Of burning rafts and steaming steamers
As so often, Huck heard loud shouting as he strolled relaxed along the hedge. Today the report cards had been handed out, and ahead of him his friend Tom slipped through a gap in the bushes, pursued by Aunt Polly's scolding voice. From the church came loud voices and soft swathes, and so they turned the other way and ran together toward the river. They bent aside the dry branches of the juniper, and pushed the raft into the water. Tart cedar floated, and the two leaped upon the tied trunks, to push off at once from the bank, and follow the current - after the adventure. Pulled along by the sluggish drift, they had a moment's peace. As the thin wisp of consecrated smoke wafted out of the little town onto the river, the noonday sun heated the raft as well. The snot-streaked topside was dry as dust, and even the tarred ropes that connected the thin logs were beginning to secrete their own haze. Tom and Huck dangled their feet in the water, waving to a slow steamer that nevertheless passed steadily by them, and had the smoke of its chimney in their nostrils. To add to this beautiful melange, Tom drew from his pocket a small envelope-"Tabaco aromatizado con Cascarille"-which he had previously swiped from Jim, in a rare moment of inattention. The two boys were rolling two fags, and puffing the aromatic smoke out on the water, when Huck dropped the Seine, and the straw covering the dry wood of the raft caught fire. Drifting along the bank, they clung to one of the swamp cypresses. They were rare here, and actually native farther south. They pulled themselves to the shore, and put out the smoldering. The cedar was already a bit scorched, too, and they tied the raft down to retrieve it later. On their way upstream, past beautiful withered pines, they heard the scent of burning incense. The last descendants of the Sioux, or just some kids indulging in a few pennies at the crazy old man's market? They paused for a moment, but already heard the first voices echoing out of St. Petersburg, and merrily made their way home, where at least Tom got to pick up his well-deserved spanking...
Thanks to Medianus. A great fragrance, monotonously smoky, yet constantly changing in nature. Multifaceted and exciting, smoke in its most beautiful form.