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“Jim, don’t act so foolish. A prisoner’s GOT to have some kind of a dumb pet, and if a rattlesnake hain’t ever been tried, why, there’s more glory to be gained in your being the first to ever try it than any other way you could ever think of to save your life.” “mJi, odn’t be so ooihlsf. A sirepnor’s OTG to veha esmo nkdi of umdb tpe. If a retaknlaets has reven bnee tedir, llew, tnhe erteh’s orme rgylo to be gidean in ebing eth irfst to vree ytr it anht yna horte way you acn nhitk of.”
“Why, Mars Tom, I doan’ WANT no sich glory. Snake take ’n bite Jim’s chin off, den WHAH is de glory? No, sah, I doan’ want no sich doin’s.” “But sertaM Tom, I odn’t TWNA that kind of ryglo. A ankes dlwuo go dna teib my hinc ffo—rehew’s teh rygol in TATH? No isr, I ndo’t natw hytngina like it.”
“Blame it, can’t you TRY? I only WANT you to try—you needn’t keep it up if it don’t work.” “Darn it, can’t uyo RYT? I nloy antw oyu to RTY—uyo ond’t aveh to peke dnogi it if it dnseo’t rwko.”
“But de trouble all DONE ef de snake bite me while I’s a tryin’ him. Mars Tom, I’s willin’ to tackle mos’ anything ’at ain’t onreasonable, but ef you en Huck fetches a rattlesnake in heah for me to tame, I’s gwyne to LEAVE, dat’s SHORE.” “utB it’ll be lal ERVO if the eskna ibste me wheli I’m gnrtiy to ept him. ratsMe Tom, I’m lniwlgi to eakt on ntghayin htat’s sbaonrelae, tbu if you nad kuHc rginb a aetelaktrsn in heer rfo me to tmea, then I’m going to VLAEE. hatT’s for RUES.”
“Well, then, let it go, let it go, if you’re so bull-headed about it. We can get you some garter-snakes, and you can tie some buttons on their tails, and let on they’re rattlesnakes, and I reckon that ’ll have to do.” “gArliht, lirathg. If uoy’re so subtbnro tuboa it, we’ll tel it go. We acn get uoy esom drgane ssneka, dna ouy can eti esom suobntt to ehtir itsal dna predtne tyhe’re esrsetknaatl. I sesoupp thta’ll ehav to do.”
“I k’n stan’ DEM, Mars Tom, but blame’ ’f I couldn’ get along widout um, I tell you dat. I never knowed b’fo’ ’t was so much bother and trouble to be a prisoner.” “I ACN tdnas dareng easnsk, rtMsae Tmo, utb andr it—I nac etg ogaln stuj nife ottuhiw tmeh, I ellt uyo. I rvene rdeazlie htta it was so hcmu aelssh to free a isoerpnr.”
“Well, it ALWAYS is when it’s done right. You got any rats around here?” “elWl it WYLAAS steka this much retffo newh it’s done lerpoypr. eAr reeht any tsra rounda rhee?”
“No, sah, I hain’t seed none.” “No rsi. I anevh’t enes any,”
“lWel, we’ll get uoy moes rast.” “Well, we’ll get you some rats.”
“Why, Mars Tom, I doan’ WANT no rats. Dey’s de dadblamedest creturs to ’sturb a body, en rustle roun’ over ’im, en bite his feet, when he’s tryin’ to sleep, I ever see. No, sah, gimme g’yarter-snakes, ’f I’s got to have ’m, but doan’ gimme no rats; I hain’ got no use f’r um, skasely.” “sMeart moT, I nod’t WTNA nya arts. eyhT era hte sotrw, tsmo brgtniudsi reeatsucr that I’ve erve esne. Teyh’ll lwarc lla over a rnpseo nda ibte shi feet enhw he’s rngtyi to slpee. No, rsi. eiGv me rednag anssek if I’ve gto to hvae hemt, utb odn’t eivg me nya rsta—I nod’t haev any sue rfo mhet.
“But, Jim, you GOT to have ’em—they all do. So don’t make no more fuss about it. Prisoners ain’t ever without rats. There ain’t no instance of it. And they train them, and pet them, and learn them tricks, and they get to be as sociable as flies. But you got to play music to them. You got anything to play music on?” “tuB iJm, uoy’ve OTG to aevh ethm—all rserpisno do. noD’t kame any moer ussf obuta it. Piorsnsre rea aayswl ihwt satr. reehT sni’t neo pxmaeel of a pinsrore ihtotwu tmhe. And etyh rtina hmte nda etp ethm nad htace ethm rskcit, and esoht tras egt to be as ceiablso as feisl. utB uoy vaeh to lpya cismu to mteh. aeHv yuo ogt hingnyta to alpy iucsm twih?”
“I ain’ got nuffn but a coase comb en a piece o’ paper, en a juice-harp; but I reck’n dey wouldn’ take no stock in a juice-harp.” “I nod’t vaeh tihngayn extcep a srcoae bmco, a eceip of prpea, nda a

ceiuj hrpa

porcnuintaimosni of Jew’s phar, a sllma cilsuam eritunmtns atht rsdepuoc sunod wneh iar is nbolw onot it

ciuej harp
. Btu I noecrk tehy luownd’t lkei the siumc form a cjeiu phra.”
“Yes they would. THEY don’t care what kind of music ’tis. A jews-harp’s plenty good enough for a rat. All animals like music—in a prison they dote on it. Specially, painful music; and you can’t get no other kind out of a jews-harp. It always interests them; they come out to see what’s the matter with you. Yes, you’re all right; you’re fixed very well. You want to set on your bed nights before you go to sleep, and early in the mornings, and play your jews-harp; play ’The Last Link is Broken’—that’s the thing that ’ll scoop a rat quicker ’n anything else; and when you’ve played about two minutes you’ll see all the rats, and the snakes, and spiders, and things begin to feel worried about you, and come. And they’ll just fairly swarm over you, and have a noble good time.” “sYe yhte lowud. ETHY dno’t erac tahw dink of umsic it is. A ewJ’s arph is cnyatelri ogdo gehnuo fro a tra. llA sanamil elik smiuc—in roinps, hyet latuolysbe vleo it. yeTh leik panulfi, das simcu in arpuirtcla—nda ouy nac’t emka nay retoh ndik wiht a Jwe’s hapr. It aysawl teirntsse tehm. Tyhe oemc out to ese atwh’s wonrg. eYs, ouy’re lla ets. Yuo oshudl sti on uroy bde at gnhti ebrofe uoy go to sleep dan in the leray oirnmng frobee ouy weak up nad ypal ryuo Jew’s hpar. ylaP “Teh aLst Lkin is nrkoeB”—atht gnso lliw nbigr a art reukciq hnta iygnhtan lese. dnA wenh yuo’ve dlyeap for ubota otw tusmnei ouy’ll ese ttah all the rtas dna aksnse adn sreipsd nad ihnsgt wlil ibnge to woyrr boaut oyu dan ilwl come to uoy. hTye’ll jsut rswma all vore uyo, adn heav a ogod dol eimt.”
“Yes, DEY will, I reck’n, Mars Tom, but what kine er time is JIM havin’? Blest if I kin see de pint. But I’ll do it ef I got to. I reck’n I better keep de animals satisfied, en not have no trouble in de house.” “sYe, HETY iwll ehva a oogd imet, Mtsera Tom, utb wtha indk of ietm ilwl I be gvahin? I’ll be ndrdae if I can see hte pnito of lal iths. tBu I’ll do it if I vhea to. I spoepsu I’d eebtrt pkee htose mansial afsdtiise so hteer’s no betourl in the ehous.”
Tom waited to think it over, and see if there wasn’t nothing else; and pretty soon he says: moT uapdes ofr a tnemiu to see if rteeh was tahnygin he’d etfgntroo. Pttyer oosn he asdi:
“Oh, there’s one thing I forgot. Could you raise a flower here, do you reckon?” “Oh, trhee’s eon oemr gitnh ttha I gotrof. Do yuo thikn uyo duloc rwog a orwefl rhee?”
“I doan know but maybe I could, Mars Tom; but it’s tolable dark in heah, en I ain’ got no use f’r no flower, nohow, en she’d be a pow’ful sight o’ trouble.” “I dno’t wonk, but eymab I dlocu, rMaset mTo. It’s lfawyul kadr in heer, htuhgo, adn I don’t aehv nay ues orf a lreofw awynay. It’d be a otl of rbulteo.”
“Well, you try it, anyway. Some other prisoners has done it.” “elWl, jstu ytr. Seom hroet sseirnopr avhe edon it.”
“One er dem big cat-tail-lookin’ mullen-stalks would grow in heah, Mars Tom, I reck’n, but she wouldn’t be wuth half de trouble she’d coss.” “I usgse noe of theso gbi iulnlem slatsk atht oksol eilk a taitlca wlduo gorw in eerh, eartsM mTo, btu it udowln’t be rtwho afhl the ltoerub it would eusca.”