Archive for category Short Stories
I reckon I knowed all along that I’d a tackle anuther book after me and Tom lit out for Injun territory looking for adventures. Tom, he said he reckoned I’d better write it all down cause ain’t nobody without they seen it a going to believe it. I reckon it started with me and Tom deep in Injun territory. We’d a found this strange snake like thing. I seen it first and I called out for Tom, “Tom, Tom… what do you reckon that is?”
“I reckon I don’t know what it is Huck. Why don’t you fetch it here?”
Now I didn’t want to touch the snake-thing since it looked like a dead snake skin wrapped round a pole. But when Tom wanted something done, it warn’t no good to argue with him, so I fetched it to Tom. I was mighty careful not to touch the part of the thing that looked like the snake skin.
Tom he set and studied it for awhile and I reckoned we best forget it and get on with the Injuns. So, i said so. But Tom he warn’t ready to go just yet.
“Tom, I don’t think you should a touched that skin it’s mighty bad luck.”
“I know. Huck, that ain’t no snake skin coiled about this thing its metal, like tin pans amongst other things.”
So I told Tom, “I hain’t hard of metal snakes, Tom.”
“Huck, it ain’t no metal snake.”
Now, Tom he just warn’t making no sense at all, least ways not to me. “but you just said it was of metal!”
“It is but it ain’t”
“What do you mean?”
“It is metal, but it ain’t a dead snake skin.”
“What do you reckon it is then, Tom?” Well, I don’t reckon he knowed whut it was but he told me it was a new gun that fired coiled bullets. Then he showed me how neatly it fit across his shoulder. so I asked him to shoot it at an old tree over yonder.
“Huck, how do you reckon I kin shoot it off when you knowed well enuff that I hain’t got no coiled bullets?”
“That makes sense, Tom. Where’s the trigger at?” Tom he looked at it mighty careful-like and said, “I reckon this here’s the trigger. Here I’ll pretend to shoot that old three and I’ll let on it’s a red-skinned murdering Injun chief!”
So, Tom he hauled up that snake and set it over his shoulder aiming right at that old tree. Then tom he pulled on the trigger, and a bolt of fire shot round through the coil and all the while that snake was a humming like that hornet’s net we’d tried to git for Jim when he was still a prisoner.
Tom’s eyes was a popping out and I was afeared the snake was alive again and a going to hurt Tom. Just as I started to run for Tom to stomp that snake, metal or no, a streak of light like a fiery lightning bolt struck out of the snake. the lightning bolt leaped right for that old tree and in seconds there warn’t nothing left of it. Tom he let go of the trigger and passed out just as I’d reached him and I caught him afore he’d got off his feet. After Tom woke up, we set down and discussed what had happened. I reckon I’d a thought it was all a dream but for the smoking hole in the ground left where that old tree had stood.
I reckoned we’d better move on before some Injuns would come a snooping round. Tom was all for staying and wiping out any Injuns that came with the snake lightning maker. Anyways, we went on. At nightfall, we set up camp under some trees. Me and tom tried to figure out what this snake really was and where it had come from.
“Hey Tom, what if it is the Devil’s lightning maker?”
“That’s possible, Huck, even probable. I hope he comes back to try to get it. Think of the adventure in it!”
“Tom, what’s the proper thing to be a doing now… according to the books?”
“Well, I reckon I ain’t sure, Huck, none of them ever fought with the Devil. Headshrinkers and Cannibals, but not the Devil. I reckon we’ll figure out something ourselves!”
“Tom, let’s sleep now and talk over our ideas in the morning.” The next morning after breakfast on some berries Tom was all for setting up a right proper trap for the Devil.
“But, Tom, what if this thing don’t belong to the Devil?”
“Then we’ll split up, you’ll let on to be the Devil and I’ll trap you.”
And while we was a talking a whole war party of scalping Injuns was surrounding us. Before I knowed what had happened we was tied up right nice and tight, and being dragged in to the Injun’s camp. The whole tribe turned out to see us, they all shouted things at us but it was Injun talk and we couldn’t understand a word of it. I wished Jim was here so I could prove French people could talk different, even though it doesn’t matter anymore.
We was goners and I knowed it when I saw them Injuns building a fire around two stakes. They was a going to burn us alive! Tom got downright angry and indignant that them Injuns warn’t a going to shrink our heads or eat us alive! He said getting burned at the stake wasn’t as exciting as them other ways. I didn’t reckon it was exciting at all… so I had to figure some way to get loose.
I was almost ready to give up when I saw the Injun Chief looking over the snake. I got an idea and I motioned him over. Our shoulders were tied up, but our hands were free. So when the Chief got close I grabbed for the snake and when I had my hands on that snake I pulled the trigger and burned out half the forest, I reckon. Then them Injuns let us go thinking we were devils or something.
Tom he congratulated me for my quick thinking. After some discussion about what to do next, we both agreed we ought to go back to where we found the snake thing. When we got there, there was a man a walking round looking for something. He was wearing might strange clothes so’s I figured he was a foreigner, but he spoke proper English. He thanked us for finding his “lays thar” or something. I reckon that was what he called the snake thing. Then he muttered something about getting back to his right time. With a flash, he disappeared with the snake thing and we was all alone again standing by that old smoked out hole where the tree used to be.
Me and Tom we reckoned we’d had enuff adventures with Injuns for now, so we went back to the good old Mississippi and started building a raft. Now I reckon I ain’t a going to write anymore books, Tom or no. Book writing is for civilized folk like Mister Mark Twain and I don’t want to become civilized again.