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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Chapter 16
WE slept most all day, and started out at night, a little ways behind a monstrous
long raft that was as long going by as a procession. She had four long sweeps at
each end, so we judged she carried as many as thirty men, likely. She had five
big wigwams aboard, wide apart, and an open camp fire in the middle, and a tall
flag-pole at each end. There was a power of style about her. It AMOUNTED to
something being a raftsman on such a craft as that.
We went drifting down into a big bend, and the night clouded up and got hot. The
river was very wide, and was walled with solid timber on both sides; you couldn't
see a break in it hardly ever, or a light. We talked about Cairo, and wondered
whether we would know it when we got to it. I said likely we wouldn't, because I
had heard say there warn't but about a dozen houses there, and if they didn't
happen to have them lit up, how was we going to know we was passing a town?
Jim said if the two big rivers joined together there, that would show. But I said
maybe we might think we was passing the foot of an island and coming into the
same old river again. That disturbed Jim -- and me too. So the question was,
what to do? I said, paddle ashore the first time a light showed, and tell them pap
was behind, coming along with a trading-scow, and was a green hand at the
business, and wanted to know how far it was to Cairo. Jim thought it was a good
idea, so we took a smoke on it and waited.
There warn't nothing to do now but to look out sharp for the town, and not pass it
without seeing it. He said he'd be mighty sure to see it, because he'd be a free
man the minute he seen it, but if he missed it he'd be in a slave country again
and no more show for freedom. Every little while he jumps up and says:
"Dah she is?"
 
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