246 THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN.
" Sakes alive, I hope it ain't Hanner?" " I'm sorry to say it," I says, " but Hanner's the very one." " My goodness—and she so well only last week ! Is she took bad ? " " It ain't no name for it. They set up with her all night, Miss Mary Jane said, and they don't think she'll last many hours."
" Only think of that, now ! What's the matter with her !"
I couldn't think of anything reasonable, right off that way, so I says :
" Mumps your granny ! They don't set up with people that's got the mumps."
" They don't, don't they ? You better bet they do with these mumps. These mumps is different. It's a new kind, Miss Mary Jane said."
" How's it a new kind ? " " Because it's mixed up with other things." "What other things ? " "Well, measles, and whooping-cough, and erysiplas, and consumption, and yaller janders, and brain fever, and I don't know what all." " My land ! And they call it the mumps ? " " That's what Miss Mary Jane said." " Well, what in the nation do they call it the mumps for ? "
" Why, because it is the mumps. That's what it starts with." " Well, ther' ain't no sense in it. A body might stump his toe, and take pison, and fall down the well, and break his neck, and bust his brains out, and somebody come along and ask what killed him, and some numskull up and say/ Why, he stumped his toe.' Would ther' be any sense in that ? No. And ther' ain't no sense in this, nuther. Is it ketching? "
" Is it ketching f Why, how you talk. Is a harrow catching ?—in the dark ?