Just before Huckleberry Finn went to press, Mark Twain's publisher asked him to remove an episode from near the start of Chapter 16. The deleted pages showed Huck eavesdropping on a group of raftsmen by night, and over time became known to scholars as "The Raftsmen's Passage" or "The Raft Chapter." The material appeared in Life on the Mississippi, and was first restored to Huck in a 1944 edition.
(For more details, along with a million other interesting things about Twain and his world, check out Kent Rasmussen's encyclopedic, two-volume Critical Companion to Mark Twain.)
Now, a missing piece of Finn has surfaced. Its provenance is different from "The Raftsmen's Passage," though; instead of being omitted from the original novel, it arrived afterward.
Readers of Finn know that many events in the novel spring from the memorable moment when Huckleberry Finn found his father's dead body—naked and bloody—in a floating house. Transposed into my book, the peculiar objects in that death room—whiskey bottles, a baby's bottle, men's and women's clothing, two black cloth masks, a wooden leg—appear along the twisted trail of Finn's life.
There was a dog collar in that room, too. And it got me thinking.
The result—"The Dog"—is available now for Amazon's Kindle. It sells for about a dollar, and you can be reading it in a few seconds.
Causes Jon Clinch Supports
The Mark Twain House and Museum