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Chapter 43


CHAPTER THE LAST

THE first time I catched Tom private I asked him
what was his idea, time of the evasion? -- what it
was he'd planned to do if the evasion worked all right
and he managed to set a nigger free that was already
free before? And he said, what he had planned in his
head from the start, if we got Jim out all safe, was for
us to run him down the river on the raft, and have
adventures plumb to the mouth of the river, and then
tell him about his being free, and take him back up
home on a steamboat, in style, and pay him for his
lost time, and write word ahead and get out all the
niggers around, and have them waltz him into town
with a torchlight procession and a brass-band, and then
he would be a hero, and so would we. But I reckoned
it was about as well the way it was.

We had Jim out of the chains in no time, and when
Aunt Polly and Uncle Silas and Aunt Sally found out
how good he helped the doctor nurse Tom, they made
a heap of fuss over him, and fixed him up prime, and
give him all he wanted to eat, and a good time, and
nothing to do. And we had him up to the sick-room,
and had a high talk; and Tom give Jim forty dollars
for being prisoner for us so patient, and doing it up so
good, and Jim was pleased most to death, and busted
out, and says:

"DAH, now, Huck, what I tell you? -- what I tell
you up dah on Jackson islan'? I TOLE you I got a
hairy breas', en what's de sign un it; en I TOLE you I
ben rich wunst, en gwineter to be rich AGIN; en it's
come true; en heah she is! DAH, now! doan' talk
to ME -- signs is SIGNS, mine I tell you; en I knowed
jis' 's well 'at I 'uz gwineter be rich agin as I's a-
stannin' heah dis minute!"

And then Tom he talked along and talked along,
and says, le's all three slide out of here one of these
nights and get an outfit, and go for howling adventures
amongst the Injuns, over in the Territory, for a couple
of weeks or two; and I says, all right, that suits me,
but I ain't got no money for to buy the outfit, and I
reckon I couldn't get none from home, because it's
likely pap's been back before now, and got it all away
from Judge Thatcher and drunk it up.

"No, he hain't," Tom says; "it's all there yet --
six thousand dollars and more; and your pap hain't
ever been back since. Hadn't when I come away,
anyhow."

Jim says, kind of solemn:

"He ain't a-comin' back no mo', Huck."

I says:

"Why, Jim?"

"Nemmine why, Huck -- but he ain't comin' back
no mo."

But I kept at him; so at last he says:

"Doan' you 'member de house dat was float'n down
de river, en dey wuz a man in dah, kivered up, en I
went in en unkivered him and didn' let you come in?
Well, den, you kin git yo' money when you wants it,
kase dat wuz him."

Tom's most well now, and got his bullet around his
neck on a watch-guard for a watch, and is always
seeing what time it is, and so there ain't nothing more
to write about, and I am rotten glad of it, because if
I'd a knowed what a trouble it was to make a book I
wouldn't a tackled it, and ain't a-going to no more.
But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead
of the rest, because Aunt Sally she's going to adopt
me and sivilize me, and I can't stand it. I been there
before.

                       THE END


Mark Twain