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get your breakfast to-morrow morning!” The Welchman’s sons departed at once.
As they were leaving the room Huck sprang up and exclaimed: “O, please don’t
tell anybody it was me that blowed on them! O, please!” “All right if you say it,
Huck, but you ought to have the credit of what you did.” “O, no, no! Please
don’t tell!” When the young men were gone, the old Welchman said“They won’t
tell-and I won’t. But why don’t you want it known?” Huck would not explain,
further than to say that he already knew too much about one of those men and
would not have the man know that he knew anything against him for the whole
world-he would be killed for knowing it, sure.

The old man promised secrecy once more, and said: “How did you come to
follow these fellows, lad? Were they looking suspicious?” Huck was silent while
he framed a duly cautious reply. Then he said: “Well, you see, I’m a kind of a
hard lot,- least everybody says so, and I don’t see nothing agin it-and sometimes
I can’t sleep much, on accounts of thinking about it and sort of trying to strike
out a new way of doing. That was the way of it last night. I couldn’t sleep, and
so I come along up street ‘bout midnight, a-turning it all over, and when I got to
that old shackly brick store by the Temperance Tavern, I backed up agin the wall
to have another think. Well, just then along comes these two chaps slipping
along close by me, with something under their arm and I reckoned they’d stole
it. One was a-smoking, and t’other one wanted a light; so they stopped right
before me and the cigars lit up their faces and I see that the big one was the deaf
and dumb Spaniard, by his white whiskers and the patch on his eye, and t’other
one was a rusty, ragged looking devil.” “Could you see the rags by the light of
the cigars?” This staggered Huck for a moment. Then he said: “Well, I don’t
know-but somehow it seems as if I did.” “Then they went on, and you-”
“Follered ‘em-yes. That was it. I wanted to see what was up-they sneaked along
so. I dogged ‘em to the widder’s stile, and stood in the dark and heard the
ragged one beg for the widder, and the Spaniard swear he’d spile her looks just
as I told you and your two-” “What! The deaf and dumb man said all that!”
Huck had made another terrible mistake! He was trying his best to keep the old
man from getting the faintest hint of who the Spaniard might be, and yet his
tongue seemed determined to get him into trouble in spite of all he could do. He
made several efforts to creep out of his scrape, but the old man’s eye was upon
him and he made blunder after blunder. Presently the Welchman said: “My boy,
don’t be afraid of me. I wouldn’t hurt a hair of your head for all the world. No-
I’d protect you-I’d protect you. This Spaniard is not deaf and dumb; you’ve let
that slip without intending it; you can’t cover that up now. You know something
about that Spaniard that you want to keep dark. Now trust me-tell me what it is,
and trust me-I won’t betray you.” Huck looked into the old man’s honest eyes a
moment, then bent over and whispered in his ear“’Tain’t a Spaniard-it’s Injun
Joe!” The Welchman almost jumped out of his chair. In a moment he said: “It’s
all plain enough, now. When you talked about notching ears and slitting noses I
judged that that was your own embellishment, because white men don’t take
that sort of revenge. But an Injun! That’s a different matter altogether.”

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