320 THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN.
tallow-drip off of his candle and thinking. Then he turns off slow and dreamy towards the stairs, saying :
" Well, for the life of me I can't remember when I done it. I could show her now that I warn't to blame on account of the rats. But never mind—let it go. I reckon it wouldn't do no good."
And so he went on a mumbling up stairs, and then we left. He was a mighty nice old man. And always is.
Tom was a good deal bothered about what to do for a spoon, but he said we'd got to have it ; so he took a think. When he had ciphered it out, he told me how we was to do ; then we went and waited around the spoon-basket till we see Aunt Sally coming, and then Tom went to counting the spoons and laying them out to one side, and I slid one of them up my sleeve, and Tom says :
" Why, Aunt Sally, there ain't but nine spoons, yet"
She says :
" Go 'long to your play, and don't bother me. I know better, I counted 'm myself."
" Well, I've counted them twice, Aunty, and Ican't make but nine."
She looked out of all patience, but of course she come to count—anybody would.
" I declare to gracious ther' ain't but nine ! " she says. " Why, what in the world—plague take the things, I'll count 'm again."
So I slipped back the one I had, and when she got done counting, she says :
"Hang the troublesome rubbage, ther's ten, now !" and she looked huffy and bothered both. But Tom says :
" Why, Aunty, Idon't think there's ten."
" You numskull, didn't you see me count 'm ? "
" I know, but------"
•' Well, I'll count 'm again."
So I smouched one, and they come out nine same as the other time. Well, she was in a tearing way—just a trembling all over, she was so mad. But she counted and counted, till she got that addled she'd start to count-in the basket for a spoon, sometimes ; and so, three times they come out right, and three times