The next day, towards evening, we lay down under a small willow tree in the middle, where there was a village on both sides of the river, and the duke and the king began to devise a plan of how to run the villages. Jim spoke to the duke and said that he hoped it wouldn't be more than a few hours, as it was too heavy and exhausting for him to lie in the wigwam tied up with rope all day. You know, when we left him on his own, we had to tie him up, because if somebody ran into him alone and untied, it wouldn't look like he was a runaway black, you know. So the duke said it was hard enough to be on the ropes all day and he would find a way around it.
He was unusually clever, the duke was, and he soon hit the mark. She dressed Jim in the costume of King Lear: it was a long calico drapery dress and a white horsehair wig and sideburns; and then she took the stage paint from him and painted Jim's face, hands, ears, and neck a dull dead solid blue, like a man who has drowned nine days. Guilty if it wasn't the most horrible outrage I've ever seen. So the duke took and wrote a sign on a tablet like this:
Sick Arab, but harmless unless crazy.
And he nailed this tablet to a batten and set the batten four or five feet in front of the hut. Jamie was satisfied. He said it was much better than being tied up every day for a few years and shaking at every sound. The duke told him to sit back and relax, and if ever anyone interferes he should jump out of the wigwam and move forward a bit, and give a howl or two like a wild beast, and he thought they would light up and leave him alone. only. What common sense was enough; but he takes the average man and wouldn't wait to cry. It didn't just look like he was dead, he looked so much more.
These rappers wanted to try the Nonesuch again because there was a lot of money in it, but they didn't feel it was safe because the news might have been worked on at the time. He couldn't find an exact match; So finally the duke said he supposed he'd stop and rack his brain for an hour or two and see if he could do something about the Arkansaw people; and the king he allowed would go to another village without any plan, but simply trusting that Providence would lead him on the path of gain, that is, the devil, I think. We had all bought clothes where we had last left them; and now the king put on his, and he told me to put mine on. Of course I did. The king's clothes were all black and he looked very puffy and starchy. I never knew before how clothes can transform a body. Before, he looked like the most stubborn old fool that ever lived; but now, when he took off his new white beaver and bowed and smiled, he looked so great and good and godly that you'd say he'd come right out of the ark, and maybe he was old Leviticus himself. Jim cleaned the canoe and I got my paddle ready. A large steamer lay on the shore, far below the promontory, about three miles above the town; He was there for a few hours picking up cargo. says the king:
“If I see how I'm dressed, maybe I better come from St. Louis or Cincinnati or some other big place. Go for the steamer, Huckleberry; We're going to town with her."
I didn't have to ask myself twice for a steam ride. I came ashore half a mile above the town and then sailed along the cliffs in the calm water. Pretty soon we came to a nice, innocent looking young country, Jake sitting on a log wiping sweat from his face, for it was very hot weather; and he had with him a couple of large bags of rugs.
"He carries his nose to the shore," says the king. I did it. "Where are you going, young man?"
"Stop the steamer; I'm going to Orleans."
"Come in," says the king. "Wait a moment, my servant will bring you the bags. Jump and he is the gentleman, Adolphus" - referring to me, I see.
I did, and then the three of us started over. The young man was very grateful; he said it was hard work carrying his suitcases in this weather. He asked the king where he was going and the king told him that he had gone down the river this morning and ended up in the other town and now he was going up a few miles to visit an old friend on a farm there. The young man says:
"When I first see you, I say to myself, 'It's Mr. Wilks, sure, and he's pretty close to being on time.' But then I say again, 'No, I guess it's not, or otherwise I would." You won't be paddling upstream. You're not him, are you?
"No, my name is Blodgett - Elexander Blodgett - Reverend Elexander Blodgett, I suppose I should say, as I am one of the Lord's poor servants. Still, I can feel very sorry for Mr. Wilks who did not arrive on time, yet if that means you missed something, which I hope you didn't."
“Well, you don't want any property with that, because you'll manage; but he missed seeing his brother Peter die – which he may not care, no one can say – but his brother would give anything in the world to see HIM before he died; he never spoke of anything else in those three weeks; he hadn't seen him since they were kids together, and he hadn't seen his brother William, that's the deep one, William isn't more than thirty or thirty-five. Peter and George were the only ones out of here; George was the married brother; he and his wife died last year. Harvey and William are the only ones left now; and, as I said, they did not arrive on time.
"Did someone tip you off?"
"Oh yes; a month or two ago when Peter was first kidnapped; because Peter said at the time that he felt he wasn't going to get any better this time. See, he was quite old, and George's girls were too young to they kept him a lot of company except for Mary Jane, the redhead, so he felt more alone after George and his wife died and didn't seem to care much for living.He was looking forward to seeing Harvey, and also, by the way, William. one of those people who can't bear to make a will, he left Harvey a letter saying he revealed where his money was hidden and how he planned to split the rest of the estate with him "George's girl is fine - because George left nothing . And that letter was all they could get to put a pen on it."
"Why do you think Harvey isn't coming? Where does he live?"
"Oh, he lives in England - Sheffield - he preaches there - he's never been to this country. He didn't have much time, and besides, he may not have gotten the letter, you know?
"Too bad, too bad he couldn't see his brothers anymore, poor soul. Are you going to Orleans, you say?"
"Yeah, but that's not just part of it. I'm going to take a boat to Ryo Janeero where my uncle lives next Wednesday."
"It's quite a long journey. But it will be nice; I wish I were traveling. Is Mary Jane the oldest? How old are the rest?"
"Mary Jane is nineteen, Susan fifteen and Joanna about fourteen, that's the one with the good deeds and harelip."
"Poor things! Let them be left alone in the cold world like that."
"Well, they could be worse. Old Peter had friends and they won't let them hurt her. There's Hobson the Babtis preacher; and Deacon Lot Hovey, Ben Rucker, Abner Shackleford and Levi Bell the lawyer; and Dr. Robinson and their wives and the Widow Bartley and... well, there are plenty of them, but these are the ones Peter concentrated most on and sometimes wrote about when he wrote home, so Harvey knows where to look for friends when I arrived here".
Well, the old man kept asking questions until he almost drained the young man. Accused if he inquired nothing and everything in this blessed city and the Wilkses; and about Peter's business, that he was a tanner; and about George's, who was a carpenter; and about Harvey's, who was a maverick clergyman; And so on and so on. He then he says:
"What did you want to go to the steamer for?"
“Because it's a big ship from Orleans and I was afraid it couldn't stop there. If they are deep they will not be stopped by hail. A Cincinnati ship, yes, but this is a St. Louis ship."
"¿Peter Wilks era rico?"
"Oh yeah, pretty good. He had houses and land and is believed to have left three or four thousand in cash, Somer went into hiding."
"When did you say he died?"
"I didn't say that, but it was last night."
"Funeral tomorrow probably?"
"Yes, around noon."
“Well, it's all terribly sad; but we all have to go at one time or another. So we want to be prepared; then we are fine."
“Yes sir, that is the best way. Mom always said that.
When we got to the boat, it was almost finished loading and we soon got off. The king never said anything about boarding so I ended up missing my trip. When the boat was gone, the king made me row another mile to a deserted place, and then he stepped ashore and said:
Now, go back, right now, and bring the duke up here and the new traveling bags. And when he's gone to the other side, he goes there and grabs him. And he tells him to pull himself together anyway. Now he presses more ”.
I see what HE was doing; but of course I never said anything. When I returned with the duke, we hid the canoe and then they sat on a log and the king told him everything, just as the young man had said, down to the last word. And all the time he tried to speak like an Englishman; and he did well enough, too, to stay hunched over. I can't imitate him, so I won't try; but he actually did pretty well. Then he says:
"How are you deaf and dumb, Bilgewater?"
The duke said to leave him alone; he said that he played a deaf-mute person on the Histronic boards. So they waited for a steamer.
A few small boats pass by in the middle of the afternoon, but can't get far enough up the river; but at last there was a big one, and they greeted her. She sent her boat over and we boarded and she was from Cincinnati; and when they found out we were only going to go four or five miles, they went crazy and cursed and said they wouldn't let us land. But the king was Ham. He says:
"If the gentlemen's relatives can pay a dollar a mile to be picked up and dropped off by boat, the steamboat relatives can afford to transport them, can't they?"
So they calmed down and said it was okay; and when we reached the town they howled us to the shore. About two dozen men got out when they saw the boat coming and when the king said:
"Could one of you gentlemen tell me where Mr. Peter Wilks lives?" They look at each other and nod as if to say, "What did I tell you?" Then one of them says, somehow soft and gentle:
"I'm sorry, sir, but the best we can do is tell you where you lived last night."
Suddenly, like a wink, the stubborn old Cretur came down and fell against the man and rested his chin on his shoulder and yelled behind his back and said:
'Ah, ah, our poor brother - he's gone, and we never saw him; Oh, it's too, too hard!
She then turns whimpering and makes a lot of idiotic hand signals at the Duke and blames him when he didn't drop a bag and yell. If they don't notify the draw, the two cheaters I've beaten.
Well, the men gathered around them and sympathized with them and said all kinds of nice things and carried their traveling bags up the hill and made them lean against them and cry and told the king all about their brother. In the last moments, and the king, he told the duke again by hand, and both spoke of this dead tanner as if they had lost his twelve disciples. Well, if I've ever hit anything like that, I'm a black. It was enough to make a body feel ashamed of the human race.