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WE stopped talking, and got to thinking. By and by Tom says: We stopped talking and started think. Pretty soon Tom said:
“Looky here, Huck, what fools we are to not think of it before! I bet I know where Jim is.” “Look here, Huck—we’re fools for not having thought of it before! I bet I know where Jim is.”
“No! Where?” “No! You do? Where?”
“In that hut down by the ash-hopper. Why, looky here. When we was at dinner, didn’t you see a nigger man go in there with some vittles?” “He’s in that hut down by the ash-hopper. Just think about it. When we were at dinner, did you see a n----- man go in there with some food?”
“Yes.” “Yes.”
“What did you think the vittles was for?” “Well, what did you think the food was for?”
“For a dog.” “For a dog.”
“So ’d I. Well, it wasn’t for a dog.” “So did I. Well, I don’t think it was for a dog.”
“Why?” “Why?”
“Because part of it was watermelon.” “Because the food included some watermelon.”
“So it was—I noticed it. Well, it does beat all that I never thought about a dog not eating watermelon. It shows how a body can see and don’t see at the same time.” “Yeah, you’re right. I did notice that. Well, it’s funny I never realized that before, because dogs don’t eat watermelon. It just goes to show that you can see something, but not see it at the same time.”
“Well, the nigger unlocked the padlock when he went in, and he locked it again when he came out. He fetched uncle a key about the time we got up from table—same key, I bet. Watermelon shows man, lock shows prisoner; and it ain’t likely there’s two prisoners on such a little plantation, and where the people’s all so kind and good. Jim’s the prisoner. All right—I’m glad we found it out detective fashion; I wouldn’t give shucks for any other way. Now you work your mind, and study out a plan to steal Jim, and I will study out one, too; and we’ll take the one we like the best.” “Well, the n----- unclocked the padlock when he went in, and he locked it again when he came out. He also brought uncle a key around the time we got up from the table. I bet it’s the same key. Watermelon tells us it’s a man, and the padlock tells us he’s a prisoner. It isn’t likely that there are two prisoners on such a small plantation, especially one where the people are so kind and good. Jim must be the prisoner. All right—I’m glad we were able to figure that out like detectives would. That’s the best way to do it. Now, you think awhile and figure out a way to rescue Jim. I’ll think about it, too, and we’ll use the plan we like best.”
What a head for just a boy to have! If I had Tom Sawyer’s head I wouldn’t trade it off to be a duke, nor mate of a steamboat, nor clown in a circus, nor nothing I can think of. I went to thinking out a plan, but only just to be doing something; I knowed very well where the right plan was going to come from. Pretty soon Tom says: Tom was really smart for just being a boy! If I had Tom Sawyer’s brains I wouldn’t ever trade them, even to be a duke or a mate on a steamboat or a clown in a circus or anything else I can think of. I started devising a plan, but only to pass the time, since I knew that Tom would think of the better plan. Pretty soon he said:
“Ready?” “Okay. You ready?”
“Yes,” I says. “Yes,” I said.
“All right—bring it out.” “All right—let’s hear it.”
“My plan is this,” I says. “We can easy find out if it’s Jim in there. Then get up my canoe to-morrow night, and fetch my raft over from the island. Then the first dark night that comes steal the key out of the old man’s britches after he goes to bed, and shove off down the river on the raft with Jim, hiding daytimes and running nights, the way me and Jim used to do before. Wouldn’t that plan work?” “This is my plan,” I said. “We can easily find out if it’s really Jim in there. Then, we can bring my canoe up tomorrow night and bring the raft from the island. Then, on the first really dark night, we can steal the key from the old man’s pants after he goes to bed. We’ll break Jim out, and set off down the river on the raft with him. We’ll float at night and hide during the day, the way Jim and I were doing it before. Wouldn’t that work?”
“WORK? Why, cert’nly it would work, like rats a-fighting. But it’s too blame’ simple; there ain’t nothing TO it. What’s the good of a plan that ain’t no more trouble than that? It’s as mild as goose-milk. Why, Huck, it wouldn’t make no more talk than breaking into a soap factory.” “WORK? Of course it’d work, just as easily as getting rats to fight. But it’s too simple—there isn’t anything TO it. What good is such a simple plan? It’s as mild as goose milk. Why, Huck, that wouldn’t draw any more attention than a run-of-the-mill break-in at a soap factory.”
I never said nothing, because I warn’t expecting nothing different; but I knowed mighty well that whenever he got HIS plan ready it wouldn’t have none of them objections to it. I didn’t say anything, but his response was just what I’d expected. I knew for certain, though, that no one would be able to make those same objections to HIS plan.
And it didn’t. He told me what it was, and I see in a minute it was worth fifteen of mine for style, and would make Jim just as free a man as mine would, and maybe get us all killed besides. So I was satisfied, and said we would waltz in on it. I needn’t tell what it was here, because I knowed it wouldn’t stay the way, it was. I knowed he would be changing it around every which way as we went along, and heaving in new bullinesses wherever he got a chance. And that is what he done. And no one could. He told me his plan, and I saw in a minute it has as much style as fifteen of my plans. It would also make Jim just as free as my plan would have, and it might get us all killed in the process. I was satisfied and said we should do it. I don’t need to bother explaining the plan here, because I knew he would change it every minute along the way, pulling new tricks whenever he had the chance. And that’s exactly what he did.
Well, one thing was dead sure, and that was that Tom Sawyer was in earnest, and was actuly going to help steal that nigger out of slavery. That was the thing that was too many for me. Here was a boy that was respectable and well brung up; and had a character to lose; and folks at home that had characters; and he was bright and not leather-headed; and knowing and not ignorant; and not mean, but kind; and yet here he was, without any more pride, or rightness, or feeling, than to stoop to this business, and make himself a shame, and his family a shame, before everybody. I COULDN’T understand it no way at all. It was outrageous, and I knowed I ought to just up and tell him so; and so be his true friend, and let him quit the thing right where he was and save himself. And I DID start to tell him; but he shut me up, and says: Well, one thing was for certain: Tom Sawyer was serious and was actually going to help steal a n----- out of slavery. That was the part that I was having the most trouble with. Here was a respectable and well-mannered boy. He had a reputation to lose, and his folks at home had a reputation too. He was bright and not a thick-headed idiot. He was intelligent, not ignorant. He was kind, not mean. Yet here he was, showing no pride or concern as he lowered himself into this business. He felt no shame for himself or his family. I COULDN’T understand this at all. It was outrageous, and I knew that as his true friend I ought to stand up and tell him that so that he could quit right there and save himself. I DID start to tell him, this, but he shut me up and said: