328 THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN.
hammer, and told him to work till the rest of his candle quit on him, and then he could go to bed, and hide the grindstone under his straw tick and sleep on it. Then we helped him fix his chain back on the bed-leg, and was ready for bed ourselves. But Tom thought of something, and says :
" You got any spiders in here, Jim ?"
" No, sah, thanks to goodness I hain't, Mars Tom."
" All right, we'll get you some,"
" But bless you, honey, I doan' want none. I's afeard un urn. I jis' 's soon have rattlesnakes aroun'."
Tom thought a minute or two, and says :
" It's a good idea. And I reckon it's been done. It must a been done ; it stands to reason. Yes, it's a prime good idea. Where could you keep it ? "
" Keep what, Mars Tom ? "
"Why, a rattlesnake."
" De goodness gracious alive, Mars Tom ! Why, if dey was a rattlesnake to come in heah, I'd take en bust right out thoo dat log wall, I would, wid my head."
"Why, Jim, you wouldn't be afraid of it, after a little. You could tame it."
" Tame it I"
" Yes—easy enough. Every animal is grateful for kindness and petting, and they wouldn't think of hurting a person that pets them. Any book will tell you that. You try—that's all I ask ; just try for two or three days. Why, you can get him so, in a little while, that he'll love you ; and sleep with you ; and won't stay away from you a minute ; and will let you wrap him round your neck and put his head in your mouth."
" Please, Mars Tom—doan9 talk so ! I can't start it! He'd let me shove his head in my mouf—fer a favor, hain't it ? I lay he'd wait a pow'ful long time 'fo' I ast him. En mo' en dat, I doan' want him to sleep wid me."
"Jim, don't act so foolish. A prisoner's got to have some kind of a dumb pet, and if a rattlesnake hain't ever been tried, why, there's more glory to be gained in your being the first to ever try it than any other way you could ever think of to save your life."