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  外语解密学习法 逆读法(Reverse Reading Method) 和  解读法(Decode-Reading Method)训练范文 ——                 

解密目标语言:英语                                解密辅助语言:汉语
              Language to be decoded:  English             Auxiliary Language :  Chinese  

  
       
解密文本:     《哈克贝利·费恩历险记》   [美] 马克·吐温  著         
 

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by   Mark Twain


     第1-10章(Chapter 1-10) |   第11-20章(Chapter 11-20) |   第21-30章(Chapter 21-30) |   第31-43章(Chapter 31-43)

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CHAPTER I.

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 go better.

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.

 

 

CHAPTER II.

WE went tiptoeing along a path amongst the trees back towards the end of the widow's garden, stooping down so as the branches wouldn't scrape our heads. When we was passing by the kitchen I fell over a root and made a noise.  We scrouched down and laid still.  Miss Watson's big nigger, named Jim, was setting in the kitchen door; we could see him pretty clear, because there was a light behind him.  He got up and stretched his neck out about a minute, listening.  Then he says:

"Who dah?"

He listened some more; then he come tiptoeing down and stood right between us; we could a touched him, nearly.  Well, likely it was minutes and minutes that there warn't a sound, and we all there so close together.  There was a place on my ankle that got to itching, but I dasn't scratch it; and then my ear begun to itch; and next my back, right between my shoulders.  Seemed like I'd die if I couldn't scratch.  Well, I've noticed that thing plenty times since.  If you are with the quality, or at a funeral, or trying to go to sleep when you ain't sleepy—if you are anywheres where it won't do for you to scratch, why you will itch all over in upwards of a thousand places. Pretty soon Jim says:

"Say, who is you?  Whar is you?  Dog my cats ef I didn' hear sumf'n. Well, I know what I's gwyne to do:  I's gwyne to set down here and listen tell I hears it agin."

So he set down on the ground betwixt me and Tom.  He leaned his back up against a tree, and stretched his legs out till one of them most touched one of mine.  My nose begun to itch.  It itched till the tears come into my eyes.  But I dasn't scratch.  Then it begun to itch on the inside. Next I got to itching underneath.  I didn't know how I was going to set still. This miserableness went on as much as six or seven minutes; but it seemed a sight longer than that.  I was itching in eleven different places now.  I reckoned I couldn't stand it more'n a minute longer, but I set my teeth hard and got ready to try.  Just then Jim begun to breathe heavy; next he begun to snore—and then I was pretty soon comfortable again.

Tom he made a sign to me—kind of a little noise with his mouth—and we went creeping away on our hands and knees.  When we was ten foot off Tom whispered to me, and wanted to tie Jim to the tree for fun.  But I said no; he might wake and make a disturbance, and then they'd find out I warn't in. Then Tom said he hadn't got candles enough, and he would slip in the kitchen and get some more.  I didn't want him to try.  I said Jim might wake up and come.  But Tom wanted to resk it; so we slid in there and got three candles, and Tom laid five cents on the table for pay. Then we got out, and I was in a sweat to get away; but nothing would do Tom but he must crawl to where Jim was, on his hands and knees, and play something on him.  I waited, and it seemed a good while, everything was so still and lonesome.

As soon as Tom was back we cut along the path, around the garden fence, and by and by fetched up on the steep top of the hill the other side of the house.  Tom said he slipped Jim's hat off of his head and hung it on a limb right over him, and Jim stirred a little, but he didn't wake. Afterwards Jim said the witches be witched him and put him in a trance, and rode him all over the State, and then set him under the trees again, and hung his hat on a limb to show who done it.  And next time Jim told it he said they rode him down to New Orleans; and, after that, every time he told it he spread it more and more, till by and by he said they rode him all over the world, and tired him most to death, and his back was all over saddle-boils.  Jim was monstrous proud about it, and he got so he wouldn't hardly notice the other niggers.  Niggers would come miles to hear Jim tell about it, and he was more looked up to than any nigger in that country.  Strange niggers would stand with their mouths open and look him all over, same as if he was a wonder.  Niggers is always talking about witches in the dark by the kitchen fire; but whenever one was talking and letting on to know all about such things, Jim would happen in and say, "Hm!  What you know 'bout witches?" and that nigger was corked up and had to take a back seat.  Jim always kept that five-center piece round his neck with a string, and said it was a charm the devil give to him with his own hands, and told him he could cure anybody with it and fetch witches whenever he wanted to just by saying something to it; but he never told what it was he said to it.  Niggers would come from all around there and give Jim anything they had, just for a sight of that five-center piece; but they wouldn't touch it, because the devil had had his hands on it.  Jim was most ruined for a servant, because he got stuck up on account of having seen the devil and been rode by witches.

Well, when Tom and me got to the edge of the hilltop we looked away down into the village and could see three or four lights twinkling, where there was sick folks, maybe; and the stars over us was sparkling ever so fine; and down by the village was the river, a whole mile broad, and awful still and grand.  We went down the hill and found Jo Harper and Ben Rogers, and two or three more of the boys, hid in the old tanyard.  So we unhitched a skiff and pulled down the river two mile and a half, to the big scar on the hillside, and went ashore.

We went to a clump of bushes, and Tom made everybody swear to keep the secret, and then showed them a hole in the hill, right in the thickest part of the bushes.  Then we lit the candles, and crawled in on our hands and knees.  We went about two hundred yards, and then the cave opened up. Tom poked about amongst the passages, and pretty soon ducked under a wall where you wouldn't a noticed that there was a hole.  We went along a narrow place and got into a kind of room, all damp and sweaty and cold, and there we stopped.  Tom says:

"Now, we'll start this band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyer's Gang. Everybody that wants to join has got to take an oath, and write his name in blood."

Everybody was willing.  So Tom got out a sheet of paper that he had wrote the oath on, and read it.  It swore every boy to stick to the band, and never tell any of the secrets; and if anybody done anything to any boy in the band, whichever boy was ordered to kill that person and his family must do it, and he mustn't eat and he mustn't sleep till he had killed them and hacked a cross in their breasts, which was the sign of the band. And nobody that didn't belong to the band could use that mark, and if he did he must be sued; and if he done it again he must be killed.  And if anybody that belonged to the band told the secrets, he must have his throat cut, and then have his carcass burnt up and the ashes scattered all around, and his name blotted off of the list with blood and never mentioned again by the gang, but have a curse put on it and be forgot forever.

Everybody said it was a real beautiful oath, and asked Tom if he got it out of his own head.  He said, some of it, but the rest was out of pirate-books and robber-books, and every gang that was high-toned had it.

Some thought it would be good to kill the FAMILIES of boys that told the secrets.  Tom said it was a good idea, so he took a pencil and wrote it in. Then Ben Rogers says:

"Here's Huck Finn, he hain't got no family; what you going to do 'bout him?"

"Well, hain't he got a father?" says Tom Sawyer.

"Yes, he's got a father, but you can't never find him these days.  He used to lay drunk with the hogs in the tanyard, but he hain't been seen in these parts for a year or more."

They talked it over, and they was going to rule me out, because they said every boy must have a family or somebody to kill, or else it wouldn't be fair and square for the others.  Well, nobody could think of anything to do—everybody was stumped, and set still.  I was most ready to cry; but all at once I thought of a way, and so I offered them Miss Watson—they could kill her.  Everybody said:

"Oh, she'll do.  That's all right.  Huck can come in."

Then they all stuck a pin in their fingers to get blood to sign with, and I made my mark on the paper.

"Now," says Ben Rogers, "what's the line of business of this Gang?"

"Nothing only robbery and murder," Tom said.

"But who are we going to rob?—houses, or cattle, or—"

"Stuff! stealing cattle and such things ain't robbery; it's burglary," says Tom Sawyer.  "We ain't burglars.  That ain't no sort of style.  We are highwaymen.  We stop stages and carriages on the road, with masks on, and kill the people and take their watches and money."

"Must we always kill the people?"

"Oh, certainly.  It's best.  Some authorities think different, but mostly it's considered best to kill them—except some that you bring to the cave here, and keep them till they're ransomed."

"Ransomed?  What's that?"

"I don't know.  But that's what they do.  I've seen it in books; and so of course that's what we've got to do."

"But how can we do it if we don't know what it is?"

"Why, blame it all, we've GOT to do it.  Don't I tell you it's in the books?  Do you want to go to doing different from what's in the books, and get things all muddled up?"

"Oh, that's all very fine to SAY, Tom Sawyer, but how in the nation are these fellows going to be ransomed if we don't know how to do it to them?—that's the thing I want to get at.  Now, what do you reckon it is?"

"Well, I don't know.  But per'aps if we keep them till they're ransomed, it means that we keep them till they're dead."

"Now, that's something LIKE.  That'll answer.  Why couldn't you said that before?  We'll keep them till they're ransomed to death; and a bothersome lot they'll be, too—eating up everything, and always trying to get loose."

"How you talk, Ben Rogers.  How can they get loose when there's a guard over them, ready to shoot them down if they move a peg?"

"A guard!  Well, that IS good.  So somebody's got to set up all night and never get any sleep, just so as to watch them.  I think that's foolishness. Why can't a body take a club and ransom them as soon as they get here?"

"Because it ain't in the books so—that's why.  Now, Ben Rogers, do you want to do things regular, or don't you?—that's the idea.  Don't you reckon that the people that made the books knows what's the correct thing to do?  Do you reckon YOU can learn 'em anything?  Not by a good deal. No, sir, we'll just go on and ransom them in the regular way."

"All right.  I don't mind; but I say it's a fool way, anyhow.  Say, do we kill the women, too?"

"Well, Ben Rogers, if I was as ignorant as you I wouldn't let on.  Kill the women?  No; nobody ever saw anything in the books like that.  You fetch them to the cave, and you're always as polite as pie to them; and by and by they fall in love with you, and never want to go home any more."

"Well, if that's the way I'm agreed, but I don't take no stock in it. Mighty soon we'll have the cave so cluttered up with women, and fellows waiting to be ransomed, that there won't be no place for the robbers. But go ahead, I ain't got nothing to say."

Little Tommy Barnes was asleep now, and when they waked him up he was scared, and cried, and said he wanted to go home to his ma, and didn't want to be a robber any more.

So they all made fun of him, and called him cry-baby, and that made him mad, and he said he would go straight and tell all the secrets.  But Tom give him five cents to keep quiet, and said we would all go home and meet next week, and rob somebody and kill some people.

Ben Rogers said he couldn't get out much, only Sundays, and so he wanted to begin next Sunday; but all the boys said it would be wicked to do it on Sunday, and that settled the thing.  They agreed to get together and fix a day as soon as they could, and then we elected Tom Sawyer first captain and Jo Harper second captain of the Gang, and so started home.

I clumb up the shed and crept into my window just before day was breaking. My new clothes was all greased up and clayey, and I was dog-tired.

 

 

CHAPTER III.

WELL, I got a good going-over in the morning from old Miss Watson on account of my clothes; but the widow she didn't scold, but only cleaned off the grease and clay, and looked so sorry that I thought I would behave awhile if I could.  Then Miss Watson she took me in the closet and prayed, but nothing come of it.  She told me to pray every day, and whatever I asked for I would get it.  But it warn't so.  I tried it. Once I got a fish-line, but no hooks.  It warn't any good to me without hooks.  I tried for the hooks three or four times, but somehow I couldn't make it work.  By and by, one day, I asked Miss Watson to try for me, but she said I was a fool.  She never told me why, and I couldn't make it out no way.

I set down one time back in the woods, and had a long think about it.  I says to myself, if a body can get anything they pray for, why don't Deacon Winn get back the money he lost on pork?  Why can't the widow get back her silver snuffbox that was stole?  Why can't Miss Watson fat up? No, says I to my self, there ain't nothing in it.  I went and told the widow about it, and she said the thing a body could get by praying for it was "spiritual gifts."  This was too many for me, but she told me what she meant—I must help other people, and do everything I could for other people, and look out for them all the time, and never think about myself. This was including Miss Watson, as I took it.  I went out in the woods and turned it over in my mind a long time, but I couldn't see no advantage about it—except for the other people; so at last I reckoned I wouldn't worry about it any more, but just let it go.  Sometimes the widow would take me one side and talk about Providence in a way to make a body's mouth water; but maybe next day Miss Watson would take hold and knock it all down again.  I judged I could see that there was two Providences, and a poor chap would stand considerable show with the widow's Providence, but if Miss Watson's got him there warn't no help for him any more.  I thought it all out, and reckoned I would belong to the widow's if he wanted me, though I couldn't make out how he was a-going to be any better off then than what he was before, seeing I was so ignorant, and so kind of low-down and ornery.

Pap he hadn't been seen for more than a year, and that was comfortable for me; I didn't want to see him no more.  He used to always whale me when he was sober and could get his hands on me; though I used to take to the woods most of the time when he was around.  Well, about this time he was found in the river drownded, about twelve mile above town, so people said.  They judged it was him, anyway; said this drownded man was just his size, and was ragged, and had uncommon long hair, which was all like pap; but they couldn't make nothing out of the face, because it had been in the water so long it warn't much like a face at all.  They said he was floating on his back in the water.  They took him and buried him on the bank.  But I warn't comfortable long, because I happened to think of something.  I knowed mighty well that a drownded man don't float on his back, but on his face.  So I knowed, then, that this warn't pap, but a woman dressed up in a man's clothes.  So I was uncomfortable again.  I judged the old man would turn up again by and by, though I wished he wouldn't.

We played robber now and then about a month, and then I resigned.  All the boys did.  We hadn't robbed nobody, hadn't killed any people, but only just pretended.  We used to hop out of the woods and go charging down on hog-drivers and women in carts taking garden stuff to market, but we never hived any of them.  Tom Sawyer called the hogs "ingots," and he called the turnips and stuff "julery," and we would go to the cave and powwow over what we had done, and how many people we had killed and marked.  But I couldn't see no profit in it.  One time Tom sent a boy to run about town with a blazing stick, which he called a slogan (which was the sign for the Gang to get together), and then he said he had got secret news by his spies that next day a whole parcel of Spanish merchants and rich A-rabs was going to camp in Cave Hollow with two hundred elephants, and six hundred camels, and over a thousand "sumter" mules, all loaded down with di'monds, and they didn't have only a guard of four hundred soldiers, and so we would lay in ambuscade, as he called it, and kill the lot and scoop the things.  He said we must slick up our swords and guns, and get ready.  He never could go after even a turnip-cart but he must have the swords and guns all scoured up for it, though they was only lath and broomsticks, and you might scour at them till you rotted, and then they warn't worth a mouthful of ashes more than what they was before.  I didn't believe we could lick such a crowd of Spaniards and A-rabs, but I wanted to see the camels and elephants, so I was on hand next day, Saturday, in the ambuscade; and when we got the word we rushed out of the woods and down the hill.  But there warn't no Spaniards and A-rabs, and there warn't no camels nor no elephants.  It warn't anything but a Sunday-school picnic, and only a primer-class at that.  We busted it up, and chased the children up the hollow; but we never got anything but some doughnuts and jam, though Ben Rogers got a rag doll, and Jo Harper got a hymn-book and a tract; and then the teacher charged in, and made us drop everything and cut.

 I didn't see no di'monds, and I told Tom Sawyer so.  He said there was loads of them there, anyway; and he said there was A-rabs there, too, and elephants and things.  I said, why couldn't we see them, then?  He said if I warn't so ignorant, but had read a book called Don Quixote, I would know without asking.  He said it was all done by enchantment.  He said there was hundreds of soldiers there, and elephants and treasure, and so on, but we had enemies which he called magicians; and they had turned the whole thing into an infant Sunday-school, just out of spite.  I said, all right; then the thing for us to do was to go for the magicians.  Tom Sawyer said I was a numskull.

"Why," said he, "a magician could call up a lot of genies, and they would hash you up like nothing before you could say Jack Robinson.  They are as tall as a tree and as big around as a church."

"Well," I says, "s'pose we got some genies to help US—can't we lick the other crowd then?"

"How you going to get them?"

"I don't know.  How do THEY get them?"

"Why, they rub an old tin lamp or an iron ring, and then the genies come tearing in, with the thunder and lightning a-ripping around and the smoke a-rolling, and everything they're told to do they up and do it.  They don't think nothing of pulling a shot-tower up by the roots, and belting a Sunday-school superintendent over the head with it—or any other man."

"Who makes them tear around so?"

"Why, whoever rubs the lamp or the ring.  They belong to whoever rubs the lamp or the ring, and they've got to do whatever he says.  If he tells them to build a palace forty miles long out of di'monds, and fill it full of chewing-gum, or whatever you want, and fetch an emperor's daughter from China for you to marry, they've got to do it—and they've got to do it before sun-up next morning, too.  And more:  they've got to waltz that palace around over the country wherever you want it, you understand."

"Well," says I, "I think they are a pack of flat-heads for not keeping the palace themselves 'stead of fooling them away like that.  And what's more—if I was one of them I would see a man in Jericho before I would drop my business and come to him for the rubbing of an old tin lamp."

"How you talk, Huck Finn.  Why, you'd HAVE to come when he rubbed it, whether you wanted to or not."

"What! and I as high as a tree and as big as a church?  All right, then; I WOULD come; but I lay I'd make that man climb the highest tree there was in the country."

"Shucks, it ain't no use to talk to you, Huck Finn.  You don't seem to know anything, somehow—perfect saphead."

I thought all this over for two or three days, and then I reckoned I would see if there was anything in it.  I got an old tin lamp and an iron ring, and went out in the woods and rubbed and rubbed till I sweat like an Injun, calculating to build a palace and sell it; but it warn't no use, none of the genies come.  So then I judged that all that stuff was only just one of Tom Sawyer's lies.  I reckoned he believed in the A-rabs and the elephants, but as for me I think different.  It had all the marks of a Sunday-school.

 

 

CHAPTER IV.

WELL, three or four months run along, and it was well into the winter now. I had been to school most all the time and could spell and read and write just a little, and could say the multiplication table up to six times seven is thirty-five, and I don't reckon I could ever get any further than that if I was to live forever.  I don't take no stock in mathematics, anyway.

At first I hated the school, but by and by I got so I could stand it. Whenever I got uncommon tired I played hookey, and the hiding I got next day done me good and cheered me up.  So the longer I went to school the easier it got to be.  I was getting sort of used to the widow's ways, too, and they warn't so raspy on me.  Living in a house and sleeping in a bed pulled on me pretty tight mostly, but before the cold weather I used to slide out and sleep in the woods sometimes, and so that was a rest to me.  I liked the old ways best, but I was getting so I liked the new ones, too, a little bit. The widow said I was coming along slow but sure, and doing very satisfactory.  She said she warn't ashamed of me.

One morning I happened to turn over the salt-cellar at breakfast.  I reached for some of it as quick as I could to throw over my left shoulder and keep off the bad luck, but Miss Watson was in ahead of me, and crossed me off. She says, "Take your hands away, Huckleberry; what a mess you are always making!"  The widow put in a good word for me, but that warn't going to keep off the bad luck, I knowed that well enough.  I started out, after breakfast, feeling worried and shaky, and wondering where it was going to fall on me, and what it was going to be.  There is ways to keep off some kinds of bad luck, but this wasn't one of them kind; so I never tried to do anything, but just poked along low-spirited and on the watch-out.

I went down to the front garden and clumb over the stile where you go through the high board fence.  There was an inch of new snow on the ground, and I seen somebody's tracks.  They had come up from the quarry and stood around the stile a while, and then went on around the garden fence.  It was funny they hadn't come in, after standing around so.  I couldn't make it out.  It was very curious, somehow.  I was going to follow around, but I stooped down to look at the tracks first.  I didn't notice anything at first, but next I did.  There was a cross in the left boot-heel made with big nails, to keep off the devil.

I was up in a second and shinning down the hill.  I looked over my shoulder every now and then, but I didn't see nobody.  I was at Judge Thatcher's as quick as I could get there.  He said:

"Why, my boy, you are all out of breath.  Did you come for your interest?"

"No, sir," I says; "is there some for me?"

"Oh, yes, a half-yearly is in last night—over a hundred and fifty dollars.  Quite a fortune for you.  You had better let me invest it along with your six thousand, because if you take it you'll spend it."

"No, sir," I says, "I don't want to spend it.  I don't want it at all—nor the six thousand, nuther.  I want you to take it; I want to give it to you—the six thousand and all."

He looked surprised.  He couldn't seem to make it out.  He says:

"Why, what can you mean, my boy?"

I says, "Don't you ask me no questions about it, please.  You'll take it—won't you?"

He says:

"Well, I'm puzzled.  Is something the matter?"

"Please take it," says I, "and don't ask me nothing—then I won't have to tell no lies."

He studied a while, and then he says:

"Oho-o!  I think I see.  You want to SELL all your property to me—not give it.  That's the correct idea."

Then he wrote something on a paper and read it over, and says:

"There; you see it says 'for a consideration.'  That means I have bought it of you and paid you for it.  Here's a dollar for you.  Now you sign it."

So I signed it, and left.

Miss Watson's nigger, Jim, had a hair-ball as big as your fist, which had been took out of the fourth stomach of an ox, and he used to do magic with it.  He said there was a spirit inside of it, and it knowed everything.  So I went to him that night and told him pap was here again, for I found his tracks in the snow.  What I wanted to know was, what he was going to do, and was he going to stay?  Jim got out his hair-ball and said something over it, and then he held it up and dropped it on the floor.  It fell pretty solid, and only rolled about an inch.  Jim tried it again, and then another time, and it acted just the same.  Jim got down on his knees, and put his ear against it and listened.  But it warn't no use; he said it wouldn't talk. He said sometimes it wouldn't talk without money.  I told him I had an old slick counterfeit quarter that warn't no good because the brass showed through the silver a little, and it wouldn't pass nohow, even if the brass didn't show, because it was so slick it felt greasy, and so that would tell on it every time.  (I reckoned I wouldn't say nothing about the dollar I got from the judge.) I said it was pretty bad money, but maybe the hair-ball would take it, because maybe it wouldn't know the difference.  Jim smelt it and bit it and rubbed it, and said he would manage so the hair-ball would think it was good.  He said he would split open a raw Irish potato and stick the quarter in between and keep it there all night, and next morning you couldn't see no brass, and it wouldn't feel greasy no more, and so anybody in town would take it in a minute, let alone a hair-ball.  Well, I knowed a potato would do that before, but I had forgot it.

Jim put the quarter under the hair-ball, and got down and listened again. This time he said the hair-ball was all right.  He said it would tell my whole fortune if I wanted it to.  I says, go on.  So the hair-ball talked to Jim, and Jim told it to me.  He says:

"Yo' ole father doan' know yit what he's a-gwyne to do.  Sometimes he spec he'll go 'way, en den agin he spec he'll stay.  De bes' way is to res' easy en let de ole man take his own way.  Dey's two angels hoverin' roun' 'bout him.  One uv 'em is white en shiny, en t'other one is black. De white one gits him to go right a little while, den de black one sail in en bust it all up.  A body can't tell yit which one gwyne to fetch him at de las'.  But you is all right.  You gwyne to have considable trouble in yo' life, en considable joy.  Sometimes you gwyne to git hurt, en sometimes you gwyne to git sick; but every time you's gwyne to git well agin.  Dey's two gals flyin' 'bout you in yo' life.  One uv 'em's light en t'other one is dark. One is rich en t'other is po'.  You's gwyne to marry de po' one fust en de rich one by en by.  You wants to keep 'way fum de water as much as you kin, en don't run no resk, 'kase it's down in de bills dat you's gwyne to git hung."

When I lit my candle and went up to my room that night there sat pap his own self!

 

 

CHAPTER V.

I HAD shut the door to.  Then I turned around and there he was.  I used to be scared of him all the time, he tanned me so much.  I reckoned I was scared now, too; but in a minute I see I was mistaken—that is, after the first jolt, as you may say, when my breath sort of hitched, he being so unexpected; but right away after I see I warn't scared of him worth bothring about.

He was most fifty, and he looked it.  His hair was long and tangled and greasy, and hung down, and you could see his eyes shining through like he was behind vines.  It was all black, no gray; so was his long, mixed-up whiskers.  There warn't no color in his face, where his face showed; it was white; not like another man's white, but a white to make a body sick, a white to make a body's flesh crawl—a tree-toad white, a fish-belly white.  As for his clothes—just rags, that was all.  He had one ankle resting on t'other knee; the boot on that foot was busted, and two of his toes stuck through, and he worked them now and then.  His hat was laying on the floor—an old black slouch with the top caved in, like a lid.

I stood a-looking at him; he set there a-looking at me, with his chair tilted back a little.  I set the candle down.  I noticed the window was up; so he had clumb in by the shed.  He kept a-looking me all over.  By and by he says:

"Starchy clothes—very.  You think you're a good deal of a big-bug, DON'T you?"

"Maybe I am, maybe I ain't," I says.

"Don't you give me none o' your lip," says he.  "You've put on considerable many frills since I been away.  I'll take you down a peg before I get done with you.  You're educated, too, they say—can read and write.  You think you're better'n your father, now, don't you, because he can't?  I'LL take it out of you.  Who told you you might meddle with such hifalut'n foolishness, hey?—who told you you could?"

"The widow.  She told me."

"The widow, hey?—and who told the widow she could put in her shovel about a thing that ain't none of her business?"

"Nobody never told her."

"Well, I'll learn her how to meddle.  And looky here—you drop that school, you hear?  I'll learn people to bring up a boy to put on airs over his own father and let on to be better'n what HE is.  You lemme catch you fooling around that school again, you hear?  Your mother couldn't read, and she couldn't write, nuther, before she died.  None of the family couldn't before THEY died.  I can't; and here you're a-swelling yourself up like this.  I ain't the man to stand it—you hear? Say, lemme hear you read."

I took up a book and begun something about General Washington and the wars. When I'd read about a half a minute, he fetched the book a whack with his hand and knocked it across the house.  He says:

"It's so.  You can do it.  I had my doubts when you told me.  Now looky here; you stop that putting on frills.  I won't have it.  I'll lay for you, my smarty; and if I catch you about that school I'll tan you good. First you know you'll get religion, too.  I never see such a son."

He took up a little blue and yaller picture of some cows and a boy, and says:

"What's this?"

"It's something they give me for learning my lessons good."

He tore it up, and says:

"I'll give you something better—I'll give you a cowhide."

He set there a-mumbling and a-growling a minute, and then he says:

"AIN'T you a sweet-scented dandy, though?  A bed; and bedclothes; and a look'n'-glass; and a piece of carpet on the floor—and your own father got to sleep with the hogs in the tanyard.  I never see such a son.  I bet I'll take some o' these frills out o' you before I'm done with you. Why, there ain't no end to your airs—they say you're rich.  Hey?—how's that?"

"They lie—that's how."

"Looky here—mind how you talk to me; I'm a-standing about all I can stand now—so don't gimme no sass.  I've been in town two days, and I hain't heard nothing but about you bein' rich.  I heard about it away down the river, too.  That's why I come.  You git me that money to-morrow—I want it."

"I hain't got no money."

"It's a lie.  Judge Thatcher's got it.  You git it.  I want it."

"I hain't got no money, I tell you.  You ask Judge Thatcher; he'll tell you the same."

"All right.  I'll ask him; and I'll make him pungle, too, or I'll know the reason why.  Say, how much you got in your pocket?  I want it."

"I hain't got only a dollar, and I want that to—"

"It don't make no difference what you want it for—you just shell it out."

He took it and bit it to see if it was good, and then he said he was going down town to get some whisky; said he hadn't had a drink all day. When he had got out on the shed he put his head in again, and cussed me for putting on frills and trying to be better than him; and when I reckoned he was gone he come back and put his head in again, and told me to mind about that school, because he was going to lay for me and lick me if I didn't drop that.

Next day he was drunk, and he went to Judge Thatcher's and bullyragged him, and tried to make him give up the money; but he couldn't, and then he swore he'd make the law force him.

The judge and the widow went to law to get the court to take me away from him and let one of them be my guardian; but it was a new judge that had just come, and he didn't know the old man; so he said courts mustn't interfere and separate families if they could help it; said he'd druther not take a child away from its father.  So Judge Thatcher and the widow had to quit on the business.

That pleased the old man till he couldn't rest.  He said he'd cowhide me till I was black and blue if I didn't raise some money for him.  I borrowed three dollars from Judge Thatcher, and pap took it and got drunk, and went a-blowing around and cussing and whooping and carrying on; and he kept it up all over town, with a tin pan, till most midnight; then they jailed him, and next day they had him before court, and jailed him again for a week.  But he said HE was satisfied; said he was boss of his son, and he'd make it warm for HIM.

When he got out the new judge said he was a-going to make a man of him. So he took him to his own house, and dressed him up clean and nice, and had him to breakfast and dinner and supper with the family, and was just old pie to him, so to speak.  And after supper he talked to him about temperance and such things till the old man cried, and said he'd been a fool, and fooled away his life; but now he was a-going to turn over a new leaf and be a man nobody wouldn't be ashamed of, and he hoped the judge would help him and not look down on him.  The judge said he could hug him for them words; so he cried, and his wife she cried again; pap said he'd been a man that had always been misunderstood before, and the judge said he believed it.  The old man said that what a man wanted that was down was sympathy, and the judge said it was so; so they cried again.  And when it was bedtime the old man rose up and held out his hand, and says:

"Look at it, gentlemen and ladies all; take a-hold of it; shake it. There's a hand that was the hand of a hog; but it ain't so no more; it's the hand of a man that's started in on a new life, and'll die before he'll go back.  You mark them words—don't forget I said them.  It's a clean hand now; shake it—don't be afeard."

So they shook it, one after the other, all around, and cried.  The judge's wife she kissed it.  Then the old man he signed a pledge—made his mark. The judge said it was the holiest time on record, or something like that. Then they tucked the old man into a beautiful room, which was the spare room, and in the night some time he got powerful thirsty and clumb out on to the porch-roof and slid down a stanchion and traded his new coat for a jug of forty-rod, and clumb back again and had a good old time; and towards daylight he crawled out again, drunk as a fiddler, and rolled off the porch and broke his left arm in two places, and was most froze to death when somebody found him after sun-up.  And when they come to look at that spare room they had to take soundings before they could navigate it.

The judge he felt kind of sore.  He said he reckoned a body could reform the old man with a shotgun, maybe, but he didn't know no other way.

 

 

CHAPTER VI.

WELL, pretty soon the old man was up and around again, and then he went for Judge Thatcher in the courts to make him give up that money, and he went for me, too, for not stopping school.  He catched me a couple of times and thrashed me, but I went to school just the same, and dodged him or outrun him most of the time.  I didn't want to go to school much before, but I reckoned I'd go now to spite pap.  That law trial was a slow business—appeared like they warn't ever going to get started on it; so every now and then I'd borrow two or three dollars off of the judge for him, to keep from getting a cowhiding.  Every time he got money he got drunk; and every time he got drunk he raised Cain around town; and every time he raised Cain he got jailed.  He was just suited—this kind of thing was right in his line.

He got to hanging around the widow's too much and so she told him at last that if he didn't quit using around there she would make trouble for him. Well, WASN'T he mad?  He said he would show who was Huck Finn's boss.  So he watched out for me one day in the spring, and catched me, and took me up the river about three mile in a skiff, and crossed over to the Illinois shore where it was woody and there warn't no houses but an old log hut in a place where the timber was so thick you couldn't find it if you didn't know where it was.

He kept me with him all the time, and I never got a chance to run off. We lived in that old cabin, and he always locked the door and put the key under his head nights.  He had a gun which he had stole, I reckon, and we fished and hunted, and that was what we lived on.  Every little while he locked me in and went down to the store, three miles, to the ferry, and traded fish and game for whisky, and fetched it home and got drunk and had a good time, and licked me.  The widow she found out where I was by and by, and she sent a man over to try to get hold of me; but pap drove him off with the gun, and it warn't long after that till I was used to being where I was, and liked it—all but the cowhide part.

It was kind of lazy and jolly, laying off comfortable all day, smoking and fishing, and no books nor study.  Two months or more run along, and my clothes got to be all rags and dirt, and I didn't see how I'd ever got to like it so well at the widow's, where you had to wash, and eat on a plate, and comb up, and go to bed and get up regular, and be forever bothering over a book, and have old Miss Watson pecking at you all the time.  I didn't want to go back no more.  I had stopped cussing, because the widow didn't like it; but now I took to it again because pap hadn't no objections.  It was pretty good times up in the woods there, take it all around.

But by and by pap got too handy with his hick'ry, and I couldn't stand it. I was all over welts.  He got to going away so much, too, and locking me in.  Once he locked me in and was gone three days.  It was dreadful lonesome.  I judged he had got drownded, and I wasn't ever going to get out any more.  I was scared.  I made up my mind I would fix up some way to leave there.  I had tried to get out of that cabin many a time, but I couldn't find no way.  There warn't a window to it big enough for a dog to get through.  I couldn't get up the chimbly; it was too narrow.  The door was thick, solid oak slabs.  Pap was pretty careful not to leave a knife or anything in the cabin when he was away; I reckon I had hunted the place over as much as a hundred times; well, I was most all the time at it, because it was about the only way to put in the time.  But this time I found something at last; I found an old rusty wood-saw without any handle; it was laid in between a rafter and the clapboards of the roof. I greased it up and went to work.  There was an old horse-blanket nailed against the logs at the far end of the cabin behind the table, to keep the wind from blowing through the chinks and putting the candle out.  I got under the table and raised the blanket, and went to work to saw a section of the big bottom log out—big enough to let me through.  Well, it was a good long job, but I was getting towards the end of it when I heard pap's gun in the woods.  I got rid of the signs of my work, and dropped the blanket and hid my saw, and pretty soon pap come in.

Pap warn't in a good humor—so he was his natural self.  He said he was down town, and everything was going wrong.  His lawyer said he reckoned he would win his lawsuit and get the money if they ever got started on the trial; but then there was ways to put it off a long time, and Judge Thatcher knowed how to do it. And he said people allowed there'd be another trial to get me away from him and give me to the widow for my guardian, and they guessed it would win this time.  This shook me up considerable, because I didn't want to go back to the widow's any more and be so cramped up and sivilized, as they called it.  Then the old man got to cussing, and cussed everything and everybody he could think of, and then cussed them all over again to make sure he hadn't skipped any, and after that he polished off with a kind of a general cuss all round, including a considerable parcel of people which he didn't know the names of, and so called them what's-his-name when he got to them, and went right along with his cussing.

He said he would like to see the widow get me.  He said he would watch out, and if they tried to come any such game on him he knowed of a place six or seven mile off to stow me in, where they might hunt till they dropped and they couldn't find me.  That made me pretty uneasy again, but only for a minute; I reckoned I wouldn't stay on hand till he got that chance.

The old man made me go to the skiff and fetch the things he had got. There was a fifty-pound sack of corn meal, and a side of bacon, ammunition, and a four-gallon jug of whisky, and an old book and two newspapers for wadding, besides some tow.  I toted up a load, and went back and set down on the bow of the skiff to rest.  I thought it all over, and I reckoned I would walk off with the gun and some lines, and take to the woods when I run away.  I guessed I wouldn't stay in one place, but just tramp right across the country, mostly night times, and hunt and fish to keep alive, and so get so far away that the old man nor the widow couldn't ever find me any more.  I judged I would saw out and leave that night if pap got drunk enough, and I reckoned he would.  I got so full of it I didn't notice how long I was staying till the old man hollered and asked me whether I was asleep or drownded.

I got the things all up to the cabin, and then it was about dark.  While I was cooking supper the old man took a swig or two and got sort of warmed up, and went to ripping again.  He had been drunk over in town, and laid in the gutter all night, and he was a sight to look at.  A body would a thought he was Adam—he was just all mud.  Whenever his liquor begun to work he most always went for the govment, this time he says:

"Call this a govment! why, just look at it and see what it's like. Here's the law a-standing ready to take a man's son away from him—a man's own son, which he has had all the trouble and all the anxiety and all the expense of raising.  Yes, just as that man has got that son raised at last, and ready to go to work and begin to do suthin' for HIM and give him a rest, the law up and goes for him.  And they call THAT govment!  That ain't all, nuther.  The law backs that old Judge Thatcher up and helps him to keep me out o' my property.  Here's what the law does:  The law takes a man worth six thousand dollars and up'ards, and jams him into an old trap of a cabin like this, and lets him go round in clothes that ain't fitten for a hog. They call that govment!  A man can't get his rights in a govment like this. Sometimes I've a mighty notion to just leave the country for good and all. Yes, and I TOLD 'em so; I told old Thatcher so to his face.  Lots of 'em heard me, and can tell what I said.  Says I, for two cents I'd leave the blamed country and never come a-near it agin.  Them's the very words.  I says look at my hat—if you call it a hat—but the lid raises up and the rest of it goes down till it's below my chin, and then it ain't rightly a hat at all, but more like my head was shoved up through a jint o' stove-pipe.  Look at it, says I—such a hat for me to wear—one of the wealthiest men in this town if I could git my rights.

"Oh, yes, this is a wonderful govment, wonderful.  Why, looky here. There was a free nigger there from Ohio—a mulatter, most as white as a white man.  He had the whitest shirt on you ever see, too, and the shiniest hat; and there ain't a man in that town that's got as fine clothes as what he had; and he had a gold watch and chain, and a silver-headed cane—the awfulest old gray-headed nabob in the State.  And what do you think?  They said he was a p'fessor in a college, and could talk all kinds of languages, and knowed everything.  And that ain't the wust. They said he could VOTE when he was at home.  Well, that let me out. Thinks I, what is the country a-coming to?  It was 'lection day, and I was just about to go and vote myself if I warn't too drunk to get there; but when they told me there was a State in this country where they'd let that nigger vote, I drawed out.  I says I'll never vote agin.  Them's the very words I said; they all heard me; and the country may rot for all me—I'll never vote agin as long as I live.  And to see the cool way of that nigger—why, he wouldn't a give me the road if I hadn't shoved him out o' the way.  I says to the people, why ain't this nigger put up at auction and sold?—that's what I want to know.  And what do you reckon they said? Why, they said he couldn't be sold till he'd been in the State six months, and he hadn't been there that long yet.  There, now—that's a specimen.  They call that a govment that can't sell a free nigger till he's been in the State six months.  Here's a govment that calls itself a govment, and lets on to be a govment, and thinks it is a govment, and yet's got to set stock-still for six whole months before it can take a hold of a prowling, thieving, infernal, white-shirted free nigger, and—"

Pap was agoing on so he never noticed where his old limber legs was taking him to, so he went head over heels over the tub of salt pork and barked both shins, and the rest of his speech was all the hottest kind of language—mostly hove at the nigger and the govment, though he give the tub some, too, all along, here and there.  He hopped around the cabin considerable, first on one leg and then on the other, holding first one shin and then the other one, and at last he let out with his left foot all of a sudden and fetched the tub a rattling kick.  But it warn't good judgment, because that was the boot that had a couple of his toes leaking out of the front end of it; so now he raised a howl that fairly made a body's hair raise, and down he went in the dirt, and rolled there, and held his toes; and the cussing he done then laid over anything he had ever done previous.  He said so his own self afterwards.  He had heard old Sowberry Hagan in his best days, and he said it laid over him, too; but I reckon that was sort of piling it on, maybe.

After supper pap took the jug, and said he had enough whisky there for two drunks and one delirium tremens.  That was always his word.  I judged he would be blind drunk in about an hour, and then I would steal the key, or saw myself out, one or t'other.  He drank and drank, and tumbled down on his blankets by and by; but luck didn't run my way.  He didn't go sound asleep, but was uneasy.  He groaned and moaned and thrashed around this way and that for a long time.  At last I got so sleepy I couldn't keep my eyes open all I could do, and so before I knowed what I was about I was sound asleep, and the candle burning.

I don't know how long I was asleep, but all of a sudden there was an awful scream and I was up.  There was pap looking wild, and skipping around every which way and yelling about snakes.  He said they was crawling up his legs; and then he would give a jump and scream, and say one had bit him on the cheek—but I couldn't see no snakes.  He started and run round and round the cabin, hollering "Take him off! take him off! he's biting me on the neck!"  I never see a man look so wild in the eyes. Pretty soon he was all fagged out, and fell down panting; then he rolled over and over wonderful fast, kicking things every which way, and striking and grabbing at the air with his hands, and screaming and saying there was devils a-hold of him.  He wore out by and by, and laid still a while, moaning.  Then he laid stiller, and didn't make a sound.  I could hear the owls and the wolves away off in the woods, and it seemed terrible still.  He was laying over by the corner. By and by he raised up part way and listened, with his head to one side.  He says, very low:

"Tramp—tramp—tramp; that's the dead; tramp—tramp—tramp; they're coming after me; but I won't go.  Oh, they're here! don't touch me—don't! hands off—they're cold; let go.  Oh, let a poor devil alone!"

Then he went down on all fours and crawled off, begging them to let him alone, and he rolled himself up in his blanket and wallowed in under the old pine table, still a-begging; and then he went to crying.  I could hear him through the blanket.

By and by he rolled out and jumped up on his feet looking wild, and he see me and went for me.  He chased me round and round the place with a clasp-knife, calling me the Angel of Death, and saying he would kill me, and then I couldn't come for him no more.  I begged, and told him I was only Huck; but he laughed SUCH a screechy laugh, and roared and cussed, and kept on chasing me up.  Once when I turned short and dodged under his arm he made a grab and got me by the jacket between my shoulders, and I thought I was gone; but I slid out of the jacket quick as lightning, and saved myself. Pretty soon he was all tired out, and dropped down with his back against the door, and said he would rest a minute and then kill me. He put his knife under him, and said he would sleep and get strong, and then he would see who was who.

So he dozed off pretty soon.  By and by I got the old split-bottom chair and clumb up as easy as I could, not to make any noise, and got down the gun.  I slipped the ramrod down it to make sure it was loaded, then I laid it across the turnip barrel, pointing towards pap, and set down behind it to wait for him to stir.  And how slow and still the time did drag along.

 

 

CHAPTER VII.

"GIT up!  What you 'bout?"

I opened my eyes and looked around, trying to make out where I was.  It was after sun-up, and I had been sound asleep.  Pap was standing over me looking sour and sick, too.  He says:

"What you doin' with this gun?"

I judged he didn't know nothing about what he had been doing, so I says:

"Somebody tried to get in, so I was laying for him."

"Why didn't you roust me out?"

"Well, I tried to, but I couldn't; I couldn't budge you."

"Well, all right.  Don't stand there palavering all day, but out with you and see if there's a fish on the lines for breakfast.  I'll be along in a minute."

He unlocked the door, and I cleared out up the river-bank.  I noticed some pieces of limbs and such things floating down, and a sprinkling of bark; so I knowed the river had begun to rise.  I reckoned I would have great times now if I was over at the town.  The June rise used to be always luck for me; because as soon as that rise begins here comes cordwood floating down, and pieces of log rafts—sometimes a dozen logs together; so all you have to do is to catch them and sell them to the wood-yards and the sawmill.

I went along up the bank with one eye out for pap and t'other one out for what the rise might fetch along.  Well, all at once here comes a canoe; just a beauty, too, about thirteen or fourteen foot long, riding high like a duck.  I shot head-first off of the bank like a frog, clothes and all on, and struck out for the canoe.  I just expected there'd be somebody laying down in it, because people often done that to fool folks, and when a chap had pulled a skiff out most to it they'd raise up and laugh at him.  But it warn't so this time.  It was a drift-canoe sure enough, and I clumb in and paddled her ashore.  Thinks I, the old man will be glad when he sees this—she's worth ten dollars.  But when I got to shore pap wasn't in sight yet, and as I was running her into a little creek like a gully, all hung over with vines and willows, I struck another idea:  I judged I'd hide her good, and then, 'stead of taking to the woods when I run off, I'd go down the river about fifty mile and camp in one place for good, and not have such a rough time tramping on foot.

It was pretty close to the shanty, and I thought I heard the old man coming all the time; but I got her hid; and then I out and looked around a bunch of willows, and there was the old man down the path a piece just drawing a bead on a bird with his gun.  So he hadn't seen anything.

When he got along I was hard at it taking up a "trot" line.  He abused me a little for being so slow; but I told him I fell in the river, and that was what made me so long.  I knowed he would see I was wet, and then he would be asking questions.  We got five catfish off the lines and went home.

While we laid off after breakfast to sleep up, both of us being about wore out, I got to thinking that if I could fix up some way to keep pap and the widow from trying to follow me, it would be a certainer thing than trusting to luck to get far enough off before they missed me; you see, all kinds of things might happen.  Well, I didn't see no way for a while, but by and by pap raised up a minute to drink another barrel of water, and he says:

"Another time a man comes a-prowling round here you roust me out, you hear? That man warn't here for no good.  I'd a shot him.  Next time you roust me out, you hear?"

Then he dropped down and went to sleep again; but what he had been saying give me the very idea I wanted.  I says to myself, I can fix it now so nobody won't think of following me.

About twelve o'clock we turned out and went along up the bank.  The river was coming up pretty fast, and lots of driftwood going by on the rise. By and by along comes part of a log raft—nine logs fast together.  We went out with the skiff and towed it ashore.  Then we had dinner. Anybody but pap would a waited and seen the day through, so as to catch more stuff; but that warn't pap's style.  Nine logs was enough for one time; he must shove right over to town and sell.  So he locked me in and took the skiff, and started off towing the raft about half-past three.  I judged he wouldn't come back that night.  I waited till I reckoned he had got a good start; then I out with my saw, and went to work on that log again.  Before he was t'other side of the river I was out of the hole; him and his raft was just a speck on the water away off yonder.

I took the sack of corn meal and took it to where the canoe was hid, and shoved the vines and branches apart and put it in; then I done the same with the side of bacon; then the whisky-jug.  I took all the coffee and sugar there was, and all the ammunition; I took the wadding; I took the bucket and gourd; I took a dipper and a tin cup, and my old saw and two blankets, and the skillet and the coffee-pot.  I took fish-lines and matches and other things—everything that was worth a cent.  I cleaned out the place.  I wanted an axe, but there wasn't any, only the one out at the woodpile, and I knowed why I was going to leave that.  I fetched out the gun, and now I was done.

I had wore the ground a good deal crawling out of the hole and dragging out so many things.  So I fixed that as good as I could from the outside by scattering dust on the place, which covered up the smoothness and the sawdust.  Then I fixed the piece of log back into its place, and put two rocks under it and one against it to hold it there, for it was bent up at that place and didn't quite touch ground.  If you stood four or five foot away and didn't know it was sawed, you wouldn't never notice it; and besides, this was the back of the cabin, and it warn't likely anybody would go fooling around there.

It was all grass clear to the canoe, so I hadn't left a track.  I followed around to see.  I stood on the bank and looked out over the river.  All safe.  So I took the gun and went up a piece into the woods, and was hunting around for some birds when I see a wild pig; hogs soon went wild in them bottoms after they had got away from the prairie farms. I shot this fellow and took him into camp.

I took the axe and smashed in the door.  I beat it and hacked it considerable a-doing it.  I fetched the pig in, and took him back nearly to the table and hacked into his throat with the axe, and laid him down on the ground to bleed; I say ground because it was ground—hard packed, and no boards.  Well, next I took an old sack and put a lot of big rocks in it—all I could drag—and I started it from the pig, and dragged it to the door and through the woods down to the river and dumped it in, and down it sunk, out of sight.  You could easy see that something had been dragged over the ground.  I did wish Tom Sawyer was there; I knowed he would take an interest in this kind of business, and throw in the fancy touches.  Nobody could spread himself like Tom Sawyer in such a thing as that.

Well, last I pulled out some of my hair, and blooded the axe good, and stuck it on the back side, and slung the axe in the corner.  Then I took up the pig and held him to my breast with my jacket (so he couldn't drip) till I got a good piece below the house and then dumped him into the river.  Now I thought of something else.  So I went and got the bag of meal and my old saw out of the canoe, and fetched them to the house.  I took the bag to where it used to stand, and ripped a hole in the bottom of it with the saw, for there warn't no knives and forks on the place—pap done everything with his clasp-knife about the cooking.  Then I carried the sack about a hundred yards across the grass and through the willows east of the house, to a shallow lake that was five mile wide and full of rushes—and ducks too, you might say, in the season.  There was a slough or a creek leading out of it on the other side that went miles away, I don't know where, but it didn't go to the river.  The meal sifted out and made a little track all the way to the lake.  I dropped pap's whetstone there too, so as to look like it had been done by accident. Then I tied up the rip in the meal sack with a string, so it wouldn't leak no more, and took it and my saw to the canoe again.

It was about dark now; so I dropped the canoe down the river under some willows that hung over the bank, and waited for the moon to rise.  I made fast to a willow; then I took a bite to eat, and by and by laid down in the canoe to smoke a pipe and lay out a plan.  I says to myself, they'll follow the track of that sackful of rocks to the shore and then drag the river for me.  And they'll follow that meal track to the lake and go browsing down the creek that leads out of it to find the robbers that killed me and took the things.  They won't ever hunt the river for anything but my dead carcass. They'll soon get tired of that, and won't bother no more about me.  All right; I can stop anywhere I want to. Jackson's Island is good enough for me; I know that island pretty well, and nobody ever comes there.  And then I can paddle over to town nights, and slink around and pick up things I want. Jackson's Island's the place.

I was pretty tired, and the first thing I knowed I was asleep.  When I woke up I didn't know where I was for a minute.  I set up and looked around, a little scared.  Then I remembered.  The river looked miles and miles across.  The moon was so bright I could a counted the drift logs that went a-slipping along, black and still, hundreds of yards out from shore. Everything was dead quiet, and it looked late, and SMELT late. You know what I mean—I don't know the words to put it in.

I took a good gap and a stretch, and was just going to unhitch and start when I heard a sound away over the water.  I listened.  Pretty soon I made it out.  It was that dull kind of a regular sound that comes from oars working in rowlocks when it's a still night.  I peeped out through the willow branches, and there it was—a skiff, away across the water.  I couldn't tell how many was in it.  It kept a-coming, and when it was abreast of me I see there warn't but one man in it.  Think's I, maybe it's pap, though I warn't expecting him.  He dropped below me with the current, and by and by he came a-swinging up shore in the easy water, and he went by so close I could a reached out the gun and touched him.  Well, it WAS pap, sure enough—and sober, too, by the way he laid his oars.

I didn't lose no time.  The next minute I was a-spinning down stream soft but quick in the shade of the bank.  I made two mile and a half, and then struck out a quarter of a mile or more towards the middle of the river, because pretty soon I would be passing the ferry landing, and people might see me and hail me.  I got out amongst the driftwood, and then laid down in the bottom of the canoe and let her float.

 I laid there, and had a good rest and a smoke out of my pipe, looking away into the sky; not a cloud in it.  The sky looks ever so deep when you lay down on your back in the moonshine; I never knowed it before.  And how far a body can hear on the water such nights!  I heard people talking at the ferry landing. I heard what they said, too—every word of it.  One man said it was getting towards the long days and the short nights now.  T'other one said THIS warn't one of the short ones, he reckoned—and then they laughed, and he said it over again, and they laughed again; then they waked up another fellow and told him, and laughed, but he didn't laugh; he ripped out something brisk, and said let him alone.  The first fellow said he 'lowed to tell it to his old woman—she would think it was pretty good; but he said that warn't nothing to some things he had said in his time. I heard one man say it was nearly three o'clock, and he hoped daylight wouldn't wait more than about a week longer.  After that the talk got further and further away, and I couldn't make out the words any more; but I could hear the mumble, and now and then a laugh, too, but it seemed a long ways off.

I was away below the ferry now.  I rose up, and there was Jackson's Island, about two mile and a half down stream, heavy timbered and standing up out of the middle of the river, big and dark and solid, like a steamboat without any lights.  There warn't any signs of the bar at the head—it was all under water now.

It didn't take me long to get there.  I shot past the head at a ripping rate, the current was so swift, and then I got into the dead water and landed on the side towards the Illinois shore.  I run the canoe into a deep dent in the bank that I knowed about; I had to part the willow branches to get in; and when I made fast nobody could a seen the canoe from the outside.

I went up and set down on a log at the head of the island, and looked out on the big river and the black driftwood and away over to the town, three mile away, where there was three or four lights twinkling.  A monstrous big lumber-raft was about a mile up stream, coming along down, with a lantern in the middle of it.  I watched it come creeping down, and when it was most abreast of where I stood I heard a man say, "Stern oars, there! heave her head to stabboard!"  I heard that just as plain as if the man was by my side.

There was a little gray in the sky now; so I stepped into the woods, and laid down for a nap before breakfast.

 

 

CHAPTER VIII.

THE sun was up so high when I waked that I judged it was after eight o'clock.  I laid there in the grass and the cool shade thinking about things, and feeling rested and ruther comfortable and satisfied.  I could see the sun out at one or two holes, but mostly it was big trees all about, and gloomy in there amongst them.  There was freckled places on the ground where the light sifted down through the leaves, and the freckled places swapped about a little, showing there was a little breeze up there.  A couple of squirrels set on a limb and jabbered at me very friendly.

I was powerful lazy and comfortable—didn't want to get up and cook breakfast.  Well, I was dozing off again when I thinks I hears a deep sound of "boom!" away up the river.  I rouses up, and rests on my elbow and listens; pretty soon I hears it again.  I hopped up, and went and looked out at a hole in the leaves, and I see a bunch of smoke laying on the water a long ways up—about abreast the ferry.  And there was the ferryboat full of people floating along down.  I knowed what was the matter now.  "Boom!" I see the white smoke squirt out of the ferryboat's side.  You see, they was firing cannon over the water, trying to make my carcass come to the top.

I was pretty hungry, but it warn't going to do for me to start a fire, because they might see the smoke.  So I set there and watched the cannon-smoke and listened to the boom.  The river was a mile wide there, and it always looks pretty on a summer morning—so I was having a good enough time seeing them hunt for my remainders if I only had a bite to eat. Well, then I happened to think how they always put quicksilver in loaves of bread and float them off, because they always go right to the drownded carcass and stop there.  So, says I, I'll keep a lookout, and if any of them's floating around after me I'll give them a show.  I changed to the Illinois edge of the island to see what luck I could have, and I warn't disappointed.  A big double loaf come along, and I most got it with a long stick, but my foot slipped and she floated out further.  Of course I was where the current set in the closest to the shore—I knowed enough for that.  But by and by along comes another one, and this time I won.  I took out the plug and shook out the little dab of quicksilver, and set my teeth in.  It was "baker's bread"—what the quality eat; none of your low-down corn-pone.

I got a good place amongst the leaves, and set there on a log, munching the bread and watching the ferry-boat, and very well satisfied.  And then something struck me.  I says, now I reckon the widow or the parson or somebody prayed that this bread would find me, and here it has gone and done it.  So there ain't no doubt but there is something in that thing—that is, there's something in it when a body like the widow or the parson prays, but it don't work for me, and I reckon it don't work for only just the right kind.

I lit a pipe and had a good long smoke, and went on watching.  The ferryboat was floating with the current, and I allowed I'd have a chance to see who was aboard when she come along, because she would come in close, where the bread did.  When she'd got pretty well along down towards me, I put out my pipe and went to where I fished out the bread, and laid down behind a log on the bank in a little open place.  Where the log forked I could peep through.

By and by she come along, and she drifted in so close that they could a run out a plank and walked ashore.  Most everybody was on the boat.  Pap, and Judge Thatcher, and Bessie Thatcher, and Jo Harper, and Tom Sawyer, and his old Aunt Polly, and Sid and Mary, and plenty more.  Everybody was talking about the murder, but the captain broke in and says:

"Look sharp, now; the current sets in the closest here, and maybe he's washed ashore and got tangled amongst the brush at the water's edge.  I hope so, anyway."

I didn't hope so.  They all crowded up and leaned over the rails, nearly in my face, and kept still, watching with all their might.  I could see them first-rate, but they couldn't see me.  Then the captain sung out:

"Stand away!" and the cannon let off such a blast right before me that it made me deef with the noise and pretty near blind with the smoke, and I judged I was gone.  If they'd a had some bullets in, I reckon they'd a got the corpse they was after.  Well, I see I warn't hurt, thanks to goodness. The boat floated on and went out of sight around the shoulder of the island.  I could hear the booming now and then, further and further off, and by and by, after an hour, I didn't hear it no more.  The island was three mile long.  I judged they had got to the foot, and was giving it up.  But they didn't yet a while.  They turned around the foot of the island and started up the channel on the Missouri side, under steam, and booming once in a while as they went.  I crossed over to that side and watched them. When they got abreast the head of the island they quit shooting and dropped over to the Missouri shore and went home to the town.

I knowed I was all right now.  Nobody else would come a-hunting after me. I got my traps out of the canoe and made me a nice camp in the thick woods.  I made a kind of a tent out of my blankets to put my things under so the rain couldn't get at them.  I catched a catfish and haggled him open with my saw, and towards sundown I started my camp fire and had supper.  Then I set out a line to catch some fish for breakfast.

When it was dark I set by my camp fire smoking, and feeling pretty well satisfied; but by and by it got sort of lonesome, and so I went and set on the bank and listened to the current swashing along, and counted the stars and drift logs and rafts that come down, and then went to bed; there ain't no better way to put in time when you are lonesome; you can't stay so, you soon get over it.

And so for three days and nights.  No difference—just the same thing. But the next day I went exploring around down through the island.  I was boss of it; it all belonged to me, so to say, and I wanted to know all about it; but mainly I wanted to put in the time.  I found plenty strawberries, ripe and prime; and green summer grapes, and green razberries; and the green blackberries was just beginning to show.  They would all come handy by and by, I judged.

Well, I went fooling along in the deep woods till I judged I warn't far from the foot of the island.  I had my gun along, but I hadn't shot nothing; it was for protection; thought I would kill some game nigh home. About this time I mighty near stepped on a good-sized snake, and it went sliding off through the grass and flowers, and I after it, trying to get a shot at it. I clipped along, and all of a sudden I bounded right on to the ashes of a camp fire that was still smoking.

My heart jumped up amongst my lungs.  I never waited for to look further, but uncocked my gun and went sneaking back on my tiptoes as fast as ever I could.  Every now and then I stopped a second amongst the thick leaves and listened, but my breath come so hard I couldn't hear nothing else.  I slunk along another piece further, then listened again; and so on, and so on.  If I see a stump, I took it for a man; if I trod on a stick and broke it, it made me feel like a person had cut one of my breaths in two and I only got half, and the short half, too.

When I got to camp I warn't feeling very brash, there warn't much sand in my craw; but I says, this ain't no time to be fooling around.  So I got all my traps into my canoe again so as to have them out of sight, and I put out the fire and scattered the ashes around to look like an old last year's camp, and then clumb a tree.

I reckon I was up in the tree two hours; but I didn't see nothing, I didn't hear nothing—I only THOUGHT I heard and seen as much as a thousand things.  Well, I couldn't stay up there forever; so at last I got down, but I kept in the thick woods and on the lookout all the time. All I could get to eat was berries and what was left over from breakfast.

By the time it was night I was pretty hungry.  So when it was good and dark I slid out from shore before moonrise and paddled over to the Illinois bank—about a quarter of a mile.  I went out in the woods and cooked a supper, and I had about made up my mind I would stay there all night when I hear a PLUNKETY-PLUNK, PLUNKETY-PLUNK, and says to myself, horses coming; and next I hear people's voices.  I got everything into the canoe as quick as I could, and then went creeping through the woods to see what I could find out.  I hadn't got far when I hear a man say:

"We better camp here if we can find a good place; the horses is about beat out.  Let's look around."

I didn't wait, but shoved out and paddled away easy.  I tied up in the old place, and reckoned I would sleep in the canoe.

I didn't sleep much.  I couldn't, somehow, for thinking.  And every time I waked up I thought somebody had me by the neck.  So the sleep didn't do me no good.  By and by I says to myself, I can't live this way; I'm a-going to find out who it is that's here on the island with me; I'll find it out or bust.  Well, I felt better right off.

So I took my paddle and slid out from shore just a step or two, and then let the canoe drop along down amongst the shadows.  The moon was shining, and outside of the shadows it made it most as light as day.  I poked along well on to an hour, everything still as rocks and sound asleep. Well, by this time I was most down to the foot of the island.  A little ripply, cool breeze begun to blow, and that was as good as saying the night was about done.  I give her a turn with the paddle and brung her nose to shore; then I got my gun and slipped out and into the edge of the woods.  I sat down there on a log, and looked out through the leaves.  I see the moon go off watch, and the darkness begin to blanket the river. But in a little while I see a pale streak over the treetops, and knowed the day was coming.  So I took my gun and slipped off towards where I had run across that camp fire, stopping every minute or two to listen.  But I hadn't no luck somehow; I couldn't seem to find the place.  But by and by, sure enough, I catched a glimpse of fire away through the trees.  I went for it, cautious and slow.  By and by I was close enough to have a look, and there laid a man on the ground.  It most give me the fan-tods. He had a blanket around his head, and his head was nearly in the fire.  I set there behind a clump of bushes, in about six foot of him, and kept my eyes on him steady.  It was getting gray daylight now.  Pretty soon he gapped and stretched himself and hove off the blanket, and it was Miss Watson's Jim!  I bet I was glad to see him.  I says:

"Hello, Jim!" and skipped out.

He bounced up and stared at me wild.  Then he drops down on his knees, and puts his hands together and says:

"Doan' hurt me—don't!  I hain't ever done no harm to a ghos'.  I alwuz liked dead people, en done all I could for 'em.  You go en git in de river agin, whah you b'longs, en doan' do nuffn to Ole Jim, 'at 'uz awluz yo' fren'."

Well, I warn't long making him understand I warn't dead.  I was ever so glad to see Jim.  I warn't lonesome now.  I told him I warn't afraid of HIM telling the people where I was.  I talked along, but he only set there and looked at me; never said nothing.  Then I says:

"It's good daylight.  Le's get breakfast.  Make up your camp fire good."

"What's de use er makin' up de camp fire to cook strawbries en sich truck? But you got a gun, hain't you?  Den we kin git sumfn better den strawbries."

"Strawberries and such truck," I says.  "Is that what you live on?"

"I couldn' git nuffn else," he says.

"Why, how long you been on the island, Jim?"

"I come heah de night arter you's killed."

"What, all that time?"

"Yes—indeedy."

"And ain't you had nothing but that kind of rubbage to eat?"

"No, sah—nuffn else."

"Well, you must be most starved, ain't you?"

"I reck'n I could eat a hoss.  I think I could. How long you ben on de islan'?"

"Since the night I got killed."

"No!  W'y, what has you lived on?  But you got a gun.  Oh, yes, you got a gun.  Dat's good.  Now you kill sumfn en I'll make up de fire."

So we went over to where the canoe was, and while he built a fire in a grassy open place amongst the trees, I fetched meal and bacon and coffee, and coffee-pot and frying-pan, and sugar and tin cups, and the nigger was set back considerable, because he reckoned it was all done with witchcraft. I catched a good big catfish, too, and Jim cleaned him with his knife, and fried him.

When breakfast was ready we lolled on the grass and eat it smoking hot. Jim laid it in with all his might, for he was most about starved.  Then when we had got pretty well stuffed, we laid off and lazied.  By and by Jim says:

"But looky here, Huck, who wuz it dat 'uz killed in dat shanty ef it warn't you?"

Then I told him the whole thing, and he said it was smart.  He said Tom Sawyer couldn't get up no better plan than what I had.  Then I says:

"How do you come to be here, Jim, and how'd you get here?"

He looked pretty uneasy, and didn't say nothing for a minute.  Then he says:

"Maybe I better not tell."

"Why, Jim?"

"Well, dey's reasons.  But you wouldn' tell on me ef I uz to tell you, would you, Huck?"

"Blamed if I would, Jim."

"Well, I b'lieve you, Huck.  I—I RUN OFF."

"Jim!"

"But mind, you said you wouldn' tell—you know you said you wouldn' tell, Huck."

"Well, I did.  I said I wouldn't, and I'll stick to it.  Honest INJUN, I will.  People would call me a low-down Abolitionist and despise me for keeping mum—but that don't make no difference.  I ain't a-going to tell, and I ain't a-going back there, anyways.  So, now, le's know all about it."

"Well, you see, it 'uz dis way.  Ole missus—dat's Miss Watson—she pecks on me all de time, en treats me pooty rough, but she awluz said she wouldn' sell me down to Orleans.  But I noticed dey wuz a nigger trader roun' de place considable lately, en I begin to git oneasy.  Well, one night I creeps to de do' pooty late, en de do' warn't quite shet, en I hear old missus tell de widder she gwyne to sell me down to Orleans, but she didn' want to, but she could git eight hund'd dollars for me, en it 'uz sich a big stack o' money she couldn' resis'.  De widder she try to git her to say she wouldn' do it, but I never waited to hear de res'.  I lit out mighty quick, I tell you.

"I tuck out en shin down de hill, en 'spec to steal a skift 'long de sho' som'ers 'bove de town, but dey wuz people a-stirring yit, so I hid in de ole tumble-down cooper-shop on de bank to wait for everybody to go 'way. Well, I wuz dah all night.  Dey wuz somebody roun' all de time.  'Long 'bout six in de mawnin' skifts begin to go by, en 'bout eight er nine every skift dat went 'long wuz talkin' 'bout how yo' pap come over to de town en say you's killed.  Dese las' skifts wuz full o' ladies en genlmen a-goin' over for to see de place.  Sometimes dey'd pull up at de sho' en take a res' b'fo' dey started acrost, so by de talk I got to know all 'bout de killin'.  I 'uz powerful sorry you's killed, Huck, but I ain't no mo' now.

"I laid dah under de shavin's all day.  I 'uz hungry, but I warn't afeard; bekase I knowed ole missus en de widder wuz goin' to start to de camp-meet'n' right arter breakfas' en be gone all day, en dey knows I goes off wid de cattle 'bout daylight, so dey wouldn' 'spec to see me roun' de place, en so dey wouldn' miss me tell arter dark in de evenin'. De yuther servants wouldn' miss me, kase dey'd shin out en take holiday soon as de ole folks 'uz out'n de way.

"Well, when it come dark I tuck out up de river road, en went 'bout two mile er more to whah dey warn't no houses.  I'd made up my mine 'bout what I's agwyne to do.  You see, ef I kep' on tryin' to git away afoot, de dogs 'ud track me; ef I stole a skift to cross over, dey'd miss dat skift, you see, en dey'd know 'bout whah I'd lan' on de yuther side, en whah to pick up my track.  So I says, a raff is what I's arter; it doan' MAKE no track.

"I see a light a-comin' roun' de p'int bymeby, so I wade' in en shove' a log ahead o' me en swum more'n half way acrost de river, en got in 'mongst de drift-wood, en kep' my head down low, en kinder swum agin de current tell de raff come along.  Den I swum to de stern uv it en tuck a-holt.  It clouded up en 'uz pooty dark for a little while.  So I clumb up en laid down on de planks.  De men 'uz all 'way yonder in de middle, whah de lantern wuz.  De river wuz a-risin', en dey wuz a good current; so I reck'n'd 'at by fo' in de mawnin' I'd be twenty-five mile down de river, en den I'd slip in jis b'fo' daylight en swim asho', en take to de woods on de Illinois side.

"But I didn' have no luck.  When we 'uz mos' down to de head er de islan' a man begin to come aft wid de lantern, I see it warn't no use fer to wait, so I slid overboard en struck out fer de islan'.  Well, I had a notion I could lan' mos' anywhers, but I couldn't—bank too bluff.  I 'uz mos' to de foot er de islan' b'fo' I found' a good place.  I went into de woods en jedged I wouldn' fool wid raffs no mo', long as dey move de lantern roun' so.  I had my pipe en a plug er dog-leg, en some matches in my cap, en dey warn't wet, so I 'uz all right."

"And so you ain't had no meat nor bread to eat all this time?  Why didn't you get mud-turkles?"

"How you gwyne to git 'm?  You can't slip up on um en grab um; en how's a body gwyne to hit um wid a rock?  How could a body do it in de night?  En I warn't gwyne to show mysef on de bank in de daytime."

"Well, that's so.  You've had to keep in the woods all the time, of course. Did you hear 'em shooting the cannon?"

"Oh, yes.  I knowed dey was arter you.  I see um go by heah—watched um thoo de bushes."

Some young birds come along, flying a yard or two at a time and lighting. Jim said it was a sign it was going to rain.  He said it was a sign when young chickens flew that way, and so he reckoned it was the same way when young birds done it.  I was going to catch some of them, but Jim wouldn't let me.  He said it was death.  He said his father laid mighty sick once, and some of them catched a bird, and his old granny said his father would die, and he did.

And Jim said you mustn't count the things you are going to cook for dinner, because that would bring bad luck.  The same if you shook the table-cloth after sundown.  And he said if a man owned a beehive and that man died, the bees must be told about it before sun-up next morning, or else the bees would all weaken down and quit work and die.  Jim said bees wouldn't sting idiots; but I didn't believe that, because I had tried them lots of times myself, and they wouldn't sting me.

I had heard about some of these things before, but not all of them.  Jim knowed all kinds of signs.  He said he knowed most everything.  I said it looked to me like all the signs was about bad luck, and so I asked him if there warn't any good-luck signs.  He says:

"Mighty few—an' DEY ain't no use to a body.  What you want to know when good luck's a-comin' for?  Want to keep it off?"  And he said:  "Ef you's got hairy arms en a hairy breas', it's a sign dat you's agwyne to be rich. Well, dey's some use in a sign like dat, 'kase it's so fur ahead. You see, maybe you's got to be po' a long time fust, en so you might git discourage' en kill yo'sef 'f you didn' know by de sign dat you gwyne to be rich bymeby."

"Have you got hairy arms and a hairy breast, Jim?"

"What's de use to ax dat question?  Don't you see I has?"

"Well, are you rich?"

"No, but I ben rich wunst, and gwyne to be rich agin.  Wunst I had foteen dollars, but I tuck to specalat'n', en got busted out."

"What did you speculate in, Jim?"

"Well, fust I tackled stock."

"What kind of stock?"

"Why, live stock—cattle, you know.  I put ten dollars in a cow.  But I ain' gwyne to resk no mo' money in stock.  De cow up 'n' died on my han's."

"So you lost the ten dollars."

"No, I didn't lose it all.  I on'y los' 'bout nine of it.  I sole de hide en taller for a dollar en ten cents."

"You had five dollars and ten cents left.  Did you speculate any more?"

"Yes.  You know that one-laigged nigger dat b'longs to old Misto Bradish? Well, he sot up a bank, en say anybody dat put in a dollar would git fo' dollars mo' at de en' er de year.  Well, all de niggers went in, but dey didn't have much.  I wuz de on'y one dat had much.  So I stuck out for mo' dan fo' dollars, en I said 'f I didn' git it I'd start a bank mysef. Well, o' course dat nigger want' to keep me out er de business, bekase he says dey warn't business 'nough for two banks, so he say I could put in my five dollars en he pay me thirty-five at de en' er de year.

"So I done it.  Den I reck'n'd I'd inves' de thirty-five dollars right off en keep things a-movin'.  Dey wuz a nigger name' Bob, dat had ketched a wood-flat, en his marster didn' know it; en I bought it off'n him en told him to take de thirty-five dollars when de en' er de year come; but somebody stole de wood-flat dat night, en nex day de one-laigged nigger say de bank's busted.  So dey didn' none uv us git no money."

"What did you do with the ten cents, Jim?"

"Well, I 'uz gwyne to spen' it, but I had a dream, en de dream tole me to give it to a nigger name' Balum—Balum's Ass dey call him for short; he's one er dem chuckleheads, you know.  But he's lucky, dey say, en I see I warn't lucky.  De dream say let Balum inves' de ten cents en he'd make a raise for me.  Well, Balum he tuck de money, en when he wuz in church he hear de preacher say dat whoever give to de po' len' to de Lord, en boun' to git his money back a hund'd times.  So Balum he tuck en give de ten cents to de po', en laid low to see what wuz gwyne to come of it."

"Well, what did come of it, Jim?"

"Nuffn never come of it.  I couldn' manage to k'leck dat money no way; en Balum he couldn'.  I ain' gwyne to len' no mo' money 'dout I see de security.  Boun' to git yo' money back a hund'd times, de preacher says! Ef I could git de ten CENTS back, I'd call it squah, en be glad er de chanst."

"Well, it's all right anyway, Jim, long as you're going to be rich again some time or other."

"Yes; en I's rich now, come to look at it.  I owns mysef, en I's wuth eight hund'd dollars.  I wisht I had de money, I wouldn' want no mo'."

 

 

CHAPTER IX.

I WANTED to go and look at a place right about the middle of the island that I'd found when I was exploring; so we started and soon got to it, because the island was only three miles long and a quarter of a mile wide.

This place was a tolerable long, steep hill or ridge about forty foot high. We had a rough time getting to the top, the sides was so steep and the bushes so thick.  We tramped and clumb around all over it, and by and by found a good big cavern in the rock, most up to the top on the side towards Illinois.  The cavern was as big as two or three rooms bunched together, and Jim could stand up straight in it.  It was cool in there. Jim was for putting our traps in there right away, but I said we didn't want to be climbing up and down there all the time.

Jim said if we had the canoe hid in a good place, and had all the traps in the cavern, we could rush there if anybody was to come to the island, and they would never find us without dogs.  And, besides, he said them little birds had said it was going to rain, and did I want the things to get wet?

So we went back and got the canoe, and paddled up abreast the cavern, and lugged all the traps up there.  Then we hunted up a place close by to hide the canoe in, amongst the thick willows.  We took some fish off of the lines and set them again, and begun to get ready for dinner.

The door of the cavern was big enough to roll a hogshead in, and on one side of the door the floor stuck out a little bit, and was flat and a good place to build a fire on.  So we built it there and cooked dinner.

We spread the blankets inside for a carpet, and eat our dinner in there. We put all the other things handy at the back of the cavern.  Pretty soon it darkened up, and begun to thunder and lighten; so the birds was right about it.  Directly it begun to rain, and it rained like all fury, too, and I never see the wind blow so.  It was one of these regular summer storms.  It would get so dark that it looked all blue-black outside, and lovely; and the rain would thrash along by so thick that the trees off a little ways looked dim and spider-webby; and here would come a blast of wind that would bend the trees down and turn up the pale underside of the leaves; and then a perfect ripper of a gust would follow along and set the branches to tossing their arms as if they was just wild; and next, when it was just about the bluest and blackest—FST! it was as bright as glory, and you'd have a little glimpse of tree-tops a-plunging about away off yonder in the storm, hundreds of yards further than you could see before; dark as sin again in a second, and now you'd hear the thunder let go with an awful crash, and then go rumbling, grumbling, tumbling, down the sky towards the under side of the world, like rolling empty barrels down stairs—where it's long stairs and they bounce a good deal, you know.

"Jim, this is nice," I says.  "I wouldn't want to be nowhere else but here. Pass me along another hunk of fish and some hot corn-bread."

"Well, you wouldn't a ben here 'f it hadn't a ben for Jim.  You'd a ben down dah in de woods widout any dinner, en gittn' mos' drownded, too; dat you would, honey.  Chickens knows when it's gwyne to rain, en so do de birds, chile."

The river went on raising and raising for ten or twelve days, till at last it was over the banks.  The water was three or four foot deep on the island in the low places and on the Illinois bottom.  On that side it was a good many miles wide, but on the Missouri side it was the same old distance across—a half a mile—because the Missouri shore was just a wall of high bluffs.

Daytimes we paddled all over the island in the canoe, It was mighty cool and shady in the deep woods, even if the sun was blazing outside.  We went winding in and out amongst the trees, and sometimes the vines hung so thick we had to back away and go some other way.  Well, on every old broken-down tree you could see rabbits and snakes and such things; and when the island had been overflowed a day or two they got so tame, on account of being hungry, that you could paddle right up and put your hand on them if you wanted to; but not the snakes and turtles—they would slide off in the water.  The ridge our cavern was in was full of them. We could a had pets enough if we'd wanted them.

One night we catched a little section of a lumber raft—nice pine planks. It was twelve foot wide and about fifteen or sixteen foot long, and the top stood above water six or seven inches—a solid, level floor.  We could see saw-logs go by in the daylight sometimes, but we let them go; we didn't show ourselves in daylight.

Another night when we was up at the head of the island, just before daylight, here comes a frame-house down, on the west side.  She was a two-story, and tilted over considerable.  We paddled out and got aboard—clumb in at an upstairs window.  But it was too dark to see yet, so we made the canoe fast and set in her to wait for daylight.

The light begun to come before we got to the foot of the island.  Then we looked in at the window.  We could make out a bed, and a table, and two old chairs, and lots of things around about on the floor, and there was clothes hanging against the wall.  There was something laying on the floor in the far corner that looked like a man.  So Jim says:

"Hello, you!"

But it didn't budge.  So I hollered again, and then Jim says:

"De man ain't asleep—he's dead.  You hold still—I'll go en see."

He went, and bent down and looked, and says:

"It's a dead man.  Yes, indeedy; naked, too.  He's ben shot in de back. I reck'n he's ben dead two er three days.  Come in, Huck, but doan' look at his face—it's too gashly."

I didn't look at him at all.  Jim throwed some old rags over him, but he needn't done it; I didn't want to see him.  There was heaps of old greasy cards scattered around over the floor, and old whisky bottles, and a couple of masks made out of black cloth; and all over the walls was the ignorantest kind of words and pictures made with charcoal.  There was two old dirty calico dresses, and a sun-bonnet, and some women's underclothes hanging against the wall, and some men's clothing, too.  We put the lot into the canoe—it might come good.  There was a boy's old speckled straw hat on the floor; I took that, too.  And there was a bottle that had had milk in it, and it had a rag stopper for a baby to suck.  We would a took the bottle, but it was broke.  There was a seedy old chest, and an old hair trunk with the hinges broke.  They stood open, but there warn't nothing left in them that was any account.  The way things was scattered about we reckoned the people left in a hurry, and warn't fixed so as to carry off most of their stuff.

We got an old tin lantern, and a butcher-knife without any handle, and a bran-new Barlow knife worth two bits in any store, and a lot of tallow candles, and a tin candlestick, and a gourd, and a tin cup, and a ratty old bedquilt off the bed, and a reticule with needles and pins and beeswax and buttons and thread and all such truck in it, and a hatchet and some nails, and a fishline as thick as my little finger with some monstrous hooks on it, and a roll of buckskin, and a leather dog-collar, and a horseshoe, and some vials of medicine that didn't have no label on them; and just as we was leaving I found a tolerable good curry-comb, and Jim he found a ratty old fiddle-bow, and a wooden leg.  The straps was broke off of it, but, barring that, it was a good enough leg, though it was too long for me and not long enough for Jim, and we couldn't find the other one, though we hunted all around.

And so, take it all around, we made a good haul.  When we was ready to shove off we was a quarter of a mile below the island, and it was pretty broad day; so I made Jim lay down in the canoe and cover up with the quilt, because if he set up people could tell he was a nigger a good ways off.  I paddled over to the Illinois shore, and drifted down most a half a mile doing it.  I crept up the dead water under the bank, and hadn't no accidents and didn't see nobody.  We got home all safe.

 

 

CHAPTER X.

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.  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.  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.

We rummaged the clothes we'd got, and found eight dollars in silver sewed up in the lining of an old blanket overcoat.  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.  I said I reckoned they killed him, too; but Jim didn't want to talk about that.  I says:

"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.  Well, here's your bad luck!  We've raked in all this truck and eight dollars besides.  I wish we could have some bad luck like this every day, Jim."

"Never you mind, honey, never you mind.  Don't you git too peart.  It's a-comin'.  Mind I tell you, it's a-comin'."

It did come, too.  It was a Tuesday that we had that talk.  Well, after dinner Friday we was laying around in the grass at the upper end of the ridge, and got out of tobacco.  I went to the cavern to get some, and found a rattlesnake in there.  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.  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.

He jumped up yelling, and the first thing the light showed was the varmint curled up and ready for another spring.  I laid him out in a second with a stick, and Jim grabbed pap's whisky-jug and begun to pour it down.

He was barefooted, and the snake bit him right on the heel.  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.  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.  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.  He said that that would help.  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.

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.  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.

Jim was laid up for four days and nights.  Then the swelling was all gone and he was around again.  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.  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.  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.  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.  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.  Pap told me.  But anyway it all come of looking at the moon that way, like a fool.

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.  We just set there and watched him rip and tear around till he drownded.  We found a brass button in his stomach and a round ball, and lots of rubbage.  We split the ball open with the hatchet, and there was a spool in it.  Jim said he'd had it there a long time, to coat it over so and make a ball of it.  It was as big a fish as was ever catched in the Mississippi, I reckon.  Jim said he hadn't ever seen a bigger one.  He would a been worth a good deal over at the village.  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.

Next morning I said it was getting slow and dull, and I wanted to get a stirring up some way.  I said I reckoned I would slip over the river and find out what was going on.  Jim liked that notion; but he said I must go in the dark and look sharp.  Then he studied it over and said, couldn't I put on some of them old things and dress up like a girl?  That was a good notion, too.  So we shortened up one of the calico gowns, and I turned up my trouser-legs to my knees and got into it.  Jim hitched it behind with the hooks, and it was a fair fit.  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.  Jim said nobody would know me, even in the daytime, hardly.  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.  I took notice, and done better.

I started up the Illinois shore in the canoe just after dark.

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.  I tied up and started along the bank.  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.  I slipped up and peeped in at the window.  There was a woman about forty year old in there knitting by a candle that was on a pine table.  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.  Now this was lucky, because I was weakening; I was getting afraid I had come; people might know my voice and find me out.  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.

 

 

 

第一章

  你若没有看过一本叫做《汤姆.索亚历险记》的书,你就不会知道我这个人.不过,这没有什么.那本大体上讲的是实话的书是马克.吐温先生写的.有些事是他生发出来的,不过大体上,他讲的是实话.不过,实话不实话算不了什么.我还没有见过从来没有撒过谎的人.这一回不说,另外一回就不敢保证.葆莉姨妈也好,那位寡妇也好,也许还有玛丽,都是这样.葆莉姨妈......就是汤姆的葆莉姨妈......还有玛丽.道格拉斯寡妇,有关她们的事,大都在那本书里讲了......那是一本大致上讲实话的书,有些是生发出来的,这我在上面说过了.
  那本书的结尾是这样:汤姆和我找到了强盗藏在那个山洞里的钱,我们发了.我们俩,一人得了六千多块钱......金灿灿的六千块.把钱堆积起来,乍一看,好不吓人.后来,由撒切尔法官拿去存放利息,我们俩每人每天得一块钱,一年到头,天天这样......真是多得叫人没法办.道格拉斯寡妇,她把我认做她的干儿子,她许下了愿,要教我文明规矩.可是一天到晚,憋在这间屋里,有多难受.你想,寡妇的言行举止,一桩桩,一件件,全都那么呆板,那么一本正经,这有多丧气.如果继续这样,到了我实在忍受不了的那一天,我就要溜之大吉啦.我重新穿上了我原来的破衣烂衫,重新钻进了那只原本装糖的大木桶,好不痛快,好不逍遥自在.可是汤姆想方设法找到了我,说他要发起组织一个强盗帮,要是我能回到寡妇家,过得体体面面,就可以加入到他们里面去,于是我就回去了.
  寡妇对我大哭了一场,把我叫做一只迷途的羔羊,还叫我别的好多名称,不过,她绝对没有任何恶意.她让我又穿上了新衣裳,我只是直冒汗,憋得难受实在一点办法也没有.啊,这么一来,又重新开始那老一套.寡妇打铃开饭,你就得按时到.到了饭桌子跟前,你可不能马上就吃起来,你得等着,等寡妇低下头来,朝饭菜叽哩咕噜挑剔几句,尽管这些饭菜没什么好挑剔的,因为每道菜都是精心做的.要是一桶乱七杂八的东西,那就不一样了,各样菜掺和在一起烧,连汤带水,味道就格外鲜美.
  晚饭后,她就拿出那本书来,给我讲摩西和蒲草箱的故事.我急得直冒汗,急着要弄清楚一切有关他的事.不过,她隔了一会儿却说摩西是死了很久很久的事了.这样,我就不再为他担忧什么了,因为我对死了的人是毫无兴趣的.
  没过多久,我请求寡妇答应我抽烟.可是她死活不肯.她说这是一种下流的习惯,又不卫生,要我从此戒掉.世界上有些人就是这样行事.一件事,来龙去脉,一窍不通,可偏偏要谈三论四.比如摩西,与她非亲非故,对谁都没有什么用处,很早就死了,她偏要为他操心;可我做一件事,明明也没有错,可她偏要找岔儿.况且,她自己就吸鼻烟,那当然是做得对喽,因为她就是这么做的嘛.
  她的妹妹华珍小姐,一个修长身材戴一幅眼镜的老小姐,前不久才来和她同住.她拿来一本拼音课本,故意难为我,逼着我死啃了近一个钟点,寡妇这才叫她歇口气.我确实熬不住了.可还是得熬闷死人的一个钟点,我实在浮躁得不行了.华珍小姐会说,"别把你的一双脚搁在那上边,赫克尔贝里.""别闹得嘎扎嘎扎响,赫克尔贝里,......请坐正."一会儿又说,"别这么打呵欠,别这么伸懒腰,......怎么不学得规矩些,赫克尔贝里?"然后她跟我讲有关那个坏地方的一切.我就说,我倒是愿意在那里,她就气极败坏.我可并非心存恶意,我心里想的只是到个什么地方走动走动,换个环境,我决不挑三拣四.她说,我刚才说的,全是下流坯说的话.要是她啊,她宁死也不肯说出那样的话来,为了好升入那个好地方,她可是要活得规规矩矩.堂堂正正.啊,我看不出她要去的那个地方有什么好,所以我已经下定决心,决不干那样的蠢事.不过,我从没有说出口.因为一说出口,便会惹麻烦,讨不到好.
  她话匣子既然打开了,便不停地说下去,把有关那个好地方的一切,跟我说个没完没了.她说,在那边,一个人整天干的,就是这里走走,那里逛逛,一边弹着琴,一边唱着歌.永永远远如此这般.不过我对这些不怎么挂在心上,只是我从没有说出口来.我问她,依她看,汤姆是否会去那,她说,他还差一截子呢.听了这话,我满心欢喜,因为我要他跟我在一起.
  因为华珍小姐不停地找我的岔子,日子过得又累又孤单.后来,她们招了些黑奴来,教他们做祷告,然后一个个地去睡觉.我上楼走进我的房间,手里拿着一支蜡烛,把它放在桌上,然后在一张靠窗的椅子上坐下来,存心拣些有劲儿的事想想,可就是做不到.我只觉得孤单寂寞,真是恨不得死去才好.星星在一闪一闪,林子里树叶在沙沙作响.我听见一只狼在远处正为死者凄惨地哀鸣;猫头鹰还有一只夜鹰和一条狗正在为一个快死去的人嚎叫;还有那风声正想要在我耳边低声诉说,我捉摸不透它们在诉说着什么.如此这般,不由得使我浑身一阵阵颤抖.我又听见远处林子里鬼魂声响.这个鬼,每逢他要把存在心头的话说出来,却又说不清楚的时候,便在坟墓里安不下身来,非得每个夜晚悲悲切切地到处飘飘荡荡.我真是失魂落魄,十分恐惧,但愿身边有个伴.一会儿,一只蜘蛛爬到我肩上,我一抹,将它抹到了蜡烛火头上.我没有动一个指头,它就烧焦了.不用别人告诉我,我也明白,这是个不祥之兆,我认定要有祸事临头,因此十分害怕,几乎把身上的衣服抖落在地.我站起身来,就地转了三圈,每转一圈,就在胸前划个十字,接着用线把头上一小撮头发给扎起来,让妖怪不能近身.不过,我还是不放心.人家只有把找到的一块马蹄铁给弄丢了,没有能钉在门上,才会这么做的,可从没听说,弄死了一只蜘蛛,也用这个办法消灾避祸.
  我坐了下来,浑身抖擞,取出烟斗,抽了口烟,因为屋子里到处象死一样寂静,所以寡妇绝不会知道我在抽烟.隔了好一会儿,我听到远处镇上的钟声响起.............,......敲了十一下.......然后又是一片寂静,......比原来还要静.不久,我听到一根树枝折断声,在那树丛的黑暗深处......哦,好像有什么东西在响动,我悄悄地坐着静听.我立刻听见隐隐约约从那边传来"咪......呜,咪......呜"的声音,多好啊!我也发出"咪—呜,咪—呜"声,尽量越轻越好.接着,我熄灭了蜡烛,爬出窗口,爬到了棚屋顶上,然后溜下草地,最后爬进树丛.千真万确,汤姆正等着我.       

 


  第 二 章

  我们沿着树丛中小道,踮着脚丫,朝寡妇园子尽头往回走,一路上弯下身子,免得树杈子划破脑袋.我们走过厨房时,我被树根绊了一跤,发出了响声.我们伏下不动.华珍小姐的那个大个儿的名叫杰姆的黑奴,正坐在厨房门口.我们看得清清楚楚,因为他身后有灯光.只见他站起身来,把颈子往前探,侧耳听了一会儿.接着说,"谁呀?"
  他又仔细听了一阵,然后踮起脚尖走过来,就在我们俩之间,我们几乎能摸到他的身子.就这样,几分钟.又几分钟过去了,一点儿响动也没有,可我们又都靠得那么近.这时候我脚脖子上有一处发痒,不过我没有用手抓.接着,我的耳朵又痒了起来,然后在我的背上,正在我两肩的当中,又痒起来了,如果再不抓便要死了.是啊,从这以后,我发现有好多回也是这样.你要是跟有身份的人在一起,或者参加一处葬礼,或是根本睡不着偏要睡,......不论在哪里,只要那里不容许你抓痒,那你就全身会有一万处发痒.不一会儿,杰姆在说:
  "喂......你史(是)谁啊?史(是)什么人?我约(要)是没听到什摸(么),才见鬼啦,好吧,我知道该怎么办.我要坐在这里,直到再听到响声才罢休."
  就这样,他坐在地上,就在我和汤姆的中间,他背贴着一棵树,两脚向前伸开,一条腿几乎碰到了我的一条腿.我的鼻子开始发痒,痒得我的眼泪都直淌下来,不过我仍然没有抓.接着,我鼻腔里也痒了起来,然后是鼻子底下.我真不知道怎样才能这么坐着一动也不动.这么长时间难受的罪啊,一直持续了有五六分钟之久,不过在感觉上觉得不止痒.接着,我估摸着,我浑身有十一处在发痒.再坚持一分钟以上,我可就要顶不住啦.不过,我还是咬咬牙,准备再顶一顶.就在这个时刻,杰姆呼吸变粗了,又过一会儿,他打起鼾来了.......这样,我就马上又舒坦起来了.
  汤姆呢,他给了我一个信号......嘴里发出一点声响,......我们就手脚并用爬过去.爬了几步远,汤姆在我耳边低声说,为了这样好玩儿,他要把杰姆捆绑在一棵树上.我说不行,这样会弄醒他,就会闹腾起来,人家就会发现我不在屋里.接着,汤姆说蜡烛不够用,他想溜进厨房去多带几根蜡烛.我劝他别这么干,因为说不定他会醒,会跟着来.可汤姆却要冒一冒险,我们溜了进去,取了四支蜡烛,汤姆在桌上留下了八分钱,算是蜡烛钱.然后,我们出了厨房.我想快点溜走,可是怎么也阻止不了汤姆,他非要手脚并用爬到杰姆那边,跟他开个玩笑.我只得等着,仿佛等了很久,周围一片寂静,使人感觉很孤单.
  汤姆一回来,我们就顺着园子的围墙,沿着小径向前走,一步步摸上了屋那头陡峭的小山顶.汤姆说他把杰姆的帽子从头上轻轻摘了下来,挂在他头顶上一根矮树杈上.杰姆身子虽然动了一下, 不过幸亏没醒.这件事过后,杰姆对人说,妖巫在他身上施了魔法,弄得他神志昏迷,然后骑着他飞往本州各地,然后把他降落到原来那棵树下,并且把他的帽子挂在枝杈上,好让他知道这到底是谁干的.到下一回,杰姆逢人便说,他被一直骑到了新奥尔良.再后来,每次对人家吹起来,地界越吹越广.最后,他告人说,他们骑在他身上走遍了全世界,搞得他几乎累得半死,他背上也长满了马鞍子磨破了的泡泡.杰姆对这一回的经过,高兴得忘乎所以,甚至为此不把别的黑奴放在眼里.各地的黑奴从遥远的地方来听杰姆讲述这种种经过,这样他成了这一方黑奴中间最受欢迎的人.外地来的黑奴嘴巴张得大大的,上上下下打量他,仿佛见到了珍奇宝贝.黑奴一般喜欢讲黑地里.灶火边,妖巫怎么样怎么样.不过,逢到有人这么讲,便显得自己在这方面无所不知,无所不通.杰姆总会插一句,说一声,"哼!你懂得什么'妖巫,?"那个黑奴就被封住嘴,不得不往后靠了.杰姆总是把那个五分钱的角子用细绳栓在颈子上,说这是那个妖巫亲手给他的一种法宝,还亲口告诉他这能治一切疑难病症,并且说只要念咒语可以随时把妖巫招请来,不过妖巫告诉他念的那些词,他可从未对人讲过.黑奴从四面八方来,还给杰姆带来他们所尽有的礼品.他们的目的只是为了能见识一下那个五分钱的钱币.不过他们不敢摸钱币一下,因为这是魔鬼的手摸过了的.作为一个仆人,杰姆这下子可糟了,因为他既然见过魔鬼,又被妖巫骑在身上过,他就很自然地神气起来,目中无人了.
  再说,汤姆和我到了小山头的边边上,我们往下面村子里一看,见到有好几处亮着灯光.也许那里有病人吧.我们头顶上的星星呢,闪烁着迷人的光亮.下面村子边上,流淌着那条大 河,差不多一英里宽.它是那么宽广,那么寂静,那么庄严.我们走下小山头,找到了乔.哈贝和朋.罗杰斯,还有四五个别的躲在废了的鞣皮工场里的男孩子,于是,我们就解开了一只小舟,顺水划了两英里半路,到了小山边上一处大岩石那儿,就上了岸.
  我们走进了一簇矮树丛,汤姆让我们每个人都宣了誓,表示永远保守秘密,随后领他们到小山上一处山洞前.那里正是矮树丛里树木长得最茂密的地方.我们就燃起了蜡烛,连走带爬地进去了,在里边两百码处,豁然开朗.汤姆在那一条条过道之间摸索了一阵子,就在一道石壁那里钻了下去,在那里,你根本无法看到有一处洞口.我们沿着一条狭窄的过道,闯进了一处类似一个房间的地方,那里湿漉漉的一片,很冷.我们就在那儿停了下来.汤姆说:
  "听着,我们这个强盗帮就在这里成立啦.我们给它起个名字,就叫它汤姆.索亚帮吧.凡是有心参加的,都得宣个誓,还要用血写下自己的名字."
  那是人人情愿的.汤姆拿出了一张上面写好了誓词的纸,他把誓词念了一遍.誓词说,每个哥儿们要忠于本帮,决不把本帮的秘密告诉任何一个人,如果有任何人伤害本帮任何一个哥儿们,本帮便会命令任何一个哥儿们去杀死那个人和他的家属,而且必须照办.在他把他们杀死,并在他们胸膛上用刀刺下本帮的标记也就是十字以前,一律不准吃东西,不准睡觉,凡非本帮的人,一概不准使用这个标志;凡使用了的,初犯者要被控告,再犯者要处死.对外泄露秘密的本帮成员,必须被割断喉管,并把尸体烧毁.把骨灰撒掉,名字从血书的名单上除掉.凡属本帮哥儿们,从此一律不许再提到他的名字,而且还要永远诅咒他.
  人人都说,这才是一个真正神圣的誓词.还问汤姆,这是不是用他自己的脑袋想出来的.他说,有些地方是的,不过其余的出自海盗书上与强盗书上的.还说,每个强盗帮,凡是有统帅的,都有誓词作记.
  有的人认为,凡泄露秘密的哥儿们的家属,理应处死.汤姆说这个意见很好,并用笔记了下来.接着,朋.罗杰斯说:
  "这儿的赫克.芬呢,他可没有家属啊......怎么处理他?"
  "啊,他不是还有个父亲么?"汤姆.索亚说.
  "是的,他是有个父亲.不过,在这些日子里,他连他父亲的人影都没见到过.他总是喝得醉醺醺的,在鞣皮工场的猪圈里过夜.在这一带,有两年多没见到他这个人影了."
  他们就进行了讨论,还准备把我排除在外,原因是每个哥儿们必须得有个家或是有个什么人可以杀掉才行啊.不然的话,对其他的人来说,那就有失公平了.是啊,谁都没有办法......一个个都哭丧着脸,呆呆地坐在那里,我急得快要哭出来了.可是突然之间,我想出了一个解决办法.我向大伙儿推出了华珍小姐......他们可以杀死她啊.于是大家都说:
  "对,她行,她行.成了,成了.赫克能加入了."
  接着,大伙儿用针尖从个自儿的手指头刺出血来,写了姓名,我也在纸上血书了我的名字.
  "那么",朋.罗杰斯说,"我们这个帮干些什么样的行当呢?"
  "除了抢劫和杀人,其它一概不干,"汤姆说.
  "可是我们要劫的是什么呢?房子......牲口......还是其它的"
  "胡说!偷牲口,以及诸如此类,那算什么强盗,那是偷盗," 汤姆说."我们可不是偷东西的,这算什么行为.我们是拦路行劫的英雄好汉,我们头戴面具在大路之上拦劫驿车和私家马车,我们杀人,夺去他们的表,劫去他们的钱财."
  "我们非得要杀人么?"
  "哦,那当然,杀是上策.有些老行家不是这么看,不过大半这么看.除非是那类,我们把他押到山洞里来,看守在这里,直到送来赎金才放."
  "赎金?那又是怎么一回事啊?"
  "我也不知道,不过人家就是这么干的,我看到书上也是这么写的.所以,我们自然也得这样."
  "我们连那是怎么一回事都还没有搞清楚,怎么个干法?"
  "别总说泄气话,反正我们得干.我不是跟你们说过了么,书上是这么写的.难道你们准备不按书上写的,另搞一套,把事情搞得一团糟?"
  "哦,说说很容易,汤姆.索亚.不过,要是我们不知道该怎样对付这些人,怎样勒索到赎金该怎么办?我要搞清楚的正是这个.你估摸着,那该是怎么个办法?"
  "啊,这我也不知.不过,也许是这样,一直到勒索到赎金,我们都要把他们看押好,这就是说,一直到他们死去为止."
  "嗯,这还多少象句话.这能解决问题,你为怎么不早说呢?我们要把他们看押住,直到死去拉倒......也会有不少麻烦事,把什么都吃得精光了,还老是想逃跑."
  "看你说的,朋.罗杰斯.有警卫看守着他们,怎样能溜得掉,只要胆敢迈一下脚,就干掉他们."
  "一个警卫.嗯,这倒好.那就得有人整夜值班,决不能瞌睡,就只是为了把他们看押好,我看这是个办法.为什么不能把他们一押到这里,就派人拿一根棍子,马上就勒索赎金?"
  "就只是因为书上没有这样写......这就是原由所在.朋.罗杰斯,我问你,你是愿意照规矩办事,还是不愿意?......问题恰恰出在这里.你以为,写书的人不知道什么才是正确的办法么?你自以为比他们更高明?才不呢!先生,不,我们还是要按照以往的规矩勒索赎金."
  "好吧,我不在意,不过,我还得说这是个笨主意.......再说,我们还杀儿童么?"
  "啊,朋.罗杰斯,我要是跟你一样的笨头笨脑,我不会随便乱说.杀妇女?不......这样的事,谁也从未在任何哪一本书上看到过.你把她们带到了山洞里.从头至尾,你总是对她们斯斯文文的;慢慢地,她们就喜欢上了你,再也不想回家啦."
  "好,要是这样的话,我赞成.不过,我看这行不通.不用多久,山洞里就会挤满妇女和其他待赎的人,没有强盗待的地方.不过,就这么干吧,我没有什么再好的办法了."
  小汤米.巴恩斯这会儿睡着了,当把他弄醒的时候,他吓坏了,哭闹了起来,说要回家,回到妈那里,再也不想当什么强盗了.
  大家就都嬉笑他,说他是个爱哭的娃娃.这样一来,把他可气坏了,说他要立刻走,把全部秘密说出去.不过,汤姆给了他五分钱,让他别作声.还说,我们全体回家,下星期再聚齐,然后抢劫它几个人,再杀它几个人.
  朋.罗杰斯说他除了星期天不能多出门.因此他主张下星期天再聚会,不过,其余的哥儿们都说星期天干这样的事是作孽的.这样,问题就决定下来了.他们赞成要再碰一次头,但要尽快定一个日子.接着,我们在选举汤姆.索亚为本帮的首领,乔.哈贝为副后就打道回府了.
  我爬上了窝棚,爬进我的窗户,那正是天蒙蒙亮的时刻,我的衣服上全是油渍和土.我实在困得要命.

 


  第 三 章


  第二天早晨,我为了衣服的事被华珍小姐从头到脚查看了一遍,不过寡妇呢,她倒没在意我,只是把我衣服上的油渍和土弄干净了,一脸难过的样子,这倒使我想到了,要是做得到的话,我也该学得规矩些才是.接下来,华珍小姐把我领到那间小房间里,还做了祷告.不过祷告没有什么灵验.她要我每天都做祷告,还说.其实,事实并非如此.我是试过了的.有一回,我搞到了一根钓鱼竿,可就是没有钓鱼钩,没有钓鱼钩,钓鱼竿对我有何用?我为了钓鱼钩,祷告了三四天,还没成功.有一天,我请求华珍小姐替我求一求.不过她说我是个傻瓜蛋.她可没有说原因,我自己也捉摸不出一个道道来.
  有一回,我在树林子后边坐着,对这件事想了好长时间.我自个儿盘算盘算,要是一做祷告,求什么就有什么,那么,教堂管事威恩为什么没能讨回他买猪肉丢失的钱?寡妇为什么就找不到被偷走的那只银器的鼻烟盒子呢?华珍小姐又为什么不能长得胖一点?不,我自言自语道,没有那么一回事.我对寡妇说了这个想法.她说,一个人,做了祷告,所能得到的是"精神方面的安慰".这对我可太难了.不过,她倒是把她的意思都对我讲了......说我务必帮助别人,该为了别人竭尽一切,并且随时随地照顾他们,却从不想到自己.据我推想这包括华珍小姐在内.我进了树林子里,在心里捉摸来,捉摸去,捉摸了好长一个时辰,可是我看不出这样捉摸有什么好处......除了对别的人有好处......这样,我想,我又何必为这个操心,还是随它去的好吧.有的时候,寡妇会把我叫去,把上帝讲得如何如何好,能让小孩子听了直流口水,可是到第二天,华珍小姐也许会抓住了你,把原先那一套打得粉碎.我便想,这样看来,会有两个上帝.要是能摊上寡妇说的那个上帝,就会有出头之日.不过,要是被华珍小姐的上帝管住了的话,那就什么都捞不到了.我想来想去,看来我还是归顺寡妇那个上帝划得来,只要他肯收我,尽管我不明白,他总能比他过去那么样的更好些,因为明摆着我那么笨,那么下贱,脾气又坏.
  至于我爸爸呢,我可有一年多没有见面了.这样,我也乐得能自在些,我根本不想再见到他.他不醉的时候,只要见我在一旁,总要揍我.而我呢,只要和他在一起,总是想溜进林子里去.记得有一回,人家说他在河里淹死了,说是在离镇上十几英里处.他们说,反正是他,没错.说淹死了的那个人,身材与它相似,穿着破旧的衣衫,头发长得出奇......这一切正是我爸爸的模样......因为泡在水里太久,不过从脸上就看不出来了,脸已模糊不清了.人家说,他身子漂在水面上.打捞上来后,就在河边埋葬了.不过我并没有能舒坦多久,因为我突然想到了一件事.我很清楚,淹死的人决不是脸朝天浮在水面上的,而是背朝天的.所以我就推断,那根本不是我的爸爸,而是一个穿了男人衣服的女子.这样,我就舒坦不起来了.我断定,尽管我不希望他会回来,但老头儿有一天总会出现,.
  如今有两个月光景,我们还是玩充当强盗那码子事儿.后来我退出不干了.哥儿们一个个全都退出了,我们并没有抢劫过什么人,也没有杀过什么人,不过是装成这模样罢了.我们总是 从林子里跳将出来,冲向那些赶猪的人和那些赶着车把蔬菜运往菜市场去的妇女.不过我们从未将她们扣押过.汤姆.索亚把那些猪称做"金条",把萝卜之类的东西,称做"珍宝".我们回到山洞里去,吹嘘我们的功绩,吹我们杀了多少人,吹给多少人留下了伤疤.不过我看不出这一套有什么用处.有一次,汤姆派一个哥儿们,手里举着一根正燃着的火棍,到镇上跑了一圈.他把这火棍叫做信号(是通知全帮的哥儿们集合的).接着,他说他获得了他派出去的密探所得的秘密情报:明天,有一大队西班牙商人和阿拉伯富翁要到"洼洞"那里宿夜,随身带有全装着珍珠宝贝的三百匹大象,八百匹骆驼和一千多头"驮骡",他们的警卫仅有二百个人.因此,用他的话来说,我们不妨来一个突击,把这伙子人杀掉,把财宝抢过来.他说,我们需把刀枪擦亮,做好一切准备.他连一辆装萝卜的车子都应付不了,却非得把刀枪全都擦洗好,准备一切.其实那些不过是薄木片和扫帚把的刀枪,你再擦,擦得累死累活也不会亮,这些东西也不会变样,不过是一堆灰烬罢了.我就不相信我们能打垮这么一大群西班牙人和阿拉伯人.不过,我倒想见识见识那些骆驼啊,大象啊之类的.因此,第二天,星期日,我也参加了伏击,一得到消息,我们就冲出林子,冲下小山.不过没见西班牙人和阿拉伯人,没见骆驼,没见大象.只是主日学校举行的一次野餐,而且只是一年级学生参加.我们把他们冲散了,把小孩子们冲进了洼地.不过东西呢,我们除了一些甜面包.果子酱,什么也没有捞到.朋.罗杰斯总算捞到了一只破烂的洋娃娃,乔.哈贝搞到了一本赞美诗集和一本小册子.接着,他们的老师赶来了,我们只能把一切全扔掉,赶快逃走.我可没有见到什么钻石,我也对汤姆.索亚这么说了.他说,反正那里一批批有的是,他还说,那儿还有阿拉伯人哩,还有大象哩,还有其它好多.我问,怎么我看不见啊?他说,只要我不是这么笨,并且读过一本叫做《堂.吉诃德》的书,我便不会这么问了,就会懂得了.他说这是魔法搞的.他说,那儿有成千上万的士兵,有大象,有珍珠宝贝,如此等等,不一而足.不过,我们还有敌人,他把他们叫做魔法师,是他们,把整个儿这一切摇身一变,变成了主日学校,就只是为了存心捣乱.我说,既然这样,我们该干的就是要去寻找那些魔法师了.汤姆.索亚说我真是个笨脑壳.
  "那怎么行,"他说,"一个魔法师能召唤出一大批精灵,你们还未来得及喊一声哎哟,就会被剁成肉酱.他们的身子象大树一样高,有一座教堂那么大.
  "啊,"我说,"要是能有一些精灵帮我们那就好了......那样我们就能把那帮子人打垮了吧?"
  "你怎么能寻到他们呢?"
  "我可不知道.人家又怎么能寻到他们的呢?"
  "啊,他们把一盏旧的白铁灯或者铁环那么一摸,精灵们便在一阵阵雷声隆隆.一道道电光闪闪.烟雾腾腾中,轰的一声涌现了.然后他们就会听命于你,按你说的去做.要他们把一座炮弹塔从塔基上拔起来,或是要他们用皮带抽打一个主日学校监督或是别的什么人的脑袋,在他们看来,那都是小事一桩."
  "谁让他们这么飞快赶来的呢?"
  "毫无疑问,当然是那个擦灯.擦铁环的人.他们得听从擦灯.擦铁环的人的指令,他怎么说,他们就得怎么干,要是他叫他们造一座四十五英里长的,用珍珠宝贝砌成的宫殿,里边装满口香糖,或是别的什么的,再搞来一位中国皇帝的公主嫁给你,那他们也得服从命令去办......并且非得在第二天太阳升起以前办好.还不只如此,......他们还得把这座宫殿在全国各地来回地搬来又搬去,只要你高兴到哪里就到哪里,你懂么?"
  我用了两三天功夫把这件事想过来.想过去.最后决定我不妨试它一试,看究竟有没有道理.我搞到了一盏破旧的白铁灯,还有一只铁环.我到了林子里去,擦啊,擦啊,擦得我浑身冒汗,累得活象个野人,为的是指望建造一座宫殿,然后把它出售.但却没有成功,始终不见精灵出现.我就判断,这全是汤姆.索亚在骗人,这不过是其中的一件罢了.我估摸,他还是相信阿拉伯啊,大象啊那一套,我可不那么想.这全是主日学校的那一套罢了.       

 


  第 四 章

  四五个月就这样过去了.如今已到了冬天.在这段时间里,我大多是去学校的.我已学会拼音,能读书,还能写一点儿,会背乘法表,背到六七三十五.可是我一辈子也背不下去了.反正我就不相信数学那一套.
  开始,我恨学校.不过,慢慢的,我变得能将就将就了.只要我厌倦得厉害,我就逃学.第二天挨的揍对我也有好处,能给我鼓鼓劲.这样,上学的日子越长,也就越加好过些.再说,我也渐渐习惯了寡妇的那一套,她们对我也不是那么挑剔了.住在家里,睡在床上,往往被管得够紧的.不过,冬季来临以前,我时常偷偷溜出去,有时候还睡在林子里,这在我真是一种休息.过去的那种生活我挺喜欢.不过,慢慢的,我真有点儿喜欢新的生活了.寡妇说我的长进,尽管慢些,可还稳当,表现不错.她说,她觉得我没有丢她的脸.
  一天早晨,我吃早饭时打翻了盐罐.我忽忙伸手抓一些盐,往左肩后面扔,免得遭到恶运.不过华珍小姐已经抢在我前面,为我划了十字.她说,"赫克尔贝里,把手拿开......你老是弄得一塌糊涂."寡妇为我说了几句好话.不过,我心里明白这也不能叫我消灾避祸.早饭以后,我心事重重地走出门来,不知道哪里会有灾祸临头,又不知道会是怎么样的灾祸.有些灾祸是有法子预防的,不过目前可不是这样一类的灾祸,因此我也只能听之任之,只是心里打颤,打算事事留心些.
  我走过了下面屋子的园子,爬上梯子,爬过高高的木栅栏.我看到了在地上寸把厚的积雪上有人留下的脚印.这些人是从采石场走过来的,在梯子旁边站了一会儿,随后绕过园子里的栅栏往前去了.这些人在这里站了一会儿但没有进来,这有点儿奇怪.我可摸不清是怎么回事,反正有点儿蹊跷.我打算顺着脚印走,我弯下身来先看一看脚印,开始并没有发现什么,可是再一看,才发现有一个左边鞋跟上用大钉钉的十字留下的印子,那本是为了防邪才钉上去的.
  我马上直起身子,一溜烟似地跑下山去.我往后边左右张望,不过没有发现什么人.一会儿就飞快地到了撒切尔法官家.
  "怎么啦,我的孩子,这么上气不接下气的,不是为了你的利息来的吧?"
  "不是的,先生,"我说,"是有该归我的利息么?"
  "哦,是的,昨晚上半年到期的有一百五十来块钱.对你来说,可是不小的一笔数目啊.最好还是让我连同你的六千块钱一起生息,你一取走,就会花掉."
  "不,先生,"我说,"我不打算花掉.这笔钱我不要......六千块钱也不要了.都给你......那六千块钱和所有的钱."
   他显得疑惑不解,仿佛摸不着头脑.他说:
  "怎么啦,你这是干什么,我的傻孩子."
  我说,"请你别再问我,你会收下这笔钱的,不是吗?"
  他说,"你真把我搞糊涂了,是出了什么事吧?"
  "请收下,"我说,"别问我......请相信我."
  他寻思了一会儿,接着说:
  "哦,哦,我想我懂得了.你是想要把你全部财产都卖给我,而不是给我.这是你的意思."
  接着,他在一张纸上写了些什么,立刻读了一下,然后说:
  "上面写着......你看是这样写的,'作为报酬,.也就是说,我从你那儿把这个买下来了,给你付过钱的.这儿是一块钱.你在上面签个字吧."
  我签完字便走开了.
  华珍小姐的黑奴杰姆从一只牛身上第四个胃里取出来有一个拳头大的毛球.他老是用这个来施展法术.照他说,这里面藏着一个精灵.这个精灵可是无所不知,无所不晓的.我就在一个晚上去找他,告诉他说,我爸又出现在这里了,因为我在雪地里发现了他的脚印.我要问清楚的是,他究竟想干些什么呢,还有他是否要在这里待下去?杰姆取出了毛球对着它口中念念有词,先往上一扔,再落到地上,落得稳稳当当,只滚了寸把远,杰姆又来了二回,然后又来了第三回,情况跟第一回一模一样.杰姆双膝趴地,耳朵凑着毛球,仔细地听着.可是无济于事.他说,它没有说话,还说,在不给它钱的时候就不肯说话.我对他说,我有一枚三角五分的旧伪币,又旧又光滑,已经不能用了,因为银币已经露出一小块铜,反正人家不肯要了.即使没有把铜露了出来,也不好使用,因为旧得象抹上一层油那样油腻腻 的,一眼就给看穿了.(我心里想着,法官给我的那块钱,我可不能说啊.)我说,虽然是个伪币,不过毛球也许肯收下,因为它认不出真假.杰姆把伪币闻了闻,咬了咬,擦了擦.他说,他会想个法子,好叫毛球以为这是真的银币.他说可以把一块爱尔兰土豆掰开,把伪币夹在正中间,这样放一个晚上,第二天早上,铜的影子就会消失,也不会油腻腻的了.镇上的人谁都会一眼就收下它,不只是毛球会收.是啊,我原本知道土豆有这个效果,可一下子把这个忘了.
  杰姆把那个三角五分的钱币放在毛球下边,又趴下身子来听,这回他说毛球开口了,他说,我要是想知道的话,它会告诉我的一生命运.我说,好啊.这样,就由毛球告诉了杰姆,再由杰姆告诉我.他说:
  "你的老爸爸还布(不)知道自己应该做些什么呢,他有时候说要走,有时候又说要留.最好的办法是听任老头儿哀(爱)怎么办就怎么办.他头上有着两个天使在转,一个白的,一个黑的.白的飞来指点他正道,一会儿黑的又飞来,直到把事情变糟为止.现在还不知道哪个会占上风,不过你不会有什么事,你一生中虽然会有些马(麻)烦,但也会有些灰(欢)乐.你有时候会遭受伤害,有时候会生病,不过到最后道会逢胸(凶)化吉.你这辈子会有两个姑娘追求你,一个皮肤白,一个皮肤黑.一个富,一个穷.你先娶的是穷的,后来娶富的.你忌水,要尽量离水远点,别冒轩(险).因为卦上说,你命里要杯(被)吊死."
  后来,当晚我点上蜡烛,走进我房间时,发现我爸爸正在那里,恰是他本人.

 


  第 五 章

  我把房门关上.一转身,就见到了他.我以前总是害怕他狠狠地打我.我心想,这回我也会害怕了.不过,我顷刻之间就知道错了.就是说,开头吓了一跳,真可说是连气都不敢喘,......他来得太突然了,不过一会儿以后,我知道我用不着担忧他什么.
  他差不多五十了,论样子也象这把年纪.头发长长的,乱糟糟,油腻腻,往下披.他一闪一闪的眼光,就象正躲在青藤后面,只见一片黑色,却不是灰色.他那长长的脏兮兮的胡子也这样.他脸上则尽是一片苍白.从脸上露出的部分看尽是白色,不是一般人的白色,是叫人见了十分难受的那种苍白,叫人浑身起鸡皮疙瘩的那种白色......象树蛙的那种白色,象鱼肚白那种白色.衣服呢......穿得破破烂烂,那就更不用说了.他一条腿搭在另一只膝盖上,那只脚上的靴子也张开了口,两只脚趾露了出来,他还把两只脚趾不时动两下子.他的帽子也被他扔在地下,是顶黑色的旧宽边帽子,帽顶陷了进去.
  我这边站着,看着他,他那边也同样看着我.他坐的那张椅子往后翘着点儿.我把蜡烛燃好.我发现窗户往上开着,这么说来,他是从窗子上爬进来的,他一直盯着我看.后来他说:
  "烫得笔直笔直的衣服......挺挺的.你以为自己像个大人物了,是吧?"
  "或许是,或许不是,"我说.
  "你还为自己辩解,"他说,"从我走了以后,你可越来越放肆了吧.我非得刹一刹你的威风,不然我和你就没个完.人家说,你还受了教育,能读会写.你以为你如今比你老子能了,因为他不会,是吧?我一样能揍你.谁教你干这些蠢事,嗯?......谁让你可以这么干的?
  "是寡妇,是她告诉我的."
  "嘿,那寡妇?......可又是谁告诉寡妇,让她有权插手原本与她不相干的事?"
  "没人."
  "好,让我来教训教训她,瞎管闲事,会有什么下场.听我说......不准你上学去了,听清楚了吧?一个小孩子,装得比他老子还神气,装得比他老子还逞强,教他这么干的人,我可要好好教训他才行.不准你去学校了,让我发现了可不饶你,听到了吗?你妈她生前和我一样.一家人在他们生前也都一样.可如今,你倒神气起来了,会读会写了.我可不是容得下这一套的人,听到了吧?......让我听听你是怎样读的."
  我拿起一本书来,从讲到华盛顿将军和独立战争的地方读起.他还没等我读完一分钟伸手把书抢过去,摔到了屋子那一边去.他说:
  "这么说,你还真行,你对我说的时候,我还有点半信半疑的,现在你听好,不准你再这么装腔作势,我不答应.你这不自量力的家伙,我会守候着的,要是我在学校附近逮住了你,会够你受的.首先,你要知道,一上学,你就会信教,我可从未见过象你这样的一个儿子."
  他拿起了一幅小小的上面画着几头牛和一个小孩子的画片.他说:
  "这是什么东西?"
  "这是人家发的,用来奖励我学习的."
  他一把撕碎了,说:
  "我会给你比这更厉害的......给你一根皮鞭子."
  他坐在那儿,气狠狠地发泄了一会儿,又说:
  "难道你还够不上一个香喷喷的花花公子么?一张床,不仅有床单被褥,还有一面镜子,地板上还铺着地毯,......可你的老子只能在旧皮革厂里和猪卧在一起,我可从未见过这样一个儿子.你的威风我一定得刹,要不我跟你没有完.哼,你那个神态可算得上派头十足啦......人家说,你发了财,啊......事情就是这样?"
  "人家撒谎......就是这么回事."
  "听我说......该怎么样跟我说话,这可得留点儿神.我什么都经历过了......所以不许你瞎讲.我回镇上两天了,我听到的都是你发了一笔财.我在下面河上的时候就听说了,我就是为了这个才赶回来的.明天你把钱给我......我要这笔钱."
  "我可没有什么钱."
  "撒谎.撒切尔法官为你收着,在你名下,我要这笔钱."
  "我跟你说了,我并没有什么钱.你不妨去找法官撒切尔,你也只能告诉你这些."
  "好吧,我会问清楚他的.我会叫他交出来的,不然的话,我也要他讲清楚理由.再说......你口袋里还有多少钱?我有用."
  "我仅有一块钱.我有我的用处......."
  "你有什么用处,这算不了什么,你给我把钱交出来."
  他把钱拿了去,咬一咬,看是真是假.接着说他要到镇上去,去买威士忌酒喝,说他几天没喝了.他爬出窗子,上了棚屋,一会儿又探进头来,骂我装出一幅派头,仿佛比他还要强.后来我估计他已经走了,可他又返了回来,又探进头来,要我对不许上学的事认真看待,还说,要是我还坚持上学,他会守候在那里,狠狠揍我一顿.第二天,他醉着到了撒切尔法官家里,对他一味胡搅蛮缠,想尽办法要他把钱交出来,可就是做不到,他就诅咒发誓, 要诉诸法律,逼他交出来.
  法官和寡妇告到了法院,要求判我和我爸解除父子关系,让他们中的一个充当我的监护人.不过这是一位新来的法官,不了解老头儿的情况,所以判决,不到万不得已,法院不能强行干预,拆散家庭.他不主张叫孩子离开父亲.这样一来,撒切尔法官和寡妇不得不了了之.
  老头儿为此高兴得不知道怎样才好.他说,要是我不能给他凑点钱,他便要狠狠地揍我,拧得我青一块紫一块的.我只好从撒切尔法官那里借了两块钱,爸爸拿去,喝得大醉,醉后到处胡闹,乱骂人,装疯卖傻,而且敲着一只白铁锅,传遍了全镇,直到深夜.人家因此将他关押了起来.第二天,把他带到法庭之上,又给判了关押一个星期.可是他呢,却说他挺高兴的,说他是能管住他儿子的主子,他一定会叫他好受的.
  老头儿放出来以后,新上任的法官说,他要让老头重新做人.他把老头儿领到了他自己的家里,让老头儿穿得干干净净.整整齐齐,早饭.中饭.晚饭,都跟他全家人一起吃,诚心诚意地对他.吃过晚饭,又跟老头儿讲戒酒之类的一套道理,讲得老头儿大骂自己在过去简直是个傻瓜,虚度了一生的光阴.可如今,他要翻开人生新的篇章,成为一个真正的人,谁也不会为了他感到羞愧,希望法官能帮他一把,别看不起他.法官说,听了他这些话,他要拥抱他.法官都哭了起来,他妻子也一样.我爸爸说,他过去是一个总是遭到人家误解的人.法官说,这话我信.老头儿说,一个落魄的人,需要的是关爱.法官说,这话说得对.这样,他们就又一次哭了起来.这一直持续到要睡觉的时刻,老头儿站起来,把手朝外一伸,一边说:
  "先生们,全体女士们,请看看这双手,请抓住它,握握它,它曾经是一只猪的爪子,可现在变了,如今它是一个正开始新生的人的手了.我宁愿去死,也决不走回头路.请记住这些话...... 别忘了是我说的.如今这已是一双干干净净的手了......别怕."
  这样,他们便一个一个地握手,握了个遍,都哭了.法官的太太,她还亲了这双手.接着,老头儿在一份保证书上签了字......画了押.法官说,这是有史以来最庄重最神圣的时刻,总之说了许多诸如此类的话.然后老头儿被送进一间陈设漂亮的房间,那是间空闲的房间.有一回,到了晚上酒瘾发了,他就爬到门廊顶上,抱住了一根柱子溜了下去,用他那件新的上衣换了一壶"四十杆子",然后又爬回房间,乘兴快活了一番.天快亮的时候,他又爬出来,这时已经烂醉如泥,顺着门廊滑下来,左胳膊两处摔断了,人家在太阳升起后发觉他时,他都快被冻死了.等他们要到那间客房去看一下究竟的时候,发现那里一片狼藉,简直无落脚之地.
  法官呢,他心里难受之极.他说,我捉摸着,或许只有使一枝枪才能把那个老头儿改造过来,他想不出有什么别的法子.

 


  第 六 章

  时过不久,老头儿伤好了,又到处转游了.接着,他上法庭控告法官撒切尔,要他把钱交出来.他为了我没有停止上学的事也来找过我.他把我逮住了几回,还揍了我.不过我还是上我的学.多半的时间能躲过他,或是抢到了他的前边.其实,我本来不怎么愿意上学.而且,我看,我如今上学,只是为了要气气我爸爸.法律诉讼是件极慢的事,仿佛永远也不存心开审.这样,为了免得挨鞭子,三天两头,我得为了他向法官借两三块钱.他拿到钱后就喝得烂醉,每次烂醉,便会使全镇不得安宁.每次在镇上胡闹,就每次给关押起来.这也合他的心意......这类把戏恰是他的拿手好戏.
  他在寡妇家那边转游得也太勤了些,她终于警告他,要是他还坚持这么做,她可要对他不客气了.啊,难道他不是个疯子了么?他扬言说,他要让大家知道,究竟谁才是赫克.芬的主子.因此,春天里有一天,他守候着,把我才逮住了,划着一只小艇,把我带到上游三英里左右的大河之上,然后过河到了伊利诺斯州的岸边.那里树林茂盛,无人居住,只有一间破木棚,那是在密林深处,不知道的人是无法找到那里的.
  他整天看住我,我找不到机会逃跑.我们就住在这个木棚里.他总是锁着木棚,一到晚上,就把钥匙放在他枕头下面.他有一枝枪,我想准是偷来的.我们钓鱼.打猎,我们的生活就是这样无聊.他经常把我锁在木棚里,到下游三英里外的店里去,渡口去,把钓的鱼.打的猎物换来威士忌,回转家来,喝个烂醉,快活一番,并且揍我一顿.至于寡妇,后来她知道了我的处境,她派了一个男人来,想要找我回去,可是我爸爸用枪把他赶走了.在这以后不久,我对这种生活也习惯了,甚至喜欢上了这样的生活,除了挨皮鞭子这当子事.
  生活过得懒洋洋的,快快活活的.整天无忧无虑地躺着.抽抽烟,钓钓鱼.没有书,不用学习.三个多月就这么过去了.我的衣服全都又破又脏.我看啊,我是不会喜欢在寡妇家那套生活的了.在那里,你得洗这洗那,你得就着盘子进食,你得梳洗好头发,每天得按时睡觉.起床,你得每天为了一本书惹出种种烦恼,还得无时无刻不遭到华珍小姐的刁难.我再也不愿意回去了,我原本再也不是一开口就骂人了,因为寡妇不喜欢听.可如今又复发了,因为我爸爸并不反对.总而言之,在树林子里,日子过得怪称心如意的.
  不过,我实在受不住,我爸爸操起木棍就打,打得太顺手了. 我全身都是伤痕累累.再说,他如今出去得太勤了,每次都把我锁在里边.有一回,他把我锁在里边,一锁就锁了三天.我太孤独了.我断定,他是淹死了,这样,我就永远无法出去了.这下子我可吓坏了,我下了决心,怎么也得想方设法逃离这里.我曾经好多次试着逃出这木棚,可就是不成功.木棚有一扇窗,大小能容一只狗进出.烟囱口子太小,我无法从烟囱里爬出去.橡木做的门又厚又结实.我爸爸出去的时候总是很小心,木棚里决不留下一把小刀之类的东西.我找遍了屋里,前前后后找了几百次.我把时间都用在这上面了,因为这是我唯一可以消磨时间的办法.不过这一回啊,我终于找到了一样东西,一把生满了锈的旧锯子,连把子也没有,是放在一根缘子和屋顶板中间的.上面擦了油后,就动手干了起来.有一块用来遮马的旧毯子,原钉在桌子后面木屋尽头的一根圆木上,是为了避免从木头缝缝里钻进风来用的,把蜡烛给吹灭了.我爬到桌子下边,把毯子掀了起来,动手锯起来,要把床底下那根大木头锯掉一段,大小能容得下我爬进爬出.不错,我为了它花费了很多时间,不过,正当我干得起劲时,我听到了林子里响起我爸爸的枪声,我紧收拾干净锯木屑,把毯子放下来,把锯子藏起来,不一会儿,爸爸就走了进来.
  爸爸今天气色不好......这是它的生性.他说他今天到了镇上去,一切都是颠三倒四的.他的律师说,他估摸着他会打赢这场官司,拿到这笔钱,只要人家能开庭审理.可就是人家有的是办法,使得案子一拖再拖,拖很长时间,更何况撒切尔法官懂得种种的门道.他还说,人家又说,眼下又生出了另外一个案子,要叫我跟他脱离父子关系,由寡妇做我的监护人.人家还说,推断起来,这一回啊,她准能赢.我吓得吃了一惊,因为我并不愿意回到寡妇家去受约束,还得象人家所说的那样守文明规矩.接着,老头子开腔骂起人来,也不论什么人,什么事,只要是他能想到的,一概都骂.接着,又一个不漏地重新咒骂一遍,好能确保没有任何一个人漏掉,包括连他们的姓名他都叫不上来的人.点到这些人的时候,就说那个叫什么的,然后一直骂下去.
  他说,他可要瞧一瞧,看寡妇怎样能把我弄到她手心里.他说他可要加强防范.他还说,要是他们想对我耍花招,他知道六七英里外有个能把我藏在那里的去处,人家怎么搜寻也搜不出来,无法寻到我,最后只好歇手.这又叫我心慌了起来.不过,这种感觉,一刹那间也就过去了.我估摸着,这个时刻到来的时候,我是等不到了.
  老头儿叫我到小艇上去搬他带回的东西.有一袋五十镑的玉米,一大块腌猪肉,有火药和四加仑一罐的威士忌酒,还有一本书,两张装火药时用的报纸,还有一些粗麻绳.我挑回了一批,回来在船头上坐着歇口气.我把一切在心里过了一遍,我思量着,我搬往林子里去时,把那杆枪和几根钓鱼竿一块带走.我估计,我也不会固定待在一处地方,肯定会周游各地到处漂泊,多半是在晚上走动,靠打猎.钓鱼维持生计,并且会走得很远很远,让寡妇老头永远也不会寻到我.我估摸,今晚上,爸爸会酩酊大醉,他一醉,我就锯断木头逃出去.我一心一意想着这一些,竟然忘掉了我已耽误了多少时间,后来爸爸吼了起来,骂我不是睡着了,就是淹死了.
  我把这些东西一样样搬进了木屋,这时候,天已擦黑.我做晚饭的时候,老头儿开始大口喝起来,酒兴一上来,便又痛饮起来,他在镇上就已经喝醉了,在脏水沟里躺了差不多一个晚上.他那个时刻啊,这模样可真够狼狈的,好像是个亚当再世呢,全身到处是泥巴.只要一发酒疯,连政府它也会攻击.在这一回,他说道:
  "还把它叫做政府哩!嘿,你看吧,你看它究竟是个什么样的东西.还有这样的法律哩,硬要把人家的儿子给抢走......可那是人家的亲生儿子啊,他花了多少心血,曾经为他担心受怕;又花了多少钱啊.就是这样一个人,硬是把儿子抚养成人,正准备开始干活挣钱了,能给他分担一下子,好叫他歇一口气了,可恰恰在这个时刻,法律出场了,朝他猛击过来.可人家还把它叫做政府哩!还不只是这样,法律还给撒切尔法官做挡箭牌,帮着他夺去我的财产.法律干的就是这么一档子好事.法律硬是从一个人手里夺走六千多块大洋,把他挤在这么一间破旧不堪的木屋里,叫他披上一件猪狗都不如的衣服,到处转悠.他们还管这叫做政府!在这样的政府统治下,一个人连权利都得不到保障.我有时候真有个狠心思激上心头,打算一跺脚,从此永远离开这个国家,永不回头.是啊,我就是这样对他们说的.我当了撒切尔的面这样对他说过了的.很多人听到了我说的话,能把我说过的话说明白.我说过,这个糟糕的国家,对我一分不值,决心一走了事,永远不回来.我说的就是原原本本的这些话.再说,看看这顶帽子......要是这还能算是帽子的话......帽顶往上耸起,帽檐往下垂,竟然垂到了我下巴颏儿下边,这还叫什么帽子,还不如说是把我的脑袋塞进了一节火炉烟囱里头.我说,你们看一看吧......象我这样的人戴上一顶这样的帽子......我可是本镇上大富翁之一啊,如果我的权利能收回的话.
  "哦,这可是个了不起的政府啊,可真了不起.请看吧.有一个自由的黑人,是从俄亥俄过来的.是个黑白混血儿,皮肤却跟一般白种人一样.身上穿的是洁白的衬衫,白得你从没有见识过.头戴一顶礼帽,亮得耀眼,镇上没有人比得上他身上这套衣服这么漂亮,还有一只金链条金表,还有头上镀了银的手杖......是本州最可尊敬的满头霜染的年老的大富翁.人们都猜想他是大学里一位教授,精通各国语言,无所不知,无所不晓,最糟糕的还不只如此而已.人家说,他在家乡的时候,还可以投票选举.这可把我搞糊涂了.这个国家会变成什么样的国家啊.到了选举的日子,要是我那天没有喝醉能走得到的话,我肯定会出去,会亲自去投票.可是啊,如果人家告诉我说,在这个国家里,有这样一个州,人家允许黑奴投票选举,那我就不去了.我说,我从此再也不会去投票了.这就是我亲口说过的话,大家都听到我说的话.哪怕国家烂透了......只要我还活着,我就不会去投票,你再看看那个黑奴那幅冷冰冰的神气,......嘿,要是在大路上,如果不是被我一肩膀把他推到一边去,他才不会生让我通过.我对人家说,凭什么不公开拍卖这个黑奴,给卖掉?......这就是我要问清楚的.你知道,人家是怎么说的?嗯,人家说,在他待在本州满六个月以前他就不能被你卖掉.啊哈......这是一桩何等的怪事,一个自由黑人在州里待了还不满六个月便不许拍卖,这样的政府还管它叫政府.当今的政府就是这样自称为政府,装出了一幅政府的模样,还自认为这就是一个政府了,可就是非得苦苦等满六个月,才能将一个游手好闲.鬼鬼祟祟.罪恶滔天.身穿白衬衫的自由黑人逮起来,并且......"
  爸爸就是这么滔滔不绝,可就是从没有想一想自己那两条软弱无力的老腿把他带到了何方,这样,他给腌猪肉的木桶一绊,就摔倒在地,闹了个倒栽葱,蹭伤了两条小腿.这样一来,话便说得越来越火辣辣的......主要是冲着黑奴和政府说的,间或也冲木桶骂上两句,就这样东拉西说,唠叨个没完.他在木屋里 一只脚跳着走了好一会儿.先是提起这条腿,靠那条腿跳,然后又换一条腿跳.先提起这条小腿,靠另条小腿跳,再轮换.终于到后来,他突然提起左脚对准木桶猛踢一脚.可这下子判断失误,因为用的这只靴子透了,露出了两只脚趾头的脚,只听得一声号叫,听得叫人毛骨悚然.叭哒一声,他跌落在地,只见他到处乱滚,一手抓往了脚趾头,一边张口痛骂起来,这一番的痛骂,能叫他过去任何一次的成绩都相形见绌.在后来,他自己也是这么说的.在老桑勃雪.哈根生平最得意的年代,他曾听到过哈根是那样骂人的,他自认为他这一回可是胜过了老哈根.不过,据我看,这或许有点儿夸大其词了.
  吃过晚饭,爸爸又拿起了酒杯子,说瓶里的威士忌够他喝醉两回,外加一次酒疯.这是他的口头禅了.我估计,大约一个钟头光景,他就会醉得不省人事,我便可以偷出那把钥匙,或是把木头锯断,借机溜走,两个办法总有一个能行得通.只见他喝啊,喝啊,一会儿就滚到了他那条毯子上.不过,这回儿我运气不佳.他并没有睡熟,而是睡得不安生.他不停地呻吟,好长时间不停气地翻身,并且到处乱翻.后来,我实在困得顶不住,连眼睛也睁不开来,不知不觉之间,便熟睡过去了,连蜡烛还点着哩.
  我不知道自己睡了多久,直到我听到一声怪叫就爬了起来.只见爸爸神色慌张,满屋子跳来跳去,一边狂叫有蛇.他一边说蛇爬上了腿,接着又跳又尖叫,又说一条蛇咬了腮帮子,......可是我没有看见任何东西.他在木屋里跳过来,奔过去,一边高叫"逮住它,逮住它.蛇在咬我的脖子啦."眼神如此狂乱的人,我可从来没有见过.一会儿,他实在是累垮了,倒下来喘个没完,接着又到处乱滚,滚得猛快,碰到什么就踢什么,双手在空中又是打又是抓,还尖声怪叫,说他给魔鬼 抓住了.后来,他累得不行,躺了一会儿直呻吟.再后来,他躺得更加安静了,听不见了声音.但听得远处林子里猫头鹰和狼的响动声,一片恐怖十分吓人.他在屋角里躺着.慢慢地又半坐起身子,脑袋歪向一边,仔细听着.他声音很低地说:
  "啪哒......啪哒......啪哒,这是死人;啪哒......啪哒......啪哒,是他们来捉我来啦,可是我不去......哦,他们来啦.别碰我......别碰!把手放开......手冰凉冰凉的;快放开我......哦,求你放了我这个孤零零的穷鬼吧!"
  但见他双手双脚伏在地下,边爬边哀求他们放开他.他用毯子将全身裹了起来,滚到了旧的橡木桌子下面,仍然苦苦求饶,接着又哭了起来.我还能听到那透过毯子传出的哭声.
  再后来,他滚了出来,站起身来,猛然一跳,神色狂乱.他看到了我,使追了过来,他一圈又一圈地追我,手里拿着一把折刀,一声声叫我是死亡天使,说要杀我,好叫我从此不再来索要他的命.我向他求饶,对他说,我只是赫克啊.不过,他苦笑了一下后,又吼了起来,咒骂了起来,又使劲追我.有一回,我突然一转身,想从他胳膊下面钻过去,却被他一把抓住了肩膀上的茄克.我想,这下子我可完了.可是我象闪电一般把茄克一下子脱了下来,总算保了小命.没有多久,他被累垮了,一边倒下,背靠着大门,一边还说,且让他休息一下,再来杀我.他把刀子放在他身下.一边说,他要睡一下,把精神恢复起来,然后他倒要看一看到底谁是谁.
  这样,他很快便打起了盹.我不久拖出了那张用柳条编底的旧椅子,尽量轻手轻脚爬上去,不发出声音,终于弄到了手枪.我用锯条捅了捅枪管,为了保证它是装了火药的,接下来,我把枪搁在萝卜桶上,瞄准了爸爸,自己躲在后边等候着他的动静.啊,时光缓慢地过着,又是多么静啊.

 


  第 七 章

  "快点起来,你怎么搞的!"
  我张开眼睛,四下里一望,想知道自己在什么地方.太阳已经升起老高,我是睡熟了.爸爸站在我面前,一脸不快的模样......而且病怏怏的.他说:
  "你摆弄这枝枪干什么来的?"
  我猜定他并不知道昨晚的所做所为,就说:
  "若有人想进来,我埋伏好了."
  "为什么不叫醒我?"
  "我叫过,可你不醒,推你也推不醒."
  "嗯,好吧.别一整天傻站在那儿,废话连篇.跟我一起出门去看看,看有没有鱼上钩,好弄来煮早饭,我一会儿就来."
  他打开了上了锁的门,我走了出去,到了河岸边.见到有些树枝之类的东西往下漂去,还有些树皮.这样,我就知道大河开始涨水了.我思量,倘若我是在那边镇上的话,如今该是我的大好时光了.六月涨水,我往常总会交好运.因为一开始涨水,总会漂来些大木料,还有零散的木筏子......有时候会有整打圆木捆绑在一起的,你只要拦住,便可以卖给木材场或者锯木厂.
  我往河岸上跑去,用眼睛留意着爸爸,同时留心看这回涨水能捞到些什么.啊,但见一只独木小舟,看起来是多么漂漂亮亮的,长十四.五英尺,浮在水上面活象一只鸭子.我从岸上像青蛙似的纵身一跃,身上的衣服还没全掉,便朝独木小舟游去.我料想,会有人躺在船身里,因为人家往往喜欢这么捉弄人,只等船划近,他就直起身来,把人家取笑一番.可是这一回倒不是这样,这是一只漂来的无主的独木小舟,肯定也会这样,我爬上了这独木小舟,划到了岸边.我心想,老头子一见到,肯定会高兴......这小舟能值十块大洋.不过我一上岸,并没有看见爸爸,我把小舟划到了一条类似溪沟的小河滨里,水面上挂满了藤萝和柳条,这时我心生一计.我断定,小舟我能藏好,不会出错,等我出逃时,不必钻树林子了,不妨漂到下游五十英里开外的地方,挑一个地方露营扎寨,免得靠双脚走,搞得累死累活的.
  这里离木屋并不远,我仿佛老觉得老头儿正在走回来,不过,我还是把独木小舟给隐藏了起来,接着,我走了出来,绕着一丛杨柳树,朝四下张望,见老头儿正沿着小径往下走来,正用他那枝枪瞄准了一只小鸟,如此说来,他什么也没有看见.
  他走过来的时候,我正使劲把拦河钩绳往上拉.他责怪了我几句干得太慢之类的话,不过我对他说,我掉进了河水里,这才把时间耽搁了.我知道,他会看到我湿漉漉的身子,还会问很多问题.我们从拦河钩上搞到了六条大鲶鱼,就回到了家里.
  早饭后,我们开始休息,准备睡一觉.我们两人全都很累.我可得估摸估摸,要是我能找到个什么法子,不让我爸爸和那个寡妇老缠着我不放,那就肯定比只靠运气要来得强,好叫我在他们还没有发现以前,就来个远走高飞.啊!暂时嘛,我还没有找到一个法子.这时,爸爸起身又喝了一罐水.他说:
  "下一回再看见有人蹑手蹑脚到这儿转游,一定把我推醒,听到了吧?此人来者不善,我要打死他.下一回,你可要叫醒我,听到了吧?"
  说完,就躺下睡了.......可他的话激起了我恰恰正急切需要的一个念头.此时此刻,我得拿定一个主意,好叫谁也不用想来跟踪我.
  差不多十二点钟,我们出了门,沿着河岸走动.河水流得好急.随着涨水,不少木料漂过去......有八根圆木紧紧捆绑在一起的.我们驾着小船追过去,拖到了岸边.接着,吃了中饭,除了爸爸,谁都会一整天守在那里,好多捞些东西,可他却恰恰相反.一回有八根圆木,他就满足了.他必须立刻搞到镇上去,把木头给卖了.这样,他就把我锁在了屋里,驾着小船,把木筏子拖走,时间是下午四点半钟.我断定,今晚上他是不会回来了.我安心等着,等到他终于动身了,便取出了我那把锯子,又对那个圆木干开了.在他划到河对面以前,我已经从洞中爬了出来,他和他那节木筏子在远处的河上早已变成了一个黑点子.
  我拿了那袋玉米粉,拿到了藏那只独木小舟的地方,拨开了藤萝枝丫,放到了小舟上.紧跟着把那块腌肉和威士忌酒瓶放到了小舟上.还拿走了所有的咖啡和糖和火药,我还带走了塞弹药的填料,还有水桶和水瓢,还有一只勺子和一只洋铁杯子,还有我那把锯子,三条毯子,还有平底锅和咖啡壶.我还带走了钓鱼竿.火柴等诸如此类的东西......除了那些一文不值的东西,一股脑儿都带走了,我把那个地方都给洗劫一空了,我需要一把斧子,不过没有多的了,只有柴堆那边唯一的一把了,我懂得为什么要把这个留下来.我找出了那杆枪.这样,我便准备好了一切.
  我从洞里爬出来,又拖出了这么多的东西,把地面磨得相当平缓.因此我就从外面用心收拾了一下,在那里撒些尘土,用锯屑把磨平的地方给盖住了.接下来把那段木头放回老地方,在木头下面垫上了两块石头,另外搬一块顶住那节木头,不让它掉下来......因为木头正是在这儿有点儿弯,并不贴着地面.你要是站在三五步外,不会知道这节木头是锯过了的.再说,这是在木屋的背后,没有人会注意这里.
  从这里到独木小舟那边,一路上尽长着青草,因此我并没有留下什么标记.我一路察看了一遍.我站在河岸上,望着外边的大河之上.一切平安无事.我便提枪走进了林子,走了有一箭之遥,想打几只鸟.却意外发现了一头野猪.家养的猪,从草原之上的农家一跑出来,不久便成了野猪.我一枪就把那头野猪打死了,往回拖到住处.
  我用斧头砸开了门......我又劈又砍,费了好大劲,才成功了.我把猪拖了进去,拖到了离桌子不远之处,一斧头砍进了猪的喉咙口,把它放在地上流血......我这里说的是地上,因为这确实是地面上.是块结实的地面,没有铺木板.好啊,下一步呢,我拿来了一只旧的烂麻袋,往里面放进了不少大的石头......能拖来多少就拖多少......就从猪身子旁边开始,拖着口袋,拖到门口,推进林子,拖到河边,扔进河里,口袋就沉了下去,不见踪影.你很容易看出,在这里,有什么东西在地面上给拖过了的.我但愿汤姆.索亚能在这里.我知道,他对这类玩意儿肯定会兴趣十足,想出些异想天开的点子来.在这方面,没有人比他能干.
  啊,最后呢,我拔下几根头发,在斧头上涂满了猪血,并且把头发沾在斧头的一边.接下来,我抱起那只猪来,把它贴我胸前的外衣上(这样血就不会滴下来),一直到我找到了屋外一处理想的地方,然后扔进了河里.正在这时,我又想到了另外一个念头.我便走回去,把那袋玉米和我那把锯子,从独木小舟里取了出来,送回了木屋.把袋子放回平时安放的原处,用锯子在口袋底下钻了一个小洞,因为那里没有刀子和叉子......爸爸烧菜总是只用他那把折叠刀.接下来,我背着那个袋子,走了一百码的光景,经过那片青草地,穿过屋外东手那个柳树林,到了那浅浅长满了芦苇的湖边,有六英里宽......你不妨说,一到季节,还会有野鸭出没.在湖面的另一头,有一个水沟或者一处溪沟,可以通出去几英里之外,不知道通向何处,不过并非是注入大河的.玉米粉一路漏出来,到浅湖边上,留下了小小的一道印子.爸爸的磨刀石也被我掉在那里了,人家一看,会以为是无意间掉下来的.然后我把玉米粉袋的口子缝好,不会再漏了,便把那个袋子和我那把锯子又放回了独木小舟上.
  这时,天完全黑了,所以我把小舟放到了河上,河岸上的几株柳树遮盖着小舟,我就在那儿等着月亮升起.我把独木舟紧系在一株柳树上.我吃了点东西,隔了一会儿,躺在舟上,抽了口烟,然后又有新的主意.我在心里盘算,人家会沿着玉米粉印,一直追到岸边,然后往河里寻找我.人家还会跟踪这玉米粉袋,一直追到湖面上,然后沿着从湖水流出的小溪,寻找那些杀死了我.抢劫了财物的强盗.人家往河里找的,无非只是我的尸体.不过多久,人家就会找得厌烦了,不会再为了我烦心.好吧,那时我就可以去自己想去的地方.杰克逊岛呢,对我来说,可真是个好去处.这座岛我很熟悉,没有别的人去过.这样,到了夜晚,我就可以划到镇上去,到处偷偷地遛遛,拣些我用得着的东西.杰克逊岛正好是这样的去处.
  我累坏了,不知不觉便睡着了.等到醒来,一时间不知道自己在哪.我直起身子,四下里一张望,可吓了一跳.不久就又回想起来了,河面上仿佛有好几英里宽.月亮通明,那往下漂过的圆木,我几乎能数得一清二楚.离河岸上百码外,一片漆黑,一片寂静.一切静得要死.看来不早了,你闻得出来,时间不早了.我是什么意思,你定知道......我不知道用什么样的词才能表达我的这个意思.
  我打了一个呵欠,伸了一下懒腰,刚准备解开绳子计划离开,听到远处河面上传来一点声响.我仔细听了一下,很快,我就听出来了.这是每逢寂静的夜晚,船桨在桨架子上发出的那种有节奏的沉闷的声音.我透过柳枝缝往外偷偷张望,可不......河对面正有一只敞篷平底船.我一时间还看不清上面有多少人.它正迎面驶来,等到几乎来到我面前的时候,才见到原来只有一个人.我心想,也许正是我爸爸吧,尽管我才不希望是他呢.他顺着水势,在我的下面停了桨,在水势平稳的地方划到岸边,他离我离得那么贴近,我要是把枪杆支出去,就能触着他的身子.啊,正是爸爸,一点没错......不是喝醉的样子,这从他划桨的那个模样可以看得出来.
  我毫未迟疑,马上就沿着岸荫底下,悄悄地.快速地朝下游划去.我划了两英里左右,然后朝河中央划了三分之一英里多一些,因为我很快便会划到渡口,人家可能会看到我,跟我打招呼.我插到了漂着的木头中间,然后在独木小舟上往下一躺,任凭它漂向哪.我躺在那里,舒舒服服地休息,抽了一口烟,望着远处的天空,只见晴空万里,在月光下,躺着望天,才发现天这么幽蓝,以前我对此一无所知.象这样的夜晚,河上的声音,老远老远都听得清!渡口那边的说话声,我也听到了.字也听得一清二楚.只听见有一个人在说,如今是快到日长夜短的时刻了,另一个人说,以他看,今晚上还不是夜短的时刻......接着他们笑了起来.这人把上面的话又说了一遍,两人又笑了起来.接下来,他叫醒了另外一个人,对他也说了一遍,并且也笑开了,可是这人并没有笑,只说了句气话,叫人家别惹他.第一个人说,他要把这话告诉他老婆......她肯定会同意他的看法.不过,要是和他当年说过的一些话相比,这就算不上什么了.我又听见一个人在说,快四点钟了,但愿等天亮,不必象等一星期那么久.在这以后,谈话声越来越远,再也听不见在说些什么了,不过还能依稀传来些声响,间或从远处传来一两声笑声.
  现今我已经划过了渡口.我直起身来,杰克逊岛出现在眼前,就在河下两英里半外,林木深深,耸立在大河中央.又大,既黑森森,又沉稳,活象一只没有点灯的大轮.岛上顶端的沙洲,连一点儿影子也看不清......如今都沉在水里了.
  我没有花费多大功夫就划到了那里.水流湍急,我的小舟箭一 般划过岛的顶端.接下来划到了静水地段,便在面对着伊利诺斯州的一边上了岸.我把小划子划到了我本来熟悉的一个深湾里去.我拨开柳树丛的枝才进去.等我把小划子栓好后,谁也无法看见它.
  我上了岸,坐在岛顶端一根圆木上,朝外一望,只见前边是大河,还有黑漆漆漂流着的木头,镇子就在三英里外,只见四五点光亮在闪闪烁烁.上游一英里路外,正有一排庞然大物似的木筏子漂过来,木排正中间点着一盏灯.我看着它慢慢悠悠地过来,快到跟前时听到一个男子在说,"喂,摇尾浆啊!往右边掉头!"听得一清二楚,仿佛这人就在身边.
  天上有些发黑了.我便钻进了林子,躺了下来,在吃早饭之前,先睡一觉吧.       

 

 


  第 八 章

  我一觉醒来后,太阳已经老高了.我看,该是过了九点钟了吧.我躺在草地上阴冷的树荫里,一边思量着,觉得身上已经歇过气来了,挺舒服的,挺满意的.透过树荫的两三处空隙,我能见到阳光.不过,这里到处是一棵棵巨大的古木,阴森森的一片.有些地方,阳光透过树叶,往下洒落,留下了地上到处斑斑点点亮色.每当这些地方亮色摇曳,便知道有微风吹拂过.枝头有几只松鼠,对着我态度友善地吱吱地叫着.
  我还是一直懒洋洋的,舒舒坦坦的,......还不想起身做早饭.是啊,我又打起了盹.却忽听得河上远处传来重重的"轰"的一声,我连忙站起身来,用手靠在耳边,仔细地倾听.没过多久,又是一声.我跳起身来,跑出去,通过树叶的空隙向外张望,但见远处大河之上一团黑烟......大约是在渡口附近.渡船上挤满 了人,正往下游漂来.到了这一刻,我大致知道是怎么一回事了."轰",我看到渡船一侧喷出白烟.要知道,他们这是在河上放炮,指望我的尸体能漂浮到水面上来.
  我已经饿极了,不过眼下可不是做早饭的时候,因为人家会望见烟的.我就坐下来,看着炮火冒的烟,听着炮声.大河河面有一两英里宽,每逢夏天早晨,一片绝色风光......这样,看着人家忙着找寻我的尸体,确实是一种乐趣.只要我能吃一口东西就好.嗯,我突然想起,人们往往把水银灌在面包圈里,然后让它们在水面上漂,因为它们往往对准了沉在下面的尸体漂过去,一到那里便停下来不动了.我自言自语:我得注意,看有没有漂到我身边来找我的面包.要是有的话,定要给点颜色让它们看看.我移到了岛上靠伊利诺斯州一边的方向,看一看我的运气究竟如何.正如我所料的那样,一只特大的面包漂了过来,我凭着一根长棍子,几乎把面包捞到手了,可是脚一滑,它就漂向远处了.当然,我是等在水流最靠近河岸的地方的......我是精通这个窍门的.可是不久又漂来了第二个,这一回啊,我可就小心谨慎啦.我拨开上面的塞子,把那一点儿水银给抖了出来,就咬了一口.这可是"面包房的面包"......是专供上等人吃的......可不是我们下等人吃的那种玉米面包.
  我在树荫深处找到了一个绝好的去处,在那边一根圆木上一坐,一边啃面包,一边看着那只渡船上的热闹,心里好不痛快.正是在这么一个时刻,一个念头涌上我的心头,我对我自己说,据我现时推断起来,那寡妇或是牧师,或是别的什么人,肯定做过祷告,但愿这块面包会把我找到.如今它漂过来了,结果是如此这般,这已是毫无怀疑的余地.其中一定隐藏着什么,这就是说,当寡妇或者牧师那样的人做了祷告,结果却在我身上失去灵验,这其中必定有些什么奥妙,我推想,可能必须是对路的人才灵,不然就不灵吧.
  我点起了烟斗,痛痛快快抽了一口,一边继续看望着.渡船还在顺着水势漂流.我心想,渡船漂过来的时候,我肯定能有机会看清楚,究竟是哪些人在船上,因为渡船必定会逼近面包沉下的地方漂过去,渡船顺水朝着我这个方向开来的时候,我熄灭了烟斗,走到了我捞那块面包的地方,伏在一小片开阔地段的岸边一根木头后面.透过木头丫叉的空隙,我能偷看到外面的一切.
  渡船慢慢靠了过来,离岸很近了,只要架上一块跳板,便能跨到岸上来.几乎全部人马都在船上:爸爸,法官撒切尔,贝茜.撒切尔,乔.哈贝,还有汤姆.索亚和他的老阿姨葆莉,还有西特和玛丽等其他许多人.一个个都在谈论暗杀的事,不过船长插话说:
  "注意了,注意了,在这儿水流离岸很近,他说不定给冲上了岸,在水边矮树丛里给绊住了,至少是我但愿如此."
  我可不愿这样哩.大伙儿便挤在一起,在船栏杆上探出身子,跟我几乎面对面.他们一齐静静地站在那里,小心翼翼地察看着,我能把他们看得清清楚楚,不过他们就是看不见我,接着,船长忽然高声喊:
  "闪开"!一声炮响,几乎就是在我面前放的,我耳朵差点都聋了,炮灰都快弄瞎了我的眼睛.我心想,这下子我可完了.要是他们放进几颗子弹的话,我看他们这回准定能找到他们要寻找的那具尸体.啊,万幸万幸,我没有受伤.渡船继续往上面划去,消失在岛岬那边.我时不时听到老远传来的炮声,一个钟点以后,就听不见了.这个岛有四英里长,我断定,他们已到了岛尾,便决定不找了.可事实上他们还是继续找了一会儿的.他们从岛尾往回转,开足马力,沿着密苏里州一侧的水道找,一路上偶然也发了炮.我跑到了岛的那一侧去,看看动静.到了岛尖,他们便停止了炮轰,停靠在密苏里州一边的岸边,无望地回到镇上各人的家里去.
  到了这一刻,我知道一切平安无事了.不会再有人来寻找我了.我取出来独木小舟上的物品,在密林深处搭了个小巧的营帐.我利用毯子搭了个帐篷,把物品堆放在下面免得遭雨淋.我钓到了一条大鲶鱼,用我的那把锯子剖开了肚子.日落之后,我烧起了篝火,吃了晚饭,接着放了鱼竿,好钓条鱼以备明天的早餐.
  天黑了,我在营帐边上抽着烟,心里一阵得意.慢慢地又感到有点儿寂寞.我便在河岸上坐下,倾听着流水冲刷河岸声,数数天上的星星,数数从上游漂下来的木头和木筏子,随后去睡觉.在孤独的时候,这是消磨时间最好的办法了,你不会永远这样的,你很快就会习惯的.
  就这样,四天四夜过去了.一切都没有变......一切照旧.不过,到第二天,我走遍了全岛,好好巡视了一番.我是一岛之主啦,这岛上一切全属于我啦,不妨这么个说法嘛.我得通晓这儿所有的一切啊.不过,话句实话,主要原因还是为了消磨时光,我找到了好多好多的杨莓,熟了的,最好的杨莓,还有青的野萄萄和青的草莓,还有青的黑莓子.这些很快都会熟透.以我看,你随手可以摘来吃.
  就这样,我在密林深处瞎转,到后来,我估计已经很靠近岛尾了.我随身带了枪,不过我没有打过什么东西,只为了防身之用,只是想到了离家不远处,打几只野味.就在这时,我差点儿踩在一条大蛇身上.这时,这条蛇正在青草和花丛中游过.我凑过去,满心想给它一枪.我正在朝前飞跑,突然之间,我踩到一堆篝火的灰茬,并且还在冒烟呢.
  我的这颗心啊,简直要跳出来啦.我立刻停下来察看,马上把枪上的扳机拉下来,踮着脚尖,偷偷往回溜,溜得越快越好.间或有时候放下脚步,在浓密的一簇簇树叶丛中停个片刻,仔细倾听一下,可是我喘气喘得这么厉害,别的声音很难听到.一路上,情况便是如此.要是看见一根枯树桩,我便当作是一个人.要是我踩在了一根树枝上面,踩断了,我便觉得好象有人把我的喘气砍成了两半,我只剩下半口气,而且是短的那半口气.
  回到宿营地,我不再是那么急躁了,我原来的那股勇气已经消耗殆尽了.不过,我自言自语道,没时间耽搁了.我就把自己的什物再一次放到了独木小舟上,免得被人发现.我把篝火熄灭了,把灰烬往四周拨开,好叫人家见了以为是灰烬是一年前留下的.接下来,我便爬上了一棵树.
  以我估算,我爬在树上有两个钟头.不过我什么也没有发现,什么也没有听见......我只是自以为自己听见了.看见了上千桩事情.啊,我不可能老待在那里啊.我终于爬了下来,不过我还是待在密密的林子里,自始至终提着神.我能吃到的只有草莓,还是早饭吃剩下的.
  到了晚上,我可饿慌了.所以天黑尽的时候,我趁着月亮还没有上来,便划离岸边,找到了伊利诺斯州岸边......大致有那么三分之一英里一段路.我上了岸,进了林子里,烧好了晚饭,正当我快要下定决心,准备在整个儿一晚上都待在那边时,突然听到了一声声"得......得......得......得",我便对自个儿说,是马来了.接下来听到了人的说话声.我赶紧把所有的东西都重新搬上了独木小舟,悄悄穿过林子,看一看究竟.走不多远,就听到一个男子在说:
  "要是我们能找到一个合适的地方,最好在这儿宿营,马累坏了.让我们四下里察看一下."
  我没有耽搁,便急忙抄起桨来,划了出去.我把独木小舟栓在老地方,思量着不妨在小舟里睡上一下.
  我没有睡多久.不知怎么搞的,一想心事,便睡不着.每一回醒来,总仿佛觉得我的脖子被人掐住了.这样,睡意也没用了.后来,我对我自个儿说,我这样不行,我必须弄明白究竟是谁跟我一起在这岛上.不弄清楚,一切都会变得很糟.这样一想,我马上心里好受些.
  这样,我便抄起桨来,先把小舟荡开,离岸一两步,再让小舟顺着黑影往下淌.月色皎洁,除了阴影处以外,亮得如同白昼.我小心翼翼地漂了近两个钟头.满世界如同一块岩石那般寂静,睡得好香,不知不觉间快到岛尾了.微微地袭来一阵凉风,这等于说,天快亮了.我掉转船头,划到了岸边.然后带上枪,溜进了林子的边边上.我在那里的一棵圆木上坐下,透过一簇簇树叶,向外张望.但见月亮下沉,大河被一片黑暗遮住了.不过没过多久,只见树梢头出现了一抹鱼肚白,便知白天正要来临.我就带了枪,溜向发现了篝火灰烬的方向,每隔一两分钟便停下脚步,倾听一番.可是,该我运气不佳,仿佛总是找不到那块地方.不过,隔了一会儿,千真万确的,通过远处的树丛,火光一闪,我发现有一个人正躺着.我极为小心地慢慢地朝这个方向走去.慢慢逼近了,看清楚了.啊,在地上有一个人正躺着.这下子啊,真是吓得我簌簌打颤.他毯子蒙住了大半个脑袋,脑袋凑近篝火.我坐在一簇矮树丛里,离他大约五六英尺左右,眼睛盯住了他.现在天色灰白了.一会儿,他打了个呵欠,伸了伸懒腰,掀掉了毯子,啊,原来是华珍小姐的杰姆啊!见了他,我心里十分高兴.我说:
  "哈,杰姆!"我跳了出去.
  他一下子蹦了起来,一脸惊恐地瞪着我.接着他双膝下跪,双手合拢地说:
  "别害我,别害我!我从尾(未)伤害过一个精灵.我一相(向)喜欢死人,尽力为他们做毫(好)事.你回到河里去吧,那是属于你的地方,老杰姆怕被伤害,他可一直都是你的好朋友."
  不用花多少功夫,我便叫他弄明白了真相,我见到了他又多么高兴.我对他说,如今我便不寂寞了.我并不怕他会把我现今的情况告诉别人.我一直说着话,可他只是坐在那里,看着我,不吭一声.我就说:
   "大白天了.来,吃早饭.把你的篝火生好."
  "生篝火有什么用处?草莓这类东西也用得着煮?不过你有一枝枪,不是么?为什么我们不能弄不到比草莓更好的东西."
  "草莓一类的东西,"我说,"难道你只靠这些维持生命?"
  "没有可吃的啊"他说.
  "啊,杰姆,你在岛上有多久了?"
  "就在你遇害的那一天,我道(到)岛上的."
  "啊,来了这么久?"
  "是的,事情确实如此."
  "除了这些玩意儿,别的你没有吃过吗?"
  "没有......没有碧(别)的."
  "哦,你一定是饿坏了,是吧?"
  "我看我能吞下一匹骂(马).你什么时候来这儿的?"
  "从我被杀害的那一个晚上起."
  "啊,你靠什么生计呢?不过你有枝枪.哦,是啊,你有枝枪.这就毫(好).你现在可以打点什摸(么)来,我来生火."
  我们就一起到了系船的地方.他在树林里开阔地段草地上生起火,我拿出了玉米.咸肉.咖啡和咖啡壶.平底锅,还有糖和洋铁皮杯子.这些把这个黑奴可惊奇坏了,因为他认为这些都是魔法变出来的.我又钓到了一条大鲶鱼,由杰姆用他的小刀收拾干净,放在锅里煮了.
  准备好了早饭,我们便坐在草地上吃喝开了热菜热汤.杰姆使劲往肚子里装,因为他实在饿极了.等到肚子一装满,我们便懒洋洋躺了下来.
  后来杰姆说:
  "不过听我说,赫克,若不是你被杀死的话,那在小见(间)里被杀的又是谁呢?"
  我就把全部经过一古脑儿讲给他听."这干得漂亮."他说,"就是汤姆.索亚也不会干得比你这下子更漂亮的了."我就说:
   "杰姆,你是如何到这儿来的呢?你是怎么来这的?"
  他神色立马紧张起来,有一阵子一声也不响.接下来他说:
  "也许不说会更好些."
  "为什么,杰姆?"
  "嗯,是有缘由的.不过嘛,要是我实实在在告诉你的话,赫克,你会去靠(告)发我,是吧?"
  "杰姆,我要是告发的话,我就是个混蛋王八蛋."
  "好,我相信你,赫克......我是逃出来的"
  "杰姆!"
  "记住,你说过你不会告发的......你说过的,赫克."
  "好啊,我是说过.我说过决不告发,我说了话算数.说老实话,我决不反悔.当然喽,人家准会骂我是一个下贱的废奴主义者,这个我会被看不起......不过这算不了什么.我不会告发.反正我也决不会再回那儿去了.所以说,把事情原本全说一遍吧."
  "好吧,听我说,事情是这样的.老小姐......就是说华珍小姐......她从早到晚挑剔我......对我可狠啦......不过她总说,她不会把我卖到下游奥尔良那里去.不过我注意到,最近有一个黑奴贩子,老在这里走动,我就安不下心.啊,一天晚上,我偷偷到了门口,那是很晚了,门没有关京(紧),我听到老小姐告诉寡斧(妇),说她要把我卖到下游奥尔良去.说她本不情愿卖,不过卖了能得八百块大羊(洋),这么泰(大)的一个数目,她就动心了.寡妇劝她别这羊(样)干,不过我没有等她们说完,就匆忙溜之大吉了,就这样.
  "我溜出家门,急忙朝山下赶去,本想到镇上一处地方偷一只小船.不过,那里人很多.我就多(躲)在岸边那个箍桶匠的破屋子里,等人家全部走开.我等了镇镇(整整)一个晚上,总是有人.直到早上五点钟,小船一条条开过.到八九点钟,每一条经过那里的小船都说,你爸爸怎样来到镇上,又怎样说你是如何被杀害的.一些船上挤满了太太和老爷们,去到现场看个究竟.有的停告(靠)在岸边,歇一歇再开.所以,我从他们的交谈里得知了你被杀害的全部情况.对你的死,我十分难过,不过现在不难过了,赫克.
  "我在刨花堆里躺了一整天,也真饿了.不过我心里并不黑(害)怕.因为我知道,老小姐和寡妇一吃过早饭便去参加野营会,要去一正(整)天.她们知道我白天要喂养生(牲)口,因此她们在那里不会看到我.不到天黑,她们不会想到找我.说到其他的佣人,他们见这样,因为一看到老家伙不在家,他们便早已逍遥直(自)在去了.
  "是啊,天一黑,我便溜出门去,顺着大河走了两英里多路,到了没有人家住的地方.我该怎么办,我对此下钉(定)了决心.要知道,如果我只靠两只甲(脚)走路,狗会追中(踪)而来.要是我偷船渡过去,人家会发现丢了自己家的船,并且会知道在对面什么地方上岸,这样也会跟踪而来.所以我对自个儿说,最好是找一个木筏子,谁也不会发现.
  "不一会工夫,我看到岛尖透出一道亮广(光),我就跳下水去,抓住一根木头往前推,泅到了河中心,游到漂着的木头堆里,把脑袋放得低低的,逆着水势游,一直等到有木筏子过来.接着,我游到木筏的后梢,紧紧爪(抓)住不放.这时候,天上起了乌云,一时间天变得很黑.我便乘机爬了上去,躺在木板子上.木筏上的人都聚在木筏中间有盏灯的地方.大河帐(涨)潮了,水势特别猛.我估摸着,早上四点的时候,我可以下去三十五英里了.到那时候,天亮之前,我会溜下河里,游到岸上,舟(钻)进伊利诺斯州那一边的树林子里去.
  "不过,我运气不好,快到岛尖了,一个人却提着登(灯)走过来,看情势不妙,不能再耽搁了,便溜下了水,朝岛尖游去.我原以为,哪里都能尚(上)得去,可是不行......河岸太陡.快到岛尾,我才找到一个好地方.我钻进了树林子,心想木筏上灯移来移去的,我再也不跟木筏子打交道啦.我把我的烟斗和一块板烟,还有一盒火柴都塞在我的帽子里,才算没有弄潮,所以我的日子依然快活."
  "这样说来,你这些日子当然没有吃到肉和面包,是吧?你为什么不捉几只甲鱼吃呢?"
  "你有办法吗?总不能偷偷地过去,只用手就能捉住吧?又怎么能光靠一块石子就打中它?在黑夜里怎么个干法?再说,在大百(白)天,我死也不会在岸边暴路(露)我自己呢."
  "好,有道理.当然,自始至终,你得躲在树林子里.你听到了他们的炮声么?"
  "哦,听到的,我知道这是冲着你的.我看见他们从这里过去的,我透过矮树重(丛),看到了他们."
  有几只小鸟飞来,一次飞一两码,便歇一歇.杰姆说,这是一种快要下雨预兆,.他说,小鸡这样飞的话,就是一种预兆,因此他推断,小鸟这样飞,便也是一种预兆.我想捉它几只,可杰姆反对.他说,这样会死人.他说,他父亲当年病得很重,有人捉了一只小鸟,他年老的妈妈说,父亲会死去,后来果真如此.
  杰姆还说,凡是你准备在中午煮来吃的,你不能去数一数它究竟是多少,不然不会有好下场.太阳落山以后,抖桌布也会遭恶运.他还说,一个人如果养了一窝蜂群,一旦这人死了,必须在第二天日出以前把死讯让蜂群知晓,要不然,蜂群会病歪歪的,不采蜜了,死去了.杰姆说,蜂子不会蜇傻瓜蛋,不过我不相信,因为我自己便试过好几次,可就是不蜇我.
  这类事,我以前也听说过类似的内容,不过听得不多.杰姆可懂得所有形形色色的预兆,他说他几乎什么都通晓.我说,据我看,预兆仿佛全是坏的,因此我问他,究竟有没有好运的预兆.他说:
  "这样的并不多......再说,好的兆头对人一无所用.你想知道什么时候交好运,这有什么用处?难道是为了自个儿能笃(躲)过它?"他还说,"要是胳膊上是毛茸茸的,或者胸后是毛茸茸的,这是发财的预兆.啊,这样的预兆还有点儿用,因为那是好旧(久)以后才会有的事.要知道,说不定你非得先穷个很长的时间,要不是你已经知道终究有那么一天你会发才(财),说不定你会灰心伤(丧)气到想死的地步."
  "那你有没有毛茸茸的胳膊和毛茸茸的胸口,杰姆?"
  "还用问?你难道没有看见我有吗?"
  "那么,你到底发财了吗?"
  "没有.不过,我是发过了的.下一回,也会这样.有一回,我有十六块大羊(洋).我用来做了投鸡(机)生意,结果全裴(赔)光了."
  "你搞的什么生意,杰姆?"
  "嗯,先是股票."
  "什么样的股票?"
  "啊,活股票.牲口嘛,你知道么?我用十块大洋买了一头奶牛.以后我可不会在牲口上冒险化(花)钱啦.那头牛一到了我手上就私(死)掉啦."
   "那你失去了十块钱?"
  "不,我没有全赔光.我还剩十分之一.我把牛皮和牛邮(油)给卖了二块一毛钱."
  "你剩下了六块一毛钱.以后呢?"
  "搞了的.你知道波拉狄休老先生家那个一条推(腿)的黑奴么?他开帐了一家银行.他说,谁存进一块钱,一年后可得四块钱.啊,黑奴全去存了.不过他们全没有多少钱,我是唯一钱多的一个.我坚持要比四块钱更皋(高)一些的利息.我说,要不的话,我自己另开一家银行.急(结)果呢,那个黑奴自然要阻止我加入他们这一行,因为据他说,没有那么多的生意供两家银行干的.他说,我可以存进六块钱,年低(底)他给我四十二块大羊(洋).
  "我听了他的话.我还寻思着不妨把四十二块大羊(洋)麻(马)上就投出去,好叫钱活起来,有一个黑奴叫鲍勃的,他买了一条平底蚕(船).他的主人对这事并不知道.我从他手里买了这调(条)蚕(船),告诉他,到年底,那四十二块大羊(洋)就是他的了.不过,就在那一个晚上,有人偷走了船.第二天,一条腿的黑奴说,他的那家银行破产了.所以我们两个人谁也没有拿到钱."
  "那么,那一毛钱你又是怎么用的呢,杰姆?"
  "啊,我正打算化(花)掉它呢.可是我做了一个梦,梦里让我该把钱给一个黑奴他叫巴鲁姆......人家为了叫起来方便,叫他巴鲁姆的驴.他可是个傻瓜脑袋,你知道吧.不过,人家说 这人生来没好云(运)气.我呢,我自己知道生来云(运)气不好.梦里交代我,该把一毛钱叫巴鲁姆去投放,他会为我赚来好多钱的.好吧,巴鲁姆收下了这个钱.有一回,他上教堂去,听到传教士说,谁把钱给穷人,就是把钱给了上帝,他会盈里(利)一百倍.巴鲁姆就把那一毛钱给了穷人,等着看急(结)果会怎么样."
  "后来怎么样了,杰姆?"
  "什么急(结)果也没有.我想尽办法也没拿回这钱,巴鲁姆也一样.以后我要是看不到底(抵)押品,决不会放钱出去.传教士说什么可以盈里(利)一百倍!要是我能把一毛钱收回来,我就认为是公平交叶(易),云(运)气不错啦."
  "啊,反正那也无关紧要,杰姆,反正你早晚还是会发财的吗,杰姆."
  "是啊,......我现在已经发才(财)了.你想吧.我自己这个人,归我自个儿所有.我值八百块大羊(洋).我但愿有这笔钱再笃(多)呢,我也不想要了."       

 

 


  第 九 章

  我打算到岛中央一处地方去细看一下,我在最初察看的时候就发现了的.我们便出发了,一会儿就到了那里,因为这个岛不过五英里长.四分之一英里宽嘛.
  这个地方有个相当长相当陡的小山头,或者说山脊.有四十英尺高.我们爬到了顶上也够累人的.两侧的坡坡也挺陡,矮树丛生得密密的.我们绕着这处地方爬上爬下,终于发现了山岩里有一个对着伊利诺斯州那一边的大山洞,快到山顶了.山洞里边有两三间房子并起来那么大,里面容得下杰姆直立走动.里边也很阴凉.杰姆主张把我们的什物马上搬进去.不过我说,我 们可不愿意因此一天到晚爬上爬下的.
  杰姆说,要是我们能划到一个很好的去处把独木小舟给藏起来,然后把什物放在山洞里,一旦有人到岛上来,我们就能直奔那边.除非带狗来,人家永远也别想能找到我们.再说,他说过,小鸟已经告诉我们,天快下雨了,难道我乐意东西给雨淋湿么?
  这样,我们便往回走,找到了独木小舟,划到了和山洞成一条直线的地方,把什物都放进了山洞.等下来,在附近找到了一个地方,在浓密的柳树丛下把划子藏好.我们从钓鱼竿上取下了几条鱼,再把鱼竿放好,就开始烧中饭.
  洞口很宽,连一只大木桶都能滚进去,洞口的一边朝外有突起的小块地方,地势平坦,倒是生火的好地方,我们便在那里生火做饭.
  我们在里边铺了些毯子作为地毯,就在那里吃饭.我们把其他的东西放在山洞最里边顺手拿得到的地方.没过多久,天黑下来了,只见雷电交加,可见鸟儿的话有道理.接下来,下起了雨.好一场倾盆大雨!风又吹得如此猛烈,可是我从没有见到过的.夏天的雷阵雨,就是这样的阵势.天变得一片漆黑,洞外又青又黑,十分好看.雨又急又密,斜打过去,不远处的树木看起来朦朦胧胧,仿佛给一张张蜘蛛网罩住了.突然吹来一阵狂风,吹弯了树木,又把树叶背面苍白的一片片朝天翻起.接着又刮起了一阵狂风,但见树枝猛烈摇撼,简直象发了狂似的.说话间,正当最青最黑的一刹那......唰!天亮得刺眼,只见千万棵树梢在暴风雨中翻滚,和平常不同,连几百码以外也看得一清二楚.再一刹那间,又是一片漆黑.这时只听得雷声猛烈地炸开,轰隆隆.呼噜噜从天上滚下来,滚向地下,活象一批空荡荡的木桶在楼梯上往下滚,而且楼梯又长,知道吧,就连滚带跳,喜不胜喜.
  "杰姆,这有多痛快!"我说,"除了这我哪也不想去了,再递给我一块鱼,再要一点儿热的玉米饼."
  "啊,要不是杰姆,你就不会待在这里,你就会留在林子里,没有饭吃,还会被淋得半死,真是这样,乖乖.鸡知道天什么时候下雨,鸟也一样,伙计."
  大河在八天到十天中不停地涨水,河岸也被淹没.岛上低洼处水深四五英尺,还有伊利诺斯州河边低地上也是如此.在这一边,河面有好几英里路宽.不过在伊利诺斯州那一边,还是原来那样的距离......半英里路宽......因为在伊利诺斯州那一边,沿岸尽是一堵堵高墙似的陡壁.
  白天岛上各处都以被我们滑遍.即使太阳在外面晒得热辣辣的,密林深处还是到处树荫,一片阴凉.我们在树丛里穿进穿出.有些地方,藤蔓长得太浓密,我们只得退回来,另找路走.啊,每一棵吹断倒下的老树,都能见到兔子和蛇这类东西,水没全岛的一两天中,它们因为饿得慌,就变得那么驯顺,你马上要划近了,如果我高兴,可以用手摸它们身子.不过,蛇和鳖可不行......这些东西往往一溜就溜进了水里.我们山洞所在的山脊那里,这类东西,你要是高兴的话,可以捉到许多这类玩物.
  有一天晚上,我们截到了一小节木筏子......九块松木板.宽有十二英尺,长有十五六英尺,筏面露出水面六七英寸,就好象一片结实.平滑的地板.在白昼,有时可以见到锯成的一根根木头淌过,我们听任它们漂去,因为我们白天不敢出面.
  还有一个晚上,天快蒙蒙亮了,我们正在岛尖,一座木头房子从上游漂来,是在西边的那头.房子有两层,只见歪歪斜斜的.我们划了过去,爬了上去......从楼上窗口里爬了进去.可是天大黑,看不清楚.我们便把小舟系好,等待天明.
  我们到岛尾以前,天开始亮了起来.我们就窗口往里边一望,里面有一张床,一张桌子,还有两张椅子,地板上各处还有些什物,墙上还挂着几件衣服.屋角里的地板上仿佛躺着什么东西,看上去象是一个男子模样.杰姆就说:
  "哈,你好啊!"
   可是他一动不动.我便也喊了一声,杰姆接下来说:
  "这人并非睡着了,......他死了.你别动......让我去瞧瞧."
  他去了,弯下身子,仔细看过以后说:
  "他死了.是啊,正是这样,而且还光着身子.是从背后开枪打死的.估摸着,死了有两三天了.赫克,快进来,可是别看他的脸......样子太可怕了."
  我照着他的话做了.杰姆扔了几件旧衣服,盖住了他的脸.其实他不需要这么干,我不想看他.油腻腻的纸牌,这儿一堆,那儿一堆,散遍了地板各处.还有威士忌酒瓶,还有黑皮做成的几个面罩.墙上到处都是字和画,用木炭涂的尽是最愚蠢最无聊的那一类.还有两件破旧不堪的花洋布衣服,还有一顶太阳帽和几件女人的内衣,都挂在墙上,墙上还挂着几件男人的衣裳.我们把一些东西放回了独木舟里.也许以后会用得着.地板上有一顶男孩子戴的带花点儿的旧草帽,我把这个也拣了.还有一只里面有牛奶的瓶子,上面还有一个布奶头,想必是给婴儿咂奶用的.我们本想把瓶子带走,可是瓶子破了.还有一只破烂的木柜,一只带毛的皮箱,上面的合叶都已经破裂了,皮箱没有上锁,是敞开着的,不过里面的东西并不值钱,从东西凌乱散了一地来看,我们猜想,人家是匆匆忙忙离开的,没有来得及定下主意把哪些东西带走.
  我们找到了一盏旧的白铁皮灯盏,一把铁把子的割肉刀,还有一把崭新的巴罗牌大折叠刀,在随便哪家铺子里卖,也值三毛五分钱.还有几支牛油蜡烛,一个白铁烛台,还有一把葫芦瓢,一只白铁杯子,一条破烂的旧被子,一只手提包,里边装着针线.黄蜡.钮扣等等东西.还有一把斧头和一些钉子,还有一根钓鱼竿,跟我的小指头一样粗细,上面还系着几只特别大号的鱼钩,还有一卷鹿皮,一只牛皮制的狗项圈,一只马蹄铁,还有几只的药瓶但没有标签.正要离开的时候,我找到了一只马梳子,东西还可以.杰姆找到了一把破旧的提琴弓,还有一只木制假腿,上面的皮带已经裂开了,不过除此以外倒是挺好的一条腿.只是对我来说嫌太长,对杰姆来说嫌太短,那另外的一条呢,我们找遍了整间屋子也没发现.
  这样,整个儿算起来,我们发了一笔大财.我们准备划走的时候,已经是在小岛下游三分之一英里的地段.天已经很亮了,所以我让杰姆躺在小舟里,用被子蒙上.因为要是他一坐起来,人家老远就能认出是个黑奴.我们划到了伊利诺斯州岸边,接着往下漂了半英里,我沿着岸边静水往上划,一路上,没有发生其他意外,也没有见到什么人.我们平平安安回到了家.       

 

 


  第 十 章

  早饭过后,我本想讲讲有关死人的事,猜想他被害的情况,不过杰姆不乐意谈,他说,这样不会交好运.他还说,再说他也可能会来,给我们作祟.他说,一个人若是没有入土埋葬,那么与平常埋葬的人比起来,更会四处游荡.这话听起来也很在理,我就没有再说什么了.不过呢,我不由得想到要捉摸捉摸这件事,心里总希望能弄清谁是开枪打死那个男子,又究竟为了什么原因.
  我们翻了一遍搞来的衣服,在一条旧呢毯大衣的里子里找到了七块大洋.杰姆说,他猜想,是那间屋子里的人偷了这件大衣,因为如果他们知道里面有钱,便不会把衣服留在那里.我呢?我说,我捉摸起来,他是被他们杀了.不过,杰姆不愿多谈这件事.我说:
  "你啊,以为这是件倒霉的事.可是前两天我摸了我在山脊上发现的蛇皮壳的时候,你是怎样说的呢?你说,我用手去摸蛇皮,那是会逢到世界上最倒霉的恶运的.好啊,如今是你所说的最糟糕的恶运啦.我们拣到了一大堆东西,还有那七块大洋.杰姆,我但愿每天都交这样的恶运."
  "别忙啊,乖乖,别忙啊.先别太高兴了.恶运眼看就要临头了,听我说,眼看恶运要临头了."
  真是恶运临头了.我们说这番话的时候,那是星期三.啊,星期五,吃过晚饭,我们躺在山脊顶的草地上.我的烟草抽完了,我到山洞里去拿回一些,发现那里有一条响尾蛇呆在那里,我把它打死了.我把死蛇卷了起来,放在杰姆的毯子脚跟头,就象一条活生生的蛇.心想,等到杰姆猛一见,会有好玩的事可看的.啊,到晚上,我压根儿把蛇的事给忘光了.我点灯的时候,杰姆往毯子上一躺,那条蛇的老伴正在那里,他被狠咬了一口.
  他大吼一声跳将起来.灯光照处,照见的第一件事是那条可恶的东西仰起头来,正要再咬一口.我抄起一根棍子,一刹那间打死了它.只见杰姆抓起爸爸那个酒罐,大口往嘴里灌.
  他是赤着脚的,蛇就对准他脚跟咬了一口.就是我这个傻瓜蛋忘了死蛇在那里,它的老伴就会游过来,盘在上面.杰姆要我砍下来蛇头,给扔了,然后把皮剥掉,把蛇肉烤着吃.我照着做了,他吃了,还说这能治病,他叫我剥下尾巴上的响鳞,他缠到了他的手腕子上,他说这很有用.随后我丧气地溜了出去,把死蛇扔到了矮树丛里.我不准备告诉杰姆了,那都是我的过错.只要能做得到,我就不对他说实话.
  杰姆不停地喝着酒.时而神志不清,时而跳来跳去,高声叫唤.每一回醒过来,便又去对着酒罐呷酒喝.他那只脚肿得很厉害,小腿也肿得厉害.不过,慢慢地酒力见效了,我估计他没有事了.不过,我宁愿给蛇咬,也不愿喝爸爸的酒.
  杰姆躺了三天三夜,肿全消了,他又活跃起来了.我打定了主意,从此不说什么用我的手摸蛇皮的事了.惹了这场大祸,这是很清楚的.杰姆说,他估摸,下回我会信他的话.他还说,摸蛇皮的恶运非同小可,说不定我们遭到的灾祸还没有尽头呢.他说,他宁愿朝左肩后望一千遍新月,也不愿手摸蛇皮一次.是啊,我也开始觉得我自己在这么想了,尽管我一直认为,往左肩后边望新月,可说是一个人最拙劣.最愚蠢的事了.老汉克.朋格这么干过一回,还大吹大擂的,不到一年,他喝醉后,从制弹塔上摔下来,摔得简直象一张薄饼摊在地上.人家拆下仓房的两扇门板作为棺材,塞进他的尸体.这是人家这么说的,我没有亲见,是爸爸对我说了的,不过,不管怎么说吧,这么傻愣愣地张望新月,就得了这么个下场.
  日子一天天过去了,大河河水又往下回落,在两岸当中流淌.我们干的第一件事,大概就是把一只兔子剥了皮掉在大鱼钩上,放下去,结果钓到了一条简直象一个人那么大的鲶鱼,长七英尺两英寸,重两百磅以上.我们当然对付不了它,它会把我们一下子扔到伊利诺斯州去.我们便只是坐着,看着它又蹦又跳,直到死在水里.它的肠胃里除了一只铜扣子和一只圆球,还有不少杂七杂八的什物.我们用斧头劈开那个圆球,里边有一个线团儿.杰姆说,线团儿搁得时间久了,用各种东西裹在外面,便成了个圆球.我看,这么大的一条鱼,是密西西比河上钓到的最大的鱼了.要是在村子里的话,能值很多钱,人家会在市场上论磅出售,每个人都会买一点.肉象雪一般白,熬着吃美味可口.  第二天早上,我说,日子过得太慢,太沉闷,我要来点儿刺激的.我说,不妨由我偷偷渡过河去,打探打探各方面的情况.杰姆很同意这个主意.不过他说我必须晚上去,眼睛又要放得尖一些才行.接着,他端详了一番.然后说我能不能换上旧衣服,打扮成一个姑娘家?这可是个好主意.我们就动手剪短一件印花布衫子,我把我的裤管卷到膝盖上,穿上了花衫子.杰姆用钩子替我在背后收紧了些,就弄得合身了.我带上了女式的遮阳大草帽,系到我的下巴颏儿上,这样,人家要看清我的脸,就好比要从火炉筒子往下看一样的难.杰姆说任何人都不能认出我来,即使是白天也难.我锻炼了一整天,让自己能学会些技巧,慢慢地 也就相当熟练了.不过杰姆说,我走起路来,还不象姑娘家的样子.他还说,我千万不可以把衣衫撩起,把手插进裤子口袋,这个习惯必须改掉.这一点我注意到了,于是就有些长进了.
  到了天黑,我就坐划子前往伊利诺斯州的河岸那边.
  我在渡口下面不远处划向镇子.水流把我带到了镇梢头,我把独木舟系好了,沿着河岸向前走.有一间小小的草屋,估计好久没有人住了,如今点着明亮的灯光.我心想,真不知道谁会在这住.我轻手轻脚走过去,从窗口朝里偷偷一望.但见有一位三十岁上下妇女,正挨着一张松木桌上的蜡烛光做针线活.她的脸我没有看见.她是个外乡人.镇上人的脸没有我不认识的,这也是该我的运气好,当时我正在心虚,开始懊悔这回该不该来.人家或许会听出我说话的声音,真相就会被识破.不过吗,如果这个妇女到小镇上来了两天了,那我希望知道的一切,她肯定能告诉我.这样,我便敲了敲门,并且拿定主意,要自己千万别忘了自己是个姑娘家. 

      

       



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