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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 3

 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 3
 
 
PART I
 
But by and by Pap got too free with his beatings, and I couldn’t stand it. I had marks all over my body. He got to go­ing away so much, too, and locking me in. Once he locked me in and was gone three days. It was dreadfully lonesome. I judged he had got drowned and I wasn’t ever to get out any more. I was scared. I made up my mind I would fix up some way to leave. I had tried to get out of that cabin many a time, but I couldn’t find a way. There wasn’t a window big enough for a dog to get through. I couldn’t get up the chimney; it was too narrow. The door was thick and made of heavy logs. Pap was pretty careful not to leave a knife or anything in the cabin when he went away.
 
But this time I found a piece of an old saw stuck up between the boards in one corner of the roof. I cleaned 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 cracks and putting out the candles. I went to work behind this blanket and began to saw a section of the big bottom log out. Well, it was a good long job but I had plenty of free time and was getting toward 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 came in.
 
Pap wasn’t in a good humor so he was his natural self. He said he had been down town and everything was going wrong. His lawyer said he was sure he would win his suit and get the money if they ever got started on the trial; but then there were ways to put it off a long time, and Judge Thatcher knew how to do it. Then Pap got cursing and cursed everything and every­body he could think of, and then cursed them all over again to make sure he hadn’t rflissed anybody; and after that he finished up with a kind of general curse all around, including a consider­able group of people whose names he didn’t know and so called them what’s-his-name when he got to them, and went right along with his cursing.
 
He made me go out to the rowboat and carry in the things he had got. There was a fifty pound bag of corn meal, and a side of bacon, ammunition, and several bottles of whiskey, and a few other things. I got the things up to the cabin and then sat down to rest and think. I decided that, when I ran away, I would walk off with the gun and some fishing lines, and take to the woods. I guessed I couldn’t stay in one place but would keep moving right across the country, mostly night-times, and hunt and fish to keep alive, and get so far that neither the old man nor the Widow could ever find me any more. If Pap got drunk enough later I thought I could saw my way out and leave that night.
 
While I was cooking supper the old man took a drink or two and got a little warmed up and went to cursing and carrying on again. He had been drunk over in town and lain in the‘street all night, and he was a sight to look at. Whenever his whiskey began to work he almost always went for the government. This time he says:
 
“Call this a government! Why, just look at it and see what it’s like. Here’s the law 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 worry and all the expense of raising. Yes, just as that man has got that son raised at last and ready to do some­thing for him and give him a rest, the law up and goes for him. And they call that government. That ain’t all, either. The law backs up that old Judge Thatcher and helps him to keep me out of my property. Here’s what the law does: The law takes a man worth six thousand dollars and more and puts him into, an old cabin like this and lets him go around in clothes that ain’t fit for a pig. They call that government! A man can’t get his rights in a government like this. Sometimes I've a good mind to leave the country'for good and all. . .
 
Pap went on like this for ten or fifteen minutes more talkin’ about the government. He also went on drinking steadily. I judged he would be blind drunk in about an hour, and then I would steal the key, or saw myself out, one or the other. He drank and drank and dropped 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 threw himself around this way and that for a long time. I began to get a little afraid be­cause at times like this, he sometimes went wild and began to see snakes and go right off his head. So I picked up his gun and held it over my knees but at last I got so sleepy I couldn’t hold my eyes open and so before I knew what I was about I was sound asleep, and the candle still burning.
 
“Get up! What’re you about?”
 
I opened my eyes and looked around trying to figure out what had happened. It was aft-er sun-up. Pap was.standing over me ooking sour and sick, too. He says:
 
“What’re you doin’ with the gun?” 
 
“Somebody tried to get in so I was layin’ for him.”
 
“Why didn’t you wake me up?”
 
“Well, I tried to but I couldn’t; I couldn’t move you.”
 
“Well, all right. Don’t sit there talking all day, but out with you and see if there’s a fish on the lines for breakfast.”
 
He unlocked the door,;and I cleared out up the river bank. I noticed some branches, of trees and various other things float­ing down-the river so I knew the river had begun to rise. The June rise used to be always luck for me because as soon as the rise begins a lot of wood and pieces of log 'rafts come floating down soipetimes a dozen logs tied together so all you have to do is to catch them and sell them to the sawmill.
 
I went along up the bank with one eye out for Pap and the other for what the rise in the river might bring along. Well all at once here comes a canoe; just a beauty too, riding high and dry. I shot head-first off the bank and struck out for it. I was afraid I might find someone lying down in it but it was an adrift canoe sure enough and I climbed in and paddled it to the shore.
 
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 up into a little creek I struck an­other idea: I decided I would hide the canoe well, and then, in­stead of taking to the woods when I ran off, I’d go down the river about fifty miles and camp in one good place for good, and not have such a rough time walking such distances every day.
 
So I hid the canoe and when the old man came along I was busy taking in a fish line. I told him I had fallen into the river and that was what took me so long. I knew he could see I was wet and then he would be asking questions. We got five fish off the lines and went home.
 
While we rested after breakfast I got to thinking that if I could figure out some way of keeping Pap and the Widow from trying to follow me it would be better than trusting to luck to get far enough away before they missed me. Well, I didn’t see any way for a while but by and by Pap got up to drink another barrel of water and he says:
 
“The next time any strangers come around here, you wake me up, do you hear? That man wasn’t here for any good. I’d have shot him. Next timç, you wake me, do you hear?”
 
What Pap said gave me the very idea I wanted. I says to myself, I can fix it now so nobody will think of following me. They’ll think I’m dead and drowned in the river.
 
About twelve o’clock we turned out, Pap and I, and went up the bank. The river was rising plenty fast and a lot of things were drifting by. By and by along comes part of a log raft- nine logs tied fast together. We went out in the row boat and pulled them to the shore. Then we had dinner. Anybody but Pap would have waited and seen the day through, so as to pick up more stuff, but that wasn’t Pap’s style. Nine logs were enough for one time he must go right over to town and sell them and buy more whiskey. So he locked me in and took the rowboat, and started off for town pulling the logs behind him. I figured he wouldn’t come back until late that night. I waited until he had a good start. Then I got out my saw and went to work on that log again. Before he was on the other side of the river I was out of the hole.
 
Well, I first took everything I thought I might need to the canoe corn meal, the side of bacon, coffee, sugar. I took the gun, fish lines and matches everything that was worth a cent. The next part of my plan was to make it look as though some stranger had appeared maybe the same stranger I had told Pap about and stolen everything and killed me. Then no one would think of following me. So I put the log which I had sawed carefully back in place and covered it with dirt so that no one would ever notice that it had been cut or that I had removed it in order to get out of the cabin. I next went up in the woods and was lucky enough to come upon a wild pig which I shot. I brought the pig back to the cabin and spilled his blood all over the place. I next took an axe which we used to cut wood and I broke down the front door with it. I tore up pieces of my clothes and threw them around. Finally I put some rocks into the bag of corn meal and then dragged the bag through the grass from the cabin to the river bank so it would look as though whoever killed me finally dragged me down to the river and threw my body in.
 
At last I was finished and it was now about dark. I dropped the canoe down the river under some trees that hung over the bank and there I lay and waited for the moon to rise. It was no use trying to run for it while it was still light. So I had a smoke and lay making my plans about what I was going to do. I figured I would go to Jackson’s Island. Jackson’s Island would be just the place. I knew that island pretty well, and nobody ever went there. And then I could go over to town nights and sneak around and pick up things I needed.
 
I waited until it was good and dark and then let the canoe move downstream, in the shade of the bank. I made about two miles this way and then struck out a quarter of a mile or more toward the middle of the river, because pretty soon I would be passing a small town, and people might see me or call to me. I got out among the driftwood, and then lay down in the bottom of the canoe and let her float. I lay there and had a good rest and another smoke out of my pipe, looking away into the sky. The sky looks ever so deep when you lie on your back in this way and look up at it at night. 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 almost every word of it.
 
I was soon well below the ferry. I rose up and there was Jackson’s Island, about two more miles downstream, heavily- wooded and standing up out of the river, big and dark and solid, like a steamboat without any light.
 
It didn’t take me long to get there. I shot past the head of the island at a fast speed, the current there was so rapid; then I got into the still water and landed on the side toward the Il­linois shore. I ran the canoe into an opening in the bank that I knew about. I had to part the bushes to get it in, and when I made fast nobody could have seen the canoe from the outside. I went up and sat down on a log at the head of the island, and looked out at the big river and over at the town, three miles away, where there were now only three or four small lights shin­ing. Soon there was a little gray in the sky so I lay down to sleep a while before breakfast.
 
Comprehension, Discussion, and Vocabulary Review
 
A. 1. Why did Huck decide to get away from his father?
2. What did he have to do to escape from the cabin?
3. Why wasn’t Pap in a good humor when he came back from town?
How was Huck going to live when he got away from his father?
4. What did Pap say about the government?
5. Why wasn’t luck with Huck that night?
6. What could Huck tell about the river the next morning?
7. What did Huck find?
8. What did Huck decide to do with the canoe?
9. What did Huck figure out that he could do to keep his father and the Widow from looking for him?
10. Why was Huck finally able to escape from the cabin?
11. What did Huck do to make it look as though he had been killed?
12. Where did Huck go? How did he get there?
 
B. Use the following words and expressions in sentences of your own:
 
saw                                       clean up
sour                                      get rid of
drift                                        get started on
stuff                                       carry on
sneak                                   get sleepy
shade                                   figure out
make uo your mind           all at once
 
 
PART II
 
The sun was up so high when I woke that I judged it was late in the morning. I lay there in the grass thinking about things and feeling rested and rather satisfied. I was so comfortable I didn’t want to get up and cook breakfast. Well, I was dropping off to sleep again when I heard a deep sound of “boom!” away up the river. I got up and rested on my elbows and listened; pretty soon I heard it again. I jumped up and went and looked out through a hole in the leaves, and I saw a lot of smoke lying on the water a long ways up about opposite the ferry landing. And there was the ferryboat full of people floating down. I knew what was the matter now. I saw the smoke pour out of the ferry boat’s-side. You see, they were firing a cannon over the water, trying to make my dead body come to the surface.
 
I was pretty hungry, but it wouldn’t do now for me to start a fire, because they might see the smoke. So I sat there and watched the cannon smoke and listened to the firing. The Mis­sissippi was a mile wide at this point, and it always looks pretty on a summer’s morning anyway  so I was having a good time just seeing them hunt for my remains. I lit my pipe and had a long smoke and went on watching. The ferryboat was floating with the current, just as I had done the night before, so I figured she would come close and I would have a good chance to see who was on board.
 
By and by she came along and she drifted in so close they could almost have jumped on shore. Almost everybody was on the boat. Pap, and Judge Thatcher, and Becky Thatcher, and Joe Harper, and Tom Sawyer and his aunt Polly, and Sid and Mary, and plenty more. Everybody was talking about the murder. Pap must have returned to the cabin early and then went right back to town and told everyone all about what had happened. The captain broke in and said:
 
“Look sharp, now; the current sets closest here, and maybe his body washed on shore and got mixed up with the bushes 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 strength. I could see them easily, but they couldn’t see me. Then the captain sang out: “Stand away!” and the cannon went off with such a noise that it almost made me deaf and pretty nearly blind with the smoke, and I judged I was gone. If they had had some bullets in it, I guess they would have got the dead body they were after. I saw I wasn’t hurt, thank Heavens. The boat floated on and went out of sight. I could hear the noise of the cannon once in a while, and after about an hour, I didn’t hear it any more. The island was three miles long. I judged they had got to the foot, and were giving up. But then they turned around and started up the channel on the Missouri side. I crossed over to that side and watched them. When they got opposite the head of the island they stopped shooting and went home.
 
I knew I was all right now. Nobody else would come hunting for me. I got my traps out of the canoe and made a nice camp in the thick woods. I made a kind of tent out of my blankets to put my things under so the rain couldn’t get at them. Later I caught some fish and when it was dark I sat by my campfire smoking and feeling lazy and pretty well satisfied. By and by it got a little lonesome so I went and sat along the bank and listened to the current flowing along and counted the stars in the sky and the drift logs and rafts that came floating down the river; there ain’t no better way to put in time when you’re lone­some.
 
And so for three days and nights! No difference just the same thing. And then on the fourth day I discovered that I had a visitor on the island. It happened in this way. For want of something better to do, I had been exploring the foot of the is­land and came upon the ashes of a campfire that was still smok­ing. I needn’t tell you that my heart jumped and I never waited to look any further but went sneaking away as fast as I could. I was so scared that it seemed to me that I heard voices every­where and that behind every tree I saw someone waiting for me. If I stepped on a stick and broke it, it made me feel as if a per­son had cut one of my breaths in two and I only got half, and the short half, too.
 
When I got back to my own camp I put all my traps into my canoe again so as to have them out of sight, and I put out my campfire and spread the ashes around to look like an old last year’s camp. Then I climbed up into a tree and stayed there for about three hours, trying to look around. But I didn’t see any­thing and finally I began to get hungry. So when it was good and dark I slid down the tree, got out my Canoe and paddled over to the Illinois bank about a quarter of a mile away. I went out in the woods there and cooked my supper and had pretty much decided to spend the night there when I heard two horses approaching and the voices of two men apparently about to make camp right at this very spot. I figured that this place was even more dangerous for me than the island; so I crept back to the canoe and paddled away easy. I tied up on the island in the same old place but decided I would sleep in the canoe that night.
 
I didn’t sleep much. I couldn’t,' somehow, for thinking. And every time I woke up I thought somebody had me by the neck. So the sleep didn’t do me much good. By and by I says to my­self, I can’t live this way. I’m going to find out who it is that’s here on this island with me. I’ll find out or die in the attempt. Well, I felt better right away.
 
So I took my paddle and slid out from shore just a very short distance, and then let the canoe drop along down among the shadows. The moon was shining, and outside of the shadows, made it almost as light as day. I poked along well on to an hour and by this time was down to the foot of the island. Here I tied up the canoe, took my gun, and slipped off towards where I had run across that campfire. At first I didn’t have any luck; I couldn’t seem to find the place. But, by and by, sure enough, I caught sight of the fire through the trees. I went for it, careful and slow. Now I was close enough to have a look, and there lay a man on the ground. He had a blanket around his head, and his head was nearly in the fire. I sat there behind some bushes and kept my eye on him. It was getting gray in the sky now. Pretty soon he stretched himself and threw off his blanket, and I saw it was Miss Watson’s Negro, Jim. You can bet I was glad to see him. I says:
 
“Hello, Jim!” and I came out from behind the bushes.
 
He jumped up and stared at me wild. Then he drops down on his knees and puts his hands together and says:
 
“Don’t hurt me don’t! I never did any harm to a ghost. I always liked dead people, and did all I could for them. You go and get in the river where you belong, and don’t do anything to old Jim, who was always your friend.”
 
Well, I wasn’t long making him understand I wasn’t dead. I was ever so glad to see Jim. I wasn’t lonesome now. I told him the whole thing, how I had escaped from the cabin and made it appear as though someone had murdered me. Jim said it was very smart. Tom Sawyer couldn’t get up any better plan than what I had. Then I says:
 
“How long’ve you been on the island, Jim?”
 
“I came here the night after you were killed.”
 
“But how do you come to be here, Jim, and how’d you get here?”
 
He looked pretty uneasy, and didn’t say anything for a minute. I could see that he was afraid to tell a white person about it, but I assured him I was his friend and would never tell on him.
 
“Well, you see, it was this way,” he said finally. “I run off. Old Miss Watson, she picks on me all the time, and treats me pretty rough, but she always said she would sell me down to New Orleans. I noticed there was a slave trader around the place lately, and I began to get uneasy. Well, one night I creeps up to the door pretty late, and the door wasn’t quite shut, and I heard old Miss Watson tell the Widow that she’s going to sell me down to New Orleans. She didn’t want to, but she could get eight hun­dred dollars for me, and it was such a big pile of money she couldn’t resist. Well, I never waited to hear the rest. I beat it out of there pretty quick, I tell you.”
 
Then Jim told me how he had escaped. The first night he had gone to the river and hid under the docks. In the morning he heard many people going out in rowboats to see the place where I was killed; this was how he had found out all about what had happened. He kept himself hidden during this first day and at night swam out into the river among the driftwood. He finally got hold of a part of a raft and on this raft made his way down the river to Jackson’s Island.
 
Jim hadn't eaten anything but berries for three days and was almost starved. So we went over to where the canoe was and he built a fire in an open place there, while I brought meal and bacon and coffee from the canoe. Jim could hardly believe his eyes. I caught a good sized fish, and Jim cleaned it with his knife and cooked it.
 
After breakfast, when we were both pretty well stuffed, we lay on the grass and talked a long time. It was very comfortable there. Some young birds came along, flying a yard or two at a time and lighting. Jim said it was a sign it was going to rain. I was going to catch some of them but Jim wouldn’t let me. He said it was death. He said his father lay very sick once, and some one caught a bird, and his old grandfather said his father would die, and he did. Jim knew all kinds of signs. I had heard about some of these things before but not all of them. He said he knew almost everything. I said it looked to me as though all the signs were about bad luck, and so I asked him if there weren’t any good luck signs. He says:
 
“Very few and they ain’t much use to a body. What do you want to know when good luck is coming for? Do you want to keep it off?” And he said: “If you got hair on your arms and chest, it’s a sign that you’re goin’ to be rich. Well, there’s some use in a sign like that, because it is so far ahead. You see, may­be you’ve got to be poor a long time first, and so you might get discouraged and kill yourself if you didn’t know by the sign that you’re goin’ to be rich by and by.”
 
“Have you got hair on your arms and chest, Jim?” I asked. “What’s the use of asking that question? Don’t you see I have?”
“Well, are you rich?”
 
, “No, but I was rich once, and I’m goin’ to be rich again. Once I had fourteen dollars but I took to speculating, and I lost it all.”
Jim then told me how he once invested ten dollars in a cow but the cow died. He also put four dollars in a bank that a Ne­gro friend was starting. He was supposed to get thirty-five dol­lars back in interest at the end of the year, but the bank failed. Jim was a little sad about the whole affair.
 
“Well, it’s all right anyway, Jim,” I said, “as long as you’re going to be rich again some time.”
“Yes, and I’m rich now, come to look at it. I own myself, and I’m worth eight hundred dollars. I wish I had the money, I wouldn’t want any more.”
 
Comprehension, Discussion, and Vocabulary Review
 
1. What did Huck hear and see when he awoke the next morn­ing?
2. Why were they firing a cannon from the ferryboat?
3. Who did Huck see on the ferry?
4. Why did Huck know that he wouldn’t be found now?
5. What did Huck do for the next three days and nights?
6. How did Huck discover that he had a visitor on the island?
7. What did Huck do to try to hide from the person on the island?
8. Why did he decide that he was safer on the island?
9.After he had tried to sllep, what did huck decide he had to do?
10.who did the other person turn out to be?
11. what did jim think that huck was?
12.what had jim decided to escape? how had he escaped?
13.why would't jim let huck catch a bird?
14.what did jim say about good juck signs? Why did he consider himself to be rich?
 
B. Use the following words and expressions in sentences of your own:
 
elbow                                   out of sight
deaf                                       turn around
explore                                 find out
slide                                     catch sight of
starve                                   keep an eye on
speculate                            pick on