The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain
No Fear Chapter 41 Page 3
No Fear Chapter 41: Page 3

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“Well, it does beat—” “Well, it does beat all….”
“Laws alive, I never—” “Sake’s alive, I never….”
“So help me, I wouldn’t a be—” “So help me, I wouldn’t be….”
“HOUSE-thieves as well as—” “HOUSE thieves as well as…..”
“Goodnessgracioussakes, I’d a ben afeard to live in sich a—” “Goodness gracious, I would have been afraid to live in such a….”
“’Fraid to LIVE!—why, I was that scared I dasn’t hardly go to bed, or get up, or lay down, or SET down, Sister Ridgeway. Why, they’d steal the very—why, goodness sakes, you can guess what kind of a fluster I was in by the time midnight come last night. I hope to gracious if I warn’t afraid they’d steal some o’ the family! I was just to that pass I didn’t have no reasoning faculties no more. It looks foolish enough NOW, in the daytime; but I says to myself, there’s my two poor boys asleep, ’way up stairs in that lonesome room, and I declare to goodness I was that uneasy ’t I crep’ up there and locked ’em in! I DID. And anybody would. Because, you know, when you get scared that way, and it keeps running on, and getting worse and worse all the time, and your wits gets to addling, and you get to doing all sorts o’ wild things, and by and by you think to yourself, spos’n I was a boy, and was away up there, and the door ain’t locked, and you—” She stopped, looking kind of wondering, and then she turned her head around slow, and when her eye lit on me—I got up and took a walk. “Afraid to LIVE! Why I was so scared that I couldn’t even go to bed or get up or lie down or SIT down, Sister Ridgeway. Why, they’d steal the very—why, goodness sakes, you can guess what kind of a state I was in by the time midnight came around last night. I’d prayed and prayed that they weren’t going to steal any members of the family! I’d gotten to the point where I wasn’t thinking straight anymore. It looks pretty foolish NOW in the daytime, but I told myself that my two poor boys were asleep upstairs in that lonely room, and I tell you I was so worried that I crept up there and locked them in! I DID! Anybody would have. Because, you know, when you’re scared like that, the fear keeps going and getting worse. Your wits get dull and then you start to do all sorts of crazy things. Pretty soon you start asking yourself what you would do if you were a boy up there and the door wasn’t locked and you….” She stopped, looking kind off puzzled. Then she slowly turned her head toward me, and when her eyes met mine I got up and took a walk.
Says I to myself, I can explain better how we come to not be in that room this morning if I go out to one side and study over it a little. So I done it. But I dasn’t go fur, or she’d a sent for me. And when it was late in the day the people all went, and then I come in and told her the noise and shooting waked up me and “Sid,” and the door was locked, and we wanted to see the fun, so we went down the lightning-rod, and both of us got hurt a little, and we didn’t never want to try THAT no more. And then I went on and told her all what I told Uncle Silas before; and then she said she’d forgive us, and maybe it was all right enough anyway, and about what a body might expect of boys, for all boys was a pretty harum-scarum lot as fur as she could see; and so, as long as no harm hadn’t come of it, she judged she better put in her time being grateful we was alive and well and she had us still, stead of fretting over what was past and done. So then she kissed me, and patted me on the head, and dropped into a kind of a brown study; and pretty soon jumps up, and says: I told myself that I could come up with a good explanation as to why we weren’t in the room this morning if I went outside and thought it over a bit. So I did. But I didn’t get very far before she sent for me. When it was later in the day and everyone had gone, I went in and told her that all the noise and shooting had woken me and “Sid” up. We’d found the door locked and we wanted to see the fun, so we went down the lightning rod. Both of us had gotten a little bit hurt, so we didn’t want to ever try that again. Then I went and told her the same thing I’d told Uncle Silas. She said she’d forgive us and that maybe it was fine anyway. After all, that’s just what you’d expect from boys since they’re all crazy anyway as far she could tell. And so, since no harm was done, she decided instead of worrying about what had happened, she should just be grateful that we were alive and well. Then she kissed me and patted me on the head. She drifted off a bit until she suddenly jumped up and said:
“Why, lawsamercy, it’s most night, and Sid not come yet! What HAS become of that boy?” “Lord have mercy! It’s almost night, and Sid hasn’t come home yet! Where IS that boy?”
I see my chance; so I skips up and says: I saw my opportunity, so I piped up and said:
“I’ll run right up to town and get him,” I says. “I’ll run straight into town and get him,” I said.
“No you won’t,” she says. “You’ll stay right wher’ you are; ONE’S enough to be lost at a time. If he ain’t here to supper, your uncle ’ll go.” “No, you won’t,” she said. “You’ll stay right where you are. ONE lost child is enough. If he isn’t here for supper, your uncle will go.”
Well, he warn’t there to supper; so right after supper uncle went. Well, he wasn’t there for supper, so Uncle Silas left immediately afterward.
He come back about ten a little bit uneasy; hadn’t run across Tom’s track. Aunt Sally was a good DEAL uneasy; but Uncle Silas he said there warn’t no occasion to be—boys will be boys, he said, and you’ll see this one turn up in the morning all sound and right. So she had to be satisfied. But she said she’d set up for him a while anyway, and keep a light burning so he could see it. He came back after around ten o’clock feeling a bit nervous. He hadn’t run across Tom’s tracks. Aunt Sally was REALLY nervous, but Uncle Silas said there wasn’t any reason to be. Boys will be boys, he said. He said that Sid would turn up in the morning safe and sound, and not to be worried. But she said she’d sit up for awhile anyway and keep a light burning so that he could see it.
And then when I went up to bed she come up with me and fetched her candle, and tucked me in, and mothered me so good I felt mean, and like I couldn’t look her in the face; and she set down on the bed and talked with me a long time, and said what a splendid boy Sid was, and didn’t seem to want to ever stop talking about him; and kept asking me every now and then if I reckoned he could a got lost, or hurt, or maybe drownded, and might be laying at this minute somewheres suffering or dead, and she not by him to help him, and so the tears would drip down silent, and I would tell her that Sid was all right, and would be home in the morning, sure; and she would squeeze my hand, or maybe kiss me, and tell me to say it again, and keep on saying it, because it done her good, and she was in so much trouble. And when she was going away she looked down in my eyes so steady and gentle, and says: When I went up to bed, she took her candle and came up with me. She tucked me in and acted so motherly that I felt awful, and couldn’t look her in the face. She sat down on the bed and talked with me for a long time and said what a wonderful boy Sid was. She didn’t seem to want to stop talking about him. She kept asking me every now and then if I thought he could have gotten lost or hurt, or if he might have drowned and be lying somewhere this very minute suffering or dead without her there to help. She got so worked up that tears dripped down her cheek silently. I kept telling her that Sid would be all right and would be home in the morning for sure. She would squeeze my hand or give me a kiss and tell me to say it again and keep on saying it because it was making her feel better and she was very worried. When she went away, she looked down in my eyes so gently and steadily and said: