The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Complete

by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net


Title: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Complete

Author: Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

Release Date: July 1, 2004 [EBook #74]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK TOM SAWYER ***




Produced by David Widger. The previous edition was update by Jose
Menendez.





THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER
BY
MARK TWAIN
(Samuel Langhorne Clemens)




P R E F A C E

MOST of the adventures recorded in this book really occurred; one or
two were experiences of my own, the rest those of boys who were
schoolmates of mine. Huck Finn is drawn from life; Tom Sawyer also, but
not from an individual--he is a combination of the characteristics of
three boys whom I knew, and therefore belongs to the composite order of
architecture.

The odd superstitions touched upon were all prevalent among children
and slaves in the West at the period of this story--that is to say,
thirty or forty years ago.

Although my book is intended mainly for the entertainment of boys and
girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account,
for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what
they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked,
and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in.

THE AUTHOR.

HARTFORD, 1876.



T O M S A W Y E R



CHAPTER I

"TOM!"

No answer.

"TOM!"

No answer.

"What's gone with that boy, I wonder? You TOM!"

No answer.

The old lady pulled her spectacles down and looked over them about the
room; then she put them up and looked out under them. She seldom or
never looked THROUGH them for so small a thing as a boy; they were her
state pair, the pride of her heart, and were built for "style," not
service--she could have seen through a pair of stove-lids just as well.
She looked perplexed for a moment, and then said, not fiercely, but
still loud enough for the furniture to hear:

"Well, I lay if I get hold of you I'll--"

She did not finish, for by this time she was bending down and punching
under the bed with the broom, and so she needed breath to punctuate the
punches with. She resurrected nothing but the cat.

"I never did see the beat of that boy!"

She went to the open door and stood in it and looked out among the
tomato vines and "jimpson" weeds that constituted the garden. No Tom.
So she lifted up her voice at an angle calculated for distance and
shouted:

"Y-o-u-u TOM!"

There was a slight noise behind her and she turned just in time to
seize a small boy by the slack of his roundabout and arrest his flight.

"There! I might 'a' thought of that closet. What you been doing in
there?"

"Nothing."

"Nothing! Look at your hands. And look at your mouth. What IS that
truck?"

"I don't know, aunt."

"Well, I know. It's jam--that's what it is. Forty times I've said if
you didn't let that jam alone I'd skin you. Hand me that switch."

The switch hovered in the air--the peril was desperate--

"My! Look behind you, aunt!"

The old lady whirled round, and snatched her skirts out of danger. The
lad fled on the instant, scrambled up the high board-fence, and
disappeared over it.

His aunt Polly stood surprised a moment, and then broke into a gentle
laugh.

"Hang the boy, can't I never learn anything? Ain't he played me tricks
enough like that for me to be looking out for him by this time? But old
fools is the biggest fools there is. Can't learn an old dog new tricks,
as the saying is. But my goodness, he never plays them alike, two days,
and how is a body to know what's coming? He 'pears to know just how
long he can torment me before I get my dander up, and he knows if he
can make out to put me off for a minute or make me laugh, it's all down
again and I can't hit him a lick. I ain't doing my duty by that boy,
and that's the Lord's truth, goodness knows. Spare the rod and spile
the child, as the Good Book says. I'm a laying up sin and suffering for
us both, I know. He's full of the Old Scratch, but laws-a-me! he's my
own dead sister's boy, poor thing, and I ain't got the heart to lash
him, somehow. Every time I let him off, my conscience does hurt me so,
and every time I hit him my old heart most breaks. Well-a-well, man
that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble, as the
Scripture says, and I reckon it's so. He'll play hookey this evening, *
and [* Southwestern for "afternoon"] I'll just be obleeged to make him
work, to-morrow, to punish him. It's mighty hard to make him work
Saturdays, when all the boys is having holiday, but he hates work more
than he hates anything else, and I've GOT to do some of my duty by him,
or I'll be the ruination of the child."

Tom did play hookey, and he had a very good time. He got back home
barely in season to help Jim, the small colored boy, saw next-day's
wood and split the kindlings before supper--at least he was there in
time to tell his adventures to Jim while Jim did three-fourths of the
work. Tom's younger brother (or rather half-brother) Sid was already
through with his part of the work (picking up chips), for he was a
quiet boy, and had no adventurous, troublesome ways.

While Tom was eating his supper, and stealing sugar as opportunity
offered, Aunt Polly asked him questions that were full of guile, and
very deep--for she wanted to trap him into damaging revealments. Like
many other simple-hearted souls, it was her pet vanity to believe she
was endowed with a talent for dark and mysterious diplomacy, and she
loved to contemplate her most transparent devices as marvels of low
cunning. Said she:

"Tom, it was middling warm in school, warn't it?"

"Yes'm."

"Powerful warm, warn't it?"

"Yes'm."

"Didn't you want to go in a-swimming, Tom?"

A bit of a scare shot through Tom--a touch of uncomfortable suspicion.
He searched Aunt Polly's face, but it told him nothing. So he said:

"No'm--well, not very much."

The old lady reached out her hand and felt Tom's shirt, and said:

"But you ain't too warm now, though." And it flattered her to reflect
that she had discovered that the shirt was dry without anybody knowing
that that was what she had in her mind. But in spite of her, Tom knew
where the wind lay, now. So he forestalled what might be the next move:

"Some of us pumped on our heads--mine's damp yet. See?"

Aunt Polly was vexed to think she had overlooked that bit of
circumstantial evidence, and missed a trick. Then she had a new
inspiration:

"Tom, you didn't have to undo your shirt collar where I sewed it, to
pump on your head, did you? Unbutton your jacket!"

The trouble vanished out of Tom's face. He opened his jacket. His
shirt collar was securely sewed.

"Bother! Well, go 'long with you. I'd made sure you'd played hookey
and been a-swimming. But I forgive ye, Tom. I reckon you're a kind of a
singed cat, as the saying is--better'n you look. THIS time."

She was half sorry her sagacity had miscarried, and half glad that Tom
had stumbled into obedient conduct for once.

But Sidney said:

"Well, now, if I didn't think you sewed his collar with white thread,
but it's black."

"Why, I did sew it with white! Tom!"

But Tom did not wait for the rest. As he went out at the door he said:

"Siddy, I'll lick you for that."

In a safe place Tom examined two large needles which were thrust into
the lapels of his jacket, and had thread bound about them--one needle
carried white thread and the other black. He said:

"She'd never noticed if it hadn't been for Sid. Confound it! sometimes
she sews it with white, and sometimes she sews it with black. I wish to
geeminy she'd stick to one or t'other--I can't keep the run of 'em. But
I bet you I'll lam Sid for that. I'll learn him!"

He was not the Model Boy of the village. He knew the model boy very
well though--and loathed him.

Within two minutes, or even less, he had forgotten all his troubles.
Not because his troubles were one whit less heavy and bitter to him
than a man's are to a man, but because a new and powerful interest bore
them down and drove them out of his mind for the time--just as men's
misfortunes are forgotten in the excitement of new enterprises. This
new interest was a valued novelty in whistling, which he had just
acquired from a negro, and he was suffering to practise it undisturbed.
It consisted in a peculiar bird-like turn, a sort of liquid warble,
produced by touching the tongue to the roof of the mouth at short
intervals in the midst of the music--the reader probably remembers how
to do it, if he has ever been a boy. Diligence and attention soon gave
him the knack of it, and he strode down the street with his mouth full
of harmony and his soul full of gratitude. He felt much as an
astronomer feels who has discovered a new planet--no doubt, as far as
strong, deep, unalloyed pleasure is concerned, the advantage was with
the boy, not the astronomer.

The summer evenings were long. It was not dark, yet. Presently Tom
checked his whistle. A stranger was before him--a boy a shade larger
than himself. A new-comer of any age or either sex was an impressive
curiosity in the poor little shabby village of St. Petersburg. This boy
was well dressed, too--well dressed on a week-day. This was simply
astounding. His cap was a dainty thing, his close-buttoned blue cloth
roundabout was new and natty, and so were his pantaloons. He had shoes
on--and it was only Friday. He even wore a necktie, a bright bit of
ribbon. He had a citified air about him that ate into Tom's vitals. The
more Tom stared at the splendid marvel, the higher he turned up his
nose at his finery and the shabbier and shabbier his own outfit seemed
to him to grow. Neither boy spoke. If one moved, the other moved--but
only sidewise, in a circle; they kept face to face and eye to eye all
the time. Finally Tom said:

"I can lick you!"

"I'd like to see you try it."

"Well, I can do it."

"No you can't, either."

"Yes I can."

"No you can't."

"I can."

"You can't."

"Can!"

"Can't!"

An uncomfortable pause. Then Tom said:

"What's your name?"

"'Tisn't any of your business, maybe."

"Well I 'low I'll MAKE it my business."

"Well why don't you?"

"If you say much, I will."

"Much--much--MUCH. There now."

"Oh, you think you're mighty smart, DON'T you? I could lick you with
one hand tied behind me, if I wanted to."

"Well why don't you DO it? You SAY you can do it."

"Well I WILL, if you fool with me."

"Oh yes--I've seen whole families in the same fix."

"Smarty! You think you're SOME, now, DON'T you? Oh, what a hat!"

"You can lump that hat if you don't like it. I dare you to knock it
off--and anybody that'll take a dare will suck eggs."

"You're a liar!"

"You're another."

"You're a fighting liar and dasn't take it up."

"Aw--take a walk!"

"Say--if you give me much more of your sass I'll take and bounce a
rock off'n your head."

"Oh, of COURSE you will."

"Well I WILL."

"Well why don't you DO it then? What do you keep SAYING you will for?
Why don't you DO it? It's because you're afraid."

"I AIN'T afraid."

"You are."

"I ain't."

"You are."

Another pause, and more eying and sidling around each other. Presently
they were shoulder to shoulder. Tom said:

"Get away from here!"

"Go away yourself!"

"I won't."

"I won't either."

So they stood, each with a foot placed at an angle as a brace, and
both shoving with might and main, and glowering at each other with
hate. But neither could get an advantage. After struggling till both
were hot and flushed, each relaxed his strain with watchful caution,
and Tom said:

"You're a coward and a pup. I'll tell my big brother on you, and he
can thrash you with his little finger, and I'll make him do it, too."

"What do I care for your big brother? I've got a brother that's bigger
than he is--and what's more, he can throw him over that fence, too."
[Both brothers were imaginary.]

"That's a lie."

"YOUR saying so don't make it so."

Tom drew a line in the dust with his big toe, and said:

"I dare you to step over that, and I'll lick you till you can't stand
up. Anybody that'll take a dare will steal sheep."

The new boy stepped over promptly, and said:

"Now you said you'd do it, now let's see you do it."

"Don't you crowd me now; you better look out."

"Well, you SAID you'd do it--why don't you do it?"

"By jingo! for two cents I WILL do it."

The new boy took two broad coppers out of his pocket and held them out
with derision. Tom struck them to the ground. In an instant both boys
were rolling and tumbling in the dirt, gripped together like cats; and
for the space of a minute they tugged and tore at each other's hair and
clothes, punched and scratched each other's nose, and covered
themselves with dust and glory. Presently the confusion took form, and
through the fog of battle Tom appeared, seated astride the new boy, and
pounding him with his fists. "Holler 'nuff!" said he.

The boy only struggled to free himself. He was crying--mainly from rage.

"Holler 'nuff!"--and the pounding went on.

At last the stranger got out a smothered "'Nuff!" and Tom let him up
and said:

"Now that'll learn you. Better look out who you're fooling with next
time."

The new boy went off brushing the dust from his clothes, sobbing,
snuffling, and occasionally looking back and shaking his head and
threatening what he would do to Tom the "next time he caught him out."
To which Tom responded with jeers, and started off in high feather, and
as soon as his back was turned the new boy snatched up a stone, threw
it and hit him between the shoulders and then turned tail and ran like
an antelope. Tom chased the traitor home, and thus found out where he
lived. He then held a position at the gate for some time, daring the
enemy to come outside, but the enemy only made faces at him through the
window and declined. At last the enemy's mother appeared, and called
Tom a bad, vicious, vulgar child, and ordered him away. So he went
away; but he said he "'lowed" to "lay" for that boy.

He got home pretty late that night, and when he climbed cautiously in
at the window, he uncovered an ambuscade, in the person of his aunt;
and when she saw the state his clothes were in her resolution to turn
his Saturday holiday into captivity at hard labor became adamantine in
its firmness.



CHAPTER II

SATURDAY morning was come, and all the summer world was bright and
fresh, and brimming with life. There was a song in every heart; and if
the heart was young the music issued at the lips. There was cheer in
every face and a spring in every step. The locust-trees were in bloom
and the fragrance of the blossoms filled the air. Cardiff Hill, beyond
the village and above it, was green with vegetation and it lay just far
enough away to seem a Delectable Land, dreamy, reposeful, and inviting.

Tom appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of whitewash and a
long-handled brush. He surveyed the fence, and all gladness left him and
a deep melancholy settled down upon his spirit. Thirty yards of board
fence nine feet high. Life to him seemed hollow, and existence but a
burden. Sighing, he dipped his brush and passed it along the topmost
plank; repeated the operation; did it again; compared the insignificant
whitewashed streak with the far-reaching continent of unwhitewashed
fence, and sat down on a tree-box discouraged. Jim came skipping out at
the gate with a tin pail, and singing Buffalo Gals. Bringing water from
the town pump had always been hateful work in Tom's eyes, before, but
now it did not strike him so. He remembered that there was company at
the pump. White, mulatto, and negro boys and girls were always there
waiting their turns, resting, trading playthings, quarrelling,
fighting, skylarking. And he remembered that although the pump was only
a hundred and fifty yards off, Jim never got back with a bucket of
water under an hour--and even then somebody generally had to go after
him. Tom said:

"Say, Jim, I'll fetch the water if you'll whitewash some."

Jim shook his head and said:

"Can't, Mars Tom. Ole missis, she tole me I got to go an' git dis
water an' not stop foolin' roun' wid anybody. She say she spec' Mars
Tom gwine to ax me to whitewash, an' so she tole me go 'long an' 'tend
to my own business--she 'lowed SHE'D 'tend to de whitewashin'."

"Oh, never you mind what she said, Jim. That's the way she always
talks. Gimme the bucket--I won't be gone only a a minute. SHE won't
ever know."

"Oh, I dasn't, Mars Tom. Ole missis she'd take an' tar de head off'n
me. 'Deed she would."

"SHE! She never licks anybody--whacks 'em over the head with her
thimble--and who cares for that, I'd like to know. She talks awful, but
talk don't hurt--anyways it don't if she don't cry. Jim, I'll give you
a marvel. I'll give you a white alley!"

Jim began to waver.

"White alley, Jim! And it's a bully taw."

"My! Dat's a mighty gay marvel, I tell you! But Mars Tom I's powerful
'fraid ole missis--"

"And besides, if you will I'll show you my sore toe."

Jim was only human--this attraction was too much for him. He put down
his pail, took the white alley, and bent over the toe with absorbing
interest while the bandage was being unwound. In another moment he was
flying down the street with his pail and a tingling rear, Tom was
whitewashing with vigor, and Aunt Polly was retiring from the field
with a slipper in her hand and triumph in her eye.

But Tom's energy did not last. He began to think of the fun he had
planned for this day, and his sorrows multiplied. Soon the free boys
would come tripping along on all sorts of delicious expeditions, and
they would make a world of fun of him for having to work--the very
thought of it burnt him like fire. He got out his worldly wealth and
examined it--bits of toys, marbles, and trash; enough to buy an
exchange of WORK, maybe, but not half enough to buy so much as half an
hour of pure freedom. So he returned his straitened means to his
pocket, and gave up the idea of trying to buy the boys. At this dark
and hopeless moment an inspiration burst upon him! Nothing less than a
great, magnificent inspiration.

He took up his brush and went tranquilly to work. Ben Rogers hove in
sight presently--the very boy, of all boys, whose ridicule he had been
dreading. Ben's gait was the hop-skip-and-jump--proof enough that his
heart was light and his anticipations high. He was eating an apple, and
giving a long, melodious whoop, at intervals, followed by a deep-toned
ding-dong-dong, ding-dong-dong, for he was personating a steamboat. As
he drew near, he slackened speed, took the middle of the street, leaned
far over to starboard and rounded to ponderously and with laborious
pomp and circumstance--for he was personating the Big Missouri, and
considered himself to be drawing nine feet of water. He was boat and
captain and engine-bells combined, so he had to imagine himself
standing on his own hurricane-deck giving the orders and executing them:

"Stop her, sir! Ting-a-ling-ling!" The headway ran almost out, and he
drew up slowly toward the sidewalk.

"Ship up to back! Ting-a-ling-ling!" His arms straightened and
stiffened down his sides.

"Set her back on the stabboard! Ting-a-ling-ling! Chow! ch-chow-wow!
Chow!" His right hand, meantime, describing stately circles--for it was
representing a forty-foot wheel.

"Let her go back on the labboard! Ting-a-lingling! Chow-ch-chow-chow!"
The left hand began to describe circles.

"Stop the stabboard! Ting-a-ling-ling! Stop the labboard! Come ahead
on the stabboard! Stop her! Let your outside turn over slow!
Ting-a-ling-ling! Chow-ow-ow! Get out that head-line! LIVELY now!
Come--out with your spring-line--what're you about there! Take a turn
round that stump with the bight of it! Stand by that stage, now--let her
go! Done with the engines, sir! Ting-a-ling-ling! SH'T! S'H'T! SH'T!"
(trying the gauge-cocks).

Tom went on whitewashing--paid no attention to the steamboat. Ben
stared a moment and then said: "Hi-YI! YOU'RE up a stump, ain't you!"

No answer. Tom surveyed his last touch with the eye of an artist, then
he gave his brush another gentle sweep and surveyed the result, as
before. Ben ranged up alongside of him. Tom's mouth watered for the
apple, but he stuck to his work. Ben said:

"Hello, old chap, you got to work, hey?"

Tom wheeled suddenly and said:

"Why, it's you, Ben! I warn't noticing."

"Say--I'm going in a-swimming, I am. Don't you wish you could? But of
course you'd druther WORK--wouldn't you? Course you would!"

Tom contemplated the boy a bit, and said:

"What do you call work?"

"Why, ain't THAT work?"

Tom resumed his whitewashing, and answered carelessly:

"Well, maybe it is, and maybe it ain't. All I know, is, it suits Tom
Sawyer."

"Oh come, now, you don't mean to let on that you LIKE it?"

The brush continued to move.

"Like it? Well, I don't see why I oughtn't to like it. Does a boy get
a chance to whitewash a fence every day?"

That put the thing in a new light. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom
swept his brush daintily back and forth--stepped back to note the
effect--added a touch here and there--criticised the effect again--Ben
watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more
absorbed. Presently he said:

"Say, Tom, let ME whitewash a little."

Tom considered, was about to consent; but he altered his mind:

"No--no--I reckon it wouldn't hardly do, Ben. You see, Aunt Polly's
awful particular about this fence--right here on the street, you know
--but if it was the back fence I wouldn't mind and SHE wouldn't. Yes,
she's awful particular about this fence; it's got to be done very
careful; I reckon there ain't one boy in a thousand, maybe two
thousand, that can do it the way it's got to be done."

"No--is that so? Oh come, now--lemme just try. Only just a little--I'd
let YOU, if you was me, Tom."

"Ben, I'd like to, honest injun; but Aunt Polly--well, Jim wanted to
do it, but she wouldn't let him; Sid wanted to do it, and she wouldn't
let Sid. Now don't you see how I'm fixed? If you was to tackle this
fence and anything was to happen to it--"

"Oh, shucks, I'll be just as careful. Now lemme try. Say--I'll give
you the core of my apple."

"Well, here--No, Ben, now don't. I'm afeard--"

"I'll give you ALL of it!"

Tom gave up the brush with reluctance in his face, but alacrity in his
heart. And while the late steamer Big Missouri worked and sweated in
the sun, the retired artist sat on a barrel in the shade close by,
dangled his legs, munched his apple, and planned the slaughter of more
innocents. There was no lack of material; boys happened along every
little while; they came to jeer, but remained to whitewash. By the time
Ben was fagged out, Tom had traded the next chance to Billy Fisher for
a kite, in good repair; and when he played out, Johnny Miller bought in
for a dead rat and a string to swing it with--and so on, and so on,
hour after hour. And when the middle of the afternoon came, from being
a poor poverty-stricken boy in the morning, Tom was literally rolling
in wealth. He had besides the things before mentioned, twelve marbles,
part of a jews-harp, a piece of blue bottle-glass to look through, a
spool cannon, a key that wouldn't unlock anything, a fragment of chalk,
a glass stopper of a decanter, a tin soldier, a couple of tadpoles, six
fire-crackers, a kitten with only one eye, a brass doorknob, a
dog-collar--but no dog--the handle of a knife, four pieces of
orange-peel, and a dilapidated old window sash.

He had had a nice, good, idle time all the while--plenty of company
--and the fence had three coats of whitewash on it! If he hadn't run out
of whitewash he would have bankrupted every boy in the village.

Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He
had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it--namely,
that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only
necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. If he had been a great
and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have
comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is OBLIGED to do,
and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And
this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers
or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or
climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There are wealthy gentlemen in
England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles
on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them
considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service,
that would turn it into work and then they would resign.

The boy mused awhile over the substantial change which had taken place
in his worldly circumstances, and then wended toward headquarters to
report.



CHAPTER III

TOM presented himself before Aunt Polly, who was sitting by an open
window in a pleasant rearward apartment, which was bedroom,
breakfast-room, dining-room, and library, combined. The balmy summer
air, the restful quiet, the odor of the flowers, and the drowsing murmur
of the bees had had their effect, and she was nodding over her knitting
--for she had no company but the cat, and it was asleep in her lap. Her
spectacles were propped up on her gray head for safety. She had thought
that of course Tom had deserted long ago, and she wondered at seeing him
place himself in her power again in this intrepid way. He said: "Mayn't
I go and play now, aunt?"

"What, a'ready? How much have you done?"

"It's all done, aunt."

"Tom, don't lie to me--I can't bear it."

"I ain't, aunt; it IS all done."

Aunt Polly placed small trust in such evidence. She went out to see
for herself; and she would have been content to find twenty per cent.
of Tom's statement true. When she found the entire fence whitewashed,
and not only whitewashed but elaborately coated and recoated, and even
a streak added to the ground, her astonishment was almost unspeakable.
She said:

"Well, I never! There's no getting round it, you can work when you're
a mind to, Tom." And then she diluted the compliment by adding, "But
it's powerful seldom you're a mind to, I'm bound to say. Well, go 'long
and play; but mind you get back some time in a week, or I'll tan you."

She was so overcome by the splendor of his achievement that she took
him into the closet and selected a choice apple and delivered it to
him, along with an improving lecture upon the added value and flavor a
treat took to itself when it came without sin through virtuous effort.
And while she closed with a happy Scriptural flourish, he "hooked" a
doughnut.

Then he skipped out, and saw Sid just starting up the outside stairway
that led to the back rooms on the second floor. Clods were handy and
the air was full of them in a twinkling. They raged around Sid like a
hail-storm; and before Aunt Polly could collect her surprised faculties
and sally to the rescue, six or seven clods had taken personal effect,
and Tom was over the fence and gone. There was a gate, but as a general
thing he was too crowded for time to make use of it. His soul was at
peace, now that he had settled with Sid for calling attention to his
black thread and getting him into trouble.

Tom skirted the block, and came round into a muddy alley that led by
the back of his aunt's cow-stable. He presently got safely beyond the
reach of capture and punishment, and hastened toward the public square
of the village, where two "military" companies of boys had met for
conflict, according to previous appointment. Tom was General of one of
these armies, Joe Harper (a bosom friend) General of the other. These
two great commanders did not condescend to fight in person--that being
better suited to the still smaller fry--but sat together on an eminence
and conducted the field operations by orders delivered through
aides-de-camp. Tom's army won a great victory, after a long and
hard-fought battle. Then the dead were counted, prisoners exchanged,
the terms of the next disagreement agreed upon, and the day for the
necessary battle appointed; after which the armies fell into line and
marched away, and Tom turned homeward alone.

As he was passing by the house where Jeff Thatcher lived, he saw a new
girl in the garden--a lovely little blue-eyed creature with yellow hair
plaited into two long-tails, white summer frock and embroidered
pantalettes. The fresh-crowned hero fell without firing a shot. A
certain Amy Lawrence vanished out of his heart and left not even a
memory of herself behind. He had thought he loved her to distraction;
he had regarded his passion as adoration; and behold it was only a poor
little evanescent partiality. He had been months winning her; she had
confessed hardly a week ago; he had been the happiest and the proudest
boy in the world only seven short days, and here in one instant of time
she had gone out of his heart like a casual stranger whose visit is
done.

He worshipped this new angel with furtive eye, till he saw that she
had discovered him; then he pretended he did not know she was present,
and began to "show off" in all sorts of absurd boyish ways, in order to
win her admiration. He kept up this grotesque foolishness for some
time; but by-and-by, while he was in the midst of some dangerous
gymnastic performances, he glanced aside and saw that the little girl
was wending her way toward the house. Tom came up to the fence and
leaned on it, grieving, and hoping she would tarry yet awhile longer.
She halted a moment on the steps and then moved toward the door. Tom
heaved a great sigh as she put her foot on the threshold. But his face
lit up, right away, for she tossed a pansy over the fence a moment
before she disappeared.

The boy ran around and stopped within a foot or two of the flower, and
then shaded his eyes with his hand and began to look down street as if
he had discovered something of interest going on in that direction.
Presently he picked up a straw and began trying to balance it on his
nose, with his head tilted far back; and as he moved from side to side,
in his efforts, he edged nearer and nearer toward the pansy; finally
his bare foot rested upon it, his pliant toes closed upon it, and he
hopped away with the treasure and disappeared round the corner. But
only for a minute--only while he could button the flower inside his
jacket, next his heart--or next his stomach, possibly, for he was not
much posted in anatomy, and not hypercritical, anyway.

He returned, now, and hung about the fence till nightfall, "showing
off," as before; but the girl never exhibited herself again, though Tom
comforted himself a little with the hope that she had been near some
window, meantime, and been aware of his attentions. Finally he strode
home reluctantly, with his poor head full of visions.

All through supper his spirits were so high that his aunt wondered
"what had got into the child." He took a good scolding about clodding
Sid, and did not seem to mind it in the least. He tried to steal sugar
under his aunt's very nose, and got his knuckles rapped for it. He said:

"Aunt, you don't whack Sid when he takes it."

"Well, Sid don't torment a body the way you do. You'd be always into
that sugar if I warn't watching you."

Presently she stepped into the kitchen, and Sid, happy in his
immunity, reached for the sugar-bowl--a sort of glorying over Tom which
was wellnigh unbearable. But Sid's fingers slipped and the bowl dropped
and broke. Tom was in ecstasies. In such ecstasies that he even
controlled his tongue and was silent. He said to himself that he would
not speak a word, even when his aunt came in, but would sit perfectly
still till she asked who did the mischief; and then he would tell, and
there would be nothing so good in the world as to see that pet model
"catch it." He was so brimful of exultation that he could hardly hold
himself when the old lady came back and stood above the wreck
discharging lightnings of wrath from over her spectacles. He said to
himself, "Now it's coming!" And the next instant he was sprawling on
the floor! The potent palm was uplifted to strike again when Tom cried
out:

"Hold on, now, what 'er you belting ME for?--Sid broke it!"

Aunt Polly paused, perplexed, and Tom looked for healing pity. But
when she got her tongue again, she only said:

"Umf! Well, you didn't get a lick amiss, I reckon. You been into some
other audacious mischief when I wasn't around, like enough."

Then her conscience reproached her, and she yearned to say something
kind and loving; but she judged that this would be construed into a
confession that she had been in the wrong, and discipline forbade that.
So she kept silence, and went about her affairs with a troubled heart.
Tom sulked in a corner and exalted his woes. He knew that in her heart
his aunt was on her knees to him, and he was morosely gratified by the
consciousness of it. He would hang out no signals, he would take notice
of none. He knew that a yearning glance fell upon him, now and then,
through a film of tears, but he refused recognition of it. He pictured
himself lying sick unto death and his aunt bending over him beseeching
one little forgiving word, but he would turn his face to the wall, and
die with that word unsaid. Ah, how would she feel then? And he pictured
himself brought home from the river, dead, with his curls all wet, and
his sore heart at rest. How she would throw herself upon him, and how
her tears would fall like rain, and her lips pray God to give her back
her boy and she would never, never abuse him any more! But he would lie
there cold and white and make no sign--a poor little sufferer, whose
griefs were at an end. He so worked upon his feelings with the pathos
of these dreams, that he had to keep swallowing, he was so like to
choke; and his eyes swam in a blur of water, which overflowed when he
winked, and ran down and trickled from the end of his nose. And such a
luxury to him was this petting of his sorrows, that he could not bear
to have any worldly cheeriness or any grating delight intrude upon it;
it was too sacred for such contact; and so, presently, when his cousin
Mary danced in, all alive with the joy of seeing home again after an
age-long visit of one week to the country, he got up and moved in
clouds and darkness out at one door as she brought song and sunshine in
at the other.

He wandered far from the accustomed haunts of boys, and sought
desolate places that were in harmony with his spirit. A log raft in the
river invited him, and he seated himself on its outer edge and
contemplated the dreary vastness of the stream, wishing, the while,
that he could only be drowned, all at once and unconsciously, without
undergoing the uncomfortable routine devised by nature. Then he thought
of his flower. He got it out, rumpled and wilted, and it mightily
increased his dismal felicity. He wondered if she would pity him if she
knew? Would she cry, and wish that she had a right to put her arms
around his neck and comfort him? Or would she turn coldly away like all
the hollow world? This picture brought such an agony of pleasurable
suffering that he worked it over and over again in his mind and set it
up in new and varied lights, till he wore it threadbare. At last he
rose up sighing and departed in the darkness.

About half-past nine or ten o'clock he came along the deserted street
to where the Adored Unknown lived; he paused a moment; no sound fell
upon his listening ear; a candle was casting a dull glow upon the
curtain of a second-story window. Was the sacred presence there? He
climbed the fence, threaded his stealthy way through the plants, till
he stood under that window; he looked up at it long, and with emotion;
then he laid him down on the ground under it, disposing himself upon
his back, with his hands clasped upon his breast and holding his poor
wilted flower. And thus he would die--out in the cold world, with no
shelter over his homeless head, no friendly hand to wipe the
death-damps from his brow, no loving face to bend pityingly over him
when the great agony came. And thus SHE would see him when she looked
out upon the glad morning, and oh! would she drop one little tear upon
his poor, lifeless form, would she heave one little sigh to see a bright
young life so rudely blighted, so untimely cut down?

The window went up, a maid-servant's discordant voice profaned the
holy calm, and a deluge of water drenched the prone martyr's remains!

The strangling hero sprang up with a relieving snort. There was a whiz
as of a missile in the air, mingled with the murmur of a curse, a sound
as of shivering glass followed, and a small, vague form went over the
fence and shot away in the gloom.

Not long after, as Tom, all undressed for bed, was surveying his
drenched garments by the light of a tallow dip, Sid woke up; but if he
had any dim idea of making any "references to allusions," he thought
better of it and held his peace, for there was danger in Tom's eye.

Tom turned in without the added vexation of prayers, and Sid made
mental note of the omission.



CHAPTER IV

THE sun rose upon a tranquil world, and beamed down upon the peaceful
village like a benediction. Breakfast over, Aunt Polly had family
worship: it began with a prayer built from the ground up of solid
courses of Scriptural quotations, welded together with a thin mortar of
originality; and from the summit of this she delivered a grim chapter
of the Mosaic Law, as from Sinai.

Then Tom girded up his loins, so to speak, and went to work to "get
his verses." Sid had learned his lesson days before. Tom bent all his
energies to the memorizing of five verses, and he chose part of the
Sermon on the Mount, because he could find no verses that were shorter.
At the end of half an hour Tom had a vague general idea of his lesson,
but no more, for his mind was traversing the whole field of human
thought, and his hands were busy with distracting recreations. Mary
took his book to hear him recite, and he tried to find his way through
the fog:

"Blessed are the--a--a--"

"Poor"--

"Yes--poor; blessed are the poor--a--a--"

"In spirit--"

"In spirit; blessed are the poor in spirit, for they--they--"

"THEIRS--"

"For THEIRS. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom
of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they--they--"

"Sh--"

"For they--a--"

"S, H, A--"

"For they S, H--Oh, I don't know what it is!"

"SHALL!"

"Oh, SHALL! for they shall--for they shall--a--a--shall mourn--a--a--
blessed are they that shall--they that--a--they that shall mourn, for
they shall--a--shall WHAT? Why don't you tell me, Mary?--what do you
want to be so mean for?"

"Oh, Tom, you poor thick-headed thing, I'm not teasing you. I wouldn't
do that. You must go and learn it again. Don't you be discouraged, Tom,
you'll manage it--and if you do, I'll give you something ever so nice.
There, now, that's a good boy."

"All right! What is it, Mary, tell me what it is."

"Never you mind, Tom. You know if I say it's nice, it is nice."

"You bet you that's so, Mary. All right, I'll tackle it again."

And he did "tackle it again"--and under the double pressure of
curiosity and prospective gain he did it with such spirit that he
accomplished a shining success. Mary gave him a brand-new "Barlow"
knife worth twelve and a half cents; and the convulsion of delight that
swept his system shook him to his foundations. True, the knife would
not cut anything, but it was a "sure-enough" Barlow, and there was
inconceivable grandeur in that--though where the Western boys ever got
the idea that such a weapon could possibly be counterfeited to its
injury is an imposing mystery and will always remain so, perhaps. Tom
contrived to scarify the cupboard with it, and was arranging to begin
on the bureau, when he was called off to dress for Sunday-school.

Mary gave him a tin basin of water and a piece of soap, and he went
outside the door and set the basin on a little bench there; then he
dipped the soap in the water and laid it down; turned up his sleeves;
poured out the water on the ground, gently, and then entered the
kitchen and began to wipe his face diligently on the towel behind the
door. But Mary removed the towel and said:

"Now ain't you ashamed, Tom. You mustn't be so bad. Water won't hurt
you."

Tom was a trifle disconcerted. The basin was refilled, and this time
he stood over it a little while, gathering resolution; took in a big
breath and began. When he entered the kitchen presently, with both eyes
shut and groping for the towel with his hands, an honorable testimony
of suds and water was dripping from his face. But when he emerged from
the towel, he was not yet satisfactory, for the clean territory stopped
short at his chin and his jaws, like a mask; below and beyond this line
there was a dark expanse of unirrigated soil that spread downward in
front and backward around his neck. Mary took him in hand, and when she
was done with him he was a man and a brother, without distinction of
color, and his saturated hair was neatly brushed, and its short curls
wrought into a dainty and symmetrical general effect. [He privately
smoothed out the curls, with labor and difficulty, and plastered his
hair close down to his head; for he held curls to be effeminate, and
his own filled his life with bitterness.] Then Mary got out a suit of
his clothing that had been used only on Sundays during two years--they
were simply called his "other clothes"--and so by that we know the
size of his wardrobe. The girl "put him to rights" after he had dressed
himself; she buttoned his neat roundabout up to his chin, turned his
vast shirt collar down over his shoulders, brushed him off and crowned
him with his speckled straw hat. He now looked exceedingly improved and
uncomfortable. He was fully as uncomfortable as he looked; for there
was a restraint about whole clothes and cleanliness that galled him. He
hoped that Mary would forget his shoes, but the hope was blighted; she
coated them thoroughly with tallow, as was the custom, and brought them
out. He lost his temper and said he was always being made to do
everything he didn't want to do. But Mary said, persuasively:

"Please, Tom--that's a good boy."

So he got into the shoes snarling. Mary was soon ready, and the three
children set out for Sunday-school--a place that Tom hated with his
whole heart; but Sid and Mary were fond of it.

Sabbath-school hours were from nine to half-past ten; and then church
service. Two of the children always remained for the sermon
voluntarily, and the other always remained too--for stronger reasons.
The church's high-backed, uncushioned pews would seat about three
hundred persons; the edifice was but a small, plain affair, with a sort
of pine board tree-box on top of it for a steeple. At the door Tom
dropped back a step and accosted a Sunday-dressed comrade:

"Say, Billy, got a yaller ticket?"

"Yes."

"What'll you take for her?"

"What'll you give?"

"Piece of lickrish and a fish-hook."

"Less see 'em."

Tom exhibited. They were satisfactory, and the property changed hands.
Then Tom traded a couple of white alleys for three red tickets, and
some small trifle or other for a couple of blue ones. He waylaid other
boys as they came, and went on buying tickets of various colors ten or
fifteen minutes longer. He entered the church, now, with a swarm of
clean and noisy boys and girls, proceeded to his seat and started a
quarrel with the first boy that came handy. The teacher, a grave,
elderly man, interfered; then turned his back a moment and Tom pulled a
boy's hair in the next bench, and was absorbed in his book when the boy
turned around; stuck a pin in another boy, presently, in order to hear
him say "Ouch!" and got a new reprimand from his teacher. Tom's whole
class were of a pattern--restless, noisy, and troublesome. When they
came to recite their lessons, not one of them knew his verses
perfectly, but had to be prompted all along. However, they worried
through, and each got his reward--in small blue tickets, each with a
passage of Scripture on it; each blue ticket was pay for two verses of
the recitation. Ten blue tickets equalled a red one, and could be
exchanged for it; ten red tickets equalled a yellow one; for ten yellow
tickets the superintendent gave a very plainly bound Bible (worth forty
cents in those easy times) to the pupil. How many of my readers would
have the industry and application to memorize two thousand verses, even
for a Dore Bible? And yet Mary had acquired two Bibles in this way--it
was the patient work of two years--and a boy of German parentage had
won four or five. He once recited three thousand verses without
stopping; but the strain upon his mental faculties was too great, and
he was little better than an idiot from that day forth--a grievous
misfortune for the school, for on great occasions, before company, the
superintendent (as Tom expressed it) had always made this boy come out
and "spread himself." Only the older pupils managed to keep their
tickets and stick to their tedious work long enough to get a Bible, and
so the delivery of one of these prizes was a rare and noteworthy
circumstance; the successful pupil was so great and conspicuous for
that day that on the spot every scholar's heart was fired with a fresh
ambition that often lasted a couple of weeks. It is possible that Tom's
mental stomach had never really hungered for one of those prizes, but
unquestionably his entire being had for many a day longed for the glory
and the eclat that came with it.

In due course the superintendent stood up in front of the pulpit, with
a closed hymn-book in his hand and his forefinger inserted between its
leaves, and commanded attention. When a Sunday-school superintendent
makes his customary little speech, a hymn-book in the hand is as
necessary as is the inevitable sheet of music in the hand of a singer
who stands forward on the platform and sings a solo at a concert
--though why, is a mystery: for neither the hymn-book nor the sheet of
music is ever referred to by the sufferer. This superintendent was a
slim creature of thirty-five, with a sandy goatee and short sandy hair;
he wore a stiff standing-collar whose upper edge almost reached his
ears and whose sharp points curved forward abreast the corners of his
mouth--a fence that compelled a straight lookout ahead, and a turning
of the whole body when a side view was required; his chin was propped
on a spreading cravat which was as broad and as long as a bank-note,
and had fringed ends; his boot toes were turned sharply up, in the
fashion of the day, like sleigh-runners--an effect patiently and
laboriously produced by the young men by sitting with their toes
pressed against a wall for hours together. Mr. Walters was very earnest
of mien, and very sincere and honest at heart; and he held sacred
things and places in such reverence, and so separated them from worldly
matters, that unconsciously to himself his Sunday-school voice had
acquired a peculiar intonation which was wholly absent on week-days. He
began after this fashion:

"Now, children, I want you all to sit up just as straight and pretty
as you can and give me all your attention for a minute or two. There
--that is it. That is the way good little boys and girls should do. I see
one little girl who is looking out of the window--I am afraid she
thinks I am out there somewhere--perhaps up in one of the trees making
a speech to the little birds. [Applausive titter.] I want to tell you
how good it makes me feel to see so many bright, clean little faces
assembled in a place like this, learning to do right and be good." And
so forth and so on. It is not necessary to set down the rest of the
oration. It was of a pattern which does not vary, and so it is familiar
to us all.

The latter third of the speech was marred by the resumption of fights
and other recreations among certain of the bad boys, and by fidgetings
and whisperings that extended far and wide, washing even to the bases
of isolated and incorruptible rocks like Sid and Mary. But now every
sound ceased suddenly, with the subsidence of Mr. Walters' voice, and
the conclusion of the speech was received with a burst of silent
gratitude.

A good part of the whispering had been occasioned by an event which
was more or less rare--the entrance of visitors: lawyer Thatcher,
accompanied by a very feeble and aged man; a fine, portly, middle-aged
gentleman with iron-gray hair; and a dignified lady who was doubtless
the latter's wife. The lady was leading a child. Tom had been restless
and full of chafings and repinings; conscience-smitten, too--he could
not meet Amy Lawrence's eye, he could not brook her loving gaze. But
when he saw this small new-comer his soul was all ablaze with bliss in
a moment. The next moment he was "showing off" with all his might
--cuffing boys, pulling hair, making faces--in a word, using every art
that seemed likely to fascinate a girl and win her applause. His
exaltation had but one alloy--the memory of his humiliation in this
angel's garden--and that record in sand was fast washing out, under
the waves of happiness that were sweeping over it now.

The visitors were given the highest seat of honor, and as soon as Mr.
Walters' speech was finished, he introduced them to the school. The
middle-aged man turned out to be a prodigious personage--no less a one
than the county judge--altogether the most august creation these
children had ever looked upon--and they wondered what kind of material
he was made of--and they half wanted to hear him roar, and were half
afraid he might, too. He was from Constantinople, twelve miles away--so
he had travelled, and seen the world--these very eyes had looked upon
the county court-house--which was said to have a tin roof. The awe
which these reflections inspired was attested by the impressive silence
and the ranks of staring eyes. This was the great Judge Thatcher,
brother of their own lawyer. Jeff Thatcher immediately went forward, to
be familiar with the great man and be envied by the school. It would
have been music to his soul to hear the whisperings:

"Look at him, Jim! He's a going up there. Say--look! he's a going to
shake hands with him--he IS shaking hands with him! By jings, don't you
wish you was Jeff?"

Mr. Walters fell to "showing off," with all sorts of official
bustlings and activities, giving orders, delivering judgments,
discharging directions here, there, everywhere that he could find a
target. The librarian "showed off"--running hither and thither with his
arms full of books and making a deal of the splutter and fuss that
insect authority delights in. The young lady teachers "showed off"
--bending sweetly over pupils that were lately being boxed, lifting
pretty warning fingers at bad little boys and patting good ones
lovingly. The young gentlemen teachers "showed off" with small
scoldings and other little displays of authority and fine attention to
discipline--and most of the teachers, of both sexes, found business up
at the library, by the pulpit; and it was business that frequently had
to be done over again two or three times (with much seeming vexation).
The little girls "showed off" in various ways, and the little boys
"showed off" with such diligence that the air was thick with paper wads
and the murmur of scufflings. And above it all the great man sat and
beamed a majestic judicial smile upon all the house, and warmed himself
in the sun of his own grandeur--for he was "showing off," too.

There was only one thing wanting to make Mr. Walters' ecstasy
complete, and that was a chance to deliver a Bible-prize and exhibit a
prodigy. Several pupils had a few yellow tickets, but none had enough
--he had been around among the star pupils inquiring. He would have given
worlds, now, to have that German lad back again with a sound mind.

And now at this moment, when hope was dead, Tom Sawyer came forward
with nine yellow tickets, nine red tickets, and ten blue ones, and
demanded a Bible. This was a thunderbolt out of a clear sky. Walters
was not expecting an application from this source for the next ten
years. But there was no getting around it--here were the certified
checks, and they were good for their face. Tom was therefore elevated
to a place with the Judge and the other elect, and the great news was
announced from headquarters. It was the most stunning surprise of the
decade, and so profound was the sensation that it lifted the new hero
up to the judicial one's altitude, and the school had two marvels to
gaze upon in place of one. The boys were all eaten up with envy--but
those that suffered the bitterest pangs were those who perceived too
late that they themselves had contributed to this hated splendor by
trading tickets to Tom for the wealth he had amassed in selling
whitewashing privileges. These despised themselves, as being the dupes
of a wily fraud, a guileful snake in the grass.

The prize was delivered to Tom with as much effusion as the
superintendent could pump up under the circumstances; but it lacked
somewhat of the true gush, for the poor fellow's instinct taught him
that there was a mystery here that could not well bear the light,
perhaps; it was simply preposterous that this boy had warehoused two
thousand sheaves of Scriptural wisdom on his premises--a dozen would
strain his capacity, without a doubt.

Amy Lawrence was proud and glad, and she tried to make Tom see it in
her face--but he wouldn't look. She wondered; then she was just a grain
troubled; next a dim suspicion came and went--came again; she watched;
a furtive glance told her worlds--and then her heart broke, and she was
jealous, and angry, and the tears came and she hated everybody. Tom
most of all (she thought).

Tom was introduced to the Judge; but his tongue was tied, his breath
would hardly come, his heart quaked--partly because of the awful
greatness of the man, but mainly because he was her parent. He would
have liked to fall down and worship him, if it were in the dark. The
Judge put his hand on Tom's head and called him a fine little man, and
asked him what his name was. The boy stammered, gasped, and got it out:

"Tom."

"Oh, no, not Tom--it is--"

"Thomas."

"Ah, that's it. I thought there was more to it, maybe. That's very
well. But you've another one I daresay, and you'll tell it to me, won't
you?"

"Tell the gentleman your other name, Thomas," said Walters, "and say
sir. You mustn't forget your manners."

"Thomas Sawyer--sir."

"That's it! That's a good boy. Fine boy. Fine, manly little fellow.
Two thousand verses is a great many--very, very great many. And you
never can be sorry for the trouble you took to learn them; for
knowledge is worth more than anything there is in the world; it's what
makes great men and good men; you'll be a great man and a good man
yourself, some day, Thomas, and then you'll look back and say, It's all
owing to the precious Sunday-school privileges of my boyhood--it's all
owing to my dear teachers that taught me to learn--it's all owing to
the good superintendent, who encouraged me, and watched over me, and
gave me a beautiful Bible--a splendid elegant Bible--to keep and have
it all for my own, always--it's all owing to right bringing up! That is
what you will say, Thomas--and you wouldn't take any money for those
two thousand verses--no indeed you wouldn't. And now you wouldn't mind
telling me and this lady some of the things you've learned--no, I know
you wouldn't--for we are proud of little boys that learn. Now, no
doubt you know the names of all the twelve disciples. Won't you tell us
the names of the first two that were appointed?"

Tom was tugging at a button-hole and looking sheepish. He blushed,
now, and his eyes fell. Mr. Walters' heart sank within him. He said to
himself, it is not possible that the boy can answer the simplest
question--why DID the Judge ask him? Yet he felt obliged to speak up
and say:

"Answer the gentleman, Thomas--don't be afraid."

Tom still hung fire.

"Now I know you'll tell me," said the lady. "The names of the first
two disciples were--"

"DAVID AND GOLIAH!"

Let us draw the curtain of charity over the rest of the scene.



CHAPTER V

ABOUT half-past ten the cracked bell of the small church began to
ring, and presently the people began to gather for the morning sermon.
The Sunday-school children distributed themselves about the house and
occupied pews with their parents, so as to be under supervision. Aunt
Polly came, and Tom and Sid and Mary sat with her--Tom being placed
next the aisle, in order that he might be as far away from the open
window and the seductive outside summer scenes as possible. The crowd
filed up the aisles: the aged and needy postmaster, who had seen better
days; the mayor and his wife--for they had a mayor there, among other
unnecessaries; the justice of the peace; the widow Douglass, fair,
smart, and forty, a generous, good-hearted soul and well-to-do, her
hill mansion the only palace in the town, and the most hospitable and
much the most lavish in the matter of festivities that St. Petersburg
could boast; the bent and venerable Major and Mrs. Ward; lawyer
Riverson, the new notable from a distance; next the belle of the
village, followed by a troop of lawn-clad and ribbon-decked young
heart-breakers; then all the young clerks in town in a body--for they
had stood in the vestibule sucking their cane-heads, a circling wall of
oiled and simpering admirers, till the last girl had run their gantlet;
and last of all came the Model Boy, Willie Mufferson, taking as heedful
care of his mother as if she were cut glass. He always brought his
mother to church, and was the pride of all the matrons. The boys all
hated him, he was so good. And besides, he had been "thrown up to them"
so much. His white handkerchief was hanging out of his pocket behind, as
usual on Sundays--accidentally. Tom had no handkerchief, and he looked
upon boys who had as snobs.

The congregation being fully assembled, now, the bell rang once more,
to warn laggards and stragglers, and then a solemn hush fell upon the
church which was only broken by the tittering and whispering of the
choir in the gallery. The choir always tittered and whispered all
through service. There was once a church choir that was not ill-bred,
but I have forgotten where it was, now. It was a great many years ago,
and I can scarcely remember anything about it, but I think it was in
some foreign country.

The minister gave out the hymn, and read it through with a relish, in
a peculiar style which was much admired in that part of the country.
His voice began on a medium key and climbed steadily up till it reached
a certain point, where it bore with strong emphasis upon the topmost
word and then plunged down as if from a spring-board:

Shall I be car-ri-ed toe the skies, on flow'ry BEDS of ease,

Whilst others fight to win the prize, and sail thro' BLOODY seas?

He was regarded as a wonderful reader. At church "sociables" he was
always called upon to read poetry; and when he was through, the ladies
would lift up their hands and let them fall helplessly in their laps,
and "wall" their eyes, and shake their heads, as much as to say, "Words
cannot express it; it is too beautiful, TOO beautiful for this mortal
earth."

After the hymn had been sung, the Rev. Mr. Sprague turned himself into
a bulletin-board, and read off "notices" of meetings and societies and
things till it seemed that the list would stretch out to the crack of
doom--a queer custom which is still kept up in America, even in cities,
away here in this age of abundant newspapers. Often, the less there is
to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.

And now the minister prayed. A good, generous prayer it was, and went
into details: it pleaded for the church, and the little children of the
church; for the other churches of the village; for the village itself;
for the county; for the State; for the State officers; for the United
States; for the churches of the United States; for Congress; for the
President; for the officers of the Government; for poor sailors, tossed
by stormy seas; for the oppressed millions groaning under the heel of
European monarchies and Oriental despotisms; for such as have the light
and the good tidings, and yet have not eyes to see nor ears to hear
withal; for the heathen in the far islands of the sea; and closed with
a supplication that the words he was about to speak might find grace
and favor, and be as seed sown in fertile ground, yielding in time a
grateful harvest of good. Amen.

There was a rustling of dresses, and the standing congregation sat
down. The boy whose history this book relates did not enjoy the prayer,
he only endured it--if he even did that much. He was restive all
through it; he kept tally of the details of the prayer, unconsciously
--for he was not listening, but he knew the ground of old, and the
clergyman's regular route over it--and when a little trifle of new
matter was interlarded, his ear detected it and his whole nature
resented it; he considered additions unfair, and scoundrelly. In the
midst of the prayer a fly had lit on the back of the pew in front of
him and tortured his spirit by calmly rubbing its hands together,
embracing its head with its arms, and polishing it so vigorously that
it seemed to almost part company with the body, and the slender thread
of a neck was exposed to view; scraping its wings with its hind legs
and smoothing them to its body as if they had been coat-tails; going
through its whole toilet as tranquilly as if it knew it was perfectly
safe. As indeed it was; for as sorely as Tom's hands itched to grab for
it they did not dare--he believed his soul would be instantly destroyed
if he did such a thing while the prayer was going on. But with the
closing sentence his hand began to curve and steal forward; and the
instant the "Amen" was out the fly was a prisoner of war. His aunt
detected the act and made him let it go.

The minister gave out his text and droned along monotonously through
an argument that was so prosy that many a head by and by began to nod
--and yet it was an argument that dealt in limitless fire and brimstone
and thinned the predestined elect down to a company so small as to be
hardly worth the saving. Tom counted the pages of the sermon; after
church he always knew how many pages there had been, but he seldom knew
anything else about the discourse. However, this time he was really
interested for a little while. The minister made a grand and moving
picture of the assembling together of the world's hosts at the
millennium when the lion and the lamb should lie down together and a
little child should lead them. But the pathos, the lesson, the moral of
the great spectacle were lost upon the boy; he only thought of the
conspicuousness of the principal character before the on-looking
nations; his face lit with the thought, and he said to himself that he
wished he could be that child, if it was a tame lion.

Now he lapsed into suffering again, as the dry argument was resumed.
Presently he bethought him of a treasure he had and got it out. It was
a large black beetle with formidable jaws--a "pinchbug," he called it.
It was in a percussion-cap box. The first thing the beetle did was to
take him by the finger. A natural fillip followed, the beetle went
floundering into the aisle and lit on its back, and the hurt finger
went into the boy's mouth. The beetle lay there working its helpless
legs, unable to turn over. Tom eyed it, and longed for it; but it was
safe out of his reach. Other people uninterested in the sermon found
relief in the beetle, and they eyed it too. Presently a vagrant poodle
dog came idling along, sad at heart, lazy with the summer softness and
the quiet, weary of captivity, sighing for change. He spied the beetle;
the drooping tail lifted and wagged. He surveyed the prize; walked
around it; smelt at it from a safe distance; walked around it again;
grew bolder, and took a closer smell; then lifted his lip and made a
gingerly snatch at it, just missing it; made another, and another;
began to enjoy the diversion; subsided to his stomach with the beetle
between his paws, and continued his experiments; grew weary at last,
and then indifferent and absent-minded. His head nodded, and little by
little his chin descended and touched the enemy, who seized it. There
was a sharp yelp, a flirt of the poodle's head, and the beetle fell a
couple of yards away, and lit on its back once more. The neighboring
spectators shook with a gentle inward joy, several faces went behind
fans and handkerchiefs, and Tom was entirely happy. The dog looked
foolish, and probably felt so; but there was resentment in his heart,
too, and a craving for revenge. So he went to the beetle and began a
wary attack on it again; jumping at it from every point of a circle,
lighting with his fore-paws within an inch of the creature, making even
closer snatches at it with his teeth, and jerking his head till his
ears flapped again. But he grew tired once more, after a while; tried
to amuse himself with a fly but found no relief; followed an ant
around, with his nose close to the floor, and quickly wearied of that;
yawned, sighed, forgot the beetle entirely, and sat down on it. Then
there was a wild yelp of agony and the poodle went sailing up the
aisle; the yelps continued, and so did the dog; he crossed the house in
front of the altar; he flew down the other aisle; he crossed before the
doors; he clamored up the home-stretch; his anguish grew with his
progress, till presently he was but a woolly comet moving in its orbit
with the gleam and the speed of light. At last the frantic sufferer
sheered from its course, and sprang into its master's lap; he flung it
out of the window, and the voice of distress quickly thinned away and
died in the distance.

By this time the whole church was red-faced and suffocating with
suppressed laughter, and the sermon had come to a dead standstill. The
discourse was resumed presently, but it went lame and halting, all
possibility of impressiveness being at an end; for even the gravest
sentiments were constantly being received with a smothered burst of
unholy mirth, under cover of some remote pew-back, as if the poor
parson had said a rarely facetious thing. It was a genuine relief to
the whole congregation when the ordeal was over and the benediction
pronounced.

Tom Sawyer went home quite cheerful, thinking to himself that there
was some satisfaction about divine service when there was a bit of
variety in it. He had but one marring thought; he was willing that the
dog should play with his pinchbug, but he did not think it was upright
in him to carry it off.



CHAPTER VI

MONDAY morning found Tom Sawyer miserable. Monday morning always found
him so--because it began another week's slow suffering in school. He
generally began that day with wishing he had had no intervening
holiday, it made the going into captivity and fetters again so much
more odious.

Tom lay thinking. Presently it occurred to him that he wished he was
sick; then he could stay home from school. Here was a vague
possibility. He canvassed his system. No ailment was found, and he
investigated again. This time he thought he could detect colicky
symptoms, and he began to encourage them with considerable hope. But
they soon grew feeble, and presently died wholly away. He reflected
further. Suddenly he discovered something. One of his upper front teeth
was loose. This was lucky; he was about to begin to groan, as a
"starter," as he called it, when it occurred to him that if he came
into court with that argument, his aunt would pull it out, and that
would hurt. So he thought he would hold the tooth in reserve for the
present, and seek further. Nothing offered for some little time, and
then he remembered hearing the doctor tell about a certain thing that
laid up a patient for two or three weeks and threatened to make him
lose a finger. So the boy eagerly drew his sore toe from under the
sheet and held it up for inspection. But now he did not know the
necessary symptoms. However, it seemed well worth while to chance it,
so he fell to groaning with considerable spirit.

But Sid slept on unconscious.

Tom groaned louder, and fancied that he began to feel pain in the toe.

No result from Sid.

Tom was panting with his exertions by this time. He took a rest and
then swelled himself up and fetched a succession of admirable groans.

Sid snored on.

Tom was aggravated. He said, "Sid, Sid!" and shook him. This course
worked well, and Tom began to groan again. Sid yawned, stretched, then
brought himself up on his elbow with a snort, and began to stare at
Tom. Tom went on groaning. Sid said:

"Tom! Say, Tom!" [No response.] "Here, Tom! TOM! What is the matter,
Tom?" And he shook him and looked in his face anxiously.

Tom moaned out:

"Oh, don't, Sid. Don't joggle me."

"Why, what's the matter, Tom? I must call auntie."

"No--never mind. It'll be over by and by, maybe. Don't call anybody."

"But I must! DON'T groan so, Tom, it's awful. How long you been this
way?"

"Hours. Ouch! Oh, don't stir so, Sid, you'll kill me."

"Tom, why didn't you wake me sooner? Oh, Tom, DON'T! It makes my
flesh crawl to hear you. Tom, what is the matter?"

"I forgive you everything, Sid. [Groan.] Everything you've ever done
to me. When I'm gone--"

"Oh, Tom, you ain't dying, are you? Don't, Tom--oh, don't. Maybe--"

"I forgive everybody, Sid. [Groan.] Tell 'em so, Sid. And Sid, you
give my window-sash and my cat with one eye to that new girl that's
come to town, and tell her--"

But Sid had snatched his clothes and gone. Tom was suffering in
reality, now, so handsomely was his imagination working, and so his
groans had gathered quite a genuine tone.

Sid flew down-stairs and said:

"Oh, Aunt Polly, come! Tom's dying!"

"Dying!"

"Yes'm. Don't wait--come quick!"

"Rubbage! I don't believe it!"

But she fled up-stairs, nevertheless, with Sid and Mary at her heels.
And her face grew white, too, and her lip trembled. When she reached
the bedside she gasped out:

"You, Tom! Tom, what's the matter with you?"

"Oh, auntie, I'm--"

"What's the matter with you--what is the matter with you, child?"

"Oh, auntie, my sore toe's mortified!"

The old lady sank down into a chair and laughed a little, then cried a
little, then did both together. This restored her and she said:

"Tom, what a turn you did give me. Now you shut up that nonsense and
climb out of this."

The groans ceased and the pain vanished from the toe. The boy felt a
little foolish, and he said:

"Aunt Polly, it SEEMED mortified, and it hurt so I never minded my
tooth at all."

"Your tooth, indeed! What's the matter with your tooth?"

"One of them's loose, and it aches perfectly awful."

"There, there, now, don't begin that groaning again. Open your mouth.
Well--your tooth IS loose, but you're not going to die about that.
Mary, get me a silk thread, and a chunk of fire out of the kitchen."

Tom said:

"Oh, please, auntie, don't pull it out. It don't hurt any more. I wish
I may never stir if it does. Please don't, auntie. I don't want to stay
home from school."

"Oh, you don't, don't you? So all this row was because you thought
you'd get to stay home from school and go a-fishing? Tom, Tom, I love
you so, and you seem to try every way you can to break my old heart
with your outrageousness." By this time the dental instruments were
ready. The old lady made one end of the silk thread fast to Tom's tooth
with a loop and tied the other to the bedpost. Then she seized the
chunk of fire and suddenly thrust it almost into the boy's face. The
tooth hung dangling by the bedpost, now.

But all trials bring their compensations. As Tom wended to school
after breakfast, he was the envy of every boy he met because the gap in
his upper row of teeth enabled him to expectorate in a new and
admirable way. He gathered quite a following of lads interested in the
exhibition; and one that had cut his finger and had been a centre of
fascination and homage up to this time, now found himself suddenly
without an adherent, and shorn of his glory. His heart was heavy, and
he said with a disdain which he did not feel that it wasn't anything to
spit like Tom Sawyer; but another boy said, "Sour grapes!" and he
wandered away a dismantled hero.

Shortly Tom came upon the juvenile pariah of the village, Huckleberry
Finn, son of the town drunkard. Huckleberry was cordially hated and
dreaded by all the mothers of the town, because he was idle and lawless
and vulgar and bad--and because all their children admired him so, and
delighted in his forbidden society, and wished they dared to be like
him. Tom was like the rest of the respectable boys, in that he envied
Huckleberry his gaudy outcast condition, and was under strict orders
not to play with him. So he played with him every time he got a chance.
Huckleberry was always dressed in the cast-off clothes of full-grown
men, and they were in perennial bloom and fluttering with rags. His hat
was a vast ruin with a wide crescent lopped out of its brim; his coat,
when he wore one, hung nearly to his heels and had the rearward buttons
far down the back; but one suspender supported his trousers; the seat
of the trousers bagged low and contained nothing, the fringed legs
dragged in the dirt when not rolled up.

Huckleberry came and went, at his own free will. He slept on doorsteps
in fine weather and in empty hogsheads in wet; he did not have to go to
school or to church, or call any being master or obey anybody; he could
go fishing or swimming when and where he chose, and stay as long as it
suited him; nobody forbade him to fight; he could sit up as late as he
pleased; he was always the first boy that went barefoot in the spring
and the last to resume leather in the fall; he never had to wash, nor
put on clean clothes; he could swear wonderfully. In a word, everything
that goes to make life precious that boy had. So thought every
harassed, hampered, respectable boy in St. Petersburg.

Tom hailed the romantic outcast:

"Hello, Huckleberry!"

"Hello yourself, and see how you like it."

"What's that you got?"

"Dead cat."

"Lemme see him, Huck. My, he's pretty stiff. Where'd you get him ?"

"Bought him off'n a boy."

"What did you give?"

"I give a blue ticket and a bladder that I got at the slaughter-house."

"Where'd you get the blue ticket?"

"Bought it off'n Ben Rogers two weeks ago for a hoop-stick."

"Say--what is dead cats good for, Huck?"

"Good for? Cure warts with."

"No! Is that so? I know something that's better."

"I bet you don't. What is it?"

"Why, spunk-water."

"Spunk-water! I wouldn't give a dern for spunk-water."

"You wouldn't, wouldn't you? D'you ever try it?"

"No, I hain't. But Bob Tanner did."

"Who told you so!"

"Why, he told Jeff Thatcher, and Jeff told Johnny Baker, and Johnny
told Jim Hollis, and Jim told Ben Rogers, and Ben told a nigger, and
the nigger told me. There now!"

"Well, what of it? They'll all lie. Leastways all but the nigger. I
don't know HIM. But I never see a nigger that WOULDN'T lie. Shucks! Now
you tell me how Bob Tanner done it, Huck."

"Why, he took and dipped his hand in a rotten stump where the
rain-water was."

"In the daytime?"

"Certainly."

"With his face to the stump?"

"Yes. Least I reckon so."

"Did he say anything?"

"I don't reckon he did. I don't know."

"Aha! Talk about trying to cure warts with spunk-water such a blame
fool way as that! Why, that ain't a-going to do any good. You got to go
all by yourself, to the middle of the woods, where you know there's a
spunk-water stump, and just as it's midnight you back up against the
stump and jam your hand in and say:

'Barley-corn, barley-corn, injun-meal shorts,
Spunk-water, spunk-water, swaller these warts,'

and then walk away quick, eleven steps, with your eyes shut, and then
turn around three times and walk home without speaking to anybody.
Because if you speak the charm's busted."

"Well, that sounds like a good way; but that ain't the way Bob Tanner
done."

"No, sir, you can bet he didn't, becuz he's the wartiest boy in this
town; and he wouldn't have a wart on him if he'd knowed how to work
spunk-water. I've took off thousands of warts off of my hands that way,
Huck. I play with frogs so much that I've always got considerable many
warts. Sometimes I take 'em off with a bean."

"Yes, bean's good. I've done that."

"Have you? What's your way?"

"You take and split the bean, and cut the wart so as to get some
blood, and then you put the blood on one piece of the bean and take and
dig a hole and bury it 'bout midnight at the crossroads in the dark of
the moon, and then you burn up the rest of the bean. You see that piece
that's got the blood on it will keep drawing and drawing, trying to
fetch the other piece to it, and so that helps the blood to draw the
wart, and pretty soon off she comes."

"Yes, that's it, Huck--that's it; though when you're burying it if you
say 'Down bean; off wart; come no more to bother me!' it's better.
That's the way Joe Harper does, and he's been nearly to Coonville and
most everywheres. But say--how do you cure 'em with dead cats?"

"Why, you take your cat and go and get in the graveyard 'long about
midnight when somebody that was wicked has been buried; and when it's
midnight a devil will come, or maybe two or three, but you can't see
'em, you can only hear something like the wind, or maybe hear 'em talk;
and when they're taking that feller away, you heave your cat after 'em
and say, 'Devil follow corpse, cat follow devil, warts follow cat, I'm
done with ye!' That'll fetch ANY wart."

"Sounds right. D'you ever try it, Huck?"

"No, but old Mother Hopkins told me."

"Well, I reckon it's so, then. Becuz they say she's a witch."

"Say! Why, Tom, I KNOW she is. She witched pap. Pap says so his own
self. He come along one day, and he see she was a-witching him, so he
took up a rock, and if she hadn't dodged, he'd a got her. Well, that
very night he rolled off'n a shed wher' he was a layin drunk, and broke
his arm."

"Why, that's awful. How did he know she was a-witching him?"

"Lord, pap can tell, easy. Pap says when they keep looking at you
right stiddy, they're a-witching you. Specially if they mumble. Becuz
when they mumble they're saying the Lord's Prayer backards."

"Say, Hucky, when you going to try the cat?"

"To-night. I reckon they'll come after old Hoss Williams to-night."

"But they buried him Saturday. Didn't they get him Saturday night?"

"Why, how you talk! How could their charms work till midnight?--and
THEN it's Sunday. Devils don't slosh around much of a Sunday, I don't
reckon."

"I never thought of that. That's so. Lemme go with you?"

"Of course--if you ain't afeard."

"Afeard! 'Tain't likely. Will you meow?"

"Yes--and you meow back, if you get a chance. Last time, you kep' me
a-meowing around till old Hays went to throwing rocks at me and says
'Dern that cat!' and so I hove a brick through his window--but don't
you tell."

"I won't. I couldn't meow that night, becuz auntie was watching me,
but I'll meow this time. Say--what's that?"

"Nothing but a tick."

"Where'd you get him?"

"Out in the woods."

"What'll you take for him?"

"I don't know. I don't want to sell him."

"All right. It's a mighty small tick, anyway."

"Oh, anybody can run a tick down that don't belong to them. I'm
satisfied with it. It's a good enough tick for me."

"Sho, there's ticks a plenty. I could have a thousand of 'em if I
wanted to."

"Well, why don't you? Becuz you know mighty well you can't. This is a
pretty early tick, I reckon. It's the first one I've seen this year."

"Say, Huck--I'll give you my tooth for him."

"Less see it."

Tom got out a bit of paper and carefully unrolled it. Huckleberry
viewed it wistfully. The temptation was very strong. At last he said:

"Is it genuwyne?"

Tom lifted his lip and showed the vacancy.

"Well, all right," said Huckleberry, "it's a trade."

Tom enclosed the tick in the percussion-cap box that had lately been
the pinchbug's prison, and the boys separated, each feeling wealthier
than before.

When Tom reached the little isolated frame schoolhouse, he strode in
briskly, with the manner of one who had come with all honest speed.
He hung his hat on a peg and flung himself into his seat with
business-like alacrity. The master, throned on high in his great
splint-bottom arm-chair, was dozing, lulled by the drowsy hum of study.
The interruption roused him.

"Thomas Sawyer!"

Tom knew that when his name was pronounced in full, it meant trouble.

"Sir!"

"Come up here. Now, sir, why are you late again, as usual?"

Tom was about to take refuge in a lie, when he saw two long tails of
yellow hair hanging down a back that he recognized by the electric
sympathy of love; and by that form was THE ONLY VACANT PLACE on the
girls' side of the schoolhouse. He instantly said:

"I STOPPED TO TALK WITH HUCKLEBERRY FINN!"

The master's pulse stood still, and he stared helplessly. The buzz of
study ceased. The pupils wondered if this foolhardy boy had lost his
mind. The master said:

"You--you did what?"

"Stopped to talk with Huckleberry Finn."

There was no mistaking the words.

"Thomas Sawyer, this is the most astounding confession I have ever
listened to. No mere ferule will answer for this offence. Take off your
jacket."

The master's arm performed until it was tired and the stock of
switches notably diminished. Then the order followed:

"Now, sir, go and sit with the girls! And let this be a warning to you."

The titter that rippled around the room appeared to abash the boy, but
in reality that result was caused rather more by his worshipful awe of
his unknown idol and the dread pleasure that lay in his high good
fortune. He sat down upon the end of the pine bench and the girl
hitched herself away from him with a toss of her head. Nudges and winks
and whispers traversed the room, but Tom sat still, with his arms upon
the long, low desk before him, and seemed to study his book.

By and by attention ceased from him, and the accustomed school murmur
rose upon the dull air once more. Presently the boy began to steal
furtive glances at the girl. She observed it, "made a mouth" at him and
gave him the back of her head for the space of a minute. When she
cautiously faced around again, a peach lay before her. She thrust it
away. Tom gently put it back. She thrust it away again, but with less
animosity. Tom patiently returned it to its place. Then she let it
remain. Tom scrawled on his slate, "Please take it--I got more." The
girl glanced at the words, but made no sign. Now the boy began to draw
something on the slate, hiding his work with his left hand. For a time
the girl refused to notice; but her human curiosity presently began to
manifest itself by hardly perceptible signs. The boy worked on,
apparently unconscious. The girl made a sort of noncommittal attempt to
see, but the boy did not betray that he was aware of it. At last she
gave in and hesitatingly whispered:

"Let me see it."

Tom partly uncovered a dismal caricature of a house with two gable
ends to it and a corkscrew of smoke issuing from the chimney. Then the
girl's interest began to fasten itself upon the work and she forgot
everything else. When it was finished, she gazed a moment, then
whispered:

"It's nice--make a man."

The artist erected a man in the front yard, that resembled a derrick.
He could have stepped over the house; but the girl was not
hypercritical; she was satisfied with the monster, and whispered:

"It's a beautiful man--now make me coming along."

Tom drew an hour-glass with a full moon and straw limbs to it and
armed the spreading fingers with a portentous fan. The girl said:

"It's ever so nice--I wish I could draw."

"It's easy," whispered Tom, "I'll learn you."

"Oh, will you? When?"

"At noon. Do you go home to dinner?"

"I'll stay if you will."

"Good--that's a whack. What's your name?"

"Becky Thatcher. What's yours? Oh, I know. It's Thomas Sawyer."

"That's the name they lick me by. I'm Tom when I'm good. You call me
Tom, will you?"

"Yes."

Now Tom began to scrawl something on the slate, hiding the words from
the girl. But she was not backward this time. She begged to see. Tom
said:

"Oh, it ain't anything."

"Yes it is."

"No it ain't. You don't want to see."

"Yes I do, indeed I do. Please let me."

"You'll tell."

"No I won't--deed and deed and double deed won't."

"You won't tell anybody at all? Ever, as long as you live?"

"No, I won't ever tell ANYbody. Now let me."

"Oh, YOU don't want to see!"

"Now that you treat me so, I WILL see." And she put her small hand
upon his and a little scuffle ensued, Tom pretending to resist in
earnest but letting his hand slip by degrees till these words were
revealed: "I LOVE YOU."

"Oh, you bad thing!" And she hit his hand a smart rap, but reddened
and looked pleased, nevertheless.

Just at this juncture the boy felt a slow, fateful grip closing on his
ear, and a steady lifting impulse. In that vise he was borne across the
house and deposited in his own seat, under a peppering fire of giggles
from the whole school. Then the master stood over him during a few
awful moments, and finally moved away to his throne without saying a
word. But although Tom's ear tingled, his heart was jubilant.

As the school quieted down Tom made an honest effort to study, but the
turmoil within him was too great. In turn he took his place in the
reading class and made a botch of it; then in the geography class and
turned lakes into mountains, mountains into rivers, and rivers into
continents, till chaos was come again; then in the spelling class, and
got "turned down," by a succession of mere baby words, till he brought
up at the foot and yielded up the pewter medal which he had worn with
ostentation for months.



CHAPTER VII

THE harder Tom tried to fasten his mind on his book, the more his
ideas wandered. So at last, with a sigh and a yawn, he gave it up. It
seemed to him that the noon recess would never come. The air was
utterly dead. There was not a breath stirring. It was the sleepiest of
sleepy days. The drowsing murmur of the five and twenty studying
scholars soothed the soul like the spell that is in the murmur of bees.
Away off in the flaming sunshine, Cardiff Hill lifted its soft green
sides through a shimmering veil of heat, tinted with the purple of
distance; a few birds floated on lazy wing high in the air; no other
living thing was visible but some cows, and they were asleep. Tom's
heart ached to be free, or else to have something of interest to do to
pass the dreary time. His hand wandered into his pocket and his face
lit up with a glow of gratitude that was prayer, though he did not know
it. Then furtively the percussion-cap box came out. He released the
tick and put him on the long flat desk. The creature probably glowed
with a gratitude that amounted to prayer, too, at this moment, but it
was premature: for when he started thankfully to travel off, Tom turned
him aside with a pin and made him take a new direction.

Tom's bosom friend sat next him, suffering just as Tom had been, and
now he was deeply and gratefully interested in this entertainment in an
instant. This bosom friend was Joe Harper. The two boys were sworn
friends all the week, and embattled enemies on Saturdays. Joe took a
pin out of his lapel and began to assist in exercising the prisoner.
The sport grew in interest momently. Soon Tom said that they were
interfering with each other, and neither getting the fullest benefit of
the tick. So he put Joe's slate on the desk and drew a line down the
middle of it from top to bottom.

"Now," said he, "as long as he is on your side you can stir him up and
I'll let him alone; but if you let him get away and get on my side,
you're to leave him alone as long as I can keep him from crossing over."

"All right, go ahead; start him up."

The tick escaped from Tom, presently, and crossed the equator. Joe
harassed him awhile, and then he got away and crossed back again. This
change of base occurred often. While one boy was worrying the tick with
absorbing interest, the other would look on with interest as strong,
the two heads bowed together over the slate, and the two souls dead to
all things else. At last luck seemed to settle and abide with Joe. The
tick tried this, that, and the other course, and got as excited and as
anxious as the boys themselves, but time and again just as he would
have victory in his very grasp, so to speak, and Tom's fingers would be
twitching to begin, Joe's pin would deftly head him off, and keep
possession. At last Tom could stand it no longer. The temptation was
too strong. So he reached out and lent a hand with his pin. Joe was
angry in a moment. Said he:

"Tom, you let him alone."

"I only just want to stir him up a little, Joe."

"No, sir, it ain't fair; you just let him alone."

"Blame it, I ain't going to stir him much."

"Let him alone, I tell you."

"I won't!"

"You shall--he's on my side of the line."

"Look here, Joe Harper, whose is that tick?"

"I don't care whose tick he is--he's on my side of the line, and you
sha'n't touch him."

"Well, I'll just bet I will, though. He's my tick and I'll do what I
blame please with him, or die!"

A tremendous whack came down on Tom's shoulders, and its duplicate on
Joe's; and for the space of two minutes the dust continued to fly from
the two jackets and the whole school to enjoy it. The boys had been too
absorbed to notice the hush that had stolen upon the school awhile
before when the master came tiptoeing down the room and stood over
them. He had contemplated a good part of the performance before he
contributed his bit of variety to it.

When school broke up at noon, Tom flew to Becky Thatcher, and
whispered in her ear:

"Put on your bonnet and let on you're going home; and when you get to
the corner, give the rest of 'em the slip, and turn down through the
lane and come back. I'll go the other way and come it over 'em the same
way."

So the one went off with one group of scholars, and the other with
another. In a little while the two met at the bottom of the lane, and
when they reached the school they had it all to themselves. Then they
sat together, with a slate before them, and Tom gave Becky the pencil
and held her hand in his, guiding it, and so created another surprising
house. When the interest in art began to wane, the two fell to talking.
Tom was swimming in bliss. He said:

"Do you love rats?"

"No! I hate them!"

"Well, I do, too--LIVE ones. But I mean dead ones, to swing round your
head with a string."

"No, I don't care for rats much, anyway. What I like is chewing-gum."

"Oh, I should say so! I wish I had some now."

"Do you? I've got some. I'll let you chew it awhile, but you must give
it back to me."

That was agreeable, so they chewed it turn about, and dangled their
legs against the bench in excess of contentment.

"Was you ever at a circus?" said Tom.

"Yes, and my pa's going to take me again some time, if I'm good."

"I been to the circus three or four times--lots of times. Church ain't
shucks to a circus. There's things going on at a circus all the time.
I'm going to be a clown in a circus when I grow up."

"Oh, are you! That will be nice. They're so lovely, all spotted up."

"Yes, that's so. And they get slathers of money--most a dollar a day,
Ben Rogers says. Say, Becky, was you ever engaged?"

"What's that?"

"Why, engaged to be married."

"No."

"Would you like to?"

"I reckon so. I don't know. What is it like?"

"Like? Why it ain't like anything. You only just tell a boy you won't
ever have anybody but him, ever ever ever, and then you kiss and that's
all. Anybody can do it."

"Kiss? What do you kiss for?"

"Why, that, you know, is to--well, they always do that."

"Everybody?"

"Why, yes, everybody that's in love with each other. Do you remember
what I wrote on the slate?"

"Ye--yes."

"What was it?"

"I sha'n't tell you."

"Shall I tell YOU?"

"Ye--yes--but some other time."

"No, now."

"No, not now--to-morrow."

"Oh, no, NOW. Please, Becky--I'll whisper it, I'll whisper it ever so
easy."

Becky hesitating, Tom took silence for consent, and passed his arm
about her waist and whispered the tale ever so softly, with his mouth
close to her ear. And then he added:

"Now you whisper it to me--just the same."

She resisted, for a while, and then said:

"You turn your face away so you can't see, and then I will. But you
mustn't ever tell anybody--WILL you, Tom? Now you won't, WILL you?"

"No, indeed, indeed I won't. Now, Becky."

He turned his face away. She bent timidly around till her breath
stirred his curls and whispered, "I--love--you!"

Then she sprang away and ran around and around the desks and benches,
with Tom after her, and took refuge in a corner at last, with her
little white apron to her face. Tom clasped her about her neck and
pleaded:

"Now, Becky, it's all done--all over but the kiss. Don't you be afraid
of that--it ain't anything at all. Please, Becky." And he tugged at her
apron and the hands.

By and by she gave up, and let her hands drop; her face, all glowing
with the struggle, came up and submitted. Tom kissed the red lips and
said:

"Now it's all done, Becky. And always after this, you know, you ain't
ever to love anybody but me, and you ain't ever to marry anybody but
me, ever never and forever. Will you?"

"No, I'll never love anybody but you, Tom, and I'll never marry
anybody but you--and you ain't to ever marry anybody but me, either."

"Certainly. Of course. That's PART of it. And always coming to school
or when we're going home, you're to walk with me, when there ain't
anybody looking--and you choose me and I choose you at parties, because
that's the way you do when you're engaged."

"It's so nice. I never heard of it before."

"Oh, it's ever so gay! Why, me and Amy Lawrence--"

The big eyes told Tom his blunder and he stopped, confused.

"Oh, Tom! Then I ain't the first you've ever been engaged to!"

The child began to cry. Tom said:

"Oh, don't cry, Becky, I don't care for her any more."

"Yes, you do, Tom--you know you do."

Tom tried to put his arm about her neck, but she pushed him away and
turned her face to the wall, and went on crying. Tom tried again, with
soothing words in his mouth, and was repulsed again. Then his pride was
up, and he strode away and went outside. He stood about, restless and
uneasy, for a while, glancing at the door, every now and then, hoping
she would repent and come to find him. But she did not. Then he began
to feel badly and fear that he was in the wrong. It was a hard struggle
with him to make new advances, now, but he nerved himself to it and
entered. She was still standing back there in the corner, sobbing, with
her face to the wall. Tom's heart smote him. He went to her and stood a
moment, not knowing exactly how to proceed. Then he said hesitatingly:

"Becky, I--I don't care for anybody but you."

No reply--but sobs.

"Becky"--pleadingly. "Becky, won't you say something?"

More sobs.

Tom got out his chiefest jewel, a brass knob from the top of an
andiron, and passed it around her so that she could see it, and said:

"Please, Becky, won't you take it?"

She struck it to the floor. Then Tom marched out of the house and over
the hills and far away, to return to school no more that day. Presently
Becky began to suspect. She ran to the door; he was not in sight; she
flew around to the play-yard; he was not there. Then she called:

"Tom! Come back, Tom!"

She listened intently, but there was no answer. She had no companions
but silence and loneliness. So she sat down to cry again and upbraid
herself; and by this time the scholars began to gather again, and she
had to hide her griefs and still her broken heart and take up the cross
of a long, dreary, aching afternoon, with none among the strangers
about her to exchange sorrows with.



CHAPTER VIII

TOM dodged hither and thither through lanes until he was well out of
the track of returning scholars, and then fell into a moody jog. He
crossed a small "branch" two or three times, because of a prevailing
juvenile superstition that to cross water baffled pursuit. Half an hour
later he was disappearing behind the Douglas mansion on the summit of
Cardiff Hill, and the schoolhouse was hardly distinguishable away off
in the valley behind him. He entered a dense wood, picked his pathless
way to the centre of it, and sat down on a mossy spot under a spreading
oak. There was not even a zephyr stirring; the dead noonday heat had
even stilled the songs of the birds; nature lay in a trance that was
broken by no sound but the occasional far-off hammering of a
woodpecker, and this seemed to render the pervading silence and sense
of loneliness the more profound. The boy's soul was steeped in
melancholy; his feelings were in happy accord with his surroundings. He
sat long with his elbows on his knees and his chin in his hands,
meditating. It seemed to him that life was but a trouble, at best, and
he more than half envied Jimmy Hodges, so lately released; it must be
very peaceful, he thought, to lie and slumber and dream forever and
ever, with the wind whispering through the trees and caressing the
grass and the flowers over the grave, and nothing to bother and grieve
about, ever any more. If he only had a clean Sunday-school record he
could be willing to go, and be done with it all. Now as to this girl.
What had he done? Nothing. He had meant the best in the world, and been
treated like a dog--like a very dog. She would be sorry some day--maybe
when it was too late. Ah, if he could only die TEMPORARILY!

But the elastic heart of youth cannot be compressed into one
constrained shape long at a time. Tom presently began to drift
insensibly back into the concerns of this life again. What if he turned
his back, now, and disappeared mysteriously? What if he went away--ever
so far away, into unknown countries beyond the seas--and never came
back any more! How would she feel then! The idea of being a clown
recurred to him now, only to fill him with disgust. For frivolity and
jokes and spotted tights were an offense, when they intruded themselves
upon a spirit that was exalted into the vague august realm of the
romantic. No, he would be a soldier, and return after long years, all
war-worn and illustrious. No--better still, he would join the Indians,
and hunt buffaloes and go on the warpath in the mountain ranges and the
trackless great plains of the Far West, and away in the future come
back a great chief, bristling with feathers, hideous with paint, and
prance into Sunday-school, some drowsy summer morning, with a
bloodcurdling war-whoop, and sear the eyeballs of all his companions
with unappeasable envy. But no, there was something gaudier even than
this. He would be a pirate! That was it! NOW his future lay plain
before him, and glowing with unimaginable splendor. How his name would
fill the world, and make people shudder! How gloriously he would go
plowing the dancing seas, in his long, low, black-hulled racer, the
Spirit of the Storm, with his grisly flag flying at the fore! And at
the zenith of his fame, how he would suddenly appear at the old village
and stalk into church, brown and weather-beaten, in his black velvet
doublet and trunks, his great jack-boots, his crimson sash, his belt
bristling with horse-pistols, his crime-rusted cutlass at his side, his
slouch hat with waving plumes, his black flag unfurled, with the skull
and crossbones on it, and hear with swelling ecstasy the whisperings,
"It's Tom Sawyer the Pirate!--the Black Avenger of the Spanish Main!"

Yes, it was settled; his career was determined. He would run away from
home and enter upon it. He would start the very next morning. Therefore
he must now begin to get ready. He would collect his resources
together. He went to a rotten log near at hand and began to dig under
one end of it with his Barlow knife. He soon struck wood that sounded
hollow. He put his hand there and uttered this incantation impressively:

"What hasn't come here, come! What's here, stay here!"

Then he scraped away the dirt, and exposed a pine shingle. He took it
up and disclosed a shapely little treasure-house whose bottom and sides
were of shingles. In it lay a marble. Tom's astonishment was boundless!
He scratched his head with a perplexed air, and said:

"Well, that beats anything!"

Then he tossed the marble away pettishly, and stood cogitating. The
truth was, that a superstition of his had failed, here, which he and
all his comrades had always looked upon as infallible. If you buried a
marble with certain necessary incantations, and left it alone a
fortnight, and then opened the place with the incantation he had just
used, you would find that all the marbles you had ever lost had
gathered themselves together there, meantime, no matter how widely they
had been separated. But now, this thing had actually and unquestionably
failed. Tom's whole structure of faith was shaken to its foundations.
He had many a time heard of this thing succeeding but never of its
failing before. It did not occur to him that he had tried it several
times before, himself, but could never find the hiding-places
afterward. He puzzled over the matter some time, and finally decided
that some witch had interfered and broken the charm. He thought he
would satisfy himself on that point; so he searched around till he
found a small sandy spot with a little funnel-shaped depression in it.
He laid himself down and put his mouth close to this depression and
called--

"Doodle-bug, doodle-bug, tell me what I want to know! Doodle-bug,
doodle-bug, tell me what I want to know!"

The sand began to work, and presently a small black bug appeared for a
second and then darted under again in a fright.

"He dasn't tell! So it WAS a witch that done it. I just knowed it."

He well knew the futility of trying to contend against witches, so he
gave up discouraged. But it occurred to him that he might as well have
the marble he had just thrown away, and therefore he went and made a
patient search for it. But he could not find it. Now he went back to
his treasure-house and carefully placed himself just as he had been
standing when he tossed the marble away; then he took another marble
from his pocket and tossed it in the same way, saying:

"Brother, go find your brother!"

He watched where it stopped, and went there and looked. But it must
have fallen short or gone too far; so he tried twice more. The last
repetition was successful. The two marbles lay within a foot of each
other.

Just here the blast of a toy tin trumpet came faintly down the green
aisles of the forest. Tom flung off his jacket and trousers, turned a
suspender into a belt, raked away some brush behind the rotten log,
disclosing a rude bow and arrow, a lath sword and a tin trumpet, and in
a moment had seized these things and bounded away, barelegged, with
fluttering shirt. He presently halted under a great elm, blew an
answering blast, and then began to tiptoe and look warily out, this way
and that. He said cautiously--to an imaginary company:

"Hold, my merry men! Keep hid till I blow."

Now appeared Joe Harper, as airily clad and elaborately armed as Tom.
Tom called:

"Hold! Who comes here into Sherwood Forest without my pass?"

"Guy of Guisborne wants no man's pass. Who art thou that--that--"

"Dares to hold such language," said Tom, prompting--for they talked
"by the book," from memory.

"Who art thou that dares to hold such language?"

"I, indeed! I am Robin Hood, as thy caitiff carcase soon shall know."

"Then art thou indeed that famous outlaw? Right gladly will I dispute
with thee the passes of the merry wood. Have at thee!"

They took their lath swords, dumped their other traps on the ground,
struck a fencing attitude, foot to foot, and began a grave, careful
combat, "two up and two down." Presently Tom said:

"Now, if you've got the hang, go it lively!"

So they "went it lively," panting and perspiring with the work. By and
by Tom shouted:

"Fall! fall! Why don't you fall?"

"I sha'n't! Why don't you fall yourself? You're getting the worst of
it."

"Why, that ain't anything. I can't fall; that ain't the way it is in
the book. The book says, 'Then with one back-handed stroke he slew poor
Guy of Guisborne.' You're to turn around and let me hit you in the
back."

There was no getting around the authorities, so Joe turned, received
the whack and fell.

"Now," said Joe, getting up, "you got to let me kill YOU. That's fair."

"Why, I can't do that, it ain't in the book."

"Well, it's blamed mean--that's all."

"Well, say, Joe, you can be Friar Tuck or Much the miller's son, and
lam me with a quarter-staff; or I'll be the Sheriff of Nottingham and
you be Robin Hood a little while and kill me."

This was satisfactory, and so these adventures were carried out. Then
Tom became Robin Hood again, and was allowed by the treacherous nun to
bleed his strength away through his neglected wound. And at last Joe,
representing a whole tribe of weeping outlaws, dragged him sadly forth,
gave his bow into his feeble hands, and Tom said, "Where this arrow
falls, there bury poor Robin Hood under the greenwood tree." Then he
shot the arrow and fell back and would have died, but he lit on a
nettle and sprang up too gaily for a corpse.

The boys dressed themselves, hid their accoutrements, and went off
grieving that there were no outlaws any more, and wondering what modern
civilization could claim to have done to compensate for their loss.
They said they would rather be outlaws a year in Sherwood Forest than
President of the United States forever.



CHAPTER IX

AT half-past nine, that night, Tom and Sid were sent to bed, as usual.
They said their prayers, and Sid was soon asleep. Tom lay awake and
waited, in restless impatience. When it seemed to him that it must be
nearly daylight, he heard the clock strike ten! This was despair. He
would have tossed and fidgeted, as his nerves demanded, but he was
afraid he might wake Sid. So he lay still, and stared up into the dark.
Everything was dismally still. By and by, out of the stillness, little,
scarcely perceptible noises began to emphasize themselves. The ticking
of the clock began to bring itself into notice. Old beams began to
crack mysteriously. The stairs creaked faintly. Evidently spirits were
abroad. A measured, muffled snore issued from Aunt Polly's chamber. And
now the tiresome chirping of a cricket that no human ingenuity could
locate, began. Next the ghastly ticking of a deathwatch in the wall at
the bed's head made Tom shudder--it meant that somebody's days were
numbered. Then the howl of a far-off dog rose on the night air, and was
answered by a fainter howl from a remoter distance. Tom was in an
agony. At last he was satisfied that time had ceased and eternity
begun; he began to doze, in spite of himself; the clock chimed eleven,
but he did not hear it. And then there came, mingling with his
half-formed dreams, a most melancholy caterwauling. The raising of a
neighboring window disturbed him. A cry of "Scat! you devil!" and the
crash of an empty bottle against the back of his aunt's woodshed
brought him wide awake, and a single minute later he was dressed and
out of the window and creeping along the roof of the "ell" on all
fours. He "meow'd" with caution once or twice, as he went; then jumped
to the roof of the woodshed and thence to the ground. Huckleberry Finn
was there, with his dead cat. The boys moved off and disappeared in the
gloom. At the end of half an hour they were wading through the tall
grass of the graveyard.

It was a graveyard of the old-fashioned Western kind. It was on a
hill, about a mile and a half from the village. It had a crazy board
fence around it, which leaned inward in places, and outward the rest of
the time, but stood upright nowhere. Grass and weeds grew rank over the
whole cemetery. All the old graves were sunken in, there was not a
tombstone on the place; round-topped, worm-eaten boards staggered over
the graves, leaning for support and finding none. "Sacred to the memory
of" So-and-So had been painted on them once, but it could no longer
have been read, on the most of them, now, even if there had been light.

A faint wind moaned through the trees, and Tom feared it might be the
spirits of the dead, complaining at being disturbed. The boys talked
little, and only under their breath, for the time and the place and the
pervading solemnity and silence oppressed their spirits. They found the
sharp new heap they were seeking, and ensconced themselves within the
protection of three great elms that grew in a bunch within a few feet
of the grave.

Then they waited in silence for what seemed a long time. The hooting
of a distant owl was all the sound that troubled the dead stillness.
Tom's reflections grew oppressive. He must force some talk. So he said
in a whisper:

"Hucky, do you believe the dead people like it for us to be here?"

Huckleberry whispered:

"I wisht I knowed. It's awful solemn like, AIN'T it?"

"I bet it is."

There was a considerable pause, while the boys canvassed this matter
inwardly. Then Tom whispered:

"Say, Hucky--do you reckon Hoss Williams hears us talking?"

"O' course he does. Least his sperrit does."

Tom, after a pause:

"I wish I'd said Mister Williams. But I never meant any harm.
Everybody calls him Hoss."

"A body can't be too partic'lar how they talk 'bout these-yer dead
people, Tom."

This was a damper, and conversation died again.

Presently Tom seized his comrade's arm and said:

"Sh!"

"What is it, Tom?" And the two clung together with beating hearts.

"Sh! There 'tis again! Didn't you hear it?"

"I--"

"There! Now you hear it."

"Lord, Tom, they're coming! They're coming, sure. What'll we do?"

"I dono. Think they'll see us?"

"Oh, Tom, they can see in the dark, same as cats. I wisht I hadn't
come."

"Oh, don't be afeard. I don't believe they'll bother us. We ain't
doing any harm. If we keep perfectly still, maybe they won't notice us
at all."

"I'll try to, Tom, but, Lord, I'm all of a shiver."

"Listen!"

The boys bent their heads together and scarcely breathed. A muffled
sound of voices floated up from the far end of the graveyard.

"Look! See there!" whispered Tom. "What is it?"

"It's devil-fire. Oh, Tom, this is awful."

Some vague figures approached through the gloom, swinging an
old-fashioned tin lantern that freckled the ground with innumerable
little spangles of light. Presently Huckleberry whispered with a
shudder:

"It's the devils sure enough. Three of 'em! Lordy, Tom, we're goners!
Can you pray?"

"I'll try, but don't you be afeard. They ain't going to hurt us. 'Now
I lay me down to sleep, I--'"

"Sh!"

"What is it, Huck?"

"They're HUMANS! One of 'em is, anyway. One of 'em's old Muff Potter's
voice."

"No--'tain't so, is it?"

"I bet I know it. Don't you stir nor budge. He ain't sharp enough to
notice us. Drunk, the same as usual, likely--blamed old rip!"

"All right, I'll keep still. Now they're stuck. Can't find it. Here
they come again. Now they're hot. Cold again. Hot again. Red hot!
They're p'inted right, this time. Say, Huck, I know another o' them
voices; it's Injun Joe."

"That's so--that murderin' half-breed! I'd druther they was devils a
dern sight. What kin they be up to?"

The whisper died wholly out, now, for the three men had reached the
grave and stood within a few feet of the boys' hiding-place.

"Here it is," said the third voice; and the owner of it held the
lantern up and revealed the face of young Doctor Robinson.

Potter and Injun Joe were carrying a handbarrow with a rope and a
couple of shovels on it. They cast down their load and began to open
the grave. The doctor put the lantern at the head of the grave and came
and sat down with his back against one of the elm trees. He was so
close the boys could have touched him.

"Hurry, men!" he said, in a low voice; "the moon might come out at any
moment."

They growled a response and went on digging. For some time there was
no noise but the grating sound of the spades discharging their freight
of mould and gravel. It was very monotonous. Finally a spade struck
upon the coffin with a dull woody accent, and within another minute or
two the men had hoisted it out on the ground. They pried off the lid
with their shovels, got out the body and dumped it rudely on the
ground. The moon drifted from behind the clouds and exposed the pallid
face. The barrow was got ready and the corpse placed on it, covered
with a blanket, and bound to its place with the rope. Potter took out a
large spring-knife and cut off the dangling end of the rope and then
said:

"Now the cussed thing's ready, Sawbones, and you'll just out with
another five, or here she stays."

"That's the talk!" said Injun Joe.

"Look here, what does this mean?" said the doctor. "You required your
pay in advance, and I've paid you."

"Yes, and you done more than that," said Injun Joe, approaching the
doctor, who was now standing. "Five years ago you drove me away from
your father's kitchen one night, when I come to ask for something to
eat, and you said I warn't there for any good; and when I swore I'd get
even with you if it took a hundred years, your father had me jailed for
a vagrant. Did you think I'd forget? The Injun blood ain't in me for
nothing. And now I've GOT you, and you got to SETTLE, you know!"

He was threatening the doctor, with his fist in his face, by this
time. The doctor struck out suddenly and stretched the ruffian on the
ground. Potter dropped his knife, and exclaimed:

"Here, now, don't you hit my pard!" and the next moment he had
grappled with the doctor and the two were struggling with might and
main, trampling the grass and tearing the ground with their heels.
Injun Joe sprang to his feet, his eyes flaming with passion, snatched
up Potter's knife, and went creeping, catlike and stooping, round and
round about the combatants, seeking an opportunity. All at once the
doctor flung himself free, seized the heavy headboard of Williams'
grave and felled Potter to the earth with it--and in the same instant
the half-breed saw his chance and drove the knife to the hilt in the
young man's breast. He reeled and fell partly upon Potter, flooding him
with his blood, and in the same moment the clouds blotted out the
dreadful spectacle and the two frightened boys went speeding away in
the dark.

Presently, when the moon emerged again, Injun Joe was standing over
the two forms, contemplating them. The doctor murmured inarticulately,
gave a long gasp or two and was still. The half-breed muttered:

"THAT score is settled--damn you."

Then he robbed the body. After which he put the fatal knife in
Potter's open right hand, and sat down on the dismantled coffin. Three
--four--five minutes passed, and then Potter began to stir and moan. His
hand closed upon the knife; he raised it, glanced at it, and let it
fall, with a shudder. Then he sat up, pushing the body from him, and
gazed at it, and then around him, confusedly. His eyes met Joe's.

"Lord, how is this, Joe?" he said.

"It's a dirty business," said Joe, without moving.

"What did you do it for?"

"I! I never done it!"

"Look here! That kind of talk won't wash."

Potter trembled and grew white.

"I thought I'd got sober. I'd no business to drink to-night. But it's
in my head yet--worse'n when we started here. I'm all in a muddle;
can't recollect anything of it, hardly. Tell me, Joe--HONEST, now, old
feller--did I do it? Joe, I never meant to--'pon my soul and honor, I
never meant to, Joe. Tell me how it was, Joe. Oh, it's awful--and him
so young and promising."

"Why, you two was scuffling, and he fetched you one with the headboard
and you fell flat; and then up you come, all reeling and staggering
like, and snatched the knife and jammed it into him, just as he fetched
you another awful clip--and here you've laid, as dead as a wedge til
now."

"Oh, I didn't know what I was a-doing. I wish I may die this minute if
I did. It was all on account of the whiskey and the excitement, I
reckon. I never used a weepon in my life before, Joe. I've fought, but
never with weepons. They'll all say that. Joe, don't tell! Say you
won't tell, Joe--that's a good feller. I always liked you, Joe, and
stood up for you, too. Don't you remember? You WON'T tell, WILL you,
Joe?" And the poor creature dropped on his knees before the stolid
murderer, and clasped his appealing hands.

"No, you've always been fair and square with me, Muff Potter, and I
won't go back on you. There, now, that's as fair as a man can say."

"Oh, Joe, you're an angel. I'll bless you for this the longest day I
live." And Potter began to cry.

"Come, now, that's enough of that. This ain't any time for blubbering.
You be off yonder way and I'll go this. Move, now, and don't leave any
tracks behind you."

Potter started on a trot that quickly increased to a run. The
half-breed stood looking after him. He muttered:

"If he's as much stunned with the lick and fuddled with the rum as he
had the look of being, he won't think of the knife till he's gone so
far he'll be afraid to come back after it to such a place by himself
--chicken-heart!"

Two or three minutes later the murdered man, the blanketed corpse, the
lidless coffin, and the open grave were under no inspection but the
moon's. The stillness was complete again, too.



CHAPTER X

THE two boys flew on and on, toward the village, speechless with
horror. They glanced backward over their shoulders from time to time,
apprehensively, as if they feared they might be followed. Every stump
that started up in their path seemed a man and an enemy, and made them
catch their breath; and as they sped by some outlying cottages that lay
near the village, the barking of the aroused watch-dogs seemed to give
wings to their feet.

"If we can only get to the old tannery before we break down!"
whispered Tom, in short catches between breaths. "I can't stand it much
longer."

Huckleberry's hard pantings were his only reply, and the boys fixed
their eyes on the goal of their hopes and bent to their work to win it.
They gained steadily on it, and at last, breast to breast, they burst
through the open door and fell grateful and exhausted in the sheltering
shadows beyond. By and by their pulses slowed down, and Tom whispered:

"Huckleberry, what do you reckon'll come of this?"

"If Doctor Robinson dies, I reckon hanging'll come of it."

"Do you though?"

"Why, I KNOW it, Tom."

Tom thought a while, then he said:

"Who'll tell? We?"

"What are you talking about? S'pose something happened and Injun Joe
DIDN'T hang? Why, he'd kill us some time or other, just as dead sure as
we're a laying here."

"That's just what I was thinking to myself, Huck."

"If anybody tells, let Muff Potter do it, if he's fool enough. He's
generally drunk enough."

Tom said nothing--went on thinking. Presently he whispered:

"Huck, Muff Potter don't know it. How can he tell?"

"What's the reason he don't know it?"

"Because he'd just got that whack when Injun Joe done it. D'you reckon
he could see anything? D'you reckon he knowed anything?"

"By hokey, that's so, Tom!"

"And besides, look-a-here--maybe that whack done for HIM!"

"No, 'taint likely, Tom. He had liquor in him; I could see that; and
besides, he always has. Well, when pap's full, you might take and belt
him over the head with a church and you couldn't phase him. He says so,
his own self. So it's the same with Muff Potter, of course. But if a
man was dead sober, I reckon maybe that whack might fetch him; I dono."

After another reflective silence, Tom said:

"Hucky, you sure you can keep mum?"

"Tom, we GOT to keep mum. You know that. That Injun devil wouldn't
make any more of drownding us than a couple of cats, if we was to
squeak 'bout this and they didn't hang him. Now, look-a-here, Tom, less
take and swear to one another--that's what we got to do--swear to keep
mum."

"I'm agreed. It's the best thing. Would you just hold hands and swear
that we--"

"Oh no, that wouldn't do for this. That's good enough for little
rubbishy common things--specially with gals, cuz THEY go back on you
anyway, and blab if they get in a huff--but there orter be writing
'bout a big thing like this. And blood."

Tom's whole being applauded this idea. It was deep, and dark, and
awful; the hour, the circumstances, the surroundings, were in keeping
with it. He picked up a clean pine shingle that lay in the moonlight,
took a little fragment of "red keel" out of his pocket, got the moon on
his work, and painfully scrawled these lines, emphasizing each slow
down-stroke by clamping his tongue between his teeth, and letting up
the pressure on the up-strokes. [See next page.]

"Huck Finn and
Tom Sawyer swears
they will keep mum
about This and They
wish They may Drop
down dead in Their
Tracks if They ever
Tell and Rot."

Huckleberry was filled with admiration of Tom's facility in writing,
and the sublimity of his language. He at once took a pin from his lapel
and was going to prick his flesh, but Tom said:

"Hold on! Don't do that. A pin's brass. It might have verdigrease on
it."

"What's verdigrease?"

"It's p'ison. That's what it is. You just swaller some of it once
--you'll see."

So Tom unwound the thread from one of his needles, and each boy
pricked the ball of his thumb and squeezed out a drop of blood. In
time, after many squeezes, Tom managed to sign his initials, using the
ball of his little finger for a pen. Then he showed Huckleberry how to
make an H and an F, and the oath was complete. They buried the shingle
close to the wall, with some dismal ceremonies and incantations, and
the fetters that bound their tongues were considered to be locked and
the key thrown away.

A figure crept stealthily through a break in the other end of the
ruined building, now, but they did not notice it.

"Tom," whispered Huckleberry, "does this keep us from EVER telling
--ALWAYS?"

"Of course it does. It don't make any difference WHAT happens, we got
to keep mum. We'd drop down dead--don't YOU know that?"

"Yes, I reckon that's so."

They continued to whisper for some little time. Presently a dog set up
a long, lugubrious howl just outside--within ten feet of them. The boys
clasped each other suddenly, in an agony of fright.

"Which of us does he mean?" gasped Huckleberry.

"I dono--peep through the crack. Quick!"

"No, YOU, Tom!"

"I can't--I can't DO it, Huck!"

"Please, Tom. There 'tis again!"

"Oh, lordy, I'm thankful!" whispered Tom. "I know his voice. It's Bull
Harbison." *

[* If Mr. Harbison owned a slave named Bull, Tom would have spoken of
him as "Harbison's Bull," but a son or a dog of that name was "Bull
Harbison."]

"Oh, that's good--I tell you, Tom, I was most scared to death; I'd a
bet anything it was a STRAY dog."

The dog howled again. The boys' hearts sank once more.

"Oh, my! that ain't no Bull Harbison!" whispered Huckleberry. "DO, Tom!"

Tom, quaking with fear, yielded, and put his eye to the crack. His
whisper was hardly audible when he said:

"Oh, Huck, IT S A STRAY DOG!"

"Quick, Tom, quick! Who does he mean?"

"Huck, he must mean us both--we're right together."

"Oh, Tom, I reckon we're goners. I reckon there ain't no mistake 'bout
where I'LL go to. I been so wicked."

"Dad fetch it! This comes of playing hookey and doing everything a
feller's told NOT to do. I might a been good, like Sid, if I'd a tried
--but no, I wouldn't, of course. But if ever I get off this time, I lay
I'll just WALLER in Sunday-schools!" And Tom began to snuffle a little.

"YOU bad!" and Huckleberry began to snuffle too. "Consound it, Tom
Sawyer, you're just old pie, 'longside o' what I am. Oh, LORDY, lordy,
lordy, I wisht I only had half your chance."

Tom choked off and whispered:

"Look, Hucky, look! He's got his BACK to us!"

Hucky looked, with joy in his heart.

"Well, he has, by jingoes! Did he before?"

"Yes, he did. But I, like a fool, never thought. Oh, this is bully,
you know. NOW who can he mean?"

The howling stopped. Tom pricked up his ears.

"Sh! What's that?" he whispered.

"Sounds like--like hogs grunting. No--it's somebody snoring, Tom."

"That IS it! Where 'bouts is it, Huck?"

"I bleeve it's down at 'tother end. Sounds so, anyway. Pap used to
sleep there, sometimes, 'long with the hogs, but laws bless you, he
just lifts things when HE snores. Besides, I reckon he ain't ever
coming back to this town any more."

The spirit of adventure rose in the boys' souls once more.

"Hucky, do you das't to go if I lead?"

"I don't like to, much. Tom, s'pose it's Injun Joe!"

Tom quailed. But presently the temptation rose up strong again and the
boys agreed to try, with the understanding that they would take to
their heels if the snoring stopped. So they went tiptoeing stealthily
down, the one behind the other. When they had got to within five steps
of the snorer, Tom stepped on a stick, and it broke with a sharp snap.
The man moaned, writhed a little, and his face came into the moonlight.
It was Muff Potter. The boys' hearts had stood still, and their hopes
too, when the man moved, but their fears passed away now. They tiptoed
out, through the broken weather-boarding, and stopped at a little
distance to exchange a parting word. That long, lugubrious howl rose on
the night air again! They turned and saw the strange dog standing
within a few feet of where Potter was lying, and FACING Potter, with
his nose pointing heavenward.

"Oh, geeminy, it's HIM!" exclaimed both boys, in a breath.

"Say, Tom--they say a stray dog come howling around Johnny Miller's
house, 'bout midnight, as much as two weeks ago; and a whippoorwill
come in and lit on the banisters and sung, the very same evening; and
there ain't anybody dead there yet."

"Well, I know that. And suppose there ain't. Didn't Gracie Miller fall
in the kitchen fire and burn herself terrible the very next Saturday?"

"Yes, but she ain't DEAD. And what's more, she's getting better, too."

"All right, you wait and see. She's a goner, just as dead sure as Muff
Potter's a goner. That's what the niggers say, and they know all about
these kind of things, Huck."

Then they separated, cogitating. When Tom crept in at his bedroom
window the night was almost spent. He undressed with excessive caution,
and fell asleep congratulating himself that nobody knew of his
escapade. He was not aware that the gently-snoring Sid was awake, and
had been so for an hour.

When Tom awoke, Sid was dressed and gone. There was a late look in the
light, a late sense in the atmosphere. He was startled. Why had he not
been called--persecuted till he was up, as usual? The thought filled
him with bodings. Within five minutes he was dressed and down-stairs,
feeling sore and drowsy. The family were still at table, but they had
finished breakfast. There was no voice of rebuke; but there were
averted eyes; there was a silence and an air of solemnity that struck a
chill to the culprit's heart. He sat down and tried to seem gay, but it
was up-hill work; it roused no smile, no response, and he lapsed into
silence and let his heart sink down to the depths.

After breakfast his aunt took him aside, and Tom almost brightened in
the hope that he was going to be flogged; but it was not so. His aunt
wept over him and asked him how he could go and break her old heart so;
and finally told him to go on, and ruin himself and bring her gray
hairs with sorrow to the grave, for it was no use for her to try any
more. This was worse than a thousand whippings, and Tom's heart was
sorer now than his body. He cried, he pleaded for forgiveness, promised
to reform over and over again, and then received his dismissal, feeling
that he had won but an imperfect forgiveness and established but a
feeble confidence.

He left the presence too miserable to even feel revengeful toward Sid;
and so the latter's prompt retreat through the back gate was
unnecessary. He moped to school gloomy and sad, and took his flogging,
along with Joe Harper, for playing hookey the day before, with the air
of one whose heart was busy with heavier woes and wholly dead to
trifles. Then he betook himself to his seat, rested his elbows on his
desk and his jaws in his hands, and stared at the wall with the stony
stare of suffering that has reached the limit and can no further go.
His elbow was pressing against some hard substance. After a long time
he slowly and sadly changed his position, and took up this object with
a sigh. It was in a paper. He unrolled it. A long, lingering, colossal
sigh followed, and his heart broke. It was his brass andiron knob!

This final feather broke the camel's back.



CHAPTER XI

CLOSE upon the hour of noon the whole village was suddenly electrified
with the ghastly news. No need of the as yet undreamed-of telegraph;
the tale flew from man to man, from group to group, from house to
house, with little less than telegraphic speed. Of course the
schoolmaster gave holiday for that afternoon; the town would have
thought strangely of him if he had not.

A gory knife had been found close to the murdered man, and it had been
recognized by somebody as belonging to Muff Potter--so the story ran.
And it was said that a belated citizen had come upon Potter washing
himself in the "branch" about one or two o'clock in the morning, and
that Potter had at once sneaked off--suspicious circumstances,
especially the washing which was not a habit with Potter. It was also
said that the town had been ransacked for this "murderer" (the public
are not slow in the matter of sifting evidence and arriving at a
verdict), but that he could not be found. Horsemen had departed down
all the roads in every direction, and the Sheriff "was confident" that
he would be captured before night.

All the town was drifting toward the graveyard. Tom's heartbreak
vanished and he joined the procession, not because he would not a
thousand times rather go anywhere else, but because an awful,
unaccountable fascination drew him on. Arrived at the dreadful place,
he wormed his small body through the crowd and saw the dismal
spectacle. It seemed to him an age since he was there before. Somebody
pinched his arm. He turned, and his eyes met Huckleberry's. Then both
looked elsewhere at once, and wondered if anybody had noticed anything
in their mutual glance. But everybody was talking, and intent upon the
grisly spectacle before them.

"Poor fellow!" "Poor young fellow!" "This ought to be a lesson to
grave robbers!" "Muff Potter'll hang for this if they catch him!" This
was the drift of remark; and the minister said, "It was a judgment; His
hand is here."

Now Tom shivered from head to heel; for his eye fell upon the stolid
face of Injun Joe. At this moment the crowd began to sway and struggle,
and voices shouted, "It's him! it's him! he's coming himself!"

"Who? Who?" from twenty voices.

"Muff Potter!"

"Hallo, he's stopped!--Look out, he's turning! Don't let him get away!"

People in the branches of the trees over Tom's head said he wasn't
trying to get away--he only looked doubtful and perplexed.

"Infernal impudence!" said a bystander; "wanted to come and take a
quiet look at his work, I reckon--didn't expect any company."

The crowd fell apart, now, and the Sheriff came through,
ostentatiously leading Potter by the arm. The poor fellow's face was
haggard, and his eyes showed the fear that was upon him. When he stood
before the murdered man, he shook as with a palsy, and he put his face
in his hands and burst into tears.

"I didn't do it, friends," he sobbed; "'pon my word and honor I never
done it."

"Who's accused you?" shouted a voice.

This shot seemed to carry home. Potter lifted his face and looked
around him with a pathetic hopelessness in his eyes. He saw Injun Joe,
and exclaimed:

"Oh, Injun Joe, you promised me you'd never--"

"Is that your knife?" and it was thrust before him by the Sheriff.

Potter would have fallen if they had not caught him and eased him to
the ground. Then he said:

"Something told me 't if I didn't come back and get--" He shuddered;
then waved his nerveless hand with a vanquished gesture and said, "Tell
'em, Joe, tell 'em--it ain't any use any more."

Then Huckleberry and Tom stood dumb and staring, and heard the
stony-hearted liar reel off his serene statement, they expecting every
moment that the clear sky would deliver God's lightnings upon his head,
and wondering to see how long the stroke was delayed. And when he had
finished and still stood alive and whole, their wavering impulse to
break their oath and save the poor betrayed prisoner's life faded and
vanished away, for plainly this miscreant had sold himself to Satan and
it would be fatal to meddle with the property of such a power as that.

"Why didn't you leave? What did you want to come here for?" somebody
said.

"I couldn't help it--I couldn't help it," Potter moaned. "I wanted to
run away, but I couldn't seem to come anywhere but here." And he fell
to sobbing again.

Injun Joe repeated his statement, just as calmly, a few minutes
afterward on the inquest, under oath; and the boys, seeing that the
lightnings were still withheld, were confirmed in their belief that Joe
had sold himself to the devil. He was now become, to them, the most
balefully interesting object they had ever looked upon, and they could
not take their fascinated eyes from his face.

They inwardly resolved to watch him nights, when opportunity should
offer, in the hope of getting a glimpse of his dread master.

Injun Joe helped to raise the body of the murdered man and put it in a
wagon for removal; and it was whispered through the shuddering crowd
that the wound bled a little! The boys thought that this happy
circumstance would turn suspicion in the right direction; but they were
disappointed, for more than one villager remarked:

"It was within three feet of Muff Potter when it done it."

Tom's fearful secret and gnawing conscience disturbed his sleep for as
much as a week after this; and at breakfast one morning Sid said:

"Tom, you pitch around and talk in your sleep so much that you keep me
awake half the time."

Tom blanched and dropped his eyes.

"It's a bad sign," said Aunt Polly, gravely. "What you got on your
mind, Tom?"

"Nothing. Nothing 't I know of." But the boy's hand shook so that he
spilled his coffee.

"And you do talk such stuff," Sid said. "Last night you said, 'It's
blood, it's blood, that's what it is!' You said that over and over. And
you said, 'Don't torment me so--I'll tell!' Tell WHAT? What is it
you'll tell?"

Everything was swimming before Tom. There is no telling what might
have happened, now, but luckily the concern passed out of Aunt Polly's
face and she came to Tom's relief without knowing it. She said:

"Sho! It's that dreadful murder. I dream about it most every night
myself. Sometimes I dream it's me that done it."

Mary said she had been affected much the same way. Sid seemed
satisfied. Tom got out of the presence as quick as he plausibly could,
and after that he complained of toothache for a week, and tied up his
jaws every night. He never knew that Sid lay nightly watching, and
frequently slipped the bandage free and then leaned on his elbow
listening a good while at a time, and afterward slipped the bandage
back to its place again. Tom's distress of mind wore off gradually and
the toothache grew irksome and was discarded. If Sid really managed to
make anything out of Tom's disjointed mutterings, he kept it to himself.

It seemed to Tom that his schoolmates never would get done holding
inquests on dead cats, and thus keeping his trouble present to his
mind. Sid noticed that Tom never was coroner at one of these inquiries,
though it had been his habit to take the lead in all new enterprises;
he noticed, too, that Tom never acted as a witness--and that was
strange; and Sid did not overlook the fact that Tom even showed a
marked aversion to these inquests, and always avoided them when he
could. Sid marvelled, but said nothing. However, even inquests went out
of vogue at last, and ceased to torture Tom's conscience.

Every day or two, during this time of sorrow, Tom watched his
opportunity and went to the little grated jail-window and smuggled such
small comforts through to the "murderer" as he could get hold of. The
jail was a trifling little brick den that stood in a marsh at the edge
of the village, and no guards were afforded for it; indeed, it was
seldom occupied. These offerings greatly helped to ease Tom's
conscience.

The villagers had a strong desire to tar-and-feather Injun Joe and
ride him on a rail, for body-snatching, but so formidable was his
character that nobody could be found who was willing to take the lead
in the matter, so it was dropped. He had been careful to begin both of
his inquest-statements with the fight, without confessing the
grave-robbery that preceded it; therefore it was deemed wisest not
to try the case in the courts at present.



CHAPTER XII

ONE of the reasons why Tom's mind had drifted away from its secret
troubles was, that it had found a new and weighty matter to interest
itself about. Becky Thatcher had stopped coming to school. Tom had
struggled with his pride a few days, and tried to "whistle her down the
wind," but failed. He began to find himself hanging around her father's
house, nights, and feeling very miserable. She was ill. What if she
should die! There was distraction in the thought. He no longer took an
interest in war, nor even in piracy. The charm of life was gone; there
was nothing but dreariness left. He put his hoop away, and his bat;
there was no joy in them any more. His aunt was concerned. She began to
try all manner of remedies on him. She was one of those people who are
infatuated with patent medicines and all new-fangled methods of
producing health or mending it. She was an inveterate experimenter in
these things. When something fresh in this line came out she was in a
fever, right away, to try it; not on herself, for she was never ailing,
but on anybody else that came handy. She was a subscriber for all the
"Health" periodicals and phrenological frauds; and the solemn ignorance
they were inflated with was breath to her nostrils. All the "rot" they
contained about ventilation, and how to go to bed, and how to get up,
and what to eat, and what to drink, and how much exercise to take, and
what frame of mind to keep one's self in, and what sort of clothing to
wear, was all gospel to her, and she never observed that her
health-journals of the current month customarily upset everything they
had recommended the month before. She was as simple-hearted and honest
as the day was long, and so she was an easy victim. She gathered
together her quack periodicals and her quack medicines, and thus armed
with death, went about on her pale horse, metaphorically speaking, with
"hell following after." But she never suspected that she was not an
angel of healing and the balm of Gilead in disguise, to the suffering
neighbors.

The water treatment was new, now, and Tom's low condition was a
windfall to her. She had him out at daylight every morning, stood him
up in the woodshed and drowned him with a deluge of cold water; then
she scrubbed him down with a towel like a file, and so brought him to;
then she rolled him up in a wet sheet and put him away under blankets
till she sweated his soul clean and "the yellow stains of it came
through his pores"--as Tom said.

Yet notwithstanding all this, the boy grew more and more melancholy
and pale and dejected. She added hot baths, sitz baths, shower baths,
and plunges. The boy remained as dismal as a hearse. She began to
assist the water with a slim oatmeal diet and blister-plasters. She
calculated his capacity as she would a jug's, and filled him up every
day with quack cure-alls.

Tom had become indifferent to persecution by this time. This phase
filled the old lady's heart with consternation. This indifference must
be broken up at any cost. Now she heard of Pain-killer for the first
time. She ordered a lot at once. She tasted it and was filled with
gratitude. It was simply fire in a liquid form. She dropped the water
treatment and everything else, and pinned her faith to Pain-killer. She
gave Tom a teaspoonful and watched with the deepest anxiety for the
result. Her troubles were instantly at rest, her soul at peace again;
for the "indifference" was broken up. The boy could not have shown a
wilder, heartier interest, if she had built a fire under him.

Tom felt that it was time to wake up; this sort of life might be
romantic enough, in his blighted condition, but it was getting to have
too little sentiment and too much distracting variety about it. So he
thought over various plans for relief, and finally hit pon that of
professing to be fond of Pain-killer. He asked for it so often that he
became a nuisance, and his aunt ended by telling him to help himself
and quit bothering her. If it had been Sid, she would have had no
misgivings to alloy her delight; but since it was Tom, she watched the
bottle clandestinely. She found that the medicine did really diminish,
but it did not occur to her that the boy was mending the health of a
crack in the sitting-room floor with it.

One day Tom was in the act of dosing the crack when his aunt's yellow
cat came along, purring, eying the teaspoon avariciously, and begging
for a taste. Tom said:

"Don't ask for it unless you want it, Peter."

But Peter signified that he did want it.

"You better make sure."

Peter was sure.

"Now you've asked for it, and I'll give it to you, because there ain't
anything mean about me; but if you find you don't like it, you mustn't
blame anybody but your own self."

Peter was agreeable. So Tom pried his mouth open and poured down the
Pain-killer. Peter sprang a couple of yards in the air, and then
delivered a war-whoop and set off round and round the room, banging
against furniture, upsetting flower-pots, and making general havoc.
Next he rose on his hind feet and pranced around, in a frenzy of
enjoyment, with his head over his shoulder and his voice proclaiming
his unappeasable happiness. Then he went tearing around the house again
spreading chaos and destruction in his path. Aunt Polly entered in time
to see him throw a few double summersets, deliver a final mighty
hurrah, and sail through the open window, carrying the rest of the
flower-pots with him. The old lady stood petrified with astonishment,
peering over her glasses; Tom lay on the floor expiring with laughter.

"Tom, what on earth ails that cat?"

"I don't know, aunt," gasped the boy.

"Why, I never see anything like it. What did make him act so?"

"Deed I don't know, Aunt Polly; cats always act so when they're having
a good time."

"They do, do they?" There was something in the tone that made Tom
apprehensive.

"Yes'm. That is, I believe they do."

"You DO?"

"Yes'm."

The old lady was bending down, Tom watching, with interest emphasized
by anxiety. Too late he divined her "drift." The handle of the telltale
teaspoon was visible under the bed-valance. Aunt Polly took it, held it
up. Tom winced, and dropped his eyes. Aunt Polly raised him by the
usual handle--his ear--and cracked his head soundly with her thimble.

"Now, sir, what did you want to treat that poor dumb beast so, for?"

"I done it out of pity for him--because he hadn't any aunt."

"Hadn't any aunt!--you numskull. What has that got to do with it?"

"Heaps. Because if he'd had one she'd a burnt him out herself! She'd a
roasted his bowels out of him 'thout any more feeling than if he was a
human!"

Aunt Polly felt a sudden pang of remorse. This was putting the thing
in a new light; what was cruelty to a cat MIGHT be cruelty to a boy,
too. She began to soften; she felt sorry. Her eyes watered a little,
and she put her hand on Tom's head and said gently:

"I was meaning for the best, Tom. And, Tom, it DID do you good."

Tom looked up in her face with just a perceptible twinkle peeping
through his gravity.

"I know you was meaning for the best, aunty, and so was I with Peter.
It done HIM good, too. I never see him get around so since--"

"Oh, go 'long with you, Tom, before you aggravate me again. And you
try and see if you can't be a good boy, for once, and you needn't take
any more medicine."

Tom reached school ahead of time. It was noticed that this strange
thing had been occurring every day latterly. And now, as usual of late,
he hung about the gate of the schoolyard instead of playing with his
comrades. He was sick, he said, and he looked it. He tried to seem to
be looking everywhere but whither he really was looking--down the road.
Presently Jeff Thatcher hove in sight, and Tom's face lighted; he gazed
a moment, and then turned sorrowfully away. When Jeff arrived, Tom
accosted him; and "led up" warily to opportunities for remark about
Becky, but the giddy lad never could see the bait. Tom watched and
watched, hoping whenever a frisking frock came in sight, and hating the
owner of it as soon as he saw she was not the right one. At last frocks
ceased to appear, and he dropped hopelessly into the dumps; he entered
the empty schoolhouse and sat down to suffer. Then one more frock
passed in at the gate, and Tom's heart gave a great bound. The next
instant he was out, and "going on" like an Indian; yelling, laughing,
chasing boys, jumping over the fence at risk of life and limb, throwing
handsprings, standing on his head--doing all the heroic things he could
conceive of, and keeping a furtive eye out, all the while, to see if
Becky Thatcher was noticing. But she seemed to be unconscious of it
all; she never looked. Could it be possible that she was not aware that
he was there? He carried his exploits to her immediate vicinity; came
war-whooping around, snatched a boy's cap, hurled it to the roof of the
schoolhouse, broke through a group of boys, tumbling them in every
direction, and fell sprawling, himself, under Becky's nose, almost
upsetting her--and she turned, with her nose in the air, and he heard
her say: "Mf! some people think they're mighty smart--always showing
off!"

Tom's cheeks burned. He gathered himself up and sneaked off, crushed
and crestfallen.



CHAPTER XIII

TOM'S mind was made up now. He was gloomy and desperate. He was a
forsaken, friendless boy, he said; nobody loved him; when they found
out what they had driven him to, perhaps they would be sorry; he had
tried to do right and get along, but they would not let him; since
nothing would do them but to be rid of him, let it be so; and let them
blame HIM for the consequences--why shouldn't they? What right had the
friendless to complain? Yes, they had forced him to it at last: he
would lead a life of crime. There was no choice.

By this time he was far down Meadow Lane, and the bell for school to
"take up" tinkled faintly upon his ear. He sobbed, now, to think he
should never, never hear that old familiar sound any more--it was very
hard, but it was forced on him; since he was driven out into the cold
world, he must submit--but he forgave them. Then the sobs came thick
and fast.

Just at this point he met his soul's sworn comrade, Joe Harper
--hard-eyed, and with evidently a great and dismal purpose in his heart.
Plainly here were "two souls with but a single thought." Tom, wiping
his eyes with his sleeve, began to blubber out something about a
resolution to escape from hard usage and lack of sympathy at home by
roaming abroad into the great world never to return; and ended by
hoping that Joe would not forget him.

But it transpired that this was a request which Joe had just been
going to make of Tom, and had come to hunt him up for that purpose. His
mother had whipped him for drinking some cream which he had never
tasted and knew nothing about; it was plain that she was tired of him
and wished him to go; if she felt that way, there was nothing for him
to do but succumb; he hoped she would be happy, and never regret having
driven her poor boy out into the unfeeling world to suffer and die.

As the two boys walked sorrowing along, they made a new compact to
stand by each other and be brothers and never separate till death
relieved them of their troubles. Then they began to lay their plans.
Joe was for being a hermit, and living on crusts in a remote cave, and
dying, some time, of cold and want and grief; but after listening to
Tom, he conceded that there were some conspicuous advantages about a
life of crime, and so he consented to be a pirate.

Three miles below St. Petersburg, at a point where the Mississippi
River was a trifle over a mile wide, there was a long, narrow, wooded
island, with a shallow bar at the head of it, and this offered well as
a rendezvous. It was not inhabited; it lay far over toward the further
shore, abreast a dense and almost wholly unpeopled forest. So Jackson's
Island was chosen. Who were to be the subjects of their piracies was a
matter that did not occur to them. Then they hunted up Huckleberry
Finn, and he joined them promptly, for all careers were one to him; he
was indifferent. They presently separated to meet at a lonely spot on
the river-bank two miles above the village at the favorite hour--which
was midnight. There was a small log raft there which they meant to
capture. Each would bring hooks and lines, and such provision as he
could steal in the most dark and mysterious way--as became outlaws. And
before the afternoon was done, they had all managed to enjoy the sweet
glory of spreading the fact that pretty soon the town would "hear
something." All who got this vague hint were cautioned to "be mum and
wait."

About midnight Tom arrived with a boiled ham and a few trifles,
and stopped in a dense undergrowth on a small bluff overlooking the
meeting-place. It was starlight, and very still. The mighty river lay
like an ocean at rest. Tom listened a moment, but no sound disturbed the
quiet. Then he gave a low, distinct whistle. It was answered from under
the bluff. Tom whistled twice more; these signals were answered in the
same way. Then a guarded voice said:

"Who goes there?"

"Tom Sawyer, the Black Avenger of the Spanish Main. Name your names."

"Huck Finn the Red-Handed, and Joe Harper the Terror of the Seas." Tom
had furnished these titles, from his favorite literature.

"'Tis well. Give the countersign."

Two hoarse whispers delivered the same awful word simultaneously to
the brooding night:

"BLOOD!"

Then Tom tumbled his ham over the bluff and let himself down after it,
tearing both skin and clothes to some extent in the effort. There was
an easy, comfortable path along the shore under the bluff, but it
lacked the advantages of difficulty and danger so valued by a pirate.

The Terror of the Seas had brought a side of bacon, and had about worn
himself out with getting it there. Finn the Red-Handed had stolen a
skillet and a quantity of half-cured leaf tobacco, and had also brought
a few corn-cobs to make pipes with. But none of the pirates smoked or
"chewed" but himself. The Black Avenger of the Spanish Main said it
would never do to start without some fire. That was a wise thought;
matches were hardly known there in that day. They saw a fire
smouldering upon a great raft a hundred yards above, and they went
stealthily thither and helped themselves to a chunk. They made an
imposing adventure of it, saying, "Hist!" every now and then, and
suddenly halting with finger on lip; moving with hands on imaginary
dagger-hilts; and giving orders in dismal whispers that if "the foe"
stirred, to "let him have it to the hilt," because "dead men tell no
tales." They knew well enough that the raftsmen were all down at the
village laying in stores or having a spree, but still that was no
excuse for their conducting this thing in an unpiratical way.

They shoved off, presently, Tom in command, Huck at the after oar and
Joe at the forward. Tom stood amidships, gloomy-browed, and with folded
arms, and gave his orders in a low, stern whisper:

"Luff, and bring her to the wind!"

"Aye-aye, sir!"

"Steady, steady-y-y-y!"

"Steady it is, sir!"

"Let her go off a point!"

"Point it is, sir!"

As the boys steadily and monotonously drove the raft toward mid-stream
it was no doubt understood that these orders were given only for
"style," and were not intended to mean anything in particular.

"What sail's she carrying?"

"Courses, tops'ls, and flying-jib, sir."

"Send the r'yals up! Lay out aloft, there, half a dozen of ye
--foretopmaststuns'l! Lively, now!"

"Aye-aye, sir!"

"Shake out that maintogalans'l! Sheets and braces! NOW my hearties!"

"Aye-aye, sir!"

"Hellum-a-lee--hard a port! Stand by to meet her when she comes! Port,
port! NOW, men! With a will! Stead-y-y-y!"

"Steady it is, sir!"

The raft drew beyond the middle of the river; the boys pointed her
head right, and then lay on their oars. The river was not high, so
there was not more than a two or three mile current. Hardly a word was
said during the next three-quarters of an hour. Now the raft was
passing before the distant town. Two or three glimmering lights showed
where it lay, peacefully sleeping, beyond the vague vast sweep of
star-gemmed water, unconscious of the tremendous event that was happening.
The Black Avenger stood still with folded arms, "looking his last" upon
the scene of his former joys and his later sufferings, and wishing
"she" could see him now, abroad on the wild sea, facing peril and death
with dauntless heart, going to his doom with a grim smile on his lips.
It was but a small strain on his imagination to remove Jackson's Island
beyond eyeshot of the village, and so he "looked his last" with a
broken and satisfied heart. The other pirates were looking their last,
too; and they all looked so long that they came near letting the
current drift them out of the range of the island. But they discovered
the danger in time, and made shift to avert it. About two o'clock in
the morning the raft grounded on the bar two hundred yards above the
head of the island, and they waded back and forth until they had landed
their freight. Part of the little raft's belongings consisted of an old
sail, and this they spread over a nook in the bushes for a tent to
shelter their provisions; but they themselves would sleep in the open
air in good weather, as became outlaws.

They built a fire against the side of a great log twenty or thirty
steps within the sombre depths of the forest, and then cooked some
bacon in the frying-pan for supper, and used up half of the corn "pone"
stock they had brought. It seemed glorious sport to be feasting in that
wild, free way in the virgin forest of an unexplored and uninhabited
island, far from the haunts of men, and they said they never would
return to civilization. The climbing fire lit up their faces and threw
its ruddy glare upon the pillared tree-trunks of their forest temple,
and upon the varnished foliage and festooning vines.

When the last crisp slice of bacon was gone, and the last allowance of
corn pone devoured, the boys stretched themselves out on the grass,
filled with contentment. They could have found a cooler place, but they
would not deny themselves such a romantic feature as the roasting
camp-fire.

"AIN'T it gay?" said Joe.

"It's NUTS!" said Tom. "What would the boys say if they could see us?"

"Say? Well, they'd just die to be here--hey, Hucky!"

"I reckon so," said Huckleberry; "anyways, I'm suited. I don't want
nothing better'n this. I don't ever get enough to eat, gen'ally--and
here they can't come and pick at a feller and bullyrag him so."

"It's just the life for me," said Tom. "You don't have to get up,
mornings, and you don't have to go to school, and wash, and all that
blame foolishness. You see a pirate don't have to do ANYTHING, Joe,
when he's ashore, but a hermit HE has to be praying considerable, and
then he don't have any fun, anyway, all by himself that way."

"Oh yes, that's so," said Joe, "but I hadn't thought much about it,
you know. I'd a good deal rather be a pirate, now that I've tried it."

"You see," said Tom, "people don't go much on hermits, nowadays, like
they used to in old times, but a pirate's always respected. And a
hermit's got to sleep on the hardest place he can find, and put
sackcloth and ashes on his head, and stand out in the rain, and--"

"What does he put sackcloth and ashes on his head for?" inquired Huck.

"I dono. But they've GOT to do it. Hermits always do. You'd have to do
that if you was a hermit."

"Dern'd if I would," said Huck.

"Well, what would you do?"

"I dono. But I wouldn't do that."

"Why, Huck, you'd HAVE to. How'd you get around it?"

"Why, I just wouldn't stand it. I'd run away."

"Run away! Well, you WOULD be a nice old slouch of a hermit. You'd be
a disgrace."

The Red-Handed made no response, being better employed. He had
finished gouging out a cob, and now he fitted a weed stem to it, loaded
it with tobacco, and was pressing a coal to the charge and blowing a
cloud of fragrant smoke--he was in the full bloom of luxurious
contentment. The other pirates envied him this majestic vice, and
secretly resolved to acquire it shortly. Presently Huck said:

"What does pirates have to do?"

Tom said:

"Oh, they have just a bully time--take ships and burn them, and get
the money and bury it in awful places in their island where there's
ghosts and things to watch it, and kill everybody in the ships--make
'em walk a plank."

"And they carry the women to the island," said Joe; "they don't kill
the women."

"No," assented Tom, "they don't kill the women--they're too noble. And
the women's always beautiful, too.

"And don't they wear the bulliest clothes! Oh no! All gold and silver
and di'monds," said Joe, with enthusiasm.

"Who?" said Huck.

"Why, the pirates."

Huck scanned his own clothing forlornly.

"I reckon I ain't dressed fitten for a pirate," said he, with a
regretful pathos in his voice; "but I ain't got none but these."

But the other boys told him the fine clothes would come fast enough,
after they should have begun their adventures. They made him understand
that his poor rags would do to begin with, though it was customary for
wealthy pirates to start with a proper wardrobe.

Gradually their talk died out and drowsiness began to steal upon the
eyelids of the little waifs. The pipe dropped from the fingers of the
Red-Handed, and he slept the sleep of the conscience-free and the
weary. The Terror of the Seas and the Black Avenger of the Spanish Main
had more difficulty in getting to sleep. They said their prayers
inwardly, and lying down, since there was nobody there with authority
to make them kneel and recite aloud; in truth, they had a mind not to
say them at all, but they were afraid to proceed to such lengths as
that, lest they might call down a sudden and special thunderbolt from
heaven. Then at once they reached and hovered upon the imminent verge
of sleep--but an intruder came, now, that would not "down." It was
conscience. They began to feel a vague fear that they had been doing
wrong to run away; and next they thought of the stolen meat, and then
the real torture came. They tried to argue it away by reminding
conscience that they had purloined sweetmeats and apples scores of
times; but conscience was not to be appeased by such thin
plausibilities; it seemed to them, in the end, that there was no
getting around the stubborn fact that taking sweetmeats was only
"hooking," while taking bacon and hams and such valuables was plain
simple stealing--and there was a command against that in the Bible. So
they inwardly resolved that so long as they remained in the business,
their piracies should not again be sullied with the crime of stealing.
Then conscience granted a truce, and these curiously inconsistent
pirates fell peacefully to sleep.



CHAPTER XIV

WHEN Tom awoke in the morning, he wondered where he was. He sat up and
rubbed his eyes and looked around. Then he comprehended. It was the
cool gray dawn, and there was a delicious sense of repose and peace in
the deep pervading calm and silence of the woods. Not a leaf stirred;
not a sound obtruded upon great Nature's meditation. Beaded dewdrops
stood upon the leaves and grasses. A white layer of ashes covered the
fire, and a thin blue breath of smoke rose straight into the air. Joe
and Huck still slept.

Now, far away in the woods a bird called; another answered; presently
the hammering of a woodpecker was heard. Gradually the cool dim gray of
the morning whitened, and as gradually sounds multiplied and life
manifested itself. The marvel of Nature shaking off sleep and going to
work unfolded itself to the musing boy. A little green worm came
crawling over a dewy leaf, lifting two-thirds of his body into the air
from time to time and "sniffing around," then proceeding again--for he
was measuring, Tom said; and when the worm approached him, of its own
accord, he sat as still as a stone, with his hopes rising and falling,
by turns, as the creature still came toward him or seemed inclined to
go elsewhere; and when at last it considered a painful moment with its
curved body in the air and then came decisively down upon Tom's leg and
began a journey over him, his whole heart was glad--for that meant that
he was going to have a new suit of clothes--without the shadow of a
doubt a gaudy piratical uniform. Now a procession of ants appeared,
from nowhere in particular, and went about their labors; one struggled
manfully by with a dead spider five times as big as itself in its arms,
and lugged it straight up a tree-trunk. A brown spotted lady-bug
climbed the dizzy height of a grass blade, and Tom bent down close to
it and said, "Lady-bug, lady-bug, fly away home, your house is on fire,
your children's alone," and she took wing and went off to see about it
--which did not surprise the boy, for he knew of old that this insect was
credulous about conflagrations, and he had practised upon its
simplicity more than once. A tumblebug came next, heaving sturdily at
its ball, and Tom touched the creature, to see it shut its legs against
its body and pretend to be dead. The birds were fairly rioting by this
time. A catbird, the Northern mocker, lit in a tree over Tom's head,
and trilled out her imitations of her neighbors in a rapture of
enjoyment; then a shrill jay swept down, a flash of blue flame, and
stopped on a twig almost within the boy's reach, cocked his head to one
side and eyed the strangers with a consuming curiosity; a gray squirrel
and a big fellow of the "fox" kind came skurrying along, sitting up at
intervals to inspect and chatter at the boys, for the wild things had
probably never seen a human being before and scarcely knew whether to
be afraid or not. All Nature was wide awake and stirring, now; long
lances of sunlight pierced down through the dense foliage far and near,
and a few butterflies came fluttering upon the scene.

Tom stirred up the other pirates and they all clattered away with a
shout, and in a minute or two were stripped and chasing after and
tumbling over each other in the shallow limpid water of the white
sandbar. They felt no longing for the little village sleeping in the
distance beyond the majestic waste of water. A vagrant current or a
slight rise in the river had carried off their raft, but this only
gratified them, since its going was something like burning the bridge
between them and civilization.

They came back to camp wonderfully refreshed, glad-hearted, and
ravenous; and they soon had the camp-fire blazing up again. Huck found
a spring of clear cold water close by, and the boys made cups of broad
oak or hickory leaves, and felt that water, sweetened with such a
wildwood charm as that, would be a good enough substitute for coffee.
While Joe was slicing bacon for breakfast, Tom and Huck asked him to
hold on a minute; they stepped to a promising nook in the river-bank
and threw in their lines; almost immediately they had reward. Joe had
not had time to get impatient before they were back again with some
handsome bass, a couple of sun-perch and a small catfish--provisions
enough for quite a family. They fried the fish with the bacon, and were
astonished; for no fish had ever seemed so delicious before. They did
not know that the quicker a fresh-water fish is on the fire after he is
caught the better he is; and they reflected little upon what a sauce
open-air sleeping, open-air exercise, bathing, and a large ingredient
of hunger make, too.

They lay around in the shade, after breakfast, while Huck had a smoke,
and then went off through the woods on an exploring expedition. They
tramped gayly along, over decaying logs, through tangled underbrush,
among solemn monarchs of the forest, hung from their crowns to the
ground with a drooping regalia of grape-vines. Now and then they came
upon snug nooks carpeted with grass and jeweled with flowers.

They found plenty of things to be delighted with, but nothing to be
astonished at. They discovered that the island was about three miles
long and a quarter of a mile wide, and that the shore it lay closest to
was only separated from it by a narrow channel hardly two hundred yards
wide. They took a swim about every hour, so it was close upon the
middle of the afternoon when they got back to camp. They were too
hungry to stop to fish, but they fared sumptuously upon cold ham, and
then threw themselves down in the shade to talk. But the talk soon
began to drag, and then died. The stillness, the solemnity that brooded
in the woods, and the sense of loneliness, began to tell upon the
spirits of the boys. They fell to thinking. A sort of undefined longing
crept upon them. This took dim shape, presently--it was budding
homesickness. Even Finn the Red-Handed was dreaming of his doorsteps
and empty hogsheads. But they were all ashamed of their weakness, and
none was brave enough to speak his thought.

For some time, now, the boys had been dully conscious of a peculiar
sound in the distance, just as one sometimes is of the ticking of a
clock which he takes no distinct note of. But now this mysterious sound
became more pronounced, and forced a recognition. The boys started,
glanced at each other, and then each assumed a listening attitude.
There was a long silence, profound and unbroken; then a deep, sullen
boom came floating down out of the distance.

"What is it!" exclaimed Joe, under his breath.

"I wonder," said Tom in a whisper.

"'Tain't thunder," said Huckleberry, in an awed tone, "becuz thunder--"

"Hark!" said Tom. "Listen--don't talk."

They waited a time that seemed an age, and then the same muffled boom
troubled the solemn hush.

"Let's go and see."

They sprang to their feet and hurried to the shore toward the town.
They parted the bushes on the bank and peered out over the water. The
little steam ferryboat was about a mile below the village, drifting
with the current. Her broad deck seemed crowded with people. There were
a great many skiffs rowing about or floating with the stream in the
neighborhood of the ferryboat, but the boys could not determine what
the men in them were doing. Presently a great jet of white smoke burst
from the ferryboat's side, and as it expanded and rose in a lazy cloud,
that same dull throb of sound was borne to the listeners again.

"I know now!" exclaimed Tom; "somebody's drownded!"

"That's it!" said Huck; "they done that last summer, when Bill Turner
got drownded; they shoot a cannon over the water, and that makes him
come up to the top. Yes, and they take loaves of bread and put
quicksilver in 'em and set 'em afloat, and wherever there's anybody
that's drownded, they'll float right there and stop."

"Yes, I've heard about that," said Joe. "I wonder what makes the bread
do that."

"Oh, it ain't the bread, so much," said Tom; "I reckon it's mostly
what they SAY over it before they start it out."

"But they don't say anything over it," said Huck. "I've seen 'em and
they don't."

"Well, that's funny," said Tom. "But maybe they say it to themselves.
Of COURSE they do. Anybody might know that."

The other boys agreed that there was reason in what Tom said, because
an ignorant lump of bread, uninstructed by an incantation, could not be
expected to act very intelligently when set upon an errand of such
gravity.

"By jings, I wish I was over there, now," said Joe.

"I do too" said Huck "I'd give heaps to know who it is."

The boys still listened and watched. Presently a revealing thought
flashed through Tom's mind, and he exclaimed:

"Boys, I know who's drownded--it's us!"

They felt like heroes in an instant. Here was a gorgeous triumph; they
were missed; they were mourned; hearts were breaking on their account;
tears were being shed; accusing memories of unkindness to these poor
lost lads were rising up, and unavailing regrets and remorse were being
indulged; and best of all, the departed were the talk of the whole
town, and the envy of all the boys, as far as this dazzling notoriety
was concerned. This was fine. It was worth while to be a pirate, after
all.

As twilight drew on, the ferryboat went back to her accustomed
business and the skiffs disappeared. The pirates returned to camp. They
were jubilant with vanity over their new grandeur and the illustrious
trouble they were making. They caught fish, cooked supper and ate it,
and then fell to guessing at what the village was thinking and saying
about them; and the pictures they drew of the public distress on their
account were gratifying to look upon--from their point of view. But
when the shadows of night closed them in, they gradually ceased to
talk, and sat gazing into the fire, with their minds evidently
wandering elsewhere. The excitement was gone, now, and Tom and Joe
could not keep back thoughts of certain persons at home who were not
enjoying this fine frolic as much as they were. Misgivings came; they
grew troubled and unhappy; a sigh or two escaped, unawares. By and by
Joe timidly ventured upon a roundabout "feeler" as to how the others
might look upon a return to civilization--not right now, but--

Tom withered him with derision! Huck, being uncommitted as yet, joined
in with Tom, and the waverer quickly "explained," and was glad to get
out of the scrape with as little taint of chicken-hearted homesickness
clinging to his garments as he could. Mutiny was effectually laid to
rest for the moment.

As the night deepened, Huck began to nod, and presently to snore. Joe
followed next. Tom lay upon his elbow motionless, for some time,
watching the two intently. At last he got up cautiously, on his knees,
and went searching among the grass and the flickering reflections flung
by the camp-fire. He picked up and inspected several large
semi-cylinders of the thin white bark of a sycamore, and finally chose
two which seemed to suit him. Then he knelt by the fire and painfully
wrote something upon each of these with his "red keel"; one he rolled up
and put in his jacket pocket, and the other he put in Joe's hat and
removed it to a little distance from the owner. And he also put into the
hat certain schoolboy treasures of almost inestimable value--among them
a lump of chalk, an India-rubber ball, three fishhooks, and one of that
kind of marbles known as a "sure 'nough crystal." Then he tiptoed his
way cautiously among the trees till he felt that he was out of hearing,
and straightway broke into a keen run in the direction of the sandbar.



CHAPTER XV

A FEW minutes later Tom was in the shoal water of the bar, wading
toward the Illinois shore. Before the depth reached his middle he was
half-way over; the current would permit no more wading, now, so he
struck out confidently to swim the remaining hundred yards. He swam
quartering upstream, but still was swept downward rather faster than he
had expected. However, he reached the shore finally, and drifted along
till he found a low place and drew himself out. He put his hand on his
jacket pocket, found his piece of bark safe, and then struck through
the woods, following the shore, with streaming garments. Shortly before
ten o'clock he came out into an open place opposite the village, and
saw the ferryboat lying in the shadow of the trees and the high bank.
Everything was quiet under the blinking stars. He crept down the bank,
watching with all his eyes, slipped into the water, swam three or four
strokes and climbed into the skiff that did "yawl" duty at the boat's
stern. He laid himself down under the thwarts and waited, panting.

Presently the cracked bell tapped and a voice gave the order to "cast
off." A minute or two later the skiff's head was standing high up,
against the boat's swell, and the voyage was begun. Tom felt happy in
his success, for he knew it was the boat's last trip for the night. At
the end of a long twelve or fifteen minutes the wheels stopped, and Tom
slipped overboard and swam ashore in the dusk, landing fifty yards
downstream, out of danger of possible stragglers.

He flew along unfrequented alleys, and shortly found himself at his
aunt's back fence. He climbed over, approached the "ell," and looked in
at the sitting-room window, for a light was burning there. There sat
Aunt Polly, Sid, Mary, and Joe Harper's mother, grouped together,
talking. They were by the bed, and the bed was between them and the
door. Tom went to the door and began to softly lift the latch; then he
pressed gently and the door yielded a crack; he continued pushing
cautiously, and quaking every time it creaked, till he judged he might
squeeze through on his knees; so he put his head through and began,
warily.

"What makes the candle blow so?" said Aunt Polly. Tom hurried up.
"Why, that door's open, I believe. Why, of course it is. No end of
strange things now. Go 'long and shut it, Sid."

Tom disappeared under the bed just in time. He lay and "breathed"
himself for a time, and then crept to where he could almost touch his
aunt's foot.

"But as I was saying," said Aunt Polly, "he warn't BAD, so to say
--only mischEEvous. Only just giddy, and harum-scarum, you know. He
warn't any more responsible than a colt. HE never meant any harm, and
he was the best-hearted boy that ever was"--and she began to cry.

"It was just so with my Joe--always full of his devilment, and up to
every kind of mischief, but he was just as unselfish and kind as he
could be--and laws bless me, to think I went and whipped him for taking
that cream, never once recollecting that I throwed it out myself
because it was sour, and I never to see him again in this world, never,
never, never, poor abused boy!" And Mrs. Harper sobbed as if her heart
would break.

"I hope Tom's better off where he is," said Sid, "but if he'd been
better in some ways--"

"SID!" Tom felt the glare of the old lady's eye, though he could not
see it. "Not a word against my Tom, now that he's gone! God'll take
care of HIM--never you trouble YOURself, sir! Oh, Mrs. Harper, I don't
know how to give him up! I don't know how to give him up! He was such a
comfort to me, although he tormented my old heart out of me, 'most."

"The Lord giveth and the Lord hath taken away--Blessed be the name of
the Lord! But it's so hard--Oh, it's so hard! Only last Saturday my
Joe busted a firecracker right under my nose and I knocked him
sprawling. Little did I know then, how soon--Oh, if it was to do over
again I'd hug him and bless him for it."

"Yes, yes, yes, I know just how you feel, Mrs. Harper, I know just
exactly how you feel. No longer ago than yesterday noon, my Tom took
and filled the cat full of Pain-killer, and I did think the cretur
would tear the house down. And God forgive me, I cracked Tom's head
with my thimble, poor boy, poor dead boy. But he's out of all his
troubles now. And the last words I ever heard him say was to reproach--"

But this memory was too much for the old lady, and she broke entirely
down. Tom was snuffling, now, himself--and more in pity of himself than
anybody else. He could hear Mary crying, and putting in a kindly word
for him from time to time. He began to have a nobler opinion of himself
than ever before. Still, he was sufficiently touched by his aunt's
grief to long to rush out from under the bed and overwhelm her with
joy--and the theatrical gorgeousness of the thing appealed strongly to
his nature, too, but he resisted and lay still.

He went on listening, and gathered by odds and ends that it was
conjectured at first that the boys had got drowned while taking a swim;
then the small raft had been missed; next, certain boys said the
missing lads had promised that the village should "hear something"
soon; the wise-heads had "put this and that together" and decided that
the lads had gone off on that raft and would turn up at the next town
below, presently; but toward noon the raft had been found, lodged
against the Missouri shore some five or six miles below the village
--and then hope perished; they must be drowned, else hunger would have
driven them home by nightfall if not sooner. It was believed that the
search for the bodies had been a fruitless effort merely because the
drowning must have occurred in mid-channel, since the boys, being good
swimmers, would otherwise have escaped to shore. This was Wednesday
night. If the bodies continued missing until Sunday, all hope would be
given over, and the funerals would be preached on that morning. Tom
shuddered.

Mrs. Harper gave a sobbing good-night and turned to go. Then with a
mutual impulse the two bereaved women flung themselves into each
other's arms and had a good, consoling cry, and then parted. Aunt Polly
was tender far beyond her wont, in her good-night to Sid and Mary. Sid
snuffled a bit and Mary went off crying with all her heart.

Aunt Polly knelt down and prayed for Tom so touchingly, so
appealingly, and with such measureless love in her words and her old
trembling voice, that he was weltering in tears again, long before she
was through.

He had to keep still long after she went to bed, for she kept making
broken-hearted ejaculations from time to time, tossing unrestfully, and
turning over. But at last she was still, only moaning a little in her
sleep. Now the boy stole out, rose gradually by the bedside, shaded the
candle-light with his hand, and stood regarding her. His heart was full
of pity for her. He took out his sycamore scroll and placed it by the
candle. But something occurred to him, and he lingered considering. His
face lighted with a happy solution of his thought; he put the bark
hastily in his pocket. Then he bent over and kissed the faded lips, and
straightway made his stealthy exit, latching the door behind him.

He threaded his way back to the ferry landing, found nobody at large
there, and walked boldly on board the boat, for he knew she was
tenantless except that there was a watchman, who always turned in and
slept like a graven image. He untied the skiff at the stern, slipped
into it, and was soon rowing cautiously upstream. When he had pulled a
mile above the village, he started quartering across and bent himself
stoutly to his work. He hit the landing on the other side neatly, for
this was a familiar bit of work to him. He was moved to capture the
skiff, arguing that it might be considered a ship and therefore
legitimate prey for a pirate, but he knew a thorough search would be
made for it and that might end in revelations. So he stepped ashore and
entered the woods.

He sat down and took a long rest, torturing himself meanwhile to keep
awake, and then started warily down the home-stretch. The night was far
spent. It was broad daylight before he found himself fairly abreast the
island bar. He rested again until the sun was well up and gilding the
great river with its splendor, and then he plunged into the stream. A
little later he paused, dripping, upon the threshold of the camp, and
heard Joe say:

"No, Tom's true-blue, Huck, and he'll come back. He won't desert. He
knows that would be a disgrace to a pirate, and Tom's too proud for
that sort of thing. He's up to something or other. Now I wonder what?"

"Well, the things is ours, anyway, ain't they?"

Pretty near, but not yet, Huck. The writing says they are if he ain't
back here to breakfast."

"Which he is!" exclaimed Tom, with fine dramatic effect, stepping
grandly into camp.

A sumptuous breakfast of bacon and fish was shortly provided, and as
the boys set to work upon it, Tom recounted (and adorned) his
adventures. They were a vain and boastful company of heroes when the
tale was done. Then Tom hid himself away in a shady nook to sleep till
noon, and the other pirates got ready to fish and explore.



CHAPTER XVI

AFTER dinner all the gang turned out to hunt for turtle eggs on the
bar. They went about poking sticks into the sand, and when they found a
soft place they went down on their knees and dug with their hands.
Sometimes they would take fifty or sixty eggs out of one hole. They
were perfectly round white things a trifle smaller than an English
walnut. They had a famous fried-egg feast that night, and another on
Friday morning.

After breakfast they went whooping and prancing out on the bar, and
chased each other round and round, shedding clothes as they went, until
they were naked, and then continued the frolic far away up the shoal
water of the bar, against the stiff current, which latter tripped their
legs from under them from time to time and greatly increased the fun.
And now and then they stooped in a group and splashed water in each
other's faces with their palms, gradually approaching each other, with
averted faces to avoid the strangling sprays, and finally gripping and
struggling till the best man ducked his neighbor, and then they all
went under in a tangle of white legs and arms and came up blowing,
sputtering, laughing, and gasping for breath at one and the same time.

When they were well exhausted, they would run out and sprawl on the
dry, hot sand, and lie there and cover themselves up with it, and by
and by break for the water again and go through the original
performance once more. Finally it occurred to them that their naked
skin represented flesh-colored "tights" very fairly; so they drew a
ring in the sand and had a circus--with three clowns in it, for none
would yield this proudest post to his neighbor.

Next they got their marbles and played "knucks" and "ring-taw" and
"keeps" till that amusement grew stale. Then Joe and Huck had another
swim, but Tom would not venture, because he found that in kicking off
his trousers he had kicked his string of rattlesnake rattles off his
ankle, and he wondered how he had escaped cramp so long without the
protection of this mysterious charm. He did not venture again until he
had found it, and by that time the other boys were tired and ready to
rest. They gradually wandered apart, dropped into the "dumps," and fell
to gazing longingly across the wide river to where the village lay
drowsing in the sun. Tom found himself writing "BECKY" in the sand with
his big toe; he scratched it out, and was angry with himself for his
weakness. But he wrote it again, nevertheless; he could not help it. He
erased it once more and then took himself out of temptation by driving
the other boys together and joining them.

But Joe's spirits had gone down almost beyond resurrection. He was so
homesick that he could hardly endure the misery of it. The tears lay
very near the surface. Huck was melancholy, too. Tom was downhearted,
but tried hard not to show it. He had a secret which he was not ready
to tell, yet, but if this mutinous depression was not broken up soon,
he would have to bring it out. He said, with a great show of
cheerfulness:

"I bet there's been pirates on this island before, boys. We'll explore
it again. They've hid treasures here somewhere. How'd you feel to light
on a rotten chest full of gold and silver--hey?"

But it roused only faint enthusiasm, which faded out, with no reply.
Tom tried one or two other seductions; but they failed, too. It was
discouraging work. Joe sat poking up the sand with a stick and looking
very gloomy. Finally he said:

"Oh, boys, let's give it up. I want to go home. It's so lonesome."

"Oh no, Joe, you'll feel better by and by," said Tom. "Just think of
the fishing that's here."

"I don't care for fishing. I want to go home."

"But, Joe, there ain't such another swimming-place anywhere."

"Swimming's no good. I don't seem to care for it, somehow, when there
ain't anybody to say I sha'n't go in. I mean to go home."

"Oh, shucks! Baby! You want to see your mother, I reckon."

"Yes, I DO want to see my mother--and you would, too, if you had one.
I ain't any more baby than you are." And Joe snuffled a little.

"Well, we'll let the cry-baby go home to his mother, won't we, Huck?
Poor thing--does it want to see its mother? And so it shall. You like
it here, don't you, Huck? We'll stay, won't we?"

Huck said, "Y-e-s"--without any heart in it.

"I'll never speak to you again as long as I live," said Joe, rising.
"There now!" And he moved moodily away and began to dress himself.

"Who cares!" said Tom. "Nobody wants you to. Go 'long home and get
laughed at. Oh, you're a nice pirate. Huck and me ain't cry-babies.
We'll stay, won't we, Huck? Let him go if he wants to. I reckon we can
get along without him, per'aps."

But Tom was uneasy, nevertheless, and was alarmed to see Joe go
sullenly on with his dressing. And then it was discomforting to see
Huck eying Joe's preparations so wistfully, and keeping up such an
ominous silence. Presently, without a parting word, Joe began to wade
off toward the Illinois shore. Tom's heart began to sink. He glanced at
Huck. Huck could not bear the look, and dropped his eyes. Then he said:

"I want to go, too, Tom. It was getting so lonesome anyway, and now
it'll be worse. Let's us go, too, Tom."

"I won't! You can all go, if you want to. I mean to stay."

"Tom, I better go."

"Well, go 'long--who's hendering you."

Huck began to pick up his scattered clothes. He said:

"Tom, I wisht you'd come, too. Now you think it over. We'll wait for
you when we get to shore."

"Well, you'll wait a blame long time, that's all."

Huck started sorrowfully away, and Tom stood looking after him, with a
strong desire tugging at his heart to yield his pride and go along too.
He hoped the boys would stop, but they still waded slowly on. It
suddenly dawned on Tom that it was become very lonely and still. He
made one final struggle with his pride, and then darted after his
comrades, yelling:

"Wait! Wait! I want to tell you something!"

They presently stopped and turned around. When he got to where they
were, he began unfolding his secret, and they listened moodily till at
last they saw the "point" he was driving at, and then they set up a
war-whoop of applause and said it was "splendid!" and said if he had
told them at first, they wouldn't have started away. He made a plausible
excuse; but his real reason had been the fear that not even the secret
would keep them with him any very great length of time, and so he had
meant to hold it in reserve as a last seduction.

The lads came gayly back and went at their sports again with a will,
chattering all the time about Tom's stupendous plan and admiring the
genius of it. After a dainty egg and fish dinner, Tom said he wanted to
learn to smoke, now. Joe caught at the idea and said he would like to
try, too. So Huck made pipes and filled them. These novices had never
smoked anything before but cigars made of grape-vine, and they "bit"
the tongue, and were not considered manly anyway.

Now they stretched themselves out on their elbows and began to puff,
charily, and with slender confidence. The smoke had an unpleasant
taste, and they gagged a little, but Tom said:

"Why, it's just as easy! If I'd a knowed this was all, I'd a learnt
long ago."

"So would I," said Joe. "It's just nothing."

"Why, many a time I've looked at people smoking, and thought well I
wish I could do that; but I never thought I could," said Tom.

"That's just the way with me, hain't it, Huck? You've heard me talk
just that way--haven't you, Huck? I'll leave it to Huck if I haven't."

"Yes--heaps of times," said Huck.

"Well, I have too," said Tom; "oh, hundreds of times. Once down by the
slaughter-house. Don't you remember, Huck? Bob Tanner was there, and
Johnny Miller, and Jeff Thatcher, when I said it. Don't you remember,
Huck, 'bout me saying that?"

"Yes, that's so," said Huck. "That was the day after I lost a white
alley. No, 'twas the day before."

"There--I told you so," said Tom. "Huck recollects it."

"I bleeve I could smoke this pipe all day," said Joe. "I don't feel
sick."

"Neither do I," said Tom. "I could smoke it all day. But I bet you
Jeff Thatcher couldn't."

"Jeff Thatcher! Why, he'd keel over just with two draws. Just let him
try it once. HE'D see!"

"I bet he would. And Johnny Miller--I wish could see Johnny Miller
tackle it once."

"Oh, don't I!" said Joe. "Why, I bet you Johnny Miller couldn't any
more do this than nothing. Just one little snifter would fetch HIM."

"'Deed it would, Joe. Say--I wish the boys could see us now."

"So do I."

"Say--boys, don't say anything about it, and some time when they're
around, I'll come up to you and say, 'Joe, got a pipe? I want a smoke.'
And you'll say, kind of careless like, as if it warn't anything, you'll
say, 'Yes, I got my OLD pipe, and another one, but my tobacker ain't
very good.' And I'll say, 'Oh, that's all right, if it's STRONG
enough.' And then you'll out with the pipes, and we'll light up just as
ca'm, and then just see 'em look!"

"By jings, that'll be gay, Tom! I wish it was NOW!"

"So do I! And when we tell 'em we learned when we was off pirating,
won't they wish they'd been along?"

"Oh, I reckon not! I'll just BET they will!"

So the talk ran on. But presently it began to flag a trifle, and grow
disjointed. The silences widened; the expectoration marvellously
increased. Every pore inside the boys' cheeks became a spouting
fountain; they could scarcely bail out the cellars under their tongues
fast enough to prevent an inundation; little overflowings down their
throats occurred in spite of all they could do, and sudden retchings
followed every time. Both boys were looking very pale and miserable,
now. Joe's pipe dropped from his nerveless fingers. Tom's followed.
Both fountains were going furiously and both pumps bailing with might
and main. Joe said feebly:

"I've lost my knife. I reckon I better go and find it."

Tom said, with quivering lips and halting utterance:

"I'll help you. You go over that way and I'll hunt around by the
spring. No, you needn't come, Huck--we can find it."

So Huck sat down again, and waited an hour. Then he found it lonesome,
and went to find his comrades. They were wide apart in the woods, both
very pale, both fast asleep. But something informed him that if they
had had any trouble they had got rid of it.

They were not talkative at supper that night. They had a humble look,
and when Huck prepared his pipe after the meal and was going to prepare
theirs, they said no, they were not feeling very well--something they
ate at dinner had disagreed with them.

About midnight Joe awoke, and called the boys. There was a brooding
oppressiveness in the air that seemed to bode something. The boys
huddled themselves together and sought the friendly companionship of
the fire, though the dull dead heat of the breathless atmosphere was
stifling. They sat still, intent and waiting. The solemn hush
continued. Beyond the light of the fire everything was swallowed up in
the blackness of darkness. Presently there came a quivering glow that
vaguely revealed the foliage for a moment and then vanished. By and by
another came, a little stronger. Then another. Then a faint moan came
sighing through the branches of the forest and the boys felt a fleeting
breath upon their cheeks, and shuddered with the fancy that the Spirit
of the Night had gone by. There was a pause. Now a weird flash turned
night into day and showed every little grass-blade, separate and
distinct, that grew about their feet. And it showed three white,
startled faces, too. A deep peal of thunder went rolling and tumbling
down the heavens and lost itself in sullen rumblings in the distance. A
sweep of chilly air passed by, rustling all the leaves and snowing the
flaky ashes broadcast about the fire. Another fierce glare lit up the
forest and an instant crash followed that seemed to rend the tree-tops
right over the boys' heads. They clung together in terror, in the thick
gloom that followed. A few big rain-drops fell pattering upon the
leaves.

"Quick! boys, go for the tent!" exclaimed Tom.

They sprang away, stumbling over roots and among vines in the dark, no
two plunging in the same direction. A furious blast roared through the
trees, making everything sing as it went. One blinding flash after
another came, and peal on peal of deafening thunder. And now a
drenching rain poured down and the rising hurricane drove it in sheets
along the ground. The boys cried out to each other, but the roaring
wind and the booming thunder-blasts drowned their voices utterly.
However, one by one they straggled in at last and took shelter under
the tent, cold, scared, and streaming with water; but to have company
in misery seemed something to be grateful for. They could not talk, the
old sail flapped so furiously, even if the other noises would have
allowed them. The tempest rose higher and higher, and presently the
sail tore loose from its fastenings and went winging away on the blast.
The boys seized each others' hands and fled, with many tumblings and
bruises, to the shelter of a great oak that stood upon the river-bank.
Now the battle was at its highest. Under the ceaseless conflagration of
lightning that flamed in the skies, everything below stood out in
clean-cut and shadowless distinctness: the bending trees, the billowy
river, white with foam, the driving spray of spume-flakes, the dim
outlines of the high bluffs on the other side, glimpsed through the
drifting cloud-rack and the slanting veil of rain. Every little while
some giant tree yielded the fight and fell crashing through the younger
growth; and the unflagging thunder-peals came now in ear-splitting
explosive bursts, keen and sharp, and unspeakably appalling. The storm
culminated in one matchless effort that seemed likely to tear the island
to pieces, burn it up, drown it to the tree-tops, blow it away, and
deafen every creature in it, all at one and the same moment. It was a
wild night for homeless young heads to be out in.

But at last the battle was done, and the forces retired with weaker
and weaker threatenings and grumblings, and peace resumed her sway. The
boys went back to camp, a good deal awed; but they found there was
still something to be thankful for, because the great sycamore, the
shelter of their beds, was a ruin, now, blasted by the lightnings, and
they were not under it when the catastrophe happened.

Everything in camp was drenched, the camp-fire as well; for they were
but heedless lads, like their generation, and had made no provision
against rain. Here was matter for dismay, for they were soaked through
and chilled. They were eloquent in their distress; but they presently
discovered that the fire had eaten so far up under the great log it had
been built against (where it curved upward and separated itself from
the ground), that a handbreadth or so of it had escaped wetting; so
they patiently wrought until, with shreds and bark gathered from the
under sides of sheltered logs, they coaxed the fire to burn again. Then
they piled on great dead boughs till they had a roaring furnace, and
were glad-hearted once more. They dried their boiled ham and had a
feast, and after that they sat by the fire and expanded and glorified
their midnight adventure until morning, for there was not a dry spot to
sleep on, anywhere around.

As the sun began to steal in upon the boys, drowsiness came over them,
and they went out on the sandbar and lay down to sleep. They got
scorched out by and by, and drearily set about getting breakfast. After
the meal they felt rusty, and stiff-jointed, and a little homesick once
more. Tom saw the signs, and fell to cheering up the pirates as well as
he could. But they cared nothing for marbles, or circus, or swimming,
or anything. He reminded them of the imposing secret, and raised a ray
of cheer. While it lasted, he got them interested in a new device. This
was to knock off being pirates, for a while, and be Indians for a
change. They were attracted by this idea; so it was not long before
they were stripped, and striped from head to heel with black mud, like
so many zebras--all of them chiefs, of course--and then they went
tearing through the woods to attack an English settlement.

By and by they separated into three hostile tribes, and darted upon
each other from ambush with dreadful war-whoops, and killed and scalped
each other by thousands. It was a gory day. Consequently it was an
extremely satisfactory one.

They assembled in camp toward supper-time, hungry and happy; but now a
difficulty arose--hostile Indians could not break the bread of
hospitality together without first making peace, and this was a simple
impossibility without smoking a pipe of peace. There was no other
process that ever they had heard of. Two of the savages almost wished
they had remained pirates. However, there was no other way; so with
such show of cheerfulness as they could muster they called for the pipe
and took their whiff as it passed, in due form.

And behold, they were glad they had gone into savagery, for they had
gained something; they found that they could now smoke a little without
having to go and hunt for a lost knife; they did not get sick enough to
be seriously uncomfortable. They were not likely to fool away this high
promise for lack of effort. No, they practised cautiously, after
supper, with right fair success, and so they spent a jubilant evening.
They were prouder and happier in their new acquirement than they would
have been in the scalping and skinning of the Six Nations. We will
leave them to smoke and chatter and brag, since we have no further use
for them at present.



CHAPTER XVII

BUT there was no hilarity in the little town that same tranquil
Saturday afternoon. The Harpers, and Aunt Polly's family, were being
put into mourning, with great grief and many tears. An unusual quiet
possessed the village, although it was ordinarily quiet enough, in all
conscience. The villagers conducted their concerns with an absent air,
and talked little; but they sighed often. The Saturday holiday seemed a
burden to the children. They had no heart in their sports, and
gradually gave them up.

In the afternoon Becky Thatcher found herself moping about the
deserted schoolhouse yard, and feeling very melancholy. But she found
nothing there to comfort her. She soliloquized:

"Oh, if I only had a brass andiron-knob again! But I haven't got
anything now to remember him by." And she choked back a little sob.

Presently she stopped, and said to herself:

"It was right here. Oh, if it was to do over again, I wouldn't say
that--I wouldn't say it for the whole world. But he's gone now; I'll
never, never, never see him any more."

This thought broke her down, and she wandered away, with tears rolling
down her cheeks. Then quite a group of boys and girls--playmates of
Tom's and Joe's--came by, and stood looking over the paling fence and
talking in reverent tones of how Tom did so-and-so the last time they
saw him, and how Joe said this and that small trifle (pregnant with
awful prophecy, as they could easily see now!)--and each speaker
pointed out the exact spot where the lost lads stood at the time, and
then added something like "and I was a-standing just so--just as I am
now, and as if you was him--I was as close as that--and he smiled, just
this way--and then something seemed to go all over me, like--awful, you
know--and I never thought what it meant, of course, but I can see now!"

Then there was a dispute about who saw the dead boys last in life, and
many claimed that dismal distinction, and offered evidences, more or
less tampered with by the witness; and when it was ultimately decided
who DID see the departed last, and exchanged the last words with them,
the lucky parties took upon themselves a sort of sacred importance, and
were gaped at and envied by all the rest. One poor chap, who had no
other grandeur to offer, said with tolerably manifest pride in the
remembrance:

"Well, Tom Sawyer he licked me once."

But that bid for glory was a failure. Most of the boys could say that,
and so that cheapened the distinction too much. The group loitered
away, still recalling memories of the lost heroes, in awed voices.

When the Sunday-school hour was finished, the next morning, the bell
began to toll, instead of ringing in the usual way. It was a very still
Sabbath, and the mournful sound seemed in keeping with the musing hush
that lay upon nature. The villagers began to gather, loitering a moment
in the vestibule to converse in whispers about the sad event. But there
was no whispering in the house; only the funereal rustling of dresses
as the women gathered to their seats disturbed the silence there. None
could remember when the little church had been so full before. There
was finally a waiting pause, an expectant dumbness, and then Aunt Polly
entered, followed by Sid and Mary, and they by the Harper family, all
in deep black, and the whole congregation, the old minister as well,
rose reverently and stood until the mourners were seated in the front
pew. There was another communing silence, broken at intervals by
muffled sobs, and then the minister spread his hands abroad and prayed.
A moving hymn was sung, and the text followed: "I am the Resurrection
and the Life."

As the service proceeded, the clergyman drew such pictures of the
graces, the winning ways, and the rare promise of the lost lads that
every soul there, thinking he recognized these pictures, felt a pang in
remembering that he had persistently blinded himself to them always
before, and had as persistently seen only faults and flaws in the poor
boys. The minister related many a touching incident in the lives of the
departed, too, which illustrated their sweet, generous natures, and the
people could easily see, now, how noble and beautiful those episodes
were, and remembered with grief that at the time they occurred they had
seemed rank rascalities, well deserving of the cowhide. The
congregation became more and more moved, as the pathetic tale went on,
till at last the whole company broke down and joined the weeping
mourners in a chorus of anguished sobs, the preacher himself giving way
to his feelings, and crying in the pulpit.

There was a rustle in the gallery, which nobody noticed; a moment
later the church door creaked; the minister raised his streaming eyes
above his handkerchief, and stood transfixed! First one and then
another pair of eyes followed the minister's, and then almost with one
impulse the congregation rose and stared while the three dead boys came
marching up the aisle, Tom in the lead, Joe next, and Huck, a ruin of
drooping rags, sneaking sheepishly in the rear! They had been hid in
the unused gallery listening to their own funeral sermon!

Aunt Polly, Mary, and the Harpers threw themselves upon their restored
ones, smothered them with kisses and poured out thanksgivings, while
poor Huck stood abashed and uncomfortable, not knowing exactly what to
do or where to hide from so many unwelcoming eyes. He wavered, and
started to slink away, but Tom seized him and said:

"Aunt Polly, it ain't fair. Somebody's got to be glad to see Huck."

"And so they shall. I'm glad to see him, poor motherless thing!" And
the loving attentions Aunt Polly lavished upon him were the one thing
capable of making him more uncomfortable than he was before.

Suddenly the minister shouted at the top of his voice: "Praise God
from whom all blessings flow--SING!--and put your hearts in it!"

And they did. Old Hundred swelled up with a triumphant burst, and
while it shook the rafters Tom Sawyer the Pirate looked around upon the
envying juveniles about him and confessed in his heart that this was
the proudest moment of his life.

As the "sold" congregation trooped out they said they would almost be
willing to be made ridiculous again to hear Old Hundred sung like that
once more.

Tom got more cuffs and kisses that day--according to Aunt Polly's
varying moods--than he had earned before in a year; and he hardly knew
which expressed the most gratefulness to God and affection for himself.



CHAPTER XVIII

THAT was Tom's great secret--the scheme to return home with his
brother pirates and attend their own funerals. They had paddled over to
the Missouri shore on a log, at dusk on Saturday, landing five or six
miles below the village; they had slept in the woods at the edge of the
town till nearly daylight, and had then crept through back lanes and
alleys and finished their sleep in the gallery of the church among a
chaos of invalided benches.

At breakfast, Monday morning, Aunt Polly and Mary were very loving to
Tom, and very attentive to his wants. There was an unusual amount of
talk. In the course of it Aunt Polly said:

"Well, I don't say it wasn't a fine joke, Tom, to keep everybody
suffering 'most a week so you boys had a good time, but it is a pity
you could be so hard-hearted as to let me suffer so. If you could come
over on a log to go to your funeral, you could have come over and give
me a hint some way that you warn't dead, but only run off."

"Yes, you could have done that, Tom," said Mary; "and I believe you
would if you had thought of it."

"Would you, Tom?" said Aunt Polly, her face lighting wistfully. "Say,
now, would you, if you'd thought of it?"

"I--well, I don't know. 'Twould 'a' spoiled everything."

"Tom, I hoped you loved me that much," said Aunt Polly, with a grieved
tone that discomforted the boy. "It would have been something if you'd
cared enough to THINK of it, even if you didn't DO it."

"Now, auntie, that ain't any harm," pleaded Mary; "it's only Tom's
giddy way--he is always in such a rush that he never thinks of
anything."

"More's the pity. Sid would have thought. And Sid would have come and
DONE it, too. Tom, you'll look back, some day, when it's too late, and
wish you'd cared a little more for me when it would have cost you so
little."

"Now, auntie, you know I do care for you," said Tom.

"I'd know it better if you acted more like it."

"I wish now I'd thought," said Tom, with a repentant tone; "but I
dreamt about you, anyway. That's something, ain't it?"

"It ain't much--a cat does that much--but it's better than nothing.
What did you dream?"

"Why, Wednesday night I dreamt that you was sitting over there by the
bed, and Sid was sitting by the woodbox, and Mary next to him."

"Well, so we did. So we always do. I'm glad your dreams could take
even that much trouble about us."

"And I dreamt that Joe Harper's mother was here."

"Why, she was here! Did you dream any more?"

"Oh, lots. But it's so dim, now."

"Well, try to recollect--can't you?"

"Somehow it seems to me that the wind--the wind blowed the--the--"

"Try harder, Tom! The wind did blow something. Come!"

Tom pressed his fingers on his forehead an anxious minute, and then
said:

"I've got it now! I've got it now! It blowed the candle!"

"Mercy on us! Go on, Tom--go on!"

"And it seems to me that you said, 'Why, I believe that that door--'"

"Go ON, Tom!"

"Just let me study a moment--just a moment. Oh, yes--you said you
believed the door was open."

"As I'm sitting here, I did! Didn't I, Mary! Go on!"

"And then--and then--well I won't be certain, but it seems like as if
you made Sid go and--and--"

"Well? Well? What did I make him do, Tom? What did I make him do?"

"You made him--you--Oh, you made him shut it."

"Well, for the land's sake! I never heard the beat of that in all my
days! Don't tell ME there ain't anything in dreams, any more. Sereny
Harper shall know of this before I'm an hour older. I'd like to see her
get around THIS with her rubbage 'bout superstition. Go on, Tom!"

"Oh, it's all getting just as bright as day, now. Next you said I
warn't BAD, only mischeevous and harum-scarum, and not any more
responsible than--than--I think it was a colt, or something."

"And so it was! Well, goodness gracious! Go on, Tom!"

"And then you began to cry."

"So I did. So I did. Not the first time, neither. And then--"

"Then Mrs. Harper she began to cry, and said Joe was just the same,
and she wished she hadn't whipped him for taking cream when she'd
throwed it out her own self--"

"Tom! The sperrit was upon you! You was a prophesying--that's what you
was doing! Land alive, go on, Tom!"

"Then Sid he said--he said--"

"I don't think I said anything," said Sid.

"Yes you did, Sid," said Mary.

"Shut your heads and let Tom go on! What did he say, Tom?"

"He said--I THINK he said he hoped I was better off where I was gone
to, but if I'd been better sometimes--"

"THERE, d'you hear that! It was his very words!"

"And you shut him up sharp."

"I lay I did! There must 'a' been an angel there. There WAS an angel
there, somewheres!"

"And Mrs. Harper told about Joe scaring her with a firecracker, and
you told about Peter and the Painkiller--"

"Just as true as I live!"

"And then there was a whole lot of talk 'bout dragging the river for
us, and 'bout having the funeral Sunday, and then you and old Miss
Harper hugged and cried, and she went."

"It happened just so! It happened just so, as sure as I'm a-sitting in
these very tracks. Tom, you couldn't told it more like if you'd 'a'
seen it! And then what? Go on, Tom!"

"Then I thought you prayed for me--and I could see you and hear every
word you said. And you went to bed, and I was so sorry that I took and
wrote on a piece of sycamore bark, 'We ain't dead--we are only off
being pirates,' and put it on the table by the candle; and then you
looked so good, laying there asleep, that I thought I went and leaned
over and kissed you on the lips."

"Did you, Tom, DID you! I just forgive you everything for that!" And
she seized the boy in a crushing embrace that made him feel like the
guiltiest of villains.

"It was very kind, even though it was only a--dream," Sid soliloquized
just audibly.

"Shut up, Sid! A body does just the same in a dream as he'd do if he
was awake. Here's a big Milum apple I've been saving for you, Tom, if
you was ever found again--now go 'long to school. I'm thankful to the
good God and Father of us all I've got you back, that's long-suffering
and merciful to them that believe on Him and keep His word, though
goodness knows I'm unworthy of it, but if only the worthy ones got His
blessings and had His hand to help them over the rough places, there's
few enough would smile here or ever enter into His rest when the long
night comes. Go 'long Sid, Mary, Tom--take yourselves off--you've
hendered me long enough."

The children left for school, and the old lady to call on Mrs. Harper
and vanquish her realism with Tom's marvellous dream. Sid had better
judgment than to utter the thought that was in his mind as he left the
house. It was this: "Pretty thin--as long a dream as that, without any
mistakes in it!"

What a hero Tom was become, now! He did not go skipping and prancing,
but moved with a dignified swagger as became a pirate who felt that the
public eye was on him. And indeed it was; he tried not to seem to see
the looks or hear the remarks as he passed along, but they were food
and drink to him. Smaller boys than himself flocked at his heels, as
proud to be seen with him, and tolerated by him, as if he had been the
drummer at the head of a procession or the elephant leading a menagerie
into town. Boys of his own size pretended not to know he had been away
at all; but they were consuming with envy, nevertheless. They would
have given anything to have that swarthy suntanned skin of his, and his
glittering notoriety; and Tom would not have parted with either for a
circus.

At school the children made so much of him and of Joe, and delivered
such eloquent admiration from their eyes, that the two heroes were not
long in becoming insufferably "stuck-up." They began to tell their
adventures to hungry listeners--but they only began; it was not a thing
likely to have an end, with imaginations like theirs to furnish
material. And finally, when they got out their pipes and went serenely
puffing around, the very summit of glory was reached.

Tom decided that he could be independent of Becky Thatcher now. Glory
was sufficient. He would live for glory. Now that he was distinguished,
maybe she would be wanting to "make up." Well, let her--she should see
that he could be as indifferent as some other people. Presently she
arrived. Tom pretended not to see her. He moved away and joined a group
of boys and girls and began to talk. Soon he observed that she was
tripping gayly back and forth with flushed face and dancing eyes,
pretending to be busy chasing schoolmates, and screaming with laughter
when she made a capture; but he noticed that she always made her
captures in his vicinity, and that she seemed to cast a conscious eye
in his direction at such times, too. It gratified all the vicious
vanity that was in him; and so, instead of winning him, it only "set
him up" the more and made him the more diligent to avoid betraying that
he knew she was about. Presently she gave over skylarking, and moved
irresolutely about, sighing once or twice and glancing furtively and
wistfully toward Tom. Then she observed that now Tom was talking more
particularly to Amy Lawrence than to any one else. She felt a sharp
pang and grew disturbed and uneasy at once. She tried to go away, but
her feet were treacherous, and carried her to the group instead. She
said to a girl almost at Tom's elbow--with sham vivacity:

"Why, Mary Austin! you bad girl, why didn't you come to Sunday-school?"

"I did come--didn't you see me?"

"Why, no! Did you? Where did you sit?"

"I was in Miss Peters' class, where I always go. I saw YOU."

"Did you? Why, it's funny I didn't see you. I wanted to tell you about
the picnic."

"Oh, that's jolly. Who's going to give it?"

"My ma's going to let me have one."

"Oh, goody; I hope she'll let ME come."

"Well, she will. The picnic's for me. She'll let anybody come that I
want, and I want you."

"That's ever so nice. When is it going to be?"

"By and by. Maybe about vacation."

"Oh, won't it be fun! You going to have all the girls and boys?"

"Yes, every one that's friends to me--or wants to be"; and she glanced
ever so furtively at Tom, but he talked right along to Amy Lawrence
about the terrible storm on the island, and how the lightning tore the
great sycamore tree "all to flinders" while he was "standing within
three feet of it."

"Oh, may I come?" said Grace Miller.

"Yes."

"And me?" said Sally Rogers.

"Yes."

"And me, too?" said Susy Harper. "And Joe?"

"Yes."

And so on, with clapping of joyful hands till all the group had begged
for invitations but Tom and Amy. Then Tom turned coolly away, still
talking, and took Amy with him. Becky's lips trembled and the tears
came to her eyes; she hid these signs with a forced gayety and went on
chattering, but the life had gone out of the picnic, now, and out of
everything else; she got away as soon as she could and hid herself and
had what her sex call "a good cry." Then she sat moody, with wounded
pride, till the bell rang. She roused up, now, with a vindictive cast
in her eye, and gave her plaited tails a shake and said she knew what
SHE'D do.

At recess Tom continued his flirtation with Amy with jubilant
self-satisfaction. And he kept drifting about to find Becky and lacerate
her with the performance. At last he spied her, but there was a sudden
falling of his mercury. She was sitting cosily on a little bench behind
the schoolhouse looking at a picture-book with Alfred Temple--and so
absorbed were they, and their heads so close together over the book,
that they did not seem to be conscious of anything in the world besides.
Jealousy ran red-hot through Tom's veins. He began to hate himself for
throwing away the chance Becky had offered for a reconciliation. He
called himself a fool, and all the hard names he could think of. He
wanted to cry with vexation. Amy chatted happily along, as they walked,
for her heart was singing, but Tom's tongue had lost its function. He
did not hear what Amy was saying, and whenever she paused expectantly he
could only stammer an awkward assent, which was as often misplaced as
otherwise. He kept drifting to the rear of the schoolhouse, again and
again, to sear his eyeballs with the hateful spectacle there. He could
not help it. And it maddened him to see, as he thought he saw, that
Becky Thatcher never once suspected that he was even in the land of the
living. But she did see, nevertheless; and she knew she was winning her
fight, too, and was glad to see him suffer as she had suffered.

Amy's happy prattle became intolerable. Tom hinted at things he had to
attend to; things that must be done; and time was fleeting. But in
vain--the girl chirped on. Tom thought, "Oh, hang her, ain't I ever
going to get rid of her?" At last he must be attending to those
things--and she said artlessly that she would be "around" when school
let out. And he hastened away, hating her for it.

"Any other boy!" Tom thought, grating his teeth. "Any boy in the whole
town but that Saint Louis smarty that thinks he dresses so fine and is
aristocracy! Oh, all right, I licked you the first day you ever saw
this town, mister, and I'll lick you again! You just wait till I catch
you out! I'll just take and--"

And he went through the motions of thrashing an imaginary boy
--pummelling the air, and kicking and gouging. "Oh, you do, do you? You
holler 'nough, do you? Now, then, let that learn you!" And so the
imaginary flogging was finished to his satisfaction.

Tom fled home at noon. His conscience could not endure any more of
Amy's grateful happiness, and his jealousy could bear no more of the
other distress. Becky resumed her picture inspections with Alfred, but
as the minutes dragged along and no Tom came to suffer, her triumph
began to cloud and she lost interest; gravity and absent-mindedness
followed, and then melancholy; two or three times she pricked up her
ear at a footstep, but it was a false hope; no Tom came. At last she
grew entirely miserable and wished she hadn't carried it so far. When
poor Alfred, seeing that he was losing her, he did not know how, kept
exclaiming: "Oh, here's a jolly one! look at this!" she lost patience
at last, and said, "Oh, don't bother me! I don't care for them!" and
burst into tears, and got up and walked away.

Alfred dropped alongside and was going to try to comfort her, but she
said:

"Go away and leave me alone, can't you! I hate you!"

So the boy halted, wondering what he could have done--for she had said
she would look at pictures all through the nooning--and she walked on,
crying. Then Alfred went musing into the deserted schoolhouse. He was
humiliated and angry. He easily guessed his way to the truth--the girl
had simply made a convenience of him to vent her spite upon Tom Sawyer.
He was far from hating Tom the less when this thought occurred to him.
He wished there was some way to get that boy into trouble without much
risk to himself. Tom's spelling-book fell under his eye. Here was his
opportunity. He gratefully opened to the lesson for the afternoon and
poured ink upon the page.

Becky, glancing in at a window behind him at the moment, saw the act,
and moved on, without discovering herself. She started homeward, now,
intending to find Tom and tell him; Tom would be thankful and their
troubles would be healed. Before she was half way home, however, she
had changed her mind. The thought of Tom's treatment of her when she
was talking about her picnic came scorching back and filled her with
shame. She resolved to let him get whipped on the damaged
spelling-book's account, and to hate him forever, into the bargain.



CHAPTER XIX

TOM arrived at home in a dreary mood, and the first thing his aunt
said to him showed him that he had brought his sorrows to an
unpromising market:

"Tom, I've a notion to skin you alive!"

"Auntie, what have I done?"

"Well, you've done enough. Here I go over to Sereny Harper, like an
old softy, expecting I'm going to make her believe all that rubbage
about that dream, when lo and behold you she'd found out from Joe that
you was over here and heard all the talk we had that night. Tom, I
don't know what is to become of a boy that will act like that. It makes
me feel so bad to think you could let me go to Sereny Harper and make
such a fool of myself and never say a word."

This was a new aspect of the thing. His smartness of the morning had
seemed to Tom a good joke before, and very ingenious. It merely looked
mean and shabby now. He hung his head and could not think of anything
to say for a moment. Then he said:

"Auntie, I wish I hadn't done it--but I didn't think."

"Oh, child, you never think. You never think of anything but your own
selfishness. You could think to come all the way over here from
Jackson's Island in the night to laugh at our troubles, and you could
think to fool me with a lie about a dream; but you couldn't ever think
to pity us and save us from sorrow."

"Auntie, I know now it was mean, but I didn't mean to be mean. I
didn't, honest. And besides, I didn't come over here to laugh at you
that night."

"What did you come for, then?"

"It was to tell you not to be uneasy about us, because we hadn't got
drownded."

"Tom, Tom, I would be the thankfullest soul in this world if I could
believe you ever had as good a thought as that, but you know you never
did--and I know it, Tom."

"Indeed and 'deed I did, auntie--I wish I may never stir if I didn't."

"Oh, Tom, don't lie--don't do it. It only makes things a hundred times
worse."

"It ain't a lie, auntie; it's the truth. I wanted to keep you from
grieving--that was all that made me come."

"I'd give the whole world to believe that--it would cover up a power
of sins, Tom. I'd 'most be glad you'd run off and acted so bad. But it
ain't reasonable; because, why didn't you tell me, child?"

"Why, you see, when you got to talking about the funeral, I just got
all full of the idea of our coming and hiding in the church, and I
couldn't somehow bear to spoil it. So I just put the bark back in my
pocket and kept mum."

"What bark?"

"The bark I had wrote on to tell you we'd gone pirating. I wish, now,
you'd waked up when I kissed you--I do, honest."

The hard lines in his aunt's face relaxed and a sudden tenderness
dawned in her eyes.

"DID you kiss me, Tom?"

"Why, yes, I did."

"Are you sure you did, Tom?"

"Why, yes, I did, auntie--certain sure."

"What did you kiss me for, Tom?"

"Because I loved you so, and you laid there moaning and I was so sorry."

The words sounded like truth. The old lady could not hide a tremor in
her voice when she said:

"Kiss me again, Tom!--and be off with you to school, now, and don't
bother me any more."

The moment he was gone, she ran to a closet and got out the ruin of a
jacket which Tom had gone pirating in. Then she stopped, with it in her
hand, and said to herself:

"No, I don't dare. Poor boy, I reckon he's lied about it--but it's a
blessed, blessed lie, there's such a comfort come from it. I hope the
Lord--I KNOW the Lord will forgive him, because it was such
goodheartedness in him to tell it. But I don't want to find out it's a
lie. I won't look."

She put the jacket away, and stood by musing a minute. Twice she put
out her hand to take the garment again, and twice she refrained. Once
more she ventured, and this time she fortified herself with the
thought: "It's a good lie--it's a good lie--I won't let it grieve me."
So she sought the jacket pocket. A moment later she was reading Tom's
piece of bark through flowing tears and saying: "I could forgive the
boy, now, if he'd committed a million sins!"



CHAPTER XX

THERE was something about Aunt Polly's manner, when she kissed Tom,
that swept away his low spirits and made him lighthearted and happy
again. He started to school and had the luck of coming upon Becky
Thatcher at the head of Meadow Lane. His mood always determined his
manner. Without a moment's hesitation he ran to her and said:

"I acted mighty mean to-day, Becky, and I'm so sorry. I won't ever,
ever do that way again, as long as ever I live--please make up, won't
you?"

The girl stopped and looked him scornfully in the face:

"I'll thank you to keep yourself TO yourself, Mr. Thomas Sawyer. I'll
never speak to you again."

She tossed her head and passed on. Tom was so stunned that he had not
even presence of mind enough to say "Who cares, Miss Smarty?" until the
right time to say it had gone by. So he said nothing. But he was in a
fine rage, nevertheless. He moped into the schoolyard wishing she were
a boy, and imagining how he would trounce her if she were. He presently
encountered her and delivered a stinging remark as he passed. She
hurled one in return, and the angry breach was complete. It seemed to
Becky, in her hot resentment, that she could hardly wait for school to
"take in," she was so impatient to see Tom flogged for the injured
spelling-book. If she had had any lingering notion of exposing Alfred
Temple, Tom's offensive fling had driven it entirely away.

Poor girl, she did not know how fast she was nearing trouble herself.
The master, Mr. Dobbins, had reached middle age with an unsatisfied
ambition. The darling of his desires was, to be a doctor, but poverty
had decreed that he should be nothing higher than a village
schoolmaster. Every day he took a mysterious book out of his desk and
absorbed himself in it at times when no classes were reciting. He kept
that book under lock and key. There was not an urchin in school but was
perishing to have a glimpse of it, but the chance never came. Every boy
and girl had a theory about the nature of that book; but no two
theories were alike, and there was no way of getting at the facts in
the case. Now, as Becky was passing by the desk, which stood near the
door, she noticed that the key was in the lock! It was a precious
moment. She glanced around; found herself alone, and the next instant
she had the book in her hands. The title-page--Professor Somebody's
ANATOMY--carried no information to her mind; so she began to turn the
leaves. She came at once upon a handsomely engraved and colored
frontispiece--a human figure, stark naked. At that moment a shadow fell
on the page and Tom Sawyer stepped in at the door and caught a glimpse
of the picture. Becky snatched at the book to close it, and had the
hard luck to tear the pictured page half down the middle. She thrust
the volume into the desk, turned the key, and burst out crying with
shame and vexation.

"Tom Sawyer, you are just as mean as you can be, to sneak up on a
person and look at what they're looking at."

"How could I know you was looking at anything?"

"You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Tom Sawyer; you know you're
going to tell on me, and oh, what shall I do, what shall I do! I'll be
whipped, and I never was whipped in school."

Then she stamped her little foot and said:

"BE so mean if you want to! I know something that's going to happen.
You just wait and you'll see! Hateful, hateful, hateful!"--and she
flung out of the house with a new explosion of crying.

Tom stood still, rather flustered by this onslaught. Presently he said
to himself:

"What a curious kind of a fool a girl is! Never been licked in school!
Shucks! What's a licking! That's just like a girl--they're so
thin-skinned and chicken-hearted. Well, of course I ain't going to tell
old Dobbins on this little fool, because there's other ways of getting
even on her, that ain't so mean; but what of it? Old Dobbins will ask
who it was tore his book. Nobody'll answer. Then he'll do just the way
he always does--ask first one and then t'other, and when he comes to the
right girl he'll know it, without any telling. Girls' faces always tell
on them. They ain't got any backbone. She'll get licked. Well, it's a
kind of a tight place for Becky Thatcher, because there ain't any way
out of it." Tom conned the thing a moment longer, and then added: "All
right, though; she'd like to see me in just such a fix--let her sweat it
out!"

Tom joined the mob of skylarking scholars outside. In a few moments
the master arrived and school "took in." Tom did not feel a strong
interest in his studies. Every time he stole a glance at the girls'
side of the room Becky's face troubled him. Considering all things, he
did not want to pity her, and yet it was all he could do to help it. He
could get up no exultation that was really worthy the name. Presently
the spelling-book discovery was made, and Tom's mind was entirely full
of his own matters for a while after that. Becky roused up from her
lethargy of distress and showed good interest in the proceedings. She
did not expect that Tom could get out of his trouble by denying that he
spilt the ink on the book himself; and she was right. The denial only
seemed to make the thing worse for Tom. Becky supposed she would be
glad of that, and she tried to believe she was glad of it, but she
found she was not certain. When the worst came to the worst, she had an
impulse to get up and tell on Alfred Temple, but she made an effort and
forced herself to keep still--because, said she to herself, "he'll tell
about me tearing the picture sure. I wouldn't say a word, not to save
his life!"

Tom took his whipping and went back to his seat not at all
broken-hearted, for he thought it was possible that he had unknowingly
upset the ink on the spelling-book himself, in some skylarking bout--he
had denied it for form's sake and because it was custom, and had stuck
to the denial from principle.

A whole hour drifted by, the master sat nodding in his throne, the air
was drowsy with the hum of study. By and by, Mr. Dobbins straightened
himself up, yawned, then unlocked his desk, and reached for his book,
but seemed undecided whether to take it out or leave it. Most of the
pupils glanced up languidly, but there were two among them that watched
his movements with intent eyes. Mr. Dobbins fingered his book absently
for a while, then took it out and settled himself in his chair to read!
Tom shot a glance at Becky. He had seen a hunted and helpless rabbit
look as she did, with a gun levelled at its head. Instantly he forgot
his quarrel with her. Quick--something must be done! done in a flash,
too! But the very imminence of the emergency paralyzed his invention.
Good!--he had an inspiration! He would run and snatch the book, spring
through the door and fly. But his resolution shook for one little
instant, and the chance was lost--the master opened the volume. If Tom
only had the wasted opportunity back again! Too late. There was no help
for Becky now, he said. The next moment the master faced the school.
Every eye sank under his gaze. There was that in it which smote even
the innocent with fear. There was silence while one might count ten
--the master was gathering his wrath. Then he spoke: "Who tore this book?"

There was not a sound. One could have heard a pin drop. The stillness
continued; the master searched face after face for signs of guilt.

"Benjamin Rogers, did you tear this book?"

A denial. Another pause.

"Joseph Harper, did you?"

Another denial. Tom's uneasiness grew more and more intense under the
slow torture of these proceedings. The master scanned the ranks of
boys--considered a while, then turned to the girls:

"Amy Lawrence?"

A shake of the head.

"Gracie Miller?"

The same sign.

"Susan Harper, did you do this?"

Another negative. The next girl was Becky Thatcher. Tom was trembling
from head to foot with excitement and a sense of the hopelessness of
the situation.

"Rebecca Thatcher" [Tom glanced at her face--it was white with terror]
--"did you tear--no, look me in the face" [her hands rose in appeal]
--"did you tear this book?"

A thought shot like lightning through Tom's brain. He sprang to his
feet and shouted--"I done it!"

The school stared in perplexity at this incredible folly. Tom stood a
moment, to gather his dismembered faculties; and when he stepped
forward to go to his punishment the surprise, the gratitude, the
adoration that shone upon him out of poor Becky's eyes seemed pay
enough for a hundred floggings. Inspired by the splendor of his own
act, he took without an outcry the most merciless flaying that even Mr.
Dobbins had ever administered; and also received with indifference the
added cruelty of a command to remain two hours after school should be
dismissed--for he knew who would wait for him outside till his
captivity was done, and not count the tedious time as loss, either.

Tom went to bed that night planning vengeance against Alfred Temple;
for with shame and repentance Becky had told him all, not forgetting
her own treachery; but even the longing for vengeance had to give way,
soon, to pleasanter musings, and he fell asleep at last with Becky's
latest words lingering dreamily in his ear--

"Tom, how COULD you be so noble!"



CHAPTER XXI

VACATION was approaching. The schoolmaster, always severe, grew
severer and more exacting than ever, for he wanted the school to make a
good showing on "Examination" day. His rod and his ferule were seldom
idle now--at least among the smaller pupils. Only the biggest boys, and
young ladies of eighteen and twenty, escaped lashing. Mr. Dobbins'
lashings were very vigorous ones, too; for although he carried, under
his wig, a perfectly bald and shiny head, he had only reached middle
age, and there was no sign of feebleness in his muscle. As the great
day approached, all the tyranny that was in him came to the surface; he
seemed to take a vindictive pleasure in punishing the least
shortcomings. The consequence was, that the smaller boys spent their
days in terror and suffering and their nights in plotting revenge. They
threw away no opportunity to do the master a mischief. But he kept
ahead all the time. The retribution that followed every vengeful
success was so sweeping and majestic that the boys always retired from
the field badly worsted. At last they conspired together and hit upon a
plan that promised a dazzling victory. They swore in the sign-painter's
boy, told him the scheme, and asked his help. He had his own reasons
for being delighted, for the master boarded in his father's family and
had given the boy ample cause to hate him. The master's wife would go
on a visit to the country in a few days, and there would be nothing to
interfere with the plan; the master always prepared himself for great
occasions by getting pretty well fuddled, and the sign-painter's boy
said that when the dominie had reached the proper condition on
Examination Evening he would "manage the thing" while he napped in his
chair; then he would have him awakened at the right time and hurried
away to school.

In the fulness of time the interesting occasion arrived. At eight in
the evening the schoolhouse was brilliantly lighted, and adorned with
wreaths and festoons of foliage and flowers. The master sat throned in
his great chair upon a raised platform, with his blackboard behind him.
He was looking tolerably mellow. Three rows of benches on each side and
six rows in front of him were occupied by the dignitaries of the town
and by the parents of the pupils. To his left, back of the rows of
citizens, was a spacious temporary platform upon which were seated the
scholars who were to take part in the exercises of the evening; rows of
small boys, washed and dressed to an intolerable state of discomfort;
rows of gawky big boys; snowbanks of girls and young ladies clad in
lawn and muslin and conspicuously conscious of their bare arms, their
grandmothers' ancient trinkets, their bits of pink and blue ribbon and
the flowers in their hair. All the rest of the house was filled with
non-participating scholars.

The exercises began. A very little boy stood up and sheepishly
recited, "You'd scarce expect one of my age to speak in public on the
stage," etc.--accompanying himself with the painfully exact and
spasmodic gestures which a machine might have used--supposing the
machine to be a trifle out of order. But he got through safely, though
cruelly scared, and got a fine round of applause when he made his
manufactured bow and retired.

A little shamefaced girl lisped, "Mary had a little lamb," etc.,
performed a compassion-inspiring curtsy, got her meed of applause, and
sat down flushed and happy.

Tom Sawyer stepped forward with conceited confidence and soared into
the unquenchable and indestructible "Give me liberty or give me death"
speech, with fine fury and frantic gesticulation, and broke down in the
middle of it. A ghastly stage-fright seized him, his legs quaked under
him and he was like to choke. True, he had the manifest sympathy of the
house but he had the house's silence, too, which was even worse than
its sympathy. The master frowned, and this completed the disaster. Tom
struggled awhile and then retired, utterly defeated. There was a weak
attempt at applause, but it died early.

"The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck" followed; also "The Assyrian Came
Down," and other declamatory gems. Then there were reading exercises,
and a spelling fight. The meagre Latin class recited with honor. The
prime feature of the evening was in order, now--original "compositions"
by the young ladies. Each in her turn stepped forward to the edge of
the platform, cleared her throat, held up her manuscript (tied with
dainty ribbon), and proceeded to read, with labored attention to
"expression" and punctuation. The themes were the same that had been
illuminated upon similar occasions by their mothers before them, their
grandmothers, and doubtless all their ancestors in the female line
clear back to the Crusades. "Friendship" was one; "Memories of Other
Days"; "Religion in History"; "Dream Land"; "The Advantages of
Culture"; "Forms of Political Government Compared and Contrasted";
"Melancholy"; "Filial Love"; "Heart Longings," etc., etc.

A prevalent feature in these compositions was a nursed and petted
melancholy; another was a wasteful and opulent gush of "fine language";
another was a tendency to lug in by the ears particularly prized words
and phrases until they were worn entirely out; and a peculiarity that
conspicuously marked and marred them was the inveterate and intolerable
sermon that wagged its crippled tail at the end of each and every one
of them. No matter what the subject might be, a brain-racking effort
was made to squirm it into some aspect or other that the moral and
religious mind could contemplate with edification. The glaring
insincerity of these sermons was not sufficient to compass the
banishment of the fashion from the schools, and it is not sufficient
to-day; it never will be sufficient while the world stands, perhaps.
There is no school in all our land where the young ladies do not feel
obliged to close their compositions with a sermon; and you will find
that the sermon of the most frivolous and the least religious girl in
the school is always the longest and the most relentlessly pious. But
enough of this. Homely truth is unpalatable.

Let us return to the "Examination." The first composition that was
read was one entitled "Is this, then, Life?" Perhaps the reader can
endure an extract from it:

"In the common walks of life, with what delightful
emotions does the youthful mind look forward to some
anticipated scene of festivity! Imagination is busy
sketching rose-tinted pictures of joy. In fancy, the
voluptuous votary of fashion sees herself amid the
festive throng, 'the observed of all observers.' Her
graceful form, arrayed in snowy robes, is whirling
through the mazes of the joyous dance; her eye is
brightest, her step is lightest in the gay assembly.

"In such delicious fancies time quickly glides by,
and the welcome hour arrives for her entrance into
the Elysian world, of which she has had such bright
dreams. How fairy-like does everything appear to
her enchanted vision! Each new scene is more charming
than the last. But after a while she finds that
beneath this goodly exterior, all is vanity, the
flattery which once charmed her soul, now grates
harshly upon her ear; the ball-room has lost its
charms; and with wasted health and imbittered heart,
she turns away with the conviction that earthly
pleasures cannot satisfy the longings of the soul!"

And so forth and so on. There was a buzz of gratification from time to
time during the reading, accompanied by whispered ejaculations of "How
sweet!" "How eloquent!" "So true!" etc., and after the thing had closed
with a peculiarly afflicting sermon the applause was enthusiastic.

Then arose a slim, melancholy girl, whose face had the "interesting"
paleness that comes of pills and indigestion, and read a "poem." Two
stanzas of it will do:

"A MISSOURI MAIDEN'S FAREWELL TO ALABAMA

"Alabama, good-bye! I love thee well!
But yet for a while do I leave thee now!
Sad, yes, sad thoughts of thee my heart doth swell,
And burning recollections throng my brow!
For I have wandered through thy flowery woods;
Have roamed and read near Tallapoosa's stream;
Have listened to Tallassee's warring floods,
And wooed on Coosa's side Aurora's beam.

"Yet shame I not to bear an o'er-full heart,
Nor blush to turn behind my tearful eyes;
'Tis from no stranger land I now must part,
'Tis to no strangers left I yield these sighs.
Welcome and home were mine within this State,
Whose vales I leave--whose spires fade fast from me
And cold must be mine eyes, and heart, and tete,
When, dear Alabama! they turn cold on thee!"

There were very few there who knew what "tete" meant, but the poem was
very satisfactory, nevertheless.

Next appeared a dark-complexioned, black-eyed, black-haired young
lady, who paused an impressive moment, assumed a tragic expression, and
began to read in a measured, solemn tone:

"A VISION

"Dark and tempestuous was night. Around the
throne on high not a single star quivered; but
the deep intonations of the heavy thunder
constantly vibrated upon the ear; whilst the
terrific lightning revelled in angry mood
through the cloudy chambers of heaven, seeming
to scorn the power exerted over its terror by
the illustrious Franklin! Even the boisterous
winds unanimously came forth from their mystic
homes, and blustered about as if to enhance by
their aid the wildness of the scene.

"At such a time, so dark, so dreary, for human
sympathy my very spirit sighed; but instead thereof,

"'My dearest friend, my counsellor, my comforter
and guide--My joy in grief, my second bliss
in joy,' came to my side. She moved like one of
those bright beings pictured in the sunny walks
of fancy's Eden by the romantic and young, a
queen of beauty unadorned save by her own
transcendent loveliness. So soft was her step, it
failed to make even a sound, and but for the
magical thrill imparted by her genial touch, as
other unobtrusive beauties, she would have glided
away un-perceived--unsought. A strange sadness
rested upon her features, like icy tears upon
the robe of December, as she pointed to the
contending elements without, and bade me contemplate
the two beings presented."

This nightmare occupied some ten pages of manuscript and wound up with
a sermon so destructive of all hope to non-Presbyterians that it took
the first prize. This composition was considered to be the very finest
effort of the evening. The mayor of the village, in delivering the
prize to the author of it, made a warm speech in which he said that it
was by far the most "eloquent" thing he had ever listened to, and that
Daniel Webster himself might well be proud of it.

It may be remarked, in passing, that the number of compositions in
which the word "beauteous" was over-fondled, and human experience
referred to as "life's page," was up to the usual average.

Now the master, mellow almost to the verge of geniality, put his chair
aside, turned his back to the audience, and began to draw a map of
America on the blackboard, to exercise the geography class upon. But he
made a sad business of it with his unsteady hand, and a smothered
titter rippled over the house. He knew what the matter was, and set
himself to right it. He sponged out lines and remade them; but he only
distorted them more than ever, and the tittering was more pronounced.
He threw his entire attention upon his work, now, as if determined not
to be put down by the mirth. He felt that all eyes were fastened upon
him; he imagined he was succeeding, and yet the tittering continued; it
even manifestly increased. And well it might. There was a garret above,
pierced with a scuttle over his head; and down through this scuttle
came a cat, suspended around the haunches by a string; she had a rag
tied about her head and jaws to keep her from mewing; as she slowly
descended she curved upward and clawed at the string, she swung
downward and clawed at the intangible air. The tittering rose higher
and higher--the cat was within six inches of the absorbed teacher's
head--down, down, a little lower, and she grabbed his wig with her
desperate claws, clung to it, and was snatched up into the garret in an
instant with her trophy still in her possession! And how the light did
blaze abroad from the master's bald pate--for the sign-painter's boy
had GILDED it!

That broke up the meeting. The boys were avenged. Vacation had come.

NOTE:--The pretended "compositions" quoted in
this chapter are taken without alteration from a
volume entitled "Prose and Poetry, by a Western
Lady"--but they are exactly and precisely after
the schoolgirl pattern, and hence are much
happier than any mere imitations could be.



CHAPTER XXII

TOM joined the new order of Cadets of Temperance, being attracted by
the showy character of their "regalia." He promised to abstain from
smoking, chewing, and profanity as long as he remained a member. Now he
found out a new thing--namely, that to promise not to do a thing is the
surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very
thing. Tom soon found himself tormented with a desire to drink and
swear; the desire grew to be so intense that nothing but the hope of a
chance to display himself in his red sash kept him from withdrawing
from the order. Fourth of July was coming; but he soon gave that up
--gave it up before he had worn his shackles over forty-eight hours--and
fixed his hopes upon old Judge Frazer, justice of the peace, who was
apparently on his deathbed and would have a big public funeral, since
he was so high an official. During three days Tom was deeply concerned
about the Judge's condition and hungry for news of it. Sometimes his
hopes ran high--so high that he would venture to get out his regalia
and practise before the looking-glass. But the Judge had a most
discouraging way of fluctuating. At last he was pronounced upon the
mend--and then convalescent. Tom was disgusted; and felt a sense of
injury, too. He handed in his resignation at once--and that night the
Judge suffered a relapse and died. Tom resolved that he would never
trust a man like that again.

The funeral was a fine thing. The Cadets paraded in a style calculated
to kill the late member with envy. Tom was a free boy again, however
--there was something in that. He could drink and swear, now--but found
to his surprise that he did not want to. The simple fact that he could,
took the desire away, and the charm of it.

Tom presently wondered to find that his coveted vacation was beginning
to hang a little heavily on his hands.

He attempted a diary--but nothing happened during three days, and so
he abandoned it.

The first of all the negro minstrel shows came to town, and made a
sensation. Tom and Joe Harper got up a band of performers and were
happy for two days.

Even the Glorious Fourth was in some sense a failure, for it rained
hard, there was no procession in consequence, and the greatest man in
the world (as Tom supposed), Mr. Benton, an actual United States
Senator, proved an overwhelming disappointment--for he was not
twenty-five feet high, nor even anywhere in the neighborhood of it.

A circus came. The boys played circus for three days afterward in
tents made of rag carpeting--admission, three pins for boys, two for
girls--and then circusing was abandoned.

A phrenologist and a mesmerizer came--and went again and left the
village duller and drearier than ever.

There were some boys-and-girls' parties, but they were so few and so
delightful that they only made the aching voids between ache the harder.

Becky Thatcher was gone to her Constantinople home to stay with her
parents during vacation--so there was no bright side to life anywhere.

The dreadful secret of the murder was a chronic misery. It was a very
cancer for permanency and pain.

Then came the measles.

During two long weeks Tom lay a prisoner, dead to the world and its
happenings. He was very ill, he was interested in nothing. When he got
upon his feet at last and moved feebly down-town, a melancholy change
had come over everything and every creature. There had been a
"revival," and everybody had "got religion," not only the adults, but
even the boys and girls. Tom went about, hoping against hope for the
sight of one blessed sinful face, but disappointment crossed him
everywhere. He found Joe Harper studying a Testament, and turned sadly
away from the depressing spectacle. He sought Ben Rogers, and found him
visiting the poor with a basket of tracts. He hunted up Jim Hollis, who
called his attention to the precious blessing of his late measles as a
warning. Every boy he encountered added another ton to his depression;
and when, in desperation, he flew for refuge at last to the bosom of
Huckleberry Finn and was received with a Scriptural quotation, his
heart broke and he crept home and to bed realizing that he alone of all
the town was lost, forever and forever.

And that night there came on a terrific storm, with driving rain,
awful claps of thunder and blinding sheets of lightning. He covered his
head with the bedclothes and waited in a horror of suspense for his
doom; for he had not the shadow of a doubt that all this hubbub was
about him. He believed he had taxed the forbearance of the powers above
to the extremity of endurance and that this was the result. It might
have seemed to him a waste of pomp and ammunition to kill a bug with a
battery of artillery, but there seemed nothing incongruous about the
getting up such an expensive thunderstorm as this to knock the turf
from under an insect like himself.

By and by the tempest spent itself and died without accomplishing its
object. The boy's first impulse was to be grateful, and reform. His
second was to wait--for there might not be any more storms.

The next day the doctors were back; Tom had relapsed. The three weeks
he spent on his back this time seemed an entire age. When he got abroad
at last he was hardly grateful that he had been spared, remembering how
lonely was his estate, how companionless and forlorn he was. He drifted
listlessly down the street and found Jim Hollis acting as judge in a
juvenile court that was trying a cat for murder, in the presence of her
victim, a bird. He found Joe Harper and Huck Finn up an alley eating a
stolen melon. Poor lads! they--like Tom--had suffered a relapse.



CHAPTER XXIII

AT last the sleepy atmosphere was stirred--and vigorously: the murder
trial came on in the court. It became the absorbing topic of village
talk immediately. Tom could not get away from it. Every reference to
the murder sent a shudder to his heart, for his troubled conscience and
fears almost persuaded him that these remarks were put forth in his
hearing as "feelers"; he did not see how he could be suspected of
knowing anything about the murder, but still he could not be
comfortable in the midst of this gossip. It kept him in a cold shiver
all the time. He took Huck to a lonely place to have a talk with him.
It would be some relief to unseal his tongue for a little while; to
divide his burden of distress with another sufferer. Moreover, he
wanted to assure himself that Huck had remained discreet.

"Huck, have you ever told anybody about--that?"

"'Bout what?"

"You know what."

"Oh--'course I haven't."

"Never a word?"

"Never a solitary word, so help me. What makes you ask?"

"Well, I was afeard."

"Why, Tom Sawyer, we wouldn't be alive two days if that got found out.
YOU know that."

Tom felt more comfortable. After a pause:

"Huck, they couldn't anybody get you to tell, could they?"

"Get me to tell? Why, if I wanted that half-breed devil to drownd me
they could get me to tell. They ain't no different way."

"Well, that's all right, then. I reckon we're safe as long as we keep
mum. But let's swear again, anyway. It's more surer."

"I'm agreed."

So they swore again with dread solemnities.

"What is the talk around, Huck? I've heard a power of it."

"Talk? Well, it's just Muff Potter, Muff Potter, Muff Potter all the
time. It keeps me in a sweat, constant, so's I want to hide som'ers."

"That's just the same way they go on round me. I reckon he's a goner.
Don't you feel sorry for him, sometimes?"

"Most always--most always. He ain't no account; but then he hain't
ever done anything to hurt anybody. Just fishes a little, to get money
to get drunk on--and loafs around considerable; but lord, we all do
that--leastways most of us--preachers and such like. But he's kind of
good--he give me half a fish, once, when there warn't enough for two;
and lots of times he's kind of stood by me when I was out of luck."

"Well, he's mended kites for me, Huck, and knitted hooks on to my
line. I wish we could get him out of there."

"My! we couldn't get him out, Tom. And besides, 'twouldn't do any
good; they'd ketch him again."

"Yes--so they would. But I hate to hear 'em abuse him so like the
dickens when he never done--that."

"I do too, Tom. Lord, I hear 'em say he's the bloodiest looking
villain in this country, and they wonder he wasn't ever hung before."

"Yes, they talk like that, all the time. I've heard 'em say that if he
was to get free they'd lynch him."

"And they'd do it, too."

The boys had a long talk, but it brought them little comfort. As the
twilight drew on, they found themselves hanging about the neighborhood
of the little isolated jail, perhaps with an undefined hope that
something would happen that might clear away their difficulties. But
nothing happened; there seemed to be no angels or fairies interested in
this luckless captive.

The boys did as they had often done before--went to the cell grating
and gave Potter some tobacco and matches. He was on the ground floor
and there were no guards.

His gratitude for their gifts had always smote their consciences
before--it cut deeper than ever, this time. They felt cowardly and
treacherous to the last degree when Potter said:

"You've been mighty good to me, boys--better'n anybody else in this
town. And I don't forget it, I don't. Often I says to myself, says I,
'I used to mend all the boys' kites and things, and show 'em where the
good fishin' places was, and befriend 'em what I could, and now they've
all forgot old Muff when he's in trouble; but Tom don't, and Huck
don't--THEY don't forget him, says I, 'and I don't forget them.' Well,
boys, I done an awful thing--drunk and crazy at the time--that's the
only way I account for it--and now I got to swing for it, and it's
right. Right, and BEST, too, I reckon--hope so, anyway. Well, we won't
talk about that. I don't want to make YOU feel bad; you've befriended
me. But what I want to say, is, don't YOU ever get drunk--then you won't
ever get here. Stand a litter furder west--so--that's it; it's a prime
comfort to see faces that's friendly when a body's in such a muck of
trouble, and there don't none come here but yourn. Good friendly
faces--good friendly faces. Git up on one another's backs and let me
touch 'em. That's it. Shake hands--yourn'll come through the bars, but
mine's too big. Little hands, and weak--but they've helped Muff Potter
a power, and they'd help him more if they could."

Tom went home miserable, and his dreams that night were full of
horrors. The next day and the day after, he hung about the court-room,
drawn by an almost irresistible impulse to go in, but forcing himself
to stay out. Huck was having the same experience. They studiously
avoided each other. Each wandered away, from time to time, but the same
dismal fascination always brought them back presently. Tom kept his
ears open when idlers sauntered out of the court-room, but invariably
heard distressing news--the toils were closing more and more
relentlessly around poor Potter. At the end of the second day the
village talk was to the effect that Injun Joe's evidence stood firm and
unshaken, and that there was not the slightest question as to what the
jury's verdict would be.

Tom was out late, that night, and came to bed through the window. He
was in a tremendous state of excitement. It was hours before he got to
sleep. All the village flocked to the court-house the next morning, for
this was to be the great day. Both sexes were about equally represented
in the packed audience. After a long wait the jury filed in and took
their places; shortly afterward, Potter, pale and haggard, timid and
hopeless, was brought in, with chains upon him, and seated where all
the curious eyes could stare at him; no less conspicuous was Injun Joe,
stolid as ever. There was another pause, and then the judge arrived and
the sheriff proclaimed the opening of the court. The usual whisperings
among the lawyers and gathering together of papers followed. These
details and accompanying delays worked up an atmosphere of preparation
that was as impressive as it was fascinating.

Now a witness was called who testified that he found Muff Potter
washing in the brook, at an early hour of the morning that the murder
was discovered, and that he immediately sneaked away. After some
further questioning, counsel for the prosecution said:

"Take the witness."

The prisoner raised his eyes for a moment, but dropped them again when
his own counsel said:

"I have no questions to ask him."

The next witness proved the finding of the knife near the corpse.
Counsel for the prosecution said:

"Take the witness."

"I have no questions to ask him," Potter's lawyer replied.

A third witness swore he had often seen the knife in Potter's
possession.

"Take the witness."

Counsel for Potter declined to question him. The faces of the audience
began to betray annoyance. Did this attorney mean to throw away his
client's life without an effort?

Several witnesses deposed concerning Potter's guilty behavior when
brought to the scene of the murder. They were allowed to leave the
stand without being cross-questioned.

Every detail of the damaging circumstances that occurred in the
graveyard upon that morning which all present remembered so well was
brought out by credible witnesses, but none of them were cross-examined
by Potter's lawyer. The perplexity and dissatisfaction of the house
expressed itself in murmurs and provoked a reproof from the bench.
Counsel for the prosecution now said:

"By the oaths of citizens whose simple word is above suspicion, we
have fastened this awful crime, beyond all possibility of question,
upon the unhappy prisoner at the bar. We rest our case here."

A groan escaped from poor Potter, and he put his face in his hands and
rocked his body softly to and fro, while a painful silence reigned in
the court-room. Many men were moved, and many women's compassion
testified itself in tears. Counsel for the defence rose and said:

"Your honor, in our remarks at the opening of this trial, we
foreshadowed our purpose to prove that our client did this fearful deed
while under the influence of a blind and irresponsible delirium
produced by drink. We have changed our mind. We shall not offer that
plea." [Then to the clerk:] "Call Thomas Sawyer!"

A puzzled amazement awoke in every face in the house, not even
excepting Potter's. Every eye fastened itself with wondering interest
upon Tom as he rose and took his place upon the stand. The boy looked
wild enough, for he was badly scared. The oath was administered.

"Thomas Sawyer, where were you on the seventeenth of June, about the
hour of midnight?"

Tom glanced at Injun Joe's iron face and his tongue failed him. The
audience listened breathless, but the words refused to come. After a
few moments, however, the boy got a little of his strength back, and
managed to put enough of it into his voice to make part of the house
hear:

"In the graveyard!"

"A little bit louder, please. Don't be afraid. You were--"

"In the graveyard."

A contemptuous smile flitted across Injun Joe's face.

"Were you anywhere near Horse Williams' grave?"

"Yes, sir."

"Speak up--just a trifle louder. How near were you?"

"Near as I am to you."

"Were you hidden, or not?"

"I was hid."

"Where?"

"Behind the elms that's on the edge of the grave."

Injun Joe gave a barely perceptible start.

"Any one with you?"

"Yes, sir. I went there with--"

"Wait--wait a moment. Never mind mentioning your companion's name. We
will produce him at the proper time. Did you carry anything there with
you."

Tom hesitated and looked confused.

"Speak out, my boy--don't be diffident. The truth is always
respectable. What did you take there?"

"Only a--a--dead cat."

There was a ripple of mirth, which the court checked.

"We will produce the skeleton of that cat. Now, my boy, tell us
everything that occurred--tell it in your own way--don't skip anything,
and don't be afraid."

Tom began--hesitatingly at first, but as he warmed to his subject his
words flowed more and more easily; in a little while every sound ceased
but his own voice; every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips
and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of
time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. The strain upon
pent emotion reached its climax when the boy said:

"--and as the doctor fetched the board around and Muff Potter fell,
Injun Joe jumped with the knife and--"

Crash! Quick as lightning the half-breed sprang for a window, tore his
way through all opposers, and was gone!



CHAPTER XXIV

TOM was a glittering hero once more--the pet of the old, the envy of
the young. His name even went into immortal print, for the village
paper magnified him. There were some that believed he would be
President, yet, if he escaped hanging.

As usual, the fickle, unreasoning world took Muff Potter to its bosom
and fondled him as lavishly as it had abused him before. But that sort
of conduct is to the world's credit; therefore it is not well to find
fault with it.

Tom's days were days of splendor and exultation to him, but his nights
were seasons of horror. Injun Joe infested all his dreams, and always
with doom in his eye. Hardly any temptation could persuade the boy to
stir abroad after nightfall. Poor Huck was in the same state of
wretchedness and terror, for Tom had told the whole story to the lawyer
the night before the great day of the trial, and Huck was sore afraid
that his share in the business might leak out, yet, notwithstanding
Injun Joe's flight had saved him the suffering of testifying in court.
The poor fellow had got the attorney to promise secrecy, but what of
that? Since Tom's harassed conscience had managed to drive him to the
lawyer's house by night and wring a dread tale from lips that had been
sealed with the dismalest and most formidable of oaths, Huck's
confidence in the human race was well-nigh obliterated.

Daily Muff Potter's gratitude made Tom glad he had spoken; but nightly
he wished he had sealed up his tongue.

Half the time Tom was afraid Injun Joe would never be captured; the
other half he was afraid he would be. He felt sure he never could draw
a safe breath again until that man was dead and he had seen the corpse.

Rewards had been offered, the country had been scoured, but no Injun
Joe was found. One of those omniscient and awe-inspiring marvels, a
detective, came up from St. Louis, moused around, shook his head,
looked wise, and made that sort of astounding success which members of
that craft usually achieve. That is to say, he "found a clew." But you
can't hang a "clew" for murder, and so after that detective had got
through and gone home, Tom felt just as insecure as he was before.

The slow days drifted on, and each left behind it a slightly lightened
weight of apprehension.



CHAPTER XXV

THERE comes a time in every rightly-constructed boy's life when he has
a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure. This
desire suddenly came upon Tom one day. He sallied out to find Joe
Harper, but failed of success. Next he sought Ben Rogers; he had gone
fishing. Presently he stumbled upon Huck Finn the Red-Handed. Huck
would answer. Tom took him to a private place and opened the matter to
him confidentially. Huck was willing. Huck was always willing to take a
hand in any enterprise that offered entertainment and required no
capital, for he had a troublesome superabundance of that sort of time
which is not money. "Where'll we dig?" said Huck.

"Oh, most anywhere."

"Why, is it hid all around?"

"No, indeed it ain't. It's hid in mighty particular places, Huck
--sometimes on islands, sometimes in rotten chests under the end of a
limb of an old dead tree, just where the shadow falls at midnight; but
mostly under the floor in ha'nted houses."

"Who hides it?"

"Why, robbers, of course--who'd you reckon? Sunday-school
sup'rintendents?"

"I don't know. If 'twas mine I wouldn't hide it; I'd spend it and have
a good time."

"So would I. But robbers don't do that way. They always hide it and
leave it there."

"Don't they come after it any more?"

"No, they think they will, but they generally forget the marks, or
else they die. Anyway, it lays there a long time and gets rusty; and by
and by somebody finds an old yellow paper that tells how to find the
marks--a paper that's got to be ciphered over about a week because it's
mostly signs and hy'roglyphics."

"HyroQwhich?"

"Hy'roglyphics--pictures and things, you know, that don't seem to mean
anything."

"Have you got one of them papers, Tom?"

"No."

"Well then, how you going to find the marks?"

"I don't want any marks. They always bury it under a ha'nted house or
on an island, or under a dead tree that's got one limb sticking out.
Well, we've tried Jackson's Island a little, and we can try it again
some time; and there's the old ha'nted house up the Still-House branch,
and there's lots of dead-limb trees--dead loads of 'em."

"Is it under all of them?"

"How you talk! No!"

"Then how you going to know which one to go for?"

"Go for all of 'em!"

"Why, Tom, it'll take all summer."

"Well, what of that? Suppose you find a brass pot with a hundred
dollars in it, all rusty and gray, or rotten chest full of di'monds.
How's that?"

Huck's eyes glowed.

"That's bully. Plenty bully enough for me. Just you gimme the hundred
dollars and I don't want no di'monds."

"All right. But I bet you I ain't going to throw off on di'monds. Some
of 'em's worth twenty dollars apiece--there ain't any, hardly, but's
worth six bits or a dollar."

"No! Is that so?"

"Cert'nly--anybody'll tell you so. Hain't you ever seen one, Huck?"

"Not as I remember."

"Oh, kings have slathers of them."

"Well, I don' know no kings, Tom."

"I reckon you don't. But if you was to go to Europe you'd see a raft
of 'em hopping around."

"Do they hop?"

"Hop?--your granny! No!"

"Well, what did you say they did, for?"

"Shucks, I only meant you'd SEE 'em--not hopping, of course--what do
they want to hop for?--but I mean you'd just see 'em--scattered around,
you know, in a kind of a general way. Like that old humpbacked Richard."

"Richard? What's his other name?"

"He didn't have any other name. Kings don't have any but a given name."

"No?"

"But they don't."

"Well, if they like it, Tom, all right; but I don't want to be a king
and have only just a given name, like a nigger. But say--where you
going to dig first?"

"Well, I don't know. S'pose we tackle that old dead-limb tree on the
hill t'other side of Still-House branch?"

"I'm agreed."

So they got a crippled pick and a shovel, and set out on their
three-mile tramp. They arrived hot and panting, and threw themselves
down in the shade of a neighboring elm to rest and have a smoke.

"I like this," said Tom.

"So do I."

"Say, Huck, if we find a treasure here, what you going to do with your
share?"

"Well, I'll have pie and a glass of soda every day, and I'll go to
every circus that comes along. I bet I'll have a gay time."

"Well, ain't you going to save any of it?"

"Save it? What for?"

"Why, so as to have something to live on, by and by."

"Oh, that ain't any use. Pap would come back to thish-yer town some
day and get his claws on it if I didn't hurry up, and I tell you he'd
clean it out pretty quick. What you going to do with yourn, Tom?"

"I'm going to buy a new drum, and a sure-'nough sword, and a red
necktie and a bull pup, and get married."

"Married!"

"That's it."

"Tom, you--why, you ain't in your right mind."

"Wait--you'll see."

"Well, that's the foolishest thing you could do. Look at pap and my
mother. Fight! Why, they used to fight all the time. I remember, mighty
well."

"That ain't anything. The girl I'm going to marry won't fight."

"Tom, I reckon they're all alike. They'll all comb a body. Now you
better think 'bout this awhile. I tell you you better. What's the name
of the gal?"

"It ain't a gal at all--it's a girl."

"It's all the same, I reckon; some says gal, some says girl--both's
right, like enough. Anyway, what's her name, Tom?"

"I'll tell you some time--not now."

"All right--that'll do. Only if you get married I'll be more lonesomer
than ever."

"No you won't. You'll come and live with me. Now stir out of this and
we'll go to digging."

They worked and sweated for half an hour. No result. They toiled
another half-hour. Still no result. Huck said:

"Do they always bury it as deep as this?"

"Sometimes--not always. Not generally. I reckon we haven't got the
right place."

So they chose a new spot and began again. The labor dragged a little,
but still they made progress. They pegged away in silence for some
time. Finally Huck leaned on his shovel, swabbed the beaded drops from
his brow with his sleeve, and said:

"Where you going to dig next, after we get this one?"

"I reckon maybe we'll tackle the old tree that's over yonder on
Cardiff Hill back of the widow's."

"I reckon that'll be a good one. But won't the widow take it away from
us, Tom? It's on her land."

"SHE take it away! Maybe she'd like to try it once. Whoever finds one
of these hid treasures, it belongs to him. It don't make any difference
whose land it's on."

That was satisfactory. The work went on. By and by Huck said:

"Blame it, we must be in the wrong place again. What do you think?"

"It is mighty curious, Huck. I don't understand it. Sometimes witches
interfere. I reckon maybe that's what's the trouble now."

"Shucks! Witches ain't got no power in the daytime."

"Well, that's so. I didn't think of that. Oh, I know what the matter
is! What a blamed lot of fools we are! You got to find out where the
shadow of the limb falls at midnight, and that's where you dig!"

"Then consound it, we've fooled away all this work for nothing. Now
hang it all, we got to come back in the night. It's an awful long way.
Can you get out?"

"I bet I will. We've got to do it to-night, too, because if somebody
sees these holes they'll know in a minute what's here and they'll go
for it."

"Well, I'll come around and maow to-night."

"All right. Let's hide the tools in the bushes."

The boys were there that night, about the appointed time. They sat in
the shadow waiting. It was a lonely place, and an hour made solemn by
old traditions. Spirits whispered in the rustling leaves, ghosts lurked
in the murky nooks, the deep baying of a hound floated up out of the
distance, an owl answered with his sepulchral note. The boys were
subdued by these solemnities, and talked little. By and by they judged
that twelve had come; they marked where the shadow fell, and began to
dig. Their hopes commenced to rise. Their interest grew stronger, and
their industry kept pace with it. The hole deepened and still deepened,
but every time their hearts jumped to hear the pick strike upon
something, they only suffered a new disappointment. It was only a stone
or a chunk. At last Tom said:

"It ain't any use, Huck, we're wrong again."

"Well, but we CAN'T be wrong. We spotted the shadder to a dot."

"I know it, but then there's another thing."

"What's that?".

"Why, we only guessed at the time. Like enough it was too late or too
early."

Huck dropped his shovel.

"That's it," said he. "That's the very trouble. We got to give this
one up. We can't ever tell the right time, and besides this kind of
thing's too awful, here this time of night with witches and ghosts
a-fluttering around so. I feel as if something's behind me all the time;
and I'm afeard to turn around, becuz maybe there's others in front
a-waiting for a chance. I been creeping all over, ever since I got here."

"Well, I've been pretty much so, too, Huck. They most always put in a
dead man when they bury a treasure under a tree, to look out for it."

"Lordy!"

"Yes, they do. I've always heard that."

"Tom, I don't like to fool around much where there's dead people. A
body's bound to get into trouble with 'em, sure."

"I don't like to stir 'em up, either. S'pose this one here was to
stick his skull out and say something!"

"Don't Tom! It's awful."

"Well, it just is. Huck, I don't feel comfortable a bit."

"Say, Tom, let's give this place up, and try somewheres else."

"All right, I reckon we better."

"What'll it be?"

Tom considered awhile; and then said:

"The ha'nted house. That's it!"

"Blame it, I don't like ha'nted houses, Tom. Why, they're a dern sight
worse'n dead people. Dead people might talk, maybe, but they don't come
sliding around in a shroud, when you ain't noticing, and peep over your
shoulder all of a sudden and grit their teeth, the way a ghost does. I
couldn't stand such a thing as that, Tom--nobody could."

"Yes, but, Huck, ghosts don't travel around only at night. They won't
hender us from digging there in the daytime."

"Well, that's so. But you know mighty well people don't go about that
ha'nted house in the day nor the night."

"Well, that's mostly because they don't like to go where a man's been
murdered, anyway--but nothing's ever been seen around that house except
in the night--just some blue lights slipping by the windows--no regular
ghosts."

"Well, where you see one of them blue lights flickering around, Tom,
you can bet there's a ghost mighty close behind it. It stands to
reason. Becuz you know that they don't anybody but ghosts use 'em."

"Yes, that's so. But anyway they don't come around in the daytime, so
what's the use of our being afeard?"

"Well, all right. We'll tackle the ha'nted house if you say so--but I
reckon it's taking chances."

They had started down the hill by this time. There in the middle of
the moonlit valley below them stood the "ha'nted" house, utterly
isolated, its fences gone long ago, rank weeds smothering the very
doorsteps, the chimney crumbled to ruin, the window-sashes vacant, a
corner of the roof caved in. The boys gazed awhile, half expecting to
see a blue light flit past a window; then talking in a low tone, as
befitted the time and the circumstances, they struck far off to the
right, to give the haunted house a wide berth, and took their way
homeward through the woods that adorned the rearward side of Cardiff
Hill.



CHAPTER XXVI

ABOUT noon the next day the boys arrived at the dead tree; they had
come for their tools. Tom was impatient to go to the haunted house;
Huck was measurably so, also--but suddenly said:

"Lookyhere, Tom, do you know what day it is?"

Tom mentally ran over the days of the week, and then quickly lifted
his eyes with a startled look in them--

"My! I never once thought of it, Huck!"

"Well, I didn't neither, but all at once it popped onto me that it was
Friday."

"Blame it, a body can't be too careful, Huck. We might 'a' got into an
awful scrape, tackling such a thing on a Friday."

"MIGHT! Better say we WOULD! There's some lucky days, maybe, but
Friday ain't."

"Any fool knows that. I don't reckon YOU was the first that found it
out, Huck."

"Well, I never said I was, did I? And Friday ain't all, neither. I had
a rotten bad dream last night--dreampt about rats."

"No! Sure sign of trouble. Did they fight?"

"No."

"Well, that's good, Huck. When they don't fight it's only a sign that
there's trouble around, you know. All we got to do is to look mighty
sharp and keep out of it. We'll drop this thing for to-day, and play.
Do you know Robin Hood, Huck?"

"No. Who's Robin Hood?"

"Why, he was one of the greatest men that was ever in England--and the
best. He was a robber."

"Cracky, I wisht I was. Who did he rob?"

"Only sheriffs and bishops and rich people and kings, and such like.
But he never bothered the poor. He loved 'em. He always divided up with
'em perfectly square."

"Well, he must 'a' been a brick."

"I bet you he was, Huck. Oh, he was the noblest man that ever was.
They ain't any such men now, I can tell you. He could lick any man in
England, with one hand tied behind him; and he could take his yew bow
and plug a ten-cent piece every time, a mile and a half."

"What's a YEW bow?"

"I don't know. It's some kind of a bow, of course. And if he hit that
dime only on the edge he would set down and cry--and curse. But we'll
play Robin Hood--it's nobby fun. I'll learn you."

"I'm agreed."

So they played Robin Hood all the afternoon, now and then casting a
yearning eye down upon the haunted house and passing a remark about the
morrow's prospects and possibilities there. As the sun began to sink
into the west they took their way homeward athwart the long shadows of
the trees and soon were buried from sight in the forests of Cardiff
Hill.

On Saturday, shortly after noon, the boys were at the dead tree again.
They had a smoke and a chat in the shade, and then dug a little in
their last hole, not with great hope, but merely because Tom said there
were so many cases where people had given up a treasure after getting
down within six inches of it, and then somebody else had come along and
turned it up with a single thrust of a shovel. The thing failed this
time, however, so the boys shouldered their tools and went away feeling
that they had not trifled with fortune, but had fulfilled all the
requirements that belong to the business of treasure-hunting.

When they reached the haunted house there was something so weird and
grisly about the dead silence that reigned there under the baking sun,
and something so depressing about the loneliness and desolation of the
place, that they were afraid, for a moment, to venture in. Then they
crept to the door and took a trembling peep. They saw a weed-grown,
floorless room, unplastered, an ancient fireplace, vacant windows, a
ruinous staircase; and here, there, and everywhere hung ragged and
abandoned cobwebs. They presently entered, softly, with quickened
pulses, talking in whispers, ears alert to catch the slightest sound,
and muscles tense and ready for instant retreat.

In a little while familiarity modified their fears and they gave the
place a critical and interested examination, rather admiring their own
boldness, and wondering at it, too. Next they wanted to look up-stairs.
This was something like cutting off retreat, but they got to daring
each other, and of course there could be but one result--they threw
their tools into a corner and made the ascent. Up there were the same
signs of decay. In one corner they found a closet that promised
mystery, but the promise was a fraud--there was nothing in it. Their
courage was up now and well in hand. They were about to go down and
begin work when--

"Sh!" said Tom.

"What is it?" whispered Huck, blanching with fright.

"Sh! ... There! ... Hear it?"

"Yes! ... Oh, my! Let's run!"

"Keep still! Don't you budge! They're coming right toward the door."

The boys stretched themselves upon the floor with their eyes to
knot-holes in the planking, and lay waiting, in a misery of fear.

"They've stopped.... No--coming.... Here they are. Don't whisper
another word, Huck. My goodness, I wish I was out of this!"

Two men entered. Each boy said to himself: "There's the old deaf and
dumb Spaniard that's been about town once or twice lately--never saw
t'other man before."

"T'other" was a ragged, unkempt creature, with nothing very pleasant
in his face. The Spaniard was wrapped in a serape; he had bushy white
whiskers; long white hair flowed from under his sombrero, and he wore
green goggles. When they came in, "t'other" was talking in a low voice;
they sat down on the ground, facing the door, with their backs to the
wall, and the speaker continued his remarks. His manner became less
guarded and his words more distinct as he proceeded:

"No," said he, "I've thought it all over, and I don't like it. It's
dangerous."

"Dangerous!" grunted the "deaf and dumb" Spaniard--to the vast
surprise of the boys. "Milksop!"

This voice made the boys gasp and quake. It was Injun Joe's! There was
silence for some time. Then Joe said:

"What's any more dangerous than that job up yonder--but nothing's come
of it."

"That's different. Away up the river so, and not another house about.
'Twon't ever be known that we tried, anyway, long as we didn't succeed."

"Well, what's more dangerous than coming here in the daytime!--anybody
would suspicion us that saw us."

"I know that. But there warn't any other place as handy after that
fool of a job. I want to quit this shanty. I wanted to yesterday, only
it warn't any use trying to stir out of here, with those infernal boys
playing over there on the hill right in full view."

"Those infernal boys" quaked again under the inspiration of this
remark, and thought how lucky it was that they had remembered it was
Friday and concluded to wait a day. They wished in their hearts they
had waited a year.

The two men got out some food and made a luncheon. After a long and
thoughtful silence, Injun Joe said:

"Look here, lad--you go back up the river where you belong. Wait there
till you hear from me. I'll take the chances on dropping into this town
just once more, for a look. We'll do that 'dangerous' job after I've
spied around a little and think things look well for it. Then for
Texas! We'll leg it together!"

This was satisfactory. Both men presently fell to yawning, and Injun
Joe said:

"I'm dead for sleep! It's your turn to watch."

He curled down in the weeds and soon began to snore. His comrade
stirred him once or twice and he became quiet. Presently the watcher
began to nod; his head drooped lower and lower, both men began to snore
now.

The boys drew a long, grateful breath. Tom whispered:

"Now's our chance--come!"

Huck said:

"I can't--I'd die if they was to wake."

Tom urged--Huck held back. At last Tom rose slowly and softly, and
started alone. But the first step he made wrung such a hideous creak
from the crazy floor that he sank down almost dead with fright. He
never made a second attempt. The boys lay there counting the dragging
moments till it seemed to them that time must be done and eternity
growing gray; and then they were grateful to note that at last the sun
was setting.

Now one snore ceased. Injun Joe sat up, stared around--smiled grimly
upon his comrade, whose head was drooping upon his knees--stirred him
up with his foot and said:

"Here! YOU'RE a watchman, ain't you! All right, though--nothing's
happened."

"My! have I been asleep?"

"Oh, partly, partly. Nearly time for us to be moving, pard. What'll we
do with what little swag we've got left?"

"I don't know--leave it here as we've always done, I reckon. No use to
take it away till we start south. Six hundred and fifty in silver's
something to carry."

"Well--all right--it won't matter to come here once more."

"No--but I'd say come in the night as we used to do--it's better."

"Yes: but look here; it may be a good while before I get the right
chance at that job; accidents might happen; 'tain't in such a very good
place; we'll just regularly bury it--and bury it deep."

"Good idea," said the comrade, who walked across the room, knelt down,
raised one of the rearward hearth-stones and took out a bag that
jingled pleasantly. He subtracted from it twenty or thirty dollars for
himself and as much for Injun Joe, and passed the bag to the latter,
who was on his knees in the corner, now, digging with his bowie-knife.

The boys forgot all their fears, all their miseries in an instant.
With gloating eyes they watched every movement. Luck!--the splendor of
it was beyond all imagination! Six hundred dollars was money enough to
make half a dozen boys rich! Here was treasure-hunting under the
happiest auspices--there would not be any bothersome uncertainty as to
where to dig. They nudged each other every moment--eloquent nudges and
easily understood, for they simply meant--"Oh, but ain't you glad NOW
we're here!"

Joe's knife struck upon something.

"Hello!" said he.

"What is it?" said his comrade.

"Half-rotten plank--no, it's a box, I believe. Here--bear a hand and
we'll see what it's here for. Never mind, I've broke a hole."

He reached his hand in and drew it out--

"Man, it's money!"

The two men examined the handful of coins. They were gold. The boys
above were as excited as themselves, and as delighted.

Joe's comrade said:

"We'll make quick work of this. There's an old rusty pick over amongst
the weeds in the corner the other side of the fireplace--I saw it a
minute ago."

He ran and brought the boys' pick and shovel. Injun Joe took the pick,
looked it over critically, shook his head, muttered something to
himself, and then began to use it. The box was soon unearthed. It was
not very large; it was iron bound and had been very strong before the
slow years had injured it. The men contemplated the treasure awhile in
blissful silence.

"Pard, there's thousands of dollars here," said Injun Joe.

"'Twas always said that Murrel's gang used to be around here one
summer," the stranger observed.

"I know it," said Injun Joe; "and this looks like it, I should say."

"Now you won't need to do that job."

The half-breed frowned. Said he:

"You don't know me. Least you don't know all about that thing. 'Tain't
robbery altogether--it's REVENGE!" and a wicked light flamed in his
eyes. "I'll need your help in it. When it's finished--then Texas. Go
home to your Nance and your kids, and stand by till you hear from me."

"Well--if you say so; what'll we do with this--bury it again?"

"Yes. [Ravishing delight overhead.] NO! by the great Sachem, no!
[Profound distress overhead.] I'd nearly forgot. That pick had fresh
earth on it! [The boys were sick with terror in a moment.] What
business has a pick and a shovel here? What business with fresh earth
on them? Who brought them here--and where are they gone? Have you heard
anybody?--seen anybody? What! bury it again and leave them to come and
see the ground disturbed? Not exactly--not exactly. We'll take it to my
den."

"Why, of course! Might have thought of that before. You mean Number
One?"

"No--Number Two--under the cross. The other place is bad--too common."

"All right. It's nearly dark enough to start."

Injun Joe got up and went about from window to window cautiously
peeping out. Presently he said:

"Who could have brought those tools here? Do you reckon they can be
up-stairs?"

The boys' breath forsook them. Injun Joe put his hand on his knife,
halted a moment, undecided, and then turned toward the stairway. The
boys thought of the closet, but their strength was gone. The steps came
creaking up the stairs--the intolerable distress of the situation woke
the stricken resolution of the lads--they were about to spring for the
closet, when there was a crash of rotten timbers and Injun Joe landed
on the ground amid the debris of the ruined stairway. He gathered
himself up cursing, and his comrade said:

"Now what's the use of all that? If it's anybody, and they're up
there, let them STAY there--who cares? If they want to jump down, now,
and get into trouble, who objects? It will be dark in fifteen minutes
--and then let them follow us if they want to. I'm willing. In my
opinion, whoever hove those things in here caught a sight of us and
took us for ghosts or devils or something. I'll bet they're running
yet."

Joe grumbled awhile; then he agreed with his friend that what daylight
was left ought to be economized in getting things ready for leaving.
Shortly afterward they slipped out of the house in the deepening
twilight, and moved toward the river with their precious box.

Tom and Huck rose up, weak but vastly relieved, and stared after them
through the chinks between the logs of the house. Follow? Not they.
They were content to reach ground again without broken necks, and take
the townward track over the hill. They did not talk much. They were too
much absorbed in hating themselves--hating the ill luck that made them
take the spade and the pick there. But for that, Injun Joe never would
have suspected. He would have hidden the silver with the gold to wait
there till his "revenge" was satisfied, and then he would have had the
misfortune to find that money turn up missing. Bitter, bitter luck that
the tools were ever brought there!

They resolved to keep a lookout for that Spaniard when he should come
to town spying out for chances to do his revengeful job, and follow him
to "Number Two," wherever that might be. Then a ghastly thought
occurred to Tom.

"Revenge? What if he means US, Huck!"

"Oh, don't!" said Huck, nearly fainting.

They talked it all over, and as they entered town they agreed to
believe that he might possibly mean somebody else--at least that he
might at least mean nobody but Tom, since only Tom had testified.

Very, very small comfort it was to Tom to be alone in danger! Company
would be a palpable improvement, he thought.



CHAPTER XXVII

THE adventure of the day mightily tormented Tom's dreams that night.
Four times he had his hands on that rich treasure and four times it
wasted to nothingness in his fingers as sleep forsook him and
wakefulness brought back the hard reality of his misfortune. As he lay
in the early morning recalling the incidents of his great adventure, he
noticed that they seemed curiously subdued and far away--somewhat as if
they had happened in another world, or in a time long gone by. Then it
occurred to him that the great adventure itself must be a dream! There
was one very strong argument in favor of this idea--namely, that the
quantity of coin he had seen was too vast to be real. He had never seen
as much as fifty dollars in one mass before, and he was like all boys
of his age and station in life, in that he imagined that all references
to "hundreds" and "thousands" were mere fanciful forms of speech, and
that no such sums really existed in the world. He never had supposed
for a moment that so large a sum as a hundred dollars was to be found
in actual money in any one's possession. If his notions of hidden
treasure had been analyzed, they would have been found to consist of a
handful of real dimes and a bushel of vague, splendid, ungraspable
dollars.

But the incidents of his adventure grew sensibly sharper and clearer
under the attrition of thinking them over, and so he presently found
himself leaning to the impression that the thing might not have been a
dream, after all. This uncertainty must be swept away. He would snatch
a hurried breakfast and go and find Huck. Huck was sitting on the
gunwale of a flatboat, listlessly dangling his feet in the water and
looking very melancholy. Tom concluded to let Huck lead up to the
subject. If he did not do it, then the adventure would be proved to
have been only a dream.

"Hello, Huck!"

"Hello, yourself."

Silence, for a minute.

"Tom, if we'd 'a' left the blame tools at the dead tree, we'd 'a' got
the money. Oh, ain't it awful!"

"'Tain't a dream, then, 'tain't a dream! Somehow I most wish it was.
Dog'd if I don't, Huck."

"What ain't a dream?"

"Oh, that thing yesterday. I been half thinking it was."

"Dream! If them stairs hadn't broke down you'd 'a' seen how much dream
it was! I've had dreams enough all night--with that patch-eyed Spanish
devil going for me all through 'em--rot him!"

"No, not rot him. FIND him! Track the money!"

"Tom, we'll never find him. A feller don't have only one chance for
such a pile--and that one's lost. I'd feel mighty shaky if I was to see
him, anyway."

"Well, so'd I; but I'd like to see him, anyway--and track him out--to
his Number Two."

"Number Two--yes, that's it. I been thinking 'bout that. But I can't
make nothing out of it. What do you reckon it is?"

"I dono. It's too deep. Say, Huck--maybe it's the number of a house!"

"Goody! ... No, Tom, that ain't it. If it is, it ain't in this
one-horse town. They ain't no numbers here."

"Well, that's so. Lemme think a minute. Here--it's the number of a
room--in a tavern, you know!"

"Oh, that's the trick! They ain't only two taverns. We can find out
quick."

"You stay here, Huck, till I come."

Tom was off at once. He did not care to have Huck's company in public
places. He was gone half an hour. He found that in the best tavern, No.
2 had long been occupied by a young lawyer, and was still so occupied.
In the less ostentatious house, No. 2 was a mystery. The
tavern-keeper's young son said it was kept locked all the time, and he
never saw anybody go into it or come out of it except at night; he did
not know any particular reason for this state of things; had had some
little curiosity, but it was rather feeble; had made the most of the
mystery by entertaining himself with the idea that that room was
"ha'nted"; had noticed that there was a light in there the night before.

"That's what I've found out, Huck. I reckon that's the very No. 2
we're after."

"I reckon it is, Tom. Now what you going to do?"

"Lemme think."

Tom thought a long time. Then he said:

"I'll tell you. The back door of that No. 2 is the door that comes out
into that little close alley between the tavern and the old rattle trap
of a brick store. Now you get hold of all the door-keys you can find,
and I'll nip all of auntie's, and the first dark night we'll go there
and try 'em. And mind you, keep a lookout for Injun Joe, because he
said he was going to drop into town and spy around once more for a
chance to get his revenge. If you see him, you just follow him; and if
he don't go to that No. 2, that ain't the place."

"Lordy, I don't want to foller him by myself!"

"Why, it'll be night, sure. He mightn't ever see you--and if he did,
maybe he'd never think anything."

"Well, if it's pretty dark I reckon I'll track him. I dono--I dono.
I'll try."

"You bet I'll follow him, if it's dark, Huck. Why, he might 'a' found
out he couldn't get his revenge, and be going right after that money."

"It's so, Tom, it's so. I'll foller him; I will, by jingoes!"

"Now you're TALKING! Don't you ever weaken, Huck, and I won't."



CHAPTER XXVIII

THAT night Tom and Huck were ready for their adventure. They hung
about the neighborhood of the tavern until after nine, one watching the
alley at a distance and the other the tavern door. Nobody entered the
alley or left it; nobody resembling the Spaniard entered or left the
tavern door. The night promised to be a fair one; so Tom went home with
the understanding that if a considerable degree of darkness came on,
Huck was to come and "maow," whereupon he would slip out and try the
keys. But the night remained clear, and Huck closed his watch and
retired to bed in an empty sugar hogshead about twelve.

Tuesday the boys had the same ill luck. Also Wednesday. But Thursday
night promised better. Tom slipped out in good season with his aunt's
old tin lantern, and a large towel to blindfold it with. He hid the
lantern in Huck's sugar hogshead and the watch began. An hour before
midnight the tavern closed up and its lights (the only ones
thereabouts) were put out. No Spaniard had been seen. Nobody had
entered or left the alley. Everything was auspicious. The blackness of
darkness reigned, the perfect stillness was interrupted only by
occasional mutterings of distant thunder.

Tom got his lantern, lit it in the hogshead, wrapped it closely in the
towel, and the two adventurers crept in the gloom toward the tavern.
Huck stood sentry and Tom felt his way into the alley. Then there was a
season of waiting anxiety that weighed upon Huck's spirits like a
mountain. He began to wish he could see a flash from the lantern--it
would frighten him, but it would at least tell him that Tom was alive
yet. It seemed hours since Tom had disappeared. Surely he must have
fainted; maybe he was dead; maybe his heart had burst under terror and
excitement. In his uneasiness Huck found himself drawing closer and
closer to the alley; fearing all sorts of dreadful things, and
momentarily expecting some catastrophe to happen that would take away
his breath. There was not much to take away, for he seemed only able to
inhale it by thimblefuls, and his heart would soon wear itself out, the
way it was beating. Suddenly there was a flash of light and Tom came
tearing by him: "Run!" said he; "run, for your life!"

He needn't have repeated it; once was enough; Huck was making thirty
or forty miles an hour before the repetition was uttered. The boys
never stopped till they reached the shed of a deserted slaughter-house
at the lower end of the village. Just as they got within its shelter
the storm burst and the rain poured down. As soon as Tom got his breath
he said:

"Huck, it was awful! I tried two of the keys, just as soft as I could;
but they seemed to make such a power of racket that I couldn't hardly
get my breath I was so scared. They wouldn't turn in the lock, either.
Well, without noticing what I was doing, I took hold of the knob, and
open comes the door! It warn't locked! I hopped in, and shook off the
towel, and, GREAT CAESAR'S GHOST!"

"What!--what'd you see, Tom?"

"Huck, I most stepped onto Injun Joe's hand!"

"No!"

"Yes! He was lying there, sound asleep on the floor, with his old
patch on his eye and his arms spread out."

"Lordy, what did you do? Did he wake up?"

"No, never budged. Drunk, I reckon. I just grabbed that towel and
started!"

"I'd never 'a' thought of the towel, I bet!"

"Well, I would. My aunt would make me mighty sick if I lost it."

"Say, Tom, did you see that box?"

"Huck, I didn't wait to look around. I didn't see the box, I didn't
see the cross. I didn't see anything but a bottle and a tin cup on the
floor by Injun Joe; yes, I saw two barrels and lots more bottles in the
room. Don't you see, now, what's the matter with that ha'nted room?"

"How?"

"Why, it's ha'nted with whiskey! Maybe ALL the Temperance Taverns have
got a ha'nted room, hey, Huck?"

"Well, I reckon maybe that's so. Who'd 'a' thought such a thing? But
say, Tom, now's a mighty good time to get that box, if Injun Joe's
drunk."

"It is, that! You try it!"

Huck shuddered.

"Well, no--I reckon not."

"And I reckon not, Huck. Only one bottle alongside of Injun Joe ain't
enough. If there'd been three, he'd be drunk enough and I'd do it."

There was a long pause for reflection, and then Tom said:

"Lookyhere, Huck, less not try that thing any more till we know Injun
Joe's not in there. It's too scary. Now, if we watch every night, we'll
be dead sure to see him go out, some time or other, and then we'll
snatch that box quicker'n lightning."

"Well, I'm agreed. I'll watch the whole night long, and I'll do it
every night, too, if you'll do the other part of the job."

"All right, I will. All you got to do is to trot up Hooper Street a
block and maow--and if I'm asleep, you throw some gravel at the window
and that'll fetch me."

"Agreed, and good as wheat!"

"Now, Huck, the storm's over, and I'll go home. It'll begin to be
daylight in a couple of hours. You go back and watch that long, will
you?"

"I said I would, Tom, and I will. I'll ha'nt that tavern every night
for a year! I'll sleep all day and I'll stand watch all night."

"That's all right. Now, where you going to sleep?"

"In Ben Rogers' hayloft. He lets me, and so does his pap's nigger man,
Uncle Jake. I tote water for Uncle Jake whenever he wants me to, and
any time I ask him he gives me a little something to eat if he can
spare it. That's a mighty good nigger, Tom. He likes me, becuz I don't
ever act as if I was above him. Sometime I've set right down and eat
WITH him. But you needn't tell that. A body's got to do things when
he's awful hungry he wouldn't want to do as a steady thing."

"Well, if I don't want you in the daytime, I'll let you sleep. I won't
come bothering around. Any time you see something's up, in the night,
just skip right around and maow."



CHAPTER XXIX

THE first thing Tom heard on Friday morning was a glad piece of news
--Judge Thatcher's family had come back to town the night before. Both
Injun Joe and the treasure sunk into secondary importance for a moment,
and Becky took the chief place in the boy's interest. He saw her and
they had an exhausting good time playing "hi-spy" and "gully-keeper"
with a crowd of their school-mates. The day was completed and crowned
in a peculiarly satisfactory way: Becky teased her mother to appoint
the next day for the long-promised and long-delayed picnic, and she
consented. The child's delight was boundless; and Tom's not more
moderate. The invitations were sent out before sunset, and straightway
the young folks of the village were thrown into a fever of preparation
and pleasurable anticipation. Tom's excitement enabled him to keep
awake until a pretty late hour, and he had good hopes of hearing Huck's
"maow," and of having his treasure to astonish Becky and the picnickers
with, next day; but he was disappointed. No signal came that night.

Morning came, eventually, and by ten or eleven o'clock a giddy and
rollicking company were gathered at Judge Thatcher's, and everything
was ready for a start. It was not the custom for elderly people to mar
the picnics with their presence. The children were considered safe
enough under the wings of a few young ladies of eighteen and a few
young gentlemen of twenty-three or thereabouts. The old steam ferryboat
was chartered for the occasion; presently the gay throng filed up the
main street laden with provision-baskets. Sid was sick and had to miss
the fun; Mary remained at home to entertain him. The last thing Mrs.
Thatcher said to Becky, was:

"You'll not get back till late. Perhaps you'd better stay all night
with some of the girls that live near the ferry-landing, child."

"Then I'll stay with Susy Harper, mamma."

"Very well. And mind and behave yourself and don't be any trouble."

Presently, as they tripped along, Tom said to Becky:

"Say--I'll tell you what we'll do. 'Stead of going to Joe Harper's
we'll climb right up the hill and stop at the Widow Douglas'. She'll
have ice-cream! She has it most every day--dead loads of it. And she'll
be awful glad to have us."

"Oh, that will be fun!"

Then Becky reflected a moment and said:

"But what will mamma say?"

"How'll she ever know?"

The girl turned the idea over in her mind, and said reluctantly:

"I reckon it's wrong--but--"

"But shucks! Your mother won't know, and so what's the harm? All she
wants is that you'll be safe; and I bet you she'd 'a' said go there if
she'd 'a' thought of it. I know she would!"

The Widow Douglas' splendid hospitality was a tempting bait. It and
Tom's persuasions presently carried the day. So it was decided to say
nothing anybody about the night's programme. Presently it occurred to
Tom that maybe Huck might come this very night and give the signal. The
thought took a deal of the spirit out of his anticipations. Still he
could not bear to give up the fun at Widow Douglas'. And why should he
give it up, he reasoned--the signal did not come the night before, so
why should it be any more likely to come to-night? The sure fun of the
evening outweighed the uncertain treasure; and, boy-like, he determined
to yield to the stronger inclination and not allow himself to think of
the box of money another time that day.

Three miles below town the ferryboat stopped at the mouth of a woody
hollow and tied up. The crowd swarmed ashore and soon the forest
distances and craggy heights echoed far and near with shoutings and
laughter. All the different ways of getting hot and tired were gone
through with, and by-and-by the rovers straggled back to camp fortified
with responsible appetites, and then the destruction of the good things
began. After the feast there was a refreshing season of rest and chat
in the shade of spreading oaks. By-and-by somebody shouted:

"Who's ready for the cave?"

Everybody was. Bundles of candles were procured, and straightway there
was a general scamper up the hill. The mouth of the cave was up the
hillside--an opening shaped like a letter A. Its massive oaken door
stood unbarred. Within was a small chamber, chilly as an ice-house, and
walled by Nature with solid limestone that was dewy with a cold sweat.
It was romantic and mysterious to stand here in the deep gloom and look
out upon the green valley shining in the sun. But the impressiveness of
the situation quickly wore off, and the romping began again. The moment
a candle was lighted there was a general rush upon the owner of it; a
struggle and a gallant defence followed, but the candle was soon
knocked down or blown out, and then there was a glad clamor of laughter
and a new chase. But all things have an end. By-and-by the procession
went filing down the steep descent of the main avenue, the flickering
rank of lights dimly revealing the lofty walls of rock almost to their
point of junction sixty feet overhead. This main avenue was not more
than eight or ten feet wide. Every few steps other lofty and still
narrower crevices branched from it on either hand--for McDougal's cave
was but a vast labyrinth of crooked aisles that ran into each other and
out again and led nowhere. It was said that one might wander days and
nights together through its intricate tangle of rifts and chasms, and
never find the end of the cave; and that he might go down, and down,
and still down, into the earth, and it was just the same--labyrinth
under labyrinth, and no end to any of them. No man "knew" the cave.
That was an impossible thing. Most of the young men knew a portion of
it, and it was not customary to venture much beyond this known portion.
Tom Sawyer knew as much of the cave as any one.

The procession moved along the main avenue some three-quarters of a
mile, and then groups and couples began to slip aside into branch
avenues, fly along the dismal corridors, and take each other by
surprise at points where the corridors joined again. Parties were able
to elude each other for the space of half an hour without going beyond
the "known" ground.

By-and-by, one group after another came straggling back to the mouth
of the cave, panting, hilarious, smeared from head to foot with tallow
drippings, daubed with clay, and entirely delighted with the success of
the day. Then they were astonished to find that they had been taking no
note of time and that night was about at hand. The clanging bell had
been calling for half an hour. However, this sort of close to the day's
adventures was romantic and therefore satisfactory. When the ferryboat
with her wild freight pushed into the stream, nobody cared sixpence for
the wasted time but the captain of the craft.

Huck was already upon his watch when the ferryboat's lights went
glinting past the wharf. He heard no noise on board, for the young
people were as subdued and still as people usually are who are nearly
tired to death. He wondered what boat it was, and why she did not stop
at the wharf--and then he dropped her out of his mind and put his
attention upon his business. The night was growing cloudy and dark. Ten
o'clock came, and the noise of vehicles ceased, scattered lights began
to wink out, all straggling foot-passengers disappeared, the village
betook itself to its slumbers and left the small watcher alone with the
silence and the ghosts. Eleven o'clock came, and the tavern lights were
put out; darkness everywhere, now. Huck waited what seemed a weary long
time, but nothing happened. His faith was weakening. Was there any use?
Was there really any use? Why not give it up and turn in?

A noise fell upon his ear. He was all attention in an instant. The
alley door closed softly. He sprang to the corner of the brick store.
The next moment two men brushed by him, and one seemed to have
something under his arm. It must be that box! So they were going to
remove the treasure. Why call Tom now? It would be absurd--the men
would get away with the box and never be found again. No, he would
stick to their wake and follow them; he would trust to the darkness for
security from discovery. So communing with himself, Huck stepped out
and glided along behind the men, cat-like, with bare feet, allowing
them to keep just far enough ahead not to be invisible.

They moved up the river street three blocks, then turned to the left
up a cross-street. They went straight ahead, then, until they came to
the path that led up Cardiff Hill; this they took. They passed by the
old Welshman's house, half-way up the hill, without hesitating, and
still climbed upward. Good, thought Huck, they will bury it in the old
quarry. But they never stopped at the quarry. They passed on, up the
summit. They plunged into the narrow path between the tall sumach
bushes, and were at once hidden in the gloom. Huck closed up and
shortened his distance, now, for they would never be able to see him.
He trotted along awhile; then slackened his pace, fearing he was
gaining too fast; moved on a piece, then stopped altogether; listened;
no sound; none, save that he seemed to hear the beating of his own
heart. The hooting of an owl came over the hill--ominous sound! But no
footsteps. Heavens, was everything lost! He was about to spring with
winged feet, when a man cleared his throat not four feet from him!
Huck's heart shot into his throat, but he swallowed it again; and then
he stood there shaking as if a dozen agues had taken charge of him at
once, and so weak that he thought he must surely fall to the ground. He
knew where he was. He knew he was within five steps of the stile
leading into Widow Douglas' grounds. Very well, he thought, let them
bury it there; it won't be hard to find.

Now there was a voice--a very low voice--Injun Joe's:

"Damn her, maybe she's got company--there's lights, late as it is."

"I can't see any."

This was that stranger's voice--the stranger of the haunted house. A
deadly chill went to Huck's heart--this, then, was the "revenge" job!
His thought was, to fly. Then he remembered that the Widow Douglas had
been kind to him more than once, and maybe these men were going to
murder her. He wished he dared venture to warn her; but he knew he
didn't dare--they might come and catch him. He thought all this and
more in the moment that elapsed between the stranger's remark and Injun
Joe's next--which was--

"Because the bush is in your way. Now--this way--now you see, don't
you?"

"Yes. Well, there IS company there, I reckon. Better give it up."

"Give it up, and I just leaving this country forever! Give it up and
maybe never have another chance. I tell you again, as I've told you
before, I don't care for her swag--you may have it. But her husband was
rough on me--many times he was rough on me--and mainly he was the
justice of the peace that jugged me for a vagrant. And that ain't all.
It ain't a millionth part of it! He had me HORSEWHIPPED!--horsewhipped
in front of the jail, like a nigger!--with all the town looking on!
HORSEWHIPPED!--do you understand? He took advantage of me and died. But
I'll take it out of HER."

"Oh, don't kill her! Don't do that!"

"Kill? Who said anything about killing? I would kill HIM if he was
here; but not her. When you want to get revenge on a woman you don't
kill her--bosh! you go for her looks. You slit her nostrils--you notch
her ears like a sow!"

"By God, that's--"

"Keep your opinion to yourself! It will be safest for you. I'll tie
her to the bed. If she bleeds to death, is that my fault? I'll not cry,
if she does. My friend, you'll help me in this thing--for MY sake
--that's why you're here--I mightn't be able alone. If you flinch, I'll
kill you. Do you understand that? And if I have to kill you, I'll kill
her--and then I reckon nobody'll ever know much about who done this
business."

"Well, if it's got to be done, let's get at it. The quicker the
better--I'm all in a shiver."

"Do it NOW? And company there? Look here--I'll get suspicious of you,
first thing you know. No--we'll wait till the lights are out--there's
no hurry."

Huck felt that a silence was going to ensue--a thing still more awful
than any amount of murderous talk; so he held his breath and stepped
gingerly back; planted his foot carefully and firmly, after balancing,
one-legged, in a precarious way and almost toppling over, first on one
side and then on the other. He took another step back, with the same
elaboration and the same risks; then another and another, and--a twig
snapped under his foot! His breath stopped and he listened. There was
no sound--the stillness was perfect. His gratitude was measureless. Now
he turned in his tracks, between the walls of sumach bushes--turned
himself as carefully as if he were a ship--and then stepped quickly but
cautiously along. When he emerged at the quarry he felt secure, and so
he picked up his nimble heels and flew. Down, down he sped, till he
reached the Welshman's. He banged at the door, and presently the heads
of the old man and his two stalwart sons were thrust from windows.

"What's the row there? Who's banging? What do you want?"

"Let me in--quick! I'll tell everything."

"Why, who are you?"

"Huckleberry Finn--quick, let me in!"

"Huckleberry Finn, indeed! It ain't a name to open many doors, I
judge! But let him in, lads, and let's see what's the trouble."

"Please don't ever tell I told you," were Huck's first words when he
got in. "Please don't--I'd be killed, sure--but the widow's been good
friends to me sometimes, and I want to tell--I WILL tell if you'll
promise you won't ever say it was me."

"By George, he HAS got something to tell, or he wouldn't act so!"
exclaimed the old man; "out with it and nobody here'll ever tell, lad."

Three minutes later the old man and his sons, well armed, were up the
hill, and just entering the sumach path on tiptoe, their weapons in
their hands. Huck accompanied them no further. He hid behind a great
bowlder and fell to listening. There was a lagging, anxious silence,
and then all of a sudden there was an explosion of firearms and a cry.

Huck waited for no particulars. He sprang away and sped down the hill
as fast as his legs could carry him.



CHAPTER XXX

AS the earliest suspicion of dawn appeared on Sunday morning, Huck
came groping up the hill and rapped gently at the old Welshman's door.
The inmates were asleep, but it was a sleep that was set on a
hair-trigger, on account of the exciting episode of the night. A call
came from a window:

"Who's there!"

Huck's scared voice answered in a low tone:

"Please let me in! It's only Huck Finn!"

"It's a name that can open this door night or day, lad!--and welcome!"

These were strange words to the vagabond boy's ears, and the
pleasantest he had ever heard. He could not recollect that the closing
word had ever been applied in his case before. The door was quickly
unlocked, and he entered. Huck was given a seat and the old man and his
brace of tall sons speedily dressed themselves.

"Now, my boy, I hope you're good and hungry, because breakfast will be
ready as soon as the sun's up, and we'll have a piping hot one, too
--make yourself easy about that! I and the boys hoped you'd turn up and
stop here last night."

"I was awful scared," said Huck, "and I run. I took out when the
pistols went off, and I didn't stop for three mile. I've come now becuz
I wanted to know about it, you know; and I come before daylight becuz I
didn't want to run across them devils, even if they was dead."

"Well, poor chap, you do look as if you'd had a hard night of it--but
there's a bed here for you when you've had your breakfast. No, they
ain't dead, lad--we are sorry enough for that. You see we knew right
where to put our hands on them, by your description; so we crept along
on tiptoe till we got within fifteen feet of them--dark as a cellar
that sumach path was--and just then I found I was going to sneeze. It
was the meanest kind of luck! I tried to keep it back, but no use
--'twas bound to come, and it did come! I was in the lead with my pistol
raised, and when the sneeze started those scoundrels a-rustling to get
out of the path, I sung out, 'Fire boys!' and blazed away at the place
where the rustling was. So did the boys. But they were off in a jiffy,
those villains, and we after them, down through the woods. I judge we
never touched them. They fired a shot apiece as they started, but their
bullets whizzed by and didn't do us any harm. As soon as we lost the
sound of their feet we quit chasing, and went down and stirred up the
constables. They got a posse together, and went off to guard the river
bank, and as soon as it is light the sheriff and a gang are going to
beat up the woods. My boys will be with them presently. I wish we had
some sort of description of those rascals--'twould help a good deal.
But you couldn't see what they were like, in the dark, lad, I suppose?"

"Oh yes; I saw them down-town and follered them."

"Splendid! Describe them--describe them, my boy!"

"One's the old deaf and dumb Spaniard that's ben around here once or
twice, and t'other's a mean-looking, ragged--"

"That's enough, lad, we know the men! Happened on them in the woods
back of the widow's one day, and they slunk away. Off with you, boys,
and tell the sheriff--get your breakfast to-morrow morning!"

The Welshman's sons departed at once. As they were leaving the room
Huck sprang up and exclaimed:

"Oh, please don't tell ANYbody it was me that blowed on them! Oh,
please!"

"All right if you say it, Huck, but you ought to have the credit of
what you did."

"Oh no, no! Please don't tell!"

When the young men were gone, the old Welshman said:

"They won't tell--and I won't. But why don't you want it known?"

Huck would not explain, further than to say that he already knew too
much about one of those men and would not have the man know that he
knew anything against him for the whole world--he would be killed for
knowing it, sure.

The old man promised secrecy once more, and said:

"How did you come to follow these fellows, lad? Were they looking
suspicious?"

Huck was silent while he framed a duly cautious reply. Then he said:

"Well, you see, I'm a kind of a hard lot,--least everybody says so,
and I don't see nothing agin it--and sometimes I can't sleep much, on
account of thinking about it and sort of trying to strike out a new way
of doing. That was the way of it last night. I couldn't sleep, and so I
come along up-street 'bout midnight, a-turning it all over, and when I
got to that old shackly brick store by the Temperance Tavern, I backed
up agin the wall to have another think. Well, just then along comes
these two chaps slipping along close by me, with something under their
arm, and I reckoned they'd stole it. One was a-smoking, and t'other one
wanted a light; so they stopped right before me and the cigars lit up
their faces and I see that the big one was the deaf and dumb Spaniard,
by his white whiskers and the patch on his eye, and t'other one was a
rusty, ragged-looking devil."

"Could you see the rags by the light of the cigars?"

This staggered Huck for a moment. Then he said:

"Well, I don't know--but somehow it seems as if I did."

"Then they went on, and you--"

"Follered 'em--yes. That was it. I wanted to see what was up--they
sneaked along so. I dogged 'em to the widder's stile, and stood in the
dark and heard the ragged one beg for the widder, and the Spaniard
swear he'd spile her looks just as I told you and your two--"

"What! The DEAF AND DUMB man said all that!"

Huck had made another terrible mistake! He was trying his best to keep
the old man from getting the faintest hint of who the Spaniard might
be, and yet his tongue seemed determined to get him into trouble in
spite of all he could do. He made several efforts to creep out of his
scrape, but the old man's eye was upon him and he made blunder after
blunder. Presently the Welshman said:

"My boy, don't be afraid of me. I wouldn't hurt a hair of your head
for all the world. No--I'd protect you--I'd protect you. This Spaniard
is not deaf and dumb; you've let that slip without intending it; you
can't cover that up now. You know something about that Spaniard that
you want to keep dark. Now trust me--tell me what it is, and trust me
--I won't betray you."

Huck looked into the old man's honest eyes a moment, then bent over
and whispered in his ear:

"'Tain't a Spaniard--it's Injun Joe!"

The Welshman almost jumped out of his chair. In a moment he said:

"It's all plain enough, now. When you talked about notching ears and
slitting noses I judged that that was your own embellishment, because
white men don't take that sort of revenge. But an Injun! That's a
different matter altogether."

During breakfast the talk went on, and in the course of it the old man
said that the last thing which he and his sons had done, before going
to bed, was to get a lantern and examine the stile and its vicinity for
marks of blood. They found none, but captured a bulky bundle of--

"Of WHAT?"

If the words had been lightning they could not have leaped with a more
stunning suddenness from Huck's blanched lips. His eyes were staring
wide, now, and his breath suspended--waiting for the answer. The
Welshman started--stared in return--three seconds--five seconds--ten
--then replied:

"Of burglar's tools. Why, what's the MATTER with you?"

Huck sank back, panting gently, but deeply, unutterably grateful. The
Welshman eyed him gravely, curiously--and presently said:

"Yes, burglar's tools. That appears to relieve you a good deal. But
what did give you that turn? What were YOU expecting we'd found?"

Huck was in a close place--the inquiring eye was upon him--he would
have given anything for material for a plausible answer--nothing
suggested itself--the inquiring eye was boring deeper and deeper--a
senseless reply offered--there was no time to weigh it, so at a venture
he uttered it--feebly:

"Sunday-school books, maybe."

Poor Huck was too distressed to smile, but the old man laughed loud
and joyously, shook up the details of his anatomy from head to foot,
and ended by saying that such a laugh was money in a-man's pocket,
because it cut down the doctor's bill like everything. Then he added:

"Poor old chap, you're white and jaded--you ain't well a bit--no
wonder you're a little flighty and off your balance. But you'll come
out of it. Rest and sleep will fetch you out all right, I hope."

Huck was irritated to think he had been such a goose and betrayed such
a suspicious excitement, for he had dropped the idea that the parcel
brought from the tavern was the treasure, as soon as he had heard the
talk at the widow's stile. He had only thought it was not the treasure,
however--he had not known that it wasn't--and so the suggestion of a
captured bundle was too much for his self-possession. But on the whole
he felt glad the little episode had happened, for now he knew beyond
all question that that bundle was not THE bundle, and so his mind was
at rest and exceedingly comfortable. In fact, everything seemed to be
drifting just in the right direction, now; the treasure must be still
in No. 2, the men would be captured and jailed that day, and he and Tom
could seize the gold that night without any trouble or any fear of
interruption.

Just as breakfast was completed there was a knock at the door. Huck
jumped for a hiding-place, for he had no mind to be connected even
remotely with the late event. The Welshman admitted several ladies and
gentlemen, among them the Widow Douglas, and noticed that groups of
citizens were climbing up the hill--to stare at the stile. So the news
had spread. The Welshman had to tell the story of the night to the
visitors. The widow's gratitude for her preservation was outspoken.

"Don't say a word about it, madam. There's another that you're more
beholden to than you are to me and my boys, maybe, but he don't allow
me to tell his name. We wouldn't have been there but for him."

Of course this excited a curiosity so vast that it almost belittled
the main matter--but the Welshman allowed it to eat into the vitals of
his visitors, and through them be transmitted to the whole town, for he
refused to part with his secret. When all else had been learned, the
widow said:

"I went to sleep reading in bed and slept straight through all that
noise. Why didn't you come and wake me?"

"We judged it warn't worth while. Those fellows warn't likely to come
again--they hadn't any tools left to work with, and what was the use of
waking you up and scaring you to death? My three negro men stood guard
at your house all the rest of the night. They've just come back."

More visitors came, and the story had to be told and retold for a
couple of hours more.

There was no Sabbath-school during day-school vacation, but everybody
was early at church. The stirring event was well canvassed. News came
that not a sign of the two villains had been yet discovered. When the
sermon was finished, Judge Thatcher's wife dropped alongside of Mrs.
Harper as she moved down the aisle with the crowd and said:

"Is my Becky going to sleep all day? I just expected she would be
tired to death."

"Your Becky?"

"Yes," with a startled look--"didn't she stay with you last night?"

"Why, no."

Mrs. Thatcher turned pale, and sank into a pew, just as Aunt Polly,
talking briskly with a friend, passed by. Aunt Polly said:

"Good-morning, Mrs. Thatcher. Good-morning, Mrs. Harper. I've got a
boy that's turned up missing. I reckon my Tom stayed at your house last
night--one of you. And now he's afraid to come to church. I've got to
settle with him."

Mrs. Thatcher shook her head feebly and turned paler than ever.

"He didn't stay with us," said Mrs. Harper, beginning to look uneasy.
A marked anxiety came into Aunt Polly's face.

"Joe Harper, have you seen my Tom this morning?"

"No'm."

"When did you see him last?"

Joe tried to remember, but was not sure he could say. The people had
stopped moving out of church. Whispers passed along, and a boding
uneasiness took possession of every countenance. Children were
anxiously questioned, and young teachers. They all said they had not
noticed whether Tom and Becky were on board the ferryboat on the
homeward trip; it was dark; no one thought of inquiring if any one was
missing. One young man finally blurted out his fear that they were
still in the cave! Mrs. Thatcher swooned away. Aunt Polly fell to
crying and wringing her hands.

The alarm swept from lip to lip, from group to group, from street to
street, and within five minutes the bells were wildly clanging and the
whole town was up! The Cardiff Hill episode sank into instant
insignificance, the burglars were forgotten, horses were saddled,
skiffs were manned, the ferryboat ordered out, and before the horror
was half an hour old, two hundred men were pouring down highroad and
river toward the cave.

All the long afternoon the village seemed empty and dead. Many women
visited Aunt Polly and Mrs. Thatcher and tried to comfort them. They
cried with them, too, and that was still better than words. All the
tedious night the town waited for news; but when the morning dawned at
last, all the word that came was, "Send more candles--and send food."
Mrs. Thatcher was almost crazed; and Aunt Polly, also. Judge Thatcher
sent messages of hope and encouragement from the cave, but they
conveyed no real cheer.

The old Welshman came home toward daylight, spattered with
candle-grease, smeared with clay, and almost worn out. He found Huck
still in the bed that had been provided for him, and delirious with
fever. The physicians were all at the cave, so the Widow Douglas came
and took charge of the patient. She said she would do her best by him,
because, whether he was good, bad, or indifferent, he was the Lord's,
and nothing that was the Lord's was a thing to be neglected. The
Welshman said Huck had good spots in him, and the widow said:

"You can depend on it. That's the Lord's mark. He don't leave it off.
He never does. Puts it somewhere on every creature that comes from his
hands."

Early in the forenoon parties of jaded men began to straggle into the
village, but the strongest of the citizens continued searching. All the
news that could be gained was that remotenesses of the cavern were
being ransacked that had never been visited before; that every corner
and crevice was going to be thoroughly searched; that wherever one
wandered through the maze of passages, lights were to be seen flitting
hither and thither in the distance, and shoutings and pistol-shots sent
their hollow reverberations to the ear down the sombre aisles. In one
place, far from the section usually traversed by tourists, the names
"BECKY & TOM" had been found traced upon the rocky wall with
candle-smoke, and near at hand a grease-soiled bit of ribbon. Mrs.
Thatcher recognized the ribbon and cried over it. She said it was the
last relic she should ever have of her child; and that no other memorial
of her could ever be so precious, because this one parted latest from
the living body before the awful death came. Some said that now and
then, in the cave, a far-away speck of light would glimmer, and then a
glorious shout would burst forth and a score of men go trooping down the
echoing aisle--and then a sickening disappointment always followed; the
children were not there; it was only a searcher's light.

Three dreadful days and nights dragged their tedious hours along, and
the village sank into a hopeless stupor. No one had heart for anything.
The accidental discovery, just made, that the proprietor of the
Temperance Tavern kept liquor on his premises, scarcely fluttered the
public pulse, tremendous as the fact was. In a lucid interval, Huck
feebly led up to the subject of taverns, and finally asked--dimly
dreading the worst--if anything had been discovered at the Temperance
Tavern since he had been ill.

"Yes," said the widow.

Huck started up in bed, wild-eyed:

"What? What was it?"

"Liquor!--and the place has been shut up. Lie down, child--what a turn
you did give me!"

"Only tell me just one thing--only just one--please! Was it Tom Sawyer
that found it?"

The widow burst into tears. "Hush, hush, child, hush! I've told you
before, you must NOT talk. You are very, very sick!"

Then nothing but liquor had been found; there would have been a great
powwow if it had been the gold. So the treasure was gone forever--gone
forever! But what could she be crying about? Curious that she should
cry.

These thoughts worked their dim way through Huck's mind, and under the
weariness they gave him he fell asleep. The widow said to herself:

"There--he's asleep, poor wreck. Tom Sawyer find it! Pity but somebody
could find Tom Sawyer! Ah, there ain't many left, now, that's got hope
enough, or strength enough, either, to go on searching."



CHAPTER XXXI

NOW to return to Tom and Becky's share in the picnic. They tripped
along the murky aisles with the rest of the company, visiting the
familiar wonders of the cave--wonders dubbed with rather
over-descriptive names, such as "The Drawing-Room," "The Cathedral,"
"Aladdin's Palace," and so on. Presently the hide-and-seek frolicking
began, and Tom and Becky engaged in it with zeal until the exertion
began to grow a trifle wearisome; then they wandered down a sinuous
avenue holding their candles aloft and reading the tangled web-work of
names, dates, post-office addresses, and mottoes with which the rocky
walls had been frescoed (in candle-smoke). Still drifting along and
talking, they scarcely noticed that they were now in a part of the cave
whose walls were not frescoed. They smoked their own names under an
overhanging shelf and moved on. Presently they came to a place where a
little stream of water, trickling over a ledge and carrying a limestone
sediment with it, had, in the slow-dragging ages, formed a laced and
ruffled Niagara in gleaming and imperishable stone. Tom squeezed his
small body behind it in order to illuminate it for Becky's
gratification. He found that it curtained a sort of steep natural
stairway which was enclosed between narrow walls, and at once the
ambition to be a discoverer seized him. Becky responded to his call,
and they made a smoke-mark for future guidance, and started upon their
quest. They wound this way and that, far down into the secret depths of
the cave, made another mark, and branched off in search of novelties to
tell the upper world about. In one place they found a spacious cavern,
from whose ceiling depended a multitude of shining stalactites of the
length and circumference of a man's leg; they walked all about it,
wondering and admiring, and presently left it by one of the numerous
passages that opened into it. This shortly brought them to a bewitching
spring, whose basin was incrusted with a frostwork of glittering
crystals; it was in the midst of a cavern whose walls were supported by
many fantastic pillars which had been formed by the joining of great
stalactites and stalagmites together, the result of the ceaseless
water-drip of centuries. Under the roof vast knots of bats had packed
themselves together, thousands in a bunch; the lights disturbed the
creatures and they came flocking down by hundreds, squeaking and
darting furiously at the candles. Tom knew their ways and the danger of
this sort of conduct. He seized Becky's hand and hurried her into the
first corridor that offered; and none too soon, for a bat struck
Becky's light out with its wing while she was passing out of the
cavern. The bats chased the children a good distance; but the fugitives
plunged into every new passage that offered, and at last got rid of the
perilous things. Tom found a subterranean lake, shortly, which
stretched its dim length away until its shape was lost in the shadows.
He wanted to explore its borders, but concluded that it would be best
to sit down and rest awhile, first. Now, for the first time, the deep
stillness of the place laid a clammy hand upon the spirits of the
children. Becky said:

"Why, I didn't notice, but it seems ever so long since I heard any of
the others."

"Come to think, Becky, we are away down below them--and I don't know
how far away north, or south, or east, or whichever it is. We couldn't
hear them here."

Becky grew apprehensive.

"I wonder how long we've been down here, Tom? We better start back."

"Yes, I reckon we better. P'raps we better."

"Can you find the way, Tom? It's all a mixed-up crookedness to me."

"I reckon I could find it--but then the bats. If they put our candles
out it will be an awful fix. Let's try some other way, so as not to go
through there."

"Well. But I hope we won't get lost. It would be so awful!" and the
girl shuddered at the thought of the dreadful possibilities.

They started through a corridor, and traversed it in silence a long
way, glancing at each new opening, to see if there was anything
familiar about the look of it; but they were all strange. Every time
Tom made an examination, Becky would watch his face for an encouraging
sign, and he would say cheerily:

"Oh, it's all right. This ain't the one, but we'll come to it right
away!"

But he felt less and less hopeful with each failure, and presently
began to turn off into diverging avenues at sheer random, in desperate
hope of finding the one that was wanted. He still said it was "all
right," but there was such a leaden dread at his heart that the words
had lost their ring and sounded just as if he had said, "All is lost!"
Becky clung to his side in an anguish of fear, and tried hard to keep
back the tears, but they would come. At last she said:

"Oh, Tom, never mind the bats, let's go back that way! We seem to get
worse and worse off all the time."

"Listen!" said he.

Profound silence; silence so deep that even their breathings were
conspicuous in the hush. Tom shouted. The call went echoing down the
empty aisles and died out in the distance in a faint sound that
resembled a ripple of mocking laughter.

"Oh, don't do it again, Tom, it is too horrid," said Becky.

"It is horrid, but I better, Becky; they might hear us, you know," and
he shouted again.

The "might" was even a chillier horror than the ghostly laughter, it
so confessed a perishing hope. The children stood still and listened;
but there was no result. Tom turned upon the back track at once, and
hurried his steps. It was but a little while before a certain
indecision in his manner revealed another fearful fact to Becky--he
could not find his way back!

"Oh, Tom, you didn't make any marks!"

"Becky, I was such a fool! Such a fool! I never thought we might want
to come back! No--I can't find the way. It's all mixed up."

"Tom, Tom, we're lost! we're lost! We never can get out of this awful
place! Oh, why DID we ever leave the others!"

She sank to the ground and burst into such a frenzy of crying that Tom
was appalled with the idea that she might die, or lose her reason. He
sat down by her and put his arms around her; she buried her face in his
bosom, she clung to him, she poured out her terrors, her unavailing
regrets, and the far echoes turned them all to jeering laughter. Tom
begged her to pluck up hope again, and she said she could not. He fell
to blaming and abusing himself for getting her into this miserable
situation; this had a better effect. She said she would try to hope
again, she would get up and follow wherever he might lead if only he
would not talk like that any more. For he was no more to blame than
she, she said.

So they moved on again--aimlessly--simply at random--all they could do
was to move, keep moving. For a little while, hope made a show of
reviving--not with any reason to back it, but only because it is its
nature to revive when the spring has not been taken out of it by age
and familiarity with failure.

By-and-by Tom took Becky's candle and blew it out. This economy meant
so much! Words were not needed. Becky understood, and her hope died
again. She knew that Tom had a whole candle and three or four pieces in
his pockets--yet he must economize.

By-and-by, fatigue began to assert its claims; the children tried to
pay attention, for it was dreadful to think of sitting down when time
was grown to be so precious, moving, in some direction, in any
direction, was at least progress and might bear fruit; but to sit down
was to invite death and shorten its pursuit.

At last Becky's frail limbs refused to carry her farther. She sat
down. Tom rested with her, and they talked of home, and the friends
there, and the comfortable beds and, above all, the light! Becky cried,
and Tom tried to think of some way of comforting her, but all his
encouragements were grown threadbare with use, and sounded like
sarcasms. Fatigue bore so heavily upon Becky that she drowsed off to
sleep. Tom was grateful. He sat looking into her drawn face and saw it
grow smooth and natural under the influence of pleasant dreams; and
by-and-by a smile dawned and rested there. The peaceful face reflected
somewhat of peace and healing into his own spirit, and his thoughts
wandered away to bygone times and dreamy memories. While he was deep in
his musings, Becky woke up with a breezy little laugh--but it was
stricken dead upon her lips, and a groan followed it.

"Oh, how COULD I sleep! I wish I never, never had waked! No! No, I
don't, Tom! Don't look so! I won't say it again."

"I'm glad you've slept, Becky; you'll feel rested, now, and we'll find
the way out."

"We can try, Tom; but I've seen such a beautiful country in my dream.
I reckon we are going there."

"Maybe not, maybe not. Cheer up, Becky, and let's go on trying."

They rose up and wandered along, hand in hand and hopeless. They tried
to estimate how long they had been in the cave, but all they knew was
that it seemed days and weeks, and yet it was plain that this could not
be, for their candles were not gone yet. A long time after this--they
could not tell how long--Tom said they must go softly and listen for
dripping water--they must find a spring. They found one presently, and
Tom said it was time to rest again. Both were cruelly tired, yet Becky
said she thought she could go a little farther. She was surprised to
hear Tom dissent. She could not understand it. They sat down, and Tom
fastened his candle to the wall in front of them with some clay.
Thought was soon busy; nothing was said for some time. Then Becky broke
the silence:

"Tom, I am so hungry!"

Tom took something out of his pocket.

"Do you remember this?" said he.

Becky almost smiled.

"It's our wedding-cake, Tom."

"Yes--I wish it was as big as a barrel, for it's all we've got."

"I saved it from the picnic for us to dream on, Tom, the way grown-up
people do with wedding-cake--but it'll be our--"

She dropped the sentence where it was. Tom divided the cake and Becky
ate with good appetite, while Tom nibbled at his moiety. There was
abundance of cold water to finish the feast with. By-and-by Becky
suggested that they move on again. Tom was silent a moment. Then he
said:

"Becky, can you bear it if I tell you something?"

Becky's face paled, but she thought she could.

"Well, then, Becky, we must stay here, where there's water to drink.
That little piece is our last candle!"

Becky gave loose to tears and wailings. Tom did what he could to
comfort her, but with little effect. At length Becky said:

"Tom!"

"Well, Becky?"

"They'll miss us and hunt for us!"

"Yes, they will! Certainly they will!"

"Maybe they're hunting for us now, Tom."

"Why, I reckon maybe they are. I hope they are."

"When would they miss us, Tom?"

"When they get back to the boat, I reckon."

"Tom, it might be dark then--would they notice we hadn't come?"

"I don't know. But anyway, your mother would miss you as soon as they
got home."

A frightened look in Becky's face brought Tom to his senses and he saw
that he had made a blunder. Becky was not to have gone home that night!
The children became silent and thoughtful. In a moment a new burst of
grief from Becky showed Tom that the thing in his mind had struck hers
also--that the Sabbath morning might be half spent before Mrs. Thatcher
discovered that Becky was not at Mrs. Harper's.

The children fastened their eyes upon their bit of candle and watched
it melt slowly and pitilessly away; saw the half inch of wick stand
alone at last; saw the feeble flame rise and fall, climb the thin
column of smoke, linger at its top a moment, and then--the horror of
utter darkness reigned!

How long afterward it was that Becky came to a slow consciousness that
she was crying in Tom's arms, neither could tell. All that they knew
was, that after what seemed a mighty stretch of time, both awoke out of
a dead stupor of sleep and resumed their miseries once more. Tom said
it might be Sunday, now--maybe Monday. He tried to get Becky to talk,
but her sorrows were too oppressive, all her hopes were gone. Tom said
that they must have been missed long ago, and no doubt the search was
going on. He would shout and maybe some one would come. He tried it;
but in the darkness the distant echoes sounded so hideously that he
tried it no more.

The hours wasted away, and hunger came to torment the captives again.
A portion of Tom's half of the cake was left; they divided and ate it.
But they seemed hungrier than before. The poor morsel of food only
whetted desire.

By-and-by Tom said:

"SH! Did you hear that?"

Both held their breath and listened. There was a sound like the
faintest, far-off shout. Instantly Tom answered it, and leading Becky
by the hand, started groping down the corridor in its direction.
Presently he listened again; again the sound was heard, and apparently
a little nearer.

"It's them!" said Tom; "they're coming! Come along, Becky--we're all
right now!"

The joy of the prisoners was almost overwhelming. Their speed was
slow, however, because pitfalls were somewhat common, and had to be
guarded against. They shortly came to one and had to stop. It might be
three feet deep, it might be a hundred--there was no passing it at any
rate. Tom got down on his breast and reached as far down as he could.
No bottom. They must stay there and wait until the searchers came. They
listened; evidently the distant shoutings were growing more distant! a
moment or two more and they had gone altogether. The heart-sinking
misery of it! Tom whooped until he was hoarse, but it was of no use. He
talked hopefully to Becky; but an age of anxious waiting passed and no
sounds came again.

The children groped their way back to the spring. The weary time
dragged on; they slept again, and awoke famished and woe-stricken. Tom
believed it must be Tuesday by this time.

Now an idea struck him. There were some side passages near at hand. It
would be better to explore some of these than bear the weight of the
heavy time in idleness. He took a kite-line from his pocket, tied it to
a projection, and he and Becky started, Tom in the lead, unwinding the
line as he groped along. At the end of twenty steps the corridor ended
in a "jumping-off place." Tom got down on his knees and felt below, and
then as far around the corner as he could reach with his hands
conveniently; he made an effort to stretch yet a little farther to the
right, and at that moment, not twenty yards away, a human hand, holding
a candle, appeared from behind a rock! Tom lifted up a glorious shout,
and instantly that hand was followed by the body it belonged to--Injun
Joe's! Tom was paralyzed; he could not move. He was vastly gratified
the next moment, to see the "Spaniard" take to his heels and get
himself out of sight. Tom wondered that Joe had not recognized his
voice and come over and killed him for testifying in court. But the
echoes must have disguised the voice. Without doubt, that was it, he
reasoned. Tom's fright weakened every muscle in his body. He said to
himself that if he had strength enough to get back to the spring he
would stay there, and nothing should tempt him to run the risk of
meeting Injun Joe again. He was careful to keep from Becky what it was
he had seen. He told her he had only shouted "for luck."

But hunger and wretchedness rise superior to fears in the long run.
Another tedious wait at the spring and another long sleep brought
changes. The children awoke tortured with a raging hunger. Tom believed
that it must be Wednesday or Thursday or even Friday or Saturday, now,
and that the search had been given over. He proposed to explore another
passage. He felt willing to risk Injun Joe and all other terrors. But
Becky was very weak. She had sunk into a dreary apathy and would not be
roused. She said she would wait, now, where she was, and die--it would
not be long. She told Tom to go with the kite-line and explore if he
chose; but she implored him to come back every little while and speak
to her; and she made him promise that when the awful time came, he
would stay by her and hold her hand until all was over.

Tom kissed her, with a choking sensation in his throat, and made a
show of being confident of finding the searchers or an escape from the
cave; then he took the kite-line in his hand and went groping down one
of the passages on his hands and knees, distressed with hunger and sick
with bodings of coming doom.



CHAPTER XXXII

TUESDAY afternoon came, and waned to the twilight. The village of St.
Petersburg still mourned. The lost children had not been found. Public
prayers had been offered up for them, and many and many a private
prayer that had the petitioner's whole heart in it; but still no good
news came from the cave. The majority of the searchers had given up the
quest and gone back to their daily avocations, saying that it was plain
the children could never be found. Mrs. Thatcher was very ill, and a
great part of the time delirious. People said it was heartbreaking to
hear her call her child, and raise her head and listen a whole minute
at a time, then lay it wearily down again with a moan. Aunt Polly had
drooped into a settled melancholy, and her gray hair had grown almost
white. The village went to its rest on Tuesday night, sad and forlorn.

Away in the middle of the night a wild peal burst from the village
bells, and in a moment the streets were swarming with frantic half-clad
people, who shouted, "Turn out! turn out! they're found! they're
found!" Tin pans and horns were added to the din, the population massed
itself and moved toward the river, met the children coming in an open
carriage drawn by shouting citizens, thronged around it, joined its
homeward march, and swept magnificently up the main street roaring
huzzah after huzzah!

The village was illuminated; nobody went to bed again; it was the
greatest night the little town had ever seen. During the first half-hour
a procession of villagers filed through Judge Thatcher's house, seized
the saved ones and kissed them, squeezed Mrs. Thatcher's hand, tried to
speak but couldn't--and drifted out raining tears all over the place.

Aunt Polly's happiness was complete, and Mrs. Thatcher's nearly so. It
would be complete, however, as soon as the messenger dispatched with
the great news to the cave should get the word to her husband. Tom lay
upon a sofa with an eager auditory about him and told the history of
the wonderful adventure, putting in many striking additions to adorn it
withal; and closed with a description of how he left Becky and went on
an exploring expedition; how he followed two avenues as far as his
kite-line would reach; how he followed a third to the fullest stretch of
the kite-line, and was about to turn back when he glimpsed a far-off
speck that looked like daylight; dropped the line and groped toward it,
pushed his head and shoulders through a small hole, and saw the broad
Mississippi rolling by! And if it had only happened to be night he would
not have seen that speck of daylight and would not have explored that
passage any more! He told how he went back for Becky and broke the good
news and she told him not to fret her with such stuff, for she was
tired, and knew she was going to die, and wanted to. He described how he
labored with her and convinced her; and how she almost died for joy when
she had groped to where she actually saw the blue speck of daylight; how
he pushed his way out at the hole and then helped her out; how they sat
there and cried for gladness; how some men came along in a skiff and Tom
hailed them and told them their situation and their famished condition;
how the men didn't believe the wild tale at first, "because," said they,
"you are five miles down the river below the valley the cave is in"
--then took them aboard, rowed to a house, gave them supper, made them
rest till two or three hours after dark and then brought them home.

Before day-dawn, Judge Thatcher and the handful of searchers with him
were tracked out, in the cave, by the twine clews they had strung
behind them, and informed of the great news.

Three days and nights of toil and hunger in the cave were not to be
shaken off at once, as Tom and Becky soon discovered. They were
bedridden all of Wednesday and Thursday, and seemed to grow more and
more tired and worn, all the time. Tom got about, a little, on
Thursday, was down-town Friday, and nearly as whole as ever Saturday;
but Becky did not leave her room until Sunday, and then she looked as
if she had passed through a wasting illness.

Tom learned of Huck's sickness and went to see him on Friday, but
could not be admitted to the bedroom; neither could he on Saturday or
Sunday. He was admitted daily after that, but was warned to keep still
about his adventure and introduce no exciting topic. The Widow Douglas
stayed by to see that he obeyed. At home Tom learned of the Cardiff
Hill event; also that the "ragged man's" body had eventually been found
in the river near the ferry-landing; he had been drowned while trying
to escape, perhaps.

About a fortnight after Tom's rescue from the cave, he started off to
visit Huck, who had grown plenty strong enough, now, to hear exciting
talk, and Tom had some that would interest him, he thought. Judge
Thatcher's house was on Tom's way, and he stopped to see Becky. The
Judge and some friends set Tom to talking, and some one asked him
ironically if he wouldn't like to go to the cave again. Tom said he
thought he wouldn't mind it. The Judge said:

"Well, there are others just like you, Tom, I've not the least doubt.
But we have taken care of that. Nobody will get lost in that cave any
more."

"Why?"

"Because I had its big door sheathed with boiler iron two weeks ago,
and triple-locked--and I've got the keys."

Tom turned as white as a sheet.

"What's the matter, boy! Here, run, somebody! Fetch a glass of water!"

The water was brought and thrown into Tom's face.

"Ah, now you're all right. What was the matter with you, Tom?"

"Oh, Judge, Injun Joe's in the cave!"



CHAPTER XXXIII

WITHIN a few minutes the news had spread, and a dozen skiff-loads of
men were on their way to McDougal's cave, and the ferryboat, well
filled with passengers, soon followed. Tom Sawyer was in the skiff that
bore Judge Thatcher.

When the cave door was unlocked, a sorrowful sight presented itself in
the dim twilight of the place. Injun Joe lay stretched upon the ground,
dead, with his face close to the crack of the door, as if his longing
eyes had been fixed, to the latest moment, upon the light and the cheer
of the free world outside. Tom was touched, for he knew by his own
experience how this wretch had suffered. His pity was moved, but
nevertheless he felt an abounding sense of relief and security, now,
which revealed to him in a degree which he had not fully appreciated
before how vast a weight of dread had been lying upon him since the day
he lifted his voice against this bloody-minded outcast.

Injun Joe's bowie-knife lay close by, its blade broken in two. The
great foundation-beam of the door had been chipped and hacked through,
with tedious labor; useless labor, too, it was, for the native rock
formed a sill outside it, and upon that stubborn material the knife had
wrought no effect; the only damage done was to the knife itself. But if
there had been no stony obstruction there the labor would have been
useless still, for if the beam had been wholly cut away Injun Joe could
not have squeezed his body under the door, and he knew it. So he had
only hacked that place in order to be doing something--in order to pass
the weary time--in order to employ his tortured faculties. Ordinarily
one could find half a dozen bits of candle stuck around in the crevices
of this vestibule, left there by tourists; but there were none now. The
prisoner had searched them out and eaten them. He had also contrived to
catch a few bats, and these, also, he had eaten, leaving only their
claws. The poor unfortunate had starved to death. In one place, near at
hand, a stalagmite had been slowly growing up from the ground for ages,
builded by the water-drip from a stalactite overhead. The captive had
broken off the stalagmite, and upon the stump had placed a stone,
wherein he had scooped a shallow hollow to catch the precious drop
that fell once in every three minutes with the dreary regularity of a
clock-tick--a dessertspoonful once in four and twenty hours. That drop
was falling when the Pyramids were new; when Troy fell; when the
foundations of Rome were laid when Christ was crucified; when the
Conqueror created the British empire; when Columbus sailed; when the
massacre at Lexington was "news." It is falling now; it will still be
falling when all these things shall have sunk down the afternoon of
history, and the twilight of tradition, and been swallowed up in the
thick night of oblivion. Has everything a purpose and a mission? Did
this drop fall patiently during five thousand years to be ready for
this flitting human insect's need? and has it another important object
to accomplish ten thousand years to come? No matter. It is many and
many a year since the hapless half-breed scooped out the stone to catch
the priceless drops, but to this day the tourist stares longest at that
pathetic stone and that slow-dropping water when he comes to see the
wonders of McDougal's cave. Injun Joe's cup stands first in the list of
the cavern's marvels; even "Aladdin's Palace" cannot rival it.

Injun Joe was buried near the mouth of the cave; and people flocked
there in boats and wagons from the towns and from all the farms and
hamlets for seven miles around; they brought their children, and all
sorts of provisions, and confessed that they had had almost as
satisfactory a time at the funeral as they could have had at the
hanging.

This funeral stopped the further growth of one thing--the petition to
the governor for Injun Joe's pardon. The petition had been largely
signed; many tearful and eloquent meetings had been held, and a
committee of sappy women been appointed to go in deep mourning and wail
around the governor, and implore him to be a merciful ass and trample
his duty under foot. Injun Joe was believed to have killed five
citizens of the village, but what of that? If he had been Satan himself
there would have been plenty of weaklings ready to scribble their names
to a pardon-petition, and drip a tear on it from their permanently
impaired and leaky water-works.

The morning after the funeral Tom took Huck to a private place to have
an important talk. Huck had learned all about Tom's adventure from the
Welshman and the Widow Douglas, by this time, but Tom said he reckoned
there was one thing they had not told him; that thing was what he
wanted to talk about now. Huck's face saddened. He said:

"I know what it is. You got into No. 2 and never found anything but
whiskey. Nobody told me it was you; but I just knowed it must 'a' ben
you, soon as I heard 'bout that whiskey business; and I knowed you
hadn't got the money becuz you'd 'a' got at me some way or other and
told me even if you was mum to everybody else. Tom, something's always
told me we'd never get holt of that swag."

"Why, Huck, I never told on that tavern-keeper. YOU know his tavern
was all right the Saturday I went to the picnic. Don't you remember you
was to watch there that night?"

"Oh yes! Why, it seems 'bout a year ago. It was that very night that I
follered Injun Joe to the widder's."

"YOU followed him?"

"Yes--but you keep mum. I reckon Injun Joe's left friends behind him,
and I don't want 'em souring on me and doing me mean tricks. If it
hadn't ben for me he'd be down in Texas now, all right."

Then Huck told his entire adventure in confidence to Tom, who had only
heard of the Welshman's part of it before.

"Well," said Huck, presently, coming back to the main question,
"whoever nipped the whiskey in No. 2, nipped the money, too, I reckon
--anyways it's a goner for us, Tom."

"Huck, that money wasn't ever in No. 2!"

"What!" Huck searched his comrade's face keenly. "Tom, have you got on
the track of that money again?"

"Huck, it's in the cave!"

Huck's eyes blazed.

"Say it again, Tom."

"The money's in the cave!"

"Tom--honest injun, now--is it fun, or earnest?"

"Earnest, Huck--just as earnest as ever I was in my life. Will you go
in there with me and help get it out?"

"I bet I will! I will if it's where we can blaze our way to it and not
get lost."

"Huck, we can do that without the least little bit of trouble in the
world."

"Good as wheat! What makes you think the money's--"

"Huck, you just wait till we get in there. If we don't find it I'll
agree to give you my drum and every thing I've got in the world. I
will, by jings."

"All right--it's a whiz. When do you say?"

"Right now, if you say it. Are you strong enough?"

"Is it far in the cave? I ben on my pins a little, three or four days,
now, but I can't walk more'n a mile, Tom--least I don't think I could."

"It's about five mile into there the way anybody but me would go,
Huck, but there's a mighty short cut that they don't anybody but me
know about. Huck, I'll take you right to it in a skiff. I'll float the
skiff down there, and I'll pull it back again all by myself. You
needn't ever turn your hand over."

"Less start right off, Tom."

"All right. We want some bread and meat, and our pipes, and a little
bag or two, and two or three kite-strings, and some of these
new-fangled things they call lucifer matches. I tell you, many's
the time I wished I had some when I was in there before."

A trifle after noon the boys borrowed a small skiff from a citizen who
was absent, and got under way at once. When they were several miles
below "Cave Hollow," Tom said:

"Now you see this bluff here looks all alike all the way down from the
cave hollow--no houses, no wood-yards, bushes all alike. But do you see
that white place up yonder where there's been a landslide? Well, that's
one of my marks. We'll get ashore, now."

They landed.

"Now, Huck, where we're a-standing you could touch that hole I got out
of with a fishing-pole. See if you can find it."

Huck searched all the place about, and found nothing. Tom proudly
marched into a thick clump of sumach bushes and said:

"Here you are! Look at it, Huck; it's the snuggest hole in this
country. You just keep mum about it. All along I've been wanting to be
a robber, but I knew I'd got to have a thing like this, and where to
run across it was the bother. We've got it now, and we'll keep it
quiet, only we'll let Joe Harper and Ben Rogers in--because of course
there's got to be a Gang, or else there wouldn't be any style about it.
Tom Sawyer's Gang--it sounds splendid, don't it, Huck?"

"Well, it just does, Tom. And who'll we rob?"

"Oh, most anybody. Waylay people--that's mostly the way."

"And kill them?"

"No, not always. Hive them in the cave till they raise a ransom."

"What's a ransom?"

"Money. You make them raise all they can, off'n their friends; and
after you've kept them a year, if it ain't raised then you kill them.
That's the general way. Only you don't kill the women. You shut up the
women, but you don't kill them. They're always beautiful and rich, and
awfully scared. You take their watches and things, but you always take
your hat off and talk polite. They ain't anybody as polite as robbers
--you'll see that in any book. Well, the women get to loving you, and
after they've been in the cave a week or two weeks they stop crying and
after that you couldn't get them to leave. If you drove them out they'd
turn right around and come back. It's so in all the books."

"Why, it's real bully, Tom. I believe it's better'n to be a pirate."

"Yes, it's better in some ways, because it's close to home and
circuses and all that."

By this time everything was ready and the boys entered the hole, Tom
in the lead. They toiled their way to the farther end of the tunnel,
then made their spliced kite-strings fast and moved on. A few steps
brought them to the spring, and Tom felt a shudder quiver all through
him. He showed Huck the fragment of candle-wick perched on a lump of
clay against the wall, and described how he and Becky had watched the
flame struggle and expire.

The boys began to quiet down to whispers, now, for the stillness and
gloom of the place oppressed their spirits. They went on, and presently
entered and followed Tom's other corridor until they reached the
"jumping-off place." The candles revealed the fact that it was not
really a precipice, but only a steep clay hill twenty or thirty feet
high. Tom whispered:

"Now I'll show you something, Huck."

He held his candle aloft and said:

"Look as far around the corner as you can. Do you see that? There--on
the big rock over yonder--done with candle-smoke."

"Tom, it's a CROSS!"

"NOW where's your Number Two? 'UNDER THE CROSS,' hey? Right yonder's
where I saw Injun Joe poke up his candle, Huck!"

Huck stared at the mystic sign awhile, and then said with a shaky voice:

"Tom, less git out of here!"

"What! and leave the treasure?"

"Yes--leave it. Injun Joe's ghost is round about there, certain."

"No it ain't, Huck, no it ain't. It would ha'nt the place where he
died--away out at the mouth of the cave--five mile from here."

"No, Tom, it wouldn't. It would hang round the money. I know the ways
of ghosts, and so do you."

Tom began to fear that Huck was right. Misgivings gathered in his
mind. But presently an idea occurred to him--

"Lookyhere, Huck, what fools we're making of ourselves! Injun Joe's
ghost ain't a going to come around where there's a cross!"

The point was well taken. It had its effect.

"Tom, I didn't think of that. But that's so. It's luck for us, that
cross is. I reckon we'll climb down there and have a hunt for that box."

Tom went first, cutting rude steps in the clay hill as he descended.
Huck followed. Four avenues opened out of the small cavern which the
great rock stood in. The boys examined three of them with no result.
They found a small recess in the one nearest the base of the rock, with
a pallet of blankets spread down in it; also an old suspender, some
bacon rind, and the well-gnawed bones of two or three fowls. But there
was no money-box. The lads searched and researched this place, but in
vain. Tom said:

"He said UNDER the cross. Well, this comes nearest to being under the
cross. It can't be under the rock itself, because that sets solid on
the ground."

They searched everywhere once more, and then sat down discouraged.
Huck could suggest nothing. By-and-by Tom said:

"Lookyhere, Huck, there's footprints and some candle-grease on the
clay about one side of this rock, but not on the other sides. Now,
what's that for? I bet you the money IS under the rock. I'm going to
dig in the clay."

"That ain't no bad notion, Tom!" said Huck with animation.

Tom's "real Barlow" was out at once, and he had not dug four inches
before he struck wood.

"Hey, Huck!--you hear that?"

Huck began to dig and scratch now. Some boards were soon uncovered and
removed. They had concealed a natural chasm which led under the rock.
Tom got into this and held his candle as far under the rock as he
could, but said he could not see to the end of the rift. He proposed to
explore. He stooped and passed under; the narrow way descended
gradually. He followed its winding course, first to the right, then to
the left, Huck at his heels. Tom turned a short curve, by-and-by, and
exclaimed:

"My goodness, Huck, lookyhere!"

It was the treasure-box, sure enough, occupying a snug little cavern,
along with an empty powder-keg, a couple of guns in leather cases, two
or three pairs of old moccasins, a leather belt, and some other rubbish
well soaked with the water-drip.

"Got it at last!" said Huck, ploughing among the tarnished coins with
his hand. "My, but we're rich, Tom!"

"Huck, I always reckoned we'd get it. It's just too good to believe,
but we HAVE got it, sure! Say--let's not fool around here. Let's snake
it out. Lemme see if I can lift the box."

It weighed about fifty pounds. Tom could lift it, after an awkward
fashion, but could not carry it conveniently.

"I thought so," he said; "THEY carried it like it was heavy, that day
at the ha'nted house. I noticed that. I reckon I was right to think of
fetching the little bags along."

The money was soon in the bags and the boys took it up to the cross
rock.

"Now less fetch the guns and things," said Huck.

"No, Huck--leave them there. They're just the tricks to have when we
go to robbing. We'll keep them there all the time, and we'll hold our
orgies there, too. It's an awful snug place for orgies."

"What orgies?"

"I dono. But robbers always have orgies, and of course we've got to
have them, too. Come along, Huck, we've been in here a long time. It's
getting late, I reckon. I'm hungry, too. We'll eat and smoke when we
get to the skiff."

They presently emerged into the clump of sumach bushes, looked warily
out, found the coast clear, and were soon lunching and smoking in the
skiff. As the sun dipped toward the horizon they pushed out and got
under way. Tom skimmed up the shore through the long twilight, chatting
cheerily with Huck, and landed shortly after dark.

"Now, Huck," said Tom, "we'll hide the money in the loft of the
widow's woodshed, and I'll come up in the morning and we'll count it
and divide, and then we'll hunt up a place out in the woods for it
where it will be safe. Just you lay quiet here and watch the stuff till
I run and hook Benny Taylor's little wagon; I won't be gone a minute."

He disappeared, and presently returned with the wagon, put the two
small sacks into it, threw some old rags on top of them, and started
off, dragging his cargo behind him. When the boys reached the
Welshman's house, they stopped to rest. Just as they were about to move
on, the Welshman stepped out and said:

"Hallo, who's that?"

"Huck and Tom Sawyer."

"Good! Come along with me, boys, you are keeping everybody waiting.
Here--hurry up, trot ahead--I'll haul the wagon for you. Why, it's not
as light as it might be. Got bricks in it?--or old metal?"

"Old metal," said Tom.

"I judged so; the boys in this town will take more trouble and fool
away more time hunting up six bits' worth of old iron to sell to the
foundry than they would to make twice the money at regular work. But
that's human nature--hurry along, hurry along!"

The boys wanted to know what the hurry was about.

"Never mind; you'll see, when we get to the Widow Douglas'."

Huck said with some apprehension--for he was long used to being
falsely accused:

"Mr. Jones, we haven't been doing nothing."

The Welshman laughed.

"Well, I don't know, Huck, my boy. I don't know about that. Ain't you
and the widow good friends?"

"Yes. Well, she's ben good friends to me, anyway."

"All right, then. What do you want to be afraid for?"

This question was not entirely answered in Huck's slow mind before he
found himself pushed, along with Tom, into Mrs. Douglas' drawing-room.
Mr. Jones left the wagon near the door and followed.

The place was grandly lighted, and everybody that was of any
consequence in the village was there. The Thatchers were there, the
Harpers, the Rogerses, Aunt Polly, Sid, Mary, the minister, the editor,
and a great many more, and all dressed in their best. The widow
received the boys as heartily as any one could well receive two such
looking beings. They were covered with clay and candle-grease. Aunt
Polly blushed crimson with humiliation, and frowned and shook her head
at Tom. Nobody suffered half as much as the two boys did, however. Mr.
Jones said:

"Tom wasn't at home, yet, so I gave him up; but I stumbled on him and
Huck right at my door, and so I just brought them along in a hurry."

"And you did just right," said the widow. "Come with me, boys."

She took them to a bedchamber and said:

"Now wash and dress yourselves. Here are two new suits of clothes
--shirts, socks, everything complete. They're Huck's--no, no thanks,
Huck--Mr. Jones bought one and I the other. But they'll fit both of you.
Get into them. We'll wait--come down when you are slicked up enough."

Then she left.



CHAPTER XXXIV

HUCK said: "Tom, we can slope, if we can find a rope. The window ain't
high from the ground."

"Shucks! what do you want to slope for?"

"Well, I ain't used to that kind of a crowd. I can't stand it. I ain't
going down there, Tom."

"Oh, bother! It ain't anything. I don't mind it a bit. I'll take care
of you."

Sid appeared.

"Tom," said he, "auntie has been waiting for you all the afternoon.
Mary got your Sunday clothes ready, and everybody's been fretting about
you. Say--ain't this grease and clay, on your clothes?"

"Now, Mr. Siddy, you jist 'tend to your own business. What's all this
blow-out about, anyway?"

"It's one of the widow's parties that she's always having. This time
it's for the Welshman and his sons, on account of that scrape they
helped her out of the other night. And say--I can tell you something,
if you want to know."

"Well, what?"

"Why, old Mr. Jones is going to try to spring something on the people
here to-night, but I overheard him tell auntie to-day about it, as a
secret, but I reckon it's not much of a secret now. Everybody knows
--the widow, too, for all she tries to let on she don't. Mr. Jones was
bound Huck should be here--couldn't get along with his grand secret
without Huck, you know!"

"Secret about what, Sid?"

"About Huck tracking the robbers to the widow's. I reckon Mr. Jones
was going to make a grand time over his surprise, but I bet you it will
drop pretty flat."

Sid chuckled in a very contented and satisfied way.

"Sid, was it you that told?"

"Oh, never mind who it was. SOMEBODY told--that's enough."

"Sid, there's only one person in this town mean enough to do that, and
that's you. If you had been in Huck's place you'd 'a' sneaked down the
hill and never told anybody on the robbers. You can't do any but mean
things, and you can't bear to see anybody praised for doing good ones.
There--no thanks, as the widow says"--and Tom cuffed Sid's ears and
helped him to the door with several kicks. "Now go and tell auntie if
you dare--and to-morrow you'll catch it!"

Some minutes later the widow's guests were at the supper-table, and a
dozen children were propped up at little side-tables in the same room,
after the fashion of that country and that day. At the proper time Mr.
Jones made his little speech, in which he thanked the widow for the
honor she was doing himself and his sons, but said that there was
another person whose modesty--

And so forth and so on. He sprung his secret about Huck's share in the
adventure in the finest dramatic manner he was master of, but the
surprise it occasioned was largely counterfeit and not as clamorous and
effusive as it might have been under happier circumstances. However,
the widow made a pretty fair show of astonishment, and heaped so many
compliments and so much gratitude upon Huck that he almost forgot the
nearly intolerable discomfort of his new clothes in the entirely
intolerable discomfort of being set up as a target for everybody's gaze
and everybody's laudations.

The widow said she meant to give Huck a home under her roof and have
him educated; and that when she could spare the money she would start
him in business in a modest way. Tom's chance was come. He said:

"Huck don't need it. Huck's rich."

Nothing but a heavy strain upon the good manners of the company kept
back the due and proper complimentary laugh at this pleasant joke. But
the silence was a little awkward. Tom broke it:

"Huck's got money. Maybe you don't believe it, but he's got lots of
it. Oh, you needn't smile--I reckon I can show you. You just wait a
minute."

Tom ran out of doors. The company looked at each other with a
perplexed interest--and inquiringly at Huck, who was tongue-tied.

"Sid, what ails Tom?" said Aunt Polly. "He--well, there ain't ever any
making of that boy out. I never--"

Tom entered, struggling with the weight of his sacks, and Aunt Polly
did not finish her sentence. Tom poured the mass of yellow coin upon
the table and said:

"There--what did I tell you? Half of it's Huck's and half of it's mine!"

The spectacle took the general breath away. All gazed, nobody spoke
for a moment. Then there was a unanimous call for an explanation. Tom
said he could furnish it, and he did. The tale was long, but brimful of
interest. There was scarcely an interruption from any one to break the
charm of its flow. When he had finished, Mr. Jones said:

"I thought I had fixed up a little surprise for this occasion, but it
don't amount to anything now. This one makes it sing mighty small, I'm
willing to allow."

The money was counted. The sum amounted to a little over twelve
thousand dollars. It was more than any one present had ever seen at one
time before, though several persons were there who were worth
considerably more than that in property.



CHAPTER XXXV

THE reader may rest satisfied that Tom's and Huck's windfall made a
mighty stir in the poor little village of St. Petersburg. So vast a
sum, all in actual cash, seemed next to incredible. It was talked
about, gloated over, glorified, until the reason of many of the
citizens tottered under the strain of the unhealthy excitement. Every
"haunted" house in St. Petersburg and the neighboring villages was
dissected, plank by plank, and its foundations dug up and ransacked for
hidden treasure--and not by boys, but men--pretty grave, unromantic
men, too, some of them. Wherever Tom and Huck appeared they were
courted, admired, stared at. The boys were not able to remember that
their remarks had possessed weight before; but now their sayings were
treasured and repeated; everything they did seemed somehow to be
regarded as remarkable; they had evidently lost the power of doing and
saying commonplace things; moreover, their past history was raked up
and discovered to bear marks of conspicuous originality. The village
paper published biographical sketches of the boys.

The Widow Douglas put Huck's money out at six per cent., and Judge
Thatcher did the same with Tom's at Aunt Polly's request. Each lad had
an income, now, that was simply prodigious--a dollar for every week-day
in the year and half of the Sundays. It was just what the minister got
--no, it was what he was promised--he generally couldn't collect it. A
dollar and a quarter a week would board, lodge, and school a boy in
those old simple days--and clothe him and wash him, too, for that
matter.

Judge Thatcher had conceived a great opinion of Tom. He said that no
commonplace boy would ever have got his daughter out of the cave. When
Becky told her father, in strict confidence, how Tom had taken her
whipping at school, the Judge was visibly moved; and when she pleaded
grace for the mighty lie which Tom had told in order to shift that
whipping from her shoulders to his own, the Judge said with a fine
outburst that it was a noble, a generous, a magnanimous lie--a lie that
was worthy to hold up its head and march down through history breast to
breast with George Washington's lauded Truth about the hatchet! Becky
thought her father had never looked so tall and so superb as when he
walked the floor and stamped his foot and said that. She went straight
off and told Tom about it.

Judge Thatcher hoped to see Tom a great lawyer or a great soldier some
day. He said he meant to look to it that Tom should be admitted to the
National Military Academy and afterward trained in the best law school
in the country, in order that he might be ready for either career or
both.

Huck Finn's wealth and the fact that he was now under the Widow
Douglas' protection introduced him into society--no, dragged him into
it, hurled him into it--and his sufferings were almost more than he
could bear. The widow's servants kept him clean and neat, combed and
brushed, and they bedded him nightly in unsympathetic sheets that had
not one little spot or stain which he could press to his heart and know
for a friend. He had to eat with a knife and fork; he had to use
napkin, cup, and plate; he had to learn his book, he had to go to
church; he had to talk so properly that speech was become insipid in
his mouth; whithersoever he turned, the bars and shackles of
civilization shut him in and bound him hand and foot.

He bravely bore his miseries three weeks, and then one day turned up
missing. For forty-eight hours the widow hunted for him everywhere in
great distress. The public were profoundly concerned; they searched
high and low, they dragged the river for his body. Early the third
morning Tom Sawyer wisely went poking among some old empty hogsheads
down behind the abandoned slaughter-house, and in one of them he found
the refugee. Huck had slept there; he had just breakfasted upon some
stolen odds and ends of food, and was lying off, now, in comfort, with
his pipe. He was unkempt, uncombed, and clad in the same old ruin of
rags that had made him picturesque in the days when he was free and
happy. Tom routed him out, told him the trouble he had been causing,
and urged him to go home. Huck's face lost its tranquil content, and
took a melancholy cast. He said:

"Don't talk about it, Tom. I've tried it, and it don't work; it don't
work, Tom. It ain't for me; I ain't used to it. The widder's good to
me, and friendly; but I can't stand them ways. She makes me get up just
at the same time every morning; she makes me wash, they comb me all to
thunder; she won't let me sleep in the woodshed; I got to wear them
blamed clothes that just smothers me, Tom; they don't seem to any air
git through 'em, somehow; and they're so rotten nice that I can't set
down, nor lay down, nor roll around anywher's; I hain't slid on a
cellar-door for--well, it 'pears to be years; I got to go to church and
sweat and sweat--I hate them ornery sermons! I can't ketch a fly in
there, I can't chaw. I got to wear shoes all Sunday. The widder eats by
a bell; she goes to bed by a bell; she gits up by a bell--everything's
so awful reg'lar a body can't stand it."

"Well, everybody does that way, Huck."

"Tom, it don't make no difference. I ain't everybody, and I can't
STAND it. It's awful to be tied up so. And grub comes too easy--I don't
take no interest in vittles, that way. I got to ask to go a-fishing; I
got to ask to go in a-swimming--dern'd if I hain't got to ask to do
everything. Well, I'd got to talk so nice it wasn't no comfort--I'd got
to go up in the attic and rip out awhile, every day, to git a taste in
my mouth, or I'd a died, Tom. The widder wouldn't let me smoke; she
wouldn't let me yell, she wouldn't let me gape, nor stretch, nor
scratch, before folks--" [Then with a spasm of special irritation and
injury]--"And dad fetch it, she prayed all the time! I never see such a
woman! I HAD to shove, Tom--I just had to. And besides, that school's
going to open, and I'd a had to go to it--well, I wouldn't stand THAT,
Tom. Looky here, Tom, being rich ain't what it's cracked up to be. It's
just worry and worry, and sweat and sweat, and a-wishing you was dead
all the time. Now these clothes suits me, and this bar'l suits me, and
I ain't ever going to shake 'em any more. Tom, I wouldn't ever got into
all this trouble if it hadn't 'a' ben for that money; now you just take
my sheer of it along with your'n, and gimme a ten-center sometimes--not
many times, becuz I don't give a dern for a thing 'thout it's tollable
hard to git--and you go and beg off for me with the widder."

"Oh, Huck, you know I can't do that. 'Tain't fair; and besides if
you'll try this thing just a while longer you'll come to like it."

"Like it! Yes--the way I'd like a hot stove if I was to set on it long
enough. No, Tom, I won't be rich, and I won't live in them cussed
smothery houses. I like the woods, and the river, and hogsheads, and
I'll stick to 'em, too. Blame it all! just as we'd got guns, and a
cave, and all just fixed to rob, here this dern foolishness has got to
come up and spile it all!"

Tom saw his opportunity--

"Lookyhere, Huck, being rich ain't going to keep me back from turning
robber."

"No! Oh, good-licks; are you in real dead-wood earnest, Tom?"

"Just as dead earnest as I'm sitting here. But Huck, we can't let you
into the gang if you ain't respectable, you know."

Huck's joy was quenched.

"Can't let me in, Tom? Didn't you let me go for a pirate?"

"Yes, but that's different. A robber is more high-toned than what a
pirate is--as a general thing. In most countries they're awful high up
in the nobility--dukes and such."

"Now, Tom, hain't you always ben friendly to me? You wouldn't shet me
out, would you, Tom? You wouldn't do that, now, WOULD you, Tom?"

"Huck, I wouldn't want to, and I DON'T want to--but what would people
say? Why, they'd say, 'Mph! Tom Sawyer's Gang! pretty low characters in
it!' They'd mean you, Huck. You wouldn't like that, and I wouldn't."

Huck was silent for some time, engaged in a mental struggle. Finally
he said:

"Well, I'll go back to the widder for a month and tackle it and see if
I can come to stand it, if you'll let me b'long to the gang, Tom."

"All right, Huck, it's a whiz! Come along, old chap, and I'll ask the
widow to let up on you a little, Huck."

"Will you, Tom--now will you? That's good. If she'll let up on some of
the roughest things, I'll smoke private and cuss private, and crowd
through or bust. When you going to start the gang and turn robbers?"

"Oh, right off. We'll get the boys together and have the initiation
to-night, maybe."

"Have the which?"

"Have the initiation."

"What's that?"

"It's to swear to stand by one another, and never tell the gang's
secrets, even if you're chopped all to flinders, and kill anybody and
all his family that hurts one of the gang."

"That's gay--that's mighty gay, Tom, I tell you."

"Well, I bet it is. And all that swearing's got to be done at
midnight, in the lonesomest, awfulest place you can find--a ha'nted
house is the best, but they're all ripped up now."

"Well, midnight's good, anyway, Tom."

"Yes, so it is. And you've got to swear on a coffin, and sign it with
blood."

"Now, that's something LIKE! Why, it's a million times bullier than
pirating. I'll stick to the widder till I rot, Tom; and if I git to be
a reg'lar ripper of a robber, and everybody talking 'bout it, I reckon
she'll be proud she snaked me in out of the wet."



CONCLUSION

SO endeth this chronicle. It being strictly a history of a BOY, it
must stop here; the story could not go much further without becoming
the history of a MAN. When one writes a novel about grown people, he
knows exactly where to stop--that is, with a marriage; but when he
writes of juveniles, he must stop where he best can.

Most of the characters that perform in this book still live, and are
prosperous and happy. Some day it may seem worth while to take up the
story of the younger ones again and see what sort of men and women they
turned out to be; therefore it will be wisest not to reveal any of that
part of their lives at present.





End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,
Complete
by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

*** END OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK TOM SAWYER ***

***** This file should be named 74.txt or 74.zip *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:
http://www.gutenberg.net/7/74/

Produced by David Widger. The previous edition was update by Jose
Menendez.


Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
will be renamed.

Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
(and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
permission and without paying copyright royalties. Special rules,
set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark. Project
Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you
charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission. If you
do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the
rules is very easy. You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose
such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and
research. They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do
practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks. Redistribution is
subject to the trademark license, especially commercial
redistribution.



*** START: FULL LICENSE ***

THE FULL PROJECT GUTENBERG LICENSE
PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU DISTRIBUTE OR USE THIS WORK

To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at
http://gutenberg.net/license).


Section 1. General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works

1.A. By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement. If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.
If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B. "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark. It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement. See
paragraph 1.C below. There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement
and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works. See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C. The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works. Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States. If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
are removed. Of course, we hope that you will support the Project
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of
this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with
the work. You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.

1.D. The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work. Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change. If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work. The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United
States.

1.E. Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1. The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed,
copied or distributed:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

1.E.2. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges. If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the
work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or
1.E.9.

1.E.3. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder. Additional terms will be linked
to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the
permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.

1.E.4. Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5. Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6. You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form. However, if you provide access to or
distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
"Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (www.gutenberg.net),
you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
form. Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7. Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8. You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided
that

- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
you already use to calculate your applicable taxes. The fee is
owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he
has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the
Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. Royalty payments
must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
returns. Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the
address specified in Section 4, "Information about donations to
the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."

- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License. You must require such a user to return or
destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
Project Gutenberg-tm works.

- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
of receipt of the work.

- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9. If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael
Hart, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark. Contact the
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.

1.F.

1.F.1. Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm
collection. Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
your equipment.

1.F.2. LIMITED WARRANTY, DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES - Except for the
"Right
of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal
fees. YOU AGREE THAT YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE,
STRICT
LIABILITY, BREACH OF WARRANTY OR BREACH OF CONTRACT EXCEPT
THOSE
PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH F3. YOU AGREE THAT THE FOUNDATION, THE
TRADEMARK OWNER, AND ANY DISTRIBUTOR UNDER THIS AGREEMENT
WILL NOT BE
LIABLE TO YOU FOR ACTUAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL,
PUNITIVE OR
INCIDENTAL DAMAGES EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF
SUCH
DAMAGE.

1.F.3. LIMITED RIGHT OF REPLACEMENT OR REFUND - If you discover a
defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from. If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation. The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund. If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund. If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4. Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS' WITH NO OTHER
WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT
LIMITED TO
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTIBILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PURPOSE.

1.F.5. Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law. The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.

1.F.6. INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance
with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production,
promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works,
harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees,
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do
or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm
work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any
Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect you cause.


Section 2. Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers
including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers. It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need, is critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come. In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations.
To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at http://www.pglaf.org.


Section 3. Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive
Foundation

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service. The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541. Its 501(c)(3) letter is posted at
http://pglaf.org/fundraising. Contributions to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations. Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email
business@pglaf.org. Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at http://pglaf.org

For additional contact information:
Dr. Gregory B. Newby
Chief Executive and Director
gbnewby@pglaf.org


Section 4. Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment. Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States. Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements. We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance. To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit http://pglaf.org

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States. U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses. Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including including checks, online payments and credit card
donations. To donate, please visit: http://pglaf.org/donate


Section 5. General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.

Professor Michael S. Hart is the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm
concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared
with anyone. For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.


Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S.
unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.


Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:

http://www.gutenberg.net

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.

thirty or forty years ago. Although my book is intended mainly for the entertainment of boys and girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked, and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in. THE AUTHOR. HARTFORD, 1876.

TOM SAWYER

CHAPTER I "TOM!" No answer. "TOM!" No answer. "What's gone with that boy, I wonder? You TOM!" No answer. The old lady pulled her spectacles down and looked over them about the room; then she put them up and looked out under them. She seldom or never looked THROUGH them for so small a thing as a boy; they were her state pair, the pride of her heart, and were built for "style," not service--she could have seen through a pair of stove-lids just as well. She looked perplexed for a moment, and then said, not fiercely, but still loud enough for the furniture to hear: "Well, I lay if I get hold of you I'll--" She did not finish, for by this time she was bending down and punching under the bed with the broom, and so she needed breath to punctuate the punches with. She resurrected nothing but the cat. "I never did see the beat of that boy!" She went to the open door and stood in it and looked out among the tomato vines and "jimpson" weeds that constituted the garden. No Tom.

So she lifted up her voice at an angle calculated for distance and shouted: "Y-o-u-u TOM!" There was a slight noise behind her and she turned just in time to seize a small boy by the slack of his roundabout and arrest his flight. "There! I might 'a' thought of that closet. What you been doing in there?" "Nothing." "Nothing! Look at your hands. And look at your mouth. What IS that truck?" "I don't know, aunt." "Well, I know. It's jam--that's what it is. Forty times I've said if you didn't let that jam alone I'd skin you. Hand me that switch." The switch hovered in the air--the peril was desperate-"My! Look behind you, aunt!" The old lady whirled round, and snatched her skirts out of danger. The lad fled on the instant, scrambled up the high board-fence, and disappeared over it. His aunt Polly stood surprised a moment, and then broke into a gentle laugh. "Hang the boy, can't I never learn anything? Ain't he played me tricks enough like that for me to be looking out for him by this time? But old fools is the biggest fools there is. Can't learn an old dog new tricks, as the saying is. But my goodness, he never plays them alike, two days, and how is a body to know what's coming? He 'pears to know just how long he can torment me before I get my dander up, and he knows if he can make out to put me off for a minute or make me laugh, it's all down again and I can't hit him a lick. I ain't doing my duty by that boy, and that's the Lord's truth, goodness knows. Spare the rod and spile the child, as the Good Book says. I'm a laying up sin and suffering for us both, I know. He's full of the Old Scratch, but laws-a-me! he's my own dead sister's boy, poor thing, and I ain't got the heart to lash him, somehow. Every time I let him off, my conscience does hurt me so, and every time I hit him my old heart most breaks. Well-a-well, man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble, as the Scripture says, and I reckon it's so. He'll play hookey this evening, * and [* Southwestern for "afternoon"] I'll just be obleeged to make him work, to-morrow, to punish him. It's mighty hard to make him work

not very much. Tom?" A bit of a scare shot through Tom--a touch of uncomfortable suspicion. you didn't have to undo your shirt collar where I sewed it. He got back home barely in season to help Jim. So he said: "No'm--well. and stealing sugar as opportunity offered. but he hates work more than he hates anything else. Then she had a new inspiration: "Tom. Like many other simple-hearted souls. Tom knew where the wind lay. and missed a trick. saw next-day's wood and split the kindlings before supper--at least he was there in time to tell his adventures to Jim while Jim did three-fourths of the work.Saturdays. and very deep--for she wanted to trap him into damaging revealments. did you? Unbutton your jacket!" ." Tom did play hookey. So he forestalled what might be the next move: "Some of us pumped on our heads--mine's damp yet. He searched Aunt Polly's face. Said she: "Tom. for he was a quiet boy. though. warn't it?" "Yes'm. it was middling warm in school. and said: "But you ain't too warm now. or I'll be the ruination of the child." And it flattered her to reflect that she had discovered that the shirt was dry without anybody knowing that that was what she had in her mind. the small colored boy. and he had a very good time. warn't it?" "Yes'm. Tom's younger brother (or rather half-brother) Sid was already through with his part of the work (picking up chips). to pump on your head. and had no adventurous. troublesome ways. See?" Aunt Polly was vexed to think she had overlooked that bit of circumstantial evidence. But in spite of her. Aunt Polly asked him questions that were full of guile." "Didn't you want to go in a-swimming. While Tom was eating his supper. now." The old lady reached out her hand and felt Tom's shirt." "Powerful warm. and she loved to contemplate her most transparent devices as marvels of low cunning. it was her pet vanity to believe she was endowed with a talent for dark and mysterious diplomacy. but it told him nothing. and I've GOT to do some of my duty by him. when all the boys is having holiday.

" She was half sorry her sagacity had miscarried. and had thread bound about them--one needle carried white thread and the other black. He felt much as an astronomer feels who has discovered a new planet--no doubt. I'll learn him!" He was not the Model Boy of the village. or even less. Diligence and attention soon gave him the knack of it. as the saying is--better'n you look. He said: "She'd never noticed if it hadn't been for Sid. go 'long with you. he had forgotten all his troubles." "Why. His shirt collar was securely sewed. and he was suffering to practise it undisturbed. and he strode down the street with his mouth full of harmony and his soul full of gratitude. a sort of liquid warble. He knew the model boy very well though--and loathed him. as far as strong. THIS time. I'd made sure you'd played hookey and been a-swimming. Confound it! sometimes she sews it with white. Not because his troubles were one whit less heavy and bitter to him than a man's are to a man. It consisted in a peculiar bird-like turn. deep. But Sidney said: "Well. "Bother! Well. if I didn't think you sewed his collar with white thread.The trouble vanished out of Tom's face. He opened his jacket. I did sew it with white! Tom!" But Tom did not wait for the rest. unalloyed pleasure is concerned. and half glad that Tom had stumbled into obedient conduct for once. Within two minutes. which he had just acquired from a negro. but because a new and powerful interest bore them down and drove them out of his mind for the time--just as men's misfortunes are forgotten in the excitement of new enterprises. Tom. I reckon you're a kind of a singed cat. As he went out at the door he said: "Siddy. I wish to geeminy she'd stick to one or t'other--I can't keep the run of 'em. produced by touching the tongue to the roof of the mouth at short intervals in the midst of the music--the reader probably remembers how to do it. But I forgive ye. the advantage was with the boy. . But I bet you I'll lam Sid for that. not the astronomer. I'll lick you for that." In a safe place Tom examined two large needles which were thrust into the lapels of his jacket. if he has ever been a boy. now. but it's black. This new interest was a valued novelty in whistling. and sometimes she sews it with black.

The more Tom stared at the splendid marvel. Presently Tom checked his whistle." "Well I 'low I'll MAKE it my business. they kept face to face and eye to eye all the time. a bright bit of ribbon. the other moved--but only sidewise." "Yes I can. his close-buttoned blue cloth roundabout was new and natty." . He had shoes on--and it was only Friday. A new-comer of any age or either sex was an impressive curiosity in the poor little shabby village of St." "I can. He had a citified air about him that ate into Tom's vitals. either. and so were his pantaloons. in a circle. There now. Neither boy spoke. maybe. I can do it. too--well dressed on a week-day." "Well. If one moved. Finally Tom said: "I can lick you!" "I'd like to see you try it. Petersburg.The summer evenings were long. yet. He even wore a necktie." "No you can't." "You can't. His cap was a dainty thing. the higher he turned up his nose at his finery and the shabbier and shabbier his own outfit seemed to him to grow." "No you can't. This boy was well dressed. I will. A stranger was before him--a boy a shade larger than himself. It was not dark." "Much--much--MUCH." "Can!" "Can't!" An uncomfortable pause. Then Tom said: "What's your name?" "'Tisn't any of your business." "Well why don't you?" "If you say much. This was simply astounding.

"Oh, you think you're mighty smart, DON'T you? I could lick you with one hand tied behind me, if I wanted to." "Well why don't you DO it? You SAY you can do it." "Well I WILL, if you fool with me." "Oh yes--I've seen whole families in the same fix." "Smarty! You think you're SOME, now, DON'T you? Oh, what a hat!" "You can lump that hat if you don't like it. I dare you to knock it off--and anybody that'll take a dare will suck eggs." "You're a liar!" "You're another." "You're a fighting liar and dasn't take it up." "Aw--take a walk!" "Say--if you give me much more of your sass I'll take and bounce a rock off'n your head." "Oh, of COURSE you will." "Well I WILL." "Well why don't you DO it then? What do you keep SAYING you will for? Why don't you DO it? It's because you're afraid." "I AIN'T afraid." "You are." "I ain't." "You are." Another pause, and more eying and sidling around each other. Presently they were shoulder to shoulder. Tom said: "Get away from here!" "Go away yourself!" "I won't." "I won't either."

So they stood, each with a foot placed at an angle as a brace, and both shoving with might and main, and glowering at each other with hate. But neither could get an advantage. After struggling till both were hot and flushed, each relaxed his strain with watchful caution, and Tom said: "You're a coward and a pup. I'll tell my big brother on you, and he can thrash you with his little finger, and I'll make him do it, too." "What do I care for your big brother? I've got a brother that's bigger than he is--and what's more, he can throw him over that fence, too." [Both brothers were imaginary.] "That's a lie." "YOUR saying so don't make it so." Tom drew a line in the dust with his big toe, and said: "I dare you to step over that, and I'll lick you till you can't stand up. Anybody that'll take a dare will steal sheep." The new boy stepped over promptly, and said: "Now you said you'd do it, now let's see you do it." "Don't you crowd me now; you better look out." "Well, you SAID you'd do it--why don't you do it?" "By jingo! for two cents I WILL do it." The new boy took two broad coppers out of his pocket and held them out with derision. Tom struck them to the ground. In an instant both boys were rolling and tumbling in the dirt, gripped together like cats; and for the space of a minute they tugged and tore at each other's hair and clothes, punched and scratched each other's nose, and covered themselves with dust and glory. Presently the confusion took form, and through the fog of battle Tom appeared, seated astride the new boy, and pounding him with his fists. "Holler 'nuff!" said he. The boy only struggled to free himself. He was crying--mainly from rage. "Holler 'nuff!"--and the pounding went on. At last the stranger got out a smothered "'Nuff!" and Tom let him up and said: "Now that'll learn you. Better look out who you're fooling with next

time." The new boy went off brushing the dust from his clothes, sobbing, snuffling, and occasionally looking back and shaking his head and threatening what he would do to Tom the "next time he caught him out." To which Tom responded with jeers, and started off in high feather, and as soon as his back was turned the new boy snatched up a stone, threw it and hit him between the shoulders and then turned tail and ran like an antelope. Tom chased the traitor home, and thus found out where he lived. He then held a position at the gate for some time, daring the enemy to come outside, but the enemy only made faces at him through the window and declined. At last the enemy's mother appeared, and called Tom a bad, vicious, vulgar child, and ordered him away. So he went away; but he said he "'lowed" to "lay" for that boy. He got home pretty late that night, and when he climbed cautiously in at the window, he uncovered an ambuscade, in the person of his aunt; and when she saw the state his clothes were in her resolution to turn his Saturday holiday into captivity at hard labor became adamantine in its firmness.

CHAPTER II SATURDAY morning was come, and all the summer world was bright and fresh, and brimming with life. There was a song in every heart; and if the heart was young the music issued at the lips. There was cheer in every face and a spring in every step. The locust-trees were in bloom and the fragrance of the blossoms filled the air. Cardiff Hill, beyond the village and above it, was green with vegetation and it lay just far enough away to seem a Delectable Land, dreamy, reposeful, and inviting. Tom appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush. He surveyed the fence, and all gladness left him and a deep melancholy settled down upon his spirit. Thirty yards of board fence nine feet high. Life to him seemed hollow, and existence but a burden. Sighing, he dipped his brush and passed it along the topmost plank; repeated the operation; did it again; compared the insignificant whitewashed streak with the far-reaching continent of unwhitewashed fence, and sat down on a tree-box discouraged. Jim came skipping out at the gate with a tin pail, and singing Buffalo Gals. Bringing water from the town pump had always been hateful work in Tom's eyes, before, but now it did not strike him so. He remembered that there was company at the pump. White, mulatto, and negro boys and girls were always there waiting their turns, resting, trading playthings, quarrelling, fighting, skylarking. And he remembered that although the pump was only a hundred and fifty yards off, Jim never got back with a bucket of water under an hour--and even then somebody generally had to go after him. Tom said:

" "Oh. I'll give you a marvel. Jim! And it's a bully taw. enough to buy an exchange of WORK. Ole missis she'd take an' tar de head off'n me." "SHE! She never licks anybody--whacks 'em over the head with her thimble--and who cares for that. and they would make a world of fun of him for having to work--the very thought of it burnt him like fire. "White alley. and gave up the idea of trying to buy the boys. . He began to think of the fun he had planned for this day. SHE won't ever know. He put down his pail." "Oh. an' so she tole me go 'long an' 'tend to my own business--she 'lowed SHE'D 'tend to de whitewashin'. Mars Tom. marbles. I dasn't. took the white alley. and his sorrows multiplied. but talk don't hurt--anyways it don't if she don't cry. and bent over the toe with absorbing interest while the bandage was being unwound." "My! Dat's a mighty gay marvel. In another moment he was flying down the street with his pail and a tingling rear. That's the way she always talks. At this dark and hopeless moment an inspiration burst upon him! Nothing less than a great. Tom was whitewashing with vigor." Jim shook his head and said: "Can't. magnificent inspiration. 'Deed she would. Jim. she tole me I got to go an' git dis water an' not stop foolin' roun' wid anybody."Say. Jim. never you mind what she said. if you will I'll show you my sore toe. Soon the free boys would come tripping along on all sorts of delicious expeditions. She talks awful. and trash. Ole missis. He got out his worldly wealth and examined it--bits of toys. Mars Tom. She say she spec' Mars Tom gwine to ax me to whitewash." Jim was only human--this attraction was too much for him. I'd like to know. But Tom's energy did not last. I'll fetch the water if you'll whitewash some. maybe. Gimme the bucket--I won't be gone only a a minute. I'll give you a white alley!" Jim began to waver. but not half enough to buy so much as half an hour of pure freedom. and Aunt Polly was retiring from the field with a slipper in her hand and triumph in her eye. So he returned his straitened means to his pocket. Jim. I tell you! But Mars Tom I's powerful 'fraid ole missis--" "And besides.

and giving a long. Tom went on whitewashing--paid no attention to the steamboat. hey?" Tom wheeled suddenly and said: "Why. followed by a deep-toned ding-dong-dong. ain't you!" No answer. "Stop the stabboard! Ting-a-ling-ling! Stop the labboard! Come ahead on the stabboard! Stop her! Let your outside turn over slow! Ting-a-ling-ling! Chow-ow-ow! Get out that head-line! LIVELY now! Come--out with your spring-line--what're you about there! Take a turn round that stump with the bight of it! Stand by that stage. Ben! I warn't noticing." "Say--I'm going in a-swimming. "Set her back on the stabboard! Ting-a-ling-ling! Chow! ch-chow-wow! Chow!" His right hand. whose ridicule he had been dreading. it's you. I am. now--let her go! Done with the engines. Ben's gait was the hop-skip-and-jump--proof enough that his heart was light and his anticipations high. Don't you wish you could? But of course you'd druther WORK--wouldn't you? Course you would!" . As he drew near. for he was personating a steamboat. melodious whoop. sir! Ting-a-ling-ling! SH'T! S'H'T! SH'T!" (trying the gauge-cocks). of all boys. he slackened speed. He was boat and captain and engine-bells combined. at intervals. took the middle of the street. He was eating an apple. old chap. ding-dong-dong. Ben said: "Hello. leaned far over to starboard and rounded to ponderously and with laborious pomp and circumstance--for he was personating the Big Missouri. sir! Ting-a-ling-ling!" The headway ran almost out. Tom surveyed his last touch with the eye of an artist. Ben stared a moment and then said: "Hi-YI! YOU'RE up a stump. and considered himself to be drawing nine feet of water. "Ship up to back! Ting-a-ling-ling!" His arms straightened and stiffened down his sides. describing stately circles--for it was representing a forty-foot wheel. you got to work. then he gave his brush another gentle sweep and surveyed the result. so he had to imagine himself standing on his own hurricane-deck giving the orders and executing them: "Stop her.He took up his brush and went tranquilly to work. "Let her go back on the labboard! Ting-a-lingling! Chow-ch-chow-chow!" The left hand began to describe circles. Ben ranged up alongside of him. Ben Rogers hove in sight presently--the very boy. and he drew up slowly toward the sidewalk. as before. meantime. but he stuck to his work. Tom's mouth watered for the apple.

you don't mean to let on that you LIKE it?" The brush continued to move. that can do it the way it's got to be done. I'm afeard--" "I'll give you ALL of it!" . Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?" That put the thing in a new light. now don't. "Like it? Well. Jim wanted to do it. let ME whitewash a little. it suits Tom Sawyer. it's got to be done very careful.Tom contemplated the boy a bit. I don't see why I oughtn't to like it. I reckon there ain't one boy in a thousand. and said: "What do you call work?" "Why. Presently he said: "Say. Now lemme try. if you was me. All I know. Yes. Now don't you see how I'm fixed? If you was to tackle this fence and anything was to happen to it--" "Oh. You see. Sid wanted to do it. I'll be just as careful. was about to consent." Tom considered. you know --but if it was the back fence I wouldn't mind and SHE wouldn't." "Oh come. and answered carelessly: "Well. maybe two thousand. Tom swept his brush daintily back and forth--stepped back to note the effect--added a touch here and there--criticised the effect again--Ben watching every move and getting more and more interested. more and more absorbed. is. honest injun. shucks. I'd like to. ain't THAT work?" Tom resumed his whitewashing. Tom. Ben. and maybe it ain't. Tom. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Ben. but he altered his mind: "No--no--I reckon it wouldn't hardly do." "No--is that so? Oh come. now--lemme just try." "Ben. she's awful particular about this fence. Say--I'll give you the core of my apple. Only just a little--I'd let YOU. Aunt Polly's awful particular about this fence--right here on the street. now. but she wouldn't let him. and she wouldn't let Sid. here--No." "Well. maybe it is. but Aunt Polly--well.

Tom gave up the brush with reluctance in his face, but alacrity in his heart. And while the late steamer Big Missouri worked and sweated in the sun, the retired artist sat on a barrel in the shade close by, dangled his legs, munched his apple, and planned the slaughter of more innocents. There was no lack of material; boys happened along every little while; they came to jeer, but remained to whitewash. By the time Ben was fagged out, Tom had traded the next chance to Billy Fisher for a kite, in good repair; and when he played out, Johnny Miller bought in for a dead rat and a string to swing it with--and so on, and so on, hour after hour. And when the middle of the afternoon came, from being a poor poverty-stricken boy in the morning, Tom was literally rolling in wealth. He had besides the things before mentioned, twelve marbles, part of a jews-harp, a piece of blue bottle-glass to look through, a spool cannon, a key that wouldn't unlock anything, a fragment of chalk, a glass stopper of a decanter, a tin soldier, a couple of tadpoles, six fire-crackers, a kitten with only one eye, a brass doorknob, a dog-collar--but no dog--the handle of a knife, four pieces of orange-peel, and a dilapidated old window sash. He had had a nice, good, idle time all the while--plenty of company --and the fence had three coats of whitewash on it! If he hadn't run out of whitewash he would have bankrupted every boy in the village. Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it--namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is OBLIGED to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service, that would turn it into work and then they would resign. The boy mused awhile over the substantial change which had taken place in his worldly circumstances, and then wended toward headquarters to report.

CHAPTER III TOM presented himself before Aunt Polly, who was sitting by an open window in a pleasant rearward apartment, which was bedroom, breakfast-room, dining-room, and library, combined. The balmy summer

air, the restful quiet, the odor of the flowers, and the drowsing murmur of the bees had had their effect, and she was nodding over her knitting --for she had no company but the cat, and it was asleep in her lap. Her spectacles were propped up on her gray head for safety. She had thought that of course Tom had deserted long ago, and she wondered at seeing him place himself in her power again in this intrepid way. He said: "Mayn't I go and play now, aunt?" "What, a'ready? How much have you done?" "It's all done, aunt." "Tom, don't lie to me--I can't bear it." "I ain't, aunt; it IS all done." Aunt Polly placed small trust in such evidence. She went out to see for herself; and she would have been content to find twenty per cent. of Tom's statement true. When she found the entire fence whitewashed, and not only whitewashed but elaborately coated and recoated, and even a streak added to the ground, her astonishment was almost unspeakable. She said: "Well, I never! There's no getting round it, you can work when you're a mind to, Tom." And then she diluted the compliment by adding, "But it's powerful seldom you're a mind to, I'm bound to say. Well, go 'long and play; but mind you get back some time in a week, or I'll tan you." She was so overcome by the splendor of his achievement that she took him into the closet and selected a choice apple and delivered it to him, along with an improving lecture upon the added value and flavor a treat took to itself when it came without sin through virtuous effort. And while she closed with a happy Scriptural flourish, he "hooked" a doughnut. Then he skipped out, and saw Sid just starting up the outside stairway that led to the back rooms on the second floor. Clods were handy and the air was full of them in a twinkling. They raged around Sid like a hail-storm; and before Aunt Polly could collect her surprised faculties and sally to the rescue, six or seven clods had taken personal effect, and Tom was over the fence and gone. There was a gate, but as a general thing he was too crowded for time to make use of it. His soul was at peace, now that he had settled with Sid for calling attention to his black thread and getting him into trouble. Tom skirted the block, and came round into a muddy alley that led by the back of his aunt's cow-stable. He presently got safely beyond the reach of capture and punishment, and hastened toward the public square of the village, where two "military" companies of boys had met for conflict, according to previous appointment. Tom was General of one of

these armies, Joe Harper (a bosom friend) General of the other. These two great commanders did not condescend to fight in person--that being better suited to the still smaller fry--but sat together on an eminence and conducted the field operations by orders delivered through aides-de-camp. Tom's army won a great victory, after a long and hard-fought battle. Then the dead were counted, prisoners exchanged, the terms of the next disagreement agreed upon, and the day for the necessary battle appointed; after which the armies fell into line and marched away, and Tom turned homeward alone. As he was passing by the house where Jeff Thatcher lived, he saw a new girl in the garden--a lovely little blue-eyed creature with yellow hair plaited into two long-tails, white summer frock and embroidered pantalettes. The fresh-crowned hero fell without firing a shot. A certain Amy Lawrence vanished out of his heart and left not even a memory of herself behind. He had thought he loved her to distraction; he had regarded his passion as adoration; and behold it was only a poor little evanescent partiality. He had been months winning her; she had confessed hardly a week ago; he had been the happiest and the proudest boy in the world only seven short days, and here in one instant of time she had gone out of his heart like a casual stranger whose visit is done. He worshipped this new angel with furtive eye, till he saw that she had discovered him; then he pretended he did not know she was present, and began to "show off" in all sorts of absurd boyish ways, in order to win her admiration. He kept up this grotesque foolishness for some time; but by-and-by, while he was in the midst of some dangerous gymnastic performances, he glanced aside and saw that the little girl was wending her way toward the house. Tom came up to the fence and leaned on it, grieving, and hoping she would tarry yet awhile longer. She halted a moment on the steps and then moved toward the door. Tom heaved a great sigh as she put her foot on the threshold. But his face lit up, right away, for she tossed a pansy over the fence a moment before she disappeared. The boy ran around and stopped within a foot or two of the flower, and then shaded his eyes with his hand and began to look down street as if he had discovered something of interest going on in that direction. Presently he picked up a straw and began trying to balance it on his nose, with his head tilted far back; and as he moved from side to side, in his efforts, he edged nearer and nearer toward the pansy; finally his bare foot rested upon it, his pliant toes closed upon it, and he hopped away with the treasure and disappeared round the corner. But only for a minute--only while he could button the flower inside his jacket, next his heart--or next his stomach, possibly, for he was not much posted in anatomy, and not hypercritical, anyway. He returned, now, and hung about the fence till nightfall, "showing off," as before; but the girl never exhibited herself again, though Tom

He knew that a yearning glance fell upon him. happy in his immunity. and got his knuckles rapped for it. and she yearned to say something kind and loving. dead. what 'er you belting ME for?--Sid broke it!" Aunt Polly paused. In such ecstasies that he even controlled his tongue and was silent. you don't whack Sid when he takes it. "Now it's coming!" And the next instant he was sprawling on the floor! The potent palm was uplifted to strike again when Tom cried out: "Hold on." He took a good scolding about clodding Sid. He knew that in her heart his aunt was on her knees to him. Ah. and discipline forbade that. and he was morosely gratified by the consciousness of it. All through supper his spirits were so high that his aunt wondered "what had got into the child." "Well. she only said: "Umf! Well. now and then. meantime. He would hang out no signals. he would take notice of none. and been aware of his attentions. I reckon. Tom sulked in a corner and exalted his woes. and die with that word unsaid. but she judged that this would be construed into a confession that she had been in the wrong. but he would turn his face to the wall. You'd be always into that sugar if I warn't watching you. perplexed. and Tom looked for healing pity. reached for the sugar-bowl--a sort of glorying over Tom which was wellnigh unbearable. through a film of tears. with his poor head full of visions. Finally he strode home reluctantly. even when his aunt came in. and then he would tell. He said: "Aunt. like enough. now. He said to himself that he would not speak a word. He pictured himself lying sick unto death and his aunt bending over him beseeching one little forgiving word. and . and Sid. Tom was in ecstasies. you didn't get a lick amiss." Presently she stepped into the kitchen. So she kept silence. Sid don't torment a body the way you do." Then her conscience reproached her. how would she feel then? And he pictured himself brought home from the river. and there would be nothing so good in the world as to see that pet model "catch it. but would sit perfectly still till she asked who did the mischief. with his curls all wet. But Sid's fingers slipped and the bowl dropped and broke. He said to himself. You been into some other audacious mischief when I wasn't around. and did not seem to mind it in the least." He was so brimful of exultation that he could hardly hold himself when the old lady came back and stood above the wreck discharging lightnings of wrath from over her spectacles. He tried to steal sugar under his aunt's very nose. But when she got her tongue again. and went about her affairs with a troubled heart. but he refused recognition of it.comforted himself a little with the hope that she had been near some window.

And such a luxury to him was this petting of his sorrows. And thus SHE would see him when she looked out upon the glad morning. no friendly hand to wipe the death-damps from his brow. whose griefs were at an end. no loving face to bend pityingly over him when the great agony came. the while. without undergoing the uncomfortable routine devised by nature. Was the sacred presence there? He climbed the fence. A log raft in the river invited him. And thus he would die--out in the cold world.his sore heart at rest. rumpled and wilted. when his cousin Mary danced in. he was so like to choke. he paused a moment. he got up and moved in clouds and darkness out at one door as she brought song and sunshine in at the other. no sound fell upon his listening ear. He wondered if she would pity him if she knew? Would she cry. and her lips pray God to give her back her boy and she would never. lifeless form. never abuse him any more! But he would lie there cold and white and make no sign--a poor little sufferer. and sought desolate places that were in harmony with his spirit. all alive with the joy of seeing home again after an age-long visit of one week to the country. with his hands clasped upon his breast and holding his poor wilted flower. and his eyes swam in a blur of water. How she would throw herself upon him. that he could not bear to have any worldly cheeriness or any grating delight intrude upon it. a maid-servant's discordant voice profaned the holy calm. He so worked upon his feelings with the pathos of these dreams. and he seated himself on its outer edge and contemplated the dreary vastness of the stream. which overflowed when he winked. About half-past nine or ten o'clock he came along the deserted street to where the Adored Unknown lived. wishing. it was too sacred for such contact. He wandered far from the accustomed haunts of boys. that he had to keep swallowing. then he laid him down on the ground under it. till he stood under that window. At last he rose up sighing and departed in the darkness. that he could only be drowned. and a deluge of water drenched the prone martyr's remains! . so untimely cut down? The window went up. and so. he looked up at it long. and it mightily increased his dismal felicity. and how her tears would fall like rain. a candle was casting a dull glow upon the curtain of a second-story window. threaded his stealthy way through the plants. and ran down and trickled from the end of his nose. till he wore it threadbare. disposing himself upon his back. and with emotion. Then he thought of his flower. with no shelter over his homeless head. and wish that she had a right to put her arms around his neck and comfort him? Or would she turn coldly away like all the hollow world? This picture brought such an agony of pleasurable suffering that he worked it over and over again in his mind and set it up in new and varied lights. would she heave one little sigh to see a bright young life so rudely blighted. and oh! would she drop one little tear upon his poor. all at once and unconsciously. He got it out. presently.

vague form went over the fence and shot away in the gloom. There was a whiz as of a missile in the air. Blessed are the poor in spirit. for there was danger in Tom's eye." Sid had learned his lesson days before. Not long after. for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. and Sid made mental note of the omission. and his hands were busy with distracting recreations. but if he had any dim idea of making any "references to allusions. Blessed are they that mourn. and he tried to find his way through the fog: "Blessed are the--a--a--" "Poor"-"Yes--poor. all undressed for bed. CHAPTER IV THE sun rose upon a tranquil world. Sid woke up. a sound as of shivering glass followed. and a small. because he could find no verses that were shorter. but no more. Breakfast over. and went to work to "get his verses. Aunt Polly had family worship: it began with a prayer built from the ground up of solid courses of Scriptural quotations. Tom bent all his energies to the memorizing of five verses. Tom turned in without the added vexation of prayers. and beamed down upon the peaceful village like a benediction. Then Tom girded up his loins. blessed are the poor--a--a--" "In spirit--" "In spirit. for they--they--" "Sh--" . as from Sinai. mingled with the murmur of a curse. so to speak. blessed are the poor in spirit. and from the summit of this she delivered a grim chapter of the Mosaic Law. for they--they--" "THEIRS--" "For THEIRS. as Tom.The strangling hero sprang up with a relieving snort. At the end of half an hour Tom had a vague general idea of his lesson. Mary took his book to hear him recite. welded together with a thin mortar of originality. was surveying his drenched garments by the light of a tallow dip. for his mind was traversing the whole field of human thought." he thought better of it and held his peace. and he chose part of the Sermon on the Mount.

"For they--a--" "S, H, A--" "For they S, H--Oh, I don't know what it is!" "SHALL!" "Oh, SHALL! for they shall--for they shall--a--a--shall mourn--a--a-blessed are they that shall--they that--a--they that shall mourn, for they shall--a--shall WHAT? Why don't you tell me, Mary?--what do you want to be so mean for?" "Oh, Tom, you poor thick-headed thing, I'm not teasing you. I wouldn't do that. You must go and learn it again. Don't you be discouraged, Tom, you'll manage it--and if you do, I'll give you something ever so nice. There, now, that's a good boy." "All right! What is it, Mary, tell me what it is." "Never you mind, Tom. You know if I say it's nice, it is nice." "You bet you that's so, Mary. All right, I'll tackle it again." And he did "tackle it again"--and under the double pressure of curiosity and prospective gain he did it with such spirit that he accomplished a shining success. Mary gave him a brand-new "Barlow" knife worth twelve and a half cents; and the convulsion of delight that swept his system shook him to his foundations. True, the knife would not cut anything, but it was a "sure-enough" Barlow, and there was inconceivable grandeur in that--though where the Western boys ever got the idea that such a weapon could possibly be counterfeited to its injury is an imposing mystery and will always remain so, perhaps. Tom contrived to scarify the cupboard with it, and was arranging to begin on the bureau, when he was called off to dress for Sunday-school. Mary gave him a tin basin of water and a piece of soap, and he went outside the door and set the basin on a little bench there; then he dipped the soap in the water and laid it down; turned up his sleeves; poured out the water on the ground, gently, and then entered the kitchen and began to wipe his face diligently on the towel behind the door. But Mary removed the towel and said: "Now ain't you ashamed, Tom. You mustn't be so bad. Water won't hurt you." Tom was a trifle disconcerted. The basin was refilled, and this time he stood over it a little while, gathering resolution; took in a big breath and began. When he entered the kitchen presently, with both eyes

shut and groping for the towel with his hands, an honorable testimony of suds and water was dripping from his face. But when he emerged from the towel, he was not yet satisfactory, for the clean territory stopped short at his chin and his jaws, like a mask; below and beyond this line there was a dark expanse of unirrigated soil that spread downward in front and backward around his neck. Mary took him in hand, and when she was done with him he was a man and a brother, without distinction of color, and his saturated hair was neatly brushed, and its short curls wrought into a dainty and symmetrical general effect. [He privately smoothed out the curls, with labor and difficulty, and plastered his hair close down to his head; for he held curls to be effeminate, and his own filled his life with bitterness.] Then Mary got out a suit of his clothing that had been used only on Sundays during two years--they were simply called his "other clothes"--and so by that we know the size of his wardrobe. The girl "put him to rights" after he had dressed himself; she buttoned his neat roundabout up to his chin, turned his vast shirt collar down over his shoulders, brushed him off and crowned him with his speckled straw hat. He now looked exceedingly improved and uncomfortable. He was fully as uncomfortable as he looked; for there was a restraint about whole clothes and cleanliness that galled him. He hoped that Mary would forget his shoes, but the hope was blighted; she coated them thoroughly with tallow, as was the custom, and brought them out. He lost his temper and said he was always being made to do everything he didn't want to do. But Mary said, persuasively: "Please, Tom--that's a good boy." So he got into the shoes snarling. Mary was soon ready, and the three children set out for Sunday-school--a place that Tom hated with his whole heart; but Sid and Mary were fond of it. Sabbath-school hours were from nine to half-past ten; and then church service. Two of the children always remained for the sermon voluntarily, and the other always remained too--for stronger reasons. The church's high-backed, uncushioned pews would seat about three hundred persons; the edifice was but a small, plain affair, with a sort of pine board tree-box on top of it for a steeple. At the door Tom dropped back a step and accosted a Sunday-dressed comrade: "Say, Billy, got a yaller ticket?" "Yes." "What'll you take for her?" "What'll you give?" "Piece of lickrish and a fish-hook." "Less see 'em."

Tom exhibited. They were satisfactory, and the property changed hands. Then Tom traded a couple of white alleys for three red tickets, and some small trifle or other for a couple of blue ones. He waylaid other boys as they came, and went on buying tickets of various colors ten or fifteen minutes longer. He entered the church, now, with a swarm of clean and noisy boys and girls, proceeded to his seat and started a quarrel with the first boy that came handy. The teacher, a grave, elderly man, interfered; then turned his back a moment and Tom pulled a boy's hair in the next bench, and was absorbed in his book when the boy turned around; stuck a pin in another boy, presently, in order to hear him say "Ouch!" and got a new reprimand from his teacher. Tom's whole class were of a pattern--restless, noisy, and troublesome. When they came to recite their lessons, not one of them knew his verses perfectly, but had to be prompted all along. However, they worried through, and each got his reward--in small blue tickets, each with a passage of Scripture on it; each blue ticket was pay for two verses of the recitation. Ten blue tickets equalled a red one, and could be exchanged for it; ten red tickets equalled a yellow one; for ten yellow tickets the superintendent gave a very plainly bound Bible (worth forty cents in those easy times) to the pupil. How many of my readers would have the industry and application to memorize two thousand verses, even for a Dore Bible? And yet Mary had acquired two Bibles in this way--it was the patient work of two years--and a boy of German parentage had won four or five. He once recited three thousand verses without stopping; but the strain upon his mental faculties was too great, and he was little better than an idiot from that day forth--a grievous misfortune for the school, for on great occasions, before company, the superintendent (as Tom expressed it) had always made this boy come out and "spread himself." Only the older pupils managed to keep their tickets and stick to their tedious work long enough to get a Bible, and so the delivery of one of these prizes was a rare and noteworthy circumstance; the successful pupil was so great and conspicuous for that day that on the spot every scholar's heart was fired with a fresh ambition that often lasted a couple of weeks. It is possible that Tom's mental stomach had never really hungered for one of those prizes, but unquestionably his entire being had for many a day longed for the glory and the eclat that came with it. In due course the superintendent stood up in front of the pulpit, with a closed hymn-book in his hand and his forefinger inserted between its leaves, and commanded attention. When a Sunday-school superintendent makes his customary little speech, a hymn-book in the hand is as necessary as is the inevitable sheet of music in the hand of a singer who stands forward on the platform and sings a solo at a concert --though why, is a mystery: for neither the hymn-book nor the sheet of music is ever referred to by the sufferer. This superintendent was a slim creature of thirty-five, with a sandy goatee and short sandy hair; he wore a stiff standing-collar whose upper edge almost reached his ears and whose sharp points curved forward abreast the corners of his

pulling hair. Mr. His exaltation had but one alloy--the memory of his humiliation in this angel's garden--and that record in sand was fast washing out. and as soon as Mr. and so separated them from worldly matters. and had fringed ends. conscience-smitten. Walters' speech was finished. portly. [Applausive titter. There --that is it. accompanied by a very feeble and aged man. A good part of the whispering had been occasioned by an event which was more or less rare--the entrance of visitors: lawyer Thatcher. like sleigh-runners--an effect patiently and laboriously produced by the young men by sitting with their toes pressed against a wall for hours together. That is the way good little boys and girls should do. But now every sound ceased suddenly. a fine. Walters' voice. and he held sacred things and places in such reverence. and very sincere and honest at heart. he introduced them to the school. using every art that seemed likely to fascinate a girl and win her applause. It is not necessary to set down the rest of the oration. The . Tom had been restless and full of chafings and repinings. learning to do right and be good. I want you all to sit up just as straight and pretty as you can and give me all your attention for a minute or two. washing even to the bases of isolated and incorruptible rocks like Sid and Mary. But when he saw this small new-comer his soul was all ablaze with bliss in a moment. and so it is familiar to us all. and a dignified lady who was doubtless the latter's wife. children. Walters was very earnest of mien.] I want to tell you how good it makes me feel to see so many bright. with the subsidence of Mr. that unconsciously to himself his Sunday-school voice had acquired a peculiar intonation which was wholly absent on week-days. and by fidgetings and whisperings that extended far and wide. his boot toes were turned sharply up. The latter third of the speech was marred by the resumption of fights and other recreations among certain of the bad boys. I see one little girl who is looking out of the window--I am afraid she thinks I am out there somewhere--perhaps up in one of the trees making a speech to the little birds. his chin was propped on a spreading cravat which was as broad and as long as a bank-note. too--he could not meet Amy Lawrence's eye. clean little faces assembled in a place like this. under the waves of happiness that were sweeping over it now. and a turning of the whole body when a side view was required. in the fashion of the day. The next moment he was "showing off" with all his might --cuffing boys. he could not brook her loving gaze. He began after this fashion: "Now. The lady was leading a child. The visitors were given the highest seat of honor. It was of a pattern which does not vary. and the conclusion of the speech was received with a burst of silent gratitude. making faces--in a word." And so forth and so on. middle-aged gentleman with iron-gray hair.mouth--a fence that compelled a straight lookout ahead.

when hope was dead. brother of their own lawyer. found business up at the library. and seen the world--these very eyes had looked upon the county court-house--which was said to have a tin roof. and the little boys "showed off" with such diligence that the air was thick with paper wads and the murmur of scufflings. nine red tickets. giving orders. lifting pretty warning fingers at bad little boys and patting good ones lovingly.middle-aged man turned out to be a prodigious personage--no less a one than the county judge--altogether the most august creation these children had ever looked upon--and they wondered what kind of material he was made of--and they half wanted to hear him roar." with all sorts of official bustlings and activities. Jeff Thatcher immediately went forward. Walters' ecstasy complete. This was the great Judge Thatcher. twelve miles away--so he had travelled. and warmed himself in the sun of his own grandeur--for he was "showing off. It was the most stunning surprise of the . This was a thunderbolt out of a clear sky. to be familiar with the great man and be envied by the school. everywhere that he could find a target. Walters was not expecting an application from this source for the next ten years. and that was a chance to deliver a Bible-prize and exhibit a prodigy. and they were good for their face. discharging directions here. by the pulpit. to have that German lad back again with a sound mind. He was from Constantinople. too. Walters fell to "showing off. and the great news was announced from headquarters. He would have given worlds. there. now. delivering judgments. Jim! He's a going up there. Tom was therefore elevated to a place with the Judge and the other elect. The young gentlemen teachers "showed off" with small scoldings and other little displays of authority and fine attention to discipline--and most of the teachers. But there was no getting around it--here were the certified checks. and ten blue ones. but none had enough --he had been around among the star pupils inquiring. and demanded a Bible. The awe which these reflections inspired was attested by the impressive silence and the ranks of staring eyes. It would have been music to his soul to hear the whisperings: "Look at him. The young lady teachers "showed off" --bending sweetly over pupils that were lately being boxed. Several pupils had a few yellow tickets. And above it all the great man sat and beamed a majestic judicial smile upon all the house." too. Say--look! he's a going to shake hands with him--he IS shaking hands with him! By jings. of both sexes. The little girls "showed off" in various ways. The librarian "showed off"--running hither and thither with his arms full of books and making a deal of the splutter and fuss that insect authority delights in. don't you wish you was Jeff?" Mr. and were half afraid he might. and it was business that frequently had to be done over again two or three times (with much seeming vexation). And now at this moment. Tom Sawyer came forward with nine yellow tickets. There was only one thing wanting to make Mr.

and asked him what his name was. maybe. that's it. The Judge put his hand on Tom's head and called him a fine little man. and you'll tell it to me. but it lacked somewhat of the true gush. it was simply preposterous that this boy had warehoused two thousand sheaves of Scriptural wisdom on his premises--a dozen would strain his capacity. and she tried to make Tom see it in her face--but he wouldn't look. won't you?" "Tell the gentleman your other name. Two thousand verses is a great many--very. without a doubt.decade. And you never can be sorry for the trouble you took to learn them. Fine. Tom most of all (she thought). I thought there was more to it. and the tears came and she hated everybody. then she was just a grain troubled. a furtive glance told her worlds--and then her heart broke. and angry. She wondered. These despised themselves. she watched. The boys were all eaten up with envy--but those that suffered the bitterest pangs were those who perceived too late that they themselves had contributed to this hated splendor by trading tickets to Tom for the wealth he had amassed in selling whitewashing privileges. The boy stammered. for the poor fellow's instinct taught him that there was a mystery here that could not well bear the light. Tom was introduced to the Judge." "That's it! That's a good boy." "Thomas Sawyer--sir. But you've another one I daresay. and got it out: "Tom. Amy Lawrence was proud and glad. and the school had two marvels to gaze upon in place of one. his heart quaked--partly because of the awful greatness of the man. perhaps. but mainly because he was her parent. Thomas. You mustn't forget your manners. manly little fellow." said Walters. a guileful snake in the grass. very great many. as being the dupes of a wily fraud. his breath would hardly come. next a dim suspicion came and went--came again. not Tom--it is--" "Thomas. but his tongue was tied." "Ah." "Oh. no. for knowledge is worth more than anything there is in the world. gasped. Fine boy. The prize was delivered to Tom with as much effusion as the superintendent could pump up under the circumstances. He would have liked to fall down and worship him. That's very well. if it were in the dark. it's what . and she was jealous. and so profound was the sensation that it lifted the new hero up to the judicial one's altitude. "and say sir.

a generous. And now you wouldn't mind telling me and this lady some of the things you've learned--no. and the most hospitable and much the most lavish in the matter of festivities that St. Thomas--don't be afraid. among other unnecessaries. now. Thomas--and you wouldn't take any money for those two thousand verses--no indeed you wouldn't. it is not possible that the boy can answer the simplest question--why DID the Judge ask him? Yet he felt obliged to speak up and say: "Answer the gentleman. good-hearted soul and well-to-do. some day. next the belle of the .makes great men and good men. Now. "The names of the first two disciples were--" "DAVID AND GOLIAH!" Let us draw the curtain of charity over the rest of the scene. It's all owing to the precious Sunday-school privileges of my boyhood--it's all owing to my dear teachers that taught me to learn--it's all owing to the good superintendent. Won't you tell us the names of the first two that were appointed?" Tom was tugging at a button-hole and looking sheepish. the bent and venerable Major and Mrs. He said to himself. Walters' heart sank within him. Aunt Polly came. and watched over me. the mayor and his wife--for they had a mayor there. The Sunday-school children distributed themselves about the house and occupied pews with their parents. "Now I know you'll tell me. and gave me a beautiful Bible--a splendid elegant Bible--to keep and have it all for my own. the widow Douglass. The crowd filed up the aisles: the aged and needy postmaster. no doubt you know the names of all the twelve disciples. the new notable from a distance." said the lady. Mr. the justice of the peace. I know you wouldn't--for we are proud of little boys that learn. Petersburg could boast. and presently the people began to gather for the morning sermon. He blushed. in order that he might be as far away from the open window and the seductive outside summer scenes as possible. so as to be under supervision." Tom still hung fire. always--it's all owing to right bringing up! That is what you will say. Ward. and his eyes fell. and then you'll look back and say. CHAPTER V ABOUT half-past ten the cracked bell of the small church began to ring. and forty. smart. who encouraged me. Thomas. you'll be a great man and a good man yourself. her hill mansion the only palace in the town. lawyer Riverson. fair. who had seen better days. and Tom and Sid and Mary sat with her--Tom being placed next the aisle.

Willie Mufferson. then all the young clerks in town in a body--for they had stood in the vestibule sucking their cane-heads. The congregation being fully assembled. as much as to say. where it bore with strong emphasis upon the topmost word and then plunged down as if from a spring-board: Shall I be car-ri-ed toe the skies. he was so good. generous prayer it was. The choir always tittered and whispered all through service. and I can scarcely remember anything about it. the ladies would lift up their hands and let them fall helplessly in their laps. "Words cannot express it. And now the minister prayed. and when he was through. and last of all came the Model Boy. the harder it is to get rid of it. There was once a church choir that was not ill-bred. taking as heedful care of his mother as if she were cut glass. and he looked upon boys who had as snobs. till the last girl had run their gantlet. He always brought his mother to church. as usual on Sundays--accidentally. A good. it is too beautiful. for the churches of the United States. for the State. At church "sociables" he was always called upon to read poetry. His white handkerchief was hanging out of his pocket behind. for the other churches of the village. Mr. even in cities. The boys all hated him. and "wall" their eyes. and was the pride of all the matrons. the less there is to justify a traditional custom. but I think it was in some foreign country. followed by a troop of lawn-clad and ribbon-decked young heart-breakers. for the village itself. for Congress. Sprague turned himself into a bulletin-board. the Rev. a circling wall of oiled and simpering admirers. Whilst others fight to win the prize. to warn laggards and stragglers. for the United States. for the county. now. in a peculiar style which was much admired in that part of the country. and the little children of the church. TOO beautiful for this mortal earth. the bell rang once more. and sail thro' BLOODY seas? He was regarded as a wonderful reader. on flow'ry BEDS of ease." After the hymn had been sung. and went into details: it pleaded for the church. for the State officers. and then a solemn hush fell upon the church which was only broken by the tittering and whispering of the choir in the gallery. away here in this age of abundant newspapers. and read it through with a relish.village. Tom had no handkerchief. and shake their heads. His voice began on a medium key and climbed steadily up till it reached a certain point. now. but I have forgotten where it was. he had been "thrown up to them" so much. The minister gave out the hymn. Often. for the . It was a great many years ago. And besides. and read off "notices" of meetings and societies and things till it seemed that the list would stretch out to the crack of doom--a queer custom which is still kept up in America.

President. Now he lapsed into suffering again. As indeed it was. yielding in time a grateful harvest of good. The minister gave out his text and droned along monotonously through an argument that was so prosy that many a head by and by began to nod --and yet it was an argument that dealt in limitless fire and brimstone and thinned the predestined elect down to a company so small as to be hardly worth the saving. unconsciously --for he was not listening. he only thought of the conspicuousness of the principal character before the on-looking nations. and scoundrelly. and be as seed sown in fertile ground. but he seldom knew anything else about the discourse. but he knew the ground of old. It was a large black beetle with formidable jaws--a "pinchbug. tossed by stormy seas. after church he always knew how many pages there had been. and the clergyman's regular route over it--and when a little trifle of new matter was interlarded. But the pathos. The boy whose history this book relates did not enjoy the prayer. scraping its wings with its hind legs and smoothing them to its body as if they had been coat-tails. for such as have the light and the good tidings. and the standing congregation sat down. But with the closing sentence his hand began to curve and steal forward. embracing its head with its arms. for poor sailors. . There was a rustling of dresses. his face lit with the thought. Amen. for the officers of the Government. and closed with a supplication that the words he was about to speak might find grace and favor. and he said to himself that he wished he could be that child. for the oppressed millions groaning under the heel of European monarchies and Oriental despotisms. this time he was really interested for a little while. and yet have not eyes to see nor ears to hear withal. going through its whole toilet as tranquilly as if it knew it was perfectly safe. and the slender thread of a neck was exposed to view. He was restive all through it. as the dry argument was resumed. for the heathen in the far islands of the sea. his ear detected it and his whole nature resented it. His aunt detected the act and made him let it go. and the instant the "Amen" was out the fly was a prisoner of war. Tom counted the pages of the sermon. and polishing it so vigorously that it seemed to almost part company with the body. the lesson. The minister made a grand and moving picture of the assembling together of the world's hosts at the millennium when the lion and the lamb should lie down together and a little child should lead them. he only endured it--if he even did that much." he called it. However. he considered additions unfair. he kept tally of the details of the prayer. In the midst of the prayer a fly had lit on the back of the pew in front of him and tortured his spirit by calmly rubbing its hands together. for as sorely as Tom's hands itched to grab for it they did not dare--he believed his soul would be instantly destroyed if he did such a thing while the prayer was going on. if it was a tame lion. Presently he bethought him of a treasure he had and got it out. the moral of the great spectacle were lost upon the boy.

The beetle lay there working its helpless legs. and quickly wearied of that. and a craving for revenge. forgot the beetle entirely. sad at heart. and little by little his chin descended and touched the enemy. But he grew tired once more. It was a genuine relief to the whole congregation when the ordeal was over and the benediction pronounced.It was in a percussion-cap box. after a while. lazy with the summer softness and the quiet. lighting with his fore-paws within an inch of the creature. sighed. yawned. and they eyed it too. tried to amuse himself with a fly but found no relief. followed an ant around. The neighboring spectators shook with a gentle inward joy. as if the poor parson had said a rarely facetious thing. weary of captivity. then lifted his lip and made a gingerly snatch at it. sighing for change. grew weary at last. walked around it again. There was a sharp yelp. and sat down on it. but it was safe out of his reach. too. he clamored up the home-stretch. By this time the whole church was red-faced and suffocating with suppressed laughter. Other people uninterested in the sermon found relief in the beetle. he crossed the house in front of the altar. grew bolder. subsided to his stomach with the beetle between his paws. Tom eyed it. and the sermon had come to a dead standstill. a flirt of the poodle's head. The discourse was resumed presently. Presently a vagrant poodle dog came idling along. smelt at it from a safe distance. and then indifferent and absent-minded. A natural fillip followed. he flew down the other aisle. he flung it out of the window. and sprang into its master's lap. unable to turn over. began to enjoy the diversion. So he went to the beetle and began a wary attack on it again. . with his nose close to the floor. At last the frantic sufferer sheered from its course. His head nodded. but it went lame and halting. He spied the beetle. but there was resentment in his heart. his anguish grew with his progress. made another. The dog looked foolish. and lit on its back once more. and another. and so did the dog. The first thing the beetle did was to take him by the finger. and the hurt finger went into the boy's mouth. and jerking his head till his ears flapped again. and Tom was entirely happy. under cover of some remote pew-back. and the beetle fell a couple of yards away. he crossed before the doors. jumping at it from every point of a circle. walked around it. just missing it. for even the gravest sentiments were constantly being received with a smothered burst of unholy mirth. the yelps continued. Then there was a wild yelp of agony and the poodle went sailing up the aisle. the beetle went floundering into the aisle and lit on its back. all possibility of impressiveness being at an end. and continued his experiments. till presently he was but a woolly comet moving in its orbit with the gleam and the speed of light. and probably felt so. the drooping tail lifted and wagged. and took a closer smell. several faces went behind fans and handkerchiefs. and longed for it. and the voice of distress quickly thinned away and died in the distance. making even closer snatches at it with his teeth. who seized it. He surveyed the prize.

Sid!" and shook him. stretched. and he began to encourage them with considerable hope. So the boy eagerly drew his sore toe from under the sheet and held it up for inspection. Presently it occurred to him that he wished he was sick. thinking to himself that there was some satisfaction about divine service when there was a bit of variety in it. He had but one marring thought. and then he remembered hearing the doctor tell about a certain thing that laid up a patient for two or three weeks and threatened to make him lose a finger. and seek further. as a "starter. But they soon grew feeble. He said. and fancied that he began to feel pain in the toe. But Sid slept on unconscious. Sid said: . he was willing that the dog should play with his pinchbug. Suddenly he discovered something. and presently died wholly away. Here was a vague possibility. then he could stay home from school. Sid yawned. Tom was aggravated. So he thought he would hold the tooth in reserve for the present. No ailment was found. so he fell to groaning with considerable spirit. and began to stare at Tom. This was lucky. then brought himself up on his elbow with a snort. Tom went on groaning. However. and Tom began to groan again. and he investigated again. Monday morning always found him so--because it began another week's slow suffering in school. This time he thought he could detect colicky symptoms. Sid snored on. CHAPTER VI MONDAY morning found Tom Sawyer miserable. his aunt would pull it out. Tom groaned louder. "Sid. Tom lay thinking. He canvassed his system. He reflected further. One of his upper front teeth was loose. This course worked well. He generally began that day with wishing he had had no intervening holiday. He took a rest and then swelled himself up and fetched a succession of admirable groans. it seemed well worth while to chance it. he was about to begin to groan. Nothing offered for some little time. it made the going into captivity and fetters again so much more odious. when it occurred to him that if he came into court with that argument. but he did not think it was upright in him to carry it off. Tom was panting with his exertions by this time." as he called it. No result from Sid.Tom Sawyer went home quite cheerful. and that would hurt. But now he did not know the necessary symptoms.

don't. with Sid and Mary at her heels. maybe. When I'm gone--" "Oh." "Tom. Don't joggle me.] "Here. auntie. Don't call anybody.] Everything you've ever done to me. and so his groans had gathered quite a genuine tone. [Groan. Tom. When she reached the bedside she gasped out: "You. don't stir so." "But I must! DON'T groan so. and her lip trembled. you'll kill me. Tom. too. what's the matter with you?" "Oh. Tom. Tom was suffering in reality. DON'T! It makes my flesh crawl to hear you. Sid. come! Tom's dying!" "Dying!" "Yes'm. you give my window-sash and my cat with one eye to that new girl that's come to town. Sid. Maybe--" "I forgive everybody. Tom! Tom. And Sid. Tom moaned out: "Oh. and tell her--" But Sid had snatched his clothes and gone. it's awful. Tom!" [No response. why didn't you wake me sooner? Oh. I'm--" . Sid flew down-stairs and said: "Oh. Don't wait--come quick!" "Rubbage! I don't believe it!" But she fled up-stairs. Tom? I must call auntie. Tom. you ain't dying. are you? Don't. don't. Ouch! Oh. now. Tom?" And he shook him and looked in his face anxiously." "No--never mind.] Tell 'em so."Tom! Say. nevertheless. Sid. Sid. what's the matter. Sid. How long you been this way?" "Hours. so handsomely was his imagination working. Tom--oh. Aunt Polly. what is the matter?" "I forgive you everything. [Groan. Tom! TOM! What is the matter. And her face grew white." "Why. It'll be over by and by.

and it hurt so I never minded my tooth at all. As Tom wended to school after breakfast. "Sour grapes!" and he wandered away a dismantled hero. now. and shorn of his glory. it SEEMED mortified. now. Tom. now found himself suddenly without an adherent. and one that had cut his finger and had been a centre of fascination and homage up to this time. but you're not going to die about that. then cried a little. I love you so. but another boy said. Mary." "Your tooth." Tom said: "Oh. Open your mouth. what a turn you did give me. and he said with a disdain which he did not feel that it wasn't anything to spit like Tom Sawyer. But all trials bring their compensations. and a chunk of fire out of the kitchen. Now you shut up that nonsense and climb out of this. auntie. The boy felt a little foolish. don't you? So all this row was because you thought you'd get to stay home from school and go a-fishing? Tom." By this time the dental instruments were ready. indeed! What's the matter with your tooth?" "One of them's loose. Well--your tooth IS loose. Then she seized the chunk of fire and suddenly thrust it almost into the boy's face. and he said: "Aunt Polly. and it aches perfectly awful. don't begin that groaning again." The groans ceased and the pain vanished from the toe. I don't want to stay home from school. The tooth hung dangling by the bedpost. please. It don't hurt any more. auntie. Please don't. get me a silk thread. and you seem to try every way you can to break my old heart with your outrageousness." "Oh. His heart was heavy. This restored her and she said: "Tom. He gathered quite a following of lads interested in the exhibition. auntie. there. The old lady made one end of the silk thread fast to Tom's tooth with a loop and tied the other to the bedpost. you don't. child?" "Oh." "There."What's the matter with you--what is the matter with you. then did both together. don't pull it out. I wish I may never stir if it does. my sore toe's mortified!" The old lady sank down into a chair and laughed a little. . he was the envy of every boy he met because the gap in his upper row of teeth enabled him to expectorate in a new and admirable way.

nobody forbade him to fight. and was under strict orders not to play with him. Huckleberry was cordially hated and dreaded by all the mothers of the town. and see how you like it. Petersburg. everything that goes to make life precious that boy had. Where'd you get him ?" "Bought him off'n a boy. the fringed legs dragged in the dirt when not rolled up. nor put on clean clothes. My. he was always the first boy that went barefoot in the spring and the last to resume leather in the fall. the seat of the trousers bagged low and contained nothing. and delighted in his forbidden society. his coat. because he was idle and lawless and vulgar and bad--and because all their children admired him so. he's pretty stiff. respectable boy in St. and they were in perennial bloom and fluttering with rags." "Lemme see him. and stay as long as it suited him. he did not have to go to school or to church." "Where'd you get the blue ticket?" "Bought it off'n Ben Rogers two weeks ago for a hoop-stick. Tom was like the rest of the respectable boys. when he wore one. hung nearly to his heels and had the rearward buttons far down the back. Huckleberry!" "Hello yourself. in that he envied Huckleberry his gaudy outcast condition." "What did you give?" "I give a blue ticket and a bladder that I got at the slaughter-house. but one suspender supported his trousers. hampered. he could go fishing or swimming when and where he chose. and wished they dared to be like him. at his own free will. he could swear wonderfully. he could sit up as late as he pleased. So thought every harassed. Huckleberry came and went. son of the town drunkard. Huckleberry Finn. or call any being master or obey anybody." "What's that you got?" "Dead cat. Huckleberry was always dressed in the cast-off clothes of full-grown men. In a word. Huck. he never had to wash." . Tom hailed the romantic outcast: "Hello. He slept on doorsteps in fine weather and in empty hogsheads in wet.Shortly Tom came upon the juvenile pariah of the village. So he played with him every time he got a chance. His hat was a vast ruin with a wide crescent lopped out of its brim.

" "No! Is that so? I know something that's better. what of it? They'll all lie. he told Jeff Thatcher. I don't know HIM." "Why. There now!" "Well. and Johnny told Jim Hollis. to the middle of the woods. Least I reckon so. I don't know." "Aha! Talk about trying to cure warts with spunk-water such a blame fool way as that! Why. Spunk-water." "Spunk-water! I wouldn't give a dern for spunk-water. But I never see a nigger that WOULDN'T lie. and Jim told Ben Rogers. and the nigger told me. spunk-water. What is it?" "Why. But Bob Tanner did. that ain't a-going to do any good. swaller these warts. Huck. spunk-water. injun-meal shorts. wouldn't you? D'you ever try it?" "No. and just as it's midnight you back up against the stump and jam your hand in and say: 'Barley-corn. where you know there's a spunk-water stump." "With his face to the stump?" "Yes." "Who told you so!" "Why. Shucks! Now you tell me how Bob Tanner done it. You got to go all by yourself.' . I hain't. Huck?" "Good for? Cure warts with." "I bet you don't. he took and dipped his hand in a rotten stump where the rain-water was. Leastways all but the nigger." "Did he say anything?" "I don't reckon he did. and Jeff told Johnny Baker. and Ben told a nigger."Say--what is dead cats good for." "You wouldn't." "In the daytime?" "Certainly. barley-corn.

though when you're burying it if you say 'Down bean. and if she hadn't dodged. D'you ever try it. and then you put the blood on one piece of the bean and take and dig a hole and bury it 'bout midnight at the crossroads in the dark of the moon. I KNOW she is. so he took up a rock. off wart. you can bet he didn't. She witched pap. and when they're taking that feller away. that sounds like a good way. 'Devil follow corpse. I reckon it's so." "Say! Why. Huck?" "No. I'm done with ye!' That'll fetch ANY wart. you take your cat and go and get in the graveyard 'long about midnight when somebody that was wicked has been buried. come no more to bother me!' it's better." "Well. then. trying to fetch the other piece to it. bean's good. That's the way Joe Harper does." . But say--how do you cure 'em with dead cats?" "Why. Pap says so his own self." "Have you? What's your way?" "You take and split the bean. but you can't see 'em. that's it. and so that helps the blood to draw the wart. and broke his arm. or maybe hear 'em talk. with your eyes shut. Huck. You see that piece that's got the blood on it will keep drawing and drawing. that very night he rolled off'n a shed wher' he was a layin drunk.and then walk away quick. and pretty soon off she comes. warts follow cat. but old Mother Hopkins told me. I've done that. I've took off thousands of warts off of my hands that way. and he see she was a-witching him. and he wouldn't have a wart on him if he'd knowed how to work spunk-water. and he's been nearly to Coonville and most everywheres. you heave your cat after 'em and say. eleven steps. and then you burn up the rest of the bean. and cut the wart so as to get some blood." "Yes." "Well. becuz he's the wartiest boy in this town. and when it's midnight a devil will come. but that ain't the way Bob Tanner done." "Yes. or maybe two or three. you can only hear something like the wind. Well." "No. and then turn around three times and walk home without speaking to anybody. he'd a got her. He come along one day. sir. Tom. I play with frogs so much that I've always got considerable many warts." "Sounds right. Because if you speak the charm's busted. Sometimes I take 'em off with a bean. Becuz they say she's a witch. Huck--that's it. cat follow devil.

I reckon they'll come after old Hoss Williams to-night. I don't reckon. Will you meow?" "Yes--and you meow back. if you get a chance." "Oh. Becuz when they mumble they're saying the Lord's Prayer backards. Didn't they get him Saturday night?" "Why. that's awful." "Where'd you get him?" "Out in the woods. becuz auntie was watching me. It's a good enough tick for me. Last time. Specially if they mumble." "What'll you take for him?" "I don't know. I'm satisfied with it. I could have a thousand of 'em if I wanted to." "Say. but I'll meow this time. This is a pretty early tick."Why. Lemme go with you?" "Of course--if you ain't afeard." "Sho. I reckon. It's a mighty small tick. I don't want to sell him." "All right. Say--what's that?" "Nothing but a tick." . when you going to try the cat?" "To-night. That's so." "I won't. you kep' me a-meowing around till old Hays went to throwing rocks at me and says 'Dern that cat!' and so I hove a brick through his window--but don't you tell. anyway. It's the first one I've seen this year. pap can tell. Hucky. Pap says when they keep looking at you right stiddy." "Afeard! 'Tain't likely. anybody can run a tick down that don't belong to them. I couldn't meow that night. how you talk! How could their charms work till midnight?--and THEN it's Sunday. there's ticks a plenty. easy." "But they buried him Saturday. why don't you? Becuz you know mighty well you can't. How did he know she was a-witching him?" "Lord. Devils don't slosh around much of a Sunday. they're a-witching you." "Well." "I never thought of that.

Now. sir."Say. lulled by the drowsy hum of study. with the manner of one who had come with all honest speed. At last he said: "Is it genuwyne?" Tom lifted his lip and showed the vacancy. "Well. why are you late again. and the boys separated. Huckleberry viewed it wistfully. and by that form was THE ONLY VACANT PLACE on the girls' side of the schoolhouse." Tom got out a bit of paper and carefully unrolled it. "it's a trade. The master. He instantly said: "I STOPPED TO TALK WITH HUCKLEBERRY FINN!" The master's pulse stood still. When Tom reached the little isolated frame schoolhouse. The interruption roused him. He hung his hat on a peg and flung himself into his seat with business-like alacrity. Huck--I'll give you my tooth for him. it meant trouble. when he saw two long tails of yellow hair hanging down a back that he recognized by the electric sympathy of love. all right. The master said: "You--you did what?" "Stopped to talk with Huckleberry Finn. was dozing." said Huckleberry." "Less see it. The temptation was very strong. as usual?" Tom was about to take refuge in a lie. "Thomas Sawyer!" Tom knew that when his name was pronounced in full. each feeling wealthier than before. throned on high in his great splint-bottom arm-chair. The pupils wondered if this foolhardy boy had lost his mind." Tom enclosed the tick in the percussion-cap box that had lately been the pinchbug's prison. "Sir!" "Come up here. and he stared helplessly. he strode in briskly." There was no mistaking the words. The buzz of study ceased. .

When she cautiously faced around again. hiding his work with his left hand. but with less animosity. She thrust it away again. Tom scrawled on his slate. He sat down upon the end of the pine bench and the girl hitched herself away from him with a toss of her head. At last she gave in and hesitatingly whispered: "Let me see it. apparently unconscious. Take off your jacket. Then she let it remain. then whispered: "It's nice--make a man." The girl glanced at the words. that resembled a derrick."Thomas Sawyer. but in reality that result was caused rather more by his worshipful awe of his unknown idol and the dread pleasure that lay in his high good fortune. When it was finished. but the boy did not betray that he was aware of it. Now the boy began to draw something on the slate. and the accustomed school murmur rose upon the dull air once more. low desk before him. and seemed to study his book. Then the order followed: "Now. The boy worked on." The master's arm performed until it was tired and the stock of switches notably diminished. this is the most astounding confession I have ever listened to. No mere ferule will answer for this offence. she was satisfied with the monster. but the girl was not hypercritical. sir. Nudges and winks and whispers traversed the room. Then the girl's interest began to fasten itself upon the work and she forgot everything else. a peach lay before her. with his arms upon the long. and whispered: "It's a beautiful man--now make me coming along." The titter that rippled around the room appeared to abash the boy. Tom gently put it back. He could have stepped over the house. By and by attention ceased from him. She observed it. She thrust it away. For a time the girl refused to notice." Tom partly uncovered a dismal caricature of a house with two gable ends to it and a corkscrew of smoke issuing from the chimney." The artist erected a man in the front yard. but her human curiosity presently began to manifest itself by hardly perceptible signs. The girl made a sort of noncommittal attempt to see. but made no sign. but Tom sat still. "made a mouth" at him and gave him the back of her head for the space of a minute. go and sit with the girls! And let this be a warning to you. Presently the boy began to steal furtive glances at the girl. "Please take it--I got more. she gazed a moment." Tom drew an hour-glass with a full moon and straw limbs to it and . Tom patiently returned it to its place.

" whispered Tom. You call me Tom." "Good--that's a whack. Please let me." "No it ain't. will you?" "Yes." "Oh. What's your name?" "Becky Thatcher. I won't ever tell ANYbody." "Oh. Tom said: "Oh. It's Thomas Sawyer. . The girl said: "It's ever so nice--I wish I could draw." "Oh. you bad thing!" And she hit his hand a smart rap. You don't want to see. Do you go home to dinner?" "I'll stay if you will. as long as you live?" "No. indeed I do." "That's the name they lick me by. Tom pretending to resist in earnest but letting his hand slip by degrees till these words were revealed: "I LOVE YOU." "Yes it is. but reddened and looked pleased." And she put her small hand upon his and a little scuffle ensued. nevertheless. will you? When?" "At noon. I WILL see. She begged to see. What's yours? Oh. I'm Tom when I'm good. YOU don't want to see!" "Now that you treat me so." Now Tom began to scrawl something on the slate.armed the spreading fingers with a portentous fan." "You'll tell." "It's easy. But she was not backward this time." "No I won't--deed and deed and double deed won't." "Yes I do. I know. "I'll learn you." "You won't tell anybody at all? Ever. hiding the words from the girl. it ain't anything. Now let me.

though he did not know it. then in the spelling class. CHAPTER VII THE harder Tom tried to fasten his mind on his book. at this moment. The creature probably glowed with a gratitude that amounted to prayer. suffering just as Tom had been. Cardiff Hill lifted its soft green sides through a shimmering veil of heat. Joe took a pin out of his lapel and began to assist in exercising the prisoner. he gave it up. too. under a peppering fire of giggles from the whole school. His hand wandered into his pocket and his face lit up with a glow of gratitude that was prayer. This bosom friend was Joe Harper. till chaos was come again. The two boys were sworn friends all the week. or else to have something of interest to do to pass the dreary time. and they were asleep. and a steady lifting impulse. Away off in the flaming sunshine. but the turmoil within him was too great. and neither getting the fullest benefit of the tick. Then furtively the percussion-cap box came out. So at last. his heart was jubilant. a few birds floated on lazy wing high in the air. In that vise he was borne across the house and deposited in his own seat. Then the master stood over him during a few awful moments. It was the sleepiest of sleepy days. Tom's heart ached to be free. but it was premature: for when he started thankfully to travel off. The air was utterly dead. The sport grew in interest momently. There was not a breath stirring. As the school quieted down Tom made an honest effort to study. no other living thing was visible but some cows. In turn he took his place in the reading class and made a botch of it. So he put Joe's slate on the desk and drew a line down the middle of it from top to bottom. and finally moved away to his throne without saying a word. Tom turned him aside with a pin and made him take a new direction. Soon Tom said that they were interfering with each other. with a sigh and a yawn. and got "turned down. .Just at this juncture the boy felt a slow." by a succession of mere baby words. He released the tick and put him on the long flat desk. mountains into rivers. Tom's bosom friend sat next him. till he brought up at the foot and yielded up the pewter medal which he had worn with ostentation for months. It seemed to him that the noon recess would never come. and now he was deeply and gratefully interested in this entertainment in an instant. But although Tom's ear tingled. tinted with the purple of distance. the more his ideas wandered. The drowsing murmur of the five and twenty studying scholars soothed the soul like the spell that is in the murmur of bees. and rivers into continents. then in the geography class and turned lakes into mountains. fateful grip closing on his ear. and embattled enemies on Saturdays.

" "All right." said he. and you sha'n't touch him. though. At last luck seemed to settle and abide with Joe. go ahead. and the other course. Joe Harper. The tick tried this. sir. presently. and for the space of two minutes the dust continued to fly from the two jackets and the whole school to enjoy it. you're to leave him alone as long as I can keep him from crossing over. so to speak." "Look here. I tell you. whose is that tick?" "I don't care whose tick he is--he's on my side of the line." "I won't!" "You shall--he's on my side of the line." The tick escaped from Tom. and got as excited and as anxious as the boys themselves. but time and again just as he would have victory in his very grasp. I'll just bet I will." "No. He had contemplated a good part of the performance before he contributed his bit of variety to it. and Tom's fingers would be twitching to begin. and crossed the equator. Joe. the two heads bowed together over the slate. He's my tick and I'll do what I blame please with him." "Well. At last Tom could stand it no longer. the other would look on with interest as strong. Said he: "Tom. The boys had been too absorbed to notice the hush that had stolen upon the school awhile before when the master came tiptoeing down the room and stood over them." "Blame it. and the two souls dead to all things else. So he reached out and lent a hand with his pin. Joe was angry in a moment. you let him alone. . This change of base occurred often. that. you just let him alone. or die!" A tremendous whack came down on Tom's shoulders. start him up." "Let him alone. "as long as he is on your side you can stir him up and I'll let him alone. but if you let him get away and get on my side. and then he got away and crossed back again. While one boy was worrying the tick with absorbing interest. Joe's pin would deftly head him off. The temptation was too strong. I ain't going to stir him much. it ain't fair. and its duplicate on Joe's. Joe harassed him awhile."Now. and keep possession." "I only just want to stir him up a little.

to swing round your head with a string. and dangled their legs against the bench in excess of contentment. Ben Rogers says. In a little while the two met at the bottom of the lane. give the rest of 'em the slip. and the other with another. too--LIVE ones. I should say so! I wish I had some now. guiding it." . There's things going on at a circus all the time. Tom flew to Becky Thatcher. engaged to be married. but you must give it back to me. all spotted up." "I been to the circus three or four times--lots of times. Then they sat together." So the one went off with one group of scholars. They're so lovely. and Tom gave Becky the pencil and held her hand in his. if I'm good." "Oh. was you ever engaged?" "What's that?" "Why. But I mean dead ones. And they get slathers of money--most a dollar a day." "No." "Yes.When school broke up at noon. Becky. I'm going to be a clown in a circus when I grow up. Tom was swimming in bliss. and turn down through the lane and come back. "Yes. and when you get to the corner. Church ain't shucks to a circus. so they chewed it turn about. Say. anyway. that's so. and so created another surprising house. He said: "Do you love rats?" "No! I hate them!" "Well. and whispered in her ear: "Put on your bonnet and let on you're going home. I do." "Oh. When the interest in art began to wane." "Do you? I've got some. with a slate before them. the two fell to talking. What I like is chewing-gum. "Was you ever at a circus?" said Tom. and my pa's going to take me again some time. are you! That will be nice. I'll go the other way and come it over 'em the same way. I don't care for rats much. I'll let you chew it awhile. and when they reached the school they had it all to themselves." That was agreeable.

Tom? Now you won't. But you mustn't ever tell anybody--WILL you. is to--well. and then said: "You turn your face away so you can't see. What is it like?" "Like? Why it ain't like anything. ever ever ever." "No. no. You only just tell a boy you won't ever have anybody but him. and then I will. that. I don't know. indeed." She resisted. and then you kiss and that's all. WILL you?" "No. Now. Becky--I'll whisper it. not now--to-morrow. NOW. Do you remember what I wrote on the slate?" "Ye--yes. yes."No." "Kiss? What do you kiss for?" "Why. Please." "Would you like to?" "I reckon so." "Shall I tell YOU?" "Ye--yes--but some other time." "Everybody?" "Why. And then he added: "Now you whisper it to me--just the same." "Oh. everybody that's in love with each other. Becky. Anybody can do it." He turned his face away. for a while. with his mouth close to her ear. they always do that. now. and passed his arm about her waist and whispered the tale ever so softly. you know. I'll whisper it ever so easy." "No. She bent timidly around till her breath . Tom took silence for consent." "What was it?" "I sha'n't tell you." Becky hesitating. indeed I won't.

when there ain't anybody looking--and you choose me and I choose you at parties. Tom. He stood about. and took refuge in a corner at last. I don't care for her any more. confused." And he tugged at her apron and the hands. That's PART of it. I'll never love anybody but you. and went on crying. By and by she gave up.stirred his curls and whispered. hoping she would repent and come to find him. all glowing with the struggle. and let her hands drop. with soothing words in his mouth. Becky. It was a hard struggle with him to make new advances. Then he began to feel badly and fear that he was in the wrong." "Certainly. you do. but she pushed him away and turned her face to the wall. I never heard of it before. every now and then. now. either. Tom! Then I ain't the first you've ever been engaged to!" The child began to cry. Tom--you know you do. Tom kissed the red lips and said: "Now it's all done. sobbing. Don't you be afraid of that--it ain't anything at all." "It's so nice. don't cry. Tom said: "Oh. Then his pride was up. glancing at the door. Becky. But she did not. me and Amy Lawrence--" The big eyes told Tom his blunder and he stopped. ever never and forever. Please. Becky. you're to walk with me. "I--love--you!" Then she sprang away and ran around and around the desks and benches. She was still standing back there in the corner. and he strode away and went outside. but he nerved himself to it and entered." "Yes. Tom clasped her about her neck and pleaded: "Now. you know. and you ain't ever to marry anybody but me. And always coming to school or when we're going home. Of course. and I'll never marry anybody but you--and you ain't to ever marry anybody but me. Tom tried again. and was repulsed again. with ." Tom tried to put his arm about her neck. Becky. And always after this. her face. restless and uneasy. it's all done--all over but the kiss. with Tom after her. for a while. Will you?" "No. "Oh." "Oh. came up and submitted. because that's the way you do when you're engaged. with her little white apron to her face. you ain't ever to love anybody but me. it's ever so gay! Why.

He went to her and stood a moment. He crossed a small "branch" two or three times. Tom's heart smote him. and . He entered a dense wood. It seemed to him that life was but a trouble. Then she called: "Tom! Come back. Presently Becky began to suspect. and sat down on a mossy spot under a spreading oak. because of a prevailing juvenile superstition that to cross water baffled pursuit. Tom!" She listened intently. Half an hour later he was disappearing behind the Douglas mansion on the summit of Cardiff Hill. aching afternoon. She had no companions but silence and loneliness. "Becky"--pleadingly. nature lay in a trance that was broken by no sound but the occasional far-off hammering of a woodpecker. I--I don't care for anybody but you. he was not there. at best. to return to school no more that day. and the schoolhouse was hardly distinguishable away off in the valley behind him. So she sat down to cry again and upbraid herself. she flew around to the play-yard. CHAPTER VIII TOM dodged hither and thither through lanes until he was well out of the track of returning scholars. She ran to the door. dreary. a brass knob from the top of an andiron. the dead noonday heat had even stilled the songs of the birds. with none among the strangers about her to exchange sorrows with. not knowing exactly how to proceed. his feelings were in happy accord with his surroundings. won't you take it?" She struck it to the floor. and by this time the scholars began to gather again. He sat long with his elbows on his knees and his chin in his hands. meditating. "Becky. and passed it around her so that she could see it. and then fell into a moody jog.her face to the wall. Then he said hesitatingly: "Becky. won't you say something?" More sobs. There was not even a zephyr stirring. picked his pathless way to the centre of it. The boy's soul was steeped in melancholy. and said: "Please. Tom got out his chiefest jewel. Then Tom marched out of the house and over the hills and far away. he was not in sight." No reply--but sobs. but there was no answer. and this seemed to render the pervading silence and sense of loneliness the more profound. Becky. and she had to hide her griefs and still her broken heart and take up the cross of a long.

he would join the Indians. He had meant the best in the world. now. his crime-rusted cutlass at his side. there was something gaudier even than this. into unknown countries beyond the seas--and never came back any more! How would she feel then! The idea of being a clown recurred to him now. black-hulled racer. If he only had a clean Sunday-school record he could be willing to go. his great jack-boots. come! What's here. some drowsy summer morning. in his long. it was settled. low. For frivolity and jokes and spotted tights were an offense. it must be very peaceful. the Spirit of the Storm. and sear the eyeballs of all his companions with unappeasable envy. his career was determined. he thought. and been treated like a dog--like a very dog. all war-worn and illustrious. and make people shudder! How gloriously he would go plowing the dancing seas. he would be a soldier. No--better still. Tom presently began to drift insensibly back into the concerns of this life again. only to fill him with disgust. He would be a pirate! That was it! NOW his future lay plain before him. how he would suddenly appear at the old village and stalk into church. his crimson sash. to lie and slumber and dream forever and ever. He put his hand there and uttered this incantation impressively: "What hasn't come here. and nothing to bother and grieve about. and be done with it all. if he could only die TEMPORARILY! But the elastic heart of youth cannot be compressed into one constrained shape long at a time. ever any more. How his name would fill the world. stay here!" Then he scraped away the dirt. and prance into Sunday-school. with the wind whispering through the trees and caressing the grass and the flowers over the grave. and hear with swelling ecstasy the whisperings. and away in the future come back a great chief. He would start the very next morning. Ah. and glowing with unimaginable splendor. in his black velvet doublet and trunks. and exposed a pine shingle. and hunt buffaloes and go on the warpath in the mountain ranges and the trackless great plains of the Far West. He took it . He soon struck wood that sounded hollow. He would run away from home and enter upon it. He would collect his resources together. when they intruded themselves upon a spirit that was exalted into the vague august realm of the romantic. and return after long years. Now as to this girl. and disappeared mysteriously? What if he went away--ever so far away. his belt bristling with horse-pistols. But no.he more than half envied Jimmy Hodges. brown and weather-beaten. No. hideous with paint. bristling with feathers. What if he turned his back. his slouch hat with waving plumes. his black flag unfurled. with his grisly flag flying at the fore! And at the zenith of his fame. Therefore he must now begin to get ready. What had he done? Nothing. She would be sorry some day--maybe when it was too late. with a bloodcurdling war-whoop. with the skull and crossbones on it. "It's Tom Sawyer the Pirate!--the Black Avenger of the Spanish Main!" Yes. He went to a rotten log near at hand and began to dig under one end of it with his Barlow knife. so lately released.

himself. Tom's whole structure of faith was shaken to its foundations. so he gave up discouraged. this thing had actually and unquestionably failed. turned a . tell me what I want to know!" The sand began to work. Just here the blast of a toy tin trumpet came faintly down the green aisles of the forest. He had many a time heard of this thing succeeding but never of its failing before. He puzzled over the matter some time. that a superstition of his had failed. and finally decided that some witch had interfered and broken the charm. doodle-bug. you would find that all the marbles you had ever lost had gathered themselves together there. He thought he would satisfy himself on that point. and went there and looked. Tom's astonishment was boundless! He scratched his head with a perplexed air. doodle-bug. which he and all his comrades had always looked upon as infallible. and presently a small black bug appeared for a second and then darted under again in a fright. so he searched around till he found a small sandy spot with a little funnel-shaped depression in it. here. But now. that beats anything!" Then he tossed the marble away pettishly. but could never find the hiding-places afterward. so he tried twice more. and therefore he went and made a patient search for it. It did not occur to him that he had tried it several times before. and left it alone a fortnight. no matter how widely they had been separated. then he took another marble from his pocket and tossed it in the same way. I just knowed it. But he could not find it. The truth was. In it lay a marble. If you buried a marble with certain necessary incantations." He well knew the futility of trying to contend against witches. The last repetition was successful. But it must have fallen short or gone too far. meantime. and stood cogitating. The two marbles lay within a foot of each other. tell me what I want to know! Doodle-bug. saying: "Brother. "He dasn't tell! So it WAS a witch that done it. But it occurred to him that he might as well have the marble he had just thrown away. He laid himself down and put his mouth close to this depression and called-"Doodle-bug. go find your brother!" He watched where it stopped. and said: "Well. and then opened the place with the incantation he had just used. Tom flung off his jacket and trousers.up and disclosed a shapely little treasure-house whose bottom and sides were of shingles. Now he went back to his treasure-house and carefully placed himself just as he had been standing when he tossed the marble away.

" Now appeared Joe Harper. "Who art thou that dares to hold such language?" "I. as thy caitiff carcase soon shall know. if you've got the hang. He said cautiously--to an imaginary company: "Hold. prompting--for they talked "by the book." said Tom. received the whack and fell. That's fair." "Then art thou indeed that famous outlaw? Right gladly will I dispute with thee the passes of the merry wood. "two up and two down. getting up. raked away some brush behind the rotten log. indeed! I am Robin Hood." said Joe. The book says. so Joe turned. with fluttering shirt." Presently Tom said: "Now. that ain't anything. disclosing a rude bow and arrow. I can't fall.suspender into a belt. Who art thou that--that--" "Dares to hold such language." panting and perspiring with the work. blew an answering blast. barelegged. that ain't the way it is in the book." "Why. careful combat. and in a moment had seized these things and bounded away. and began a grave. my merry men! Keep hid till I blow. a lath sword and a tin trumpet. and then began to tiptoe and look warily out. Tom called: "Hold! Who comes here into Sherwood Forest without my pass?" "Guy of Guisborne wants no man's pass.' You're to turn around and let me hit you in the back. "you got to let me kill YOU. struck a fencing attitude." . this way and that." from memory. By and by Tom shouted: "Fall! fall! Why don't you fall?" "I sha'n't! Why don't you fall yourself? You're getting the worst of it." There was no getting around the authorities. go it lively!" So they "went it lively. "Now. He presently halted under a great elm. as airily clad and elaborately armed as Tom. dumped their other traps on the ground. 'Then with one back-handed stroke he slew poor Guy of Guisborne. foot to foot. Have at thee!" They took their lath swords.

Tom and Sid were sent to bed. They said they would rather be outlaws a year in Sherwood Forest than President of the United States forever. as his nerves demanded. a most melancholy caterwauling. CHAPTER IX AT half-past nine. as usual. and wondering what modern civilization could claim to have done to compensate for their loss. or I'll be the Sheriff of Nottingham and you be Robin Hood a little while and kill me. but he was afraid he might wake Sid. that night. Old beams began to crack mysteriously. mingling with his half-formed dreams. Next the ghastly ticking of a deathwatch in the wall at the bed's head made Tom shudder--it meant that somebody's days were numbered. and so these adventures were carried out. but he lit on a nettle and sprang up too gaily for a corpse. he heard the clock strike ten! This was despair. began. And now the tiresome chirping of a cricket that no human ingenuity could locate. muffled snore issued from Aunt Polly's chamber. So he lay still. but he did not hear it. and Tom said. The boys dressed themselves. He would have tossed and fidgeted. By and by. hid their accoutrements. there bury poor Robin Hood under the greenwood tree. out of the stillness. And then there came. and a single minute later he was dressed and . The raising of a neighboring window disturbed him. and lam me with a quarter-staff. and stared up into the dark. Then the howl of a far-off dog rose on the night air. and went off grieving that there were no outlaws any more. gave his bow into his feeble hands. and Sid was soon asleep. Tom lay awake and waited. "Where this arrow falls. representing a whole tribe of weeping outlaws. and was allowed by the treacherous nun to bleed his strength away through his neglected wound. They said their prayers. he began to doze. At last he was satisfied that time had ceased and eternity begun. Joe. When it seemed to him that it must be nearly daylight. you can be Friar Tuck or Much the miller's son. Tom was in an agony. The stairs creaked faintly. little. Then Tom became Robin Hood again. The ticking of the clock began to bring itself into notice." This was satisfactory. A cry of "Scat! you devil!" and the crash of an empty bottle against the back of his aunt's woodshed brought him wide awake." Then he shot the arrow and fell back and would have died." "Well. it's blamed mean--that's all. Evidently spirits were abroad. A measured. in spite of himself. scarcely perceptible noises began to emphasize themselves. in restless impatience. dragged him sadly forth. Everything was dismally still."Why. say. I can't do that. and was answered by a fainter howl from a remoter distance. it ain't in the book. And at last Joe." "Well. the clock chimed eleven.

AIN'T it?" "I bet it is. They found the sharp new heap they were seeking. now. for the time and the place and the pervading solemnity and silence oppressed their spirits. even if there had been light.out of the window and creeping along the roof of the "ell" on all fours. as he went. It's awful solemn like. But I never meant any harm. leaning for support and finding none. on the most of them. and Tom feared it might be the spirits of the dead. but it could no longer have been read. At the end of half an hour they were wading through the tall grass of the graveyard. about a mile and a half from the village. Huckleberry Finn was there." Tom. He "meow'd" with caution once or twice. All the old graves were sunken in." . The boys talked little. Grass and weeds grew rank over the whole cemetery. worm-eaten boards staggered over the graves. Then they waited in silence for what seemed a long time. Hucky--do you reckon Hoss Williams hears us talking?" "O' course he does. Least his sperrit does. complaining at being disturbed. and only under their breath. then jumped to the roof of the woodshed and thence to the ground. and ensconced themselves within the protection of three great elms that grew in a bunch within a few feet of the grave. So he said in a whisper: "Hucky. do you believe the dead people like it for us to be here?" Huckleberry whispered: "I wisht I knowed. and outward the rest of the time. It was a graveyard of the old-fashioned Western kind. "Sacred to the memory of" So-and-So had been painted on them once." There was a considerable pause. with his dead cat. Tom's reflections grew oppressive. round-topped. while the boys canvassed this matter inwardly. He must force some talk. A faint wind moaned through the trees. The boys moved off and disappeared in the gloom. The hooting of a distant owl was all the sound that troubled the dead stillness. Then Tom whispered: "Say. It was on a hill. which leaned inward in places. Everybody calls him Hoss. It had a crazy board fence around it. there was not a tombstone on the place. after a pause: "I wish I'd said Mister Williams. but stood upright nowhere.

If we keep perfectly still."A body can't be too partic'lar how they talk 'bout these-yer dead people." "Listen!" The boys bent their heads together and scarcely breathed. What'll we do?" "I dono." Some vague figures approached through the gloom. Tom. they can see in the dark. but. Oh. A muffled sound of voices floated up from the far end of the graveyard. Tom. Tom?" And the two clung together with beating hearts. 'Now I lay me down to sleep. swinging an old-fashioned tin lantern that freckled the ground with innumerable little spangles of light." This was a damper. I--'" . We ain't doing any harm. Tom. Think they'll see us?" "Oh. Tom." "I'll try to. same as cats. They ain't going to hurt us." "Lord. but don't you be afeard. we're goners! Can you pray?" "I'll try. "Look! See there!" whispered Tom. sure. and conversation died again. I don't believe they'll bother us. don't be afeard. Presently Huckleberry whispered with a shudder: "It's the devils sure enough. maybe they won't notice us at all. "Sh! There 'tis again! Didn't you hear it?" "I--" "There! Now you hear it. "What is it?" "It's devil-fire. Tom. Tom. Lord." "Oh. Three of 'em! Lordy. this is awful. I wisht I hadn't come. Presently Tom seized his comrade's arm and said: "Sh!" "What is it. I'm all of a shiver. they're coming! They're coming.

Now they're hot. anyway. in a low voice. The barrow was got ready and the corpse placed on it. "the moon might come out at any moment. and within another minute or two the men had hoisted it out on the ground. Finally a spade struck upon the coffin with a dull woody accent. They pried off the lid with their shovels. Can't find it. Potter took out a large spring-knife and cut off the dangling end of the rope and then said: "Now the cussed thing's ready. The moon drifted from behind the clouds and exposed the pallid face. Potter and Injun Joe were carrying a handbarrow with a rope and a couple of shovels on it. He was so close the boys could have touched him. Say. men!" he said. or here she stays." They growled a response and went on digging. the same as usual. Huck?" "They're HUMANS! One of 'em is. Here they come again. Drunk." "No--'tain't so. Hot again. and bound to its place with the rope. covered with a blanket. I'll keep still. Now they're stuck. "Here it is. One of 'em's old Muff Potter's voice. It was very monotonous. and you'll just out with another five. Don't you stir nor budge. Cold again. Sawbones. now. Red hot! They're p'inted right. it's Injun Joe. I know another o' them voices. this time. "Hurry. The doctor put the lantern at the head of the grave and came and sat down with his back against one of the elm trees." . likely--blamed old rip!" "All right. They cast down their load and began to open the grave. For some time there was no noise but the grating sound of the spades discharging their freight of mould and gravel."Sh!" "What is it. He ain't sharp enough to notice us." "That's so--that murderin' half-breed! I'd druther they was devils a dern sight. is it?" "I bet I know it. What kin they be up to?" The whisper died wholly out." said the third voice. and the owner of it held the lantern up and revealed the face of young Doctor Robinson. for the three men had reached the grave and stood within a few feet of the boys' hiding-place. Huck. got out the body and dumped it rudely on the ground.

when the moon emerged again. round and round about the combatants. and I've paid you. pushing the body from him. His hand closed upon the knife. He reeled and fell partly upon Potter. Joe?" he said. Then he sat up. your father had me jailed for a vagrant. Injun Joe sprang to his feet. and you said I warn't there for any good. His eyes met Joe's. and exclaimed: "Here. After which he put the fatal knife in Potter's open right hand." said Injun Joe. Potter dropped his knife. approaching the doctor. trampling the grass and tearing the ground with their heels. by this time. don't you hit my pard!" and the next moment he had grappled with the doctor and the two were struggling with might and main. confusedly. and gazed at it. without moving. and then around him. "Lord. And now I've GOT you. All at once the doctor flung himself free. when I come to ask for something to eat. what does this mean?" said the doctor. his eyes flaming with passion. and you got to SETTLE. flooding him with his blood." said Joe. and when I swore I'd get even with you if it took a hundred years. he raised it. "What did you do it for?" . and then Potter began to stir and moan." Then he robbed the body. with his fist in his face. "You required your pay in advance. "Look here. glanced at it. who was now standing. The doctor struck out suddenly and stretched the ruffian on the ground. The half-breed muttered: "THAT score is settled--damn you. catlike and stooping. "Five years ago you drove me away from your father's kitchen one night. you know!" He was threatening the doctor. gave a long gasp or two and was still. Did you think I'd forget? The Injun blood ain't in me for nothing. Presently." "Yes. seeking an opportunity. Injun Joe was standing over the two forms. contemplating them. now. how is this. and went creeping. Three --four--five minutes passed. The doctor murmured inarticulately. snatched up Potter's knife. seized the heavy headboard of Williams' grave and felled Potter to the earth with it--and in the same instant the half-breed saw his chance and drove the knife to the hilt in the young man's breast. and let it fall. "It's a dirty business. with a shudder. and sat down on the dismantled coffin."That's the talk!" said Injun Joe. and in the same moment the clouds blotted out the dreadful spectacle and the two frightened boys went speeding away in the dark. and you done more than that.

can't recollect anything of it." "Oh. "Come. You be off yonder way and I'll go this. Tell me how it was. There. the lidless coffin. Joe. He muttered: "If he's as much stunned with the lick and fuddled with the rum as he had the look of being. and snatched the knife and jammed it into him. WILL you. They'll all say that. I'd no business to drink to-night. The stillness was complete again. Muff Potter." "Oh. I wish I may die this minute if I did." "Why. Joe. I never meant to. you're an angel. the blanketed corpse. I'm all in a muddle." And Potter began to cry. and he fetched you one with the headboard and you fell flat. you two was scuffling." Potter started on a trot that quickly increased to a run. now."I! I never done it!" "Look here! That kind of talk won't wash. . Oh. that's as fair as a man can say. "No. too. Joe?" And the poor creature dropped on his knees before the stolid murderer. now. he won't think of the knife till he's gone so far he'll be afraid to come back after it to such a place by himself --chicken-heart!" Two or three minutes later the murdered man. I reckon. Don't you remember? You WON'T tell. "I thought I'd got sober. all reeling and staggering like. and don't leave any tracks behind you. I always liked you. just as he fetched you another awful clip--and here you've laid. It was all on account of the whiskey and the excitement. Joe. Move. now. but never with weepons. and stood up for you. you've always been fair and square with me. Joe--HONEST. I never used a weepon in my life before. it's awful--and him so young and promising. The half-breed stood looking after him. don't tell! Say you won't tell. Joe--that's a good feller. that's enough of that. as dead as a wedge til now. This ain't any time for blubbering. Joe. hardly. and the open grave were under no inspection but the moon's. I didn't know what I was a-doing. I'll bless you for this the longest day I live. Joe. and clasped his appealing hands. and I won't go back on you. too. I've fought. But it's in my head yet--worse'n when we started here." Potter trembled and grew white. I never meant to--'pon my soul and honor. Tell me. now. old feller--did I do it? Joe. and then up you come. Joe.

They glanced backward over their shoulders from time to time." Tom thought a while. and at last." Huckleberry's hard pantings were his only reply. they burst through the open door and fell grateful and exhausted in the sheltering shadows beyond. I KNOW it. just as dead sure as we're a laying here. "I can't stand it much longer. the barking of the aroused watch-dogs seemed to give wings to their feet." "That's just what I was thinking to myself. D'you reckon . Tom. "If we can only get to the old tannery before we break down!" whispered Tom. They gained steadily on it. and made them catch their breath.CHAPTER X THE two boys flew on and on. I reckon hanging'll come of it. if he's fool enough. and Tom whispered: "Huckleberry." Tom said nothing--went on thinking. Huck. in short catches between breaths. breast to breast. and the boys fixed their eyes on the goal of their hopes and bent to their work to win it. He's generally drunk enough." "If anybody tells. let Muff Potter do it. then he said: "Who'll tell? We?" "What are you talking about? S'pose something happened and Injun Joe DIDN'T hang? Why. and as they sped by some outlying cottages that lay near the village. speechless with horror. How can he tell?" "What's the reason he don't know it?" "Because he'd just got that whack when Injun Joe done it." "Do you though?" "Why. toward the village. Every stump that started up in their path seemed a man and an enemy. apprehensively. Muff Potter don't know it. he'd kill us some time or other. By and by their pulses slowed down. as if they feared they might be followed. Presently he whispered: "Huck. what do you reckon'll come of this?" "If Doctor Robinson dies.

Well. 'taint likely.he could see anything? D'you reckon he knowed anything?" "By hokey. but Tom said: . I dono. you might take and belt him over the head with a church and you couldn't phase him. He picked up a clean pine shingle that lay in the moonlight. It was deep. and the sublimity of his language. That's good enough for little rubbishy common things--specially with gals. of course. He says so. Tom." "I'm agreed. look-a-here. and letting up the pressure on the up-strokes. He at once took a pin from his lapel and was going to prick his flesh. look-a-here--maybe that whack done for HIM!" "No. you sure you can keep mum?" "Tom. and dark. [See next page. I could see that. Would you just hold hands and swear that we--" "Oh no. But if a man was dead sober. were in keeping with it. and blab if they get in a huff--but there orter be writing 'bout a big thing like this." Huckleberry was filled with admiration of Tom's facility in writing. he always has. That Injun devil wouldn't make any more of drownding us than a couple of cats. Tom said: "Hucky. Tom. less take and swear to one another--that's what we got to do--swear to keep mum. and painfully scrawled these lines. that's so.] "Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer swears they will keep mum about This and They wish They may Drop down dead in Their Tracks if They ever Tell and Rot. I reckon maybe that whack might fetch him." Tom's whole being applauded this idea. his own self. the surroundings. So it's the same with Muff Potter. Now. emphasizing each slow down-stroke by clamping his tongue between his teeth. And blood." After another reflective silence. It's the best thing. if we was to squeak 'bout this and they didn't hang him. took a little fragment of "red keel" out of his pocket. and besides. got the moon on his work. cuz THEY go back on you anyway. the hour. that wouldn't do for this. You know that. the circumstances. when pap's full. we GOT to keep mum. He had liquor in him. and awful. Tom!" "And besides.

There 'tis again!" "Oh. "does this keep us from EVER telling --ALWAYS?" "Of course it does. Presently a dog set up a long. It might have verdigrease on it." "What's verdigrease?" "It's p'ison. after many squeezes. using the ball of his little finger for a pen. now." whispered Huckleberry." So Tom unwound the thread from one of his needles."Hold on! Don't do that. It don't make any difference WHAT happens. Tom. lordy. Huck!" "Please. I'm thankful!" whispered Tom. and the oath was complete. in an agony of fright. I reckon that's so. A pin's brass. In time. That's what it is. and the fetters that bound their tongues were considered to be locked and the key thrown away. We'd drop down dead--don't YOU know that?" "Yes. with some dismal ceremonies and incantations. It's Bull Harbison. "Which of us does he mean?" gasped Huckleberry. Tom!" "I can't--I can't DO it. A figure crept stealthily through a break in the other end of the ruined building. Harbison owned a slave named Bull. They buried the shingle close to the wall. Then he showed Huckleberry how to make an H and an F. and each boy pricked the ball of his thumb and squeezed out a drop of blood. we got to keep mum."] . You just swaller some of it once --you'll see. YOU." but a son or a dog of that name was "Bull Harbison. "I know his voice. Quick!" "No. "Tom." * [* If Mr. The boys clasped each other suddenly. lugubrious howl just outside--within ten feet of them. but they did not notice it. "I dono--peep through the crack." They continued to whisper for some little time. Tom managed to sign his initials. Tom would have spoken of him as "Harbison's Bull.

never thought. The boys' hearts sank once more. "DO. Huck. like Sid. I reckon there ain't no mistake 'bout where I'LL go to. Hucky. "Consound it. His whisper was hardly audible when he said: "Oh. yielded. LORDY. "Sounds like--like hogs grunting."Oh. Oh." The dog howled again. Pap used to sleep there. with joy in his heart. he did. I reckon he ain't ever ." "Oh. he has. Tom!" Tom. Huck?" "I bleeve it's down at 'tother end. but laws bless you. my! that ain't no Bull Harbison!" whispered Huckleberry. But if ever I get off this time. quick! Who does he mean?" "Huck. Besides. Tom Sawyer. Tom. IT S A STRAY DOG!" "Quick. I wisht I only had half your chance. "Sh! What's that?" he whispered. "Well. by jingoes! Did he before?" "Yes. I been so wicked. look! He's got his BACK to us!" Hucky looked. lordy. he must mean us both--we're right together. Tom pricked up his ears. if I'd a tried --but no. you're just old pie. and put his eye to the crack. like a fool. I lay I'll just WALLER in Sunday-schools!" And Tom began to snuffle a little. of course. "Oh. this is bully. But I. you know. I reckon we're goners. anyway. I wouldn't. No--it's somebody snoring. Tom. lordy." "That IS it! Where 'bouts is it." Tom choked off and whispered: "Look. NOW who can he mean?" The howling stopped. 'long with the hogs. he just lifts things when HE snores. Sounds so." "Dad fetch it! This comes of playing hookey and doing everything a feller's told NOT to do. Tom. 'longside o' what I am. that's good--I tell you. Tom. quaking with fear. Oh. "YOU bad!" and Huckleberry began to snuffle too. I'd a bet anything it was a STRAY dog. I might a been good. sometimes. I was most scared to death.

as much as two weeks ago. It was Muff Potter. and his face came into the moonlight. it's HIM!" exclaimed both boys. and FACING Potter. when the man moved. "Say. do you das't to go if I lead?" "I don't like to. and had been so for an hour. "Oh. lugubrious howl rose on the night air again! They turned and saw the strange dog standing within a few feet of where Potter was lying. Tom--they say a stray dog come howling around Johnny Miller's house. When Tom awoke. "Hucky. The boys' hearts had stood still. just as dead sure as Muff Potter's a goner. She's a goner." The spirit of adventure rose in the boys' souls once more. s'pose it's Injun Joe!" Tom quailed. the very same evening. cogitating. Why had he not been called--persecuted till he was up. That's what the niggers say." "All right. but she ain't DEAD.coming back to this town any more. too. but they had finished breakfast. in a breath. a late sense in the atmosphere. He undressed with excessive caution. with the understanding that they would take to their heels if the snoring stopped. Sid was dressed and gone. Tom. but there were . So they went tiptoeing stealthily down. But presently the temptation rose up strong again and the boys agreed to try. she's getting better. much. That long. and there ain't anybody dead there yet. you wait and see. They tiptoed out. the one behind the other. The man moaned. as usual? The thought filled him with bodings. The family were still at table. and it broke with a sharp snap. When Tom crept in at his bedroom window the night was almost spent. 'bout midnight. and fell asleep congratulating himself that nobody knew of his escapade. and stopped at a little distance to exchange a parting word. and a whippoorwill come in and lit on the banisters and sung. writhed a little. He was not aware that the gently-snoring Sid was awake. He was startled. with his nose pointing heavenward. and their hopes too. When they had got to within five steps of the snorer. and they know all about these kind of things. but their fears passed away now. I know that. Didn't Gracie Miller fall in the kitchen fire and burn herself terrible the very next Saturday?" "Yes. geeminy. Huck. feeling sore and drowsy. And what's more. Tom stepped on a stick." Then they separated. Within five minutes he was dressed and down-stairs. And suppose there ain't. There was a late look in the light. There was no voice of rebuke." "Well. through the broken weather-boarding.

there was a silence and an air of solemnity that struck a chill to the culprit's heart. and then received his dismissal. with the air of one whose heart was busy with heavier woes and wholly dead to trifles. This was worse than a thousand whippings. the tale flew from man to man. for playing hookey the day before. and ruin himself and bring her gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. no response. He left the presence too miserable to even feel revengeful toward Sid. rested his elbows on his desk and his jaws in his hands. After a long time he slowly and sadly changed his position. and finally told him to go on. feeling that he had won but an imperfect forgiveness and established but a feeble confidence. Then he betook himself to his seat. and took up this object with a sigh. and that Potter had at once sneaked off--suspicious circumstances. It was also said that the town had been ransacked for this "murderer" (the public are not slow in the matter of sifting evidence and arriving at a . and took his flogging. he pleaded for forgiveness. and his heart broke. along with Joe Harper. And it was said that a belated citizen had come upon Potter washing himself in the "branch" about one or two o'clock in the morning. the town would have thought strangely of him if he had not. CHAPTER XI CLOSE upon the hour of noon the whole village was suddenly electrified with the ghastly news. it roused no smile. colossal sigh followed. especially the washing which was not a habit with Potter. and stared at the wall with the stony stare of suffering that has reached the limit and can no further go. A gory knife had been found close to the murdered man. Of course the schoolmaster gave holiday for that afternoon. and it had been recognized by somebody as belonging to Muff Potter--so the story ran. and he lapsed into silence and let his heart sink down to the depths. He cried. from house to house. His aunt wept over him and asked him how he could go and break her old heart so. for it was no use for her to try any more. He unrolled it. and so the latter's prompt retreat through the back gate was unnecessary. A long. lingering. but it was up-hill work. No need of the as yet undreamed-of telegraph. but it was not so. promised to reform over and over again. It was his brass andiron knob! This final feather broke the camel's back. He sat down and tried to seem gay. It was in a paper. and Tom almost brightened in the hope that he was going to be flogged. and Tom's heart was sorer now than his body. His elbow was pressing against some hard substance. with little less than telegraphic speed. After breakfast his aunt took him aside. from group to group. He moped to school gloomy and sad.averted eyes.

Potter lifted his face and looked around him with a pathetic hopelessness in his eyes. "wanted to come and take a quiet look at his work. and he put his face in his hands and burst into tears. now. "Poor fellow!" "Poor young fellow!" "This ought to be a lesson to grave robbers!" "Muff Potter'll hang for this if they catch him!" This was the drift of remark. Arrived at the dreadful place. "It's him! it's him! he's coming himself!" "Who? Who?" from twenty voices. The poor fellow's face was haggard. he's turning! Don't let him get away!" People in the branches of the trees over Tom's head said he wasn't trying to get away--he only looked doubtful and perplexed. I reckon--didn't expect any company. he shook as with a palsy. "Muff Potter!" "Hallo. friends.verdict). and his eyes showed the fear that was upon him. "It was a judgment." Now Tom shivered from head to heel. This shot seemed to carry home. and wondered if anybody had noticed anything in their mutual glance. but that he could not be found. His hand is here. It seemed to him an age since he was there before. and voices shouted." he sobbed. and exclaimed: . he wormed his small body through the crowd and saw the dismal spectacle. but because an awful. "Infernal impudence!" said a bystander. When he stood before the murdered man. and intent upon the grisly spectacle before them. Then both looked elsewhere at once. and the Sheriff came through. All the town was drifting toward the graveyard. unaccountable fascination drew him on. Tom's heartbreak vanished and he joined the procession. and the Sheriff "was confident" that he would be captured before night. and the minister said. he's stopped!--Look out. and his eyes met Huckleberry's. for his eye fell upon the stolid face of Injun Joe." The crowd fell apart." "Who's accused you?" shouted a voice. ostentatiously leading Potter by the arm. He saw Injun Joe. "'pon my word and honor I never done it. Horsemen had departed down all the roads in every direction. not because he would not a thousand times rather go anywhere else. "I didn't do it. Somebody pinched his arm. At this moment the crowd began to sway and struggle. He turned. But everybody was talking.

Joe." Tom's fearful secret and gnawing conscience disturbed his sleep for as much as a week after this. Injun Joe. then waved his nerveless hand with a vanquished gesture and said. Injun Joe repeated his statement. "Tell 'em. you pitch around and talk in your sleep so much that you keep me . Then he said: "Something told me 't if I didn't come back and get--" He shuddered. but they were disappointed."Oh. a few minutes afterward on the inquest. "I wanted to run away. you promised me you'd never--" "Is that your knife?" and it was thrust before him by the Sheriff. tell 'em--it ain't any use any more. and it was whispered through the shuddering crowd that the wound bled a little! The boys thought that this happy circumstance would turn suspicion in the right direction. seeing that the lightnings were still withheld. their wavering impulse to break their oath and save the poor betrayed prisoner's life faded and vanished away." Then Huckleberry and Tom stood dumb and staring. Potter would have fallen if they had not caught him and eased him to the ground. were confirmed in their belief that Joe had sold himself to the devil. for more than one villager remarked: "It was within three feet of Muff Potter when it done it. They inwardly resolved to watch him nights." And he fell to sobbing again. And when he had finished and still stood alive and whole. under oath. in the hope of getting a glimpse of his dread master. they expecting every moment that the clear sky would deliver God's lightnings upon his head. the most balefully interesting object they had ever looked upon. and they could not take their fascinated eyes from his face. and heard the stony-hearted liar reel off his serene statement. when opportunity should offer. and the boys." Potter moaned. just as calmly. for plainly this miscreant had sold himself to Satan and it would be fatal to meddle with the property of such a power as that. but I couldn't seem to come anywhere but here. He was now become. to them. and at breakfast one morning Sid said: "Tom. "Why didn't you leave? What did you want to come here for?" somebody said. and wondering to see how long the stroke was delayed. Injun Joe helped to raise the body of the murdered man and put it in a wagon for removal. "I couldn't help it--I couldn't help it.

Sid marvelled. "What you got on your mind. that Tom never acted as a witness--and that was strange. it's blood. too." Sid said. The jail was a trifling little brick den that stood in a marsh at the edge of the village. Sometimes I dream it's me that done it. Tom?" "Nothing. during this time of sorrow. even inquests went out of vogue at last. I dream about it most every night myself. indeed. "And you do talk such stuff. and no guards were afforded for it. he kept it to himself." But the boy's hand shook so that he spilled his coffee. It seemed to Tom that his schoolmates never would get done holding inquests on dead cats. and thus keeping his trouble present to his mind. "It's a bad sign. and Sid did not overlook the fact that Tom even showed a marked aversion to these inquests." Tom blanched and dropped his eyes. . She said: "Sho! It's that dreadful murder. These offerings greatly helped to ease Tom's conscience. Every day or two. and after that he complained of toothache for a week." said Aunt Polly. Sid noticed that Tom never was coroner at one of these inquiries. he noticed. However. 'Don't torment me so--I'll tell!' Tell WHAT? What is it you'll tell?" Everything was swimming before Tom. that's what it is!' You said that over and over. gravely. and frequently slipped the bandage free and then leaned on his elbow listening a good while at a time. If Sid really managed to make anything out of Tom's disjointed mutterings. Sid seemed satisfied. but luckily the concern passed out of Aunt Polly's face and she came to Tom's relief without knowing it. 'It's blood. but said nothing." Mary said she had been affected much the same way. And you said. now. and tied up his jaws every night. He never knew that Sid lay nightly watching. "Last night you said. and always avoided them when he could. and afterward slipped the bandage back to its place again. Tom got out of the presence as quick as he plausibly could. it was seldom occupied. There is no telling what might have happened. and ceased to torture Tom's conscience. Tom's distress of mind wore off gradually and the toothache grew irksome and was discarded. Nothing 't I know of.awake half the time. though it had been his habit to take the lead in all new enterprises. Tom watched his opportunity and went to the little grated jail-window and smuggled such small comforts through to the "murderer" as he could get hold of.

there was nothing but dreariness left. He no longer took an interest in war. and how to get up. The charm of life was gone. went about on her pale horse. She had him out at daylight every morning. then she scrubbed him down with a towel like a file. for body-snatching. She was a subscriber for all the "Health" periodicals and phrenological frauds. and so she was an easy victim. and tried to "whistle her down the wind. She was one of those people who are infatuated with patent medicines and all new-fangled methods of producing health or mending it. Tom had struggled with his pride a few days. metaphorically speaking. then she rolled him up in a wet sheet and put him away under blankets till she sweated his soul clean and "the yellow stains of it came through his pores"--as Tom said. She gathered together her quack periodicals and her quack medicines. . that it had found a new and weighty matter to interest itself about. His aunt was concerned. and what to drink. but on anybody else that came handy." But she never suspected that she was not an angel of healing and the balm of Gilead in disguise. therefore it was deemed wisest not to try the case in the courts at present. CHAPTER XII ONE of the reasons why Tom's mind had drifted away from its secret troubles was. and what to eat. and what frame of mind to keep one's self in. but so formidable was his character that nobody could be found who was willing to take the lead in the matter. now. nor even in piracy. and so brought him to. and feeling very miserable. without confessing the grave-robbery that preceded it. was all gospel to her. not on herself. and she never observed that her health-journals of the current month customarily upset everything they had recommended the month before. The water treatment was new.The villagers had a strong desire to tar-and-feather Injun Joe and ride him on a rail. What if she should die! There was distraction in the thought. to the suffering neighbors. nights. Becky Thatcher had stopped coming to school. and how to go to bed. She was an inveterate experimenter in these things. and his bat. to try it." but failed. She began to try all manner of remedies on him. and Tom's low condition was a windfall to her. He had been careful to begin both of his inquest-statements with the fight. for she was never ailing. and the solemn ignorance they were inflated with was breath to her nostrils. and how much exercise to take. with "hell following after. She was as simple-hearted and honest as the day was long. stood him up in the woodshed and drowned him with a deluge of cold water. All the "rot" they contained about ventilation. right away. and what sort of clothing to wear. He put his hoop away. and thus armed with death. He began to find himself hanging around her father's house. so it was dropped. there was no joy in them any more. She was ill. When something fresh in this line came out she was in a fever.

sitz baths. but since it was Tom. "You better make sure. So Tom pried his mouth open and poured down the Pain-killer. "Now you've asked for it. and his aunt ended by telling him to help himself and quit bothering her. but it was getting to have too little sentiment and too much distracting variety about it. She gave Tom a teaspoonful and watched with the deepest anxiety for the result. She began to assist the water with a slim oatmeal diet and blister-plasters. If it had been Sid. because there ain't anything mean about me. One day Tom was in the act of dosing the crack when his aunt's yellow cat came along. you mustn't blame anybody but your own self. and I'll give it to you. and filled him up every day with quack cure-alls. heartier interest. So he thought over various plans for relief." Peter was sure. Her troubles were instantly at rest. in his blighted condition. Tom had become indifferent to persecution by this time. She found that the medicine did really diminish. It was simply fire in a liquid form. if she had built a fire under him. her soul at peace again. and finally hit pon that of professing to be fond of Pain-killer. She tasted it and was filled with gratitude. for the "indifference" was broken up. and plunges. She ordered a lot at once." But Peter signified that he did want it." Peter was agreeable. This indifference must be broken up at any cost. and pinned her faith to Pain-killer. Now she heard of Pain-killer for the first time. Peter. She added hot baths. but it did not occur to her that the boy was mending the health of a crack in the sitting-room floor with it. Peter sprang a couple of yards in the air. Tom said: "Don't ask for it unless you want it. She dropped the water treatment and everything else. she would have had no misgivings to alloy her delight. she watched the bottle clandestinely. this sort of life might be romantic enough. banging . The boy remained as dismal as a hearse. and then delivered a war-whoop and set off round and round the room. shower baths.Yet notwithstanding all this. The boy could not have shown a wilder. eying the teaspoon avariciously. Tom felt that it was time to wake up. This phase filled the old lady's heart with consternation. He asked for it so often that he became a nuisance. the boy grew more and more melancholy and pale and dejected. but if you find you don't like it. and begging for a taste. purring. She calculated his capacity as she would a jug's.

" . what was cruelty to a cat MIGHT be cruelty to a boy." "Hadn't any aunt!--you numskull. and making general havoc. Too late he divined her "drift. "Now. Aunt Polly. held it up. Then he went tearing around the house again spreading chaos and destruction in his path. Aunt Polly took it. peering over her glasses." "They do. That is. Tom winced. This was putting the thing in a new light." The old lady was bending down. Tom watching. with interest emphasized by anxiety. Tom. Tom lay on the floor expiring with laughter. Because if he'd had one she'd a burnt him out herself! She'd a roasted his bowels out of him 'thout any more feeling than if he was a human!" Aunt Polly felt a sudden pang of remorse." gasped the boy. I never see anything like it. with his head over his shoulder and his voice proclaiming his unappeasable happiness. carrying the rest of the flower-pots with him. in a frenzy of enjoyment. Next he rose on his hind feet and pranced around. What has that got to do with it?" "Heaps. What did make him act so?" "Deed I don't know. she felt sorry." "You DO?" "Yes'm. deliver a final mighty hurrah. sir. "Yes'm. aunt. I believe they do. and dropped his eyes. Aunt Polly raised him by the usual handle--his ear--and cracked his head soundly with her thimble. too. And. and sail through the open window. what did you want to treat that poor dumb beast so. do they?" There was something in the tone that made Tom apprehensive. for?" "I done it out of pity for him--because he hadn't any aunt. She began to soften. "Why. upsetting flower-pots. The old lady stood petrified with astonishment." The handle of the telltale teaspoon was visible under the bed-valance. it DID do you good. Her eyes watered a little. cats always act so when they're having a good time.against furniture. and she put her hand on Tom's head and said gently: "I was meaning for the best. "Tom. what on earth ails that cat?" "I don't know. Tom. Aunt Polly entered in time to see him throw a few double summersets.

yelling. himself. laughing. hoping whenever a frisking frock came in sight. nobody loved him. but the giddy lad never could see the bait. and then turned sorrowfully away. tumbling them in every direction. since . It was noticed that this strange thing had been occurring every day latterly. He was gloomy and desperate. and he heard her say: "Mf! some people think they're mighty smart--always showing off!" Tom's cheeks burned. chasing boys. friendless boy. and he dropped hopelessly into the dumps. for once. but they would not let him. "I know you was meaning for the best. he entered the empty schoolhouse and sat down to suffer. aunty. And you try and see if you can't be a good boy. Then one more frock passed in at the gate. and he looked it. He tried to seem to be looking everywhere but whither he really was looking--down the road. standing on his head--doing all the heroic things he could conceive of." Tom reached school ahead of time. He was a forsaken. Tom. and Tom's heart gave a great bound. and Tom's face lighted. when they found out what they had driven him to. and you needn't take any more medicine. he said. It done HIM good. At last frocks ceased to appear. Could it be possible that she was not aware that he was there? He carried his exploits to her immediate vicinity. When Jeff arrived. But she seemed to be unconscious of it all. and keeping a furtive eye out. I never see him get around so since--" "Oh. to see if Becky Thatcher was noticing. came war-whooping around. hurled it to the roof of the schoolhouse. Tom watched and watched. and "led up" warily to opportunities for remark about Becky. he had tried to do right and get along. he said. jumping over the fence at risk of life and limb. too. And now. snatched a boy's cap. and "going on" like an Indian. he gazed a moment. throwing handsprings. Presently Jeff Thatcher hove in sight. broke through a group of boys. all the while. Tom accosted him. The next instant he was out.Tom looked up in her face with just a perceptible twinkle peeping through his gravity. he hung about the gate of the schoolyard instead of playing with his comrades. almost upsetting her--and she turned. as usual of late. go 'long with you. CHAPTER XIII TOM'S mind was made up now. before you aggravate me again. and hating the owner of it as soon as he saw she was not the right one. under Becky's nose. perhaps they would be sorry. and fell sprawling. He was sick. and so was I with Peter. crushed and crestfallen. with her nose in the air. He gathered himself up and sneaked off. she never looked.

and this offered well as a rendezvous. now." Tom. there was nothing for him to do but succumb. His mother had whipped him for drinking some cream which he had never tasted and knew nothing about. began to blubber out something about a resolution to escape from hard usage and lack of sympathy at home by roaming abroad into the great world never to return. at a point where the Mississippi River was a trifle over a mile wide. he must submit--but he forgave them. he was indifferent. Then they hunted up Huckleberry Finn. some time. But it transpired that this was a request which Joe had just been going to make of Tom. there was a long. There was a small log raft there which they meant to capture. he hoped she would be happy. As the two boys walked sorrowing along. Then they began to lay their plans. and let them blame HIM for the consequences--why shouldn't they? What right had the friendless to complain? Yes. Joe was for being a hermit. There was no choice. they made a new compact to stand by each other and be brothers and never separate till death relieved them of their troubles. if she felt that way. and the bell for school to "take up" tinkled faintly upon his ear.nothing would do them but to be rid of him. but after listening to Tom. never hear that old familiar sound any more--it was very hard. And before the afternoon was done. He sobbed. Who were to be the subjects of their piracies was a matter that did not occur to them. and never regret having driven her poor boy out into the unfeeling world to suffer and die. he conceded that there were some conspicuous advantages about a life of crime. and with evidently a great and dismal purpose in his heart. wiping his eyes with his sleeve. they had all managed to enjoy the sweet . and he joined them promptly. By this time he was far down Meadow Lane. for all careers were one to him. Each would bring hooks and lines. they had forced him to it at last: he would lead a life of crime. with a shallow bar at the head of it. It was not inhabited. and had come to hunt him up for that purpose. and living on crusts in a remote cave. So Jackson's Island was chosen. let it be so. it was plain that she was tired of him and wished him to go. abreast a dense and almost wholly unpeopled forest. it lay far over toward the further shore. Joe Harper --hard-eyed. Then the sobs came thick and fast. to think he should never. and dying. Just at this point he met his soul's sworn comrade. wooded island. since he was driven out into the cold world. and ended by hoping that Joe would not forget him. narrow. and such provision as he could steal in the most dark and mysterious way--as became outlaws. Three miles below St. and so he consented to be a pirate. Petersburg. but it was forced on him. Plainly here were "two souls with but a single thought. of cold and want and grief. They presently separated to meet at a lonely spot on the river-bank two miles above the village at the favorite hour--which was midnight.

and very still. Give the countersign.glory of spreading the fact that pretty soon the town would "hear something. and had also brought a few corn-cobs to make pipes with. The Black Avenger of the Spanish Main said it would never do to start without some fire. It was starlight. Then a guarded voice said: "Who goes there?" "Tom Sawyer. They saw a fire smouldering upon a great raft a hundred yards above. They made an imposing adventure of it. and stopped in a dense undergrowth on a small bluff overlooking the meeting-place. but still that was no excuse for their conducting this thing in an unpiratical way. and they went stealthily thither and helped themselves to a chunk. The mighty river lay like an ocean at rest. There was an easy." Two hoarse whispers delivered the same awful word simultaneously to the brooding night: "BLOOD!" Then Tom tumbled his ham over the bluff and let himself down after it. but no sound disturbed the quiet. "Hist!" every now and then. Finn the Red-Handed had stolen a skillet and a quantity of half-cured leaf tobacco. gloomy-browed. Name your names. from his favorite literature." Tom had furnished these titles." "Huck Finn the Red-Handed. but it lacked the advantages of difficulty and danger so valued by a pirate. It was answered from under the bluff. The Terror of the Seas had brought a side of bacon." because "dead men tell no tales. That was a wise thought. and suddenly halting with finger on lip." About midnight Tom arrived with a boiled ham and a few trifles. these signals were answered in the same way. Tom listened a moment. and giving orders in dismal whispers that if "the foe" stirred. Huck at the after oar and Joe at the forward. matches were hardly known there in that day. "'Tis well. Tom whistled twice more. But none of the pirates smoked or "chewed" but himself. Tom stood amidships." All who got this vague hint were cautioned to "be mum and wait. comfortable path along the shore under the bluff. the Black Avenger of the Spanish Main. They shoved off. Then he gave a low. Tom in command. saying. moving with hands on imaginary dagger-hilts. presently." They knew well enough that the raftsmen were all down at the village laying in stores or having a spree. distinct whistle. tearing both skin and clothes to some extent in the effort. and with folded . and had about worn himself out with getting it there. to "let him have it to the hilt. and Joe Harper the Terror of the Seas.

tops'ls. and gave his orders in a low." "Send the r'yals up! Lay out aloft. and wishing "she" could see him now. "looking his last" upon the scene of his former joys and his later sufferings." and were not intended to mean anything in particular. and flying-jib. sir. there. The river was not high.arms. steady-y-y-y!" "Steady it is. and then lay on their oars. stern whisper: "Luff. It was but a small strain on his imagination to remove Jackson's Island beyond eyeshot of the village. and bring her to the wind!" "Aye-aye. the boys pointed her head right. sir!" "Let her go off a point!" "Point it is. . sir!" "Shake out that maintogalans'l! Sheets and braces! NOW my hearties!" "Aye-aye. Two or three glimmering lights showed where it lay. so there was not more than a two or three mile current. sir!" The raft drew beyond the middle of the river. sir!" "Steady. The Black Avenger stood still with folded arms. beyond the vague vast sweep of star-gemmed water. port! NOW. The other pirates were looking their last. Now the raft was passing before the distant town. men! With a will! Stead-y-y-y!" "Steady it is. now!" "Aye-aye. facing peril and death with dauntless heart. half a dozen of ye --foretopmaststuns'l! Lively. sir!" "Hellum-a-lee--hard a port! Stand by to meet her when she comes! Port. "What sail's she carrying?" "Courses. Hardly a word was said during the next three-quarters of an hour. sir!" As the boys steadily and monotonously drove the raft toward mid-stream it was no doubt understood that these orders were given only for "style. going to his doom with a grim smile on his lips. unconscious of the tremendous event that was happening. abroad on the wild sea. and so he "looked his last" with a broken and satisfied heart. peacefully sleeping.

Hucky!" "I reckon so. now that I've tried it. "It's NUTS!" said Tom. They could have found a cooler place. I don't ever get enough to eat. mornings. and used up half of the corn "pone" stock they had brought. and then cooked some bacon in the frying-pan for supper. They built a fire against the side of a great log twenty or thirty steps within the sombre depths of the forest. and put sackcloth and ashes on his head. free way in the virgin forest of an unexplored and uninhabited island. "AIN'T it gay?" said Joe. and stand out in the rain. and made shift to avert it. And a hermit's got to sleep on the hardest place he can find. and this they spread over a nook in the bushes for a tent to shelter their provisions. and they all looked so long that they came near letting the current drift them out of the range of the island. far from the haunts of men. The climbing fire lit up their faces and threw its ruddy glare upon the pillared tree-trunks of their forest temple. Part of the little raft's belongings consisted of an old sail. they'd just die to be here--hey." said Huckleberry. but a hermit HE has to be praying considerable. nowadays." said Tom. and they waded back and forth until they had landed their freight." said Tom. that's so. "You don't have to get up. but they would not deny themselves such a romantic feature as the roasting camp-fire. like they used to in old times. and you don't have to go to school. all by himself that way. and they said they never would return to civilization. "What would the boys say if they could see us?" "Say? Well. I'd a good deal rather be a pirate." "Oh yes." "You see. It seemed glorious sport to be feasting in that wild. and upon the varnished foliage and festooning vines. and all that blame foolishness. but a pirate's always respected. the boys stretched themselves out on the grass. when he's ashore." said Joe. you know. "anyways. and then he don't have any fun. "but I hadn't thought much about it. but they themselves would sleep in the open air in good weather." "It's just the life for me. gen'ally--and here they can't come and pick at a feller and bullyrag him so. About two o'clock in the morning the raft grounded on the bar two hundred yards above the head of the island. When the last crisp slice of bacon was gone. "people don't go much on hermits. anyway.too. But they discovered the danger in time. I don't want nothing better'n this. and wash. and--" . You see a pirate don't have to do ANYTHING. I'm suited. and the last allowance of corn pone devoured. Joe. as became outlaws. filled with contentment.

Hermits always do. and kill everybody in the ships--make 'em walk a plank. and was pressing a coal to the charge and blowing a cloud of fragrant smoke--he was in the full bloom of luxurious contentment. "I dono. "they don't kill the women. and get the money and bury it in awful places in their island where there's ghosts and things to watch it. with enthusiasm. I just wouldn't stand it. "And don't they wear the bulliest clothes! Oh no! All gold and silver and di'monds." "And they carry the women to the island." said Joe. "they don't kill the women--they're too noble. "Who?" said Huck. too. How'd you get around it?" "Why." said Huck." said Joe. But I wouldn't do that. and now he fitted a weed stem to it. He had finished gouging out a cob. You'd have to do that if you was a hermit. you'd HAVE to." "Run away! Well. they have just a bully time--take ships and burn them. "Why." "No. and secretly resolved to acquire it shortly. loaded it with tobacco. The other pirates envied him this majestic vice. Huck. with a ." The Red-Handed made no response." assented Tom. you WOULD be a nice old slouch of a hermit. being better employed." said he. Presently Huck said: "What does pirates have to do?" Tom said: "Oh. "Well. And the women's always beautiful. You'd be a disgrace." "Dern'd if I would. "I reckon I ain't dressed fitten for a pirate. what would you do?" "I dono." Huck scanned his own clothing forlornly." "Why. But they've GOT to do it."What does he put sackcloth and ashes on his head for?" inquired Huck. I'd run away. the pirates.

far away in the woods a bird called. after they should have begun their adventures. but they were afraid to proceed to such lengths as that." while taking bacon and hams and such valuables was plain simple stealing--and there was a command against that in the Bible. not a sound obtruded upon great Nature's meditation. but conscience was not to be appeased by such thin plausibilities. They tried to argue it away by reminding conscience that they had purloined sweetmeats and apples scores of times. Gradually the cool dim gray of the morning whitened. that would not "down. He sat up and rubbed his eyes and looked around. Beaded dewdrops stood upon the leaves and grasses. lest they might call down a sudden and special thunderbolt from heaven. They said their prayers inwardly. Then at once they reached and hovered upon the imminent verge of sleep--but an intruder came. The pipe dropped from the fingers of the Red-Handed. though it was customary for wealthy pirates to start with a proper wardrobe. They began to feel a vague fear that they had been doing wrong to run away. Now. So they inwardly resolved that so long as they remained in the business. and he slept the sleep of the conscience-free and the weary. and then the real torture came. their piracies should not again be sullied with the crime of stealing. Then he comprehended." It was conscience. and these curiously inconsistent pirates fell peacefully to sleep. A little green worm came . now. and a thin blue breath of smoke rose straight into the air. that there was no getting around the stubborn fact that taking sweetmeats was only "hooking. another answered. and as gradually sounds multiplied and life manifested itself. Joe and Huck still slept. "but I ain't got none but these. presently the hammering of a woodpecker was heard. and there was a delicious sense of repose and peace in the deep pervading calm and silence of the woods. they had a mind not to say them at all. The marvel of Nature shaking off sleep and going to work unfolded itself to the musing boy." But the other boys told him the fine clothes would come fast enough. CHAPTER XIV WHEN Tom awoke in the morning. it seemed to them. he wondered where he was. and next they thought of the stolen meat.regretful pathos in his voice. in truth. A white layer of ashes covered the fire. and lying down. Not a leaf stirred. since there was nobody there with authority to make them kneel and recite aloud. in the end. They made him understand that his poor rags would do to begin with. Then conscience granted a truce. Gradually their talk died out and drowsiness began to steal upon the eyelids of the little waifs. It was the cool gray dawn. The Terror of the Seas and the Black Avenger of the Spanish Main had more difficulty in getting to sleep.

but this only gratified them. then a shrill jay swept down. Joe had . of its own accord. cocked his head to one side and eyed the strangers with a consuming curiosity. for the wild things had probably never seen a human being before and scarcely knew whether to be afraid or not." then proceeding again--for he was measuring. since its going was something like burning the bridge between them and civilization. and Tom bent down close to it and said. by turns. sitting up at intervals to inspect and chatter at the boys. your house is on fire. glad-hearted. and trilled out her imitations of her neighbors in a rapture of enjoyment. a flash of blue flame. heaving sturdily at its ball. lady-bug. his whole heart was glad--for that meant that he was going to have a new suit of clothes--without the shadow of a doubt a gaudy piratical uniform. A brown spotted lady-bug climbed the dizzy height of a grass blade. and in a minute or two were stripped and chasing after and tumbling over each other in the shallow limpid water of the white sandbar. would be a good enough substitute for coffee. your children's alone. sweetened with such a wildwood charm as that. The birds were fairly rioting by this time. A catbird. Now a procession of ants appeared. long lances of sunlight pierced down through the dense foliage far and near. and felt that water." and she took wing and went off to see about it --which did not surprise the boy. with his hopes rising and falling. Tom and Huck asked him to hold on a minute. the Northern mocker. Tom said. a gray squirrel and a big fellow of the "fox" kind came skurrying along. and he had practised upon its simplicity more than once. and Tom touched the creature. "Lady-bug. one struggled manfully by with a dead spider five times as big as itself in its arms. as the creature still came toward him or seemed inclined to go elsewhere.crawling over a dewy leaf. and when the worm approached him. for he knew of old that this insect was credulous about conflagrations. lit in a tree over Tom's head. While Joe was slicing bacon for breakfast. and the boys made cups of broad oak or hickory leaves. he sat as still as a stone. and lugged it straight up a tree-trunk. A tumblebug came next. and they soon had the camp-fire blazing up again. they stepped to a promising nook in the river-bank and threw in their lines. lifting two-thirds of his body into the air from time to time and "sniffing around. now. Tom stirred up the other pirates and they all clattered away with a shout. and ravenous. A vagrant current or a slight rise in the river had carried off their raft. and stopped on a twig almost within the boy's reach. almost immediately they had reward. from nowhere in particular. and when at last it considered a painful moment with its curved body in the air and then came decisively down upon Tom's leg and began a journey over him. All Nature was wide awake and stirring. They came back to camp wonderfully refreshed. They felt no longing for the little village sleeping in the distance beyond the majestic waste of water. and went about their labors. and a few butterflies came fluttering upon the scene. Huck found a spring of clear cold water close by. fly away home. to see it shut its legs against its body and pretend to be dead.

Now and then they came upon snug nooks carpeted with grass and jeweled with flowers. But the talk soon began to drag. the solemnity that brooded in the woods. a couple of sun-perch and a small catfish--provisions enough for quite a family. bathing." said Tom in a whisper. and forced a recognition. There was a long silence. and that the shore it lay closest to was only separated from it by a narrow channel hardly two hundred yards wide. "becuz thunder--" "Hark!" said Tom." said Huckleberry. open-air exercise. The boys started. But now this mysterious sound became more pronounced. among solemn monarchs of the forest. for no fish had ever seemed so delicious before. They lay around in the shade. hung from their crowns to the ground with a drooping regalia of grape-vines. now. sullen boom came floating down out of the distance. They tramped gayly along. began to tell upon the spirits of the boys. and then went off through the woods on an exploring expedition. They fell to thinking. . so it was close upon the middle of the afternoon when they got back to camp. presently--it was budding homesickness.not had time to get impatient before they were back again with some handsome bass. and the sense of loneliness. and then the same muffled boom troubled the solemn hush. A sort of undefined longing crept upon them. and then threw themselves down in the shade to talk. "Listen--don't talk. and were astonished. and then died. They found plenty of things to be delighted with. in an awed tone. and none was brave enough to speak his thought. after breakfast. They took a swim about every hour. This took dim shape. under his breath. They were too hungry to stop to fish. But they were all ashamed of their weakness. but they fared sumptuously upon cold ham. and they reflected little upon what a sauce open-air sleeping. while Huck had a smoke. Even Finn the Red-Handed was dreaming of his doorsteps and empty hogsheads. profound and unbroken. "What is it!" exclaimed Joe. "I wonder. over decaying logs. the boys had been dully conscious of a peculiar sound in the distance. and then each assumed a listening attitude. The stillness." They waited a time that seemed an age. through tangled underbrush. glanced at each other. but nothing to be astonished at. They discovered that the island was about three miles long and a quarter of a mile wide. They fried the fish with the bacon. For some time. and a large ingredient of hunger make. too. They did not know that the quicker a fresh-water fish is on the fire after he is caught the better he is. "'Tain't thunder. then a deep. just as one sometimes is of the ticking of a clock which he takes no distinct note of.

and wherever there's anybody that's drownded. "I reckon it's mostly what they SAY over it before they start it out." said Joe. Presently a revealing thought flashed through Tom's mind. so much. I've heard about that. drifting with the current. uninstructed by an incantation." said Tom. They parted the bushes on the bank and peered out over the water. they were missed." said Huck. Presently a great jet of white smoke burst from the ferryboat's side." "But they don't say anything over it. The little steam ferryboat was about a mile below the village. There were a great many skiffs rowing about or floating with the stream in the neighborhood of the ferryboat. but the boys could not determine what the men in them were doing. hearts were breaking on their account. "I've seen 'em and they don't. Anybody might know that. I wish I was over there. Here was a gorgeous triumph." The other boys agreed that there was reason in what Tom said. and as it expanded and rose in a lazy cloud. when Bill Turner got drownded. I know who's drownded--it's us!" They felt like heroes in an instant." said Tom. Her broad deck seemed crowded with people. they were mourned. accusing memories of unkindness to these poor ." "Oh. that's funny. "somebody's drownded!" "That's it!" said Huck. "they done that last summer." said Joe." "Yes. and he exclaimed: "Boys. it ain't the bread. "I do too" said Huck "I'd give heaps to know who it is. Yes. now. and that makes him come up to the top. "I wonder what makes the bread do that. because an ignorant lump of bread."Let's go and see. Of COURSE they do." They sprang to their feet and hurried to the shore toward the town." "Well. that same dull throb of sound was borne to the listeners again. "By jings. "But maybe they say it to themselves. "I know now!" exclaimed Tom. could not be expected to act very intelligently when set upon an errand of such gravity. they'll float right there and stop." The boys still listened and watched. tears were being shed. and they take loaves of bread and put quicksilver in 'em and set 'em afloat. they shoot a cannon over the water.

an India-rubber ball. They were jubilant with vanity over their new grandeur and the illustrious trouble they were making. Huck began to nod.lost lads were rising up. Misgivings came. and the waverer quickly "explained." and was glad to get out of the scrape with as little taint of chicken-hearted homesickness clinging to his garments as he could. They caught fish. and the other he put in Joe's hat and removed it to a little distance from the owner. cooked supper and ate it. Then he knelt by the fire and painfully wrote something upon each of these with his "red keel". and the pictures they drew of the public distress on their account were gratifying to look upon--from their point of view. By and by Joe timidly ventured upon a roundabout "feeler" as to how the others might look upon a return to civilization--not right now. with their minds evidently wandering elsewhere. now. one he rolled up and put in his jacket pocket. As twilight drew on. they gradually ceased to talk. watching the two intently. and straightway broke into a keen run in the direction of the sandbar. three fishhooks. It was worth while to be a pirate. Tom lay upon his elbow motionless. and went searching among the grass and the flickering reflections flung by the camp-fire. as far as this dazzling notoriety was concerned. The excitement was gone. CHAPTER XV A FEW minutes later Tom was in the shoal water of the bar. on his knees. joined in with Tom. the departed were the talk of the whole town. being uncommitted as yet. after all. wading toward the Illinois shore. unawares." Then he tiptoed his way cautiously among the trees till he felt that he was out of hearing. Joe followed next. Before the depth reached his middle he was . the ferryboat went back to her accustomed business and the skiffs disappeared. and finally chose two which seemed to suit him. and one of that kind of marbles known as a "sure 'nough crystal. and then fell to guessing at what the village was thinking and saying about them. and unavailing regrets and remorse were being indulged. and the envy of all the boys. As the night deepened. Mutiny was effectually laid to rest for the moment. and presently to snore. they grew troubled and unhappy. a sigh or two escaped. for some time. And he also put into the hat certain schoolboy treasures of almost inestimable value--among them a lump of chalk. and best of all. and sat gazing into the fire. This was fine. The pirates returned to camp. He picked up and inspected several large semi-cylinders of the thin white bark of a sycamore. but-Tom withered him with derision! Huck. and Tom and Joe could not keep back thoughts of certain persons at home who were not enjoying this fine frolic as much as they were. But when the shadows of night closed them in. At last he got up cautiously.

" and looked in at the sitting-room window. He swam quartering upstream. watching with all his eyes. till he judged he might squeeze through on his knees. landing fifty yards downstream. so he struck out confidently to swim the remaining hundred yards. and Tom slipped overboard and swam ashore in the dusk. Tom went to the door and began to softly lift the latch. of course it is. to think I went and whipped him for taking that cream. "It was just so with my Joe--always full of his devilment. grouped together. with streaming garments. so to say --only mischEEvous. panting. "he warn't BAD. He flew along unfrequented alleys. approached the "ell. They were by the bed. and harum-scarum. so he put his head through and began. "Why. He crept down the bank. Tom felt happy in his success. Mary. Sid. No end of strange things now. He laid himself down under the thwarts and waited. and shortly found himself at his aunt's back fence. "But as I was saying. that door's open. swam three or four strokes and climbed into the skiff that did "yawl" duty at the boat's stern. talking. and saw the ferryboat lying in the shadow of the trees and the high bank. out of danger of possible stragglers. now. against the boat's swell." said Aunt Polly. and Joe Harper's mother. At the end of a long twelve or fifteen minutes the wheels stopped. and drifted along till he found a low place and drew himself out. There sat Aunt Polly." Tom disappeared under the bed just in time." A minute or two later the skiff's head was standing high up. However. and up to every kind of mischief. Shortly before ten o'clock he came out into an open place opposite the village. and quaking every time it creaked. I believe. he continued pushing cautiously. "What makes the candle blow so?" said Aunt Polly. warily. for a light was burning there. the current would permit no more wading. and he was the best-hearted boy that ever was"--and she began to cry. and then crept to where he could almost touch his aunt's foot. he reached the shore finally. Everything was quiet under the blinking stars.half-way over. then he pressed gently and the door yielded a crack. for he knew it was the boat's last trip for the night. and then struck through the woods. He warn't any more responsible than a colt. you know. Why. Presently the cracked bell tapped and a voice gave the order to "cast off. He lay and "breathed" himself for a time. and the bed was between them and the door. but still was swept downward rather faster than he had expected. never once recollecting that I throwed it out myself . but he was just as unselfish and kind as he could be--and laws bless me. HE never meant any harm. slipped into the water. and the voyage was begun. Go 'long and shut it. following the shore. Tom hurried up. He put his hand on his jacket pocket. Only just giddy. He climbed over. Sid. found his piece of bark safe.

all hope would be given over. This was Wednesday night. Harper. being good swimmers. No longer ago than yesterday noon. he was sufficiently touched by his aunt's grief to long to rush out from under the bed and overwhelm her with joy--and the theatrical gorgeousness of the thing appealed strongly to his nature. Still." "Yes. then the small raft had been missed. presently. And the last words I ever heard him say was to reproach--" But this memory was too much for the old lady.because it was sour. himself--and more in pity of himself than anybody else. and the funerals would be preached on that morning. He could hear Mary crying. Mrs. now. I know just exactly how you feel. I cracked Tom's head with my thimble. never. they must be drowned. although he tormented my old heart out of me. yes. and I did think the cretur would tear the house down. But he's out of all his troubles now. and gathered by odds and ends that it was conjectured at first that the boys had got drowned while taking a swim. now that he's gone! God'll take care of HIM--never you trouble YOURself. Harper. and I never to see him again in this world. but he resisted and lay still. it's so hard! Only last Saturday my Joe busted a firecracker right under my nose and I knocked him sprawling. He went on listening. "I hope Tom's better off where he is. how soon--Oh. though he could not see it." said Sid. Tom . lodged against the Missouri shore some five or six miles below the village --and then hope perished. since the boys. if it was to do over again I'd hug him and bless him for it. would otherwise have escaped to shore. And God forgive me. Tom was snuffling. certain boys said the missing lads had promised that the village should "hear something" soon. If the bodies continued missing until Sunday. 'most. poor boy. I don't know how to give him up! I don't know how to give him up! He was such a comfort to me. else hunger would have driven them home by nightfall if not sooner. and she broke entirely down. never. It was believed that the search for the bodies had been a fruitless effort merely because the drowning must have occurred in mid-channel. my Tom took and filled the cat full of Pain-killer. and putting in a kindly word for him from time to time. I know just how you feel. poor abused boy!" And Mrs. poor dead boy. never. the wise-heads had "put this and that together" and decided that the lads had gone off on that raft and would turn up at the next town below. Mrs. yes. Harper sobbed as if her heart would break. "but if he'd been better in some ways--" "SID!" Tom felt the glare of the old lady's eye. He began to have a nobler opinion of himself than ever before. Little did I know then. next. but toward noon the raft had been found." "The Lord giveth and the Lord hath taken away--Blessed be the name of the Lord! But it's so hard--Oh. "Not a word against my Tom. sir! Oh. too.

But something occurred to him. that he was weltering in tears again. He hit the landing on the other side neatly. for this was a familiar bit of work to him. rose gradually by the bedside. latching the door behind him. He knows that would be a disgrace to a pirate. slipped into it. but he knew a thorough search would be made for it and that might end in revelations. When he had pulled a mile above the village. Tom's true-blue. So he stepped ashore and entered the woods. so appealingly. Now the boy stole out. only moaning a little in her sleep. Then with a mutual impulse the two bereaved women flung themselves into each other's arms and had a good. and then parted. tossing unrestfully. shaded the candle-light with his hand. It was broad daylight before he found himself fairly abreast the island bar. anyway. he started quartering across and bent himself stoutly to his work. His face lighted with a happy solution of his thought. Harper gave a sobbing good-night and turned to go. He won't desert. torturing himself meanwhile to keep awake. A little later he paused. He untied the skiff at the stern. and walked boldly on board the boat. But at last she was still. Mrs. He threaded his way back to the ferry landing. and straightway made his stealthy exit. long before she was through. He had to keep still long after she went to bed. Huck. upon the threshold of the camp. the things is ours. and then started warily down the home-stretch. consoling cry. Now I wonder what?" "Well. and then he plunged into the stream. He took out his sycamore scroll and placed it by the candle. Then he bent over and kissed the faded lips. he put the bark hastily in his pocket. and was soon rowing cautiously upstream. and he'll come back. and heard Joe say: "No. Sid snuffled a bit and Mary went off crying with all her heart.shuddered. The night was far spent. dripping. and with such measureless love in her words and her old trembling voice. and he lingered considering. Aunt Polly was tender far beyond her wont. for she kept making broken-hearted ejaculations from time to time. He was moved to capture the skiff. who always turned in and slept like a graven image. He sat down and took a long rest. ain't they?" . His heart was full of pity for her. and stood regarding her. He rested again until the sun was well up and gilding the great river with its splendor. for he knew she was tenantless except that there was a watchman. in her good-night to Sid and Mary. arguing that it might be considered a ship and therefore legitimate prey for a pirate. and Tom's too proud for that sort of thing. Aunt Polly knelt down and prayed for Tom so touchingly. and turning over. He's up to something or other. found nobody at large there.

Sometimes they would take fifty or sixty eggs out of one hole. When they were well exhausted. Then Joe and Huck had another swim. and another on Friday morning." "Which he is!" exclaimed Tom. and then they all went under in a tangle of white legs and arms and came up blowing. stepping grandly into camp. but Tom would not venture. laughing. After breakfast they went whooping and prancing out on the bar. and then continued the frolic far away up the shoal water of the bar. sputtering. with averted faces to avoid the strangling sprays. They had a famous fried-egg feast that night.Pretty near. Next they got their marbles and played "knucks" and "ring-taw" and "keeps" till that amusement grew stale. And now and then they stooped in a group and splashed water in each other's faces with their palms. shedding clothes as they went. They were perfectly round white things a trifle smaller than an English walnut. against the stiff current. hot sand. but not yet. Tom recounted (and adorned) his adventures. and lie there and cover themselves up with it. and when they found a soft place they went down on their knees and dug with their hands. and the other pirates got ready to fish and explore. CHAPTER XVI AFTER dinner all the gang turned out to hunt for turtle eggs on the bar. they would run out and sprawl on the dry. for none would yield this proudest post to his neighbor. and finally gripping and struggling till the best man ducked his neighbor. Finally it occurred to them that their naked skin represented flesh-colored "tights" very fairly. and by and by break for the water again and go through the original performance once more. with fine dramatic effect. A sumptuous breakfast of bacon and fish was shortly provided. and as the boys set to work upon it. and gasping for breath at one and the same time. Then Tom hid himself away in a shady nook to sleep till noon. They were a vain and boastful company of heroes when the tale was done. and he wondered how he had escaped cramp so long without the . until they were naked. which latter tripped their legs from under them from time to time and greatly increased the fun. and chased each other round and round. Huck. because he found that in kicking off his trousers he had kicked his string of rattlesnake rattles off his ankle. so they drew a ring in the sand and had a circus--with three clowns in it. The writing says they are if he ain't back here to breakfast. They went about poking sticks into the sand. gradually approaching each other.

but tried hard not to show it." "Oh. he scratched it out. won't we?" Huck said. I mean to go home. The tears lay very near the surface. He did not venture again until he had found it. I don't seem to care for it. I reckon. too. Tom found himself writing "BECKY" in the sand with his big toe. "Y-e-s"--without any heart in it." said Tom. Finally he said: "Oh. He erased it once more and then took himself out of temptation by driving the other boys together and joining them. He was so homesick that he could hardly endure the misery of it. I DO want to see my mother--and you would. let's give it up. too. I want to go home. He had a secret which he was not ready to tell. Huck was melancholy. which faded out. But he wrote it again. somehow. Huck? Poor thing--does it want to see its mother? And so it shall. yet. you'll feel better by and by. but they failed. Tom tried one or two other seductions. if you had one. dropped into the "dumps." And Joe snuffled a little. we'll let the cry-baby go home to his mother. there ain't such another swimming-place anywhere. "Just think of the fishing that's here. You like it here. too. with no reply. Joe. but if this mutinous depression was not broken up soon. How'd you feel to light on a rotten chest full of gold and silver--hey?" But it roused only faint enthusiasm. Joe. and was angry with himself for his weakness." "Oh no." "Yes." "I don't care for fishing. and by that time the other boys were tired and ready to rest. It was discouraging work. boys. I ain't any more baby than you are." "But. He said. Joe sat poking up the sand with a stick and looking very gloomy. They've hid treasures here somewhere. We'll explore it again. I want to go home. Tom was downhearted. boys. It's so lonesome. don't you. They gradually wandered apart. "Well. But Joe's spirits had gone down almost beyond resurrection.protection of this mysterious charm. Huck? We'll stay. when there ain't anybody to say I sha'n't go in. shucks! Baby! You want to see your mother." and fell to gazing longingly across the wide river to where the village lay drowsing in the sun. with a great show of cheerfulness: "I bet there's been pirates on this island before. he would have to bring it out. . nevertheless. won't we." "Swimming's no good. he could not help it.

but his real reason had been the fear that not even the secret would keep them with him any very great length of time. Joe began to wade off toward the Illinois shore. The lads came gayly back and went at their sports again with a will. you'll wait a blame long time. Let's us go."I'll never speak to you again as long as I live. won't we. they wouldn't have started away. Tom." Huck started sorrowfully away. that's all. yelling: "Wait! Wait! I want to tell you something!" They presently stopped and turned around. I mean to stay. Oh." "Well." "Tom. He glanced at Huck. rising. too. And then it was discomforting to see Huck eying Joe's preparations so wistfully. He hoped the boys would stop. go 'long--who's hendering you. It suddenly dawned on Tom that it was become very lonely and still. and keeping up such an ominous silence. Now you think it over. and dropped his eyes. When he got to where they were." "Well. It was getting so lonesome anyway. Go 'long home and get laughed at. We'll stay. He made a plausible excuse. nevertheless. He said: "Tom. with a strong desire tugging at his heart to yield his pride and go along too. you're a nice pirate. too. he began unfolding his secret. and so he had meant to hold it in reserve as a last seduction." Huck began to pick up his scattered clothes. and was alarmed to see Joe go sullenly on with his dressing. and they listened moodily till at last they saw the "point" he was driving at." "I won't! You can all go. and Tom stood looking after him. Huck and me ain't cry-babies. if you want to. Then he said: "I want to go. "Who cares!" said Tom. Tom's heart began to sink. without a parting word. He made one final struggle with his pride. We'll wait for you when we get to shore." said Joe. I better go. I wisht you'd come." But Tom was uneasy. and now it'll be worse. per'aps. Presently. Huck? Let him go if he wants to. "Nobody wants you to. too. but they still waded slowly on. "There now!" And he moved moodily away and began to dress himself. . and then darted after his comrades. I reckon we can get along without him. and then they set up a war-whoop of applause and said it was "splendid!" and said if he had told them at first. Tom. Huck could not bear the look.

Just one little snifter would fetch HIM." "I bleeve I could smoke this pipe all day. Once down by the slaughter-house." "Jeff Thatcher! Why. Huck." "Why." said Tom." said Joe. I'd a learnt long ago. "Why. But I bet you Jeff Thatcher couldn't. No. So Huck made pipes and filled them. "I don't feel sick." said Tom. Huck? I'll leave it to Huck if I haven't. hain't it. Joe. "It's just nothing." "Neither do I. Huck? You've heard me talk just that way--haven't you. I bet you Johnny Miller couldn't any more do this than nothing." said Joe. These novices had never smoked anything before but cigars made of grape-vine." "There--I told you so. "That's just the way with me. and were not considered manly anyway." said Tom. and Johnny Miller." said Tom. but I never thought I could. don't I!" said Joe. hundreds of times. Say--I wish the boys could see us now. he'd keel over just with two draws. too. "Huck recollects it. 'bout me saying that?" "Yes. And Johnny Miller--I wish could see Johnny Miller tackle it once." said Huck. and thought well I wish I could do that. "Well." "Yes--heaps of times." "'Deed it would. and with slender confidence. After a dainty egg and fish dinner. HE'D see!" "I bet he would. and they gagged a little.chattering all the time about Tom's stupendous plan and admiring the genius of it. but Tom said: "Why. when I said it. I have too. "I could smoke it all day. "That was the day after I lost a white alley. "oh. now." "So would I. Just let him try it once. and they "bit" the tongue. 'twas the day before. Huck? Bob Tanner was there. Don't you remember." ." "Oh. many a time I've looked at people smoking. The smoke had an unpleasant taste." said Huck. Tom said he wanted to learn to smoke. Don't you remember. it's just as easy! If I'd a knowed this was all. charily. that's so. and Jeff Thatcher. Joe caught at the idea and said he would like to try. Now they stretched themselves out on their elbows and began to puff.

Both boys were looking very pale and miserable. 'Oh. The silences widened.' And you'll say. No. you'll say. and went to find his comrades." So Huck sat down again. both fast asleep. Joe said feebly: "I've lost my knife. that'll be gay. But something informed him that if they had had any trouble they had got rid of it. both very pale. they were not feeling very well--something they ate at dinner had disagreed with them. Tom's followed. got a pipe? I want a smoke." Tom said. Both fountains were going furiously and both pumps bailing with might and main. as if it warn't anything. won't they wish they'd been along?" "Oh. There was a brooding oppressiveness in the air that seemed to bode something. and another one. and some time when they're around. Then he found it lonesome. don't say anything about it." "Say--boys. the expectoration marvellously increased.' And I'll say. Joe's pipe dropped from his nerveless fingers. and when Huck prepared his pipe after the meal and was going to prepare theirs. and called the boys. You go over that way and I'll hunt around by the spring. I'll come up to you and say. The boys huddled themselves together and sought the friendly companionship of the fire. Huck--we can find it. that's all right. they could scarcely bail out the cellars under their tongues fast enough to prevent an inundation. you needn't come. I reckon I better go and find it. and we'll light up just as ca'm. Tom! I wish it was NOW!" "So do I! And when we tell 'em we learned when we was off pirating. kind of careless like. About midnight Joe awoke. though the dull dead heat of the breathless atmosphere was . and waited an hour. They were not talkative at supper that night. I got my OLD pipe. They were wide apart in the woods. 'Yes. but my tobacker ain't very good. But presently it began to flag a trifle. I reckon not! I'll just BET they will!" So the talk ran on. Every pore inside the boys' cheeks became a spouting fountain. they said no. They had a humble look. and sudden retchings followed every time.' And then you'll out with the pipes."So do I. and then just see 'em look!" "By jings. if it's STRONG enough. 'Joe. with quivering lips and halting utterance: "I'll help you. little overflowings down their throats occurred in spite of all they could do. and grow disjointed. now.

too. One blinding flash after another came. go for the tent!" exclaimed Tom. the old sail flapped so furiously. Presently there came a quivering glow that vaguely revealed the foliage for a moment and then vanished. "Quick! boys. They sprang away. one by one they straggled in at last and took shelter under the tent. a little stronger. A few big rain-drops fell pattering upon the leaves. There was a pause. to the shelter of a great oak that stood upon the river-bank. drown it to the tree-tops. The solemn hush continued. Beyond the light of the fire everything was swallowed up in the blackness of darkness. Under the ceaseless conflagration of lightning that flamed in the skies. . The boys cried out to each other. but the roaring wind and the booming thunder-blasts drowned their voices utterly. that grew about their feet. keen and sharp. with many tumblings and bruises. intent and waiting. and peal on peal of deafening thunder.stifling. The boys seized each others' hands and fled. burn it up. white with foam. and streaming with water. However. rustling all the leaves and snowing the flaky ashes broadcast about the fire. Another fierce glare lit up the forest and an instant crash followed that seemed to rend the tree-tops right over the boys' heads. startled faces. all at one and the same moment. making everything sing as it went. in the thick gloom that followed. no two plunging in the same direction. A furious blast roared through the trees. Now the battle was at its highest. It was a wild night for homeless young heads to be out in. the driving spray of spume-flakes. Then a faint moan came sighing through the branches of the forest and the boys felt a fleeting breath upon their cheeks. the dim outlines of the high bluffs on the other side. the billowy river. They sat still. Then another. They could not talk. And now a drenching rain poured down and the rising hurricane drove it in sheets along the ground. but to have company in misery seemed something to be grateful for. glimpsed through the drifting cloud-rack and the slanting veil of rain. By and by another came. The tempest rose higher and higher. A sweep of chilly air passed by. scared. and shuddered with the fancy that the Spirit of the Night had gone by. everything below stood out in clean-cut and shadowless distinctness: the bending trees. and the unflagging thunder-peals came now in ear-splitting explosive bursts. A deep peal of thunder went rolling and tumbling down the heavens and lost itself in sullen rumblings in the distance. And it showed three white. and presently the sail tore loose from its fastenings and went winging away on the blast. and deafen every creature in it. They clung together in terror. stumbling over roots and among vines in the dark. Now a weird flash turned night into day and showed every little grass-blade. cold. and unspeakably appalling. even if the other noises would have allowed them. The storm culminated in one matchless effort that seemed likely to tear the island to pieces. separate and distinct. blow it away. Every little while some giant tree yielded the fight and fell crashing through the younger growth.

they coaxed the fire to burn again. was a ruin. so it was not long before they were stripped. Here was matter for dismay. but they presently discovered that the fire had eaten so far up under the great log it had been built against (where it curved upward and separated itself from the ground). They assembled in camp toward supper-time. like their generation. It was a gory day. but now a difficulty arose--hostile Indians could not break the bread of hospitality together without first making peace. They got scorched out by and by. or circus. and they were not under it when the catastrophe happened. . He reminded them of the imposing secret. The boys went back to camp. or anything. and be Indians for a change. the shelter of their beds. As the sun began to steal in upon the boys. of course--and then they went tearing through the woods to attack an English settlement. and stiff-jointed. They were attracted by this idea. for they were but heedless lads. like so many zebras--all of them chiefs. for there was not a dry spot to sleep on. or swimming. hungry and happy. and had made no provision against rain. While it lasted. for a while. but they found there was still something to be thankful for. Tom saw the signs. and the forces retired with weaker and weaker threatenings and grumblings. and raised a ray of cheer. But they cared nothing for marbles. There was no other process that ever they had heard of. with shreds and bark gathered from the under sides of sheltered logs. so with such show of cheerfulness as they could muster they called for the pipe and took their whiff as it passed. and after that they sat by the fire and expanded and glorified their midnight adventure until morning. and they went out on the sandbar and lay down to sleep. and drearily set about getting breakfast. and striped from head to heel with black mud. for they were soaked through and chilled. Two of the savages almost wished they had remained pirates. anywhere around. he got them interested in a new device. Everything in camp was drenched. there was no other way. and darted upon each other from ambush with dreadful war-whoops.But at last the battle was done. Then they piled on great dead boughs till they had a roaring furnace. After the meal they felt rusty. and killed and scalped each other by thousands. a good deal awed. so they patiently wrought until. drowsiness came over them. and a little homesick once more. and this was a simple impossibility without smoking a pipe of peace. and peace resumed her sway. However. blasted by the lightnings. because the great sycamore. in due form. now. that a handbreadth or so of it had escaped wetting. Consequently it was an extremely satisfactory one. This was to knock off being pirates. and were glad-hearted once more. They dried their boiled ham and had a feast. They were eloquent in their distress. and fell to cheering up the pirates as well as he could. the camp-fire as well. By and by they separated into three hostile tribes.

An unusual quiet possessed the village. They were not likely to fool away this high promise for lack of effort. with tears rolling down her cheeks.And behold. you know--and I never thought what it meant. I wouldn't say that--I wouldn't say it for the whole world. were being put into mourning. if it was to do over again. Oh. But she found nothing there to comfort her. In the afternoon Becky Thatcher found herself moping about the deserted schoolhouse yard. But he's gone now. just this way--and then something seemed to go all over me. if I only had a brass andiron-knob again! But I haven't got anything now to remember him by. since we have no further use for them at present. with right fair success. they practised cautiously. of course. never. they were glad they had gone into savagery. Then quite a group of boys and girls--playmates of Tom's and Joe's--came by. We will leave them to smoke and chatter and brag." This thought broke her down. and . and as if you was him--I was as close as that--and he smiled. and gradually gave them up. like--awful. and she wandered away. they found that they could now smoke a little without having to go and hunt for a lost knife. No. as they could easily see now!)--and each speaker pointed out the exact spot where the lost lads stood at the time. and then added something like "and I was a-standing just so--just as I am now." And she choked back a little sob. they did not get sick enough to be seriously uncomfortable. and said to herself: "It was right here. with great grief and many tears. although it was ordinarily quiet enough. They were prouder and happier in their new acquirement than they would have been in the scalping and skinning of the Six Nations. Presently she stopped. The Saturday holiday seemed a burden to the children. for they had gained something. and feeling very melancholy. after supper. I'll never. and talked little. CHAPTER XVII BUT there was no hilarity in the little town that same tranquil Saturday afternoon. They had no heart in their sports. but I can see now!" Then there was a dispute about who saw the dead boys last in life. never see him any more. and so they spent a jubilant evening. in all conscience. The villagers conducted their concerns with an absent air. but they sighed often. The Harpers. and how Joe said this and that small trifle (pregnant with awful prophecy. She soliloquized: "Oh. and stood looking over the paling fence and talking in reverent tones of how Tom did so-and-so the last time they saw him. and Aunt Polly's family.

None could remember when the little church had been so full before. The villagers began to gather. as the pathetic tale went on." But that bid for glory was a failure. There was a rustle in the gallery. and they by the Harper family. the clergyman drew such pictures of the graces. followed by Sid and Mary. and remembered with grief that at the time they occurred they had seemed rank rascalities." As the service proceeded. and then the minister spread his hands abroad and prayed. When the Sunday-school hour was finished. a moment later the church door creaked. and then Aunt Polly entered. One poor chap. how noble and beautiful those episodes were. and stood transfixed! First one and then another pair of eyes followed the minister's. said with tolerably manifest pride in the remembrance: "Well. well deserving of the cowhide. and the text followed: "I am the Resurrection and the Life. and then almost with one . and so that cheapened the distinction too much. till at last the whole company broke down and joined the weeping mourners in a chorus of anguished sobs. There was finally a waiting pause. and exchanged the last words with them. too. generous natures. and crying in the pulpit. and were gaped at and envied by all the rest. and the people could easily see. an expectant dumbness. The group loitered away. and offered evidences. which nobody noticed. rose reverently and stood until the mourners were seated in the front pew. still recalling memories of the lost heroes. instead of ringing in the usual way.many claimed that dismal distinction. and the rare promise of the lost lads that every soul there. which illustrated their sweet. and the mournful sound seemed in keeping with the musing hush that lay upon nature. in awed voices. and had as persistently seen only faults and flaws in the poor boys. Most of the boys could say that. Tom Sawyer he licked me once. and the whole congregation. the winning ways. more or less tampered with by the witness. But there was no whispering in the house. thinking he recognized these pictures. the old minister as well. The congregation became more and more moved. only the funereal rustling of dresses as the women gathered to their seats disturbed the silence there. The minister related many a touching incident in the lives of the departed. who had no other grandeur to offer. the preacher himself giving way to his feelings. felt a pang in remembering that he had persistently blinded himself to them always before. A moving hymn was sung. all in deep black. the lucky parties took upon themselves a sort of sacred importance. broken at intervals by muffled sobs. loitering a moment in the vestibule to converse in whispers about the sad event. the next morning. It was a very still Sabbath. There was another communing silence. and when it was ultimately decided who DID see the departed last. the minister raised his streaming eyes above his handkerchief. now. the bell began to toll.

CHAPTER XVIII THAT was Tom's great secret--the scheme to return home with his brother pirates and attend their own funerals. landing five or six miles below the village.impulse the congregation rose and stared while the three dead boys came marching up the aisle. and had then crept through back lanes and alleys and finished their sleep in the gallery of the church among a chaos of invalided benches. They had paddled over to the Missouri shore on a log. to keep everybody . Aunt Polly and Mary were very loving to Tom. at dusk on Saturday. and he hardly knew which expressed the most gratefulness to God and affection for himself. not knowing exactly what to do or where to hide from so many unwelcoming eyes. Tom in the lead. There was an unusual amount of talk. Joe next. Mary. and the Harpers threw themselves upon their restored ones. but Tom seized him and said: "Aunt Polly. and while it shook the rafters Tom Sawyer the Pirate looked around upon the envying juveniles about him and confessed in his heart that this was the proudest moment of his life. As the "sold" congregation trooped out they said they would almost be willing to be made ridiculous again to hear Old Hundred sung like that once more. Monday morning. At breakfast. I don't say it wasn't a fine joke. sneaking sheepishly in the rear! They had been hid in the unused gallery listening to their own funeral sermon! Aunt Polly." "And so they shall. while poor Huck stood abashed and uncomfortable. Suddenly the minister shouted at the top of his voice: "Praise God from whom all blessings flow--SING!--and put your hearts in it!" And they did. Old Hundred swelled up with a triumphant burst. they had slept in the woods at the edge of the town till nearly daylight. Somebody's got to be glad to see Huck. poor motherless thing!" And the loving attentions Aunt Polly lavished upon him were the one thing capable of making him more uncomfortable than he was before. and Huck. and very attentive to his wants. smothered them with kisses and poured out thanksgivings. Tom. and started to slink away. Tom got more cuffs and kisses that day--according to Aunt Polly's varying moods--than he had earned before in a year. it ain't fair. In the course of it Aunt Polly said: "Well. I'm glad to see him. a ruin of drooping rags. He wavered.

"but I dreamt about you. What did you dream?" "Why. But it's so dim. that ain't any harm. And Sid would have come and DONE it. "it's only Tom's giddy way--he is always in such a rush that he never thinks of anything. 'Twould 'a' spoiled everything. That's something. now. but it is a pity you could be so hard-hearted as to let me suffer so." "Well. "Say. would you. you could have done that. you could have come over and give me a hint some way that you warn't dead. auntie. I hoped you loved me that much." "Now. if you'd thought of it?" "I--well. some day. and wish you'd cared a little more for me when it would have cost you so little. now." "Why. so we did." said Tom. "and I believe you would if you had thought of it." said Mary." "Now. "It would have been something if you'd cared enough to THINK of it. auntie." "More's the pity." pleaded Mary. Tom. lots. too." "I wish now I'd thought." "Yes. Tom. her face lighting wistfully. even if you didn't DO it." said Aunt Polly. she was here! Did you dream any more?" "Oh." "Would you. with a grieved tone that discomforted the boy." "Well. you know I do care for you. try to recollect--can't you?" . I'm glad your dreams could take even that much trouble about us. Sid would have thought." said Tom. Tom?" said Aunt Polly. and Mary next to him. If you could come over on a log to go to your funeral. anyway." "And I dreamt that Joe Harper's mother was here. "I'd know it better if you acted more like it. and Sid was sitting by the woodbox.suffering 'most a week so you boys had a good time." "Tom. ain't it?" "It ain't much--a cat does that much--but it's better than nothing. when it's too late. but only run off. I don't know. with a repentant tone. Wednesday night I dreamt that you was sitting over there by the bed. you'll look back. So we always do.

Not the first time. and not any more responsible than--than--I think it was a colt. neither. And then--" "Then Mrs. and then said: "I've got it now! I've got it now! It blowed the candle!" "Mercy on us! Go on." "As I'm sitting here. go on. So I did. you made him shut it. any more. goodness gracious! Go on. and she wished she hadn't whipped him for taking cream when she'd throwed it out her own self--" "Tom! The sperrit was upon you! You was a prophesying--that's what you was doing! Land alive. and said Joe was just the same. Come!" Tom pressed his fingers on his forehead an anxious minute." "Well. yes--you said you believed the door was open. now. for the land's sake! I never heard the beat of that in all my days! Don't tell ME there ain't anything in dreams. Tom? What did I make him do?" "You made him--you--Oh. I believe that that door--'" "Go ON. Oh. I'd like to see her get around THIS with her rubbage 'bout superstition. Harper she began to cry. or something. Next you said I warn't BAD. Sereny Harper shall know of this before I'm an hour older. Tom!" "Then Sid he said--he said--" . but it seems like as if you made Sid go and--and--" "Well? Well? What did I make him do. I did! Didn't I." "So I did. Tom! The wind did blow something."Somehow it seems to me that the wind--the wind blowed the--the--" "Try harder." "And so it was! Well. only mischeevous and harum-scarum. Tom--go on!" "And it seems to me that you said. Mary! Go on!" "And then--and then--well I won't be certain. Tom!" "Oh. it's all getting just as bright as day. 'Why. Tom!" "Just let me study a moment--just a moment. Go on. Tom!" "And then you began to cry.

as sure as I'm a-sitting in these very tracks. Sid! A body does just the same in a dream as he'd do if he was awake. Tom?" "He said--I THINK he said he hoped I was better off where I was gone to. and 'bout having the funeral Sunday. 'We ain't dead--we are only off being pirates. I'm thankful to the good God and Father of us all I've got you back. Harper told about Joe scaring her with a firecracker. and then you and old Miss Harper hugged and cried. "Shut your heads and let Tom go on! What did he say. "It was very kind. and then you looked so good." "Did you. There WAS an angel there. and you told about Peter and the Painkiller--" "Just as true as I live!" "And then there was a whole lot of talk 'bout dragging the river for us. you couldn't told it more like if you'd 'a' seen it! And then what? Go on. but if only the worthy ones got His ." "It happened just so! It happened just so. Tom. Tom. Here's a big Milum apple I've been saving for you."I don't think I said anything. Tom!" "Then I thought you prayed for me--and I could see you and hear every word you said. even though it was only a--dream. laying there asleep. but if I'd been better sometimes--" "THERE." "I lay I did! There must 'a' been an angel there. if you was ever found again--now go 'long to school. "Shut up. DID you! I just forgive you everything for that!" And she seized the boy in a crushing embrace that made him feel like the guiltiest of villains. though goodness knows I'm unworthy of it. and I was so sorry that I took and wrote on a piece of sycamore bark.' and put it on the table by the candle. d'you hear that! It was his very words!" "And you shut him up sharp. that I thought I went and leaned over and kissed you on the lips. somewheres!" "And Mrs." said Sid. Tom." said Mary. And you went to bed. "Yes you did." Sid soliloquized just audibly. and she went. that's long-suffering and merciful to them that believe on Him and keep His word. Sid.

the very summit of glory was reached. They would have given anything to have that swarthy suntanned skin of his. and screaming with laughter when she made a capture. when they got out their pipes and went serenely puffing around. and Tom would not have parted with either for a circus. and moved irresolutely about. Presently she arrived. instead of winning him. let her--she should see that he could be as indifferent as some other people. it only "set him up" the more and made him the more diligent to avoid betraying that he knew she was about. it was not a thing likely to have an end." The children left for school. Sid had better judgment than to utter the thought that was in his mind as he left the house. It was this: "Pretty thin--as long a dream as that. And finally. now! He did not go skipping and prancing. He would live for glory.blessings and had His hand to help them over the rough places. It gratified all the vicious vanity that was in him. pretending to be busy chasing schoolmates. Glory was sufficient. but he noticed that she always made her captures in his vicinity. but they were food and drink to him. and so." Well. And indeed it was. maybe she would be wanting to "make up. and that she seemed to cast a conscious eye in his direction at such times. and the old lady to call on Mrs. as proud to be seen with him. with imaginations like theirs to furnish material. but they were consuming with envy. and delivered such eloquent admiration from their eyes. too. and tolerated by him. as if he had been the drummer at the head of a procession or the elephant leading a menagerie into town. sighing once or twice and glancing furtively and wistfully toward Tom. but moved with a dignified swagger as became a pirate who felt that the public eye was on him. Harper and vanquish her realism with Tom's marvellous dream. Soon he observed that she was tripping gayly back and forth with flushed face and dancing eyes. He moved away and joined a group of boys and girls and began to talk. Go 'long Sid. She felt a sharp pang and grew disturbed and uneasy at once. there's few enough would smile here or ever enter into His rest when the long night comes. that the two heroes were not long in becoming insufferably "stuck-up. nevertheless. Tom--take yourselves off--you've hendered me long enough. Boys of his own size pretended not to know he had been away at all. Tom pretended not to see her. Then she observed that now Tom was talking more particularly to Amy Lawrence than to any one else. and his glittering notoriety. She tried to go away. without any mistakes in it!" What a hero Tom was become. At school the children made so much of him and of Joe. Now that he was distinguished. he tried not to seem to see the looks or hear the remarks as he passed along. Mary. Smaller boys than himself flocked at his heels. Tom decided that he could be independent of Becky Thatcher now. but ." They began to tell their adventures to hungry listeners--but they only began. Presently she gave over skylarking.

She said to a girl almost at Tom's elbow--with sham vivacity: "Why. she will. may I come?" said Grace Miller." "Oh." "And me. She'll let anybody come that I want." "And me?" said Sally Rogers. where I always go." "That's ever so nice. won't it be fun! You going to have all the girls and boys?" "Yes. The picnic's for me. Maybe about vacation. no! Did you? Where did you sit?" "I was in Miss Peters' class. too?" said Susy Harper. I hope she'll let ME come." "Did you? Why. Mary Austin! you bad girl. and she glanced ever so furtively at Tom.her feet were treacherous. every one that's friends to me--or wants to be". and carried her to the group instead. "Yes. and took Amy with him. goody. "Yes." "Oh. but he talked right along to Amy Lawrence about the terrible storm on the island. Becky's lips trembled and the tears . When is it going to be?" "By and by. Who's going to give it?" "My ma's going to let me have one. and I want you." "Oh. I wanted to tell you about the picnic." And so on. that's jolly. "And Joe?" "Yes. I saw YOU." "Oh. still talking. and how the lightning tore the great sycamore tree "all to flinders" while he was "standing within three feet of it. why didn't you come to Sunday-school?" "I did come--didn't you see me?" "Why. Then Tom turned coolly away." "Well. with clapping of joyful hands till all the group had begged for invitations but Tom and Amy. it's funny I didn't see you.

she got away as soon as she could and hid herself and had what her sex call "a good cry. but Tom's tongue had lost its function. He could not help it. but . He began to hate himself for throwing away the chance Becky had offered for a reconciliation. hating her for it. and kicking and gouging. And it maddened him to see. ain't I ever going to get rid of her?" At last he must be attending to those things--and she said artlessly that she would be "around" when school let out. Amy's happy prattle became intolerable. now. Jealousy ran red-hot through Tom's veins. But in vain--the girl chirped on. she hid these signs with a forced gayety and went on chattering. mister. She was sitting cosily on a little bench behind the schoolhouse looking at a picture-book with Alfred Temple--and so absorbed were they. do you? You holler 'nough. as he thought he saw. and whenever she paused expectantly he could only stammer an awkward assent. hang her. He wanted to cry with vexation. and gave her plaited tails a shake and said she knew what SHE'D do. to sear his eyeballs with the hateful spectacle there. as they walked. "Oh. till the bell rang. "Any other boy!" Tom thought. all right. "Any boy in the whole town but that Saint Louis smarty that thinks he dresses so fine and is aristocracy! Oh. and time was fleeting. let that learn you!" And so the imaginary flogging was finished to his satisfaction. And he hastened away. Amy chatted happily along. and all the hard names he could think of. Becky resumed her picture inspections with Alfred." Then she sat moody. nevertheless. and their heads so close together over the book. then. She roused up. and I'll lick you again! You just wait till I catch you out! I'll just take and--" And he went through the motions of thrashing an imaginary boy --pummelling the air. with wounded pride. too. that they did not seem to be conscious of anything in the world besides.came to her eyes. and she knew she was winning her fight. grating his teeth. for her heart was singing. At recess Tom continued his flirtation with Amy with jubilant self-satisfaction. but there was a sudden falling of his mercury. with a vindictive cast in her eye. His conscience could not endure any more of Amy's grateful happiness. which was as often misplaced as otherwise. Tom fled home at noon. Tom thought. At last he spied her. again and again. Tom hinted at things he had to attend to. He kept drifting to the rear of the schoolhouse. And he kept drifting about to find Becky and lacerate her with the performance. "Oh. I licked you the first day you ever saw this town. now. He called himself a fool. you do. that Becky Thatcher never once suspected that he was even in the land of the living. but the life had gone out of the picnic. do you? Now. He did not hear what Amy was saying. and his jealousy could bear no more of the other distress. things that must be done. But she did see. and out of everything else. and was glad to see him suffer as she had suffered.

He was far from hating Tom the less when this thought occurred to him. her triumph began to cloud and she lost interest. CHAPTER XIX TOM arrived at home in a dreary mood. Then Alfred went musing into the deserted schoolhouse. like an old softy. don't bother me! I don't care for them!" and burst into tears. however.as the minutes dragged along and no Tom came to suffer. At last she grew entirely miserable and wished she hadn't carried it so far. He was humiliated and angry. now. Here I go over to Sereny Harper. what have I done?" "Well. but she said: "Go away and leave me alone. kept exclaiming: "Oh. and then melancholy. She resolved to let him get whipped on the damaged spelling-book's account. when lo and behold you she'd found out from Joe that . I've a notion to skin you alive!" "Auntie. seeing that he was losing her. and said. no Tom came. He gratefully opened to the lesson for the afternoon and poured ink upon the page. saw the act. expecting I'm going to make her believe all that rubbage about that dream. and the first thing his aunt said to him showed him that he had brought his sorrows to an unpromising market: "Tom. She started homeward. can't you! I hate you!" So the boy halted. gravity and absent-mindedness followed. Here was his opportunity. When poor Alfred. Becky. two or three times she pricked up her ear at a footstep. wondering what he could have done--for she had said she would look at pictures all through the nooning--and she walked on. Alfred dropped alongside and was going to try to comfort her. and moved on. glancing in at a window behind him at the moment. he did not know how. "Oh. Tom would be thankful and their troubles would be healed. and got up and walked away. Before she was half way home. crying. here's a jolly one! look at this!" she lost patience at last. The thought of Tom's treatment of her when she was talking about her picnic came scorching back and filled her with shame. He wished there was some way to get that boy into trouble without much risk to himself. and to hate him forever. into the bargain. intending to find Tom and tell him. you've done enough. He easily guessed his way to the truth--the girl had simply made a convenience of him to vent her spite upon Tom Sawyer. but it was a false hope. Tom's spelling-book fell under his eye. without discovering herself. she had changed her mind.

when you got to talking about the funeral. I didn't. you see." "I'd give the whole world to believe that--it would cover up a power of sins." "Indeed and 'deed I did. auntie--I wish I may never stir if I didn't." "Oh. and you could think to fool me with a lie about a dream. auntie. It only makes things a hundred times worse. I didn't come over here to laugh at you that night." "Oh. I wish I hadn't done it--but I didn't think. and I couldn't somehow bear to spoil it. I'd 'most be glad you'd run off and acted so bad. Tom. He hung his head and could not think of anything to say for a moment. I don't know what is to become of a boy that will act like that. And besides. Tom. but I didn't mean to be mean. and very ingenious. I would be the thankfullest soul in this world if I could believe you ever had as good a thought as that. you never think." "Tom.you was over here and heard all the talk we had that night. I wanted to keep you from grieving--that was all that made me come. But it ain't reasonable. then?" "It was to tell you not to be uneasy about us. but you know you never did--and I know it. It makes me feel so bad to think you could let me go to Sereny Harper and make such a fool of myself and never say a word. You could think to come all the way over here from Jackson's Island in the night to laugh at our troubles. don't lie--don't do it." "What did you come for. but you couldn't ever think to pity us and save us from sorrow. honest. Tom." "What bark?" . why didn't you tell me. Tom. So I just put the bark back in my pocket and kept mum." "It ain't a lie." "Auntie." This was a new aspect of the thing. child?" "Why. because. I know now it was mean. it's the truth. His smartness of the morning had seemed to Tom a good joke before. child. You never think of anything but your own selfishness. It merely looked mean and shabby now. because we hadn't got drownded. I just got all full of the idea of our coming and hiding in the church. Then he said: "Auntie. Tom.

"DID you kiss me. Tom?" "Because I loved you so. Once more she ventured." "What did you kiss me for. I hope the Lord--I KNOW the Lord will forgive him. The old lady could not hide a tremor in her voice when she said: "Kiss me again. Tom?" "Why." The hard lines in his aunt's face relaxed and a sudden tenderness dawned in her eyes. yes. I won't look. now." The words sounded like truth. and stood by musing a minute. that swept away his low spirits and made him lighthearted and happy again. blessed lie. you'd waked up when I kissed you--I do. because it was such goodheartedness in him to tell it. when she kissed Tom. and this time she fortified herself with the thought: "It's a good lie--it's a good lie--I won't let it grieve me." The moment he was gone. I don't dare. A moment later she was reading Tom's piece of bark through flowing tears and saying: "I could forgive the boy. I reckon he's lied about it--but it's a blessed. Tom!--and be off with you to school. and you laid there moaning and I was so sorry." So she sought the jacket pocket." "Are you sure you did. there's such a comfort come from it. Then she stopped. with it in her hand. His mood always determined his . she ran to a closet and got out the ruin of a jacket which Tom had gone pirating in. auntie--certain sure. now. honest. I did. if he'd committed a million sins!" CHAPTER XX THERE was something about Aunt Polly's manner. I did. He started to school and had the luck of coming upon Becky Thatcher at the head of Meadow Lane. yes. and said to herself: "No. I wish. But I don't want to find out it's a lie. Twice she put out her hand to take the garment again. and don't bother me any more. and twice she refrained. now." She put the jacket away. Tom?" "Why. Poor boy."The bark I had wrote on to tell you we'd gone pirating.

nevertheless. and I'm so sorry. so she began to turn the leaves. Every day he took a mysterious book out of his desk and absorbed himself in it at times when no classes were reciting. she noticed that the key was in the lock! It was a precious moment. The darling of his desires was. she did not know how fast she was nearing trouble herself. He moped into the schoolyard wishing she were a boy. and had the hard luck to tear the pictured page half down the middle. Thomas Sawyer. and imagining how he would trounce her if she were. stark naked. But he was in a fine rage. She thrust the volume into the desk. as Becky was passing by the desk. and there was no way of getting at the facts in the case. Miss Smarty?" until the right time to say it had gone by. She hurled one in return. in her hot resentment. you are just as mean as you can be. I'll never speak to you again. that she could hardly wait for school to "take in. Without a moment's hesitation he ran to her and said: "I acted mighty mean to-day. as long as ever I live--please make up. Becky. Becky snatched at the book to close it. The master. "Tom Sawyer. and burst out crying with shame and vexation. If she had had any lingering notion of exposing Alfred Temple. found herself alone. It seemed to Becky. won't you?" The girl stopped and looked him scornfully in the face: "I'll thank you to keep yourself TO yourself. turned the key. had reached middle age with an unsatisfied ambition. and the next instant she had the book in her hands. which stood near the door. and the angry breach was complete. Dobbins." she was so impatient to see Tom flogged for the injured spelling-book. She glanced around. Tom's offensive fling had driven it entirely away.manner. to sneak up on a person and look at what they're looking at. Poor girl. I won't ever. but no two theories were alike. He presently encountered her and delivered a stinging remark as he passed. but poverty had decreed that he should be nothing higher than a village schoolmaster. He kept that book under lock and key. ever do that way again. There was not an urchin in school but was perishing to have a glimpse of it. Now. Every boy and girl had a theory about the nature of that book. So he said nothing. The title-page--Professor Somebody's ANATOMY--carried no information to her mind. At that moment a shadow fell on the page and Tom Sawyer stepped in at the door and caught a glimpse of the picture. to be a doctor. She came at once upon a handsomely engraved and colored frontispiece--a human figure. but the chance never came. Mr." She tossed her head and passed on." "How could I know you was looking at anything?" . Tom was so stunned that he had not even presence of mind enough to say "Who cares. Mr.

Presently he said to himself: "What a curious kind of a fool a girl is! Never been licked in school! Shucks! What's a licking! That's just like a girl--they're so thin-skinned and chicken-hearted. They ain't got any backbone. The denial only seemed to make the thing worse for Tom. hateful!"--and she flung out of the house with a new explosion of crying. and I never was whipped in school. You just wait and you'll see! Hateful. without any telling. and Tom's mind was entirely full of his own matters for a while after that." Tom did not feel a strong interest in his studies. rather flustered by this onslaught. because there's other ways of getting even on her. He could get up no exultation that was really worthy the name. but she found she was not certain. Well. Becky roused up from her lethargy of distress and showed good interest in the proceedings. and she tried to believe she was glad of it. not to save his life!" Tom took his whipping and went back to his seat not at all broken-hearted. she had an impulse to get up and tell on Alfred Temple. she'd like to see me in just such a fix--let her sweat it out!" Tom joined the mob of skylarking scholars outside. what shall I do. She'll get licked. and yet it was all he could do to help it. that ain't so mean. he did not want to pity her. and when he comes to the right girl he'll know it. I wouldn't say a word. When the worst came to the worst. Well. and then added: "All right. Every time he stole a glance at the girls' side of the room Becky's face troubled him. Tom stood still. of course I ain't going to tell old Dobbins on this little fool. and oh. "he'll tell about me tearing the picture sure. Presently the spelling-book discovery was made. and she was right. because there ain't any way out of it." Tom conned the thing a moment longer. though. Tom Sawyer. Considering all things. in some skylarking bout--he . but what of it? Old Dobbins will ask who it was tore his book. Becky supposed she would be glad of that. but she made an effort and forced herself to keep still--because. what shall I do! I'll be whipped. you know you're going to tell on me."You ought to be ashamed of yourself. for he thought it was possible that he had unknowingly upset the ink on the spelling-book himself. Girls' faces always tell on them." Then she stamped her little foot and said: "BE so mean if you want to! I know something that's going to happen. hateful. In a few moments the master arrived and school "took in. said she to herself. Nobody'll answer. it's a kind of a tight place for Becky Thatcher. Then he'll do just the way he always does--ask first one and then t'other. She did not expect that Tom could get out of his trouble by denying that he spilt the ink on the book himself.

but there were two among them that watched his movements with intent eyes. By and by. There was silence while one might count ten --the master was gathering his wrath. The next girl was Becky Thatcher. Mr. "Susan Harper. Every eye sank under his gaze. Dobbins straightened himself up. Mr. If Tom only had the wasted opportunity back again! Too late. There was that in it which smote even the innocent with fear. the air was drowsy with the hum of study. Tom's uneasiness grew more and more intense under the slow torture of these proceedings. Instantly he forgot his quarrel with her. Good!--he had an inspiration! He would run and snatch the book. The stillness continued. Quick--something must be done! done in a flash. then unlocked his desk. the master searched face after face for signs of guilt. the master sat nodding in his throne. and the chance was lost--the master opened the volume. "Benjamin Rogers. A whole hour drifted by. did you tear this book?" A denial. Another pause. But his resolution shook for one little instant. yawned. too! But the very imminence of the emergency paralyzed his invention. "Joseph Harper. he said. He had seen a hunted and helpless rabbit look as she did. and had stuck to the denial from principle. but seemed undecided whether to take it out or leave it. Dobbins fingered his book absently for a while. The master scanned the ranks of boys--considered a while. did you?" Another denial. Tom was trembling from head to foot with excitement and a sense of the hopelessness of the situation. then took it out and settled himself in his chair to read! Tom shot a glance at Becky. . The next moment the master faced the school. One could have heard a pin drop. Then he spoke: "Who tore this book?" There was not a sound. and reached for his book. did you do this?" Another negative. There was no help for Becky now. with a gun levelled at its head. Most of the pupils glanced up languidly.had denied it for form's sake and because it was custom. spring through the door and fly. "Gracie Miller?" The same sign. then turned to the girls: "Amy Lawrence?" A shake of the head.

escaped lashing. he had only reached middle age. The master's wife would go . They threw away no opportunity to do the master a mischief. The schoolmaster. He sprang to his feet and shouted--"I done it!" The school stared in perplexity at this incredible folly. and when he stepped forward to go to his punishment the surprise. Tom stood a moment. that the smaller boys spent their days in terror and suffering and their nights in plotting revenge. soon. and he fell asleep at last with Becky's latest words lingering dreamily in his ear-"Tom. the gratitude. to gather his dismembered faculties. told him the scheme. As the great day approached. but even the longing for vengeance had to give way. and also received with indifference the added cruelty of a command to remain two hours after school should be dismissed--for he knew who would wait for him outside till his captivity was done. for with shame and repentance Becky had told him all. grew severer and more exacting than ever. he seemed to take a vindictive pleasure in punishing the least shortcomings. too. The retribution that followed every vengeful success was so sweeping and majestic that the boys always retired from the field badly worsted. he took without an outcry the most merciless flaying that even Mr. But he kept ahead all the time. all the tyranny that was in him came to the surface. for the master boarded in his father's family and had given the boy ample cause to hate him. under his wig. not forgetting her own treachery. Only the biggest boys. and not count the tedious time as loss. for although he carried. for he wanted the school to make a good showing on "Examination" day. Dobbins' lashings were very vigorous ones. to pleasanter musings. The consequence was. and there was no sign of feebleness in his muscle. They swore in the sign-painter's boy. Inspired by the splendor of his own act. and asked his help. Tom went to bed that night planning vengeance against Alfred Temple. the adoration that shone upon him out of poor Becky's eyes seemed pay enough for a hundred floggings. always severe. He had his own reasons for being delighted. His rod and his ferule were seldom idle now--at least among the smaller pupils. At last they conspired together and hit upon a plan that promised a dazzling victory. either. and young ladies of eighteen and twenty. look me in the face" [her hands rose in appeal] --"did you tear this book?" A thought shot like lightning through Tom's brain. Dobbins had ever administered. a perfectly bald and shiny head. how COULD you be so noble!" CHAPTER XXI VACATION was approaching. Mr."Rebecca Thatcher" [Tom glanced at her face--it was white with terror] --"did you tear--no.

But he got through safely. At eight in the evening the schoolhouse was brilliantly lighted. their grandmothers' ancient trinkets. and got a fine round of applause when he made his manufactured bow and retired. and there would be nothing to interfere with the plan. too." etc.on a visit to the country in a few days.. The meagre Latin class recited with honor. The master sat throned in his great chair upon a raised platform. and broke down in the middle of it. rows of gawky big boys. their bits of pink and blue ribbon and the flowers in their hair. utterly defeated. "You'd scarce expect one of my age to speak in public on the stage. Three rows of benches on each side and six rows in front of him were occupied by the dignitaries of the town and by the parents of the pupils. All the rest of the house was filled with non-participating scholars. also "The Assyrian Came Down. got her meed of applause. back of the rows of citizens. In the fulness of time the interesting occasion arrived. he had the manifest sympathy of the house but he had the house's silence. The master frowned." and other declamatory gems. but it died early. his legs quaked under him and he was like to choke. The exercises began. the master always prepared himself for great occasions by getting pretty well fuddled. To his left. with fine fury and frantic gesticulation. There was a weak attempt at applause. A very little boy stood up and sheepishly recited. was a spacious temporary platform upon which were seated the scholars who were to take part in the exercises of the evening. A little shamefaced girl lisped. and a spelling fight. and this completed the disaster. True. A ghastly stage-fright seized him. and sat down flushed and happy. though cruelly scared.--accompanying himself with the painfully exact and spasmodic gestures which a machine might have used--supposing the machine to be a trifle out of order. "The Boy Stood on the Burning Deck" followed. with his blackboard behind him." etc. which was even worse than its sympathy. and adorned with wreaths and festoons of foliage and flowers. Then there were reading exercises. He was looking tolerably mellow. snowbanks of girls and young ladies clad in lawn and muslin and conspicuously conscious of their bare arms. Tom struggled awhile and then retired. performed a compassion-inspiring curtsy. Tom Sawyer stepped forward with conceited confidence and soared into the unquenchable and indestructible "Give me liberty or give me death" speech. washed and dressed to an intolerable state of discomfort. rows of small boys. now--original "compositions" . The prime feature of the evening was in order. then he would have him awakened at the right time and hurried away to school. "Mary had a little lamb. and the sign-painter's boy said that when the dominie had reached the proper condition on Examination Evening he would "manage the thing" while he napped in his chair.

"Friendship" was one. her step is lightest in the gay assembly." etc. of which she has had such bright dreams. and doubtless all their ancestors in the female line clear back to the Crusades. it never will be sufficient while the world stands. all is vanity. with labored attention to "expression" and punctuation. 'the observed of all observers. "Filial Love". their grandmothers. another was a wasteful and opulent gush of "fine language". her eye is brightest. and it is not sufficient to-day. cleared her throat. "Forms of Political Government Compared and Contrasted". No matter what the subject might be. Homely truth is unpalatable. with what delightful emotions does the youthful mind look forward to some anticipated scene of festivity! Imagination is busy sketching rose-tinted pictures of joy. "Melancholy". and a peculiarity that conspicuously marked and marred them was the inveterate and intolerable sermon that wagged its crippled tail at the end of each and every one of them. and proceeded to read. the .' Her graceful form. The glaring insincerity of these sermons was not sufficient to compass the banishment of the fashion from the schools. perhaps. How fairy-like does everything appear to her enchanted vision! Each new scene is more charming than the last. Each in her turn stepped forward to the edge of the platform. and you will find that the sermon of the most frivolous and the least religious girl in the school is always the longest and the most relentlessly pious. then.by the young ladies. is whirling through the mazes of the joyous dance. "In such delicious fancies time quickly glides by. In fancy. But enough of this. a brain-racking effort was made to squirm it into some aspect or other that the moral and religious mind could contemplate with edification. Let us return to the "Examination. and the welcome hour arrives for her entrance into the Elysian world." The first composition that was read was one entitled "Is this. arrayed in snowy robes. "The Advantages of Culture". But after a while she finds that beneath this goodly exterior. There is no school in all our land where the young ladies do not feel obliged to close their compositions with a sermon. held up her manuscript (tied with dainty ribbon). "Memories of Other Days". Life?" Perhaps the reader can endure an extract from it: "In the common walks of life. The themes were the same that had been illuminated upon similar occasions by their mothers before them. the voluptuous votary of fashion sees herself amid the festive throng. another was a tendency to lug in by the ears particularly prized words and phrases until they were worn entirely out. "Heart Longings. "Dream Land". A prevalent feature in these compositions was a nursed and petted melancholy. etc.. "Religion in History".

the ball-room has lost its charms. seeming . Around the throne on high not a single star quivered. whilst the terrific lightning revelled in angry mood through the cloudy chambers of heaven. black-eyed. Then arose a slim. she turns away with the conviction that earthly pleasures cannot satisfy the longings of the soul!" And so forth and so on. Have roamed and read near Tallapoosa's stream. who paused an impressive moment. and with wasted health and imbittered heart. sad thoughts of thee my heart doth swell.flattery which once charmed her soul. but the poem was very satisfactory. Nor blush to turn behind my tearful eyes.. 'Tis to no strangers left I yield these sighs. and tete. nevertheless. and after the thing had closed with a peculiarly afflicting sermon the applause was enthusiastic. And burning recollections throng my brow! For I have wandered through thy flowery woods. "Yet shame I not to bear an o'er-full heart. accompanied by whispered ejaculations of "How sweet!" "How eloquent!" "So true!" etc. melancholy girl. Have listened to Tallassee's warring floods. Whose vales I leave--whose spires fade fast from me And cold must be mine eyes. whose face had the "interesting" paleness that comes of pills and indigestion. but the deep intonations of the heavy thunder constantly vibrated upon the ear. now grates harshly upon her ear. and heart. black-haired young lady. and read a "poem. and began to read in a measured. solemn tone: "A VISION "Dark and tempestuous was night. assumed a tragic expression. dear Alabama! they turn cold on thee!" There were very few there who knew what "tete" meant. good-bye! I love thee well! But yet for a while do I leave thee now! Sad." Two stanzas of it will do: "A MISSOURI MAIDEN'S FAREWELL TO ALABAMA "Alabama. 'Tis from no stranger land I now must part. There was a buzz of gratification from time to time during the reading. Welcome and home were mine within this State. And wooed on Coosa's side Aurora's beam. yes. When. Next appeared a dark-complexioned.

He felt that all eyes were fastened upon him. that the number of compositions in which the word "beauteous" was over-fondled. but he only distorted them more than ever. And well it might. "'My dearest friend. to exercise the geography class upon. for human sympathy my very spirit sighed. But he made a sad business of it with his unsteady hand. as if determined not to be put down by the mirth. and but for the magical thrill imparted by her genial touch. This composition was considered to be the very finest effort of the evening. and blustered about as if to enhance by their aid the wildness of the scene.to scorn the power exerted over its terror by the illustrious Franklin! Even the boisterous winds unanimously came forth from their mystic homes. He sponged out lines and remade them. It may be remarked. in delivering the prize to the author of it. He threw his entire attention upon his work. and down through this scuttle came a cat. so dark. and yet the tittering continued. my second bliss in joy. The mayor of the village. pierced with a scuttle over his head. but instead thereof. put his chair aside. and the tittering was more pronounced. suspended around the haunches by a string. A strange sadness rested upon her features." was up to the usual average. She moved like one of those bright beings pictured in the sunny walks of fancy's Eden by the romantic and young. as she pointed to the contending elements without. So soft was her step. There was a garret above. he imagined he was succeeding. and human experience referred to as "life's page.' came to my side. it failed to make even a sound. turned his back to the audience. she would have glided away un-perceived--unsought. mellow almost to the verge of geniality. now. Now the master. so dreary. she had a rag . He knew what the matter was. made a warm speech in which he said that it was by far the most "eloquent" thing he had ever listened to. it even manifestly increased. and a smothered titter rippled over the house. and that Daniel Webster himself might well be proud of it. like icy tears upon the robe of December. and began to draw a map of America on the blackboard. my counsellor." This nightmare occupied some ten pages of manuscript and wound up with a sermon so destructive of all hope to non-Presbyterians that it took the first prize. and set himself to right it. in passing. "At such a time. and bade me contemplate the two beings presented. as other unobtrusive beauties. my comforter and guide--My joy in grief. a queen of beauty unadorned save by her own transcendent loveliness.

and hence are much happier than any mere imitations could be. clung to it. however --there was something in that. too. Tom was disgusted. that to promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing. and felt a sense of injury. the desire grew to be so intense that nothing but the hope of a chance to display himself in his red sash kept him from withdrawing from the order. chewing. The simple fact that he could. Sometimes his hopes ran high--so high that he would venture to get out his regalia and practise before the looking-glass. but he soon gave that up --gave it up before he had worn his shackles over forty-eight hours--and fixed his hopes upon old Judge Frazer. down. The Cadets paraded in a style calculated to kill the late member with envy.tied about her head and jaws to keep her from mewing. Fourth of July was coming. since he was so high an official. by a Western Lady"--but they are exactly and precisely after the schoolgirl pattern. and was snatched up into the garret in an instant with her trophy still in her possession! And how the light did blaze abroad from the master's bald pate--for the sign-painter's boy had GILDED it! That broke up the meeting." He promised to abstain from smoking. CHAPTER XXII TOM joined the new order of Cadets of Temperance. being attracted by the showy character of their "regalia. she swung downward and clawed at the intangible air. The funeral was a fine thing. a little lower. and she grabbed his wig with her desperate claws. Tom resolved that he would never trust a man like that again. The tittering rose higher and higher--the cat was within six inches of the absorbed teacher's head--down. as she slowly descended she curved upward and clawed at the string. He handed in his resignation at once--and that night the Judge suffered a relapse and died. NOTE:--The pretended "compositions" quoted in this chapter are taken without alteration from a volume entitled "Prose and Poetry. took the desire away. The boys were avenged. At last he was pronounced upon the mend--and then convalescent. now--but found to his surprise that he did not want to. justice of the peace. Vacation had come. and profanity as long as he remained a member. He could drink and swear. and the charm of it. who was apparently on his deathbed and would have a big public funeral. But the Judge had a most discouraging way of fluctuating. Now he found out a new thing--namely. Tom soon found himself tormented with a desire to drink and swear. During three days Tom was deeply concerned about the Judge's condition and hungry for news of it. Tom was a free boy again. .

hoping against hope for the sight of one blessed sinful face. Tom and Joe Harper got up a band of performers and were happy for two days. and made a sensation. but even the boys and girls. Mr. for it rained hard. who called his attention to the precious blessing of his late measles as a warning. He hunted up Jim Hollis. Every boy he encountered added another ton to his depression. He found Joe Harper studying a Testament. and so he abandoned it. in desperation. He was very ill." not only the adults. he flew for refuge at last to the bosom of Huckleberry Finn and was received with a Scriptural quotation. Even the Glorious Fourth was in some sense a failure. Becky Thatcher was gone to her Constantinople home to stay with her parents during vacation--so there was no bright side to life anywhere. When he got upon his feet at last and moved feebly down-town.Tom presently wondered to find that his coveted vacation was beginning to hang a little heavily on his hands." and everybody had "got religion. there was no procession in consequence. Then came the measles. his heart broke and he crept home and to bed realizing that he alone of all . He attempted a diary--but nothing happened during three days. and turned sadly away from the depressing spectacle. A circus came. and the greatest man in the world (as Tom supposed). A phrenologist and a mesmerizer came--and went again and left the village duller and drearier than ever. It was a very cancer for permanency and pain. nor even anywhere in the neighborhood of it. and when. proved an overwhelming disappointment--for he was not twenty-five feet high. The first of all the negro minstrel shows came to town. a melancholy change had come over everything and every creature. He sought Ben Rogers. and found him visiting the poor with a basket of tracts. Benton. but disappointment crossed him everywhere. Tom went about. an actual United States Senator. There had been a "revival. dead to the world and its happenings. The boys played circus for three days afterward in tents made of rag carpeting--admission. There were some boys-and-girls' parties. but they were so few and so delightful that they only made the aching voids between ache the harder. two for girls--and then circusing was abandoned. The dreadful secret of the murder was a chronic misery. he was interested in nothing. During two long weeks Tom lay a prisoner. three pins for boys.

the town was lost. Tom had relapsed. in the presence of her victim. Every reference to the murder sent a shudder to his heart. He covered his head with the bedclothes and waited in a horror of suspense for his doom. for his troubled conscience and fears almost persuaded him that these remarks were put forth in his hearing as "feelers". remembering how lonely was his estate. for he had not the shadow of a doubt that all this hubbub was about him. awful claps of thunder and blinding sheets of lightning. to divide his burden of distress with another sufferer. have you ever told anybody about--that?" "'Bout what?" "You know what. Moreover. It became the absorbing topic of village talk immediately. His second was to wait--for there might not be any more storms. It would be some relief to unseal his tongue for a little while. Tom could not get away from it. He drifted listlessly down the street and found Jim Hollis acting as judge in a juvenile court that was trying a cat for murder. with driving rain. He found Joe Harper and Huck Finn up an alley eating a stolen melon. The three weeks he spent on his back this time seemed an entire age. Poor lads! they--like Tom--had suffered a relapse. CHAPTER XXIII AT last the sleepy atmosphere was stirred--and vigorously: the murder trial came on in the court. he did not see how he could be suspected of knowing anything about the murder. "Huck. a bird. The boy's first impulse was to be grateful. He took Huck to a lonely place to have a talk with him. It might have seemed to him a waste of pomp and ammunition to kill a bug with a battery of artillery. forever and forever. The next day the doctors were back. When he got abroad at last he was hardly grateful that he had been spared. how companionless and forlorn he was. and reform. By and by the tempest spent itself and died without accomplishing its object." . but there seemed nothing incongruous about the getting up such an expensive thunderstorm as this to knock the turf from under an insect like himself. he wanted to assure himself that Huck had remained discreet. And that night there came on a terrific storm." "Oh--'course I haven't. but still he could not be comfortable in the midst of this gossip. It kept him in a cold shiver all the time. He believed he had taxed the forbearance of the powers above to the extremity of endurance and that this was the result.

Lord." "That's just the same way they go on round me. when there warn't enough for two. to get money to get drunk on--and loafs around considerable. they couldn't anybody get you to tell. Tom Sawyer. He ain't no account. Muff Potter. I was afeard. They ain't no different way." "Talk? Well. and lots of times he's kind of stood by me when I was out of luck. could they?" "Get me to tell? Why. then." "Yes--so they would. But let's swear again." "I do too. 'twouldn't do any good. once. Huck. It keeps me in a sweat. Just fishes a little. But he's kind of good--he give me half a fish. "What is the talk around." . but then he hain't ever done anything to hurt anybody." "My! we couldn't get him out. YOU know that. he's mended kites for me. Huck? I've heard a power of it." Tom felt more comfortable. And besides. Tom. Don't you feel sorry for him. we all do that--leastways most of us--preachers and such like. I hear 'em say he's the bloodiest looking villain in this country. But I hate to hear 'em abuse him so like the dickens when he never done--that. anyway. and knitted hooks on to my line." "I'm agreed. I reckon we're safe as long as we keep mum. I wish we could get him out of there." So they swore again with dread solemnities. they'd ketch him again. sometimes?" "Most always--most always." "Why. it's just Muff Potter. Tom. What makes you ask?" "Well. After a pause: "Huck. so's I want to hide som'ers. and they wonder he wasn't ever hung before. we wouldn't be alive two days if that got found out. so help me."Never a word?" "Never a solitary word. Muff Potter all the time. that's all right." "Well. if I wanted that half-breed devil to drownd me they could get me to tell. constant. but lord. It's more surer." "Well. I reckon he's a goner.

Each wandered away. I reckon--hope so. he hung about the court-room. and befriend 'em what I could. The next day and the day after. Often I says to myself. they talk like that. But what I want to say. His gratitude for their gifts had always smote their consciences before--it cut deeper than ever. Huck was having the same experience. perhaps with an undefined hope that something would happen that might clear away their difficulties. this time. from time to time. The boys did as they had often done before--went to the cell grating and gave Potter some tobacco and matches. That's it. but the same dismal fascination always brought them back presently. At the end of the second day the village talk was to the effect that Injun Joe's evidence stood firm and . Right. too. but Tom don't. I've heard 'em say that if he was to get free they'd lynch him. Well. Little hands." "And they'd do it. says I. and his dreams that night were full of horrors. all the time. Tom kept his ears open when idlers sauntered out of the court-room. but it brought them little comfort. 'I used to mend all the boys' kites and things. and show 'em where the good fishin' places was. Git up on one another's backs and let me touch 'em. and they'd help him more if they could. I done an awful thing--drunk and crazy at the time--that's the only way I account for it--and now I got to swing for it. but mine's too big. And I don't forget it. He was on the ground floor and there were no guards. I don't. and BEST. it's a prime comfort to see faces that's friendly when a body's in such a muck of trouble. and now they've all forgot old Muff when he's in trouble. too." Tom went home miserable. and weak--but they've helped Muff Potter a power. but invariably heard distressing news--the toils were closing more and more relentlessly around poor Potter. don't YOU ever get drunk--then you won't ever get here. there seemed to be no angels or fairies interested in this luckless captive. and there don't none come here but yourn." The boys had a long talk. anyway. they found themselves hanging about the neighborhood of the little isolated jail. 'and I don't forget them. Shake hands--yourn'll come through the bars. says I. and Huck don't--THEY don't forget him. you've befriended me. is."Yes. As the twilight drew on. boys--better'n anybody else in this town. I don't want to make YOU feel bad. Stand a litter furder west--so--that's it. Good friendly faces--good friendly faces. we won't talk about that. They felt cowardly and treacherous to the last degree when Potter said: "You've been mighty good to me. They studiously avoided each other. boys.' Well. drawn by an almost irresistible impulse to go in. but forcing himself to stay out. But nothing happened. and it's right.

unshaken, and that there was not the slightest question as to what the jury's verdict would be. Tom was out late, that night, and came to bed through the window. He was in a tremendous state of excitement. It was hours before he got to sleep. All the village flocked to the court-house the next morning, for this was to be the great day. Both sexes were about equally represented in the packed audience. After a long wait the jury filed in and took their places; shortly afterward, Potter, pale and haggard, timid and hopeless, was brought in, with chains upon him, and seated where all the curious eyes could stare at him; no less conspicuous was Injun Joe, stolid as ever. There was another pause, and then the judge arrived and the sheriff proclaimed the opening of the court. The usual whisperings among the lawyers and gathering together of papers followed. These details and accompanying delays worked up an atmosphere of preparation that was as impressive as it was fascinating. Now a witness was called who testified that he found Muff Potter washing in the brook, at an early hour of the morning that the murder was discovered, and that he immediately sneaked away. After some further questioning, counsel for the prosecution said: "Take the witness." The prisoner raised his eyes for a moment, but dropped them again when his own counsel said: "I have no questions to ask him." The next witness proved the finding of the knife near the corpse. Counsel for the prosecution said: "Take the witness." "I have no questions to ask him," Potter's lawyer replied. A third witness swore he had often seen the knife in Potter's possession. "Take the witness." Counsel for Potter declined to question him. The faces of the audience began to betray annoyance. Did this attorney mean to throw away his client's life without an effort? Several witnesses deposed concerning Potter's guilty behavior when brought to the scene of the murder. They were allowed to leave the stand without being cross-questioned. Every detail of the damaging circumstances that occurred in the

graveyard upon that morning which all present remembered so well was brought out by credible witnesses, but none of them were cross-examined by Potter's lawyer. The perplexity and dissatisfaction of the house expressed itself in murmurs and provoked a reproof from the bench. Counsel for the prosecution now said: "By the oaths of citizens whose simple word is above suspicion, we have fastened this awful crime, beyond all possibility of question, upon the unhappy prisoner at the bar. We rest our case here." A groan escaped from poor Potter, and he put his face in his hands and rocked his body softly to and fro, while a painful silence reigned in the court-room. Many men were moved, and many women's compassion testified itself in tears. Counsel for the defence rose and said: "Your honor, in our remarks at the opening of this trial, we foreshadowed our purpose to prove that our client did this fearful deed while under the influence of a blind and irresponsible delirium produced by drink. We have changed our mind. We shall not offer that plea." [Then to the clerk:] "Call Thomas Sawyer!" A puzzled amazement awoke in every face in the house, not even excepting Potter's. Every eye fastened itself with wondering interest upon Tom as he rose and took his place upon the stand. The boy looked wild enough, for he was badly scared. The oath was administered. "Thomas Sawyer, where were you on the seventeenth of June, about the hour of midnight?" Tom glanced at Injun Joe's iron face and his tongue failed him. The audience listened breathless, but the words refused to come. After a few moments, however, the boy got a little of his strength back, and managed to put enough of it into his voice to make part of the house hear: "In the graveyard!" "A little bit louder, please. Don't be afraid. You were--" "In the graveyard." A contemptuous smile flitted across Injun Joe's face. "Were you anywhere near Horse Williams' grave?" "Yes, sir." "Speak up--just a trifle louder. How near were you?" "Near as I am to you."

"Were you hidden, or not?" "I was hid." "Where?" "Behind the elms that's on the edge of the grave." Injun Joe gave a barely perceptible start. "Any one with you?" "Yes, sir. I went there with--" "Wait--wait a moment. Never mind mentioning your companion's name. We will produce him at the proper time. Did you carry anything there with you." Tom hesitated and looked confused. "Speak out, my boy--don't be diffident. The truth is always respectable. What did you take there?" "Only a--a--dead cat." There was a ripple of mirth, which the court checked. "We will produce the skeleton of that cat. Now, my boy, tell us everything that occurred--tell it in your own way--don't skip anything, and don't be afraid." Tom began--hesitatingly at first, but as he warmed to his subject his words flowed more and more easily; in a little while every sound ceased but his own voice; every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. The strain upon pent emotion reached its climax when the boy said: "--and as the doctor fetched the board around and Muff Potter fell, Injun Joe jumped with the knife and--" Crash! Quick as lightning the half-breed sprang for a window, tore his way through all opposers, and was gone!

CHAPTER XXIV TOM was a glittering hero once more--the pet of the old, the envy of

His name even went into immortal print. That is to say.the young. and Huck was sore afraid that his share in the business might leak out. came up from St. the country had been scoured. he "found a clew. but nightly he wished he had sealed up his tongue. the fickle. Tom felt just as insecure as he was before. shook his head. CHAPTER XXV THERE comes a time in every rightly-constructed boy's life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure. therefore it is not well to find fault with it. This desire suddenly came upon Tom one day. and made that sort of astounding success which members of that craft usually achieve. Huck . a detective. notwithstanding Injun Joe's flight had saved him the suffering of testifying in court. but his nights were seasons of horror. Hardly any temptation could persuade the boy to stir abroad after nightfall. Rewards had been offered. he had gone fishing. Louis. yet. One of those omniscient and awe-inspiring marvels. He sallied out to find Joe Harper. Daily Muff Potter's gratitude made Tom glad he had spoken. Presently he stumbled upon Huck Finn the Red-Handed. Poor Huck was in the same state of wretchedness and terror. if he escaped hanging. But that sort of conduct is to the world's credit. but what of that? Since Tom's harassed conscience had managed to drive him to the lawyer's house by night and wring a dread tale from lips that had been sealed with the dismalest and most formidable of oaths. Half the time Tom was afraid Injun Joe would never be captured. and always with doom in his eye. and so after that detective had got through and gone home. Tom's days were days of splendor and exultation to him. and each left behind it a slightly lightened weight of apprehension. the other half he was afraid he would be. for Tom had told the whole story to the lawyer the night before the great day of the trial. As usual. but failed of success. There were some that believed he would be President. Injun Joe infested all his dreams." But you can't hang a "clew" for murder. moused around. yet. looked wise. The poor fellow had got the attorney to promise secrecy. unreasoning world took Muff Potter to its bosom and fondled him as lavishly as it had abused him before. Huck's confidence in the human race was well-nigh obliterated. Next he sought Ben Rogers. He felt sure he never could draw a safe breath again until that man was dead and he had seen the corpse. for the village paper magnified him. The slow days drifted on. but no Injun Joe was found.

Tom?" "No. and we can try it again some time." "So would I. sometimes in rotten chests under the end of a limb of an old dead tree." "Why. of course--who'd you reckon? Sunday-school sup'rintendents?" "I don't know. for he had a troublesome superabundance of that sort of time which is not money. They always hide it and leave it there. Huck was willing. "Oh." . but they generally forget the marks. indeed it ain't. we've tried Jackson's Island a little." "Well then. most anywhere. Anyway." "HyroQwhich?" "Hy'roglyphics--pictures and things. and there's the old ha'nted house up the Still-House branch. and by and by somebody finds an old yellow paper that tells how to find the marks--a paper that's got to be ciphered over about a week because it's mostly signs and hy'roglyphics. you know. that don't seem to mean anything. how you going to find the marks?" "I don't want any marks." "Have you got one of them papers. is it hid all around?" "No." "Who hides it?" "Why. they think they will. I'd spend it and have a good time. Tom took him to a private place and opened the matter to him confidentially. Huck --sometimes on islands. It's hid in mighty particular places. They always bury it under a ha'nted house or on an island. Well. it lays there a long time and gets rusty.would answer. robbers. But robbers don't do that way. and there's lots of dead-limb trees--dead loads of 'em." "Don't they come after it any more?" "No. "Where'll we dig?" said Huck. but mostly under the floor in ha'nted houses. or else they die. or under a dead tree that's got one limb sticking out. Huck was always willing to take a hand in any enterprise that offered entertainment and required no capital. just where the shadow falls at midnight. If 'twas mine I wouldn't hide it.

" "Well. I only meant you'd SEE 'em--not hopping. Kings don't have any but a given name. Just you gimme the hundred dollars and I don't want no di'monds. in a kind of a general way." "Do they hop?" "Hop?--your granny! No!" "Well. Huck?" "Not as I remember."Is it under all of them?" "How you talk! No!" "Then how you going to know which one to go for?" "Go for all of 'em!" "Why. Plenty bully enough for me. of course--what do they want to hop for?--but I mean you'd just see 'em--scattered around. but's worth six bits or a dollar. Some of 'em's worth twenty dollars apiece--there ain't any. Hain't you ever seen one. But if you was to go to Europe you'd see a raft of 'em hopping around. it'll take all summer. or rotten chest full of di'monds. Like that old humpbacked Richard." . what did you say they did. hardly. all rusty and gray." "Well." "Oh." "All right. for?" "Shucks. Tom. Tom." "I reckon you don't. what of that? Suppose you find a brass pot with a hundred dollars in it. How's that?" Huck's eyes glowed." "No! Is that so?" "Cert'nly--anybody'll tell you so. "That's bully. I don' know no kings. you know." "Richard? What's his other name?" "He didn't have any other name. But I bet you I ain't going to throw off on di'monds. kings have slathers of them.

and get married. and I tell you he'd clean it out pretty quick. and a red necktie and a bull pup. Tom. by and by."No?" "But they don't. if they like it. but I don't want to be a king and have only just a given name. ain't you going to save any of it?" "Save it? What for?" "Why. "So do I." "Well. what you going to do with your share?" "Well." "Tom. What you going to do with yourn. you--why. S'pose we tackle that old dead-limb tree on the hill t'other side of Still-House branch?" "I'm agreed." "Oh. I bet I'll have a gay time." "Say." "Well. Huck. like a nigger. Look at pap and my ." So they got a crippled pick and a shovel. Tom?" "I'm going to buy a new drum." "Married!" "That's it. and a sure-'nough sword. and set out on their three-mile tramp. I don't know. and threw themselves down in the shade of a neighboring elm to rest and have a smoke. that ain't any use." "Wait--you'll see. all right. They arrived hot and panting. "I like this. if we find a treasure here. that's the foolishest thing you could do. But say--where you going to dig first?" "Well." said Tom." "Well. Pap would come back to thish-yer town some day and get his claws on it if I didn't hurry up. you ain't in your right mind. I'll have pie and a glass of soda every day. and I'll go to every circus that comes along. so as to have something to live on.

What's the name of the gal?" "It ain't a gal at all--it's a girl. we must be in the wrong place again. The girl I'm going to marry won't fight. They toiled another half-hour. Tom?" "I'll tell you some time--not now. No result. Now you better think 'bout this awhile. Only if you get married I'll be more lonesomer than ever. It don't make any difference whose land it's on. I reckon we haven't got the right place. I remember. Whoever finds one of these hid treasures." "I reckon that'll be a good one." That was satisfactory. Now stir out of this and we'll go to digging." "Tom." "That ain't anything. By and by Huck said: "Blame it. Huck said: "Do they always bury it as deep as this?" "Sometimes--not always. after we get this one?" "I reckon maybe we'll tackle the old tree that's over yonder on Cardiff Hill back of the widow's. but still they made progress. I reckon. Finally Huck leaned on his shovel. The labor dragged a little. They pegged away in silence for some time." "It's all the same." So they chose a new spot and began again. They'll all comb a body. But won't the widow take it away from us. Tom? It's on her land." "SHE take it away! Maybe she'd like to try it once. some says gal. some says girl--both's right. I reckon they're all alike. and said: "Where you going to dig next. like enough.mother. Fight! Why. The work went on. Still no result. What do you think?" . it belongs to him. mighty well." "No you won't. Not generally. swabbed the beaded drops from his brow with his sleeve. they used to fight all the time." "All right--that'll do. what's her name. You'll come and live with me. I tell you you better." They worked and sweated for half an hour. Anyway.

Huck. I reckon maybe that's what's the trouble now." "Well. We spotted the shadder to a dot." said he. because if somebody sees these holes they'll know in a minute what's here and they'll go for it. the deep baying of a hound floated up out of the distance. they marked where the shadow fell." "Well. I don't understand it. We've got to do it to-night. that's so. It was only a stone or a chunk. At last Tom said: "It ain't any use. I'll come around and maow to-night. an owl answered with his sepulchral note. they only suffered a new disappointment. By and by they judged that twelve had come. It's an awful long way. Like enough it was too late or too early. and their industry kept pace with it. We can't ever tell the right time. but then there's another thing. It was a lonely place. Sometimes witches interfere. we got to come back in the night. Now hang it all. and talked little. and besides this kind of ." "What's that?"." "All right. "That's it." "Well. The hole deepened and still deepened. They sat in the shadow waiting. and began to dig. too. Oh. ghosts lurked in the murky nooks. I didn't think of that. about the appointed time. Let's hide the tools in the bushes. but we CAN'T be wrong. and that's where you dig!" "Then consound it. we've fooled away all this work for nothing." The boys were there that night. The boys were subdued by these solemnities. we only guessed at the time." Huck dropped his shovel. and an hour made solemn by old traditions."It is mighty curious. "Why. Can you get out?" "I bet I will. we're wrong again. We got to give this one up." "Shucks! Witches ain't got no power in the daytime. "That's the very trouble. I know what the matter is! What a blamed lot of fools we are! You got to find out where the shadow of the limb falls at midnight. Huck. Their hopes commenced to rise. Their interest grew stronger. Spirits whispered in the rustling leaves." "I know it. but every time their hearts jumped to hear the pick strike upon something.

" "Say. the way a ghost does. Tom." "Well. I've been pretty much so. when you ain't noticing. I been creeping all over.thing's too awful. they do. that's so. S'pose this one here was to stick his skull out and say something!" "Don't Tom! It's awful. Tom. That's it!" "Blame it. and peep over your shoulder all of a sudden and grit their teeth." "Well. but they don't come sliding around in a shroud." "Lordy!" "Yes. ever since I got here. here this time of night with witches and ghosts a-fluttering around so. but. sure. that's mostly because they don't like to go where a man's been murdered. becuz maybe there's others in front a-waiting for a chance." "Well. Huck." "All right. and try somewheres else. let's give this place up. I reckon we better." "Well. I don't feel comfortable a bit. Tom--nobody could. Huck. Dead people might talk. Why." "Tom." "I don't like to stir 'em up. ghosts don't travel around only at night. and then said: "The ha'nted house." "Well. too. But you know mighty well people don't go about that ha'nted house in the day nor the night. I couldn't stand such a thing as that." "What'll it be?" Tom considered awhile. either. I don't like to fool around much where there's dead people. I've always heard that. and I'm afeard to turn around. They most always put in a dead man when they bury a treasure under a tree. to look out for it. I feel as if something's behind me all the time. Tom. Huck. A body's bound to get into trouble with 'em." "Yes. where you see one of them blue lights flickering around. They won't hender us from digging there in the daytime. it just is. . maybe. anyway--but nothing's ever been seen around that house except in the night--just some blue lights slipping by the windows--no regular ghosts. they're a dern sight worse'n dead people. I don't like ha'nted houses.

but all at once it popped onto me that it was Friday. do you know what day it is?" Tom mentally ran over the days of the week. neither. they struck far off to the right. its fences gone long ago. all right. that's so. half expecting to see a blue light flit past a window. Huck. Huck!" "Well.you can bet there's a ghost mighty close behind it. a corner of the roof caved in. the window-sashes vacant. I had a rotten bad dream last night--dreampt about rats. utterly isolated." "Well. then talking in a low tone. It stands to reason. Huck was measurably so. Becuz you know that they don't anybody but ghosts use 'em. There in the middle of the moonlit valley below them stood the "ha'nted" house." "MIGHT! Better say we WOULD! There's some lucky days. CHAPTER XXVI ABOUT noon the next day the boys arrived at the dead tree. to give the haunted house a wide berth." . the chimney crumbled to ruin. and took their way homeward through the woods that adorned the rearward side of Cardiff Hill. The boys gazed awhile. rank weeds smothering the very doorsteps." They had started down the hill by this time." "Yes." "Any fool knows that. but Friday ain't. they had come for their tools. We'll tackle the ha'nted house if you say so--but I reckon it's taking chances. Tom was impatient to go to the haunted house. and then quickly lifted his eyes with a startled look in them-"My! I never once thought of it. Huck. also--but suddenly said: "Lookyhere. did I? And Friday ain't all." "Blame it. We might 'a' got into an awful scrape. as befitted the time and the circumstances. I never said I was. tackling such a thing on a Friday. Tom. I don't reckon YOU was the first that found it out. maybe. But anyway they don't come around in the daytime. I didn't neither. so what's the use of our being afeard?" "Well. a body can't be too careful.

Huck. He loved 'em. the boys were at the dead tree again. Who's Robin Hood?" "Why. Oh. of course. I wisht I was." "I'm agreed. Huck. and then dug a little in their last hole. he was one of the greatest men that was ever in England--and the best. so the boys shouldered their tools and went away feeling that they had not trifled with fortune. shortly after noon. now and then casting a yearning eye down upon the haunted house and passing a remark about the morrow's prospects and possibilities there. you know. Do you know Robin Hood. not with great hope. He always divided up with 'em perfectly square. We'll drop this thing for to-day. however. that's good." "Cracky. They had a smoke and a chat in the shade. But we'll play Robin Hood--it's nobby fun. but had fulfilled all the . Who did he rob?" "Only sheriffs and bishops and rich people and kings. Did they fight?" "No." "Well. He could lick any man in England. When they don't fight it's only a sign that there's trouble around. He was a robber. I'll learn you. It's some kind of a bow." So they played Robin Hood all the afternoon. and play. And if he hit that dime only on the edge he would set down and cry--and curse." "Well. Huck?" "No. with one hand tied behind him. As the sun began to sink into the west they took their way homeward athwart the long shadows of the trees and soon were buried from sight in the forests of Cardiff Hill. and such like. he was the noblest man that ever was. On Saturday." "What's a YEW bow?" "I don't know."No! Sure sign of trouble." "I bet you he was. All we got to do is to look mighty sharp and keep out of it. a mile and a half. he must 'a' been a brick. and he could take his yew bow and plug a ten-cent piece every time. But he never bothered the poor. The thing failed this time. but merely because Tom said there were so many cases where people had given up a treasure after getting down within six inches of it. and then somebody else had come along and turned it up with a single thrust of a shovel. They ain't any such men now. I can tell you.

The Spaniard was wrapped in a serape. When they came in. Hear it?" "Yes! . and here. His manner became less . Next they wanted to look up-stairs. and wondering at it. for a moment. They presently entered. but they got to daring each other. and of course there could be but one result--they threw their tools into a corner and made the ascent. "Sh! . This was something like cutting off retreat. floorless room. They saw a weed-grown. ears alert to catch the slightest sound... "t'other" was talking in a low voice. but the promise was a fraud--there was nothing in it. Here they are.requirements that belong to the business of treasure-hunting. Oh." "T'other" was a ragged. and lay waiting. rather admiring their own boldness. and the speaker continued his remarks. There! . with their backs to the wall.. unplastered. and muscles tense and ready for instant retreat. long white hair flowed from under his sombrero. in a misery of fear. talking in whispers.. "What is it?" whispered Huck. and something so depressing about the loneliness and desolation of the place. In one corner they found a closet that promised mystery. he had bushy white whiskers. with nothing very pleasant in his face.. there.. that they were afraid. facing the door. In a little while familiarity modified their fears and they gave the place a critical and interested examination. and everywhere hung ragged and abandoned cobwebs. Then they crept to the door and took a trembling peep. they sat down on the ground. my! Let's run!" "Keep still! Don't you budge! They're coming right toward the door. an ancient fireplace." The boys stretched themselves upon the floor with their eyes to knot-holes in the planking. When they reached the haunted house there was something so weird and grisly about the dead silence that reigned there under the baking sun. unkempt creature. Their courage was up now and well in hand. too. and he wore green goggles.. "They've stopped. Don't whisper another word.. Up there were the same signs of decay. No--coming.. vacant windows. a ruinous staircase. They were about to go down and begin work when-"Sh!" said Tom... Huck. I wish I was out of this!" Two men entered. to venture in. softly. My goodness.. with quickened pulses. blanching with fright. Each boy said to himself: "There's the old deaf and dumb Spaniard that's been about town once or twice lately--never saw t'other man before.

and Injun Joe said: "I'm dead for sleep! It's your turn to watch. I wanted to yesterday. "Milksop!" This voice made the boys gasp and quake. Then Joe said: "What's any more dangerous than that job up yonder--but nothing's come of it. and thought how lucky it was that they had remembered it was Friday and concluded to wait a day. lad--you go back up the river where you belong." "Those infernal boys" quaked again under the inspiration of this remark. Both men presently fell to yawning. what's more dangerous than coming here in the daytime!--anybody would suspicion us that saw us." "That's different. We'll do that 'dangerous' job after I've spied around a little and think things look well for it." "Well. and I don't like it. Then for Texas! We'll leg it together!" This was satisfactory.guarded and his words more distinct as he proceeded: "No. long as we didn't succeed. The boys drew a long. Away up the river so. It's dangerous." said he. both men began to snore now." He curled down in the weeds and soon began to snore. The two men got out some food and made a luncheon. grateful breath. I'll take the chances on dropping into this town just once more. for a look. Presently the watcher began to nod. "I've thought it all over. only it warn't any use trying to stir out of here. 'Twon't ever be known that we tried. I want to quit this shanty." "I know that. with those infernal boys playing over there on the hill right in full view. Wait there till you hear from me. his head drooped lower and lower. Injun Joe said: "Look here. It was Injun Joe's! There was silence for some time. Tom whispered: ." "Dangerous!" grunted the "deaf and dumb" Spaniard--to the vast surprise of the boys. anyway. After a long and thoughtful silence. and not another house about. But there warn't any other place as handy after that fool of a job. His comrade stirred him once or twice and he became quiet. They wished in their hearts they had waited a year.

" "My! have I been asleep?" "Oh. it may be a good while before I get the right chance at that job. though--nothing's happened." Tom urged--Huck held back. stared around--smiled grimly upon his comrade. At last Tom rose slowly and softly." said the comrade. No use to take it away till we start south. we'll just regularly bury it--and bury it deep. partly. The boys forgot all their fears. Nearly time for us to be moving. all their miseries in an instant. who was on his knees in the corner. who walked across the room. knelt down. Luck!--the splendor of it was beyond all imagination! Six hundred dollars was money enough to make half a dozen boys rich! Here was treasure-hunting under the happiest auspices--there would not be any bothersome uncertainty as to . accidents might happen. raised one of the rearward hearth-stones and took out a bag that jingled pleasantly. and then they were grateful to note that at last the sun was setting. I reckon. What'll we do with what little swag we've got left?" "I don't know--leave it here as we've always done. partly. He subtracted from it twenty or thirty dollars for himself and as much for Injun Joe. With gloating eyes they watched every movement. The boys lay there counting the dragging moments till it seemed to them that time must be done and eternity growing gray. 'tain't in such a very good place. He never made a second attempt."Now's our chance--come!" Huck said: "I can't--I'd die if they was to wake. digging with his bowie-knife." "Well--all right--it won't matter to come here once more. Injun Joe sat up. But the first step he made wrung such a hideous creak from the crazy floor that he sank down almost dead with fright." "Yes: but look here. and started alone. now. whose head was drooping upon his knees--stirred him up with his foot and said: "Here! YOU'RE a watchman. pard. Six hundred and fifty in silver's something to carry. ain't you! All right. and passed the bag to the latter. Now one snore ceased." "Good idea." "No--but I'd say come in the night as we used to do--it's better.

and then began to use it. it was iron bound and had been very strong before the slow years had injured it." "Well--if you say so. There's an old rusty pick over amongst the weeds in the corner the other side of the fireplace--I saw it a minute ago. Never mind. Go home to your Nance and your kids. The boys above were as excited as themselves. Said he: "You don't know me." said Injun Joe." He ran and brought the boys' pick and shovel. "What is it?" said his comrade. "Pard. The men contemplated the treasure awhile in blissful silence. muttered something to himself. "Half-rotten plank--no. "and this looks like it. It was not very large. Least you don't know all about that thing. They nudged each other every moment--eloquent nudges and easily understood. 'Tain't robbery altogether--it's REVENGE!" and a wicked light flamed in his eyes. but ain't you glad NOW we're here!" Joe's knife struck upon something. The box was soon unearthed. I believe." the stranger observed. looked it over critically. "I'll need your help in it." "Now you won't need to do that job. "I know it. They were gold. and as delighted. shook his head. "Hello!" said he." The half-breed frowned.where to dig. and stand by till you hear from me." said Injun Joe. it's a box. "'Twas always said that Murrel's gang used to be around here one summer." He reached his hand in and drew it out-"Man. Joe's comrade said: "We'll make quick work of this. Here--bear a hand and we'll see what it's here for. it's money!" The two men examined the handful of coins. Injun Joe took the pick. there's thousands of dollars here. what'll we do with this--bury it again?" . for they simply meant--"Oh. I've broke a hole. I should say. When it's finished--then Texas.

now." "All right. The other place is bad--too common. and stared after them through the chinks between the logs of the house." "Why."Yes. no! [Profound distress overhead. and take the townward track over the hill. Presently he said: "Who could have brought those tools here? Do you reckon they can be up-stairs?" The boys' breath forsook them. undecided. and then turned toward the stairway. Follow? Not they. The boys thought of the closet. whoever hove those things in here caught a sight of us and took us for ghosts or devils or something. when there was a crash of rotten timbers and Injun Joe landed on the ground amid the debris of the ruined stairway. [Ravishing delight overhead. and get into trouble. who objects? It will be dark in fifteen minutes --and then let them follow us if they want to. They were content to reach ground again without broken necks. halted a moment. I'm willing. They did not talk much. You mean Number One?" "No--Number Two--under the cross. They were too much absorbed in hating themselves--hating the ill luck that made them . and moved toward the river with their precious box. He gathered himself up cursing. We'll take it to my den. That pick had fresh earth on it! [The boys were sick with terror in a moment. Shortly afterward they slipped out of the house in the deepening twilight. and his comrade said: "Now what's the use of all that? If it's anybody. It's nearly dark enough to start." Joe grumbled awhile. Injun Joe put his hand on his knife. of course! Might have thought of that before. In my opinion.] NO! by the great Sachem. I'll bet they're running yet. weak but vastly relieved. then he agreed with his friend that what daylight was left ought to be economized in getting things ready for leaving.] I'd nearly forgot. and they're up there." Injun Joe got up and went about from window to window cautiously peeping out. Tom and Huck rose up. but their strength was gone. let them STAY there--who cares? If they want to jump down.] What business has a pick and a shovel here? What business with fresh earth on them? Who brought them here--and where are they gone? Have you heard anybody?--seen anybody? What! bury it again and leave them to come and see the ground disturbed? Not exactly--not exactly. The steps came creaking up the stairs--the intolerable distress of the situation woke the stricken resolution of the lads--they were about to spring for the closet.

don't!" said Huck. nearly fainting. and that no such sums really existed in the world." wherever that might be. Injun Joe never would have suspected. They talked it all over. He had never seen as much as fifty dollars in one mass before. He would snatch . and so he presently found himself leaning to the impression that the thing might not have been a dream. He never had supposed for a moment that so large a sum as a hundred dollars was to be found in actual money in any one's possession. in that he imagined that all references to "hundreds" and "thousands" were mere fanciful forms of speech. or in a time long gone by.take the spade and the pick there. since only Tom had testified. Then a ghastly thought occurred to Tom. Huck!" "Oh. But for that. he thought. Bitter. and he was like all boys of his age and station in life. and follow him to "Number Two. But the incidents of his adventure grew sensibly sharper and clearer under the attrition of thinking them over. ungraspable dollars. they would have been found to consist of a handful of real dimes and a bushel of vague. If his notions of hidden treasure had been analyzed. and as they entered town they agreed to believe that he might possibly mean somebody else--at least that he might at least mean nobody but Tom. and then he would have had the misfortune to find that money turn up missing. that the quantity of coin he had seen was too vast to be real. splendid. after all. "Revenge? What if he means US. bitter luck that the tools were ever brought there! They resolved to keep a lookout for that Spaniard when he should come to town spying out for chances to do his revengeful job. CHAPTER XXVII THE adventure of the day mightily tormented Tom's dreams that night. he noticed that they seemed curiously subdued and far away--somewhat as if they had happened in another world. He would have hidden the silver with the gold to wait there till his "revenge" was satisfied. As he lay in the early morning recalling the incidents of his great adventure. This uncertainty must be swept away. Then it occurred to him that the great adventure itself must be a dream! There was one very strong argument in favor of this idea--namely. Very. very small comfort it was to Tom to be alone in danger! Company would be a palpable improvement. Four times he had his hands on that rich treasure and four times it wasted to nothingness in his fingers as sleep forsook him and wakefulness brought back the hard reality of his misfortune.

What do you reckon it is?" "I dono. anyway--and track him out--to his Number Two. ain't it awful!" "'Tain't a dream. you know!" "Oh. listlessly dangling his feet in the water and looking very melancholy. then the adventure would be proved to have been only a dream. that's the trick! They ain't only two taverns. anyway. yourself. 'tain't a dream! Somehow I most wish it was. we'll never find him. "Tom." "What ain't a dream?" "Oh. then. Huck--maybe it's the number of a house!" "Goody! . that thing yesterday. I been thinking 'bout that." "You stay here. Say.a hurried breakfast and go and find Huck. Huck. I'd feel mighty shaky if I was to see him. that ain't it." "Well... No." "Well. "Hello. I been half thinking it was. We can find out quick. If he did not do it. for a minute. Huck!" "Hello." "Dream! If them stairs hadn't broke down you'd 'a' seen how much dream it was! I've had dreams enough all night--with that patch-eyed Spanish devil going for me all through 'em--rot him!" "No. Dog'd if I don't. not rot him. that's so. Tom concluded to let Huck lead up to the subject. But I can't make nothing out of it. Here--it's the number of a room--in a tavern. A feller don't have only one chance for such a pile--and that one's lost. but I'd like to see him. Huck was sitting on the gunwale of a flatboat. if we'd 'a' left the blame tools at the dead tree. Huck." "Number Two--yes. It's too deep." . it ain't in this one-horse town. FIND him! Track the money!" "Tom." Silence. Oh. that's it. If it is. Lemme think a minute. They ain't no numbers here. till I come. we'd 'a' got the money. so'd I. Tom.

"That's what I've found out. and if he don't go to that No. Huck. and he never saw anybody go into it or come out of it except at night." "Well." CHAPTER XXVIII THAT night Tom and Huck were ready for their adventure. Why. Now what you going to do?" "Lemme think. it's so." "You bet I'll follow him. if it's pretty dark I reckon I'll track him. he did not know any particular reason for this state of things. and be going right after that money. by jingoes!" "Now you're TALKING! Don't you ever weaken. 2 we're after. 2 had long been occupied by a young lawyer. and was still so occupied. I'll foller him. keep a lookout for Injun Joe. and I won't. He was gone half an hour. I reckon that's the very No. And mind you. because he said he was going to drop into town and spy around once more for a chance to get his revenge. Now you get hold of all the door-keys you can find. In the less ostentatious house. Tom. I'll try. and I'll nip all of auntie's. I don't want to foller him by myself!" "Why. sure. He mightn't ever see you--and if he did. Huck. He found that in the best tavern. I will. maybe he'd never think anything. The tavern-keeper's young son said it was kept locked all the time. it'll be night. They hung ." Tom thought a long time. had noticed that there was a light in there the night before. had made the most of the mystery by entertaining himself with the idea that that room was "ha'nted". Then he said: "I'll tell you." "It's so. he might 'a' found out he couldn't get his revenge. but it was rather feeble. had had some little curiosity. if it's dark. The back door of that No. If you see him. and the first dark night we'll go there and try 'em. Tom. 2. you just follow him.Tom was off at once. 2 is the door that comes out into that little close alley between the tavern and the old rattle trap of a brick store. No. that ain't the place. He did not care to have Huck's company in public places." "Lordy." "I reckon it is. Huck. No. I dono--I dono. 2 was a mystery.

Then there was a season of waiting anxiety that weighed upon Huck's spirits like a mountain." whereupon he would slip out and try the keys. Nobody entered the alley or left it. so Tom went home with the understanding that if a considerable degree of darkness came on. the way it was beating. and the two adventurers crept in the gloom toward the tavern. fearing all sorts of dreadful things. The night promised to be a fair one. Surely he must have fainted. either. No Spaniard had been seen. without noticing what I was doing. It seemed hours since Tom had disappeared. Just as they got within its shelter the storm burst and the rain poured down. Huck was to come and "maow. "run. for he seemed only able to inhale it by thimblefuls. I took hold of the knob. But the night remained clear. for your life!" He needn't have repeated it. maybe he was dead. The boys never stopped till they reached the shed of a deserted slaughter-house at the lower end of the village. and open comes the door! It warn't locked! I hopped in. As soon as Tom got his breath he said: "Huck. nobody resembling the Spaniard entered or left the tavern door. In his uneasiness Huck found himself drawing closer and closer to the alley. But Thursday night promised better. Tom?" . once was enough. An hour before midnight the tavern closed up and its lights (the only ones thereabouts) were put out. They wouldn't turn in the lock.about the neighborhood of the tavern until after nine. Tuesday the boys had the same ill luck. and a large towel to blindfold it with. lit it in the hogshead. Nobody had entered or left the alley. and Huck closed his watch and retired to bed in an empty sugar hogshead about twelve. Huck was making thirty or forty miles an hour before the repetition was uttered. it was awful! I tried two of the keys. and his heart would soon wear itself out. and. Everything was auspicious. Well. Tom got his lantern. GREAT CAESAR'S GHOST!" "What!--what'd you see. and shook off the towel. The blackness of darkness reigned. He began to wish he could see a flash from the lantern--it would frighten him. the perfect stillness was interrupted only by occasional mutterings of distant thunder. He hid the lantern in Huck's sugar hogshead and the watch began. There was not much to take away. Also Wednesday. wrapped it closely in the towel. just as soft as I could. but it would at least tell him that Tom was alive yet. but they seemed to make such a power of racket that I couldn't hardly get my breath I was so scared. Huck stood sentry and Tom felt his way into the alley. maybe his heart had burst under terror and excitement. Suddenly there was a flash of light and Tom came tearing by him: "Run!" said he. one watching the alley at a distance and the other the tavern door. and momentarily expecting some catastrophe to happen that would take away his breath. Tom slipped out in good season with his aunt's old tin lantern.

and then Tom said: "Lookyhere. I saw two barrels and lots more bottles in the room."Huck. hey." "Well. we'll be dead sure to see him go out. I bet!" "Well. Who'd 'a' thought such a thing? But say. if Injun Joe's drunk. I just grabbed that towel and started!" "I'd never 'a' thought of the towel. did you see that box?" "Huck. it's ha'nted with whiskey! Maybe ALL the Temperance Taverns have got a ha'nted room. I didn't see the box. if we watch every night. I reckon. I didn't see the cross. yes. he'd be drunk enough and I'd do it. I'm agreed. with his old patch on his eye and his arms spread out. now's a mighty good time to get that box. and I'll do it . Tom. My aunt would make me mighty sick if I lost it." There was a long pause for reflection. now. I didn't wait to look around. that! You try it!" Huck shuddered. I didn't see anything but a bottle and a tin cup on the floor by Injun Joe. Don't you see. Only one bottle alongside of Injun Joe ain't enough. I most stepped onto Injun Joe's hand!" "No!" "Yes! He was lying there. Now. I reckon maybe that's so." "Lordy. "Well. less not try that thing any more till we know Injun Joe's not in there. never budged. Huck?" "Well. no--I reckon not. sound asleep on the floor. what's the matter with that ha'nted room?" "How?" "Why." "It is." "Say. It's too scary. what did you do? Did he wake up?" "No." "And I reckon not. Huck. I'll watch the whole night long. Huck. some time or other. If there'd been three. I would. Tom. and then we'll snatch that box quicker'n lightning. Drunk.

No signal came that night. will you?" "I said I would. Tom. He likes me. The child's delight was boundless. and straightway the young folks of the village were thrown into a fever of preparation and pleasurable anticipation. Huck." "That's all right. A body's got to do things when he's awful hungry he wouldn't want to do as a steady thing. eventually. you throw some gravel at the window and that'll fetch me. and I will." "All right. I will. if you'll do the other part of the job. Tom's excitement enabled him to keep awake until a pretty late hour. just skip right around and maow. Sometime I've set right down and eat WITH him." CHAPTER XXIX THE first thing Tom heard on Friday morning was a glad piece of news --Judge Thatcher's family had come back to town the night before. The day was completed and crowned in a peculiarly satisfactory way: Becky teased her mother to appoint the next day for the long-promised and long-delayed picnic. and she consented." "Agreed. The invitations were sent out before sunset. and he had good hopes of hearing Huck's "maow. and any time I ask him he gives me a little something to eat if he can spare it. Tom. I tote water for Uncle Jake whenever he wants me to. but he was disappointed. I'll let you sleep. and by ten or eleven o'clock a giddy and . and so does his pap's nigger man. next day. in the night. You go back and watch that long. if I don't want you in the daytime. He saw her and they had an exhausting good time playing "hi-spy" and "gully-keeper" with a crowd of their school-mates. That's a mighty good nigger. and good as wheat!" "Now. becuz I don't ever act as if I was above him." and of having his treasure to astonish Becky and the picnickers with. Now. Both Injun Joe and the treasure sunk into secondary importance for a moment. and I'll go home.every night. Morning came. too. Uncle Jake. Any time you see something's up. I won't come bothering around. and Becky took the chief place in the boy's interest. But you needn't tell that. All you got to do is to trot up Hooper Street a block and maow--and if I'm asleep." "Well. I'll ha'nt that tavern every night for a year! I'll sleep all day and I'll stand watch all night. He lets me. It'll begin to be daylight in a couple of hours. and Tom's not more moderate. where you going to sleep?" "In Ben Rogers' hayloft. the storm's over.

She'll have ice-cream! She has it most every day--dead loads of it. And she'll be awful glad to have us. Thatcher said to Becky." "Very well. The last thing Mrs." "Oh. boy-like. he determined to yield to the stronger inclination and not allow himself to think of . as they tripped along. Perhaps you'd better stay all night with some of the girls that live near the ferry-landing. The old steam ferryboat was chartered for the occasion. So it was decided to say nothing anybody about the night's programme. and I bet you she'd 'a' said go there if she'd 'a' thought of it. Tom said to Becky: "Say--I'll tell you what we'll do. and." Presently. child. that will be fun!" Then Becky reflected a moment and said: "But what will mamma say?" "How'll she ever know?" The girl turned the idea over in her mind. Still he could not bear to give up the fun at Widow Douglas'. And mind and behave yourself and don't be any trouble. he reasoned--the signal did not come the night before. Presently it occurred to Tom that maybe Huck might come this very night and give the signal. I know she would!" The Widow Douglas' splendid hospitality was a tempting bait.rollicking company were gathered at Judge Thatcher's. and so what's the harm? All she wants is that you'll be safe. presently the gay throng filed up the main street laden with provision-baskets. It and Tom's persuasions presently carried the day." "Then I'll stay with Susy Harper. and said reluctantly: "I reckon it's wrong--but--" "But shucks! Your mother won't know. mamma. The thought took a deal of the spirit out of his anticipations. 'Stead of going to Joe Harper's we'll climb right up the hill and stop at the Widow Douglas'. was: "You'll not get back till late. The children were considered safe enough under the wings of a few young ladies of eighteen and a few young gentlemen of twenty-three or thereabouts. And why should he give it up. Sid was sick and had to miss the fun. and everything was ready for a start. It was not the custom for elderly people to mar the picnics with their presence. Mary remained at home to entertain him. so why should it be any more likely to come to-night? The sure fun of the evening outweighed the uncertain treasure.

and that he might go down. By-and-by the procession went filing down the steep descent of the main avenue. Bundles of candles were procured. This main avenue was not more than eight or ten feet wide. Parties were able to elude each other for the space of half an hour without going beyond the "known" ground. and the romping began again. and then groups and couples began to slip aside into branch avenues. The crowd swarmed ashore and soon the forest distances and craggy heights echoed far and near with shoutings and laughter. and entirely delighted with the success of . but the candle was soon knocked down or blown out. But the impressiveness of the situation quickly wore off. and then there was a glad clamor of laughter and a new chase. Three miles below town the ferryboat stopped at the mouth of a woody hollow and tied up. and it was not customary to venture much beyond this known portion. hilarious. and take each other by surprise at points where the corridors joined again. The mouth of the cave was up the hillside--an opening shaped like a letter A. No man "knew" the cave. and still down. It was said that one might wander days and nights together through its intricate tangle of rifts and chasms. and then the destruction of the good things began. The procession moved along the main avenue some three-quarters of a mile. and straightway there was a general scamper up the hill. daubed with clay. The moment a candle was lighted there was a general rush upon the owner of it. Its massive oaken door stood unbarred. into the earth. That was an impossible thing. a struggle and a gallant defence followed. Most of the young men knew a portion of it. and no end to any of them. smeared from head to foot with tallow drippings. and down. chilly as an ice-house. By-and-by. and never find the end of the cave. But all things have an end. fly along the dismal corridors.the box of money another time that day. and it was just the same--labyrinth under labyrinth. one group after another came straggling back to the mouth of the cave. All the different ways of getting hot and tired were gone through with. After the feast there was a refreshing season of rest and chat in the shade of spreading oaks. the flickering rank of lights dimly revealing the lofty walls of rock almost to their point of junction sixty feet overhead. By-and-by somebody shouted: "Who's ready for the cave?" Everybody was. and by-and-by the rovers straggled back to camp fortified with responsible appetites. Within was a small chamber. It was romantic and mysterious to stand here in the deep gloom and look out upon the green valley shining in the sun. Tom Sawyer knew as much of the cave as any one. Every few steps other lofty and still narrower crevices branched from it on either hand--for McDougal's cave was but a vast labyrinth of crooked aisles that ran into each other and out again and led nowhere. and walled by Nature with solid limestone that was dewy with a cold sweat. panting.

up the summit. Eleven o'clock came. The night was growing cloudy and dark. and so weak that he thought he must surely fall to the ground. was everything lost! He was about to spring with winged feet. half-way up the hill. fearing he was gaining too fast. and the noise of vehicles ceased. The alley door closed softly. moved on a piece. now. Huck was already upon his watch when the ferryboat's lights went glinting past the wharf. He wondered what boat it was. he would stick to their wake and follow them. but he swallowed it again. They passed by the old Welshman's house. Then they were astonished to find that they had been taking no note of time and that night was about at hand. Good. allowing them to keep just far enough ahead not to be invisible. His faith was weakening. They went straight ahead. and were at once hidden in the gloom. no sound. the village betook itself to its slumbers and left the small watcher alone with the silence and the ghosts. The clanging bell had been calling for half an hour. then slackened his pace. none. all straggling foot-passengers disappeared. Huck closed up and shortened his distance. The hooting of an owl came over the hill--ominous sound! But no footsteps. he would trust to the darkness for security from discovery. They moved up the river street three blocks. then turned to the left up a cross-street. darkness everywhere. So communing with himself. He sprang to the corner of the brick store. No. scattered lights began to wink out. this they took. They passed on. It must be that box! So they were going to remove the treasure.the day. now. He was all attention in an instant. and one seemed to have something under his arm. They plunged into the narrow path between the tall sumach bushes. but nothing happened. But they never stopped at the quarry. nobody cared sixpence for the wasted time but the captain of the craft. cat-like. this sort of close to the day's adventures was romantic and therefore satisfactory. He heard no noise on board. thought Huck. they will bury it in the old quarry. Ten o'clock came. Huck stepped out and glided along behind the men. Heavens. with bare feet. and the tavern lights were put out. listened. then stopped altogether. and why she did not stop at the wharf--and then he dropped her out of his mind and put his attention upon his business. when a man cleared his throat not four feet from him! Huck's heart shot into his throat. When the ferryboat with her wild freight pushed into the stream. then. and still climbed upward. He . Why call Tom now? It would be absurd--the men would get away with the box and never be found again. Was there any use? Was there really any use? Why not give it up and turn in? A noise fell upon his ear. until they came to the path that led up Cardiff Hill. However. for the young people were as subdued and still as people usually are who are nearly tired to death. without hesitating. The next moment two men brushed by him. save that he seemed to hear the beating of his own heart. for they would never be able to see him. Huck waited what seemed a weary long time. and then he stood there shaking as if a dozen agues had taken charge of him at once. He trotted along awhile.

" "Oh. Now--this way--now you see. And that ain't all. I don't care for her swag--you may have it. But her husband was rough on me--many times he was rough on me--and mainly he was the justice of the peace that jugged me for a vagrant. he thought. Very well. Now there was a voice--a very low voice--Injun Joe's: "Damn her." This was that stranger's voice--the stranger of the haunted house. to fly. It ain't a millionth part of it! He had me HORSEWHIPPED!--horsewhipped in front of the jail. He wished he dared venture to warn her. He knew he was within five steps of the stile leading into Widow Douglas' grounds. Then he remembered that the Widow Douglas had been kind to him more than once. don't kill her! Don't do that!" "Kill? Who said anything about killing? I would kill HIM if he was here. but he knew he didn't dare--they might come and catch him. You slit her nostrils--you notch her ears like a sow!" "By God. there IS company there. Do you understand that? And if I have to kill you.knew where he was. if she does." . I'll tie her to the bed. maybe she's got company--there's lights. If she bleeds to death. like a nigger!--with all the town looking on! HORSEWHIPPED!--do you understand? He took advantage of me and died. was the "revenge" job! His thought was. Well. A deadly chill went to Huck's heart--this. that's--" "Keep your opinion to yourself! It will be safest for you. and I just leaving this country forever! Give it up and maybe never have another chance. When you want to get revenge on a woman you don't kill her--bosh! you go for her looks. If you flinch. and maybe these men were going to murder her." "I can't see any. I'll kill you. late as it is. is that my fault? I'll not cry. it won't be hard to find. I tell you again. don't you?" "Yes. but not her. let them bury it there. He thought all this and more in the moment that elapsed between the stranger's remark and Injun Joe's next--which was-"Because the bush is in your way. then. I'll kill her--and then I reckon nobody'll ever know much about who done this business. as I've told you before. My friend." "Give it up. But I'll take it out of HER. you'll help me in this thing--for MY sake --that's why you're here--I mightn't be able alone. I reckon. Better give it up.

if it's got to be done. There was no sound--the stillness was perfect. Huck accompanied them no further. There was a lagging." "Please don't ever tell I told you. let's get at it. Huck waited for no particulars. first on one side and then on the other. and--a twig snapped under his foot! His breath stopped and he listened." "By George." "Why. He sprang away and sped down the hill as fast as his legs could carry him. till he reached the Welshman's. and I want to tell--I WILL tell if you'll promise you won't ever say it was me. first thing you know. "What's the row there? Who's banging? What do you want?" "Let me in--quick! I'll tell everything. after balancing. sure--but the widow's been good friends to me sometimes."Well. The quicker the better--I'm all in a shiver. and so he picked up his nimble heels and flew. with the same elaboration and the same risks. down he sped. "Please don't--I'd be killed. he HAS got something to tell. Now he turned in his tracks. lad. . His gratitude was measureless. and let's see what's the trouble. in a precarious way and almost toppling over. He hid behind a great bowlder and fell to listening. or he wouldn't act so!" exclaimed the old man. Down. anxious silence. I judge! But let him in. and presently the heads of the old man and his two stalwart sons were thrust from windows." Three minutes later the old man and his sons. indeed! It ain't a name to open many doors. lads. one-legged. were up the hill." were Huck's first words when he got in. well armed. let me in!" "Huckleberry Finn." "Do it NOW? And company there? Look here--I'll get suspicious of you. who are you?" "Huckleberry Finn--quick. and just entering the sumach path on tiptoe. their weapons in their hands. "out with it and nobody here'll ever tell. He took another step back. so he held his breath and stepped gingerly back. When he emerged at the quarry he felt secure. and then all of a sudden there was an explosion of firearms and a cry. He banged at the door. planted his foot carefully and firmly." Huck felt that a silence was going to ensue--a thing still more awful than any amount of murderous talk. then another and another. No--we'll wait till the lights are out--there's no hurry. between the walls of sumach bushes--turned himself as carefully as if he were a ship--and then stepped quickly but cautiously along.

and when the sneeze started those scoundrels a-rustling to get out of the path. and we after them. and went down and stirred up the . Huck came groping up the hill and rapped gently at the old Welshman's door. The door was quickly unlocked. poor chap. I've come now becuz I wanted to know about it. so we crept along on tiptoe till we got within fifteen feet of them--dark as a cellar that sumach path was--and just then I found I was going to sneeze. It was the meanest kind of luck! I tried to keep it back. on account of the exciting episode of the night. and I didn't stop for three mile. and we'll have a piping hot one. "and I run. my boy. Huck was given a seat and the old man and his brace of tall sons speedily dressed themselves. because breakfast will be ready as soon as the sun's up. and he entered." "Well. and it did come! I was in the lead with my pistol raised. I sung out. down through the woods. "Now.CHAPTER XXX AS the earliest suspicion of dawn appeared on Sunday morning. but no use --'twas bound to come. As soon as we lost the sound of their feet we quit chasing. and I come before daylight becuz I didn't want to run across them devils. you do look as if you'd had a hard night of it--but there's a bed here for you when you've had your breakfast. I took out when the pistols went off. No. They fired a shot apiece as they started. But they were off in a jiffy. You see we knew right where to put our hands on them. The inmates were asleep. those villains. you know. So did the boys. lad!--and welcome!" These were strange words to the vagabond boy's ears. they ain't dead. lad--we are sorry enough for that. but it was a sleep that was set on a hair-trigger. but their bullets whizzed by and didn't do us any harm." said Huck." "I was awful scared. by your description. He could not recollect that the closing word had ever been applied in his case before. A call came from a window: "Who's there!" Huck's scared voice answered in a low tone: "Please let me in! It's only Huck Finn!" "It's a name that can open this door night or day. 'Fire boys!' and blazed away at the place where the rustling was. and the pleasantest he had ever heard. I hope you're good and hungry. too --make yourself easy about that! I and the boys hoped you'd turn up and stop here last night. even if they was dead. I judge we never touched them.

my boy!" "One's the old deaf and dumb Spaniard that's ben around here once or twice. we know the men! Happened on them in the woods back of the widow's one day.constables. But you couldn't see what they were like. no! Please don't tell!" When the young men were gone. you see. sure. The old man promised secrecy once more. I'm a kind of a hard lot. a-turning it all over. Then he said: "Well. But why don't you want it known?" Huck would not explain. please don't tell ANYbody it was me that blowed on them! Oh. and I don't see nothing agin it--and sometimes I can't sleep much. and they slunk away. Off with you. My boys will be with them presently. on account of thinking about it and sort of trying to strike out a new way of doing. and went off to guard the river bank. I couldn't sleep. ragged--" "That's enough. I saw them down-town and follered them. and tell the sheriff--get your breakfast to-morrow morning!" The Welshman's sons departed at once. and t'other's a mean-looking. I backed ." "Splendid! Describe them--describe them. please!" "All right if you say it. lad. Huck. the old Welshman said: "They won't tell--and I won't. As they were leaving the room Huck sprang up and exclaimed: "Oh. and so I come along up-street 'bout midnight. and as soon as it is light the sheriff and a gang are going to beat up the woods. further than to say that he already knew too much about one of those men and would not have the man know that he knew anything against him for the whole world--he would be killed for knowing it. That was the way of it last night. They got a posse together. and when I got to that old shackly brick store by the Temperance Tavern." "Oh no. and said: "How did you come to follow these fellows.--least everybody says so. lad? Were they looking suspicious?" Huck was silent while he framed a duly cautious reply. in the dark. boys. but you ought to have the credit of what you did. I wish we had some sort of description of those rascals--'twould help a good deal. lad. I suppose?" "Oh yes.

He made several efforts to creep out of his scrape. now." "Then they went on. because white men don't take that sort of revenge. Presently the Welshman said: "My boy.up agin the wall to have another think. This Spaniard is not deaf and dumb. ragged-looking devil. That was it. and you--" "Follered 'em--yes. No--I'd protect you--I'd protect you. just then along comes these two chaps slipping along close by me. You know something about that Spaniard that you want to keep dark." "Could you see the rags by the light of the cigars?" This staggered Huck for a moment. One was a-smoking." Huck looked into the old man's honest eyes a moment. and the Spaniard swear he'd spile her looks just as I told you and your two--" "What! The DEAF AND DUMB man said all that!" Huck had made another terrible mistake! He was trying his best to keep the old man from getting the faintest hint of who the Spaniard might be. don't be afraid of me. I dogged 'em to the widder's stile. by his white whiskers and the patch on his eye. and t'other one was a rusty. I wanted to see what was up--they sneaked along so. I don't know--but somehow it seems as if I did. and trust me --I won't betray you. Well. and I reckoned they'd stole it. When you talked about notching ears and slitting noses I judged that that was your own embellishment. I wouldn't hurt a hair of your head for all the world. and stood in the dark and heard the ragged one beg for the widder. but the old man's eye was upon him and he made blunder after blunder. In a moment he said: "It's all plain enough. and yet his tongue seemed determined to get him into trouble in spite of all he could do. you've let that slip without intending it. But an Injun! That's a different matter altogether. and t'other one wanted a light." During breakfast the talk went on. then bent over and whispered in his ear: "'Tain't a Spaniard--it's Injun Joe!" The Welshman almost jumped out of his chair. and in the course of it the old man . Now trust me--tell me what it is. so they stopped right before me and the cigars lit up their faces and I see that the big one was the deaf and dumb Spaniard. you can't cover that up now. with something under their arm. Then he said: "Well.

because it cut down the doctor's bill like everything. That appears to relieve you a good deal. was to get a lantern and examine the stile and its vicinity for marks of blood. curiously--and presently said: "Yes. But on the whole he felt glad the little episode had happened. unutterably grateful." Poor Huck was too distressed to smile. panting gently. The Welshman eyed him gravely." Huck was irritated to think he had been such a goose and betrayed such a suspicious excitement. before going to bed. shook up the details of his anatomy from head to foot. The Welshman started--stared in return--three seconds--five seconds--ten --then replied: "Of burglar's tools. as soon as he had heard the talk at the widow's stile. but the old man laughed loud and joyously. but deeply. now. But what did give you that turn? What were YOU expecting we'd found?" Huck was in a close place--the inquiring eye was upon him--he would have given anything for material for a plausible answer--nothing suggested itself--the inquiring eye was boring deeper and deeper--a senseless reply offered--there was no time to weigh it. burglar's tools. His eyes were staring wide. Then he added: "Poor old chap. Rest and sleep will fetch you out all right. everything seemed to be drifting just in the right direction. but captured a bulky bundle of-"Of WHAT?" If the words had been lightning they could not have leaped with a more stunning suddenness from Huck's blanched lips. He had only thought it was not the treasure. for now he knew beyond all question that that bundle was not THE bundle. maybe. the treasure must be still in No. however--he had not known that it wasn't--and so the suggestion of a captured bundle was too much for his self-possession. In fact. now. and so his mind was at rest and exceedingly comfortable. and his breath suspended--waiting for the answer. I hope. the men would be captured and jailed that day. 2.said that the last thing which he and his sons had done. But you'll come out of it. Why. They found none. and ended by saying that such a laugh was money in a-man's pocket. you're white and jaded--you ain't well a bit--no wonder you're a little flighty and off your balance. what's the MATTER with you?" Huck sank back. . so at a venture he uttered it--feebly: "Sunday-school books. for he had dropped the idea that the parcel brought from the tavern was the treasure. and he and Tom could seize the gold that night without any trouble or any fear of interruption.

I reckon my Tom stayed at your house last . Thatcher. I've got a boy that's turned up missing. "Don't say a word about it. but he don't allow me to tell his name. talking briskly with a friend. maybe. and what was the use of waking you up and scaring you to death? My three negro men stood guard at your house all the rest of the night. The Welshman admitted several ladies and gentlemen. just as Aunt Polly. the widow said: "I went to sleep reading in bed and slept straight through all that noise. among them the Widow Douglas. There's another that you're more beholden to than you are to me and my boys. but everybody was early at church. passed by. Mrs." Mrs. The stirring event was well canvassed. When the sermon was finished. When all else had been learned. They've just come back. Harper. So the news had spread. Huck jumped for a hiding-place." with a startled look--"didn't she stay with you last night?" "Why. Good-morning. and sank into a pew. There was no Sabbath-school during day-school vacation. The widow's gratitude for her preservation was outspoken. Those fellows warn't likely to come again--they hadn't any tools left to work with. for he had no mind to be connected even remotely with the late event. and the story had to be told and retold for a couple of hours more. Thatcher turned pale.Just as breakfast was completed there was a knock at the door. We wouldn't have been there but for him." Of course this excited a curiosity so vast that it almost belittled the main matter--but the Welshman allowed it to eat into the vitals of his visitors. Aunt Polly said: "Good-morning. News came that not a sign of the two villains had been yet discovered. Harper as she moved down the aisle with the crowd and said: "Is my Becky going to sleep all day? I just expected she would be tired to death. Mrs." More visitors came. no. Why didn't you come and wake me?" "We judged it warn't worth while. madam." "Your Becky?" "Yes. for he refused to part with his secret. and noticed that groups of citizens were climbing up the hill--to stare at the stile. Judge Thatcher's wife dropped alongside of Mrs. The Welshman had to tell the story of the night to the visitors. and through them be transmitted to the whole town.

skiffs were manned. All the long afternoon the village seemed empty and dead. The alarm swept from lip to lip. the ferryboat ordered out. it was dark. Many women visited Aunt Polly and Mrs. and Aunt Polly." said Mrs. Children were anxiously questioned. spattered with candle-grease. so the Widow Douglas came and took charge of the patient. "Joe Harper. but was not sure he could say. horses were saddled. They all said they had not noticed whether Tom and Becky were on board the ferryboat on the homeward trip." Mrs. whether he was good. The people had stopped moving out of church. he was the Lord's. or indifferent. also. The old Welshman came home toward daylight. bad. Harper. The physicians were all at the cave." "When did you see him last?" Joe tried to remember. Aunt Polly fell to crying and wringing her hands. Judge Thatcher sent messages of hope and encouragement from the cave. He found Huck still in the bed that had been provided for him. All the tedious night the town waited for news. And now he's afraid to come to church. Thatcher was almost crazed. but they conveyed no real cheer. and a boding uneasiness took possession of every countenance. and within five minutes the bells were wildly clanging and the whole town was up! The Cardiff Hill episode sank into instant insignificance. Whispers passed along. Thatcher and tried to comfort them. The Welshman said Huck had good spots in him. "Send more candles--and send food. from street to street. the burglars were forgotten. beginning to look uneasy. and that was still better than words. all the word that came was. from group to group. A marked anxiety came into Aunt Polly's face. Thatcher swooned away.night--one of you. because. and almost worn out. two hundred men were pouring down highroad and river toward the cave. I've got to settle with him. no one thought of inquiring if any one was missing. smeared with clay. and nothing that was the Lord's was a thing to be neglected. and delirious with fever." Mrs. and before the horror was half an hour old. and young teachers. too. "He didn't stay with us. Thatcher shook her head feebly and turned paler than ever. One young man finally blurted out his fear that they were still in the cave! Mrs. have you seen my Tom this morning?" "No'm. She said she would do her best by him. but when the morning dawned at last. They cried with them. and the widow said: .

that every corner and crevice was going to be thoroughly searched. that the proprietor of the Temperance Tavern kept liquor on his premises. the names "BECKY & TOM" had been found traced upon the rocky wall with candle-smoke. Lie down. That's the Lord's mark. She said it was the last relic she should ever have of her child. there would have been a great powwow if it had been the gold. hush! I've told you before. Some said that now and then. far from the section usually traversed by tourists. No one had heart for anything. Mrs. and finally asked--dimly dreading the worst--if anything had been discovered at the Temperance Tavern since he had been ill. in the cave. and then a glorious shout would burst forth and a score of men go trooping down the echoing aisle--and then a sickening disappointment always followed. In one place. that wherever one wandered through the maze of passages. and near at hand a grease-soiled bit of ribbon. tremendous as the fact was. very sick!" Then nothing but liquor had been found. He don't leave it off. Three dreadful days and nights dragged their tedious hours along. just made. because this one parted latest from the living body before the awful death came. child. Puts it somewhere on every creature that comes from his hands. but the strongest of the citizens continued searching. child--what a turn you did give me!" "Only tell me just one thing--only just one--please! Was it Tom Sawyer that found it?" The widow burst into tears. scarcely fluttered the public pulse. In a lucid interval. and shoutings and pistol-shots sent their hollow reverberations to the ear down the sombre aisles. All the news that could be gained was that remotenesses of the cavern were being ransacked that had never been visited before. a far-away speck of light would glimmer. Huck feebly led up to the subject of taverns. lights were to be seen flitting hither and thither in the distance. So the treasure was gone forever--gone . hush. The accidental discovery." said the widow. and that no other memorial of her could ever be so precious." Early in the forenoon parties of jaded men began to straggle into the village. "Yes. you must NOT talk. it was only a searcher's light. You are very. wild-eyed: "What? What was it?" "Liquor!--and the place has been shut up. He never does. "Hush. and the village sank into a hopeless stupor."You can depend on it. Huck started up in bed. the children were not there. Thatcher recognized the ribbon and cried over it.

squeaking and darting furiously at the candles. thousands in a bunch. visiting the familiar wonders of the cave--wonders dubbed with rather over-descriptive names. and branched off in search of novelties to tell the upper world about. far down into the secret depths of the cave. He found that it curtained a sort of steep natural stairway which was enclosed between narrow walls. had. the result of the ceaseless water-drip of centuries. then they wandered down a sinuous avenue holding their candles aloft and reading the tangled web-work of names." and so on. and mottoes with which the rocky walls had been frescoed (in candle-smoke). in the slow-dragging ages." "The Cathedral. they scarcely noticed that they were now in a part of the cave whose walls were not frescoed. from whose ceiling depended a multitude of shining stalactites of the length and circumference of a man's leg. the lights disturbed the creatures and they came flocking down by hundreds. now. either. whose basin was incrusted with a frostwork of glittering crystals. and under the weariness they gave him he fell asleep. Still drifting along and talking. and at once the ambition to be a discoverer seized him. that's got hope enough. They smoked their own names under an overhanging shelf and moved on. Becky responded to his call." "Aladdin's Palace. and Tom and Becky engaged in it with zeal until the exertion began to grow a trifle wearisome. The widow said to herself: "There--he's asleep. post-office addresses. trickling over a ledge and carrying a limestone sediment with it. such as "The Drawing-Room. it was in the midst of a cavern whose walls were supported by many fantastic pillars which had been formed by the joining of great stalactites and stalagmites together. wondering and admiring. there ain't many left. These thoughts worked their dim way through Huck's mind. Presently they came to a place where a little stream of water. Tom knew their ways and the danger of . In one place they found a spacious cavern.forever! But what could she be crying about? Curious that she should cry. dates." CHAPTER XXXI NOW to return to Tom and Becky's share in the picnic. Under the roof vast knots of bats had packed themselves together. and started upon their quest. Tom squeezed his small body behind it in order to illuminate it for Becky's gratification. Tom Sawyer find it! Pity but somebody could find Tom Sawyer! Ah. poor wreck. made another mark. to go on searching. and presently left it by one of the numerous passages that opened into it. and they made a smoke-mark for future guidance. This shortly brought them to a bewitching spring. They tripped along the murky aisles with the rest of the company. They wound this way and that. or strength enough. Presently the hide-and-seek frolicking began. formed a laced and ruffled Niagara in gleaming and imperishable stone. they walked all about it.

Tom? It's all a mixed-up crookedness to me. and tried hard to keep back the tears." Becky grew apprehensive. in desperate hope of finding the one that was wanted." "Yes. Now. The bats chased the children a good distance. and none too soon. so as not to go through there. Becky said: "Why. to see if there was anything familiar about the look of it. which stretched its dim length away until its shape was lost in the shadows. first. but it seems ever so long since I heard any of the others. I didn't notice. He seized Becky's hand and hurried her into the first corridor that offered. He still said it was "all right. and he would say cheerily: "Oh. Tom? We better start back. we are away down below them--and I don't know how far away north. "All is lost!" Becky clung to his side in an anguish of fear. P'raps we better. If they put our candles out it will be an awful fix. and traversed it in silence a long way. At last she said: . But I hope we won't get lost. but we'll come to it right away!" But he felt less and less hopeful with each failure." "Well." "Come to think. but they were all strange. or whichever it is. "I wonder how long we've been down here. for a bat struck Becky's light out with its wing while she was passing out of the cavern. it's all right. He wanted to explore its borders." but there was such a leaden dread at his heart that the words had lost their ring and sounded just as if he had said. but the fugitives plunged into every new passage that offered. We couldn't hear them here. shortly. glancing at each new opening. Every time Tom made an examination. but concluded that it would be best to sit down and rest awhile. Becky. but they would come." "Can you find the way. It would be so awful!" and the girl shuddered at the thought of the dreadful possibilities. or south. Tom found a subterranean lake. or east. This ain't the one. for the first time.this sort of conduct. They started through a corridor. I reckon we better. and at last got rid of the perilous things." "I reckon I could find it--but then the bats. and presently began to turn off into diverging avenues at sheer random. Let's try some other way. the deep stillness of the place laid a clammy hand upon the spirits of the children. Becky would watch his face for an encouraging sign.

and she said she could not. and hurried his steps. her unavailing regrets. It's all mixed up. don't do it again. Tom begged her to pluck up hope again. Tom." said Becky. Profound silence. she buried her face in his bosom. For he was no more to blame than she. Tom. keep moving. It was but a little while before a certain indecision in his manner revealed another fearful fact to Becky--he could not find his way back! "Oh. she said. never mind the bats. For a little while. and the far echoes turned them all to jeering laughter. but I better. it so confessed a perishing hope. The call went echoing down the empty aisles and died out in the distance in a faint sound that resembled a ripple of mocking laughter. Tom turned upon the back track at once." "Tom. they might hear us."Oh. So they moved on again--aimlessly--simply at random--all they could do was to move. Tom shouted. She said she would try to hope again. He sat down by her and put his arms around her. This economy meant . Tom. she poured out her terrors. this had a better effect. but there was no result. I was such a fool! Such a fool! I never thought we might want to come back! No--I can't find the way. let's go back that way! We seem to get worse and worse off all the time. or lose her reason. she clung to him. The "might" was even a chillier horror than the ghostly laughter. "It is horrid. The children stood still and listened. Becky. why DID we ever leave the others!" She sank to the ground and burst into such a frenzy of crying that Tom was appalled with the idea that she might die." "Listen!" said he. but only because it is its nature to revive when the spring has not been taken out of it by age and familiarity with failure. Tom. she would get up and follow wherever he might lead if only he would not talk like that any more. you didn't make any marks!" "Becky. you know. it is too horrid. silence so deep that even their breathings were conspicuous in the hush. "Oh. we're lost! we're lost! We never can get out of this awful place! Oh. By-and-by Tom took Becky's candle and blew it out." and he shouted again. hope made a show of reviving--not with any reason to back it. He fell to blaming and abusing himself for getting her into this miserable situation.

Becky." They rose up and wandered along.so much! Words were not needed. and her hope died again. and they talked of home. Both were cruelly tired." "I'm glad you've slept. in any direction. Thought was soon busy. and let's go on trying. They sat down. in some direction. Becky. maybe not. never had waked! No! No. A long time after this--they could not tell how long--Tom said they must go softly and listen for dripping water--they must find a spring. At last Becky's frail limbs refused to carry her farther. and we'll find the way out. but I've seen such a beautiful country in my dream. Tom. By-and-by. but all his encouragements were grown threadbare with use. nothing was said for some time. The peaceful face reflected somewhat of peace and healing into his own spirit. Tom was grateful. Tom rested with her. for their candles were not gone yet. Tom! Don't look so! I won't say it again. how COULD I sleep! I wish I never. and sounded like sarcasms. and the friends there. I reckon we are going there. She sat down. Fatigue bore so heavily upon Becky that she drowsed off to sleep. for it was dreadful to think of sitting down when time was grown to be so precious. was at least progress and might bear fruit. Becky understood. "Oh. the children tried to pay attention. Cheer up. above all. hand in hand and hopeless. I am so hungry!" . and Tom said it was time to rest again. and by-and-by a smile dawned and rested there." "We can try. the light! Becky cried. He sat looking into her drawn face and saw it grow smooth and natural under the influence of pleasant dreams. and Tom tried to think of some way of comforting her. They tried to estimate how long they had been in the cave. They found one presently. While he was deep in his musings. I don't. you'll feel rested. but all they knew was that it seemed days and weeks." "Maybe not. Becky woke up with a breezy little laugh--but it was stricken dead upon her lips. and yet it was plain that this could not be. moving. and Tom fastened his candle to the wall in front of them with some clay. She could not understand it. She knew that Tom had a whole candle and three or four pieces in his pockets--yet he must economize. now. but to sit down was to invite death and shorten its pursuit. She was surprised to hear Tom dissent. fatigue began to assert its claims. Then Becky broke the silence: "Tom. and a groan followed it. and his thoughts wandered away to bygone times and dreamy memories. yet Becky said she thought she could go a little farther. and the comfortable beds and.

" "I saved it from the picnic for us to dream on. By-and-by Becky suggested that they move on again. "It's our wedding-cake." "Why." .Tom took something out of his pocket. Becky. where there's water to drink. At length Becky said: "Tom!" "Well. but she thought she could. for it's all we've got. we must stay here. but with little effect. Tom was silent a moment. There was abundance of cold water to finish the feast with." "When would they miss us. Tom. Tom. But anyway. I reckon maybe they are. they will! Certainly they will!" "Maybe they're hunting for us now. while Tom nibbled at his moiety. it might be dark then--would they notice we hadn't come?" "I don't know. Tom. Tom?" "When they get back to the boat. I reckon. your mother would miss you as soon as they got home. Then he said: "Becky. That little piece is our last candle!" Becky gave loose to tears and wailings." "Tom. Becky almost smiled. "Do you remember this?" said he. "Well. can you bear it if I tell you something?" Becky's face paled." "Yes--I wish it was as big as a barrel. Becky?" "They'll miss us and hunt for us!" "Yes. the way grown-up people do with wedding-cake--but it'll be our--" She dropped the sentence where it was. I hope they are. Tom divided the cake and Becky ate with good appetite. then. Tom did what he could to comfort her.

There was a sound like the faintest. They shortly came to one and had to stop. but in the darkness the distant echoes sounded so hideously that he tried it no more. "they're coming! Come along. Becky was not to have gone home that night! The children became silent and thoughtful. Presently he listened again. all her hopes were gone. and had to be guarded against. again the sound was heard. Instantly Tom answered it. It might be three feet deep. Their speed was slow. In a moment a new burst of grief from Becky showed Tom that the thing in his mind had struck hers also--that the Sabbath morning might be half spent before Mrs. The children fastened their eyes upon their bit of candle and watched it melt slowly and pitilessly away. They must stay there and wait until the searchers came. climb the thin column of smoke. All that they knew was. He tried to get Becky to talk. both awoke out of a dead stupor of sleep and resumed their miseries once more. Thatcher discovered that Becky was not at Mrs.A frightened look in Becky's face brought Tom to his senses and he saw that he had made a blunder. evidently the distant shoutings were growing more distant! a moment or two more and they had gone altogether. far-off shout. The poor morsel of food only whetted desire. and leading Becky by the hand. The hours wasted away. Tom said it might be Sunday. and no doubt the search was going on. No bottom. They listened. "It's them!" said Tom. neither could tell. saw the half inch of wick stand alone at last. He tried it. because pitfalls were somewhat common. now--maybe Monday. Becky--we're all right now!" The joy of the prisoners was almost overwhelming. it might be a hundred--there was no passing it at any rate. and hunger came to torment the captives again. and apparently a little nearer. but her sorrows were too oppressive. The heart-sinking . But they seemed hungrier than before. linger at its top a moment. and then--the horror of utter darkness reigned! How long afterward it was that Becky came to a slow consciousness that she was crying in Tom's arms. By-and-by Tom said: "SH! Did you hear that?" Both held their breath and listened. He would shout and maybe some one would come. A portion of Tom's half of the cake was left. Harper's. started groping down the corridor in its direction. Tom got down on his breast and reached as far down as he could. they divided and ate it. saw the feeble flame rise and fall. that after what seemed a mighty stretch of time. however. Tom said that they must have been missed long ago.

and that the search had been given over. distressed with hunger and sick with bodings of coming doom. tied it to a projection. but she implored him to come back every little while and speak to her. Tom wondered that Joe had not recognized his voice and come over and killed him for testifying in court. holding a candle. He told her he had only shouted "for luck. and nothing should tempt him to run the risk of meeting Injun Joe again. . that was it.misery of it! Tom whooped until he was hoarse. unwinding the line as he groped along. He proposed to explore another passage. he could not move. She had sunk into a dreary apathy and would not be roused. where she was. The children groped their way back to the spring. and made a show of being confident of finding the searchers or an escape from the cave. he reasoned. to see the "Spaniard" take to his heels and get himself out of sight. He talked hopefully to Becky. and at that moment. they slept again. now. a human hand. now. Tom believed that it must be Wednesday or Thursday or even Friday or Saturday. It would be better to explore some of these than bear the weight of the heavy time in idleness. not twenty yards away. But the echoes must have disguised the voice. The weary time dragged on. He was careful to keep from Becky what it was he had seen. and instantly that hand was followed by the body it belonged to--Injun Joe's! Tom was paralyzed. but it was of no use. and then as far around the corner as he could reach with his hands conveniently. She said she would wait. and he and Becky started. The children awoke tortured with a raging hunger. He took a kite-line from his pocket. Tom's fright weakened every muscle in his body. But Becky was very weak. he would stay by her and hold her hand until all was over. There were some side passages near at hand. She told Tom to go with the kite-line and explore if he chose. and die--it would not be long. appeared from behind a rock! Tom lifted up a glorious shout. He was vastly gratified the next moment. Tom believed it must be Tuesday by this time. and she made him promise that when the awful time came. then he took the kite-line in his hand and went groping down one of the passages on his hands and knees. but an age of anxious waiting passed and no sounds came again." But hunger and wretchedness rise superior to fears in the long run. At the end of twenty steps the corridor ended in a "jumping-off place. Tom in the lead. He felt willing to risk Injun Joe and all other terrors. He said to himself that if he had strength enough to get back to the spring he would stay there. Without doubt. and awoke famished and woe-stricken. Now an idea struck him. Another tedious wait at the spring and another long sleep brought changes. Tom kissed her. he made an effort to stretch yet a little farther to the right. with a choking sensation in his throat." Tom got down on his knees and felt below.

sad and forlorn. saying that it was plain the children could never be found. The village of St. how he followed two avenues as far as his kite-line would reach. joined its homeward march. tried to speak but couldn't--and drifted out raining tears all over the place. and was about to turn back when he glimpsed a far-off speck that looked like daylight. Tom lay upon a sofa with an eager auditory about him and told the history of the wonderful adventure. and Mrs. how he followed a third to the fullest stretch of the kite-line. Thatcher's hand. the population massed itself and moved toward the river. and how she almost died for joy when she had groped to where she actually saw the blue speck of daylight. Public prayers had been offered up for them. and saw the broad Mississippi rolling by! And if it had only happened to be night he would not have seen that speck of daylight and would not have explored that passage any more! He told how he went back for Becky and broke the good news and she told him not to fret her with such stuff. Mrs. who shouted. thronged around it. and her gray hair had grown almost white. as soon as the messenger dispatched with the great news to the cave should get the word to her husband. but still no good news came from the cave. and wanted to. During the first half-hour a procession of villagers filed through Judge Thatcher's house. People said it was heartbreaking to hear her call her child. and raise her head and listen a whole minute at a time. and knew she was going to die. "Turn out! turn out! they're found! they're found!" Tin pans and horns were added to the din. Away in the middle of the night a wild peal burst from the village bells. Thatcher's nearly so. and closed with a description of how he left Becky and went on an exploring expedition. Petersburg still mourned. Aunt Polly had drooped into a settled melancholy. Aunt Polly's happiness was complete. pushed his head and shoulders through a small hole. however. and many and many a private prayer that had the petitioner's whole heart in it. putting in many striking additions to adorn it withal. how he pushed his way out at the hole and then helped her out. He described how he labored with her and convinced her. Thatcher was very ill. dropped the line and groped toward it. It would be complete. it was the greatest night the little town had ever seen. squeezed Mrs. seized the saved ones and kissed them. and a great part of the time delirious.CHAPTER XXXII TUESDAY afternoon came. and in a moment the streets were swarming with frantic half-clad people. for she was tired. The village went to its rest on Tuesday night. then lay it wearily down again with a moan. how they sat . met the children coming in an open carriage drawn by shouting citizens. and swept magnificently up the main street roaring huzzah after huzzah! The village was illuminated. nobody went to bed again. The lost children had not been found. and waned to the twilight. The majority of the searchers had given up the quest and gone back to their daily avocations.

there are others just like you. and triple-locked--and I've got the keys. in the cave. ." said they. run. "you are five miles down the river below the valley the cave is in" --then took them aboard. to hear exciting talk. and some one asked him ironically if he wouldn't like to go to the cave again. he thought. boy! Here. But we have taken care of that. The Judge and some friends set Tom to talking. "What's the matter. but could not be admitted to the bedroom. as Tom and Becky soon discovered. rowed to a house. perhaps. They were bedridden all of Wednesday and Thursday. He was admitted daily after that. and then she looked as if she had passed through a wasting illness. I've not the least doubt. and he stopped to see Becky." "Why?" "Because I had its big door sheathed with boiler iron two weeks ago. and nearly as whole as ever Saturday. Judge Thatcher's house was on Tom's way. neither could he on Saturday or Sunday." Tom turned as white as a sheet. he started off to visit Huck. how the men didn't believe the wild tale at first. who had grown plenty strong enough. The Judge said: "Well. Judge Thatcher and the handful of searchers with him were tracked out. also that the "ragged man's" body had eventually been found in the river near the ferry-landing. now. somebody! Fetch a glass of water!" The water was brought and thrown into Tom's face. Tom learned of Huck's sickness and went to see him on Friday. and Tom had some that would interest him.there and cried for gladness. and informed of the great news. "because. how some men came along in a skiff and Tom hailed them and told them their situation and their famished condition. Three days and nights of toil and hunger in the cave were not to be shaken off at once. Tom got about. gave them supper. on Thursday. made them rest till two or three hours after dark and then brought them home. Tom said he thought he wouldn't mind it. but was warned to keep still about his adventure and introduce no exciting topic. Tom. At home Tom learned of the Cardiff Hill event. he had been drowned while trying to escape. Nobody will get lost in that cave any more. The Widow Douglas stayed by to see that he obeyed. by the twine clews they had strung behind them. About a fortnight after Tom's rescue from the cave. Before day-dawn. a little. but Becky did not leave her room until Sunday. all the time. and seemed to grow more and more tired and worn. was down-town Friday.

Injun Joe's bowie-knife lay close by. with tedious labor. for he knew by his own experience how this wretch had suffered. left there by tourists. its blade broken in two. near at hand. The prisoner had searched them out and eaten them. That drop was falling when the Pyramids were new." It is falling now. for if the beam had been wholly cut away Injun Joe could not have squeezed his body under the door. it was. So he had only hacked that place in order to be doing something--in order to pass the weary time--in order to employ his tortured faculties. but there were none now. and the ferryboat. with his face close to the crack of the door. He had also contrived to catch a few bats. also. too. Tom Sawyer was in the skiff that bore Judge Thatcher. and these. when the foundations of Rome were laid when Christ was crucified. soon followed. it will still be . well filled with passengers. when the massacre at Lexington was "news. a sorrowful sight presented itself in the dim twilight of the place. and upon the stump had placed a stone. but nevertheless he felt an abounding sense of relief and security. But if there had been no stony obstruction there the labor would have been useless still. Judge. In one place. dead. when Troy fell. Injun Joe's in the cave!" CHAPTER XXXIII WITHIN a few minutes the news had spread. now you're all right. Injun Joe lay stretched upon the ground. and he knew it. and upon that stubborn material the knife had wrought no effect."Ah. Tom?" "Oh. What was the matter with you. to the latest moment. Tom was touched. builded by the water-drip from a stalactite overhead. he had eaten. for the native rock formed a sill outside it. wherein he had scooped a shallow hollow to catch the precious drop that fell once in every three minutes with the dreary regularity of a clock-tick--a dessertspoonful once in four and twenty hours. a stalagmite had been slowly growing up from the ground for ages. the only damage done was to the knife itself. The great foundation-beam of the door had been chipped and hacked through. and a dozen skiff-loads of men were on their way to McDougal's cave. when Columbus sailed. useless labor. which revealed to him in a degree which he had not fully appreciated before how vast a weight of dread had been lying upon him since the day he lifted his voice against this bloody-minded outcast. as if his longing eyes had been fixed. leaving only their claws. now. Ordinarily one could find half a dozen bits of candle stuck around in the crevices of this vestibule. upon the light and the cheer of the free world outside. when the Conqueror created the British empire. When the cave door was unlocked. The captive had broken off the stalagmite. The poor unfortunate had starved to death. His pity was moved.

Huck. it seems 'bout a year ago. and people flocked there in boats and wagons from the towns and from all the farms and hamlets for seven miles around. This funeral stopped the further growth of one thing--the petition to the governor for Injun Joe's pardon. and confessed that they had had almost as satisfactory a time at the funeral as they could have had at the hanging." "Why. many tearful and eloquent meetings had been held. Tom. and drip a tear on it from their permanently impaired and leaky water-works. It was that very night that I follered Injun Joe to the widder's. that thing was what he wanted to talk about now. and implore him to be a merciful ass and trample his duty under foot. and a committee of sappy women been appointed to go in deep mourning and wail around the governor. and been swallowed up in the thick night of oblivion." . even "Aladdin's Palace" cannot rival it. YOU know his tavern was all right the Saturday I went to the picnic. Has everything a purpose and a mission? Did this drop fall patiently during five thousand years to be ready for this flitting human insect's need? and has it another important object to accomplish ten thousand years to come? No matter. I never told on that tavern-keeper. and I knowed you hadn't got the money becuz you'd 'a' got at me some way or other and told me even if you was mum to everybody else. The morning after the funeral Tom took Huck to a private place to have an important talk. they brought their children. Huck's face saddened. Injun Joe was believed to have killed five citizens of the village. Injun Joe was buried near the mouth of the cave.falling when all these things shall have sunk down the afternoon of history. but I just knowed it must 'a' ben you. Huck had learned all about Tom's adventure from the Welshman and the Widow Douglas. and the twilight of tradition. and all sorts of provisions. soon as I heard 'bout that whiskey business. but what of that? If he had been Satan himself there would have been plenty of weaklings ready to scribble their names to a pardon-petition. Nobody told me it was you. but to this day the tourist stares longest at that pathetic stone and that slow-dropping water when he comes to see the wonders of McDougal's cave. but Tom said he reckoned there was one thing they had not told him. It is many and many a year since the hapless half-breed scooped out the stone to catch the priceless drops. 2 and never found anything but whiskey. Don't you remember you was to watch there that night?" "Oh yes! Why. Injun Joe's cup stands first in the list of the cavern's marvels. by this time. He said: "I know what it is. You got into No. The petition had been largely signed. something's always told me we'd never get holt of that swag.

I reckon --anyways it's a goner for us. When do you say?" "Right now. If it hadn't ben for me he'd be down in Texas now. and I don't want 'em souring on me and doing me mean tricks. three or four days. presently. or earnest?" "Earnest. "Tom. now. Tom. "Say it again. too. that money wasn't ever in No. if you say it. "whoever nipped the whiskey in No." "Huck. we can do that without the least little bit of trouble in the world. Are you strong enough?" "Is it far in the cave? I ben on my pins a little. If we don't find it I'll agree to give you my drum and every thing I've got in the world. Will you go in there with me and help get it out?" "I bet I will! I will if it's where we can blaze our way to it and not get lost."YOU followed him?" "Yes--but you keep mum." "Good as wheat! What makes you think the money's--" "Huck." "The money's in the cave!" "Tom--honest injun. 2!" "What!" Huck searched his comrade's face keenly. you just wait till we get in there." . all right." Then Huck told his entire adventure in confidence to Tom. nipped the money." "All right--it's a whiz. I will. who had only heard of the Welshman's part of it before. it's in the cave!" Huck's eyes blazed. coming back to the main question. "Well." said Huck. Tom. by jings. 2. Huck--just as earnest as ever I was in my life. I reckon Injun Joe's left friends behind him. have you got on the track of that money again?" "Huck. Tom--least I don't think I could. but I can't walk more'n a mile." "Huck. now--is it fun.

But do you see that white place up yonder where there's been a landslide? Well. Tom proudly marched into a thick clump of sumach bushes and said: "Here you are! Look at it. no wood-yards. Tom. but I knew I'd got to have a thing like this. When they were several miles below "Cave Hollow." "Less start right off." Tom said: "Now you see this bluff here looks all alike all the way down from the cave hollow--no houses." "All right." "What's a ransom?" "Money." A trifle after noon the boys borrowed a small skiff from a citizen who was absent." Huck searched all the place about. only we'll let Joe Harper and Ben Rogers in--because of course there's got to be a Gang. Huck. and two or three kite-strings. You just keep mum about it. See if you can find it. and where to run across it was the bother. many's the time I wished I had some when I was in there before. and our pipes." They landed. bushes all alike. it's the snuggest hole in this country. most anybody. I tell you. or else there wouldn't be any style about it. We'll get ashore. and I'll pull it back again all by myself. All along I've been wanting to be a robber. and found nothing. that's one of my marks. and a little bag or two. it just does. and after you've kept them a year. but there's a mighty short cut that they don't anybody but me know about. where we're a-standing you could touch that hole I got out of with a fishing-pole. Tom Sawyer's Gang--it sounds splendid. And who'll we rob?" "Oh. if it ain't raised then you kill them. Huck. Huck. You make them raise all they can. Hive them in the cave till they raise a ransom. now. and we'll keep it quiet. . Huck. not always. You needn't ever turn your hand over. and some of these new-fangled things they call lucifer matches. off'n their friends. don't it. "Now. We've got it now."It's about five mile into there the way anybody but me would go." "And kill them?" "No. I'll take you right to it in a skiff. and got under way at once. Tom. Huck?" "Well. We want some bread and meat. Waylay people--that's mostly the way. I'll float the skiff down there.

They're always beautiful and rich.' hey? Right yonder's where I saw Injun Joe poke up his candle. You take their watches and things. and Tom felt a shudder quiver all through him. and after they've been in the cave a week or two weeks they stop crying and after that you couldn't get them to leave. Only you don't kill the women. Injun Joe's ghost is round about there. no it ain't. and described how he and Becky had watched the flame struggle and expire. A few steps brought them to the spring. If you drove them out they'd turn right around and come back. it's a CROSS!" "NOW where's your Number Two? 'UNDER THE CROSS." "No it ain't. less git out of here!" "What! and leave the treasure?" "Yes--leave it. It would ha'nt the place where he ." "Why. I believe it's better'n to be a pirate. and awfully scared." He held his candle aloft and said: "Look as far around the corner as you can. Tom whispered: "Now I'll show you something. certain.That's the general way. Huck. it's real bully. It's so in all the books. but only a steep clay hill twenty or thirty feet high." By this time everything was ready and the boys entered the hole. Well." "Tom. it's better in some ways. They ain't anybody as polite as robbers --you'll see that in any book. Huck!" Huck stared at the mystic sign awhile. The boys began to quiet down to whispers. and then said with a shaky voice: "Tom. now. You shut up the women. Do you see that? There--on the big rock over yonder--done with candle-smoke. Huck. the women get to loving you. but you always take your hat off and talk polite." The candles revealed the fact that it was not really a precipice. He showed Huck the fragment of candle-wick perched on a lump of clay against the wall. but you don't kill them." "Yes. Tom in the lead. They toiled their way to the farther end of the tunnel. for the stillness and gloom of the place oppressed their spirits. and presently entered and followed Tom's other corridor until they reached the "jumping-off place. because it's close to home and circuses and all that. then made their spliced kite-strings fast and moved on. They went on. Tom.

" Tom went first. I know the ways of ghosts." Tom began to fear that Huck was right. cutting rude steps in the clay hill as he descended. Tom got into this and held his candle as far under the rock as he could. but said he could not see to the end of the rift. Tom!" said Huck with animation. and the well-gnawed bones of two or three fowls. Now. what fools we're making of ourselves! Injun Joe's ghost ain't a going to come around where there's a cross!" The point was well taken. also an old suspender. and then sat down discouraged. Tom. Huck. But that's so. It would hang round the money. but not on the other sides." They searched everywhere once more. but in vain. I'm going to dig in the clay. "Hey. what's that for? I bet you the money IS under the rock. and so do you. It can't be under the rock itself. Misgivings gathered in his mind. But presently an idea occurred to him-"Lookyhere. He stooped and passed under. Huck. He proposed to explore. with a pallet of blankets spread down in it. Four avenues opened out of the small cavern which the great rock stood in. then to . and he had not dug four inches before he struck wood. it wouldn't. They had concealed a natural chasm which led under the rock. The lads searched and researched this place. The boys examined three of them with no result. this comes nearest to being under the cross. there's footprints and some candle-grease on the clay about one side of this rock.died--away out at the mouth of the cave--five mile from here. Well. Huck followed." "That ain't no bad notion. first to the right. Some boards were soon uncovered and removed. I didn't think of that. It's luck for us. But there was no money-box. It had its effect. Huck could suggest nothing. Tom said: "He said UNDER the cross." "No. "Tom. He followed its winding course. Huck!--you hear that?" Huck began to dig and scratch now. By-and-by Tom said: "Lookyhere. They found a small recess in the one nearest the base of the rock. that cross is. Tom's "real Barlow" was out at once. I reckon we'll climb down there and have a hunt for that box. because that sets solid on the ground. some bacon rind. the narrow way descended gradually.

too. after an awkward fashion. too. "Got it at last!" said Huck. Huck--leave them there. looked warily out. we've been in here a long time. and were soon lunching and smoking in the skiff." "What orgies?" "I dono. We'll eat and smoke when we get to the skiff. but could not carry it conveniently. "Now less fetch the guns and things." said Tom. I always reckoned we'd get it. As the sun dipped toward the horizon they pushed out and got under way. "THEY carried it like it was heavy. Huck. "My. and landed shortly after dark. by-and-by. occupying a snug little cavern. "I thought so. and exclaimed: "My goodness. found the coast clear. and then we'll hunt up a place out in the woods for it where it will be safe. I'm hungry. "we'll hide the money in the loft of the widow's woodshed." said Huck." They presently emerged into the clump of sumach bushes. It's an awful snug place for orgies. But robbers always have orgies. I reckon I was right to think of fetching the little bags along." he said. I noticed that. lookyhere!" It was the treasure-box. that day at the ha'nted house. sure enough. Huck. Tom turned a short curve. ploughing among the tarnished coins with his hand. and of course we've got to have them. too. sure! Say--let's not fool around here." The money was soon in the bags and the boys took it up to the cross rock. Huck. Tom could lift it.the left. It's just too good to believe. "Now. I reckon. a couple of guns in leather cases. and we'll hold our orgies there. Tom skimmed up the shore through the long twilight. Come along. Lemme see if I can lift the box. Huck at his heels. but we're rich. "No. They're just the tricks to have when we go to robbing. along with an empty powder-keg. two or three pairs of old moccasins." It weighed about fifty pounds. Just you lay quiet here and watch the stuff till . but we HAVE got it. a leather belt. Tom!" "Huck. Let's snake it out. chatting cheerily with Huck. It's getting late. and some other rubbish well soaked with the water-drip. and I'll come up in the morning and we'll count it and divide. We'll keep them there all the time.

the Harpers. hurry along!" The boys wanted to know what the hurry was about. and presently returned with the wagon. Just as they were about to move on. I won't be gone a minute. But that's human nature--hurry along. then. "Well. Here--hurry up. I don't know. I don't know about that." The Welshman laughed. Sid. Ain't you and the widow good friends?" "Yes." "Good! Come along with me. Mr. "I judged so. and started off. put the two small sacks into it. the Welshman stepped out and said: "Hallo. the boys in this town will take more trouble and fool away more time hunting up six bits' worth of old iron to sell to the foundry than they would to make twice the money at regular work. the Rogerses. the editor. you'll see. they stopped to rest. "Never mind. trot ahead--I'll haul the wagon for you. threw some old rags on top of them." "All right. we haven't been doing nothing. Jones. and everybody that was of any consequence in the village was there. anyway. it's not as light as it might be. Huck. my boy. The widow received the boys as heartily as any one could well receive two such . The Thatchers were there. who's that?" "Huck and Tom Sawyer. What do you want to be afraid for?" This question was not entirely answered in Huck's slow mind before he found himself pushed. boys. The place was grandly lighted. along with Tom." said Tom. Aunt Polly. Mary. Douglas' drawing-room. Why. When the boys reached the Welshman's house. into Mrs." Huck said with some apprehension--for he was long used to being falsely accused: "Mr. she's ben good friends to me.I run and hook Benny Taylor's little wagon. Got bricks in it?--or old metal?" "Old metal. dragging his cargo behind him." He disappeared. and a great many more. Well. the minister. and all dressed in their best. you are keeping everybody waiting. when we get to the Widow Douglas'. Jones left the wagon near the door and followed.

Siddy. We'll wait--come down when you are slicked up enough. What's all this blow-out about. I don't mind it a bit. but I stumbled on him and Huck right at my door. I ain't going down there. "Come with me. I'll take care of you. Aunt Polly blushed crimson with humiliation. But they'll fit both of you. Say--ain't this grease and clay. Mr." said the widow. Mr. "Tom. Mary got your Sunday clothes ready. no thanks. if you want to know. so I gave him up. CHAPTER XXXIV HUCK said: "Tom. if we can find a rope. Here are two new suits of clothes --shirts. and frowned and shook her head at Tom. on account of that scrape they helped her out of the other night. Nobody suffered half as much as the two boys did. "auntie has been waiting for you all the afternoon. you jist 'tend to your own business." Sid appeared." "Oh. This time it's for the Welshman and his sons." "Shucks! what do you want to slope for?" "Well. They're Huck's--no. Get into them." "Well. anyway?" "It's one of the widow's parties that she's always having. and everybody's been fretting about you. Huck--Mr. boys. Tom. I can't stand it. on your clothes?" "Now." Then she left. however.looking beings. Jones bought one and I the other. bother! It ain't anything. And say--I can tell you something. what?" ." said he. I ain't used to that kind of a crowd." She took them to a bedchamber and said: "Now wash and dress yourselves. socks. everything complete. yet." "And you did just right. They were covered with clay and candle-grease. Jones said: "Tom wasn't at home. we can slope. and so I just brought them along in a hurry. The window ain't high from the ground.

for all she tries to let on she don't. never mind who it was. He said: "Huck don't need it. and you can't bear to see anybody praised for doing good ones. there's only one person in this town mean enough to do that. and heaped so many compliments and so much gratitude upon Huck that he almost forgot the nearly intolerable discomfort of his new clothes in the entirely intolerable discomfort of being set up as a target for everybody's gaze and everybody's laudations. but said that there was another person whose modesty-And so forth and so on. At the proper time Mr. He sprung his secret about Huck's share in the adventure in the finest dramatic manner he was master of. "Now go and tell auntie if you dare--and to-morrow you'll catch it!" Some minutes later the widow's guests were at the supper-table. You can't do any but mean things. you know!" "Secret about what. "Sid. Jones was bound Huck should be here--couldn't get along with his grand secret without Huck. too. Jones was going to make a grand time over his surprise. SOMEBODY told--that's enough. Mr. and that when she could spare the money she would start him in business in a modest way." Sid chuckled in a very contented and satisfied way. but I reckon it's not much of a secret now. I reckon Mr. as a secret. Everybody knows --the widow. Sid?" "About Huck tracking the robbers to the widow's. old Mr. after the fashion of that country and that day. as the widow says"--and Tom cuffed Sid's ears and helped him to the door with several kicks." "Sid."Why. was it you that told?" "Oh. If you had been in Huck's place you'd 'a' sneaked down the hill and never told anybody on the robbers. Huck's rich. There--no thanks. Tom's chance was come. The widow said she meant to give Huck a home under her roof and have him educated. and a dozen children were propped up at little side-tables in the same room. Jones is going to try to spring something on the people here to-night. the widow made a pretty fair show of astonishment. However. but I bet you it will drop pretty flat. but the surprise it occasioned was largely counterfeit and not as clamorous and effusive as it might have been under happier circumstances." . in which he thanked the widow for the honor she was doing himself and his sons. Jones made his little speech. and that's you. but I overheard him tell auntie to-day about it.

Tom broke it: "Huck's got money. though several persons were there who were worth considerably more than that in property. You just wait a minute. CHAPTER XXXV THE reader may rest satisfied that Tom's and Huck's windfall made a mighty stir in the poor little village of St. The sum amounted to a little over twelve thousand dollars. Jones said: "I thought I had fixed up a little surprise for this occasion. All gazed." The money was counted. "Sid. but men--pretty grave. "He--well. plank by plank. Maybe you don't believe it. But the silence was a little awkward. unromantic men. Petersburg and the neighboring villages was dissected. The tale was long. Tom poured the mass of yellow coin upon the table and said: "There--what did I tell you? Half of it's Huck's and half of it's mine!" The spectacle took the general breath away. who was tongue-tied. I never--" Tom entered. struggling with the weight of his sacks. until the reason of many of the citizens tottered under the strain of the unhealthy excitement. stared at. There was scarcely an interruption from any one to break the charm of its flow. I'm willing to allow. The boys were not able to remember that their remarks had possessed weight before. Tom said he could furnish it. Mr. This one makes it sing mighty small. Then there was a unanimous call for an explanation. and he did." Tom ran out of doors. Wherever Tom and Huck appeared they were courted. admired. too. gloated over. nobody spoke for a moment. Oh. and its foundations dug up and ransacked for hidden treasure--and not by boys. seemed next to incredible. you needn't smile--I reckon I can show you. glorified. what ails Tom?" said Aunt Polly. but brimful of interest.Nothing but a heavy strain upon the good manners of the company kept back the due and proper complimentary laugh at this pleasant joke. Every "haunted" house in St. and Aunt Polly did not finish her sentence. some of them. When he had finished. So vast a sum. Petersburg. It was talked about. It was more than any one present had ever seen at one time before. but he's got lots of it. but now their sayings were . there ain't ever any making of that boy out. all in actual cash. but it don't amount to anything now. The company looked at each other with a perplexed interest--and inquiringly at Huck.

he had to learn his book. the Judge said with a fine outburst that it was a noble. cup. a magnanimous lie--a lie that was worthy to hold up its head and march down through history breast to breast with George Washington's lauded Truth about the hatchet! Becky thought her father had never looked so tall and so superb as when he walked the floor and stamped his foot and said that. how Tom had taken her whipping at school. their past history was raked up and discovered to bear marks of conspicuous originality. in order that he might be ready for either career or both. he had to talk so properly that speech was become insipid in his mouth. A dollar and a quarter a week would board. he had to use napkin. lodge. for that matter.treasured and repeated. the bars and shackles of civilization shut him in and bound him hand and foot. He bravely bore his miseries three weeks. and plate. Judge Thatcher hoped to see Tom a great lawyer or a great soldier some day. and then one day turned up missing. the Judge was visibly moved. too. Each lad had an income. and when she pleaded grace for the mighty lie which Tom had told in order to shift that whipping from her shoulders to his own. dragged him into it. The public were profoundly concerned. and school a boy in those old simple days--and clothe him and wash him. It was just what the minister got --no. and they bedded him nightly in unsympathetic sheets that had not one little spot or stain which he could press to his heart and know for a friend. She went straight off and told Tom about it. hurled him into it--and his sufferings were almost more than he could bear. Early the third . moreover. a generous. When Becky told her father. He said he meant to look to it that Tom should be admitted to the National Military Academy and afterward trained in the best law school in the country. whithersoever he turned. everything they did seemed somehow to be regarded as remarkable. they searched high and low. it was what he was promised--he generally couldn't collect it. For forty-eight hours the widow hunted for him everywhere in great distress. they had evidently lost the power of doing and saying commonplace things. that was simply prodigious--a dollar for every week-day in the year and half of the Sundays. Huck Finn's wealth and the fact that he was now under the Widow Douglas' protection introduced him into society--no. The village paper published biographical sketches of the boys. they dragged the river for his body. He had to eat with a knife and fork. now. The widow's servants kept him clean and neat.. in strict confidence. combed and brushed. and Judge Thatcher did the same with Tom's at Aunt Polly's request. The Widow Douglas put Huck's money out at six per cent. he had to go to church. He said that no commonplace boy would ever have got his daughter out of the cave. Judge Thatcher had conceived a great opinion of Tom.

uncombed. He said: "Don't talk about it. I wouldn't stand THAT. nor roll around anywher's. He was unkempt. becuz I don't give a dern for a thing 'thout it's tollable hard to git--and you go and beg off for me with the widder.morning Tom Sawyer wisely went poking among some old empty hogsheads down behind the abandoned slaughter-house. she wouldn't let me gape. you know I can't do that. Tom. they don't seem to any air git through 'em. Now these clothes suits me. every day. She makes me get up just at the same time every morning. 'Tain't fair. with his pipe. and they're so rotten nice that I can't set down. I hain't slid on a cellar-door for--well. and was lying off. in comfort." . told him the trouble he had been causing. she goes to bed by a bell. Tom routed him out. she gits up by a bell--everything's so awful reg'lar a body can't stand it. or I'd a died. she makes me wash. now. Looky here. it 'pears to be years. and friendly. Huck's face lost its tranquil content. they comb me all to thunder. and clad in the same old ruin of rags that had made him picturesque in the days when he was free and happy. I got to wear them blamed clothes that just smothers me. before folks--" [Then with a spasm of special irritation and injury]--"And dad fetch it. Well. it don't work. nor stretch. nor lay down. I wouldn't ever got into all this trouble if it hadn't 'a' ben for that money. The widder eats by a bell." "Oh. I've tried it. and I can't STAND it. now you just take my sheer of it along with your'n. It ain't for me. and sweat and sweat. And besides." "Tom. It's awful to be tied up so. she won't let me sleep in the woodshed. that way. she wouldn't let me yell. nor scratch. I got to ask to go a-fishing. and urged him to go home. she prayed all the time! I never see such a woman! I HAD to shove. and it don't work. It's just worry and worry. Huck. everybody does that way. I got to ask to go in a-swimming--dern'd if I hain't got to ask to do everything. Tom. I got to go to church and sweat and sweat--I hate them ornery sermons! I can't ketch a fly in there. I can't chaw. and gimme a ten-center sometimes--not many times. I ain't everybody. and I ain't ever going to shake 'em any more." "Well. Huck had slept there. to git a taste in my mouth. The widder's good to me. and took a melancholy cast. And grub comes too easy--I don't take no interest in vittles. The widder wouldn't let me smoke. Tom--I just had to. Tom. and a-wishing you was dead all the time. it don't make no difference. I ain't used to it. Tom. and this bar'l suits me. but I can't stand them ways. Huck. Tom. and I'd a had to go to it--well. and in one of them he found the refugee. Tom. that school's going to open. I'd got to talk so nice it wasn't no comfort--I'd got to go up in the attic and rip out awhile. he had just breakfasted upon some stolen odds and ends of food. Tom. I got to wear shoes all Sunday. and besides if you'll try this thing just a while longer you'll come to like it. somehow. being rich ain't what it's cracked up to be.

Tom. But Huck. 'Mph! Tom Sawyer's Gang! pretty low characters in it!' They'd mean you. You wouldn't like that. it's a whiz! Come along. Blame it all! just as we'd got guns. Tom? You wouldn't do that. I won't be rich." "Now. but that's different. and I DON'T want to--but what would people say? Why. and crowd through or bust. Tom?" "Just as dead earnest as I'm sitting here. here this dern foolishness has got to come up and spile it all!" Tom saw his opportunity-"Lookyhere." "Have the which?" . hain't you always ben friendly to me? You wouldn't shet me out. Huck. Finally he said: "Well. and the river. I'll go back to the widder for a month and tackle it and see if I can come to stand it. Tom? Didn't you let me go for a pirate?" "Yes. WOULD you. you know. if you'll let me b'long to the gang. "Can't let me in. we can't let you into the gang if you ain't respectable. A robber is more high-toned than what a pirate is--as a general thing." Huck's joy was quenched. Tom?" "Huck. too. and all just fixed to rob." Huck was silent for some time. I like the woods. I wouldn't want to. No. maybe. and I'll stick to 'em. Huck. and I wouldn't. old chap. Tom. We'll get the boys together and have the initiation to-night. right off." "No! Oh. Tom--now will you? That's good. now. Huck. and hogsheads. being rich ain't going to keep me back from turning robber. Tom."Like it! Yes--the way I'd like a hot stove if I was to set on it long enough." "Will you. good-licks. they'd say. would you. If she'll let up on some of the roughest things. When you going to start the gang and turn robbers?" "Oh. Huck. are you in real dead-wood earnest. and I'll ask the widow to let up on you a little. I'll smoke private and cuss private. engaged in a mental struggle. and a cave." "All right. and I won't live in them cussed smothery houses. In most countries they're awful high up in the nobility--dukes and such.

he knows exactly where to stop--that is. the story could not go much further without becoming the history of a MAN. Tom. so it is. therefore it will be wisest not to reveal any of that part of their lives at present. and never tell the gang's secrets. but when he writes of juveniles. midnight's good. anyway. and everybody talking 'bout it. Some day it may seem worth while to take up the story of the younger ones again and see what sort of men and women they turned out to be. I reckon she'll be proud she snaked me in out of the wet. but they're all ripped up now. I tell you. It being strictly a history of a BOY. And all that swearing's got to be done at midnight. and kill anybody and all his family that hurts one of the gang. I'll stick to the widder till I rot. it must stop here. Complete by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) *** END OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK TOM SAWYER *** . awfulest place you can find--a ha'nted house is the best." "Well. in the lonesomest. Most of the characters that perform in this book still live."Have the initiation." CONCLUSION SO endeth this chronicle. Tom. When one writes a novel about grown people. that's something LIKE! Why." "That's gay--that's mighty gay. with a marriage. End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. even if you're chopped all to flinders. I bet it is. and are prosperous and happy." "Well. And you've got to swear on a coffin." "Yes. he must stop where he best can. and sign it with blood. it's a million times bullier than pirating. Tom." "Now." "What's that?" "It's to swear to stand by one another. and if I git to be a reg'lar ripper of a robber.

A.gutenberg. and may not be used if you charge for the eBooks. by using or distributing this work (or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project Gutenberg"). performances and research. agree to and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property (trademark/copyright) agreement. Project Gutenberg is a registered trademark. If you do not agree to abide by all . Section 1. you indicate that you have read. apply to copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark. complying with the rules is very easy. You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose such as creation of derivative works. Special rules. Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no one owns a United States copyright in these works. The previous edition was update by Jose Menendez. you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at http://gutenberg. Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions will be renamed. so the Foundation (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without permission and without paying copyright royalties. set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license.net/7/74/ Produced by David Widger.net/license). By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work.***** This file should be named 74. understand.txt or 74. unless you receive specific permission. General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works 1. *** START: FULL LICENSE *** THE FULL PROJECT GUTENBERG LICENSE PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU DISTRIBUTE OR USE THIS WORK To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free distribution of electronic works. If you do not charge anything for copies of this eBook. Redistribution is subject to the trademark license.zip ***** This and all associated files of various formats will be found in: http://www. especially commercial redistribution. They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks. reports.

the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears. There are a few things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works even without complying with the full terms of this agreement. The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern what you can do with this work.E below. distributing. or with which the phrase "Project Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed.D. performing.B. Copyright laws in most countries are in a constant state of change. If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. displayed. If you are outside the United States.E. You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others. or other immediate access to. displaying or creating derivative works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg are removed. you may obtain a refund from the person or entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1. The following sentence.1. 1. performing. you must cease using and return or destroy all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.C below.the terms of this agreement.C. Of course. 1. "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark. distributing or creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project Gutenberg-tm work. Nearly all the individual works in the collection are in the public domain in the United States. Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg: 1. displaying. . 1.8. The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation" or PGLAF). check the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement before downloading. owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works. 1. It may only be used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. with active links to. The Foundation makes no representations concerning the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United States. we do not claim a right to prevent you from copying. If an individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are located in the United States. viewed. See paragraph 1. There are a lot of things you can do with Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works. See paragraph 1.E. copying. performed. we hope that you will support the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with the work.E.

8 or 1.1 with active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project Gutenberg-tm License.1 through 1. Additional terms will be linked to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.8 or 1. if you provide access to or distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (www.9. displaying. 1.E.E. 1.2.7. nonproprietary or proprietary form.copied or distributed: This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. 1. fee or expense to the user. of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other form. without prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1. you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1. including any word processing or hypertext form.E.E. your use and distribution must comply with both paragraphs 1. Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm License as specified in paragraph 1.E.net 1.E.E. 1. performing. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted with the permission of the copyright holder. or any files containing a part of this work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.9. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is posted with permission of the copyright holder). distribute or redistribute this electronic work.3. If you are redistributing or providing access to a work with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the work.E.6.E. Do not charge a fee for access to. viewing.gutenberg. . the work can be copied and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees or charges.4.1 through 1.1.E. display.E. Do not copy.net). compressed.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.7 and any additional terms imposed by the copyright holder. 1. provide a copy. You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary. However.E. or any part of this electronic work.E. perform. you must.5. a means of exporting a copy.E. at no additional cost. or a means of obtaining a copy upon request. marked up.E.gutenberg.E. copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works unless you comply with paragraph 1. Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm License terms from this work. give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www. You may copy it.

1. Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the address specified in Section 4. Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable effort to identify. Contact the Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below. 1. and the medium on which they may be stored.9. but he has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.E. .F." . transcription errors. If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set forth in this agreement.You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm License. You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided that .F. incomplete.You provide.F.1. a copyright or other intellectual . in accordance with paragraph 1.8. Despite these efforts. if a defect in the electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days of receipt of the work." such as.You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method you already use to calculate your applicable taxes. do copyright research on. inaccurate or corrupt data. The fee is owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark. Royalty payments must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax returns. . may contain "Defects. 1.1.E. a full refund of any money paid for a work or a replacement copy. You must require such a user to return or destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of Project Gutenberg-tm works. Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works. you must obtain permission in writing from both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael Hart.3. the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark.You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works. transcribe and proofread public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm collection. "Information about donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. but not limited to.

this work is provided to you 'AS-IS' WITH NO OTHER WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND.F. BREACH OF WARRANTY OR BREACH OF CONTRACT EXCEPT THOSE PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH F3. and any other party distributing a Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement. the agreement shall be interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by the applicable state law. 1. a defective or damaged disk or other medium.4.F.Except for the "Right of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1. costs and expenses. If the second copy is also defective. 1. If you received the work on a physical medium. If you received the work electronically. If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the law of the state applicable to this agreement.F. you may demand a refund in writing without further opportunities to fix the problem.F. the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark.3. YOU AGREE THAT THE FOUNDATION. disclaim all liability to you for damages. INDIRECT. AND ANY DISTRIBUTOR UNDER THIS AGREEMENT WILL NOT BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ACTUAL. INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTIBILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PURPOSE. DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES .property infringement. CONSEQUENTIAL. The person or entity that provided you with the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a refund.F.3.If you discover a defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it. STRICT LIABILITY. EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. the person or entity providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund.3. Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages. DIRECT. LIMITED WARRANTY. PUNITIVE OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE. .2. THE TRADEMARK OWNER. you can receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a written explanation to the person you received the work from. a computer virus. Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth in paragraph 1. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.F. including legal fees. 1. the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. LIMITED RIGHT OF REPLACEMENT OR REFUND . you must return the medium with your written explanation.5. YOU AGREE THAT YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE. or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by your equipment. 1.

that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm work. anyone providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance with this agreement. Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit 501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service. The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification number is 64-6221541. federal laws and your state's laws. email business@pglaf. Section 3. (b) alteration.. Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the assistance they need.org. Fairbanks. costs and expenses. Contributions to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by U. the trademark owner. and any volunteers associated with the production. middle-aged and new computers. including legal fees.1.F. any agent or employee of the Foundation. AK. S. INDEMNITY . the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations.You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation. but its volunteers and employees are scattered throughout numerous locations. (801) 596-1887.S. It exists because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from people in all walks of life. promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works. is critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will remain freely available for generations to come. The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. or additions or deletions to any Project Gutenberg-tm work. see Sections 3 and 4 and the Foundation web page at http://www. Its 501(c)(3) letter is posted at http://pglaf.6. 99712. Its business office is located at 809 North 1500 West.org. modification. Salt Lake City. Email contact links and up to date contact information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official .pglaf. and (c) any Defect you cause. harmless from all liability.org/fundraising. Section 2. In 2001. Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers including obsolete. UT 84116. To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and how your efforts and donations can help. old.

For thirty years. International donations are gratefully accepted.000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt status with the IRS. laws alone swamp our small staff. online payments and credit card donations.org Section 4. To SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any particular state visit http://pglaf. Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation methods and addresses. Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a considerable effort. Hart is the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared with anyone. we know of no prohibition against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who approach us with offers to donate. please visit: http://pglaf.S.org While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we have not met the solicitation requirements. Many small donations ($1 to $5. Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest array of equipment including outdated equipment.org For additional contact information: Dr. Professor Michael S. The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United States. he produced and distributed Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support. To donate. much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up with these requirements. Newby Chief Executive and Director gbnewby@pglaf.org/donate Section 5. General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works. . We do not solicit donations in locations where we have not received written confirmation of compliance. U.page at http://pglaf. Gregory B. but we cannot make any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from outside the United States. Donations are accepted in a number of other ways including including checks.

Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed editions. . Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility: http://www.net This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm. Thus.S.gutenberg. all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U. including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. we do not necessarily keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition. unless a copyright notice is included. and how to subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks. how to help produce our new eBooks.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful