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more. Tom, I wouldn’t ever got into all this trouble if it hadn’t ‘a’ ben for that
money; now you just take my sheer of it along with your’n, and gimme a ten-
center sometimes-not many times, becuz I don’t give a dem for a thing ‘thout it’s
tollable hard to git-and you go and beg off for me with the widder.” “O, Huck,
you know I can’t do that. ‘Tain’t fair; and besides if you’ll try this thing just a
while longer you’ll come to like it.” “Like it! Yes-the way I’d like a hot stove if I
was to set on it long enough.
No, Tom, I won’t be rich, and I won’t live in them cussed smothery houses. I like
the woods, and the river, and hogsheads, and I’ll stick to ‘em, too. Blame it all!
just as we’d got guns, and a cave, and all just fixed to rob, here this dem
foolishness has got to come up and spile it all!” Tom saw his
opportunity“Looky-here, Huck, being rich ain’t going to keep me back from
turning robber.” “No! O, good-licks, are you in real dead-wood earnest, Tom?”
“Just as dead earnest as I’m a-sitting here. But Huck, we can’t let you into the
gang if you ain’t respectable, you know.” Huck’s joy was quenched.
“Can’t let me in, Tom? Didn’t you let me go for a pirate?” “Yes, but that’s
different. A robber is more high-toned than what a pirate is-as a general thing.
In most countries they’re awful high up in the nobility-dukes and such.”
“Now Tom, hain’t you always ben friendly to me? You wouldn’t shet me out,
would you, Tom? You wouldn’t do that, now, would you, Tom?” “Huck, I
wouldn’t want to, and I don’t want to-but what would people say? Why they’d
say, ‘Mph! Tom Sawyer’s Gang! pretty low characters in it!’ They’d mean you,
Huck. You wouldn’t like that, and I wouldn’t.” Huck was silent for some time,
engaged in a mental struggle. Finally he said: “Well, I’ll go back to the widder
for a month and tackle it and see if I can come to stand it, if you’ll let me b’long
to the gang, Tom.” “All right, Huck, it’s a whiz! Come along, old chap, and I’ll
ask the widow to let up on you a little, Huck.” “Will you Tom-now will you?
That’s good. If she’ll let up on some of the roughest things, I’ll smoke private
and cuss private, and crowd through or bust.
When you going to start the gang and turn robbers?” “O, right off. We’ll get the
boys together and have the initiation to-night, maybe.” “Have the which?”
“Have the initiation.” “What’s that?”
“It’s to swear to stand by one another, and never tell the gang’s secrets, even if
you’re chopped all to flinders, and kill anybody and all his family that hurts one
of the gang.” “That’s gay-that’s mighty gay, Tom, I tell you.” “Well I bet it is.
And all that swearing’s got to be done at midnight, in the lonesomest, awfulest
place you can find-a ha’nted house is the best, but they’re all ripped up now.”
“Well, midnight’s good, anyway, Tom.” “Yes, so it is. And you’ve got to swear
on a coffin, and sign it with blood.” “Now that’s something like! Why it’s a
million times bullier than pirating. I’ll stick to the widder till I rot, Tom; and if I
git to be a reg’lar ripper of a robber, and everybody talking ‘bout it, I reckon
she’ll be proud she snaked me in out of the wet.”
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