Mark Twain: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

23. CHAPTER XXIII. (continued)

But this time I somehow got to talking to him about his wife and young ones; and by and by he says:

"What makes me feel so bad dis time 'uz bekase I hear sumpn over yonder on de bank like a whack, er a slam, while ago, en it mine me er de time I treat my little 'Lizabeth so ornery. She warn't on'y `bout fo' year ole, en she tuck de sk'yarlet fever, en had a powful rough spell; but she got well, en one day she was a-stannin' aroun', en I says to her, I says:

"`Shet de do'.'

"She never done it; jis' stood dah, kiner smilin' up at me. It make me mad; en I says agin, mighty loud, I says:

"`Doan' you hear me? Shet de do'!'

"She jis stood de same way, kiner smilin' up. I was a-bilin'! I says:

"`I lay I MAKE you mine!'

"En wid dat I fetch' her a slap side de head dat sont her a-sprawlin'. Den I went into de yuther room, en 'uz gone 'bout ten minutes; en when I come back dah was dat do' a-stannin' open YIT, en dat chile stannin' mos' right in it, a-lookin' down and mournin', en de tears runnin' down. My, but I WUZ mad! I was a-gwyne for de chile, but jis' den - it was a do' dat open innerds - jis' den, 'long come de wind en slam it to, behine de chile, ker-BLAM! - en my lan', de chile never move'! My breff mos' hop outer me; en I feel so - so - I doan' know HOW I feel. I crope out, all a-tremblin', en crope aroun' en open de do' easy en slow, en poke my head in behine de chile, sof' en still, en all uv a sudden I says POW! jis' as loud as I could yell. SHE NEVER BUDGE! Oh, Huck, I bust out a-cryin' en grab her up in my arms, en say, `Oh, de po' little thing! De Lord God Amighty fogive po' ole Jim, kaze he never gwyne to fogive hisself as long's he live!' Oh, she was plumb deef en dumb, Huck, plumb deef en dumb - en I'd ben a-treat'n her so!"

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