The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
So Huck returns to the kind widow Douglas. The widow meets him with tears and calls the lost sheep – but this, of course, is not from evil. And again, life on the phone, even at the table, relies first to mutter something over the food. Although the food is not bad, it’s a pity, every thing is cooked separately: whether it’s a scrap, when you mix them well – not as an example, it’s easier to slip through. The widow’s sister, Miss Watson, is especially distressed by Huck – the old maid with glasses: and do not put your feet on a chair, and do not yawn, and do not stretch, and even frighten the underworld! No, it’s better in the underworld with Tom Sawyer than in paradise with such a company. However, the person gets used to everything, even to the school: the teacher’s flogging was very encouraging to Heck – he already read and wrote a little, and even learned the multiplication table to six seven thirty-five.
Once at breakfast, he overturns the salt cellar, and Miss Watson does not allow him to throw a pinch of salt over his shoulder in time – and Huck immediately discovers a heel track with a large crossed cross on the snow – daring the evil spirit. Huck rushes to Judge Taecher and asks to take all his money from him. The judge, sensing something is wrong, agrees to take the money for storage, having issued it as “acquisition”.
The water rises, and in the flooded forest on every fallen tree sit snakes, rabbits and other living creatures. The river bears all sorts of things, and one evening friends catch a good raft, and one day before dawn past them swims the banked two-story house where the dead man lies. Jim asks Huck not to look him in the face – it’s very scary – but they gain a lot of useful things up to the wooden leg, which, however, Jim is small, and Hecke is great.
Friends decide at night to go down on a raft to Cairo, and from there on the Ohio River to go up to the “free states” where there is no slavery. Huck and Jim stumble upon the broken steamer and barely take their feet from the gang of bandits, then lose each other in a terrible fog, but, fortunately, they look again. Jim preliminarily rejoices and fervently thanks the “white gentleman” Huck, his savior: in free states he, Jim, will work day and night to buy his family, and not sell – so steal.
Give the Negro finger – he will take the whole hand: Huck did not expect such a baseness from Jim. “You robbed the poor Miss Watson,” his conscience says, and he decides to bring it to Jim, but at the last moment again rescues him, writing that on the raft lies his father, dying from black smallpox: no, apparently, he, Huck, the man is finally lost. Gradually it comes to friends that they missed Cairo in the fog. But the serpent’s skin is not content with this: in the darkness, right through their raft, a fire-breathing steamer passes by with a bang. Huck manages to dive under the thirty-foot wheel, but when he emerges, Jim does not find it.
On the shore, after telling the plaintive story of the consistent extinction of all of his relatives on a small farm in the wilderness of Arkansas, Huck is accepted into the cordial family of the Grangerfords – rich, beautiful and very chivalrous southerners. One day during the hunt, a new friend of Huck Bak, about the same age as he is thirteen or fourteen, suddenly shoots from behind the bushes in their neighbor – the young and handsome Garni Shepherdson. It turns out that some thirty years ago an ancestor of the Grangerfords was unknown because of what he was suing with a representative of the same chivalrous genus Shepherdson. The loser, of course, went and shot recently licked the opponent, since then there is a blood feud – now and then someone is buried. Even in the common church, Grangerfords and Shepherdsons ride with rifles to keep them close at hand,
One of the local blacks calls Huck to the swamp to look at the water snakes, but, after dipping into the dry islet, suddenly turns back – and in a small clearing among the ivy Huck sees Jim asleep! It turns out that on that fateful night Jim decently hurt himself and fell behind Huck (he did not dare call to him), but still managed to track down where he went. The local negroes wear Jim’s food and even returned the raft, which was nearby, caught on a snag.
A sudden thunderstorm – modest Sofia Grangerford runs, as assumed, with Garni Shepherdson. Of course, the knights rush into the pursuit – and fall into an ambush. On this day, all the men die, and even the simple-minded brave Buck is killed in Huck’s eyes. Huck hurries away from this terrible place, but – oh horror! – He finds neither Jim nor the raft. Fortunately, Jim responds to his cry: he thought that Huck was “killed again” and was waiting for the last confirmation. No, the raft is the best house!
The river has already spread to immense width. With the onset of darkness, you can swim by the will of the current, lowering your legs into the water and talking about everything in the world. Sometimes a light flashes on a raft or on a shawl, and sometimes it’s even heard how they sing or play the violin. Once or twice a steamer passes by, passing a spurt of sparks from the pipe, and then the waves rock the raft for a long time, and nothing is heard except the croaking of the frogs. The first lights on the shore – something like an alarm clock: it’s time to pester. Travelers cover the raft with willow and poplar branches, throw up fishing rods and get into the water to freshen up, and then sit down on the sandy bottom, where the water is knee-deep, and watch the dark strip turn into a forest beyond the river, as the edge of the sky brightens, and the river is no longer black, and gray, and on it float black spots – vessels and long black stripes – rafts…
Somehow before dawn Huck helps to escape from the chase of two ragamuffin – one seventy years old, bald with gray tanks, another thirty years old. Young composer in the craft, but gravitates to the stage activities, not disdaining, however, with singing lessons, phrenology and geography. The old man prefers with the laying on of hands to heal incurable diseases, well, prayer meetings are also part of it. Suddenly, young, in woeful and grandiloquent terms, admits that he is the legitimate heir to the Duke of Bridgewater. He rejects the comforts of the touched by his grief Huck and Jim, but is ready to accept a respectful treatment like “my lord” or “your lordship”, as well as all sorts of petty services. The old man pouted and after a while confesses that he is the heir to the French crown. His sobbing breaks the heart of Huck and Jim, they begin to call him “
Huck guesses that there are scoundrels in front of him, but even simple-minded Jim does not dedicate it. He weaves a new pitiful story, as if Jim was his last property, taken from an all-extinct and overturned family, and they swim at night because Jim was already trying to take him away on the grounds that he was runaway. But will a runaway Negro swim to the South! This argument convinces the crooks. They land in a provincial town that seems extinct: everyone went into the forest to a prayer meeting. The Duke climbs into the abandoned print shop without supervision, and the King and Huck follow the whole district and go out in the heat to listen to the preacher. There, the king, sobbing bitterly, pretends to be a repentant pirate from the Indian Ocean and complains that he has nothing to get to his former comrades-in-arms, in order also to turn them to God. Enlisted listeners collect eighty-seven dollars seventy-five cents in his hat. Duke also manages to collect several paid ads, take money for the publication of several more ads in the newspaper, and three wishing to formalize a preferential subscription. At the same time he imprinted an announcement of a two-hundred dollar reward for catching a runaway nigger with Jim’s exact marks: now they can swim by day, as if they are taking the fugitive to the owner.
The King and Duke rehearse a mix of Shakespearean tragedies, but the “Arkansas boobies” did not grow to Shakespeare, and the Duke hangs up a poster: an exciting tragedy will be staged in the courtroom. “The Royal Giraffe, or the Royal Perfection” – only three performances! And – the largest letters – “women and children are not allowed to enter.” In the evening, the hall is crammed full of men. King completely naked runs out onto the stage on all fours, painted like a rainbow, and splits such things, from which the cow would burst out laughing. But after two repetitions the performance is over. The audience jumps up to beat the actors, but some sordid gentleman suggests first fooling his acquaintances, so as not to turn into a laughingstock. Only on the third performance are all with rotten eggs, rotten cabbage and dead cats in an amount not less than sixty-four pieces. But the swindlers manage to sneak away.
In all the new, extremely respectable, they land in another town and the party learns that a rich tanner recently died there and now his brothers (one preacher, the other deaf-mute) are waiting from England to whom the deceased left a letter indicating where his cash is hidden. Scammers pretend to be waiting for the brothers and almost ruin the young heirs, but there is a new pair of applicants, and both scoundrels (and at the same time Huck) only miraculously manage to avoid Lynch’s trial – again without a penny in his pocket.
And then scoundrels for forty dollars sell Jim simple-hearted farmer Silas Phelps – along with the announcement, according to which, allegedly, you can get two hundred dollars. Huck goes to the rescue, and – America is a very tight country – Mrs. Sally Phelps takes him for his nephew Tom Sawyer, who is expected to visit. Tom appeared, intercepted by Huck, pretending to be Sid. They learn that after Jim’s story, the directors of the “Royal Giraffe” are preparing for reprisals, but they do not have time to warn the unfortunate scoundrels – they are already being driven astride a pole, two terrible lumps of tar and feathers. And Huck decides not to commemorate them any more.
To free Jim, locked up in a barn, costs nothing, but Tom seeks to dramatize the procedure in every way, so that everything would be like the most famous prisoners, right up to anonymous letters warning of escape. As a result, Tom gets a bullet in the leg, and Jim, who did not want to leave the wounded, again finds himself in chains. Only then does Tom reveal that Jim has been free for two months under the will of the repentant Miss Watson. At the same time Huck learns from Jim that the man killed in the houseboat was his father. Huck is no longer threatened – only Aunt Sally intends to take him upbringing. So it’s better, perhaps, to escape to the Indian territory.