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|Tom Sawyer Abroad||Mark Twain|
|Page 4 of 5||
"Mars Tom, did you say dem clocks uz right?"
"Yes, they're right."
"Ain't yo' watch right, too?"
"She's right for St. Louis, but she's an hour wrong for here."
"Mars Tom, is you tryin' to let on dat de time ain't de SAME everywheres?"
"No, it ain't the same everywheres, by a long shot."
Jim looked distressed, and says:
"It grieves me to hear you talk like dat, Mars Tom; I's right down ashamed to hear you talk like dat, arter de way you's been raised. Yassir, it'd break yo' Aunt Polly's heart to hear you."
Tom was astonished. He looked Jim over wondering, and didn't say nothing, and Jim went on:
"Mars Tom, who put de people out yonder in St. Louis? De Lord done it. Who put de people here whar we is? De Lord done it. Ain' dey bofe his children? 'Cose dey is. WELL, den! is he gwine to SCRIMINATE 'twixt 'em?"
"Scriminate! I never heard such ignorance. There ain't no discriminating about it. When he makes you and some more of his children black, and makes the rest of us white, what do you call that?"
Jim see the p'int. He was stuck. He couldn't answer. Tom says:
"He does discriminate, you see, when he wants to; but this case HERE ain't no discrimination of his, it's man's. The Lord made the day, and he made the night; but he didn't invent the hours, and he didn't distribute them around. Man did that."
"Mars Tom, is dat so? Man done it?"
"Who tole him he could?"
"Nobody. He never asked."
Jim studied a minute, and says:
"Well, dat do beat me. I wouldn't 'a' tuck no sich resk. But some people ain't scared o' nothin'. Dey bangs right ahead; DEY don't care what happens. So den dey's allays an hour's diff'unce everywhah, Mars Tom?"
"An hour? No! It's four minutes difference for every degree of longitude, you know. Fifteen of 'em's an hour, thirty of 'em's two hours, and so on. When it's one clock Tuesday morning in England, it's eight o'clock the night before in New York."
Jim moved a little way along the locker, and you could see he was insulted. He kept shaking his head and muttering, and so I slid along to him and patted him on the leg, and petted him up, and got him over the worst of his feelings, and then he says:
"Mars Tom talkin' sich talk as dat! Choosday in one place en Monday in t'other, bofe in the same day! Huck, dis ain't no place to joke -- up here whah we is. Two days in one day! How you gwine to get two days inter one day? Can't git two hours inter one hour, kin you? Can't git two niggers inter one nigger skin, kin you? Can't git two gallons of whisky inter a one-gallon jug, kin you? No, sir, 'twould strain de jug. Yes, en even den you couldn't, I don't believe. Why, looky here, Huck, s'posen de Choosday was New Year's -- now den! is you gwine to tell me it's dis year in one place en las' year in t'other, bofe in de identical same minute? It's de beatenest rubbage! I can't stan' it -- I can't stan' to hear tell 'bout it." Then he begun to shiver and turn gray, and Tom says:
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