the adventures of tom sawyerby mark twain (samuel langhorne clemens) p r e f a c emost of the adventures recorded in this book really occurred; one or two wereexperiences of my own, the rest those of boys who were schoolmates of mine. huck finn is drawn from life; tom sawyeralso, but not from an individual--he is a combination of the characteristics ofthree boys whom i knew, and therefore belongs to the composite order ofarchitecture. the odd superstitions touched upon wereall prevalent among children and slaves in the west at the period of this story--thatis to say, thirty or forty years ago.
although my book is intended mainly forthe entertainment of boys and girls, i hope it will not be shunned by men andwomen 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 theysometimes 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!" the old lady pulled her spectacles downand looked over them about the room; then she put them up and looked out under them. she seldom or never looked through themfor 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 ofstove-lids just as well. she looked perplexed for a moment, andthen 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 thebed 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 itand looked out among the tomato vines and "jimpson" weeds that constituted thegarden. no tom. so she lifted up her voice at an anglecalculated for distance and shouted:
"y-o-u-u tom!" there was a slight noise behind her andshe turned just in time to seize a small boy by the slack of his roundabout andarrest 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 letthat 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 snatchedher skirts out of danger. the lad fled on the instant, scrambled upthe 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 learnanything? ain't he played me tricks enough like thatfor me to be looking out for him by this time? but old fools is the biggest fools thereis. can't learn an old dog new tricks, as thesaying is. but my goodness, he never plays themalike, two days, and how is a body to know what's coming? he 'pears to know just how long he cantorment me before i get my dander up, and he knows if he can make out to put me offfor 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, andthat's the lord's truth, goodness knows. spare the rod and spile the child, as thegood book says. i'm a laying up sin and suffering for usboth, 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 consciencedoes hurt me so, and every time i hit him my old heart most breaks.
well-a-well, man that is born of woman isof 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, topunish him. it's mighty hard to make him worksaturdays, when all the boys is having holiday, but he hates work more than hehates anything else, and i've got to do some of my duty by him, or i'll be theruination of the child." tom did play hookey, and he had a verygood time. he got back home barely in season to helpjim, the small colored boy, saw next-day's
wood and split the kindlings beforesupper--at least he was there in time to tell his adventures to jim while jim didthree-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), forhe was a quiet boy, and had no adventurous, troublesome ways. while tom was eating his supper, andstealing sugar as opportunity offered, aunt polly asked him questions that werefull of guile, and very deep--for she wanted to trap him into damagingrevealments. like many other simple-hearted souls, itwas her pet vanity to believe she was
endowed with a talent for dark andmysterious diplomacy, and she loved to contemplate her most transparent devicesas 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 touchof uncomfortable suspicion. he searched aunt polly's face, but it toldhim 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 shehad discovered that the shirt was dry without anybody knowing that that was whatshe had in her mind. but in spite of her, tom knew where thewind lay, now. so he forestalled what might be the nextmove: "some of us pumped on our heads--mine'sdamp yet. see?"
aunt polly was vexed to think she hadoverlooked that bit of circumstantial evidence, and missed a trick.then she had a new inspiration: "tom, you didn't have to undo your shirtcollar 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 beena-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 hadstumbled into obedient conduct for once. but sidney said: "well, now, if i didn't think you sewedhis 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 largeneedles which were thrust into the lapels of his jacket, and had thread bound aboutthem--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, andsometimes she sews it with black. i wish to geeminy she'd stick to one ort'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 hadforgotten all his troubles. not because his troubles were one whitless heavy and bitter to him than a man's are to a man, but because a new andpowerful interest bore them down and drove them out of his mind for the time--just as men's misfortunes are forgotten in theexcitement of new enterprises. this new interest was a valued novelty inwhistling, which he had just acquired from a negro, and he was suffering to practiseit undisturbed. it consisted in a peculiar bird-like turn,a sort of liquid warble, produced by
touching the tongue to the roof of themouth at short intervals in the midst of the music--the reader probably remembershow to do it, if he has ever been a boy. diligence and attention soon gave him theknack of it, and he strode down the street with his mouth full of harmony and hissoul full of gratitude. he felt much as an astronomer feels whohas discovered a new planet--no doubt, as far as strong, deep, unalloyed pleasure isconcerned, 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 wasan 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 andnatty, and so were his pantaloons. he had shoes on--and it was only friday. he even wore a necktie, a bright bit ofribbon. he had a citified air about him that ateinto tom's vitals.
the more tom stared at the splendidmarvel, the higher he turned up his nose at his finery and the shabbier andshabbier 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 toface 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'tyou?
i could lick you with one hand tied behindme, 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 thesame fix." "smarty! you think you're some, now, don't you?oh, what a hat!" "you can lump that hat if you don't likeit. i dare you to knock it off--and anybodythat'll take a dare will suck eggs." "you're a liar!""you're another."
"you're a fighting liar and dasn't take itup." "aw--take a walk!" "say--if you give me much more of yoursass 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 withmight 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 withwatchful caution, and tom said: "you're a coward and a pup. i'll tell my big brother on you, and hecan 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 heis--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 stealsheep." the new boy stepped over promptly, andsaid: "now you said you'd do it, now let's seeyou do it." "don't you crowd me now; you better lookout." "well, you said you'd do it--why don't youdo it?" "by jingo!for two cents i will do it." the new boy took two broad coppers out ofhis pocket and held them out with derision.tom struck them to the ground.
in an instant both boys were rolling andtumbling in the dirt, gripped together like cats; and for the space of a minutethey tugged and tore at each other's hair and clothes, punched and scratched each other's nose, and covered themselves withdust and glory. presently the confusion took form, andthrough the fog of battle tom appeared, seated astride the new boy, and poundinghim 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 withnext time." the new boy went off brushing the dustfrom his clothes, sobbing, snuffling, and occasionally looking back and shaking hishead and threatening what he would do to tom the "next time he caught him out." to which tom responded with jeers, andstarted off in high feather, and as soon as his back was turned the new boysnatched up a stone, threw it and hit him between the shoulders and then turned tailand ran like an antelope.
tom chased the traitor home, and thusfound out where he lived. he then held a position at the gate forsome time, daring the enemy to come outside, but the enemy only made faces athim through the window and declined. at last the enemy's mother appeared, andcalled 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, andwhen he climbed cautiously in at the window, he uncovered an ambuscade, in theperson of his aunt; and when she saw the state his clothes were in her resolution
to turn his saturday holiday intocaptivity at hard labor became adamantine in its firmness. chapter iisaturday morning was come, and all the summer world was bright and fresh, andbrimming with life. there was a song in every heart; and ifthe 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 thefragrance of the blossoms filled the air. cardiff hill, beyond the village and aboveit, was green with vegetation and it lay
just far enough away to seem a delectableland, dreamy, reposeful, and inviting. tom appeared on the sidewalk with a bucketof whitewash and a long-handled brush. he surveyed the fence, and all gladnessleft him and a deep melancholy settled down upon his spirit. thirty yards of board fence nine feethigh. life to him seemed hollow, and existencebut a burden. sighing, he dipped his brush and passed italong the topmost plank; repeated the operation; did it again; compared theinsignificant whitewashed streak with the far-reaching continent of unwhitewashed
fence, and sat down on a tree-boxdiscouraged. jim came skipping out at the gate with atin pail, and singing buffalo gals. bringing water from the town pump hadalways 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 girlswere always there waiting their turns, resting, trading playthings, quarrelling,fighting, skylarking. and he remembered that although the pumpwas only a hundred and fifty yards off, jim never got back with a bucket of waterunder 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 meto whitewash, an' so she tole me go 'long an' 'tend to my own business--she 'lowedshe'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 headoff'n me. 'deed she would.""she! she never licks anybody--whacks 'em overthe 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 olemissis--" "and besides, if you will i'll show you mysore toe." jim was only human--this attraction wastoo much for him. he put down his pail, took the whitealley, and bent over the toe with absorbing interest while the bandage wasbeing unwound. in another moment he was flying down thestreet with his pail and a tingling rear,
tom was whitewashing with vigor, and auntpolly was retiring from the field with a slipper in her hand and triumph in hereye. but tom's energy did not last. he began to think of the fun he hadplanned for this day, and his sorrows multiplied. soon the free boys would come trippingalong on all sorts of delicious expeditions, and they would make a worldof fun of him for having to work--the very thought of it burnt him like fire. he got out his worldly wealth and examinedit--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 hispocket, 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, magnificentinspiration. he took up his brush and went tranquillyto work. ben rogers hove in sight presently--thevery 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, tookthe middle of the street, leaned far over to starboard and rounded to ponderouslyand with laborious pomp and circumstance-- for he was personating the big missouri, and considered himself to be drawing ninefeet of water. he was boat and captain and engine-bellscombined, so he had to imagine himself
standing on his own hurricane-deck givingthe 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 downhis sides. "set her back on the stabboard!ting-a-ling-ling! chow! ch-chow-wow!chow!"
his right hand, meantime, describingstately 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'reyou about there! take a turn round that stump with thebight 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 brushanother 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'tyou? 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 onthat you like it?" the brush continued to move."like it?
well, i don't see why i oughtn't to likeit. does a boy get a chance to whitewash afence every day?" that put the thing in a new light. ben stopped nibbling his apple. tom swept his brush daintily back andforth--stepped back to note the effect-- added a touch here and there--criticisedthe effect again--ben watching every move and getting more and more interested, moreand more absorbed. presently he said:"say, tom, let me whitewash a little." tom considered, was about to consent; buthe altered his mind:
"no--no--i reckon it wouldn't hardly do,ben. you see, aunt polly's awful particularabout this fence--right here on the street, you know --but if it was the backfence i wouldn't mind and she wouldn't. yes, she's awful particular about thisfence; 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 youwas me, tom." "ben, i'd like to, honest injun; but auntpolly--well, jim wanted to do it, but she
wouldn't let him; sid wanted to do it, andshe wouldn't let sid. now don't you see how i'm fixed? if you was to tackle this fence andanything 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 missouriworked and sweated in the sun, the retired
artist sat on a barrel in the shade closeby, dangled his legs, munched his apple, and planned the slaughter of moreinnocents. there was no lack of material; boyshappened along every little while; they came to jeer, but remained to whitewash. by the time ben was fagged out, tom hadtraded the next chance to billy fisher for a kite, in good repair; and when he playedout, johnny miller bought in for a dead rat and a string to swing it with--and soon, 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 inwealth.
he had besides the things beforementioned, twelve marbles, part of a jews- harp, a piece of blue bottle-glass to lookthrough, a spool cannon, a key that wouldn't unlock anything, a fragment of chalk, a glass stopper of a decanter, atin 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 windowsash. he had had a nice, good, idle time all thewhile--plenty of company --and the fence had three coats of whitewash on it!
if he hadn't run out of whitewash he wouldhave bankrupted every boy in the village. tom said to himself that it was not such ahollow world, after all. he had discovered a great law of humanaction, without knowing it--namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet athing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. if he had been a great and wisephilosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that workconsists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that play consists of whatever abody is not obliged to do. and this would help him to understand whyconstructing artificial flowers or
performing on a tread-mill is work, whilerolling ten-pins or climbing mont blanc is only amusement. there are wealthy gentlemen in england whodrive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in thesummer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service, that wouldturn it into work and then they would resign. the boy mused awhile over the substantialchange which had taken place in his worldly circumstances, and then wendedtoward headquarters to report.
chapter iii tom presented himself before aunt polly,who was sitting by an open window in a pleasant rearward apartment, which wasbedroom, 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 itwas asleep in her lap. her spectacles were propped up on her grayhead for safety. she had thought that of course tom haddeserted long ago, and she wondered at
seeing him place himself in her poweragain 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 suchevidence. she went out to see for herself; and shewould have been content to find twenty per cent. of tom's statement true.
when she found the entire fencewhitewashed, and not only whitewashed but elaborately coated and recoated, and evena streak added to the ground, her astonishment was almost unspeakable. she said:"well, i never! there's no getting round it, you can workwhen you're a mind to, tom." and then she diluted the compliment byadding, "but it's powerful seldom you're a mind to, i'm bound to say. well, go 'long and play; but mind you getback some time in a week, or i'll tan you."
she was so overcome by the splendor of hisachievement that she took him into the closet and selected a choice apple anddelivered it to him, along with an improving lecture upon the added value and flavor a treat took to itself when it camewithout sin through virtuous effort. and while she closed with a happyscriptural flourish, he "hooked" a doughnut. then he skipped out, and saw sid juststarting 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 therescue, six or seven clods had taken personal effect, and tom was over thefence and gone. there was a gate, but as a general thinghe was too crowded for time to make use of it. his soul was at peace, now that he hadsettled with sid for calling attention to his black thread and getting him intotrouble. tom skirted the block, and came round intoa muddy alley that led by the back of his aunt's cow-stable.
he presently got safely beyond the reachof capture and punishment, and hastened toward the public square of the village,where two "military" companies of boys had met for conflict, according to previousappointment. tom was general of one of these armies,joe harper (a bosom friend) general of the other. these two great commanders did notcondescend 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 ordersdelivered through aides-de-camp. tom's army won a great victory, after along and hard-fought battle.
then the dead were counted, prisonersexchanged, the terms of the next disagreement agreed upon, and the day forthe necessary battle appointed; after which the armies fell into line and marched away, and tom turned homewardalone. as he was passing by the house where jeffthatcher lived, he saw a new girl in the garden--a lovely little blue-eyed creaturewith yellow hair plaited into two long- tails, white summer frock and embroideredpantalettes. the fresh-crowned hero fell without firinga shot. a certain amy lawrence vanished out of hisheart and left not even a memory of
herself behind. he had thought he loved her todistraction; he had regarded his passion as adoration; and behold it was only apoor little evanescent partiality. he had been months winning her; she hadconfessed hardly a week ago; he had been the happiest and the proudest boy in theworld only seven short days, and here in one instant of time she had gone out of his heart like a casual stranger whosevisit is done. he worshipped this new angel with furtiveeye, till he saw that she had discovered him; then he pretended he did not know shewas present, and began to "show off" in
all sorts of absurd boyish ways, in orderto win her admiration. he kept up this grotesque foolishness forsome time; but by-and-by, while he was in the midst of some dangerous gymnasticperformances, he glanced aside and saw that the little girl was wending her waytoward 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 thenmoved toward the door. tom heaved a great sigh as she put herfoot on the threshold. but his face lit up, right away, for shetossed a pansy over the fence a moment
before she disappeared. the boy ran around and stopped within afoot or two of the flower, and then shaded his eyes with his hand and began to lookdown street as if he had discovered something of interest going on in thatdirection. presently he picked up a straw and begantrying to balance it on his nose, with his head tilted far back; and as he moved fromside to side, in his efforts, he edged nearer and nearer toward the pansy; finally his bare foot rested upon it, hispliant toes closed upon it, and he hopped away with the treasure and disappearedround the corner.
but only for a minute--only while he couldbutton 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 fencetill nightfall, "showing off," as before; but the girl never exhibited herselfagain, though tom comforted himself a little with the hope that she had been near some window, meantime, and been awareof his attentions. finally he strode home reluctantly, withhis poor head full of visions. all through supper his spirits were sohigh that his aunt wondered "what had got
into the child." he took a good scolding about cloddingsid, and did not seem to mind it in the least. he tried to steal sugar under his aunt'svery nose, and got his knuckles rapped for it.he said: "aunt, you don't whack sid when he takesit." "well, sid don't torment a body the wayyou do. you'd be always into that sugar if iwarn't watching you." presently she stepped into the kitchen,and sid, happy in his immunity, reached
for the sugar-bowl--a sort of gloryingover tom which was wellnigh unbearable. but sid's fingers slipped and the bowldropped 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 speaka word, even when his aunt came in, but would sit perfectly still till she askedwho 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 hecould hardly hold himself when the old
lady came back and stood above the wreckdischarging 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 mefor?--sid broke it!" aunt polly paused, perplexed, and tomlooked for healing pity. but when she got her tongue again, sheonly said: "umf!well, you didn't get a lick amiss, i
reckon. you been into some other audaciousmischief when i wasn't around, like enough." then her conscience reproached her, andshe yearned to say something kind and loving; but she judged that this would beconstrued into a confession that she had been in the wrong, and discipline forbadethat. so she kept silence, and went about heraffairs with a troubled heart. tom sulked in a corner and exalted hiswoes. he knew that in her heart his aunt was onher knees to him, and he was morosely
gratified by the consciousness of it. he would hang out no signals, he wouldtake notice of none. he knew that a yearning glance fell uponhim, now and then, through a film of tears, but he refused recognition of it. he pictured himself lying sick unto deathand his aunt bending over him beseeching one little forgiving word, but he wouldturn 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, andhow her tears would fall like rain, and her lips pray god to give her back her boyand she would never, never abuse him any more! but he would lie there cold and white andmake no sign--a poor little sufferer, whose griefs were at an end. he so worked upon his feelings with thepathos 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 hisnose.
and such a luxury to him was this pettingof his sorrows, that he could not bear to have any worldly cheeriness or any gratingdelight intrude upon it; it was too sacred for such contact; and so, presently, when his cousin mary danced in, all alive withthe joy of seeing home again after an age- long visit of one week to the country, hegot up and moved in clouds and darkness out at one door as she brought song andsunshine in at the other. he wandered far from the accustomed hauntsof boys, and sought desolate places that were in harmony with his spirit. a log raft in the river invited him, andhe seated himself on its outer edge and
contemplated the dreary vastness of thestream, wishing, the while, that he could only be drowned, all at once and unconsciously, without undergoing theuncomfortable 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 sheknew? would she cry, and wish that she had aright to put her arms around his neck and comfort him? or would she turn coldly away like all thehollow world?
this picture brought such an agony ofpleasurable suffering that he worked it over and over again in his mind and set itup in new and varied lights, till he wore it threadbare. at last he rose up sighing and departed inthe darkness. about half-past nine or ten o'clock hecame along the deserted street to where the adored unknown lived; he paused amoment; no sound fell upon his listening ear; a candle was casting a dull glow uponthe curtain of a second-story window. was the sacred presence there? he climbed the fence, threaded hisstealthy way through the plants, till he
stood under that window; he looked up atit long, and with emotion; then he laid him down on the ground under it, disposing himself upon his back, with his handsclasped upon his breast and holding his poor wilted flower. and thus he would die--out in the coldworld, 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 greatagony came. and thus she would see him when she lookedout upon the glad morning, and oh! would she drop one little tear upon hispoor, lifeless form, would she heave one
little sigh to see a bright young life sorudely blighted, so untimely cut down? the window went up, a maid-servant'sdiscordant voice profaned the holy calm, and a deluge of water drenched the pronemartyr's remains! the strangling hero sprang up with arelieving snort. there was a whiz as of a missile in theair, mingled with the murmur of a curse, a sound as of shivering glass followed, anda small, vague form went over the fence and shot away in the gloom. not long after, as tom, all undressed forbed, 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 therewas danger in tom's eye. tom turned in without the added vexationof prayers, and sid made mental note of the omission. chapter ivthe sun rose upon a tranquil world, and beamed down upon the peaceful village likea benediction. breakfast over, aunt polly had familyworship: it began with a prayer built from the ground up of solid courses ofscriptural quotations, welded together with a thin mortar of originality; and
from the summit of this she delivered agrim 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 chosepart 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 vaguegeneral idea of his lesson, but no more, for his mind was traversing the wholefield of human thought, and his hands were busy with distracting recreations.
mary took his book to hear him recite, andhe 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 theirsis 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 itis!" "shall!" "oh, shall!for they shall--for they shall--a--a-- shall mourn--a--a-- blessed are they thatshall--they that--a--they that shall mourn, for they shall--a--shall what? why don't you tell me, mary?--what do youwant to be so mean for?" "oh, tom, you poor thick-headed thing, i'mnot 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 yousomething 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 underthe double pressure of curiosity and prospective gain he did it with suchspirit that he accomplished a shining
success. mary gave him a brand-new "barlow" knifeworth twelve and a half cents; and the convulsion of delight that swept hissystem 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 imposingmystery and will always remain so, perhaps. tom contrived to scarify the cupboard withit, and was arranging to begin on the
bureau, when he was called off to dressfor sunday-school. mary gave him a tin basin of water and apiece of soap, and he went outside the door and set the basin on a little benchthere; then he dipped the soap in the water and laid it down; turned up his sleeves; poured out the water on theground, gently, and then entered the kitchen and began to wipe his facediligently 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 hestood over it a little while, gathering resolution; took in a big breath andbegan. when he entered the kitchen presently,with both eyes shut and groping for the towel with his hands, an honorabletestimony of suds and water was dripping from his face. but when he emerged from the towel, he wasnot yet satisfactory, for the clean territory stopped short at his chin andhis jaws, like a mask; below and beyond this line there was a dark expanse of unirrigated soil that spread downward infront and backward around his neck.
mary took him in hand, and when she wasdone with him he was a man and a brother, without distinction of color, and hissaturated hair was neatly brushed, and its short curls wrought into a dainty andsymmetrical general effect. [he privately smoothed out the curls, withlabor and difficulty, and plastered his hair close down to his head; for he heldcurls to be effeminate, and his own filled his life with bitterness.] then mary got out a suit of his clothing that had beenused only on sundays during two years-- they were simply called his "otherclothes"--and so by that we know the size of his wardrobe.
the girl "put him to rights" after he haddressed himself; she buttoned his neat roundabout up to his chin, turned his vastshirt collar down over his shoulders, brushed him off and crowned him with hisspeckled straw hat. he now looked exceedingly improved anduncomfortable. he was fully as uncomfortable as helooked; for there was a restraint about whole clothes and cleanliness that galledhim. 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 alwaysbeing 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--aplace that tom hated with his whole heart; but sid and mary were fond of it. sabbath-school hours were from nine tohalf-past ten; and then church service. two of the children always remained forthe sermon voluntarily, and the other always remained too--for stronger reasons. the church's high-backed, uncushioned pewswould 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 andaccosted 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 propertychanged hands. then tom traded a couple of white alleysfor three red tickets, and some small
trifle or other for a couple of blue ones. he waylaid other boys as they came, andwent on buying tickets of various colors ten or fifteen minutes longer. he entered the church, now, with a swarmof clean and noisy boys and girls, proceeded to his seat and started aquarrel 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 nextbench, and was absorbed in his book when the boy turned around; stuck a pin in
another boy, presently, in order to hearhim 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 eachgot 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, andcould be exchanged for it; ten red tickets
equalled a yellow one; for ten yellowtickets the superintendent gave a very plainly bound bible (worth forty cents inthose easy times) to the pupil. how many of my readers would have theindustry and application to memorize two thousand verses, even for a dore bible? and yet mary had acquired two bibles inthis way--it was the patient work of two years--and a boy of german parentage hadwon four or five. he once recited three thousand verseswithout stopping; but the strain upon his mental faculties was too great, and he waslittle better than an idiot from that day forth--a grievous misfortune for the
school, for on great occasions, beforecompany, the superintendent (as tom expressed it) had always made this boycome out and "spread himself." only the older pupils managed to keeptheir tickets and stick to their tedious work long enough to get a bible, and sothe delivery of one of these prizes was a rare and noteworthy circumstance; the successful pupil was so great andconspicuous for that day that on the spot every scholar's heart was fired with afresh ambition that often lasted a couple of weeks. it is possible that tom's mental stomachhad never really hungered for one of those
prizes, but unquestionably his entirebeing had for many a day longed for the glory and the eclat that came with it. in due course the superintendent stood upin front of the pulpit, with a closed hymn-book in his hand and his forefingerinserted between its leaves, and commanded attention. when a sunday-school superintendent makeshis customary little speech, a hymn-book in the hand is as necessary as is theinevitable sheet of music in the hand of a singer who stands forward on the platform and sings a solo at a concert --thoughwhy, is a mystery: for neither the hymn-
book nor the sheet of music is everreferred to by the sufferer. this superintendent was a slim creature ofthirty-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 fencethat compelled a straight lookout ahead, and a turning of the whole body when aside view was required; his chin was propped on a spreading cravat which was as broad and as long as a bank-note, and hadfringed 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 againsta wall for hours together. mr. walters was very earnest of mien, andvery sincere and honest at heart; and he held sacred things and places in suchreverence, and so separated them from worldly matters, that unconsciously to himself his sunday-school voice hadacquired a peculiar intonation which was wholly absent on week-days.he began after this fashion: "now, children, i want you all to sit upjust as straight and pretty as you can and give me all your attention for a minute ortwo.
there --that is it. that is the way good little boys and girlsshould do. i see one little girl who is looking outof the window--i am afraid she thinks i am out there somewhere--perhaps up in one ofthe trees making a speech to the little birds. [applausive titter.] i want to tell youhow good it makes me feel to see so many bright, clean little faces assembled in aplace 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 marredby 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 rockslike sid and mary. but now every sound ceased suddenly, withthe subsidence of mr. walters' voice, and the conclusion of the speech was receivedwith a burst of silent gratitude. a good part of the whispering had beenoccasioned 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 chafingsand repinings; conscience-smitten, too--he could not meet amy lawrence's eye, hecould not brook her loving gaze. but when he saw this small new-comer hissoul was all ablaze with bliss in a moment. the next moment he was "showing off" withall his might --cuffing boys, pulling
hair, making faces--in a word, using everyart that seemed likely to fascinate a girl and win her applause. his exaltation had but one alloy--thememory of his humiliation in this angel's garden--and that record in sand was fastwashing out, under the waves of happiness that were sweeping over it now. the visitors were given the highest seatof honor, and as soon as mr. walters' speech was finished, he introduced them tothe school. the middle-aged man turned out to be aprodigious personage--no less a one than the county judge--altogether the mostaugust creation these children had ever
looked upon--and they wondered what kind of material he was made of--and they halfwanted to hear him roar, and were half afraid he might, too. he was from constantinople, twelve milesaway--so he had travelled, and seen the world--these very eyes had looked upon thecounty court-house--which was said to have a tin roof. the awe which these reflections inspiredwas 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, tobe 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," withall sorts of official bustlings and activities, giving orders, deliveringjudgments, discharging directions here,
there, everywhere that he could find atarget. the librarian "showed off"--running hitherand thither with his arms full of books and making a deal of the splutter and fussthat insect authority delights in. the young lady teachers "showed off" --bending sweetly over pupils that were lately being boxed, lifting pretty warningfingers 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 attentionto discipline--and most of the teachers, of both sexes, found business up at the
library, by the pulpit; and it wasbusiness that frequently had to be done over again two or three times (with muchseeming vexation). the little girls "showed off" in variousways, and the little boys "showed off" with such diligence that the air was thickwith paper wads and the murmur of scufflings. and above it all the great man sat andbeamed a majestic judicial smile upon all the house, and warmed himself in the sunof his own grandeur--for he was "showing off," too. there was only one thing wanting to makemr. walters' ecstasy complete, and that
was a chance to deliver a bible-prize andexhibit 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 havethat german lad back again with a sound mind. and now at this moment, when hope wasdead, tom sawyer came forward with nine yellow tickets, nine red tickets, and tenblue ones, and demanded a bible. this was a thunderbolt out of a clear sky. walters was not expecting an applicationfrom this source for the next ten years.
but there was no getting around it--herewere the certified checks, and they were good for their face. tom was therefore elevated to a place withthe judge and the other elect, and the great news was announced fromheadquarters. it was the most stunning surprise of thedecade, and so profound was the sensation that it lifted the new hero up to thejudicial one's altitude, and the school had two marvels to gaze upon in place ofone. the boys were all eaten up with envy--butthose that suffered the bitterest pangs were those who perceived too late thatthey themselves had contributed to this
hated splendor by trading tickets to tom for the wealth he had amassed in sellingwhitewashing privileges. these despised themselves, as being thedupes of a wily fraud, a guileful snake in the grass. the prize was delivered to tom with asmuch effusion as the superintendent could pump up under the circumstances; but itlacked somewhat of the true gush, for the poor fellow's instinct taught him that there was a mystery here that could notwell bear the light, perhaps; it was simply preposterous that this boy hadwarehoused two thousand sheaves of
scriptural wisdom on his premises--a dozen would strain his capacity, without adoubt. amy lawrence was proud and glad, and shetried to make tom see it in her face--but he wouldn't look. she wondered; then she was just a graintroubled; next a dim suspicion came and went--came again; she watched; a furtiveglance told her worlds--and then her heart broke, and she was jealous, and angry, andthe tears came and she hated everybody. tom most of all (she thought). tom was introduced to the judge; but histongue was tied, his breath would hardly
come, his heart quaked--partly because ofthe awful greatness of the man, but mainly because he was her parent. he would have liked to fall down andworship him, if it were in the dark. the judge put his hand on tom's head andcalled 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, andyou'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 troubleyou took to learn them; for knowledge is worth more than anything there is in theworld; it's what makes great men and good
men; you'll be a great man and a good man yourself, some day, thomas, and thenyou'll look back and say, it's all owing to the precious sunday-school privilegesof my boyhood--it's all owing to my dear teachers that taught me to learn--it's all owing to the good superintendent, whoencouraged me, and watched over me, and gave me a beautiful bible--a splendidelegant bible--to keep and have it all for my own, always--it's all owing to rightbringing up! that is what you will say, thomas--and youwouldn't take any money for those two thousand verses--no indeed you wouldn't.
and now you wouldn't mind telling me andthis lady some of the things you've learned--no, i know you wouldn't--for weare proud of little boys that learn. now, no doubt you know the names of allthe twelve disciples. won't you tell us the names of the firsttwo that were appointed?" tom was tugging at a button-hole andlooking sheepish. he blushed, now, and his eyes fell.mr. walters' heart sank within him. he said to himself, it is not possiblethat 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 beafraid."
tom still hung fire."now i know you'll tell me," said the lady. "the names of the first two discipleswere--" "david and goliah!"let us draw the curtain of charity over the rest of the scene. chapter vabout half-past ten the cracked bell of the small church began to ring, andpresently the people began to gather for the morning sermon. the sunday-school children distributedthemselves about the house and occupied
pews with their parents, so as to be undersupervision. aunt polly came, and tom and sid and marysat with her--tom being placed next the aisle, in order that he might be as faraway from the open window and the seductive outside summer scenes aspossible. the crowd filed up the aisles: the agedand needy postmaster, who had seen better days; the mayor and his wife--for they hada mayor there, among other unnecessaries; the justice of the peace; the widow douglass, fair, smart, and forty, agenerous, good-hearted soul and well-to- do, her hill mansion the only palace inthe town, and the most hospitable and much
the most lavish in the matter of festivities that st. petersburg couldboast; the bent and venerable major and mrs. ward; lawyer riverson, the newnotable 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 thevestibule sucking their cane-heads, a circling wall of oiled and simpering admirers, till the last girl had run theirgantlet; and last of all came the model boy, willie mufferson, taking as heedfulcare 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 ofhis 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 solemnhush fell upon the church which was only
broken by the tittering and whispering ofthe choir in the gallery. the choir always tittered and whisperedall through service. there was once a church choir that was notill-bred, but i have forgotten where it was, now. it was a great many years ago, and i canscarcely remember anything about it, but i think it was in some foreign country. the minister gave out the hymn, and readit through with a relish, in a peculiar style which was much admired in that partof the country. his voice began on a medium key andclimbed steadily up till it reached a
certain point, where it bore with strongemphasis upon the topmost word and then plunged down as if from a spring-board: shall i be car-ri-ed toe the skies, onflow'ry beds of ease, whilst others fight to win the prize, andsail thro' bloody seas? he was regarded as a wonderful reader. at church "sociables" he was always calledupon to read poetry; and when he was through, the ladies would lift up theirhands 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 mortalearth." after the hymn had been sung, the rev.mr. sprague turned himself into a bulletin-board, and read off "notices" ofmeetings and societies and things till it seemed that the list would stretch out to the crack of doom--a queer custom which isstill kept up in america, even in cities, away here in this age of abundantnewspapers. often, the less there is to justify atraditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.and now the minister prayed. a good, generous prayer it was, and wentinto details: it pleaded for the church,
and the little children of the church; forthe other churches of the village; for the village itself; for the county; for the state; for the state officers; for theunited states; for the churches of the united states; for congress; for thepresident; for the officers of the government; for poor sailors, tossed by stormy seas; for the oppressed millionsgroaning under the heel of european monarchies and oriental despotisms; forsuch as have the light and the good tidings, and yet have not eyes to see nor ears to hear withal; for the heathen inthe far islands of the sea; and closed
with a supplication that the words he wasabout to speak might find grace and favor, and be as seed sown in fertile ground, yielding in time a grateful harvest ofgood. amen.there was a rustling of dresses, and the standing congregation sat down. the boy whose history this book relatesdid not enjoy the prayer, he only endured it--if he even did that much. he was restive all through it; he kepttally 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 wasinterlarded, his ear detected it and his whole nature resented it; he consideredadditions unfair, and scoundrelly. in the midst of the prayer a fly had liton the back of the pew in front of him and tortured his spirit by calmly rubbing itshands together, embracing its head with its arms, and polishing it so vigorously that it seemed to almost part company withthe body, and the slender thread of a neck was exposed to view; scraping its wingswith its hind legs and smoothing them to its body as if they had been coat-tails;
going through its whole toilet astranquilly as if it knew it was perfectly safe. as indeed it was; for as sorely as tom'shands itched to grab for it they did not dare--he believed his soul would beinstantly destroyed if he did such a thing while the prayer was going on. but with the closing sentence his handbegan to curve and steal forward; and the instant the "amen" was out the fly was aprisoner of war. his aunt detected the act and made him letit go. the minister gave out his text and dronedalong monotonously through an argument
that was so prosy that many a head by andby began to nod --and yet it was an argument that dealt in limitless fire and brimstone and thinned the predestinedelect down to a company so small as to be hardly worth the saving. tom counted the pages of the sermon; afterchurch he always knew how many pages there had been, but he seldom knew anything elseabout the discourse. however, this time he was reallyinterested for a little while. the minister made a grand and movingpicture of the assembling together of the world's hosts at the millennium when thelion and the lamb should lie down together
and a little child should lead them. but the pathos, the lesson, the moral ofthe great spectacle were lost upon the boy; he only thought of theconspicuousness of the principal character before the on-looking nations; his face lit with the thought, and he said tohimself 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 treasurehe had and got it out. it was a large black beetle withformidable jaws--a "pinchbug," he called
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 wentfloundering into the aisle and lit on its back, and the hurt finger went into theboy's mouth. the beetle lay there working its helplesslegs, unable to turn over. tom eyed it, and longed for it; but it wassafe out of his reach. other people uninterested in the sermonfound relief in the beetle, and they eyed it too. presently a vagrant poodle dog came idlingalong, sad at heart, lazy with the summer
softness and the quiet, weary ofcaptivity, sighing for change. he spied the beetle; the drooping taillifted and wagged. he surveyed the prize; walked around it;smelt at it from a safe distance; walked around it again; grew bolder, and took acloser smell; then lifted his lip and made a gingerly snatch at it, just missing it; made another, and another; began to enjoythe diversion; subsided to his stomach with the beetle between his paws, andcontinued his experiments; grew weary at last, and then indifferent and absent-minded. his head nodded, and little by little hischin descended and touched the enemy, who
seized it. there was a sharp yelp, a flirt of thepoodle's head, and the beetle fell a couple of yards away, and lit on its backonce more. the neighboring spectators shook with agentle inward joy, several faces went behind fans and handkerchiefs, and tom wasentirely happy. the dog looked foolish, and probably feltso; but there was resentment in his heart, too, and a craving for revenge. so he went to the beetle and began a waryattack on it again; jumping at it from every point of a circle, lighting with hisfore-paws within an inch of the creature,
making even closer snatches at it with his teeth, and jerking his head till his earsflapped again. but he grew tired once more, after awhile; tried to amuse himself with a fly but found no relief; followed an antaround, with his nose close to the floor, and quickly wearied of that; yawned, sighed, forgot the beetle entirely, andsat down on it. then there was a wild yelp of agony andthe poodle went sailing up the aisle; the yelps continued, and so did the dog; hecrossed 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 awoolly comet moving in its orbit with the gleam and the speed of light. at last the frantic sufferer sheered fromits course, and sprang into its master's lap; he flung it out of the window, andthe 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 adead standstill. the discourse was resumed presently, butit went lame and halting, all possibility
of impressiveness being at an end; foreven the gravest sentiments were constantly being received with a smothered burst of unholy mirth, under cover of someremote pew-back, as if the poor parson had said a rarely facetious thing. it was a genuine relief to the wholecongregation 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 whenthere was a bit of variety in it. he had but one marring thought; he waswilling that the dog should play with his
pinchbug, but he did not think it wasupright in him to carry it off. chapter vimonday 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 wishinghe had had no intervening holiday, it made the going into captivity and fetters againso much more odious. tom lay thinking. presently it occurred to him that hewished 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 investigatedagain. this time he thought he could detectcolicky symptoms, and he began to encourage them with considerable hope. but they soon grew feeble, and presentlydied 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 togroan, as a "starter," as he called it, when it occurred to him that if he cameinto court with that argument, his aunt
would pull it out, and that would hurt. so he thought he would hold the tooth inreserve for the present, and seek further. nothing offered for some little time, andthen he remembered hearing the doctor tell about a certain thing that laid up apatient for two or three weeks and threatened to make him lose a finger. so the boy eagerly drew his sore toe fromunder the sheet and held it up for inspection.but now he did not know the necessary symptoms. however, it seemed well worth while tochance it, so he fell to groaning with
considerable spirit.but sid slept on unconscious. tom groaned louder, and fancied that hebegan 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 upand 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 togroan again.
sid yawned, stretched, then broughthimself 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 faceanxiously. 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 mycat 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, sohandsomely was his imagination working, and so his groans had gathered quite agenuine 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, withsid and mary at her heels. and her face grew white, too, and her liptrembled. when she reached the bedside she gaspedout: "you, tom!
tom, what's the matter with you?""oh, auntie, i'm--" "what's the matter with you--what is thematter with you, child?" "oh, auntie, my sore toe's mortified!" the old lady sank down into a chair andlaughed 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 climbout of this." the groans ceased and the pain vanishedfrom the toe. the boy felt a little foolish, and hesaid:
"aunt polly, it seemed mortified, and ithurt 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 thoughtyou'd get to stay home from school and go a-fishing? tom, tom, i love you so, and you seem totry 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 silkthread fast to tom's tooth with a loop and
tied the other to the bedpost. then she seized the chunk of fire andsuddenly 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 teethenabled him to expectorate in a new and admirable way. he gathered quite a following of ladsinterested in the exhibition; and one that
had cut his finger and had been a centreof fascination and homage up to this time, now found himself suddenly without anadherent, and shorn of his glory. his heart was heavy, and he said with adisdain 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 pariahof the village, huckleberry finn, son of the town drunkard. huckleberry was cordially hated anddreaded by all the mothers of the town, because he was idle and lawless and vulgarand bad--and because all their children
admired him so, and delighted in his forbidden society, and wished they daredto be like him. tom was like the rest of the respectableboys, in that he envied huckleberry his gaudy outcast condition, and was understrict orders not to play with him. so he played with him every time he got achance. huckleberry was always dressed in thecast-off clothes of full-grown men, and they were in perennial bloom andfluttering with rags. his hat was a vast ruin with a widecrescent lopped out of its brim; his coat, when he wore one, hung nearly to his heelsand had the rearward buttons far down the
back; but one suspender supported his trousers; the seat of the trousers baggedlow and contained nothing, the fringed legs dragged in the dirt when not rolledup. huckleberry came and went, at his own freewill. he slept on doorsteps in fine weather andin empty hogsheads in wet; he did not have to go to school or to church, or call anybeing 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 alwaysthe first boy that went barefoot in the
spring and the last to resume leather in the fall; he never had to wash, nor put onclean clothes; he could swear wonderfully. in a word, everything that goes to makelife 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 igot at the slaughter-house." "where'd you get the blue ticket?" "bought it off'n ben rogers two weeks agofor 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 toldjohnny baker, and johnny told jim hollis, and jim told ben rogers, and ben told anigger, 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'tlie. shucks!now you tell me how bob tanner done it, huck." "why, he took and dipped his hand in arotten 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 themiddle of the woods, where you know there's a spunk-water stump, and just asit's midnight you back up against the stump and jam your hand in and say: 'barley-corn, barley-corn, injun-mealshorts, 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 speakingto anybody. because if you speak the charm's busted." "well, that sounds like a good way; butthat ain't the way bob tanner done." "no, sir, you can bet he didn't, becuzhe's the wartiest boy in this town; and he wouldn't have a wart on him if he'd knowedhow to work spunk-water. i've took off thousands of warts off of myhands that way, huck. i play with frogs so much that i've alwaysgot 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 thewart so as to get some blood, and then you put the blood on one piece of the bean andtake 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 ofthe bean. you see that piece that's got the blood onit will keep drawing and drawing, trying to fetch the other piece to it, and sothat helps the blood to draw the wart, and pretty soon off she comes." "yes, that's it, huck--that's it; thoughwhen you're burying it if you say 'down
bean; off wart; come no more to botherme!' it's better. that's the way joe harper does, and he'sbeen 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 inthe 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 thewind, or maybe hear 'em talk; and when they're taking that feller away, you heaveyour cat after 'em and say, 'devil follow
corpse, cat follow devil, warts follow cat, i'm done with ye!' that'll fetch anywart." "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, andif she hadn't dodged, he'd a got her.
well, that very night he rolled off'n ashed 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 thelord's prayer backards." "say, hucky, when you going to try thecat?" "to-night. i reckon they'll come after old hosswilliams to-night."
"but they buried him saturday.didn't they get him saturday night?" "why, how you talk! how could their charms work tillmidnight?--and then it's sunday. devils don't slosh around much of asunday, 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 aroundtill old hays went to throwing rocks at me and says 'dern that cat!' and so i hove abrick 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 thatdon'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 wantedto." "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 frameschoolhouse, he strode in briskly, with the manner of one who had come with allhonest speed. he hung his hat on a peg and flung himselfinto his seat with business-like alacrity. the master, throned on high in his greatsplint-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 pronouncedin 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 bythe electric sympathy of love; and by that form was the only vacant place on thegirls' side of the schoolhouse. he instantly said:"i stopped to talk with huckleberry finn!" the master's pulse stood still, and hestared 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 mostastounding 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 notablydiminished. 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 roomappeared to abash the boy, but in reality
that result was caused rather more by hisworshipful awe of his unknown idol and the dread pleasure that lay in his high goodfortune. he sat down upon the end of the pine benchand the girl hitched herself away from him with a toss of her head. nudges and winks and whispers traversedthe room, but tom sat still, with his arms upon the long, low desk before him, andseemed to study his book. by and by attention ceased from him, andthe 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 andgave 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 lessanimosity. 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 theslate, hiding his work with his left hand. for a time the girl refused to notice; buther human curiosity presently began to manifest itself by hardly perceptiblesigns. the boy worked on, apparently unconscious. the girl made a sort of noncommittalattempt 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 acorkscrew of smoke issuing from the
chimney. then the girl's interest began to fastenitself 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; butthe 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 moonand 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 learnyou." "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 theslate, 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 deedwon'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 alittle scuffle ensued, tom pretending to resist in earnest but letting his handslip 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 wise he was borne across the houseand deposited in his own seat, under a peppering fire of giggles from the wholeschool. then the master stood over him during afew 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 anhonest effort to study, but the turmoil within him was too great. in turn he took his place in the readingclass and made a botch of it; then in the geography class and turned lakes intomountains, 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 thefoot and yielded up the pewter medal which he had worn with ostentation for months.
chapter viithe 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 recesswould 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 twentystudying scholars soothed the soul like the spell that is in the murmur of bees. away off in the flaming sunshine, cardiffhill lifted its soft green sides through a
shimmering veil of heat, tinted with thepurple of distance; a few birds floated on lazy wing high in the air; no other living thing was visible but some cows, and theywere asleep. tom's heart ached to be free, or else tohave something of interest to do to pass the dreary time. his hand wandered into his pocket and hisface 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 thelong flat desk.
the creature probably glowed with agratitude that amounted to prayer, too, at this moment, but it was premature: forwhen he started thankfully to travel off, tom turned him aside with a pin and madehim take a new direction. tom's bosom friend sat next him, sufferingjust as tom had been, and now he was deeply and gratefully interested in thisentertainment in an instant. this bosom friend was joe harper. the two boys were sworn friends all theweek, and embattled enemies on saturdays. joe took a pin out of his lapel and beganto assist in exercising the prisoner. the sport grew in interest momently.
soon tom said that they were interferingwith each other, and neither getting the fullest benefit of the tick. so he put joe's slate on the desk and drewa line down the middle of it from top to bottom. "now," said he, "as long as he is on yourside you can stir him up and i'll let him alone; but if you let him get away and geton my side, you're to leave him alone as long as i can keep him from crossingover." "all right, go ahead; start him up."the tick escaped from tom, presently, and crossed the equator.
joe harassed him awhile, and then he gotaway and crossed back again. this change of base occurred often. while one boy was worrying the tick withabsorbing interest, the other would look on with interest as strong, the two headsbowed together over the slate, and the two souls dead to all things else. at last luck seemed to settle and abidewith joe. the tick tried this, that, and the othercourse, and got as excited and as anxious as the boys themselves, but time and againjust as he would have victory in his very grasp, so to speak, and tom's fingers
would be twitching to begin, joe's pinwould 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 hispin. 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 himalone." "blame it, i ain't going to stir himmuch."
"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 thattick?" "i don't care whose tick he is--he's on myside of the line, and you sha'n't touch "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'sshoulders, and its duplicate on joe's; and for the space of two minutes the dustcontinued to fly from the two jackets and the whole school to enjoy it.
the boys had been too absorbed to noticethe hush that had stolen upon the school awhile before when the master cametiptoeing down the room and stood over them. he had contemplated a good part of theperformance 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'regoing home; and when you get to the corner, give the rest of 'em the slip, andturn down through the lane and come back. i'll go the other way and come it over 'emthe same way."
so the one went off with one group ofscholars, and the other with another. in a little while the two met at thebottom of the lane, and when they reached the school they had it all to themselves. then they sat together, with a slatebefore them, and tom gave becky the pencil and held her hand in his, guiding it, andso 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 turnabout, 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 againsome 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 allthe time. i'm going to be a clown in a circus when igrow 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 everhave 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 witheach other. do you remember what i wrote on theslate?" "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'llwhisper it ever so easy." becky hesitating, tom took silence forconsent, and passed his arm about her waist and whispered the tale ever sosoftly, 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--willyou, 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 andaround the desks and benches, with tom after her, and took refuge in a corner atlast, with her little white apron to her face. tom clasped her about her neck andpleaded: "now, becky, it's all done--all over butthe kiss. don't you be afraid of that--it ain'tanything at all.
please, becky."and he tugged at her apron and the hands. by and by she gave up, and let her handsdrop; 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'tever to love anybody but me, and you ain't ever to marry anybody but me, ever neverand 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'regoing home, you're to walk with me, when there ain't anybody looking--and youchoose me and i choose you at parties, because that's the way you do when you'reengaged." "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 beenengaged to!" the child began to cry.tom said: "oh, don't cry, becky, i don't care forher 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 awayand went outside. he stood about, restless and uneasy, for awhile, glancing at the door, every now and
then, hoping she would repent and come tofind him. but she did not. then he began to feel badly and fear thathe was in the wrong. it was a hard struggle with him to makenew advances, now, but he nerved himself to it and entered. she was still standing back there in thecorner, sobbing, with her face to the wall.tom's heart smote him. he went to her and stood a moment, notknowing exactly how to proceed. then he said hesitatingly:"becky, i--i don't care for anybody but
no reply--but sobs."becky"--pleadingly. "becky, won't you say something?"more sobs. tom got out his chiefest jewel, a brassknob from the top of an andiron, and passed it around her so that she could seeit, 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 toschool 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 upbraidherself; and by this time the scholars began to gather again, and she had to hideher griefs and still her broken heart and take up the cross of a long, dreary, aching afternoon, with none among thestrangers about her to exchange sorrows
with. chapter viiitom dodged hither and thither through lanes until he was well out of the trackof returning scholars, and then fell into a moody jog. he crossed a small "branch" two or threetimes, because of a prevailing juvenile superstition that to cross water baffledpursuit. half an hour later he was disappearingbehind the douglas mansion on the summit of cardiff hill, and the schoolhouse washardly distinguishable away off in the valley behind him.
he entered a dense wood, picked hispathless way to the centre of it, and sat down on a mossy spot under a spreadingoak. there was not even a zephyr stirring; thedead noonday heat had even stilled the songs of the birds; nature lay in a trancethat was broken by no sound but the occasional far-off hammering of a woodpecker, and this seemed to render thepervading 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 atrouble, 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 thetrees and caressing the grass and the flowers over the grave, and nothing tobother and grieve about, ever any more. if he only had a clean sunday-schoolrecord 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 longat a time. tom presently began to drift insensiblyback into the concerns of this life again. what if he turned his back, now, anddisappeared 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 himnow, only to fill him with disgust. for frivolity and jokes and spotted tightswere an offense, when they intruded themselves upon a spirit that was exaltedinto the vague august realm of the romantic. no, he would be a soldier, and returnafter long years, all war-worn and illustrious. no--better still, he would join theindians, and hunt buffaloes and go on the warpath in the mountain ranges and thetrackless great plains of the far west, and away in the future come back a great
chief, bristling with feathers, hideouswith paint, and prance into sunday-school, some drowsy summer morning, with abloodcurdling war-whoop, and sear the eyeballs of all his companions withunappeasable envy. but no, there was something gaudier eventhan 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 thedancing 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 hewould 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'stom 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 uponit. 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 andbegan 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 thisincantation impressively: "what hasn't come here, come!what's here, stay here!" then he scraped away the dirt, and exposeda pine shingle.
he took it up and disclosed a shapelylittle 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 perplexedair, and said: "well, that beats anything!" then he tossed the marble away pettishly,and stood cogitating. the truth was, that a superstition of hishad failed, here, which he and all his comrades had always looked upon asinfallible. if you buried a marble with certainnecessary incantations, and left it alone
a fortnight, and then opened the placewith the incantation he had just used, you would find that all the marbles you had ever lost had gathered themselves togetherthere, 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 shakento its foundations. he had many a time heard of this thingsucceeding but never of its failing before. it did not occur to him that he had triedit several times before, himself, but
could never find the hiding-placesafterward. he puzzled over the matter some time, andfinally decided that some witch had interfered and broken the charm. he thought he would satisfy himself onthat point; so he searched around till he found a small sandy spot with a littlefunnel-shaped depression in it. he laid himself down and put his mouthclose to this depression and called-- "doodle-bug, doodle-bug, tell me what iwant to know! doodle-bug, doodle-bug, tell me what iwant to know!" the sand began to work, and presently asmall 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 tocontend against witches, so he gave up discouraged. but it occurred to him that he might aswell have the marble he had just thrown away, and therefore he went and made apatient search for it. but he could not find it. now he went back to his treasure-house andcarefully placed himself just as he had
been standing when he tossed the marbleaway; 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 toofar; so he tried twice more. the last repetition was successful.the two marbles lay within a foot of each just here the blast of a toy tin trumpetcame 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 andthat. he said cautiously--to an imaginarycompany: "hold, my merry men!keep hid till i blow." now appeared joe harper, as airily cladand elaborately armed as tom. tom called:"hold!
who comes here into sherwood forestwithout 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 thepasses of the merry wood. have at thee!"
they took their lath swords, dumped theirother traps on the ground, struck a fencing attitude, foot to foot, and begana 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-handedstroke he slew poor guy of guisborne.' you're to turn around and let me hit youin the back." there was no getting around theauthorities, 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 ormuch the miller's son, and lam me with a quarter-staff; or i'll be the sheriff ofnottingham and you be robin hood a little while and kill me." this was satisfactory, and so theseadventures were carried out. then tom became robin hood again, and wasallowed by the treacherous nun to bleed his strength away through his neglectedwound. and at last joe, representing a wholetribe of weeping outlaws, dragged him sadly forth, gave his bow into his feeblehands, and tom said, "where this arrow
falls, there bury poor robin hood underthe greenwood tree." then he shot the arrow and fell back andwould have died, but he lit on a nettle and sprang up too gaily for a corpse. the boys dressed themselves, hid theiraccoutrements, and went off grieving that there were no outlaws any more, andwondering what modern civilization could claim to have done to compensate for theirloss. they said they would rather be outlaws ayear in sherwood forest than president of the united states forever. chapter ixat 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 restlessimpatience. when it seemed to him that it must benearly daylight, he heard the clock strike ten! this was despair.he would have tossed and fidgeted, as his nerves demanded, but he was afraid hemight wake sid. so he lay still, and stared up into thedark. 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 cricketthat no human ingenuity could locate, began. next the ghastly ticking of a deathwatchin the wall at the bed's head made tom
shudder--it meant that somebody's dayswere numbered. then the howl of a far-off dog rose on thenight air, and was answered by a fainter howl from a remoter distance.tom was in an agony. at last he was satisfied that time hadceased and eternity begun; he began to doze, in spite of himself; the clockchimed eleven, but he did not hear it. and then there came, mingling with hishalf-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 againstthe back of his aunt's woodshed brought him wide awake, and a single minute laterhe was dressed and out of the window and creeping along the roof of the "ell" onall fours. he "meow'd" with caution once or twice, ashe went; then jumped to the roof of the woodshed and thence to the ground. huckleberry finn was there, with his deadcat. the boys moved off and disappeared in thegloom. at the end of half an hour they werewading 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 halffrom the village. it had a crazy board fence around it,which leaned inward in places, and outward the rest of the time, but stood uprightnowhere. grass and weeds grew rank over the wholecemetery. all the old graves were sunken in, therewas not a tombstone on the place; round- topped, worm-eaten boards staggered overthe graves, leaning for support and finding none. "sacred to the memory of" so-and-so hadbeen painted on them once, but it could no
longer have been read, on the most ofthem, now, even if there had been light. a faint wind moaned through the trees, andtom feared it might be the spirits of the dead, complaining at being disturbed. the boys talked little, and only undertheir breath, for the time and the place and the pervading solemnity and silenceoppressed their spirits. they found the sharp new heap they wereseeking, and ensconced themselves within the protection of three great elms thatgrew in a bunch within a few feet of the grave. then they waited in silence for whatseemed a long time.
the hooting of a distant owl was all thesound 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 peoplelike 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 theytalk 'bout these-yer dead people, tom." this was a damper, and conversation diedagain. presently tom seized his comrade's arm andsaid: "sh!""what is it, tom?" and the two clung together with beatinghearts.
"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 theywon't notice us at all." "i'll try to, tom, but, lord, i'm all of ashiver." "listen!" the boys bent their heads together andscarcely breathed. a muffled sound of voices floated up fromthe 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 thegloom, swinging an old-fashioned tin lantern that freckled the ground withinnumerable little spangles of light. presently huckleberry whispered with ashudder: "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 thethree men had reached the grave and stood within a few feet of the boys' hiding-place. "here it is," said the third voice; andthe owner of it held the lantern up and revealed the face of young doctorrobinson.
potter and injun joe were carrying ahandbarrow 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 ofthe 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 thegrating sound of the spades discharging their freight of mould and gravel.it was very monotonous. finally a spade struck upon the coffinwith a dull woody accent, and within another minute or two the men had hoistedit 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 corpseplaced on it, covered with a blanket, and bound to its place with the rope.
potter took out a large spring-knife andcut 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, andi've paid you." "yes, and you done more than that," saidinjun joe, approaching the doctor, who was now standing.
"five years ago you drove me away fromyour father's kitchen one night, when i come to ask for something to eat, and yousaid 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 jailedfor 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 tosettle, you know!" he was threatening the doctor, with hisfist in his face, by this time. the doctor struck out suddenly andstretched 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 withthe doctor and the two were struggling with might and main, trampling the grassand tearing the ground with their heels. injun joe sprang to his feet, his eyesflaming with passion, snatched up potter's knife, and went creeping, catlike andstooping, 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 withit--and in the same instant the half-breed saw his chance and drove the knife to thehilt 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 thedreadful 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 inpotter'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 raisedit, 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--didi do it? joe, i never meant to--'pon my soul andhonor, i never meant to, joe. tell me how it was, joe.
oh, it's awful--and him so young andpromising." "why, you two was scuffling, and hefetched you one with the headboard and you fell flat; and then up you come, allreeling and staggering like, and snatched the knife and jammed it into him, just as he fetched you another awful clip--andhere 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 andthe 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 goodfeller. i always liked you, joe, and stood up foryou, too. don't you remember?you won't tell, will you, joe?" and the poor creature dropped on his kneesbefore the stolid murderer, and clasped his appealing hands. "no, you've always been fair and squarewith 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 tracksbehind you." potter started on a trot that quicklyincreased to a run. the half-breed stood looking after him.he muttered: "if he's as much stunned with the lick andfuddled with the rum as he had the look of
being, he won't think of the knife tillhe'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 murderedman, the blanketed corpse, the lidless coffin, and the open grave were under noinspection but the moon's. the stillness was complete again, too. chapter xthe two boys flew on and on, toward the village, speechless with horror. they glanced backward over their shouldersfrom time to time, apprehensively, as if they feared they might be followed.
every stump that started up in their pathseemed a man and an enemy, and made them catch their breath; and as they sped bysome 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 tannerybefore we break down!" whispered tom, in short catches betweenbreaths. "i can't stand it much longer." huckleberry's hard pantings were his onlyreply, and the boys fixed their eyes on the goal of their hopes and bent to theirwork to win it. they gained steadily on it, and at last,breast to breast, they burst through the
open door and fell grateful and exhaustedin the sheltering shadows beyond. by and by their pulses slowed down, andtom whispered: "huckleberry, what do you reckon'll comeof this?" "if doctor robinson dies, i reckonhanging'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, justas dead sure as we're a laying here." "that's just what i was thinking tomyself, 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 andbelt 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, ofcourse. but if a man was dead sober, i reckonmaybe that whack might fetch him; i dono." after another reflective silence, tomsaid:
"hucky, you sure you can keep mum?""tom, we got to keep mum. you know that. that injun devil wouldn't make any more ofdrownding us than a couple of cats, if we was to squeak 'bout this and they didn'thang him. now, look-a-here, tom, less take and swearto 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 thatwe--" "oh no, that wouldn't do for this.
that's good enough for little rubbishycommon things--specially with gals, cuz they go back on you anyway, and blab ifthey 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; thehour, the circumstances, the surroundings, were in keeping with it. he picked up a clean pine shingle that layin the moonlight, took a little fragment of "red keel" out of his pocket, got themoon on his work, and painfully scrawled these lines, emphasizing each slow down-
stroke by clamping his tongue between histeeth, and letting up the pressure on the up-strokes.[see next page.] "huck finn and tom sawyer swears they willkeep mum about this and they wish they may drop down dead in their tracks if theyever tell and rot." huckleberry was filled with admiration oftom's facility in writing, and the sublimity of his language. he at once took a pin from his lapel andwas 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'llsee." so tom unwound the thread from one of hisneedles, and each boy pricked the ball of his thumb and squeezed out a drop ofblood. in time, after many squeezes, tom managedto 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 boundtheir tongues were considered to be locked and the key thrown away. a figure crept stealthily through a breakin 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 littletime. presently a dog set up a long, lugubrioushowl just outside--within ten feet of the boys clasped each other suddenly, inan 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 namedbull, tom would have spoken of him as "harbison's bull," but a son or a dog ofthat name was "bull harbison."] "oh, that's good--i tell you, tom, i wasmost 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 puthis eye to the crack. his whisper was hardly audible when hesaid: "oh, huck, it s a stray dog!" "quick, tom, quick!who does he mean?" "huck, he must mean us both--we're righttogether." "oh, tom, i reckon we're goners. i reckon there ain't no mistake 'boutwhere i'll go to. i been so wicked.""dad fetch it! this comes of playing hookey and doingeverything a feller's told not to do.
i might a been good, like sid, if i'd atried --but no, i wouldn't, of course. but if ever i get off this time, i layi'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 oldpie, 'longside o' what i am. oh, lordy, lordy, lordy, i wisht i onlyhad 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, 'longwith 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 upstrong again and the boys agreed to try,
with the understanding that they wouldtake 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 ofthe snorer, tom stepped on a stick, and it broke with a sharp snap. the man moaned, writhed a little, and hisface came into the moonlight. it was muff potter. the boys' hearts had stood still, andtheir hopes too, when the man moved, but their fears passed away now.
they tiptoed out, through the brokenweather-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 dogstanding within a few feet of where potter was lying, and facing potter, with hisnose pointing heavenward. "oh, geeminy, it's him!" exclaimed both boys, in a breath. "say, tom--they say a stray dog comehowling 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 kitchenfire 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 knowall 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, andfell asleep congratulating himself that nobody knew of his escapade. he was not aware that the gently-snoringsid 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 latesense 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 therewere averted eyes; there was a silence and an air of solemnity that struck a chill tothe culprit's heart. he sat down and tried to seem gay, but itwas up-hill work; it roused no smile, no response, and he lapsed into silence andlet 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 notso. his aunt wept over him and asked him howhe could go and break her old heart so;
and finally told him to go on, and ruinhimself and bring her gray hairs with sorrow to the grave, for it was no use forher 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, feelingthat he had won but an imperfect forgiveness and established but a feebleconfidence. he left the presence too miserable to evenfeel revengeful toward sid; and so the latter's prompt retreat through the backgate was unnecessary.
he moped to school gloomy and sad, andtook his flogging, along with joe harper, for playing hookey the day before, withthe air of one whose heart was busy with heavier woes and wholly dead to trifles. then he betook himself to his seat, restedhis elbows on his desk and his jaws in his hands, and stared at the wall with thestony stare of suffering that has reached the limit and can no further go. his elbow was pressing against some hardsubstance. after a long time he slowly and sadlychanged 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.Dental Anatomy Coloring Book Pdf Free Download