A NIGGER STEALER.
So he done it; and it satisfied him ; and he was that glad to see me again, he didn't know what to do. And he wanted to know all about it right off ; because it was a grand adventure, and mysterious, and so it hit him where he lived. But I said, leave it alone till by-and-by ; and told his driver to wait, and we drove off a little piece, and I told him the kind of a fix I was in, and what did he reckon we better do ? He said, let him alone a minute, and don't disturb him. So he thought and thought, and pretty soon he says :
"It's all right, I've got it. Take my trunk in your wagon, and let on it's your'n ; and you turn back and fool along slow, so as to get to the house about the time you ought to ; and I'll go towards town a piece, and take a fresh start, and. get there a quarter or a half an hour after you ; and you needn't let on to know me, at first."
I says :
" All right; but wait a minute. There's one more thing—a thing that nobody don't know but me. And that is, there's a nigger here that I'm a trying to steal out of slavery—and his name is Jim—old Miss Watson's Jim."
" What! Why Jim is------"
He stopped and went to studying. I says :
"I know what you'll say. You'll say it's dirty low-down business ; but what if it is ?—I'm low down ; and I'm agoing to steal him, and I want you to keep mum and not let on. Will you?"
His eye lit up, and he says :
" I'll help you steal him ! "
Well, I let go all holts then, like I was shot. It was the most astonishing speech I ever heard—and I'm bound to say Tom Sawyer fell, considerable, in my estimation. Only I couldn't believe it. Tom Sawyer a nigger stealer I
" Oh, shucks," I says, "you're joking."
" I ain't joking, either."
"Well, then," I says, "joking or no joking, if you hear anything said about a runaway nigger, don't forget to remember that you don't know nothing about him, and Idon't know nothing about him."