RUNNING BY CAIRO. 129
" What town is it, mister ? "
" If you want to know, go and find out. If you stay here botherin' around me for about a half a minute longer, you'll get something you won't want."
I paddled to the raft. Jim was awful disappointed, but I said never mind, Cairo would be the next place, I reckoned.
We passed another town before daylight, and I was going out again ; but it was high ground, so I didn't go. No high ground about Cairo, Jim said. I had forgot it. We laid up for the day, on a tow-head tolerable close to the left-hand bank. I begun to suspicion something. So did Jim. I says :
"Maybe we went by Cairo in the fog that night."
He says :
" Doan' less' talk about it, Huck. Po' niggers can't have no luck. I awluz 'spected dat rattle-snake skin warn't done wid it's work."
" I wish I'd never seen that snake-skin, Jim—I do wish I'd never laid eyes on it."
"It ain't yo' fault, Huck; you didn' know. Don't you blame yo'self 'bout it."
When it was daylight, here was the clear Ohio water in shore, sure enough, and outside was the old regular Muddy ! So it was all up with Cairo.
We talked it all over. It wouldn't do to take to the shore ; we couldn't take the raft up the stream, of course. There warn't no way but to wait for dark, and start back in the canoe and take the chances. So we slept all day amongst the cotton-wood thicket, so as to be fresh for the work, and when we went back to the raft about dark the canoe was gone !
We didn't say a word for a good while. There warn't anything to say. We both knowed well enough it was some more work of the rattle-snake skin ; so what was the use to talk about it ? It would only look like we was finding fault, and that would be bound to fetch more bad luck—and keep on fetching it, too, till we knowed enough to keep still.
By-and-by we talked about what we better do, and found there warn't no way
but just to go along down with the raft till we got a chance to buy a canoe to go
back in. We warn't going to borrow it when there warn't anybody around, the
way pap would do, for that might set people after us. 9