You don’t know about me
without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures
of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter.
That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told
the truth, mainly. There was things which he
stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That
is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one
time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the
widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly Tom’s
Aunt Polly, she is and Mary, and the Widow
Douglas is all told about in that book, which is mostly
a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before.
Now the way that the book winds up
is this: Tom and me found the money that the
robbers hid in the cave, and it made us rich.
We got six thousand dollars apiece all
gold. It was an awful sight of money when it
was piled up. Well, Judge Thatcher he took it
and put it out at interest, and it fetched us a dollar
a day apiece all the year round more than
a body could tell what to do with. The Widow
Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would
sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house
all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent
the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn’t
stand it no longer I lit out. I got into my
old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free
and satisfied. But Tom Sawyer he hunted me up
and said he was going to start a band of robbers,
and I might join if I would go back to the widow and
be respectable. So I went back.
The widow she cried over me, and called
me a poor lost lamb, and she called me a lot of other
names, too, but she never meant no harm by it.
She put me in them new clothes again, and I couldn’t
do nothing but sweat and sweat, and feel all cramped
up. Well, then, the old thing commenced again.
The widow rung a bell for supper, and you had to come
to time. When you got to the table you couldn’t
go right to eating, but you had to wait for the widow
to tuck down her head and grumble a little over the
victuals, though there warn’t really anything
the matter with them, that is, nothing
only everything was cooked by itself. In a barrel
of odds and ends it is different; things get mixed
up, and the juice kind of swaps around, and the things
After supper she got out her book
and learned me about Moses and the Bulrushers, and
I was in a sweat to find out all about him; but by
and by she let it out that Moses had been dead a considerable
long time; so then I didn’t care no more about
him, because I don’t take no stock in dead people.
Pretty soon I wanted to smoke, and
asked the widow to let me. But she wouldn’t.
She said it was a mean practice and wasn’t clean,
and I must try to not do it any more. That is
just the way with some people. They get down
on a thing when they don’t know nothing about
it. Here she was a-bothering about Moses, which
was no kin to her, and no use to anybody, being gone,
you see, yet finding a power of fault with me for doing
a thing that had some good in it. And she took
snuff, too; of course that was all right, because
she done it herself.
Her sister, Miss Watson, a tolerable
slim old maid, with goggles on, had just come to live
with her, and took a set at me now with a spelling-book.
She worked me middling hard for about an hour, and
then the widow made her ease up. I couldn’t
stood it much longer. Then for an hour it was
deadly dull, and I was fidgety. Miss Watson would
say, “Don’t put your feet up there, Huckleberry;”
and “Don’t scrunch up like that, Huckleberry set
up straight;” and pretty soon she would say,
“Don’t gap and stretch like that, Huckleberry why
don’t you try to behave?” Then she told
me all about the bad place, and I said I wished I
was there. She got mad then, but I didn’t
mean no harm. All I wanted was to go somewheres;
all I wanted was a change, I warn’t particular.
She said it was wicked to say what I said; said she
wouldn’t say it for the whole world; she was
going to live so as to go to the good place.
Well, I couldn’t see no advantage in going where
she was going, so I made up my mind I wouldn’t
try for it. But I never said so, because it would
only make trouble, and wouldn’t do no good.
Now she had got a start, and she went
on and told me all about the good place. She
said all a body would have to do there was to go around
all day long with a harp and sing, forever and ever.
So I didn’t think much of it. But I never
said so. I asked her if she reckoned Tom Sawyer
would go there, and she said not by a considerable
sight. I was glad about that, because I wanted
him and me to be together.
Miss Watson she kept pecking at me,
and it got tiresome and lonesome. By and by
they fetched the niggers in and had prayers, and then
everybody was off to bed. I went up to my room
with a piece of candle, and put it on the table.
Then I set down in a chair by the window and tried
to think of something cheerful, but it warn’t
no use. I felt so lonesome I most wished I was
dead. The stars were shining, and the leaves
rustled in the woods ever so mournful; and I heard
an owl, away off, who-whooing about somebody that
was dead, and a whippowill and a dog crying about
somebody that was going to die; and the wind was trying
to whisper something to me, and I couldn’t make
out what it was, and so it made the cold shivers run
over me. Then away out in the woods I heard that
kind of a sound that a ghost makes when it wants to
tell about something that’s on its mind and
can’t make itself understood, and so can’t
rest easy in its grave, and has to go about that way
every night grieving. I got so down-hearted
and scared I did wish I had some company. Pretty
soon a spider went crawling up my shoulder, and I
flipped it off and it lit in the candle; and before
I could budge it was all shriveled up. I didn’t
need anybody to tell me that that was an awful bad
sign and would fetch me some bad luck, so I was scared
and most shook the clothes off of me. I got up
and turned around in my tracks three times and crossed
my breast every time; and then I tied up a little
lock of my hair with a thread to keep witches away.
But I hadn’t no confidence. You do that
when you’ve lost a horseshoe that you’ve
found, instead of nailing it up over the door, but
I hadn’t ever heard anybody say it was any way
to keep off bad luck when you’d killed a spider.
I set down again, a-shaking all over,
and got out my pipe for a smoke; for the house was
all as still as death now, and so the widow wouldn’t
know. Well, after a long time I heard the clock
away off in the town go boom boom boom twelve
licks; and all still again stiller than
ever. Pretty soon I heard a twig snap down in
the dark amongst the trees something was
a stirring. I set still and listened. Directly
I could just barely hear a “me-yow! me-yow!”
down there. That was good! Says I, “me-yow!
me-yow!” as soft as I could, and then I put out
the light and scrambled out of the window on to the
shed. Then I slipped down to the ground and
crawled in among the trees, and, sure enough, there
was Tom Sawyer waiting for me.