Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mon...er...Tuesday Interview Series: Huckleberry Finn

Hello. The schedule's a little out of whack this week, so I'll be posting Monday's interview today instead. Way back in January, our first interview was with Tom Sawyer. This week, we were able to catch up to his cohort, Huckleberry Finn.

Greg:  Welcome, Huckleberry. I'm really glad you could take some time away from the Mississippi to come up north.

Huckleberry:  Thank 'ee very much fer invitin' me. I aint never had no call t' come up this ways before. Mighty purty country ya got here. By the way, ya kin call me Huck, all m' friends does.

Greg:  Well, thanks, Huck. That leads nicely into my first question. Can you tell us a little bit about your friends?

Huck:   Why sure. Prob'ly m' best friend'd be Tom Sawyer. Him 'n' me is thick as thieves. We've had all sorts of adventures. M' favorite was when we out skunked Injun Joe an' got a whole passel of money that set us up real nice. That's when I saved the Widder Douglas.

Greg:  Yes, Tom told me a lot about that when I spoke with him. She adopted you, right?

Huck:  Yeah, she did. She tried t' sivilize me, and made me go t' school. She said she was tryin' t' pay me back, but I shore could think of better ways t' do it. Anyways, m' pap weren't too pleased by it all. It's funny, but when I were poor he didn't pay me no mind, but as soon as I wuz rich he tried t' take me away.

He drug me way out t' the woods, which weren't too bad, as a matter o' fact, compared with school. But Pap wuz powerful taken with drink most ever night, an' he'd get real mean an' dangerous. So, I fooled ever one inta thinkin' I was murdered, an' I snuck away t' Jackson's Island, where I was gonna live like a king.

Greg:  Why didn't you stay there?

Huck:  I met up with ol' Miss Watson's slave, Jim, who was escapin' t' Ohia. We decided t' team up an' lit out on a raft t' see some o' the mighty Mississip. At first, I looked at Jim as just a slave. I thought he might be useful. But, by an' by, I come t' realise he were a person same as me, an' we become good friends. Funny how floatin' on a river just settin' an' talkin' with a body can teach ya a whole lot more than any book learnin'.

Greg:  Did you and Jim have many adventures?

Huck:  Oh my, yes. We was stuck in the middle of a feud 'tween the Grangerfords and the Shephersons which made the Hatfields and McCoys look like blood kin. 'Most all the Grangerford menfolk were killed. It weren't pretty.

Then we met up with two fellers who said they was a Duke an' a King. We took them along an' we put in t' towns along the river puttin' on shows. Jim got all painted up in blue an' pretended t' be a Arab--don't know what bein' blue had t' do with it. Anyhow, this duke an' this king got us involved in some scheme t' steal money from the dead. I took the money away from 'em an' hid it in a coffin.

Jim an' me got away, but the duke an' the king found us an' escaped with us. They wound up sellin' Jim an' then I had t' rescue him.

Greg:  It all sounds like a wild adventure. How did it come to be written down?

Huck:  Oh, well there's an interestin' story 'bout that. Ya see, me 'n' Tom met up with this ol' feller by the name o' Mark Twain, an' Mr. Twain was powerful interested in hearin' 'bout our adventures. So, first he had Tom tell his story--in his own words mind--an' he wrote 'em down. Then, it was my turn. I told him all 'bout the Widder an' ol' Jim an' the Duke an' the King. Mr. Twain, he sat there a scribblin' away with an ol' lead pencil just as fast as I could talk. Now that's sommethin', 'cuz I kin talk like the wind.

Anyways, he sat there a scribblin' an' when I was done, he give both of us a couple licorice whips an' a chaw of tobacca each, an' then took off without so much as a thank'ee. Then 'fore I knows it, these here books show up at the gen'ral store. They's all 'bout me 'n' Tom. Made a powerful amount o' money for ol' Mr. Twain, I hear, but I aint seen none of it.

Greg:  Umm, I see. Well, I suppose there are two sides to every story, and that's a side that I've never heard before. Thank you very much for your time, Huck. It's been great settin' on the river and jawin' with you for a spell.

Huck:  Any time. Maybe next time y'all can come t' St. Petersburg an' have Sunday supper with me 'n'  the Widder Douglas. She cooks good, but she makes me wash m' hands say m' prayers before I eat. Then there's the bath I have t' take ever Saturday night, don't even get me started on that! I guess I'm gonna have t' get used t' bein' sivilized.

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