WE had powerful good luck; because we got a
chance in a stern-wheeler from away North which
was bound for one of them bayous or one-horse rivers
away down Louisiana way, and so we could go all the
way down the Upper Mississippi
and all the way down
the Lower Mississippi to that farm in Arkansaw with-
out having to change steamboats at St. Louis; not so
very much short of a thousand miles at one pull.
A pretty lonesome boat; there warn't but few
passengers, and all old folks, that set around, wide
apart, dozing, and was very quiet. We was four days
getting out of the "upper river," because we got
aground so much. But it warn't dull -- couldn't be
for boys that was traveling, of course.
From the very start me and Tom allowed that there
was somebody sick in the stateroom next to ourn, be-
cause the meals was always toted in there by the wait-
ers. By and by we asked about it -- Tom did and
the waiter said it was a man, but he didn't look sick.
"Well, but AIN'T he sick?"
"I don't know; maybe he is, but 'pears to me he's
just letting on."
"What makes you think that?"
"Because if he was sick he would pull his clothes off
SOME time or other -- don't you reckon he would?
Well, this one don't. At least he don't ever pull off
his boots, anyway."
"The mischief he don't! Not even when he goes
It was always nuts for Tom Sawyer -- a mystery was.
If you'd lay out a mystery and a pie before me and
him, you wouldn't have to say take your choice; it
was a thing that would regulate itself. Because in my
nature I have always run to pie, whilst in his nature he
has always run to mystery. People are made different.
And it is the best way. Tom says to the waiter:
"What's the man's name?"
"Where'd he come aboard?"
"I think he got aboard at Elexandria, up on the
"What do you reckon he's a-playing?"
"I hain't any notion -- I never thought of it."
I says to myself, here's another one that runs to pie.
"Anything peculiar about him? -- the way he acts or
"No -- nothing, except he seems so scary, and
keeps his doors locked night and day both, and when
you knock he won't let you in till he opens the door a
crack and sees who it is."
"By jimminy, it's int'resting! I'd like to get a
look at him. Say -- the next time you're going in
there, don't you reckon you could spread the door
"No, indeedy! He's always behind it. He would
block that game."
Tom studied over it, and then he says:
"Looky here. You lend me your apern and let me
take him his breakfast in the morning. I'll give you a
The boy was plenty willing enough, if the head
steward wouldn't mind. Tom says that's all right, he
reckoned he could fix it with the head steward; and he
done it. He fixed it so as we could both go in with
aperns on and toting vittles.
He didn't sleep much, he was in such a sweat to get
in there and find out the mystery about Phillips; and
moreover he done a lot of guessing about it all night,
which warn't no use, for if you are going to find out
the facts of a thing, what's the sense in guessing out
what ain't the facts and wasting ammunition? I
didn't lose no sleep. I wouldn't give a dern to know
what's the matter of Phillips, I says to myself.
Well, in the morning we put on the aperns and got a
couple of trays of truck, and Tom he knocked on the
door. The man opened it a crack, and then he let us in
and shut it quick. By Jackson, when we got a sight of
him, we 'most dropped the trays! and Tom says:
"Why, Jubiter Dunlap, where'd YOU come from?"
Well, the man was astonished, of course; and first
off he looked like he didn't know whether to be scared,
or glad, or both, or which, but finally he settled down
to being glad; and then his color come back, though at
first his face had turned pretty white. So we got to
talking together while he et his breakfast. And he
"But I aint Jubiter Dunlap. I'd just as soon tell
you who I am, though, if you'll swear to keep mum,
for I ain't no Phillips, either."
"We'll keep mum, but there ain't any need to tell
who you are if you ain't Jubiter Dunlap."
"Because if you ain't him you're t'other twin, Jake.
You're the spit'n image of Jubiter."
"Well, I'm Jake. But looky here, how do you
come to know us Dunlaps?"
Tom told about the adventures we'd had down there
at his uncle Silas's last summer, and when he see that
there warn't anything about his folks -- or him either,
for that matter -- that we didn't know, he opened out
and talked perfectly free and candid. He never made
any bones about his own case; said he'd been a hard
lot, was a hard lot yet, and reckoned he'd be a hard lot
plumb to the end. He said of course it was a danger-
ous life, and --
He give a kind of gasp, and set his head like a person
that's listening. We didn't say anything, and so it
was very still for a second or so, and there warn't no
sounds but the screaking of the woodwork and the chug-
chugging of the machinery down below.
Then we got him comfortable again, telling him about
his people, and how Brace's wife had been dead three
years, and Brace wanted to marry Benny and she shook
him, and Jubiter was working for Uncle Silas, and him
and Uncle Silas quarreling all the time -- and then he
let go and laughed.
"Land!" he says, "it's like old times to hear all
this tittle-tattle, and does me good. It's been seven
years and more since I heard any. How do they talk
about me these days?"
"The farmers -- and the family."
"Why, they don't talk about you at all -- at least
only just a mention, once in a long time."
"The nation!" he says, surprised; "why is that?"
"Because they think you are dead long ago."
"No! Are you speaking true? -- honor bright,
now." He jumped up, excited.
"Honor bright. There ain't anybody thinks you are
"Then I'm saved, I'm saved, sure! I'll go home.
They'll hide me and save my life. You keep mum.
Swear you'll keep mum -- swear you'll never, never tell
on me. Oh, boys, be good to a poor devil that's being
hunted day and night, and dasn't show his face! I've
never done you any harm; I'll never do you any, as
God is in the heavens; swear you'll be good to me
and help me save my life."
We'd a swore it if he'd been a dog; and so we done
it. Well, he couldn't love us enough for it or be grate-
ful enough, poor cuss; it was all he could do to keep
from hugging us.
We talked along, and he got out a little hand-bag
and begun to open it, and told us to turn our backs.
We done it, and when he told us to turn again he was
perfectly different to what he was before. He had on
blue goggles and the naturalest-looking long brown
whiskers and mustashes you ever see. His own
mother wouldn't 'a' knowed him. He asked us if he
looked like his brother Jubiter, now.
"No," Tom said; "there ain't anything left that's
like him except the long hair."
"All right, I'll get that cropped close to my head be-
fore I get there; then him and Brace will keep my
secret, and I'll live with them as being a stranger, and
the neighbors won't ever guess me out. What do you
Tom he studied awhile, then he says:
"Well, of course me and Huck are going to keep
mum there, but if you don't keep mum yourself there's
going to be a little bit of a risk -- it ain't much, maybe,
but it's a little. I mean, if you talk, won't people
notice that your voice is just like Jubiter's; and
mightn't it make them think of the twin they reckoned
was dead, but maybe after all was hid all this time
under another name?"
"By George," he says, "you're a sharp one!
You're perfectly right. I've got to play deef and
dumb when there's a neighbor around. If I'd a struck
for home and forgot that little detail -- However, I
wasn't striking for home. I was breaking for any
place where I could get away from these fellows that
are after me; then I was going to put on this disguise
and get some different clothes, and --"
He jumped for the outside door and laid his ear
against it and listened, pale and kind of panting.
Presently he whispers:
"Sounded like cocking a gun! Lord, what a life to
Then he sunk down in a chair all limp and sick like,
and wiped the sweat off of his face.