"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain, Chapters 1–9

This American classic chronicles the exploits of Huck and Jim: one is running away from an abusive father and the other is fleeing enslavement. Read the full text here.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Chapters 1–9, Chapters 10–18, Chapters 19–31, Chapters 32–43

Here are links to our lists for other works by Mark Twain: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Prince and the Pauper, Life on the Mississippi, A Story Without an End, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
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definitions & notes only words
  1. fetch
    be sold for a certain price
    Well, Judge Thatcher he took it and put it out at interest, and it fetched us a dollar a day apiece all the year round—more than a body could tell what to do with.
  2. satisfied
    filled with contentment
    I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied.
  3. victuals
    a source of materials to nourish the body
    When you got to the table you couldn’t go right to eating, but you had to wait for the widow to tuck down her head and grumble a little over the victuals, though there warn’t really anything the matter with them,—that is, nothing only everything was cooked by itself.
  4. considerable
    large in number or amount or extent or degree
    After supper she got out her book and learned me about Moses and the Bulrushers, and I was in a sweat to find out all about him; but by and by she let it out that Moses had been dead a considerable long time; so then I didn't care no more about him, because I don't take no stock in dead people.
  5. advantage
    benefit resulting from some event or action
    Well, I couldn't see no advantage in going where she was going, so I made up my mind I wouldn't try for it.
  6. reckon
    expect, believe, or suppose
    I asked her if she reckoned Tom Sawyer would go there, and she said not by a considerable sight.
  7. monstrous
    abnormally large
    Jim was monstrous proud about it...
  8. skiff
    a small boat propelled by oars or by sails or by a motor
    So we unhitched a skiff and pulled down the river two mile and a half, to the big scar on the hillside, and went ashore.
  9. mention
    make reference to
    And if anybody that belonged to the band told the secrets, he must have his throat cut, and then have his carcass burnt up and the ashes scattered all around, and his name blotted off of the list with blood and never mentioned again by the gang, but have a curse put on it and be forgot forever.
  10. ignorant
    uneducated in general; lacking knowledge or sophistication
    "Well, Ben Rogers, if I was as ignorant as you I wouldn't let on.
  11. ornery
    having a difficult and contrary disposition
    I thought it all out, and reckoned I would belong to the widow's if he wanted me, though I couldn't make out how he was a-going to be any better off then than what he was before, seeing I was so ignorant, and so kind of low-down and ornery.
  12. pretend
    represent fictitiously, as in a play, or act like
    We hadn't robbed nobody, hadn't killed any people, but only just pretended.
  13. profit
    the advantageous quality of being beneficial
    But I couldn't see no profit in it.
  14. spite
    meanness or nastiness
    He said there was hundreds of soldiers there, and elephants and treasure, and so on, but we had enemies which he called magicians; and they had turned the whole thing into an infant Sunday-school, just out of spite.
  15. calculate
    have faith or confidence in
    I got an old tin lamp and an iron ring, and went out in the woods and rubbed and rubbed till I sweat like an Injun, calculating to build a palace and sell it; but it warn't no use, none of the genies come.
  16. quarry
    a surface excavation for extracting stone or slate
    They had come up from the quarry and stood around the stile a while, and then went on around the garden fence.
  17. invest
    lay out money or resources in an enterprise
    You had better let me invest it along with your six thousand, because if you take it you'll spend it.
  18. counterfeit
    not genuine; imitating something superior
    I told him I had an old slick counterfeit quarter that warn't no good because the brass showed through the silver a little, and it wouldn't pass nohow, even if the brass didn't show, because it was so slick it felt greasy, and so that would tell on it every time.
  19. meddle
    intrude in other people's affairs or business
    Who told you you might meddle with such hifalut'n foolishness, hey?—who told you you could?
  20. interfere
    get involved, so as to alter or hinder an action
    The judge and the widow went to law to get the court to take me away from him and let one of them be my guardian; but it was a new judge that had just come, and he didn't know the old man; so he said courts mustn't interfere and separate families if they could help it; said he'd druther not take a child away from its father.
  21. temperance
    the trait of avoiding excesses
    And after supper he talked to him about temperance and such things till the old man cried, and said he'd been a fool, and fooled away his life; but now he was a-going to turn over a new leaf and be a man nobody wouldn't be ashamed of, and he hoped the judge would help him and not look down on him.
  22. stanchion
    any vertical post or rod used as a support
    Then they tucked the old man into a beautiful room, which was the spare room, and in the night some time he got powerful thirsty and clumb out on to the porch-roof and slid down a stanchion and traded his new coat for a jug of forty-rod, and clumb back again and had a good old time; and towards daylight he crawled out again, drunk as a fiddler, and rolled off the porch and broke his left arm in two places, and was most froze to death when somebody found him after sun-up.
  23. reform
    lead or force to abandon a wrong or evil course of life
    He said he reckoned a body could reform the old man with a shotgun, maybe, but he didn't know no other way.
  24. objection
    the act of expressing earnest opposition or protest
    I had stopped cussing, because the widow didn't like it; but now I took to it again because pap hadn't no objections.
  25. tote
    carry with difficulty
    I toted up a load, and went back and set down on the bow of the skiff to rest.
  26. limber
    capable of moving or bending freely
    Pap was agoing on so he never noticed where his old limber legs was taking him to, so he went head over heels over the tub of salt pork and barked both shins...
  27. previous
    of the immediate past
    But it warn't good judgment, because that was the boot that had a couple of his toes leaking out of the front end of it; so now he raised a howl that fairly made a body's hair raise, and down he went in the dirt, and rolled there, and held his toes; and the cussing he done then laid over anything he had ever done previous.
  28. wallow
    roll around
    Then he went down on all fours and crawled off, begging them to let him alone, and he rolled himself up in his blanket and wallowed in under the old pine table, still a-begging; and then he went to crying.
  29. palaver
    speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly
    Don't stand there palavering all day, but out with you and see if there's a fish on the lines for breakfast.
  30. yonder
    distant but within sight
    Before he was t'other side of the river I was out of the hole; him and his raft was just a speck on the water away off yonder.
  31. slough
    a hollow filled with mud
    There was a slough or a creek leading out of it on the other side that went miles away, I don’t know where, but it didn’t go to the river.
  32. quicksilver
    heavy silvery toxic univalent and bivalent metallic element
    Well, then I happened to think how they always put quicksilver in loaves of bread and float them off, because they always go right to the drownded carcass and stop there.
  33. parson
    a person authorized to conduct religious worship
    I says, now I reckon the widow or the parson or somebody prayed that this bread would find me, and here it has gone and done it.
  34. brash
    offensively bold
    When I got to camp I warn't feeling very brash, there warn't much sand in my craw; but I says, this ain't no time to be fooling around.
  35. loll
    be lazy or idle
    When breakfast was ready we lolled on the grass and eat it smoking hot.
  36. abolitionist
    a reformer who favors putting an end to slavery
    People would call me a low-down Abolitionist and despise me for keeping mum—but that don't make no difference.
  37. calico
    made of or resembling coarse cloth with a bright print
    There was two old dirty calico dresses, and a sun-bonnet, and some women’s underclothes hanging against the wall, and some men’s clothing, too.
  38. seedy
    shabby and untidy
    There was a seedy old chest, and an old hair trunk with the hinges broke.
  39. tallow
    a hard substance used for making soap and candles
    We got an old tin lantern, and a butcher-knife without any handle, and a bran-new Barlow knife worth two bits in any store, and a lot of tallow candles, and a tin candlestick, and a gourd, and a tin cup, and a ratty old bedquilt off the bed...
  40. haul
    the quantity that was caught
    And so, take it all around, we made a good haul.

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