310 THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN.
"It a'n't no use, Huck, it ain't agoing to work. If we was prisoners it would, because then we'd have as many years as we wanted, and no hurry; and we wouldn't get but a few minutes to dig, every day, while they was changing watches, and so our hands wouldn't get blistered, and we could keep it up right along, year in and year out, and do it right, and the way it ought to be done. But we can't fool along, we got to rush; we ain't got no time to spare. If we wras to put in another night this way, we'd have to knock off for a week to let our hands get well—couldn't touch a case-knife with them sooner."
" Well, then, what we going to do, Tom ? "
" I'll tell you. It ain't right, and it ain't moral, and I wouldn't like it to get out—but there ain't only just the one way; we got to dig him out with the picks, and let on it's case-knives.''
"Now you're talking!" I says ; "your head gets leveler and leveler all the time, Tom Sawyer," I says. " Picks is the thing, moral or no moral; and as for me, I don't care shucks for the morality of it, nohow. When I start in to steal a nigger, or a watermelon, or a Sunday-school book, I ain't no ways particular how it's done so it's done. What I want is my nigger; or what I want is my watermelon ; or what I want is my Sunday-school book ; and if a pick's the handiest thing, that's the thing I'm agoing to dig that nigger or that watermelon or that Sunday-school book out with ; and I don't give a dead rat what the authorities thinks about it nuther."
" Well," he says, " there's excuse for picks and letting-on in a case like this ; if it warn't so, I wouldn't approve of it, nor I wouldn't stand by and see the rules broke—because right is right, and wrong is wrong, and a body ain't got no business doing wrong when he ain't ignorant and knows better. It might answer for you to dig Jim out with a pick, without any letting-on, because you don't know no better; but it wouldn't for me, because I do know better. Gimme a case-knife."
He had his own by him, but I handed him mine. He flung it down, and says :
" Gimme a case-knife"
I didn't know just what to do—but then I thought. I scratched around