Original Illustrated Version By Mark Twain

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OLD MUFF'S FRIENDS.                                            183
" Yes—so they would. But I hate to hear ?em abuse him so like the dickens when he never done—that."
"I do too, Tom. Lord, I hear 'em say he's the bloodiest looking villain in this country, and they wonder he wasn't ever hung before."
"Yes, they talk like that, all the time. I've heard 'em say that if he was to get free they'd lynch him."
"And they'd do it, too."
The boys had a long talk, but it brought them little comfort. As the twi­light drew on, they found themselves hanging about the neighborhood of the little isolated jail, perhaps with an undefined hope that something would hap­pen that might clear away their difficulties. But nothing happened; there seemed to be no angels or fairies interested in this luckless captive.
The boys did as they had often done before—went to the cell grating and gave Potter some tobacco and matches. He was on the ground floor and there were no guards.
His gratitude for their gifts had always smote their consciences before—it cut deeper than ever, this time. They felt cowardly and treacherous to the last degree when Potter said :
" You've been mighty good to me, boys—better'n anybody else in this town. And I don't forget it, I don't. Often I says to myself, says I, ' I used to mend all the boys' kites and things, and show 'em where the good fish in' places was, and befriend 'em what I could, and now they've all forgot old Muff when he's in trouble; but Tom don't, and Huck don't—they don't forget himIsays I, 'and I don't forget them.' Well, boys, I done*an awful thing—drunk and crazy at the time—that's the only way I account for it—and now I got to swing for it, and it's right. Right, and best, too I reckon—hope so, anyway. Well, we won't talk about that. I don't want to make you feel bad; you've befriended me. But what I want to say, is, don't you ever get drunk—then you won't ever get here. Stand a little furder west—so—that's it: it's a prime comfort to see faces that's friendly when a body's in such a muck of trouble, and there don't none come here but yourn. Good friendly faces—good friendly faces. Git up on one another's backs and let me touch 'em. That's it. Shake hands—