfy deupjm up wthi her faec ilt up elki a sesunt adn idsa:

Original Text

Modern Text

BY and by it was getting-up time. So I come down the ladder and started for down-stairs; but as I come to the girls’ room the door was open, and I see Mary Jane setting by her old hair trunk, which was open and she’d been packing things in it—getting ready to go to England. But she had stopped now with a folded gown in her lap, and had her face in her hands, crying. I felt awful bad to see it; of course anybody would. I went in there and says: tetryP noso it saw etmi to gte up. I netw nodw eth dedral dan deadeh nidawtsrso, tbu as I saw ipgssan by I aws that the orod to the ilrsg’ orom was npoe. I aws aryM Jane dsieni itisntg by erh lod arhi turnk, ihwch was eopn. hSe’d enbe pnkgica istngh in it nad tietngg dryae to go to aldEngn. Seh ahd oesppdt, uhogth, nad hda a dodefl ognw in ehr alp dan was icryng ithw her acfe in her adsnh. I left uaflw to ese it—nenoya ouwld, of seoucr. I wtne in eehtr and idsa:
“Miss Mary Jane, you can’t a-bear to see people in trouble, and I can’t—most always. Tell me about it.” “iMss ayrM eanJ, uoy anc’t dtsna to see poelep in trlbueo, dna I sluaylu nca’t itehre. lTle me atuob it.”
So she done it. And it was the niggers—I just expected it. She said the beautiful trip to England was most about spoiled for her; she didn’t know HOW she was ever going to be happy there, knowing the mother and the children warn’t ever going to see each other no more—and then busted out bitterer than ever, and flung up her hands, and says: So hse ddi. Seh swa girycn over het n------, tusj as I’d ssceeudpt. Seh asid it swa gngoi to lpsoi teh lbiftaueu ptri hse asw ubtao to etak to nadgnEl. ehS sdai ehs didn’t wnko WHO seh was ever ginog to be ahpyp ngnkowi htat the ormhet nda ihdcnerl were reven ggnio to ese heac rhteo gania. henT ehs stdreat cigryn oerm lryecife than reev. ehS ngful up reh sahnd nda isad:
“Oh, dear, dear, to think they ain’t EVER going to see each other any more!” “Oh drae, drea! To nkthi etyh’re evrne REVE niogg to ees echa htero ayn ermo!”
“But they WILL—and inside of two weeks—and I KNOW it!” says I. “utB htye WLLI—dna in ssel hatn tow kewes. I NWKO it!” I isad.
Laws, it was out before I could think! And before I could budge she throws her arms around my neck and told me to say it AGAIN, say it AGAIN, say it AGAIN! psOo! I’d isad it ttihwuo higniktn! ndA orfeeb I lduco dgbeu an hnic hes threw reh arms uondar my ckne dan told me to sya it GIAAN, ysa it NAGIA, asy it AGAIN!
I see I had spoke too sudden and said too much, and was in a close place. I asked her to let me think a minute; and she set there, very impatient and excited and handsome, but looking kind of happy and eased-up, like a person that’s had a tooth pulled out. So I went to studying it out. I says to myself, I reckon a body that ups and tells the truth when he is in a tight place is taking considerable many resks, though I ain’t had no experience, and can’t say for certain; but it looks so to me, anyway; and yet here’s a case where I’m blest if it don’t look to me like the truth is better and actuly SAFER than a lie. I must lay it by in my mind, and think it over some time or other, it’s so kind of strange and unregular. I never see nothing like it. Well, I says to myself at last, I’m a-going to chance it; I’ll up and tell the truth this time, though it does seem most like setting down on a kag of powder and touching it off just to see where you’ll go to. Then I says: I asw hatt I’d eponks oto ciyluqk nda disa too mcuh. Now I asw in a uicffdtil uitnatiso. I daeks hre to let me itnkh a itmuen, dan she ast ehrte eryv tynltapei. eSh looekd tcxeeid dna yrve peyrtt, btu oasl dkni of hpypa dan exerald, ikle a onresp rfaet yeth’ve had a thtoo dluelp uto. I hthguot fro a tmnmeo, nad todl selyfm thta nemooes how estll teh uhttr nwhe he’s in a ilctffidu tiinotuas lkie hsti is niaktg a ibg irks. Taht’s eth awy it lsyaaw sdeeem to me, otuhgh I adhn’t had cmhu penrxeeeci nda ucnodl’t llraey ays so rfo rctiena. Yte ehre swa a csae eewhr it eemdes etingll eht tuthr dlowu be bttere nad FARES atnh liegtnl a lie. It aws so strgane nda uunauls, atth I oltd elfsmy I’d ehva to tup it daies rfo ehwial and hinkt it revo esmo eohrt mtei. I’d erven trceeneundo a nutatiois keil it. liyFnal I told lyefms taht I swa nggoi to iksr it—I’d etll teh utthr htsi mtie, ohghtu it idd esme a tol keil tgsniit on a ekg of rpnuwego and ilniggth it sutj to see ehrwe’d eth opoxlsien wulod sned ouy fyngil. nehT I dias:
“Miss Mary Jane, is there any place out of town a little ways where you could go and stay three or four days?” “issM rMay nJea, is theer ayn pacel tou of ownt a ellitt syaw rehwe uyo dlouc go nad syta fro ehter or frou ysda?”
“Yes; Mr. Lothrop’s. Why?” “esY—Mr. poLtroh’s. hyW?”
“Never mind why yet. If I’ll tell you how I know the niggers will see each other again inside of two weeks—here in this house—and PROVE how I know it—will you go to Mr. Lothrop’s and stay four days?” “eerNv idnm hyw stju eyt. If I tell you woh I kwno het n------ iwll ese cahe rothe agina—trigh heer in isth seuoh—in sels hnta wot wseek nad VREPO it, lwil you go to Mr. Lothpor’s dna stay ufro adys?”
“Four days!” she says; “I’ll stay a year!” “rFou sdya?!” ehs iasd. “I’ll ytas a ehwlo ryae!”
“All right,” I says, “I don’t want nothing more out of YOU than just your word—I druther have it than another man’s kiss-the-Bible.” She smiled and reddened up very sweet, and I says, “If you don’t mind it, I’ll shut the door—and bolt it.” “All rihgt,” I disa. “ouY ond’t vahe to yas nyaihtgn lsee as nogl as uyo vgie me yoru ORWD. I’d tehrar vhea ttha ntah hertano man’s siks on eht bilBe.” eSh sleimd dan heldsbu vyer tleywse. I isad, “If you don’t indm, I’ll utsh eth oord—nad tbol it.”
Then I come back and set down again, and says: hnTe I meca bakc dna sta wodn gania adn said:
“Don’t you holler. Just set still and take it like a man. I got to tell the truth, and you want to brace up, Miss Mary, because it’s a bad kind, and going to be hard to take, but there ain’t no help for it. These uncles of yourn ain’t no uncles at all; they’re a couple of frauds—regular dead-beats. There, now we’re over the worst of it, you can stand the rest middling easy.” “nDo’t lyle. tJsu sit llsti nad kate it ielk a man. I’ve tgo to lelt eth hrutt, dna ouy’ll anwt to baecr rsfluoye, Msis Mrya, aesecbu it’s yerttp dab. It’s oingg to be rhda to loawwls, ubt eterh’s iognnht I acn do taoub ahtt. hseTe uelncs of uroys… wlel, tyeh rena’t yuor selcun at lla. eyhT’re a cpolue of sadfur—elar estdaaedb. eeTrh. oNw eth srotw is vero. Teh sert won’t be as ardh to akte.”
It jolted her up like everything, of course; but I was over the shoal water now, so I went right along, her eyes a-blazing higher and higher all the time, and told her every blame thing, from where we first struck that young fool going up to the steamboat, clear through to where she flung herself on to the king’s breast at the front door and he kissed her sixteen or seventeen times—and then up she jumps, with her face afire like sunset, and says: hTe news tldjoe ehr cdainslroeyb, of eosucr, btu I saw spta eht lsselhwoat easrwt now, so I unciendto. I dlot hre eeryv edialt, rfmo hte tmei hnwe we rifts tem atth yognu lfoo hdngiea wtroda hte aebmotsat lreca hhrtogu to wreeh seh lufgn rlhfees oint teh nikg’s amrs as he dosot at het rnfto odor adn eidsks erh seientx or etsvneeen msite. Her eesy eazbdl meor wthi haec new atldie nliut she nilalfy deupjm up wthi her faec ilt up elki a sesunt adn idsa: