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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The

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<SPAN name="c10" id="c10"></SPAN> </p> <div class="fig" style="width:80%;"> <ANTIMG alt="c10-79.jpg (191K)" src="images/c10-79.jpg" width="100%" /><br /> </div> <p> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> CHAPTER X. </p> <p> AFTER breakfast I wanted to talk about the dead man and guess out how he come to be killed, but Jim didn't want to. &nbsp;He said it would fetch bad luck; and besides, he said, he might come and ha'nt us; he said a man that warn't buried was more likely to go a-ha'nting around than one that was planted and comfortable. &nbsp;That sounded pretty reasonable, so I didn't say no more; but I couldn't keep from studying over it and wishing I knowed who shot the man, and what they done it for. </p> <p> We rummaged the clothes we'd got, and found eight dollars in silver sewed up in the lining of an old blanket overcoat. &nbsp;Jim said he reckoned the people in that house stole the coat, because if they'd a knowed the money was there they wouldn't a left it. &nbsp;I said I reckoned they killed him, too; but Jim didn't want to talk about that. &nbsp;I says: </p> <p> "Now you think it's bad luck; but what did you say when I fetched in the snake-skin that I found on the top of the ridge day before yesterday? You said it was the worst bad luck in the world to touch a snake-skin with my hands. &nbsp;Well, here's your bad luck! &nbsp;We've raked in all this truck and eight dollars besides. &nbsp;I wish we could have some bad luck like this every day, Jim." </p> <p> "Never you mind, honey, never you mind. &nbsp;Don't you git too peart. &nbsp;It's a-comin'. &nbsp;Mind I tell you, it's a-comin'." </p> <p> It did come, too. &nbsp;It was a Tuesday that we had that talk. &nbsp;Well, after dinner Friday we was laying around in the grass at the upper end of the ridge, and got out of tobacco. &nbsp;I went to the cavern to get some, and found a rattlesnake in there. &nbsp;I killed him, and curled him up on the foot of Jim's blanket, ever so natural, thinking there'd be some fun when Jim found him there. &nbsp;Well, by night I forgot all about the snake, and when Jim flung himself down on the blanket while I struck a light the snake's mate was there, and bit him. </p> <p> He jumped up yelling, and the first thing the light showed was the varmint curled up and ready for another spring. &nbsp;I laid him out in a second with a stick, and Jim grabbed pap's whisky-jug and begun to pour it down. </p> <p> <br /> <br /> <SPAN name="c10-80" id="c10-80"></SPAN><br /> <br /> </p> <div class="fig" style="width:80%;"> <ANTIMG alt="c10-80.jpg (66K)" src="images/c10-80.jpg" width="100%" /><br /> </div> <p> <br /> <br /> <br /> </p> <p> He was barefooted, and the snake bit him right on the heel. &nbsp;That all comes of my being such a fool as to not remember that wherever you leave a dead snake its mate always comes there and curls around it. &nbsp;Jim told me to chop off the snake's head and throw it away, and then skin the body and roast a piece of it. &nbsp;I done it, and he eat it and said it would help cure him. He made me take off the rattles and tie them around his wrist, too. &nbsp;He said that that would help. &nbsp;Then I slid out quiet and throwed the snakes clear away amongst the bushes; for I warn't going to let Jim find out it was all my fault, not if I could help it. </p> <p> Jim sucked and sucked at the jug, and now and then he got out of his head and pitched around and yelled; but every time he come to himself he went to sucking at the jug again. &nbsp;His foot swelled up pretty big, and so did his leg; but by and by the drunk begun to come, and so I judged he was all right; but I'd druther been bit with a snake than pap's whisky. </p> <p> Jim was laid up for four days and nights. &nbsp;Then the swelling was all gone and he was around again. &nbsp;I made up my mind I wouldn't ever take a-holt of a snake-skin again with my hands, now that I see what had come of it. Jim said he reckoned I would believe him next time. &nbsp;And he said that handling a snake-skin was such awful bad luck that maybe we hadn't got to the end of it yet. &nbsp;He said he druther see the new moon over his left shoulder as much as a thousand times than take up a snake-skin in his hand. &nbsp;Well, I was getting to feel that way myself, though I've always reckoned that looking at the new moon over your left shoulder is one of the carelessest and foolishest things a body can do. &nbsp;Old Hank Bunker done it once, and bragged about it; and in less than two years he got drunk and fell off of the shot-tower, and spread himself out so that he was just a kind of a layer, as you may say; and they slid him edgeways between two barn doors for a coffin, and buried him so, so they say, but I didn't see it. &nbsp;Pap told me. &nbsp;But anyway it all come of looking at the moon that way, like a fool. </p> <p> <br /> <br /> <SPAN name="c10-81" id="c10-81"></SPAN><br /> <br /> </p> <div class="fig" style="width:80%;"> <ANTIMG alt="c10-81.jpg (49K)" src="images/c10-81.jpg" width="100%" /><br /> </div> <p> <br /> <br /> <br /> </p> <p> Well, the days went along, and the river went down between its banks again; and about the first thing we done was to bait one of the big hooks with a skinned rabbit and set it and catch a catfish that was as big as a man, being six foot two inches long, and weighed over two hundred pounds. We couldn't handle him, of course; he would a flung us into Illinois. &nbsp;We just set there and watched him rip and tear around till he drownded. &nbsp;We found a brass button in his stomach and a round ball, and lots of rubbage. &nbsp;We split the ball open with the hatchet, and there was a spool in it. &nbsp;Jim said he'd had it there a long time, to coat it over so and make a ball of it. &nbsp;It was as big a fish as was ever catched in the Mississippi, I reckon. &nbsp;Jim said he hadn't ever seen a bigger one. &nbsp;He would a been worth a good deal over at the village. &nbsp;They peddle out such a fish as that by the pound in the market-house there; everybody buys some of him; his meat's as white as snow and makes a good fry. </p> <p> Next morning I said it was getting slow and dull, and I wanted to get a stirring up some way. &nbsp;I said I reckoned I would slip over the river and find out what was going on. &nbsp;Jim liked that notion; but he said I must go in the dark and look sharp. &nbsp;Then he studied it over and said, couldn't I put on some of them old things and dress up like a girl? &nbsp;That was a good notion, too. &nbsp;So we shortened up one of the calico gowns, and I turned up my trouser-legs to my knees and got into it. &nbsp;Jim hitched it behind with the hooks, and it was a fair fit. &nbsp;I put on the sun-bonnet and tied it under my chin, and then for a body to look in and see my face was like looking down a joint of stove-pipe. &nbsp;Jim said nobody would know me, even in the daytime, hardly. &nbsp;I practiced around all day to get the hang of the things, and by and by I could do pretty well in them, only Jim said I didn't walk like a girl; and he said I must quit pulling up my gown to get at my britches-pocket. &nbsp;I took notice, and done better. </p> <p> <br /> <br /> <SPAN name="c10-82" id="c10-82"></SPAN><br /> <br /> </p> <div class="fig" style="width:80%;"> <ANTIMG alt="c10-82.jpg (68K)" src="images/c10-82.jpg" width="100%" /><br /> </div> <p> <br /> <br /> <br /> </p> <p> I started up the Illinois shore in the canoe just after dark. </p> <p> I started across to the town from a little below the ferry-landing, and the drift of the current fetched me in at the bottom of the town. &nbsp;I tied up and started along the bank. &nbsp;There was a light burning in a little shanty that hadn't been lived in for a long time, and I wondered who had took up quarters there. &nbsp;I slipped up and peeped in at the window. &nbsp;There was a woman about forty year old in there knitting by a candle that was on a pine table. &nbsp;I didn't know her face; she was a stranger, for you couldn't start a face in that town that I didn't know. &nbsp;Now this was lucky, because I was weakening; I was getting afraid I had come; people might know my voice and find me out. &nbsp;But if this woman had been in such a little town two days she could tell me all I wanted to know; so I knocked at the door, and made up my mind I wouldn't forget I was a girl. </p> <p> <br /> <br /> </p> <hr /> <p> <br /> <br /> <SPAN name="c11-84" id="c11-84"></SPAN><br /> <br />
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