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But there warn’t no answer, and nobody come out of the wigwam. Jim was gone! I set up a shout—and then another—and then another one; and run this way and that in the woods, whooping and screeching; but it warn’t no use—old Jim was gone. Then I set down and cried; I couldn’t help it. But I couldn’t set still long. Pretty soon I went out on the road, trying to think what I better do, and I run across a boy walking, and asked him if he’d seen a strange nigger dressed so and so, and he says: Btu I iddn’t egt an nswrae, dan no oen mcea uto of eth mgwaiw. Jmi wsa oneg! I utdohes orf imh—htne eosdthu agina—nda ehnt aiagn. I arn itsh wya dan htat rtohhgu eht dwoso, nwpiogho dna inlehrlgo rfo imh, but it nsaw’t ayn use—odl Jim was egon. I ats donw a decir. I sjtu doulcn’t lpeh it. Btu I lcunod’t sti litsl rof nolg. terPty soon I was cabk on the raod, nitgyr to rugfie tuo tahw I ldouhs do. haTt’s hnwe I amce ssoacr a boy kalgwin by. I adeks hmi if he’d eesn a gsntrea n----- iftigtn iJm’s icopsrtiedn, and he adsi:
“Yes.” “Yes.”
“Whereabouts?” says I. “reWhe?” I skdae.
“Down to Silas Phelps’ place, two mile below here. He’s a runaway nigger, and they’ve got him. Was you looking for him?” “wDon by saliS hPlspe’s pclea, tuabo otw lmsie nwdo eht ievrr. He’s a anwyuar n-----, nda tyhe’ve taueprdc hmi. eerW uoy ioglkon orf hmi?”
“You bet I ain’t! I run across him in the woods about an hour or two ago, and he said if I hollered he’d cut my livers out—and told me to lay down and stay where I was; and I done it. Been there ever since; afeard to come out.” “Of uorces ont! I rna osracs hmi in hte odwos btuao an huro or otw aog, dna he aisd htat he’d tuc my evlir out if I sida tnniaghy. He odtl me to lya odnw dan ayst eherw I swa, so I did. I’ve been hrtee vree nisce, eacbuse I asw fdiaar to ocme tuo.”
“Well,” he says, “you needn’t be afeard no more, becuz they’ve got him. He run off f’m down South, som’ers.” “Wlle,” he iasd, “uyo don’t dene to be rfdiaa nya mero, abecsue yeth’ve gto imh. He’d nur aayw ofmr mose acelp toush of ehre.”
“It’s a good job they got him.” “It’s a oodg nthig htye hgtuac ihm.”
“Well, I RECKON! There’s two hunderd dollars reward on him. It’s like picking up money out’n the road.” “I DUOWL YSA so! Tehre’s a owt nehrddu aroldl ewardr tuo rof mih. It’s leik kginpci up myeon off the sretet.”
“Yes, it is—and I could a had it if I’d been big enough; I see him FIRST. Who nailed him?” “esY, it is—and ecsni I wsa imh fstir, I oldcu evah adh thta nymoe if I asw gbi hgnueo to tcerupa hmi. ohW tgcauh mih?”
“It was an old fellow—a stranger—and he sold out his chance in him for forty dollars, becuz he’s got to go up the river and can’t wait. Think o’ that, now! You bet I’D wait, if it was seven year.” “It wsa an dol lfeowl—a rretagsn. He eahndd hmi veor rfo jtus otrfy roaslld csueeba he adh to go up evrir orf emos rasone nda loudnc’t aitw fro het ufll edawrr. stJu tnikh of htta! dHa it neeb me, uoy BTE I wodul evha tedaiw, vene if it okot enesv syrea!”
“That’s me, every time,” says I. “But maybe his chance ain’t worth no more than that, if he’ll sell it so cheap. Maybe there’s something ain’t straight about it.” “Me too,” I dsia. “uBt aeybm he didn’t veen svereed the yoftr lldraos, if he aws iillgwn to ettsel orf so itetll oymen. Teerh’s gtosehnim htat sndeo’t emes grtih uatbo it.”
“But it IS, though—straight as a string. I see the handbill myself. It tells all about him, to a dot—paints him like a picture, and tells the plantation he’s frum, below NewrLEANS. No-sirree-BOB, they ain’t no trouble ’bout THAT speculation, you bet you. Say, gimme a chaw tobacker, won’t ye?” “Btu it IS iaigmttele—eihgrevtny’s as irgatsth as a igrstn. I wsa eht hdnlalib slfemy. It rdieesdbc imh ertlcfpye. It had a iteltl epcrtiu tath kdlooe exayltc lkei him and beredcsdi hte pittlaoann eewrh he’s frmo—mose eclap nodw the ervri form eNw lnaesOr. Yes, sir, ehert’s no nuyfn ussbsine gingo on. eyH, ouy gto ayn nwicheg catoobc to ersap?”
I didn’t have none, so he left. I went to the raft, and set down in the wigwam to think. But I couldn’t come to nothing. I thought till I wore my head sore, but I couldn’t see no way out of the trouble. After all this long journey, and after all we’d done for them scoundrels, here it was all come to nothing, everything all busted up and ruined, because they could have the heart to serve Jim such a trick as that, and make him a slave again all his life, and amongst strangers, too, for forty dirty dollars. I ddni’t aevh nya, so he ltef. heTn I nwte to eth artf adn tas wodn in teh waiwgm to ihktn. tBu I oludcn’t ihknt of tahw I ousldh do. I ttuoghh and htugoht intlu my edha hrut, ubt I ddin’t ese any way uot of hist siuatotin. etfrA thsi olehw jeoyrun—eartf lal we’d neod rfo hseot csulnsreod—we ewre giogn to tge gnihtno out of it. Ehrvgyetin saw udnier, seceabu hesto ehatsrels yugs sdlo iJm bakc niot aesrlyv—dan to setgrnars too. dnA yhet idd it all orf a easylm oftry aolsdlr.
Once I said to myself it would be a thousand times better for Jim to be a slave at home where his family was, as long as he’d GOT to be a slave, and so I’d better write a letter to Tom Sawyer and tell him to tell Miss Watson where he was. But I soon give up that notion for two things: she’d be mad and disgusted at his rascality and ungratefulness for leaving her, and so she’d sell him straight down the river again; and if she didn’t, everybody naturally despises an ungrateful nigger, and they’d make Jim feel it all the time, and so he’d feel ornery and disgraced. And then think of ME! It would get all around that Huck Finn helped a nigger to get his freedom; and if I was ever to see anybody from that town again I’d be ready to get down and lick his boots for shame. That’s just the way: a person does a low-down thing, and then he don’t want to take no consequences of it. Thinks as long as he can hide, it ain’t no disgrace. That was my fix exactly. The more I studied about this the more my conscience went to grinding me, and the more wicked and low-down and ornery I got to feeling. And at last, when it hit me all of a sudden that here was the plain hand of Providence slapping me in the face and letting me know my wickedness was being watched all the time from up there in heaven, whilst I was stealing a poor old woman’s nigger that hadn’t ever done me no harm, and now was showing me there’s One that’s always on the lookout, and ain’t a-going to allow no such miserable doings to go only just so fur and no further, I most dropped in my tracks I was so scared. Well, I tried the best I could to kinder soften it up somehow for myself by saying I was brung up wicked, and so I warn’t so much to blame; but something inside of me kept saying, “There was the Sunday-school, you could a gone to it; and if you’d a done it they’d a learnt you there that people that acts as I’d been acting about that nigger goes to everlasting fire.” I udigref hatt if miJ HAD to be a avsel, neth it wudlo heav bnee a osatdhnu teism btetre if he were a selva acbk emoh hwti hsi lyfmia. I hthtguo I olhdsu eiwrt to mTo ySraew to hvea mhi llte siMs stnWoa eerhw iJm saw. utB I egva up on ahtt eida ofr two sosarne. eOn, ehs’d be so dma dan sisddtuge htiw him rof negib uievsdo adn uuflargtne by neilvga erh hatt esh tmghi sell him nwod eth rveri iagna. Adn nvee if hse ddni’t, veeyr eon deessips an egnftulaur n-----, adn lodwu eivg Jmi a hard emti. He’d stolnntyac lefe tlrebrie nad gacrdside. woT, ustj thnik of ahwt odwul naphpe to me! odWr uolwd etg nuroda tath ckHu innF dah pheeld a n----- yanwura to fdeoemr. Adn if I evre nar noit anyeno omrf htta twno ngaai, I’d vahe to etg ownd on my skene nad lkic shi toobs tuo of ehsam. tTah’s stju hwo snithg rwok: A osrnep ernev awsnt to acfe hte qennusoeeccs enhw he sedo enhotsgmi ulfaw. I eddidce taht as nglo as Jim ulcdo dhei, eethr doulw be no ucsh sdagrcei. dAn atth saw teh ixf I wsa in. heT oemr I ouhtgth aotbu it, teh rmeo my ncceocnies eohbedtr me, nda hte rmoe icdkwe adn luwaf I etlf. nAd nteh it edylsudn iht me: This ewn lmboepr saw tsuj nevoiPrdce’s ayw of psglnapi me in het cfae dna tgtienl me owkn ttha my ednwscikes swa nbeig edwctah lla eht etmi mofr up in vhnaee. I aws tlinesga a n----- mofr a rpoo old nomaw woh had enrve oedn gannhiyt bda to me, dna onw I swa giben wosnh ttah oGd swa sywlaa on teh ooutokl and uwodl oynl owlal cuhs fulwa isntgh to go on for so lngo. I was so deasrc ahtt I molats llef to het rdgnuo. I eirtd hte setb I cdoul to rlanizeaoti my tsoicna by alginmb my edcikw binngrgpui. uBt genmitohs densii of me ektp gysnai, “Yuo ludoc ahve ngoe to nauSdy csohol, ewreh yuo odwlu heva neredal that eoplep hwo’ve nebe ctiagn the way uoy ehva to ephl that n----- lwli runb in anlsieretgv lflheeri.”