Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 3

It happened a while back, if you really want to know.

My Aunt Polly had made me whitewash the goddamn fence and all. Fences are pretty stupid, if you ask me. Keep people in or keep people out, but don't have a goddamn hole in the middle of a wall. And she never makes my brother Sid do stuff like this. He's such an arrogant bastard, Sid. He kisses up to Aunt Polly like he's such a good boy then he goes and does stuff like reaching into the sugar bowl and breaking it. He's such a lousy slob that way. Boy, it makes me sore as hell. Anyway, I'm sitting outside whitewashing the fence and all while Sid's inside, playing with the cat. And then that's when I got an idea. It was a great idea, it really was. Old Ben Rogers came by and started making fun of me. I decided that I was gonna make him do my dirty work. I pulled real clever trick: while he was making fun of me, I pointed out to him that you don't get to whitewash a fence everyday. Boy, was he begging to whitewash the goddamn fence then. But I was smart. I got him to give me his apple. Then old Billy Fisher gave me a good kite and old Johnny Miller gave me a dead rat that I could swing around by its tail. It was great. By the time we ran outta whitewash, I had twelve marbles, part of a Jew's harp, a piece of blue bottle glass to look through, a spool cannon, a key that wouldn't unlock anything, a fragment of chalk, a glass stopper of decanter, a tin soldier, a couple of tadpoles, six firecrackers, a kitten with only one eye, a brass doorknob, a dog collar without a dog, the handle of a knife, four pieces of orange peel, and a ruined old window sash. Pretty terrific loot, if you ask me. Then there was that time I met that marvelous Becky Thatcher. And in one moment I had forgotten all about my first girlfriend, Amy Lawrence. I mean Amy was fun to neck with and she was sweet in a kind of whorey way. But boy was Becky a fair-haired, muckle-mouthed beauty. She was kind of funny. I mean, what kind of person doesn't like dead rats and wants to share their chewing gum? That really killed me. But we got engaged. It's not hard. If want to know the truth, all you got to do is tell a body you won't ever have no one but him and then you gotta kiss them. It's not like necking. This is the real goddamn thing. No phony stuff. Then there's that time with old Huck Finn. Huckleberry's his real name, if you really want to know. But we all call him Huck because Huckleberry is kind of flitty and all. I mean what kind of clueless bastards name their kid Huckleberry? It's like they want their kid to be a flit. But Huck's no flit, and he'll sock anyone who says he is. He's the toughest guy around. The last one to wear shoes in the winter and the first to take them off. It kills me how he does that, it really does. Anyway, Huck and I joined new order of Cadets of Temperance. I thought the regalia and all was pretty fantastic. And I made this promise not to smoke and swear and all. Boy, as soon as you promise not to do something, you want to do it. You really do. I wasn't too crazy about it after a while, though. The only thing that kept me in that lousy group was the red sash that we wore. Occasionally I'd turn down the edges of the sash and imagine being a saber dancer, marching around at the front of a parade. I used to look in the mirror and dance around when I wore that sash. It looked kind of stupid. I didn't care though. The next two weeks were crap. Everyone was a goddamn priest. I'm kind of an atheist if you wanna know the truth. I mean Jesus is great and all, but boy I don't get the apostles. Becky used to talk about the Bible all the time. Do this, don't do that. It sounded so goddamn boring. And to think people live their lives off of it. It kills me, it really does.

It depressed the hell out of me when Judge Frazer got sick. He was this big shot who ran the Cadets. Apparently we were meant to think awful highly of him. First everyone was freaking out because he was dying, then all of a sudden he was convalescent, then dying again. You can't trust a guy like that, fluctuating all the time. I quit right about then. He died soon after anyway. After leaving the Cadets, I was a free man again. I could swear and smoke all I wanted. But I didn't really feel like it. It being acceptable and all made it much less interesting. The whole vacation thing started to seem less fun than I thought it would be. After a while, there were these crazy performers who came to town. Me and Huck and some other guys went to see them and even tried out making our own show. It kept us busy for two days. Then a circus came and when they left it was as if they had never been there. There were parties here and there but there were so few of them that it just made the time in between less bearable. And worst of all, old Becky Thatcher was away at school so there was no bright side to life anywhere. When she finally did get back, I had this great idea. We were playing hide and seek at a picnic with a few kids from school. There was this spooky old cave at the edge of town. I was pretty yellow about going in there, but I figured that I had to impress Becky some way or other. So me and old Becky decided to hide in that cave. I could tell she was terrifically scared- she had this habit of hers so that when she was worried or nervous. She would start twirling around with a lock of her hair. I thought it was a helluva cute thing, but I never told her. Sorta wish I did. I dunno how she'd have reacted. Anyway, when we went in through this little opening she couldn't leave her hair alone for a second. Once we got further in the cave, it got dark as hell. I was shaking like I was struck by lightning, but I didn't want to Becky to know I was. It would make me look really yellow, it really would. Anyway, we got lost and Becky started crying and all. I mean she just sat down and started bawling. I kinda sat down with her and put my arms around her, if you really want to know. It felt kind of good, doing that. I thought about marrying her, and having kids right then. But then I got kind of nervous. I mean, I'm a virgin and all. I really am. It's not that I'm not a sexy bastard, I am, I just get too scared when I'm necking with a girl and she starts saying "Stop, stop" that she really means it. So after a while, Becky stopped crying. We started walking again, going deeper and deeper. Soon we got tired and Becky wanted to sleep. I just sat there, thinking. I guess I was afraid that if I fell asleep, I would never wake up again. That if I closed my eyes, they would never open. It depressed the hell out of me, it really did. I felt like the cave would swallow me up, like in a nightmare. I would just disappear and the world would forget about me. We kept wandering around the cave for a few days. Becky was being optimistic and all because she thought that they'd miss us and come looking for us, but we were so hungry and weak that she couldn't keep going. Walking, I mean. She kept being hopeful even once she gave up. It killed me. So it ended up with me going on ahead alone to find a way out. My steps got heavier and heavier, and I was breathing like a dog. What if they found me too late? They'd run towards me, relieved, and then find try to get me to wake up. They'd keep on trying. Becky would cry for days and never look at another fellow again. The scariest thought I had, though, was later. I just crumpled against the wall... I couldn't even see. For a minute, I didn't care what happened to me. It scared the hell outta me. In the movies, when people were starting to go, they would kneel down with their eyes closed and say a prayer and all. I couldn't move my legs but I tried it anyway. The prayer bounced off the walls of the cave like a rubber ball. Maybe Becky heard it.

When I said that prayer, I dunno why, but I felt swell. I guess it was because I'd seen people do it all the time, and they always looked happy. I couldn't get up, but I put my head on the freezing ground and just grinned like a madman. I don't remember much of what happened after that. We musta been found, I guess. All I remember is a lot of people. And I remember feeling like I was falling. That's all I want to talk about. When I get out of here, I may write down all the stuff about finding Injun Joe's Treasure or Huck and all. I miss Huck. I really do. I won't be seeing him, though. Aunt Polly has made me stay here a bit. She sent Sid to visit me a few times and he asked me questions like what I'm gonna do now that the excitement has died down. I don't know really. I want to see Huck. And Becky too. I wish I hadn't told all this. It just makes me miss everybody.

Похожие интересы