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me that put the apple there. I don't know how long I waited, but it was very long. I didn't mind it, because I was fixing up what I was going to say, and so it was delicious. First I thought I would call her Dear Amy, though I was a little afraid; but soon I got used to it and it was beautiful. Then I changed it to Sweet Amy —which was better—and then I changed it again, to Darling Amy—which was bliss. When I got it all fixed at last, I was going to say, "Darling Amy, if you found an apple on the doorstep, which I think you did find one there, it was me that done it, and I hope you'll think of me sometimes, if you can—only a little"—and I said that over ever so many times and got it all by heart so I could say it right off without ever thinking at all. And directly I saw a blue ribbon and a white frock—my heart began to beat again and my head began to swim and I began to choke—it got worse and worse the closer she came—and so, just in time I jumped behind the lumber and she went by. I only had the strength to sing out "Apples!" and then I shinned it through the lumber yard and hid. How I did wish she knew my voice! And then I got chicken-hearted and all in a tremble for fear she did know it. But I got easy after a while, when I came to remember that she didn't know me, and so perhaps she wouldn't know my voice either. When I said my prayers at night, I prayed for her. And I prayed the good God not to let the apple make her sick, and to bless her every way for the sake of Christ the Lord. And then I tried to go to sleep but I was troubled about Jimmy Riley, though she don't know him, and I said the first chance I got I would lick him again. Which I will.
Tuesday.—I played hookey yesterday morning, and stayed around about her street pretending I wasn't doing it for any thing, but I was looking out sideways at her window all the time, because I was sure I knew which one it was—and when people came along I turned away and sneaked off a piece when they looked at me, because I was dead sure from the way they looked that they knew what I was up to—but I watched out, and when they had got far away I went back again. Once I saw part of a dress flutter in that window, and O, how I felt! I was so happy as long as it was in sight—and so awful miserable when it went away—and so happy again when it came back. I could have staid there a year. Once I was watching it so close I didn't notice, and kept getting further and further out in the street, till a man hollered "Hi!" and nearly ran over me with his wagon. I wished he had, because then I would have been crippled and they would have carried me into her house all bloody and busted up, and she would have cried, and I would have been per-fectly happy, because I would have had to stay there till I got well, which I wish I never would get well. But by and bye it turned out that that was the nigger chambermaid fluttering her dress at the window, and then I felt so down-hearted I wished I had never found it out. But I know which is her window now, because she came to it all of a sudden, and I thought my heart, was going to burst with happiness—but I turned my back and pretended I didn't know she was there, and I went to shouting at some boys (there wasn't any in sight,) and "showing off" all I could. But when I sort of glanced around to see if she was taking notice of me she was gone—and then I wished I hadn't been such a fool, and had looked at her when I had a chance. Maybe she thought I was cold towards her? It made me feel awful to think of it. Our torchlight procession came off last night. There was nearly eleven of us, and we had a lantern. It was splendid. It was John Wagner's uncle's lantern. I walked right alongside of John Wagner all the evening. Once he let me carry the lantern myself a little piece. Not when we were going by her house, but if she was where she could see us she could see easy enough that I knowed the boy that had the lantern. It was the best torchlight procession the boys ever got up—all the boys said so. I only wish I could find out what she thinks of it. I got them to go by her house four times. They didn't want to go, because it is in a back street, but I hired them with marbles. I had twenty-two commas and a white alley when I started out, but I went home dead broke. Suppose I grieved any? No. I said I didn't mind any expense when her happiness was concerned. I shouted all the time we were going by her house, and ordered the procession around lively, and so I don't make any doubt but she thinks I was the captain of it—that is, if she knows me and my voice. I expect she does. I've got acquainted with her brother Tom, and I expect he tells her about me. I'm always hanging around him, and giving him things, and following him home and waiting outside the gate for him. I gave him a fish-hook yesterday; and last night I showed him my sore toe where I stumped it—and today I let him take my tooth that was pulled out New-Year's to show to his mother. I hope she seen it. I was a-playing for that, anyway. How awful it is to meet her father and mother! They seem like kings and queens to me. And her brother Tom—I can hardly understand how it can be—but he can hug her and kiss her whenever he wants to. I wish I was her brother. But it can't be, I don't reckon.
Wednesday.—I don't take any pleasure, nights, now, but carrying on with the boys out in the street before her house, and talking loud and shouting, so she can hear me and know I'm there. And after school I go by about three times, all in a flutter and afraid to hardly glance over, and always letting on that I am in an awful hurry—going after the doctor or something. But about the fourth time I only get in sight of the house, and then I weaken —because I am afraid the people in the houses along will know what I am about. I am all the time wishing that a wild bull or an Injun would get after her so I could save her, but somehow it don't happen so. It happens so in the books, but it don't seem to happen so to me. After I go to bed, I think all the time of big boys insulting her and me a-licking them. Here lately, sometimes I feel ever so happy, and then again, and dreadful often, too, I feel mighty bad. Then I don't take any interest in anything. I don't care for apples, I don't care for molasses candy, swinging on the gate don't do me no good, and even sliding on the cellar door don't seem like it used to did. I just go around hankering after something I don't know what. I've put away my kite. I don't care for kites now. I saw the cat pull the tail off of it without a pang. I don't seem to want to go in a-swimming, even when Ma don't allow me to. I don't try to catch flies any more. I don't take any interest in flies. Even when they light right where I could nab them easy, I don't pay any attention to them. And I don't take any interest in property. To-day I took everything out of my pockets, and looked at them—and the very things I thought the most of I don't think the least about now. There was a ball, and a top, and a piece of chalk, and two fish hooks, and a buckskin string, and a long piece of twine, and two slate pencils, and a sure-enough china, and three white alleys, and a spool cannon, and a wooden soldier with his leg broke, and a real Barlow, and a hunk of maple sugar, and a jewsharp, and a dead frog, and a jaybird's egg, and a door knob, and a glass thing that's broke off of the top of a decanter (I traded two fish-hooks and a tin injun for it,) and a penny, and a potato-gun, and two grasshoppers which their legs was pulled off, and a spectacle glass, and a picture of Adam and Eve without a rag. I took them all up stairs and put them away. And I know I shall never care anything about property any more. I had all that trouble accumulating a fortune, and now I am not as happy as I was when I was poor. Joe Baldwin's cat is dead, and they are expecting me to go to the funeral, but I shall not go. I don't take any interest in funerals any more. I don't wish to do anything but just go off by myself and think of her. I wish I was dead—that is what I wish I was. Then maybe she would be sorry.
Friday.—My mother don't understand it. And I can't tell her. She worries about me, and asks me if I'm sick, and where it hurts me—and I have to say that I ain't sick and nothing don't hurt me, but she says she knows better, because it's the measles. So she gave me ipecac, and calomel, and all that sort of stuff and made me awful sick. And I had to go to bed, and she gave me a mug of hot sage tea and a mug of hot saffron tea, and covered me up with blankets and said that that would sweat me and bring it to the surface. I suffered. But I couldn't tell her. Then she said I had bile. And so she gave me some warm salt water and I heaved up everything that was in me. But she wasn't satisfied. She said there wasn't any bile in that. So she gave me two blue mass pills, and after that a tumbler of Epsom salts to work them off—which it did work them off. I felt that what was left of me was dying, but still I couldn't tell. The measles wouldn't come to the surface and so it wasn't measles; there wasn't any bile, and so it wasn't bile. Then she said she was stumped—but there was some thing the matter, and so there was nothing to do but tackle it in a sort of a general way. I was too weak and miserable to care much. And so she put bottles of hot water to my feet, and socks full of hot ashes on my breast, and a poultice on my head. But they didn't work, and so she gave me some rhubarb to regulate my bowels, and put a mustard plaster on my back. But at last she said she was satisfied it wasn't a cold on the chest. It must be general stagnation of the blood, and then I knew what was coming. But I couldn't tell, and so, with her name on my lips I delivered myself up and went through the water treatment—douche, sitz, wet-sheet and shower-bath (awful,)—and came out all weak, and sick, and played out. Does she—ah, no, she knows nothing of it. And all the time that I lay suffering, I did so want to hear somebody only mention her name—and I hated them because they thought of everything else to please me but that. And when at last somebody did mention it my face and my eyes lit up so that my mother clasped her hands and said: "Thanks, O thanks, the pills are operating!"
Saturday Night.—This was a blessed day. Mrs. Johnson came to call and as she passed through the hall I saw—O, I like to jumped out of bed!—I saw the flash of a little red dress, and I knew who was in it. Mrs. Johnson is her aunt. And when they came in with Ma to see me I was perfectly happy. I was perfectly happy but I was afraid to look at her except when she was not looking at me. Ma said I had been very sick, but was looking ever so much better now. Mrs. Johnson said it was a dangerous time, because children got hold of so much fruit. Now she said Amy found an apple [I started,] on the doorstep [Oh!] last Sunday, [Oh, geeminy, the very, very one!] and ate it all up, [Bless her heart!] and it gave her the colic. [Dern that apple!] And so she had been sick, too, poor dear, and it was her Billy that did it—though she couldn't know that, of course. I wanted to take her in my arms and tell her all about it and ask her to forgive me, but I was afraid to even speak to her. But she had suffered for my sake, and I was happy. By and bye she came near the bed and looked at me with her big blue eyes, and never flinched. It gave me some spunk. Then she said:
"What's your name?—Eddie, or Joe?"
I said, "It ain't neither—it's Billy."
"Has your sister got a doll?"
"I ain't got any sister."
"It ain't a pretty name I don't think—much."
"Why Billy Rogers—Rogers ain't, but Billy is. Did you ever see two cats fighting?—I have."
"Well I reckon I have. I've made 'em fight. More'n a thousand times. I've fit 'em over close-lines, and in boxes, and under barrels —every way. But the most fun is to tie fire-crackers to their tails and see 'em scatter for home. Your name's Amy, ain't it?—and you're eight years old, ain't you?"
"Yes, I'll be nine, ten months and a half from now, and I've got two dolls, and one of 'em can cry and the other's got its head broke and all the sawdust is out of its legs—it don't make no difference, though—I've give all its dresses to the other. Is this the first time you ever been sick?"
"No! I've had the scarlet fever and the mumps, and the hoop'n cough, and ever so many things. H'mph! I don't consider it anything to be sick."
"My mother don't, either. She's been sick maybe a thousand times—and once, would you believe it, they thought she was going to die."
"They always think I'm going to die. The doctors always gives me up and has the family crying and snuffling round here. But I only think it's bully."
"Bully is naughty, my mother says, and she don't 'low Tom to say it. Who do you go to school to?"
"Peg-leg Bliven. That's what the boys calls him, cause he's got a cork leg."
"Goody! I'm going to him, too."
"Oh, that's bul—. I like that. When?"
"To-morrow. Will you play with me?"
Then Mrs. Johnson called her and she said "Good-bye, Billy" —she called me Billy—and then she went away and left me so happy. And she gave me a chunk of molasses candy, and I put it next my heart, and it got warm and stuck, and it won't come off, and I can't get my shirt off, but I don't mind it. I'm only glad. But won't I be out of this and at school Monday? I should think so.
Thursday.—They've been plaguing us. We've been playing together three days, and to-day I asked her if she would be my little wife and she said she would, and just then Jim Riley and Bob Sawyer jumped up from behind the fence where they'd been listening, and begun to holler at the other scholars and told them all about it. So she went away crying, and I felt bad enough to cry myself. I licked Jim Riley, and Bob Sawyer licked me, and Jo Bryant licked Sawyer, and Peg-leg licked all of us. But nothing could make me happy. I was too dreadful miserable on account of seeing her cry.
Friday.—She didn't come to school this morning, and I felt awful. I couldn't study, I couldn't do anything. I got a black mark because I couldn't tell if a man had five apples and divided them equally among himself and gave the rest away, how much it was —or something like that. I didn't know how many parts of speech there was, and I didn't care. I was head of the spelling class and I spellt baker with two k's and got turned down foot. I got lathered for drawing a picture of her on the slate, though it looked more like women's hoops with a hatchet on top than it looked like her. But I didn't care for sufferings. Bill Williams bent a pin and I set down on it, but I never even squirmed. Jake Warner hit me with a spit-ball, but I never took any notice of it. The world was all dark to me. The first hour that morning was awful. Something told me she wouldn't be there. I don't know what, but something told me. And my heart sunk away down when I looked among all the girls and didn't find her. No matter what was going on, that first hour, I was watching the door. I wouldn't hear the teacher sometimes, and then I got scolded. I kept on hoping and hoping—and starting, a little, every time the door opened—till it was no use—she wasn't coming. And when she came in the afternoon, it was all bright again. But she passed by me and never even looked at me. I felt so bad. I tried to catch her eye, but I couldn't. She always looked the other way. At last she set up close to Jimmy Riley and whispered to him a long, long time—five minutes, I should think. I wished that I could die right in my tracks. And I said to myself I would lick Jim Riley till he couldn't stand. Presently she looked at me—for the first time—but she didn't smile. She laid something as far as she could toward the end of the bench and motioned that it was for me. Soon as the teacher turned I rushed there and got it. It was wrote on a piece of copy-book, and so the first line wasn't hers. This is the letter:
"Time and Tide wait for no Man.
"mister william rogers i do not love you dont come about me any more i will not speak to you"
I cried all the afternoon, nearly, and I hated her. She passed by me two or three times, but I never noticed her. At recess I licked three of the boys and put my arms round May Warner's neck, and she saw me do it, too, and she didn't play with anybody at all. Once she came near me and said very low, "Billy, I—I'm sorry." But I went away and wouldn't look at her. But pretty soon I was sorry myself. I was scared, then. I jumped up and ran, but school was just taking in and she was already gone to her seat. I thought what a fool I was; and I wished it was to do over again, I wouldn't go away. She had said she was sorry—and I wouldn't notice her. I wished the house would fall on me. I felt so mean for treating her so when she wanted to be friendly. How I did wish I could catch her eye!—I would look a look that she would understand. But she never, never looked at me. She sat with her head down, looking sad, poor thing. She never spoke but once during the afternoon, and then it was to that hateful Jim Riley. I will pay him for this conduct.
Excerpted from Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer Among the Indians and Other Unfinished Stories by Mark Twain. Copyright © 1989 The Regents of the University of California. Excerpted by permission of UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS.
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