Missing Chapter: Huck and Miss Fuller

This paper reflects the research and thoughts of a student at the time the paper was written for a course at Bryn Mawr College. Like other materials on Serendip, it is not intended to be "authoritative" but rather to help others further develop their own explorations. Web links were active as of the time the paper was posted but are not updated.

Contribute Thoughts | Search Serendip for Other Papers | Serendip Home Page

Big Books Home

2006 Fifth Web Report

On Serendip

Missing Chapter: Huck and Miss Fuller

Alison Reingold

The gardener notices me and Jim peeping in at the house and looking towards the orchards to see if we can swipe some apples without no one seeing. He comes over and gives us a fright and a yell and Jim hides out for the woods nearby while I try to say that we were just needing to speak to the missus of the house but since it isn't convenient that we'd go away and come back later. I'm hoping he wanders off and we can sneak in later but he grabs me and says I'd best go up to the house then. I start getting all anxious and telling that I'll just come back another time and I am on an important route and can't bear to be disturbed but he just hustles me up to the door. I get pushed in and am trying to think of what to tell the servants that will get me out when I am made to go into the sitting room. The room is real nice and fancy with furnishings and a whole mess of books, more than I've ever seen before and probably filled with more adventures than Tom Sawyer could think of. While I'm looking around a lady comes in and sits down near me and looks at me steady and says, "What a charming child you are, my dear. What is your name?" And she begins piercing me with them steady eyes of hers and I cant hardly remember my given name let alone the one I's plannin to give. I stutters out "George Peters, ma'am." And she looks me over real good and glances at her bookshelves and looks back at me until I feel real pressed and my heads is racing to think of a good excuse. But before I can say nothing, she says, "Well, that's certainly a good name for you, George" and she seems pleased so I smile and nod my head. "Won't you tell me about your travels and how you came to be here?" and I feel her eyes on me again so I start telling her some history but I mix in some of the truth because she seems real hard. I tell her my parents died tragically in a steamboat wreck and my mother put me on some floating driftwood and wept tragically and my pa tied a bag of gold and a note on me tellin who I was and where I was from and saying he hoped the Lord would follow me and help me. After I was found, I went to live with the Widow Douglas and she tried to sivilize me and I tried to do it for a time but in the end I couldn stand it so I lit out to join a gang of robbers and plunderers who lived on an island nearby. I told her they scared me terrible and threatened to kill me and skin me if I called the sheriff on em so I stayed real quiet for a time and cooked their meals and hauled their plunder and got on well with em. Til one night, ten runaway niggers crashed their skiff on the island and tried to steal the robbers plunder, wich wasn't fair an their was a huge battle and all the robbers were killed and all the niggers were killed cept one and he took me prisoner and we took a raft onto the river to go find his children and wife so he could kill their master and kidnap them too. She starts looking interested and kinda leans forward onto her elbows and fixes her eyes on me again so I sit down and just keep talkin and I tell her about the duke and the king. She looked real pleased with their scams and laughed when I told her about the Royal Nonesuch and the Shakespeare but I left out the part about Mary Jane and the coffin and the money and so forth because she could hear about it from someone else and hear bout me bein there. She asked how I came by Concord and to her house but I got real nervous and couldn decide on the truth or on a lie and she kept lookin at me until my head pulled up Tom Sawyer's face and it reminded me of a story pulled from a book and I told her, "Me and my companion are lookin for an inn to stay at and no one will let us in and its real sad cus we'd be mighty pleased to just stay in a barn and we came to your door cus we saw a bright light coming out of the top windows." I hoped she'd swallow it and for a time she just looked at me with a pleased look on her face until finally she says that I am a very fascinating boy and I may stay as long as I like and she would order us some food and we could chat. I said that would be plenty fine and she smiles and I shuffle back on her soft couch. After she calls in a servant she looks back at me and kind of folds her hands under her chin and asks, "I am quite interested in your Widow Douglas. She seems quite interesting in her manner. Did you gain much improvement from her?" My first thought was to say no and that she was awful but I figured it would sound better to be charitable so I says, "She was real proper and wanted me to wear Sunday clothes and made me pray but it didn't agree with me." And she says, "It is far too bad that prayer does not touch your soul, George, for there is a spark of Divine Providence in you that will uplift you to a higher moral place if you can only see it. But tell me more about her attempts to civilize you. You say that disagreed with your constitution as well, you could not live within the bounds of propriety?" I expected a fancy lady with fine manners to be ticked that I wasn't respectable but she says she has good buddy named Miranda who did things different from other people but was a mighty smart woman and pretty respectable even if she seemed queer at first. When hearing that made me feel less squirrelly so I tells her that I tried to pray but nothin came out of it and when I tried I knew I was spoutin lies and did no one believe them true, not me nor Him. She looks puzzled and leans forward and tells me, "Dear child, you can never play the Lord false for the Divinity within you connects to him and against that golden spark, you can never break your bond. What issue brought such feelings of disengagement to you?" and I feels real embarrassed but I tell her the truth and say, "I helped a runaway nigger go free and didn't tell his nobody nor his master and I couldn face the shame or consequences that were due to me so I just kept going and lettin him free." Well then her face lights up with this holy anger and I get real nervous like shes gonna sock me right out my chair. She bellows at me, "Child, freeing the oppressed African nation is a glorious pursuit that sings of righteousness! No man can hold another in bondage for we are only held to one great Master!" Well, she said that mighty forceful and fancy but I had this itch to tell her, "But he belonged to Miss Watson and she was probably pretty riled up to have her property run off." The lady sits back real steady but makes sure my face is on hers and says, "That man is no man's property. You see George, our great nation was founded on the belief of equality of all men before the Lord and it is our duty to live to that golden certainty. The plight of the African nation must be catered to and corrected by his brothers without concern for repressive and repetitive convention. Our past actions toward him have been the scoff of the world and the purest of cowards equivocate and dissemble them. Why, think of the suffering forced on our Lord by those he sought to save! Any person aiding the freedom of a slave is a herald of the future, a banner carrier for the new frontier." Well I sat there dumbstruck and didn't know rightly what to say cus aint nobody I knew talked bout niggers with the same force, like their position was so wrong and theys deserving of freedom. But before I can say nothing, she starts in again. "You valuable liberty, don't you Dear George? You wish for a perfect freedom for yourself in this world?" I said, "Yes'm, living on that raft and makin for the territories suits me much finer than living in towns with the womenfolk and the children and church." She seems to soak that in and picks up her teacup and swirls the spoon around and drinks it and sits back with a look in her like she could see odd things. "Many people have struck for liberty," she says, "but too many have sought the mere idea of unfettered enjoyment of life. Man seeking to stand above others, never realizing the root of his unhappinesses is his own imperfections. Scuffling amongst each other as if His creations were due by right to nothing more than bloodshed and license." In my head, those things sounded mighty fine but she kept going. "Liberty is much more than will and force. Every path should be laid open to any capable of following it towards the secrets of the universe with naught but God to oversee us. A such perfect, religious and intelligent freedom, that is what we must seek for every man and woman." And then she sighs like seeing a lovely play and I admit some of those things sound mighty compelling and I like to hear her talk so I lean in some and she seems to catch notice of it and says, "But you must be curious of how to seek such a liberty in one's own life. Your guardians have led your intellect into the dark in their foolish insistence on the past to grip and shape yourself when the cultivation of a living mind will bring more glory to men than bruised knees. They must demand clear judgment, courage, honor, fidelity from you as often as you rise from your bed and take breath and must never let your pursuits lay idle. Miranda's dear father demanded nothing less from her and her faith and self-respect gave her an electric nature that pulled her compatriots to her and repelled those who would never match her. The world opened up before her like yours has for you." I liked the idea of a lectric personality and all the talk of the world laying out for me. She gave me chills the way she looked into me and seemed to see the future right on ahead of me. Then she just sits back in her chair and sips her tea and eats some cake so I kinda slouch back and take a few sips of my tea, though I don't like it none. I'm sort of wanting a pipe but remember its back by the gates with Jim and think better of it cus I cant tell if she'd not want me to smoke on her fancy carpet. She looks up at me and says, "Your name is Peter, correct? Peter Georgeson?" And all of a sudden I cant recall what I told her so I nod and say it rightly is. "Well Peter, you have been blessed with a corporeal freedom that you must never waste on trifles. Inspire your mind to push back the darkness of the universe and above all, live freely." So she gets up to see me out the door and I get up to follow her and she has the maid give me some cake and some apples and I walk out her yard, looking for Jim's face peering out of the trees.

| Course Home | Serendip Home |

Send us your comments at Serendip

© by Serendip 1994- - Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-May-2018 10:51:37 CDT