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Huck Finn by Mark Twain-Original Text Online-Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
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CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

By-and-by it was getting-up time; so I come down the ladder and started for down stairs, but as I come to the girls’ room, the door was open, and I see Mary Jane setting by her old hair trunk, which was open and she’d been packing things in it-getting ready to go to England. But she had stopped now, with a folded gown in her lap, and had her face in her hands, crying. I felt awful bad to see it; of course anybody would. I went in there, and says: “Miss Mary Jane, you can’t abear to see people in trouble, and I can’t-most always. Tell me about it.” So she done it. And it was the niggers-I just expected it. She said the beautiful trip to England was most about spoiled for her; she didn’t know how she was ever going to be happy there, knowing the mother and the children warn’t ever going to see each other no more-and then busted out bitterer than ever, and flung up her hands, and says: “Oh, dear, to think they ain’t ever going to see each other any more!” “But they will-and inside of two weeks-and I know it!” says I. Laws, it was out before I could think!- and before I could budge, she throws her arms around my neck, and told me to say it again, say it again, say it again!

I see I had spoke too sudden, and said too much, and was in a close place. I asked her to let me think a minute; and she set there, very impatient and excited, and handsome, but looking kind of happy and eased-up, like a person that’s had a tooth pulled out. So I went to studying it out. I says to myself, I reckon a body that ups and tells the truth when he is in a tight place, is taking considerable many resks, though I ain’t had no experience, and can’t say for certain; but it looks so to me, anyway; and yet here’s a case where I’m blest if it don’t look to me like the truth is better, and actuly safer, than a lie. I must lay it by in my mind, and think it over some time or other, it’s so kind of strange and unregular. I never see nothing like it. Well, I says to myself at last, I’m agoing to chance it; I’ll up and tell the truth this time, though it does seem most like setting down on a kag of powder and touching it off just to see where you’ll go to. Then I says: “Miss Mary Jane, is there any place out of town a little ways, where you could go and stay three or four days?” “Yes-Mr. Lathrop’s. Why?” “Never mind why, yet. If I tell you how I know the niggers will see each other again-inside of two weeks-here in this house-and prove how I know itwill you go to Mr. Lathrop’s and stay four days?” “Four days!” she says; “I’ll stay a year!” “All right,” I says, “I don’t want nothing more out of you than just your wordI druther have it than another man’s kiss-the-Bible.” She smiled, and reddened up very sweet, and I says, “If you don’t mind it, I’ll shut the door-and bolt it.” Then I come back and set down again, and says: “Don’t you holler. Just set still, and take it like a man. I got to tell the truth, and you want to brace up, Miss Mary, because it’s a bad kind, and going to be hard to take, but there ain’t no help for it. These uncles of yourn ain’t no uncles at all-they’re a couple of frauds-regular dead-beats. There, now we’re over the worst of it-you can stand the rest middling easy.” It holted her up like everything, of course; but I was over the shoal water now, so I went right along, her eyes a blazing higher and higher all the time, and told her every blame thing, from where we first struck that young fool going up to the steamboat, clear through to where she flung herself onto the king’s breast at the front door and he kissed her sixteen or seventeen times-and then up she jumps, with her face afire like sunset, and says: “The brute! Come-don’t waste a minute-not a second-we’ll have them tarred and feathered, and flung in the river!


Says I: “Cert’nly. But do you mean, before you go to Mr. Lathrop’s, or-” “Oh,” she says, “what am I thinking about!” she says, and set right down again. “Don’t mind what I said-please don’t-you won’t, now, will you?” Laying her silky hand on mine in that kind of a way that I said I would die first. “I never thought, I was so stirred up,” she says; “now go on, and I won’t do so any more.

You tell me what to do, and whatever you say, I’ll do it.” “Well,” I says, “it’s a rough gang, them two frauds, and I’m fixed so I got to travel with them a while longer, whether I want to or not-I druther not tell you why-and if you was to blow on them this town would get me out of their claws, and I’d be all right, but there’d be another person that you don’t know about who’d be in big trouble. Well, we got to save him, hain’t we? Of course. Well, then, we won’t blow on them.” Saying them words put a good idea in my head. I see how maybe I could get me and Jim rid of the frauds; get them jailed here, and then leave. But I didn’t want to run the raft in daytime, without anybody aboard to answer questions but me; so I didn’t want the plan to begin working till pretty late to-night. I says: “Miss Mary Jane, I’ll tell you what we’ll do-and you won’t have to stay at Mr. Lathrop’s so long, nuther. How fur is it?” “A little short of four miles-right out in the country, back here.” “Well, that’ll answer. Now you go along out there, and lay low till nine or half-past, to-night, and then get them to fetch you home again-tell them you’ve thought of something. If you get here before eleven, put a candle in this window, and if I don’t turn up, wait till eleven, and then if I don’t turn up it means I’m gone, and out of the way, and safe. Then you come out and spread the news around, and get these beats jailed.” “Good,” she says, “I’ll do it.”

“And if it just happens so that I don’t get away, but get took up along with them, you must up and say I told you the whole thing beforehand, and you must stand by me all you can.” “Stand by you, indeed I will. They shan’t touch a hair of your head!” she says, and I see her nostrils spread and her eyes snap when she said it, too.

“If I get away, I shan’t be here,” I says, “to prove these rapscallions ain’t your uncles, and I couldn’t do it if I was here. I could swear they was beats and bummers, that’s all; though that’s worth something. Well, there’s others can do that better than what I canand they’re people that ain’t going to be doubted as quick as I’d be. I’ll tell you how to find them. Gimme a pencil and a piece of paper.

There-‘Royal Nonesuch, Bricksville.’ Put it away, and don’t lose it. When the court wants to find out something about these two, let them send up to Bricksville and say they’ve got the men that oldyed the Royal Nonesuch, and ask for some witnesses-why, you’ll have that entire town down here before you can hardly wink, Miss Mary. And they’ll come a-biling, too.” I judged we had got everything fixed about right, now. So I says: “Just let the auction go right along, and don’t worry. Nobody don’t have to pay for the things they buy till a whole day after the auction, on accounts of the short notice, and they ain’t going out of this till they get that money-and the way we’ve fixed it the sale ain’t going to count, and they ain’t going to get no money.

It’s just like the way it was with the niggers-it warn’t no sale, and the niggers will be back before long. Why, they can’t collect the money for the niggers, yetthey’re in the worst kind of a fix, Miss Mary.” “Well,” she says, “I’ll run down to breakfast now, and then I’ll start straight for Mr. Lathrop’s.” “Deed, that ain’t the ticket, Miss Mary Jane,” I says, “by no manner of means; go before breakfast.” “Why?” “What did you reckon I wanted you to go at all for, Miss Mary?” “Well, I never thought-and come to think, I don’t know. What was it?” “Why, it’s because you ain’t one of these leather-face people. I don’t want no better book than what your face is. A body can set down and read it off like coarse print. Do you reckon you can go and face your uncles, when they come to kiss you good-morning, and never-” “There, there, don’t! Yes, I’ll go before breakfast-I’ll be glad to. And leave my sisters with them?” “Yes-never mind about them. They’ve got to stand it yet a while. They might suspicion something if all of you was to go. I don’t want you to see them, nor your sisters, nor nobody in this town-if a neighbor was to ask how is your uncles this morning, your face would tell something. No, you go right along, Miss Mary Jane, and I’ll fix it with all of them. I’ll tell Miss Susan to give your love to your uncles and say you’ve went away for a few hours for to get a little rest and change, or to see a friend, and you’ll be back to-night or early in the morning.” “Gone to see a friend is all right, but I won’t have my love given to them.” “Well, then, it shan’t be.” It was well enough to tell her so-no harm in it. It was only a little thing to do, and no trouble; and it’s the little things that smoothes people’s roads the most, down here below; it would make Mary Jane comfortable, and it wouldn’t cost nothing. Then I says: “There’s one more thingthat bag of money.” “Well, they’ve got that; and it makes me feel pretty silly to think how they got it.” “No, you’re out, there. They hain’t got it.” “Why, who’s got it?” “I wish I knowed, but I don’t. I had it, because I stole it from them: and I stole it to give to you; and I know where I hid it, but I’m afraid it ain’t there no more. I’m awful sorry, Miss Mary Jane, I’m just as sorry as I can be; but I done the best I could; I did, honest. I come nigh getting caught, and I had to shove it into the first place I come to, and run-and it warn’t a good place.” “Oh, stop blaming yourself-it’s too bad to do it, and I won’t allow it-you couldn’t help it; it wasn’t your fault. Where did you hide it?” I didn’t want to set her to thinking about her troubles again; and I couldn’t seem to get my mouth to tell her what would make her see that corpse laying in the coffin with that bag of money on his stomach. So for a minute I didn’t say nothing-then I says: “I’d ruther not tell you where I put it, Miss Mary Jane, if you don’t mind letting me off; but I’ll write it for you on a piece of paper, and you can read it along the road to Mr. Lathrop’s, if you want to. Do you reckon that’ll do?” “Oh, yes.” So I wrote: “I put it in the coffin. It was in there when you was crying there, away in the night. I was behind the door, and I was mighty sorry for you, Miss Mary Jane.” It made my eyes water a little, to remember her crying there all by herself in the night, and them devils laying there right under her own roof, shaming her and robbing her; and when I folded it up and give it to her, I see the water come into her eyes, too; and she shook me by the hand, hard, and says: “Good-bye-I’m going to do everything just as you’ve told me; and if I don’t ever see you again, I shan’t ever forget you, and I’ll think of you a many and a many a time, and I’ll pray for you, too!”and she was gone.

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Huck Finn by Mark Twain-Original Text Online-Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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