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About twelve o’clock we turned out and went along up the bank. The river was coming up pretty fast, and lots of driftwood going by on the rise. By and by along comes part of a log raft—nine logs fast together. We went out with the skiff and towed it ashore. Then we had dinner. Anybody but pap would a waited and seen the day through, so as to catch more stuff; but that warn’t pap’s style. Nine logs was enough for one time; he must shove right over to town and sell. So he locked me in and took the skiff, and started off towing the raft about half-past three. I judged he wouldn’t come back that night. I waited till I reckoned he had got a good start; then I out with my saw, and went to work on that log again. Before he was t’other side of the river I was out of the hole; him and his raft was just a speck on the water away off yonder. Around noon we woke up and went back out along the riverbank. The river was rising pretty quickly, and lots of driftwood was floating down. Pretty soon, part of a log raft made up of nine logs tied together came floating past. We used the skiff to intercept it and tow it ashore. Then we ate lunch. If pap were any other man, he would have waited by the shore to see what else floated down—but that’s not how pap’s style. He figured nine logs was enough for one day, and he needed to head to town right away to sell them. Around half-past three he locked me in the cabin, took the skiff, and towed the raft downstream to town. I figured he wouldn’t be back that night. I waited until I thought he was far enough away, then pulled out the saw and finished cutting that hole in the wall. I’d scurried out before pap had even made it across the river—he was just a speck way out on the water.
I took the sack of corn meal and took it to where the canoe was hid, and shoved the vines and branches apart and put it in; then I done the same with the side of bacon; then the whisky-jug. I took all the coffee and sugar there was, and all the ammunition; I took the wadding; I took the bucket and gourd; I took a dipper and a tin cup, and my old saw and two blankets, and the skillet and the coffee-pot. I took fish-lines and matches and other things—everything that was worth a cent. I cleaned out the place. I wanted an axe, but there wasn’t any, only the one out at the woodpile, and I knowed why I was going to leave that. I fetched out the gun, and now I was done. I put a sack of cornmeal, a side of bacon, and the whisky jug in the canoe, shoving the vines and branches aside as did so. I also took all the coffee and sugar, all the ammunition, the wadding for the gun, the bucket and the gourd, a dipper and tin cup, the saw, two blankets, a frying pan, and the coffee pot. I grabbed some fish lines and matches and everything else that was worth any money. And finally, I put the gun in the canoe. I cleaned out the place. I wanted to take an axe, but the only one we had was the one next to the woodpile, and I had a reason for leaving that behind.
I had wore the ground a good deal crawling out of the hole and dragging out so many things. So I fixed that as good as I could from the outside by scattering dust on the place, which covered up the smoothness and the sawdust. Then I fixed the piece of log back into its place, and put two rocks under it and one against it to hold it there, for it was bent up at that place and didn’t quite touch ground. If you stood four or five foot away and didn’t know it was sawed, you wouldn’t never notice it; and besides, this was the back of the cabin, and it warn’t likely anybody would go fooling around there. I’d worn a pretty clear path in the ground crawling out of the hole and dragging so many things down to the canoe, so I fixed it as best I could by scattering dust all over the place. This covered up the sawdust and the worn dirt. Then I put back the piece of wall that I’d cut out, and put two rocks under it one against it, to hold it up since it didn’t quite touch the ground. When I finished, you couldn’t even tell there was a hole unless you already know it was there and were standing about four or five feet away. Besides, the hole was in the rear of the cabin, and it wasn’t likely that anyone would go poking around back there.
It was all grass clear to the canoe, so I hadn’t left a track. I followed around to see. I stood on the bank and looked out over the river. All safe. So I took the gun and went up a piece into the woods, and was hunting around for some birds when I see a wild pig; hogs soon went wild in them bottoms after they had got away from the prairie farms. I shot this fellow and took him into camp. The ground from the cabin and the canoe was covered in grass, so I didn’t have to worry about leaving tracks. I went back to check, though. I stood on the riverbank and looked out. It looked safe, so I tok the gun and went up into the woods a little bit. I was hunting around for some birds, when I saw a wild pig. Hogs would go wild pretty soon after they’d gotten away from prarie farms. I shot him and took him back to the cabin.
I took the axe and smashed in the door. I beat it and hacked it considerable a-doing it. I fetched the pig in, and took him back nearly to the table and hacked into his throat with the axe, and laid him down on the ground to bleed; I say ground because it was ground—hard packed, and no boards. Well, next I took an old sack and put a lot of big rocks in it—all I could drag—and I started it from the pig, and dragged it to the door and through the woods down to the river and dumped it in, and down it sunk, out of sight. You could easy see that something had been dragged over the ground. I did wish Tom Sawyer was there; I knowed he would take an interest in this kind of business, and throw in the fancy touches. Nobody could spread himself like Tom Sawyer in such a thing as that. I took the axe and hacked down the door into pieces. I brought the pig in, took him to the back of the cabin near the table, and cut his throat with the axe. Then I set him on the ground—I say ground because the floor was just hard packed dirt without any boards—to let the blood drain. Then I took an old sack, placed it next to the pig, and filled it with as many big rocks as I could handle. Then I dragged the sack from the pig across the cabin to the door, through the woods, and down to the river, where I dumped it and watched it sink out of sight. When I was done, you could easily see that something had been dragged across the ground. I wished Tom Sawyer were there because I knew he’d be interested in my plan and would add the finishing touches. Nobody was better with those little details than Tom Sawyer.
Well, last I pulled out some of my hair, and blooded the axe good, and stuck it on the back side, and slung the axe in the corner. Then I took up the pig and held him to my breast with my jacket (so he couldn’t drip) till I got a good piece below the house and then dumped him into the river. Now I thought of something else. So I went and got the bag of meal and my old saw out of the canoe, and fetched them to the house. I took the bag to where it used to stand, and ripped a hole in the bottom of it with the saw, for there warn’t no knives and forks on the place —pap done everything with his clasp-knife about the cooking. Then I carried the sack about a hundred yards across the grass and through the willows east of the house, to a shallow lake that was five mile wide and full of rushes—and ducks too, you might say, in the season. There was a slough or a creek leading out of it on the other side that went miles away, I don’t know where, but it didn’t go to the river. The meal sifted out and made a little track all the way to the lake. I dropped pap’s whetstone there too, so as to look like it had been done by accident. Then I tied up the rip in the meal sack with a string, so it wouldn’t leak no more, and took it and my saw to the canoe again. Finally, I pulled out some of my hair and stuck it to the back of the axe with some pig blood, then put the axe in the corner of the cabin. I picked up the pig, held him to my chest with my jacket so the blood wouldn’t drip, and walked down stream a good ways from the house before dumping it in the river. Then I had another thought, so I went back to the canoe to grab the bag of cornmeal and the saw. I took the cornmeal back to its place in the cabin and used the saw to cut a hole in the bottom of the sack. I had to use the saw because there weren’t any knives or forks around—pap just used his pocket knife to do the cooking. Then I carried the sack about a hundred yards across the grass and through the willows east of the house to a shallow lake. The lake was about five miles wide and full of reeds—ducks, too, when they’re in season. On the other side of the lake there was a slough or creek that lead miles and miles away. I’m not sure where it went, but it didn’t lead toward the river. The cornmeal spilled out of the hole I’d cut, and made a little trail all the way down to the lake. I dropped pap’s


a stone used to sharp knives

there too and made it looked like he’d left it accidentally. Then I used some string to tie up the hole in the sack so that it wouldn’t leak any more, and carried it and the saw back to the canoe.