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x Jjbris 


Collection of 

Children's Books 



















1875- . 
All Rights Reserved. 





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

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

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

they sometimes engaged in. 


HARTFORD, 1876. 


Y-o-u-u Tom Aunt Polly Decides Upon her Duty Tom Practices Music The Challenge 

A Private Entrance 17 

Strong Temptations Strategic Movements The Innocents Beguiled 26 

Tom as a General Triumph and Reward Dismal Felicity Commission and Omission. ... 33 

Mental Acrobatics Attending Sunday-School The Superintendent "Showing off" Tom 

Lionized 42 

A Useful Minister In Church The Climax 53 

Self -Examination Dentistry The Midnight Charm Witches and Devils Cautious 

Approaches Happy Hours 60 

A Treaty Entered Into Early Lessons A Mistake Made 72 

Tom Decides on his Course Old Scenes Re-enacted 79 

A Solemn Situation Grave Subjects Introduced Injun Joe Explains 85 

The Solemn Oath Terror Brings Repentance Mental Punishment 93 


Muff Potter Comes Himself Tom's Conscience at Work 101 

Tom Shows his Generosity Aunt Polly Weakens 107 

The Young Pirates Going to the Rendezvous The Camp-Fire Talk 113 

Camp-Life A Sensation Tom Steals Away from Camp . 121 

Tom Reconnoiters Learns the Situation Reports at Camp 128 

A Day's Amusements Tom Reveals a Secret The Pirates take a Lesson A Night Surprise 

An Indian War 134 

Memories of the Lost Heroes The Point in Tom's Secret 144 

Tom's Feelings Investigated Wonderful Dream Becky Thatcher Overshadowed Tom 

Becomes Jealous Black Revenge ,. 148 

Tom Tells the Truth 158 

Becky in a Dilemma Tom's Nobility Asserts Itself. 161 

Youthful Eloquence Compositions by the Young Ladies A Lengthy Vision The Boy's 

Vengeance Satisfied 167 

Tom's Confidence Betrayed Expects Signal Punishment 176 

Old Muff 's Friends Muff Potter in Court Muff Potter Saved 181 


Tom as the Village Hero Days of Splendor and Nights of Horror Pursuit of Injun Joe 189 

About Kings and Diamonds Search for the Treasure Dead People and Ghosts 191 

The Haunted House Sleepy Ghosts A Box of Gold Bitter Luck 199 

Doubts to be Settled The Young Detectives 208 

An Attempt at No. Two Huck Mounts Guard 212 

The Pic-nie Huck on Injun Joe's Track The " Revenge " Job Aid for the Widow 217 

The Welchman Reports Huck Under Fire The Story Circulated A New Sensation Hope 

Giving Way to Despair . 226 


An Exploring Expedition Trouble Commences Lost in the Cave Total Darkness Found 

but not Saved .'.. 236 

Tom tells the Story of their Escape Tom's Enemy in Safe Quarters 247 


The Fate of Injun Joe Huck and Tom Compare Notes An Expedition to the Cave Pro- 
tection Against Ghosts" An Awful Snug Place" A Reception at the Widow Douglas's, 252 

Springing a Secret Mr. Jones' Surprise a Failure 264 

A New Order of Things Poor Huck New Adventures Planned 268 



Tom Sawyer . . . Frontispiece 





. . 7O 

Interrupted Courtship 

. 71 

Aunt Polly Beguiled .... 
A Good Opportunity .... 

Tail Piece .... 
The Grave in the Woods . 

. . 78 
. 79 

'Tendin' to Business 

Robin Hood and his Foe . 
Death of Robin Hood 
Tom's Mode of Egress 
Tom's Effort at Prayer 
Muff Potter Outwitted 
The Graveyard 

. . 83 
. . 84 
. . 85 
. 86 
. 88 
. 91 
. 92 


Becky Thatcher 

After the Battle ..... 


Disturbing Muff's Sleep . 
Tom's Talk with his Aunt 
Muff Potter .... 
A Suspicious Incident 
Injun Joe's two Victims . 
In the Coils .... 
Aunt Polly seeks Information . 
A General Good Time 
Demoralized .... 

. . 9 8 

. TOO 
. IOI 
. IO2 

. 103 
. 106 

. 107 

. 108 
. . no 

. 112 

Tom Contemplating .... 

Using the " Barlow " .... 

Tom as a Sunday-School Hero 

The Model Boy 

On Board Their First Prize 
The Pirates Ashore . . 

. II? 

. 118 

The Church Choir 

A Side Show 

Wild Life ..... 
The Pirate's Bath 

. 121 

Result of Playing in Church . 
The Pinch-Bug 

The Pleasant Stroll 

. .124 

The Search for the Drowned . 
The Mysterious Writing . 
River View 

. 125 
. 127 


Mother Hopkins 
Result of Tom's Truthfulness . 

What Tom Saw 

. . I3O 

Tom Swims the River 





Taking Lessons 134 

The Pirates' Egg Market . . . .135 
Tom Looking for Joe's Knife . . . 139 
The Thunder Storm . . . .141 

Terrible Slaughter 143 

The Mourner . . . . . . 144 

Tom's Proudest Moment . . . .147 

Amy Lawrence 148 

Tom tries to Remember . . . .150 

The Hero 152 

A Flirtation 154 

Becky Retaliates 155 

A Sudden Frost 156 

Counter-irritation 157 

Aunt Polly . . . . . .158 

Tom Justified ...... 160 

The Discovery i6i 

Caught in the Act 163 

Tom Astonishes the School . . . 165 

Literature 166 

Tom Declaims . . . . . 167 

Examination Evening .... 168 

On Exhibition 170 

Prize Authors . . . . . . 173 

The Master's Dilemma .... 174 

The School House 175 

The Cadet '.176 

Happy for Two Days .... 177 
Enjoying the Vacation .... 178 
The Stolen Melons ..... 180 

The Judge 181 

Visiting the Prisoner . . . .184 
Tom Swears . . . . . .186 

The Court Room 188 

The Detective 189 

Tom Dreams ...... 190 

The Treasure ...... 191 

The Private Conference .... 192 

A King ; Poor Fellow ! 194 

Business ....... 195 

The Ha'nted House 198 

Injun Joe igg 

The Greatest and Best . . . .200 
Hidden Treasures Unearthed . . . 205 

The Boy's Salvation . 
Room No. 2 ... 
The Next Day's Conference 
Uncle Jake 
Huck at Home 
The Haunted Room 
" Run for Your Life " 
McDougal's Cave . 
Inside the Cave 


. 207 

. 208 

. 209 

. 211 

. 212 

. 213 

. 214 

. 216 

. 217 

. 220 

Huck on Duty 221 

A Rousing Act 224. 

Tail Piece 225 

The Welchman ..... 226 

Result of a Sneeze 227 

Cornered 229 

Alarming Discoveries .... 232 

Tom and Becky stir up the Town . . 233 

Tom's Marks 234 

Huck Questions the Widow . . . 235 

Vampires ....... 236 

Wonders of the Cave .... 237 

Attacked by Natives . . . .238 

Despair 240 

The Wedding Cake 242 

A New Terror 245 

Daylight 247 

" Turn Out " to Receive Tom and Becky 248 

The Escape from the Cave . . . 249 
Fate of the Ragged Man . . . .251 

The Treasures Found .... 252 

Caught at Last 253 

Drop after Drop 254 

Having a Good Time .... 255 

A Business Trip 257 

"Got it at Last !" 261 

Tail Piece 263 

Widow Douglas 264 

Tom Backs his Statement . . .266 

Tail Piece 267 

Huck Transformed 268 

Comfortable Once More . . . .271 

High up in Society 273 

Contentment 274 

No answer. 

" TOM ! " 

No answer. 

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

No answer. 

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



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

She did not finish, for by this time she was bending down and punching 
under the bed with the broom, and so she needed breath to punctuate -the 
punches with. She resurrected nothing but the cat. 
" I never did see the beat of that boy ! " 

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

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

" There ! I might 'a' thought of that closet. 
What you been doing in there ? " 
" Nothing." 

" Nothing! Look at your hands. And look at 
your mouth. What is that truck? " 
"/don't know, aunt." 

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

The switch hovered in the air the peril was 

" My ! Look behind you, aunt ! " 
The old lady whirled round, and snatched her 
skirts out of danger. The lad fled, on the 
instant, scrambled up the high board-fence, and 
AUNT POLLY BEGUILED. disappeared over it. 

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

"Hang the boy, can't I never learn anything? Ain't he played me tricks 

enough like that for me to be looking out for him by this time ? But old fools 


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

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


While Tom was eating his supper, and stealing sugar as opportunity offered, 

* South-western for "afternoon." 


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

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

" Yes'm." 

"Powerful warm, warn't it?" 


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

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

"No'm well, not very much." 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But Sidney said: 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The summer evenings were long. It was not dark, yet. Presently Tom checked 
his whistle. A stranger was before him a boy a shade larger than himself. A 
new comer of any age or either sex was an impressive curiosity in the poor little 
shabby village of St. Petersburgh. This boy was well-dressed, too well-dressed on 
a week-day. This was simply astounding. His cap was a dainty thing, his close- 
buttoned blue cloth roundabout was new and natty, and so were his pantaloons. 
He had shoes on and it was only Friday. He even wore a necktie, a bright bit 


of ribbon. He had a citified air about him that ate into Tom's vitals. The more 
Tom stared at the splendid marvel, the higher he turned up his nose at his finery 
and the shabbier and shabbier his own outfit seemed to him to grow. Neither boy 
spoke. If one moved, the other moved but only sidewise, in a circle ; they kept 
face to face and eye to eye all the time. Finally Tom said : 

" I can lick you ! " 

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

"Well, I can do it." 

" No you can't, either." 

"Yes I can." 

" No you can't." 


" You can't." 

" Can ! " 

" Can't ! " 

An uncomfortable pause. Then Tom said : 

" What's your name ? " 

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

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

" Well why don't you ? " 

" If you say much I will." 

"Much much much. There now." 

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

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

" Well I willy if you fool with me." 

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

" Smarty ! You think you're some, now, don't you ? Oh what a hat ! " 

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

" You're a liar ! " 

" You're another." 


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

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

" Oh, of course you will." 

"Well I will." 

" Well why don't you do it then ? 

What do you keep saying you will for ? Why 
don't you do it ? It's because you're afraid." 
" I ain't afraid." 
"You are." 
" I ain't." 
" You are." 

Another pause, and more eyeing and sid- 
ling around each other. Presently they 
were shoulder to shoulder. Tom said : 
" Get away from here ! " 
"Go away yourself! " 
"I won't." 
"/won't either." 

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

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

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


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

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

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

The new boy stepped over promptly, and said : 

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

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

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

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

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

" Holler 'nuff! " said he. 

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

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

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

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

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


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

morning was 

come, and all the summer world was 
bright and fresh, and brimming with 
life. There was a song in every heart ;. 
and- if the heart was young the music 
issued at the lips. There was cheer 
in every face and a spring in every 
step. The locust trees were in bloom 
and the fragrance of the blossoms 
filled the air. Cardiff Hill, beyond 
the Village and above it, was green 
with vegetation, and it lay just far 
enough away to seem a Delectable 
Land, dreamy, reposeful, and inviting. 
Tom appeared on the sidewalk with 
a bucket of whitewash and a long- 
handled brush. He surveyed the 
fence, and all gladness left him and 
a deep melancholy settled down upon his spirit. Thirty yards of board fence 
nine feet high. Life to him seemed hollow, and existence but a burden. Sighing. 



he dipped his brush and passed it along the topmost plank ; repeated the 
operation; did it again; compared the insignificant whitewashed streak with the 
far-reaching continent of unwhitewashed fence, and sat down on a tree-box dis- 
couraged. Jim came skipping out at the gate with a tin pail, and singing " Buffalo 
Gals." Bringing water from the town pump had always been hateful work in 
Tom's eyes, before, but now it did not strike him so. He remembered that there 
was company at the pump. White, mulatto, and negro boys and girls were always- 
there waiting their turns, resting, trading playthings, quarreling, fighting,- skylark- 
ing. And he remembered that although the pump was only a hundred and fifty 
yards off, Jim never got back with a bucket of water under an hour and even 
then somebody generally had to go after him. Tom said : 

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

Jim shook his head and said : 

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

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

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

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

Jim began to waver. 

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

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

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

Jim was only human this attraction was too much for him. He put down his 
pail, took the white alley, and bent over the toe with absorbing interest while the 



bandage was being unwound. In another moment he was flying down the street 
with his pail and a tingling rear, Tom was whitewashing with vigor, and Aunt Polly 

was retiring from the field with a slipper in her hand and triumph in her eye. 

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

He took up his brush and went tranquilly to work. Ben Rogers hove in sight 
presently the very boy, of all boys, whose ridicule he had been dreading. Ben's 


gait was the hop-skip-and-jump proof enough that his heart was light and his 
anticipations high. He was eating an apple, and giving a long, melodious whoop, 
at intervals, followed by a deep-toned ding-dong-dong, ding-dong-dong, for he 
was personating a steamboat. As he drew near, he slackened speed, took the 
middle of the street, leaned far over to starboard and rounded to ponderously and 
with laborious pomp and circumstance for he was personating the " Big Missouri," 
and considered himself to be drawing nine feet of water. He was boat, and captain, 
and engine-bells combined, so he had to imagine himself standing on his own 
hurricane-deck giving the orders and executing them : 

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

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

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

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

" Stop the stabboard ! Ting-a-ling-ling ! Stop the labbord ! Come ahead on 
the stabboard ! Stop her! Let your outside turn over slow! Ting-a-ling-ling! 
Chow-ow-ow ! Get out that head-line! Lively now! Come out with your 
spring-line what 're you about there ! Take a turn round that stump with the 
bight of it ! Stand by that stage, now let her go ! Done with the engines, sir ! 
Ting-a-ling-ling! Stit! s'A'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-jy// You re up a stump, ain't you ! " 

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

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

Tom wheeled suddenly and said : 


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

"Say /'m going in a swimming, / am. Don't you wish you could? But of 
course you'd druther work wouldn't you? Course you would ! " 
Tom contemplated the boy a bit, and said : 

" What do you call work ? " 
" Why ain't that work ? " 
Tom resumed his whitewashing, and 
answered carelessly : 

"Well, maybe it is, and maybe it aint. 
All I know, is, it suits Tom Sawyer." 

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

The brusji continued to move. 
"Like it? Wei) I don't see why I 
oughtn't to like it. Does a boy get a 
chance to whitewash a fence every 
day ? " 

That put the thing in a new light. 
Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom 
swept his brush daintily back and 
forth stepped back to note the effect 
added a touch here and there criti- 
' AIN'T THAT WORK? cised the effect aga i n _Ben watching 

every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed. 
Presently he said : 

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

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


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

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

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

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

" I'll give you all of it ! " 

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


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

Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He had dis- 
covered a great law of human action, without knowing it namely, that in order to 
make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing 

difficult to attain. If he had been a great 
and wise philosopher, like the writer of this 
book, he would now have comprehended that 
Work consists of whatever a body is obliged 
to do, and that Play consists of whatever a 
body is not obliged to do. And this would 
help him to understand why constructing 
artificial flowers or performing on a tread- 
mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climb- 
| ing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There 
are wealthy gentlemen in England who 
drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty 
or thirty miles on a daily line, in the sum- 
mer, because the privilege costs them con- 
siderable money; but if they were offered 
wages for the service, that would turn it into 
work and then they would resign. 


The boy mused a while over the substantial change which had taken place in 
his worldly circumstances, and then wended toward head-quarters to report. 


again in this intrepid way. He said : 

"What, a'ready? How much have you done?" 
3 33 

presented himself before Aunt 
Polly, who was. sitting by an open 
window in a pleasant rearward apart- 
ment, which was bed-room, breakfast- 
room, dining-room, and library, com- 
bined. The balmy, summer air, the 
restful quiet, the odor of the flowers, 
and the drowsing murmur of the 
bees had had their effect, and she was 
nodding over her knitting for she 
had no company but the cat, and it 
was asleep in her lap. Her specta- 
cles were propped up on her gray 
head for safety. She had thought 
that of course Tom had deserted 
long ago, and she wondered at see- 
ing him place himself in her power 
'Mayn't I go and play now, aunt?'' 



" It's all done, aunt." 
"Tom, don't lie to me I can't bear it." 
" I ain't, aunt ; it is all done." 

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

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

She was so overcome by the splendor of his achievement that she took him 

into the closet and selected a choice 
apple and delivered it to him, along 
with an improving lecture upon 
the added value and flavor a treat 
took to itself when it came with- 
out sin through virtuous effort. 
And while she closed with a happy 
scriptural flourish, he " hooked " a 

Then he skipped out, and saw 
Sid just starting up the outside 
stairway that led to the back rooms 
on the second floor. Clods were 

PAVING OFF. handy and the air was full of them 

in a twinkling. They raged around Sid like a hail-storm ; and before Aunt 
Polly could collect her surprised faculties and sally to the rescue, six or 
seven clods had taken personal effect, and Tom was over the fence and gone. 
There was a gate, but as a general thing he was too crowded for time to make 
use of it. His soul was at peace, now that he had settled with Sid for calling 
attention to his black thread and getting him into trouble. 



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


"battle appointed ; after which the armies fell into line and marched away, and 
Tom turned homeward alone. 

As he was passing by the house where Jeff Thatcher lived, he saw a new girl 


in the garden a lovely little blue-eyed creature with yellow hair plaited into 
two long tails, white summer frock and embroidered pantalettes. The fresh- 
crowned hero fell without firing a shot. A certain Amy Lawrence vanished 
out of his heart and left not even a memory of herself behind. He had thought 
he loved her to distraction, he had regarded his passion as adoration; and 
behold it was only a poor little evanescent partiality. He had been months 
winning her; she had confessed hardly a week ago; he had been the hap- 
piest and the proudest boy in the world only seven short days, and here in one 

instant of time she had gone out of his heart 
like a casual stranger whose visit is done. 

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

The boy ran around and stopped within a foot or two of the flower, and then 
shaded his eyes with his hand and began to look down street as if he had dis- 
covered something of interest going on in that direction. Presently he picked 
up a straw and began trying to balance it on his nose, with his head tilted far 
back ; and as he moved from side to side, in his efforts, he edged nearer and 



nearer toward the pansy; finally his bare foot rested upon it, his pliant toes 
closed upon it, and he hopped away with the treasure and disappeared round 
the corner. But only for a minutexonly while he could button the flower 
inside his jacket, next his heart or next his stomach, possibly, for he was not 
much posted in anatomy, and not hypercritical, anyway. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

^ ^v^^^^ vv - Then her conscience reproached 

I ^v^" : -xNs\V i^\ ' 11111^1^ >;> ner > an d she yearned to say some- 

\v^^ ^>^ : iSI^^^^^^^ thing kind and loving; but she 

i ?./- -.':;.:. -^ '-; ,. ; ^^xx^%, ' : '- judged that this would be con- 
strued into a confession that she 
had been in the wrong, and disci- 
pline forbade that. So she kept 
silence, and went about her affairs 
with a troubled heart. Tom sulked 
in a corner and exalted his woes. 
^He knew that in her heart his aunt 
was on her knees to him, and he 
was morosely gratified by the con- 
sciousness of it. He would hang 

. out no signals, he would take 

notice of none. He knew that a yearning glance fell upon him, now and then, 
through a film of tears, but he refused recognition of it. He pictured himself 
lying sick unto death and his aunt bending over him beseeching one little 
forgiving word, but he would turn his face to the wall, and die with that word 
unsaid. Ah, how would she feel then ? And he pictured himself brought 
home from the river, dead, with his curls all wet, and his sore heart at rest. 
How she would throw herself upon him, and how her tears would fall like 
rain, and her lips pray God to give her back her boy and she would never, 
never abuse him any more ! But he would lie there cold and white and make 
no sign a poor little sufferer, whose griefs were at an end. He so worked 
upon his feelings with the pathos of these dreams, that he had to keep swallow- 
ing, he was so like to choke ; and his eyes swam in a blur of water, which 
overflowed when he winked, and ran down and trickled from the end of his 
nose. And such a luxury to him was this petting of his sorrows, that he could 
not bear to have any worldly cheeriness or any grating delight intrude upon 



it ; it was too sacred for such con- 
tact; and so, presently, when his 
cousin Mary danced in, all alive with 
the joy of seeing home again after 
an age-long visit of one week to the 
country, he got up and moved in 
clouds and darkness out at one door 
as she brought song and sunshine in 
at the other. 

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

At last he rose up sighing and 



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

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

The strangling hero sprang up with a 

_^ i relieving snort. There was a whiz as 

of a missile in the air, mingled with the murmur of a curse, a sound as of 


shivering glass followed, and a small, vague form went over the fence and shot 
away in the gloom. 

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

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

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

Then Tom girded up his loins, so to 
speak, and went to work to " get his 
verses." Sid had learned his lesson 
days before. Tom bent all his ener- 
gies to the memorizing of five verses, 
and he chose part of the Sermon on 
the Mount, because he could find no verses that were shorter. At the end of 
half an hour Tom had a vague general idea of his lesson > but no more, for his. 



mind was traversing the whole field of human thought, and his hands were busy 
with distracting recreations. Mary took his book to hear him recite, and he tried 
to find his way through the fog : 

" Blessed are the a a " 


" Yes poor ; blessed are the poor a a " 

" In spirit " 

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

" Theirs " 

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

"Sh " 

" For they a " 

" S, H, A " 

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

" Shall! " 

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

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

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

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

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

And he did " tackle it again " and under the double pressure of curiosity and 
prospective gain, he did it with such spirit that he accomplished a shining success. 
Mary gave him a bran-new " Barlow " knife worth twelve and a half cents ; and 
the convulsion of delight that swept his system shook him to his foundations. 
True, the knife would not cut anything, but it was a "sure-enough" Barlow, and 
there was inconceivable grandeur in that though where the western boys ever 



got the idea that such a weapon could possibly be counterfeited to its injury, is an 
imposing mystery and will always remain so, perhaps. Tom contrived to scarify 

the cupboard with it, and was arranging to 
begin on the bureau, when he was called off 
to dress for Sunday-School. 

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

" Now ain't you ashamed, Tom. You 
mustn't be so bad. Water won't hurt you." 
Tom was a trifle disconcerted. The basin 
was refilled, and this time he stood over it 
a little while, gathering resolution ; took in a big breath and began. When he 
entered the kitchen presently, with both eyes shut and groping for the towel 
with his hands, an honorable testimony of suds and water was dripping from his 
face. But when he emerged from the towel, he was not yet satisfactory, for the 
clean territory stopped short at his chin and his jaws, like a mask ; below and 
beyond this line there was a dark expanse of unirrigated soil that spread down- 
ward in front and backward around his neck. Mary took him in hand, and when 
she was done with him he was* a man and a brother, without distinction of color, 
and his saturated hair was neatly brushed, and its short curls wrought into a 
dainty and symmetrical general effect. [He privately smoothed out the curls, with 
labor and difficulty, and plastered his hair close down to his head ; for he held 
curls to be effeminate, and his own filled his life with bitterness.] Then Mary 
got out a suit of his clothing that had been used only on Sundays during two years 
they were simply called his "other clothes " and so by that we know the size 




of his wardrobe. The girl "put him to rights " after he had dressed himself; she 
buttoned his neat roundabout up to his chin, turned his vast shirt collar down 
over his shoulders, brushed him off and crowned him with his speckled straw hat. 
He now looked exceedingly improved and uncomfortable. He was fully as uncom- 
fortable as he looked ; for there was a restraint about whole clothes and cleanli- 
ness that galled him. He hoped that Mary would forget his shoes, but the hope was 
blighted ; she coated them thoroughly with tallow, as was the custom, and brought 
them out. He lost his temper and said he was always being made to do every- 
thing he didn't want to do. But Mary said, persuasively : 
" Please, Tom that's a good boy." 

So he got into the shoes snarling. Mary was soon ready, and the three children 

set out for Sunday-school a place that 
Tom hated with his whole heart; but 
Sid and Mary were fond of it. 

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

"Say, Billy, got a yaller ticket ? " 

" What'll you take for her ? " 
THE CHURCH. " What'll you give ? " 

" Piece of lickrish and a fish-hook." 
" Less see 'em." 


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



In due course the Superintendent stood up in front of the pulpit, with a closed 
hymn book in his hand and his forefinger inserted between its leaves, and com- 
manded attention. When a Sunday-school Superintendent makes his customary 
little speech, a hymn-book in the hand is as necessary as is the inevitable sheet of 


music in the hand of a singer who stands forward on the platform and sings a 
solo at a concert though why, is a mystery : for neither the hymn-book nor the 
sheet of music is ever referred to by the sufferer. This Superintendent was a slim 
creature of thirty-five, with a sandy goatee and short sandy hair ; he wore a stiff 
standing-collar whose upper edge almost reached his ears and whose sharp points 
curved forward abreast the corners of his mouth a fence that compelled a straight 
lookout ahead, and a turning of the wrjole body when a side view was require.d ; 
his chin was propped on a spreading cravat which was as broad and as long 
as a bank note, and had fringed ends ; his boot toes were turned sharply up, in 
the fashion of the day, like sleigh-runners an effect patiently and laboriously 


'produced by the young men by sitting with their toes pressed against a wall for 
hours together. Mr. Walters was very earnest of mein, and very sincere and honest 
at heart ; and he held sacred things and places in such reverence, and so separated 
them from worldly matters, that unconsciously to himself his Sunday-school voice 
had acquired a peculiar intonation which was wholly absent on week-days. He 
began after this fashion : 

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

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

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


was fast washing out, under the waves of happiness that were sweeping over it now. 

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

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

Mr. Walters fell to " showing off," with all sorts of official bustlings and activities 
giving orders, delivering judgments, discharging directions here, there, everywhere 
that he could find a target. The librarian "showed off" running hither and 
thither with his arms full of books and making a deal of the splutter and fuss that 
insect authority delights' in. The young lady teachers "showed off" bending 
sweetly over pupils that were lately being boxed, lifting pretty warning fingers at 
bad little boys and patting good ones lovingly. The young gentlemen teachers 
" showed off" with small scoldings and other little displays of authority and fine 
attention to discipline and most of the teachers, of both sexes, found business 
up at the library, by the pulpit ; and it was business that frequently had to be done 
over again two or three times, (with much seeming vexation.) The little girls 
"showed off" in various ways, and the little boys "showed off" with such dili- 
gence that the air was thick with paper wads and the murmur of scufflings. 
And above it all the great man sat and beamed a majestic judicial smile upon all 
the house, and warmed himself in the sun of his own grandeur for he was " show- 
ing off," too. 4 


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

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

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

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

Tom was introduced to the Judge; but his tongue was tied, his breath would 
hardly come, his heart quaked partly because of the awful greatness of the 


man, but mainly because he was her parent. He would have liked to fall down 
and worship him, if it were in the dark. The Judge put his hand on Tom's head 

and called him a fine little man, and 
asked him what his name was. The 
boy stammered, gasped, and got it out : 
" Tom." 

" Oh, no, not Tom it is " 
" Thomas." 

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

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


5 2 


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

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

Tom still hung fire. 

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


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


half-past ten the cracked 
bell of the small church began to 
ring, and presently the people 
began to gather for the morning 
sermon. The Sunday school chil- 
dren distributed themselves about 
the house and occupied pews with 
their parents, so as to be under 
supervision. Aunt Polly came, 
and Tom and Sid and Mary sat 
with her Tom being placed next 
the aisle, in order that he might 
be as far away from the open 
window and the seductive out- 
side summer scenes as possible. 
The crowd filed up the aisles: 
the aged and needy postmaster, 
had seen better days; the mayor and his wife for they had a mayor 

, among other unnecessaries ; the justice of the peace; the widow 




Douglass, fair, smart and forty, a generous, good-hearted soul and well-to-do, 
her hill mansion the only palace in the town, and the most hospitable and much 
the most lavish in the matter of festivities that St. Petersburg could boast; the 
bent and venerable Major and Mrs. Ward ; lawyer Riverson, the new notable 
from a distance ; next the belle of the village, followed by a troop of lawn-clad 
and ribbon-decked young heart-breakers; then all the young clerks in town in 
a body for they had stood in the vestibule sucking their cane-heads, a circling 

wall of oiled and simpering admirers, till the 
Jast girl had run their gauntlet; and last of 
all came the Model Boy, Willie Mufferson, 
taking as heedful care of his mother as if 
she were cut glass. He always brought his 
mother to church, and was the pride of all 
the matrons. The boys all hated him, he 
was so good. And besides, he had been 
"thrown up to them" so much. His white 
handkerchief was hanging out of his pocket 
behind, as usual on Sundays accidentally. 
Tom had no handkerchief, and he looked 
upon boys who had, as snobs. 

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

The minister gave out the hymn, and read it through with a relish, in a 
peculiar style which was much admired in that part of the country. His voice 
began on a medium key and climbed steadily up till it reached a certain point, 




where it bore with strong emphasis upon the topmost word and then plunged 
down as if from a spring-board : 

Shall I be car-ri-ed toe the skies, on flow'ry bed* 

of ease, 
Whilst others fight to win the prize, and sail thro' blood- 

-y seas? 
He was regarded as a wonderful reader. At church "sociables" he was 


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

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


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

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

The minister gave out his text and droned along monotonously through an 



argument that was so prosy that many a head by and by began to nod and yet 
it was an argument that dealt in limitless fire and brimstone and thinned the 
predestined elect down to a company so small as to be hardly worth the saving. 
Tom counted the pages of the sermon ; after church he always knew how many 
pages there had been, but he seldom knew anything else about the discourse. 
However, this time he was really interested for a little while. The minister 
made a grand and moving picture of the assembling together of the world's 
hosts at the millennium when the lion and the lamb should lie down together 
and a little child should lead them. But the pathos, the lesson, the moral of 
the great spectacle were lost upon the boy ; he only thought of the conspicu- 
ousness of the principal character before the on-looking nations; his face 
lit with the thought, and he said to him- 
self 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. Pres- 
ently he bethought him of a treasure 
he had and got it out. It was a large 
black beetle with formidable jaws a 
" pinch-bug," he called it. It was in a 
percussion-cap box. The first thing the 
beetle did was to take him by the finger. 
A natural fillip followed, the beetle went 
floundering into the aisle and lit on its 
back, and the hurt finger went into the 
boy's mouth. The beetle lay there work- 
ing its helpless legs, unable to turn over. 
Tom eyed it, and longed for it; but it was 
safe out of his reach. Other people un- 
interested in the sermon, found relief in 


the beetle, and they eyed it too. Presently a vagrant poodle dog came idling 
along, sad at heart, lazy with the summer softness and the quiet, weary of 


captivity, sighing for change. He spied the beetle; the drooping tail lifted 
and wagged. He surveyed the prize; walked around it; smelt at it from 
a safe distance; walked around it again; grew bolder, and took a closer 
smell; then lifted his lip and made a gingerly snatch at it, just missing 
it; made another, and another; began to enjoy the diversion; subsided to his 
stomach with the beetle between his paws, and continued his experiments; 
grew weary at last, and then indifferent and absent-minded. His head nodded, 
and little by little his chin descended and touched the enemy, who seized it. 
There was a sharp yelp, a flirt of the poodle's head, and the beetle fell a couple 
of yards away, and lit on its back once more. The neighboring spectators 
shook with a gentle inward joy, several faces went behind fans and handker- 
chiefs, and Tom was entirely happy. The dog looked foolish, and probably felt 
so; but there was resentment in his heart, too, and a craving for revenge. So 
he went to the beetle and began a wary attack on it again ; jumping at it from 
every point of a circle, lighting with his fore paws within an inch of the crea- 
ture, making even closer snatches at it with his teeth, and jerking his head till 

his ears flapped again. But 
he grew tired once more, 
after a while ; tried to amuse 
himself with a fly but found 
no relief; followed an ant 
around, with his nose close 
to the floor, and quickly 
wearied of that; yawned, 
sighed, forgot the beetle 
entirely, and sat down on 
it! Then there was a wild 
yelp of agony and the poo- 
dle went sailing up the 
aisle; the yelps continued, and so did the dog; he crossed the house in front 
of the altar; he flew down the other aisle; he crossed before the doors; he 
clamored up the home-stretch ; his anguish grew with his progress, till 



presently he was but a woolly comet moving in its orbit with the gleam and 
the speed of light. At last the frantic sufferer sheered from its course, and 
sprang into its master's lap ; he flung it out of the window, and the voice of 
distress quickly thinned away and died in the distance. 

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

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

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 wish- 
ing he had had no intervening holiday, 
it made the going into captivity and 
fetters again so much more odious. 

Tom lay thinking. Presently it oc- 
curred to him that he wished he was 
sick ; then he could stay home from 
school. Here was a vague possibility. 
He canvassed his system. No ailment 
was found, and he investigated again. 

* r i'/7Tir*" v 77 '^*J4^ H_Z_ 

\ u^>MLx>^5<i^gj^!^fe^>^i/A This time he thought he could detect 
colicky symptoms, and he began to encourage them with considerable hope. But 
they soon grew feeble, and presently died wholly away. He reflected further. 



Suddenly he discovered something. One of his upper front teeth was loose. 
This was lucky ; he was about to begin to groan, as a "starter," as he called it, 
when it occurred to him that if he came into court with that argument, his aunt 
would pull it out, and that would hurt. So he thought he would hold the tooth in 
reserve for the present, and seek further. Nothing offered for some little time, and 
then he remembered hearing the doctor tell about a certain thing that laid up a 
patient for two or three weeks and threatened to make him lose a finger. So the 
boy eagerly drew his sore toe from under the sheet and held it up for inspection. 
But now he did not know the necessary symptoms. However, it seemed well 
worth while to chance it, so he fell to groaning with considerable spirit. 

But Sid slept on unconscious. 

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

No result from Sid. 

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

Sid snored on. 

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

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

Tom moaned out : 

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

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

"No nevermind. 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 ! O don't stir so, Sid, you'll kill me." 

" Tom, why didn't you wake me sooner? O, 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 " 


" O, Tom, you ain't dying are you ? Don't, Tom O, don't. Maybe " 

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

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

Sid flew down stairs and said : 

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

" Dying ! " 

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

" Rubbage ! I don't believe it ! " 

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

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

"O, auntie, I'm " 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom said : 


" O, 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. / don't want to stay home from school." 

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

But all trials bring their compensations. 
As Tom wended to school after breakfast, 
he was the envy of every boy he met 
because the gap in his upper row of teeth 
enabled him- to expectorate in a new and 
admirable way. He gathered quite a fol- 
lowing of lads interested in the exhibition; 
and one that had cut his finger and had DENTISTRY. 

been a centre of fascination and homage up to this time, now found himself 
suddenly without an adherent, and shorn of his glory. His heart was heavy, and 
he said with a disdain which he did not feel, that it wasn't anything to spit like 
Tom Sawyer; but another boy said " Sour grapes ! " and he wandered away a dis- 
mantled hero. 

Shortly Tom came upon the juvenile pariah of the village, Huckleberry Finn, 
son of the town drunkard. Huckleberry was cordially -hated and dreaded by all 
the mothers of the town, because .he was idle, and lawless, and vulgar and bad 
and because all their children admired him so, and delighted in his forbidden 
society, and wished they dared to be like him. Tom was like the rest of the 

6 4 


respectable boys, in that he envied Huckleberry his gaudy outcast condition, and 
was under strict orders not to play with him. So he played with him every time 
he got a chance. Huckleberry was always dressed in the cast-off clothes of full- 
grown men, and they were in perennial bloom and fluttering with rags. His hat 
was a vast ruin with a wide crescent lopped out of its brim ; his coat, when he 
wore one, hung nearly to his heels and had the rearward buttons far down the 
back ; but one suspender supported his trousers; the seat of the trousers bagged 
low and contained nothing; the fringed legs dragged in the dirt when not rolled up. 
Huckleberry came and went, at his own free will. He slept on door-steps in fine 
weather and in empty hogsheads in wet ; he did not have to go to school or to church, 
or call any being master or obey anybody ; he could go fishing or swimming when 
and where he chose, and stay as long as it suited him ; nobody forbade him to 

fight ; he could sit up as late as he pleased : 
he was always the first boy that went barefoot 
in the spring and the last to resume leather 
in the fall ; he never had to wash, nor put on 
clean clothes; he could swear wonderfully. 
In a word, everything that goes to make life 
precious, that boy had. So thought every 
harassed, hampered, respectable boy in St. 

Tom hailed the romantic outcast : 
" Hello, Huckleberry ! " 
" Hello yourself, and see how you like it." 
" What's that you got ? " 
" Dead cat." 

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

" Bought him off'n a boy." 
" What did you give ? " 

" I give a blue ticket and a bladder that I got at the slaughter house." 
" Where'd you get the blue ticket ? " 



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

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

" Good for? Cure warts with." 

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

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

"Why, spunk-water." 

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

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

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

"Who told you so ! " 

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

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

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

" In the day time ? " 


" 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 your- 
self, to the middle of the woods, where you know there's a spunk-water stump, and 
just as it's midnight you back up against the stump and jam your hand in and say: 
" Barley-corn, Barley-corn, injun-meal shorts, 
Spunk-water, spunk-water, swaller these warts." 

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


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

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

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

" Have you ? What's your way ? " 

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

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

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

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

" No, but old mother Hopkins told me." 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

" Of course if you ain't afeard." 

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

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

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

" Nothing but a tick." 

" Where'd you get him ? " 

" Out in the woods.**" 

"What '11 you take for him? " 

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

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

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


68 TOM SAW YE 'R. 

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

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

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

"Less see it." 

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

" Is it genuwyne ? " 

Tom lifted his lip aud 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 pinch- 
bug's prison, and the boys separated, each feeling wealthier than before. 

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

"Thomas Sawyer! " 

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

" Sir ! " 

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

Tom was about to take refuge in a lie, when he saw two long tails of yellow hair 
hanging down a back that he recognized by the electric sympathy of love ; and by 
that form was the only vacant place on the girl's side of the school-house. He 
instantly said : 


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

" You you did what ? " 

" Stopped to talk with Huckleberry Finn." 

There was no mistaking the words. 



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

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

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

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

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


7 o 


" Let me see it." 

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

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

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

Tom drew an hour-glass' with a full moon and straw limbs to it and armed the 

spreading fingers with a por- 
tentous fan. The girl said : 

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

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

" O, will you ? When ? " 
" At noon. Do you go home 
to dinner ? " 

" I'll stay if you will." 
" Good, that's a . whack. 
TOM AS AN ARTIST. 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 ? " 

Now Tom began to scrawl something on the slate, hiding the words from the 
girl. But she was not backward this time. She begged to see. Tom said : 
" Oh it ain't anything." 
"Yes it is." 
" No it ain't. You don't want to see." 


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

"You'll tell." 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


harder Tom tried to fasten 
his mind on his book, the more his 
ideas wandered. So at last, with a 
sigh and a yawn, he gave it up. It 
seemed to him that the noon recess 
would never come. The air was 
utterly dead. There was not a breath 
stirring. It was the sleepiest of 
sleepy days. The drowsing murmur 
of the five and twenty studying 
scholars, soothed the soul like the 
spell that is in the murmur of bees. 
Away off in the flaming sunshine, 
Cardiff Hill lifted its soft green sides 
through a shimmering veil of heat, 
tinted with the purple of distance; 
a fe w birds floated on lazy wing high 
in the air; no other living thing was visible but some cows, and they were 
asleep. Tom's heart ached to be free, or else to have something of interest 


to do to pass the dreary time. His hand wandered into his pocket and his face 
lit up with a glow of gratitude that was prayer, though he did not know it. 
Then furtively the percussion-cap box came out. He released the tick and put 
him on the long flat desk. The creature probably glowed with a gratitude that 
amounted to prayer, too, at this moment, but it was premature : for when he 
started thankfully to travel off, Tom turned him aside with a pin and made him 
take a new direction. 

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

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

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

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

" Tom, you let him alone." 

74 T0!\f SAWYER. 

11 1 only just want to stir him up a little, Joe." 

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

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

" Let him alone, I tell you ! " 

*' I won't ! " 

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

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

"/don't care whose tick he is he's on my side of the line, and you shan't 
touch him." 

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

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

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

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

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

"Do you love rats?" 

" No ! I hate them ! " 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

" O, 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." 


"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 telf a boy you wont 
ever have any body 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/ 51 

" Everybody ? " 

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

Ye yes." 

" What was it ? " 

" I shant tell you." 

"Shall I tellj^K?" 

" Ye yes but some other time." 


" No, now." 

"No, not now to-morrow." 

" O, no, now. Please Becky I'll whisper it, I'll whisper it ever so easy." 

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

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

She resisted, for a while, and then said : 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

" Oh its ever so gay ! Why me and Amy Lawrence " > 



The big eyes told Tom his blunder and he stopped, confused. 
" O, Tom ! Then I ain't the first you've ever been engaged to ! " 
The child began to cry. Tom said : 
" O don't cry, Becky, I don<t care for her any more." 
"Yes you do, Tom, you know you do." 

Tom tried to put his arm about her neck, but she pushed him away, and 
turned her face to the wall, and went on crying. Tom tried again, with sooth- 
ing words in his mouth, and was repulsed again. Then his pride was up, and 
he strode away and went outside. He stood about, restless and uneasy, for a 
while, glancing at the door, every now and then, hoping she would repent and 
come to find him. But she did not. Then he began to feel badly and fear that 

he was in the wrong. It was a hard strug- 
gle with him to make new advances, now, 
but he nerved himself to it and entered. 
She was still standing back there in the 
corner, sobbing, with her face to the wall. 
Tom's heart smote him. He went to her 
and stood a moment, not knowing exactly 
how to proceed. Then he said hesitatingly: 
" Becky, I I don't care for anybody but 

No reply but sobs. 

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

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

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

She struck it to the floor. Then Tom marched out of the house and over 
the hills and far away, to return to school no more that day. Presently Becky 


began to suspect. She ran to the door ; he was not in sight ; she flew around 
to the play -yard ; he was not there. Then she called : 

"Tom!" Come back Tom !" 

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


lay in a 

dodged hither and thither 
through lanes until he was well out 
of the track of returning scholars, 
and then fell into a moody jog. He 
crossed a small " branch " two or 
three times, because of a prevailing 
juvenile superstition that to cross 
water baffled pursuit. Half an hour 
later he was disappearing behind the 
Douglas mansion on the summit of 
Cardiff Hill, and the school-house 
was hardly distinguishable away off 
in the valley behind him. He entered 
a dense wood, picked his pathless 
way to the centre of it, and sat down 
on a mossy sp'ot under a spreading 
oak. There was not even a zephyr 
the dead noonday heat had even stilled the songs of the birds ; nature 
trance that was broken by no sound but the occasional far-off 


hammering of a woodpecker, and this seemed to render the pervading silence and 
sense of loneliness the more profound. The boy's soul was steeped in melan- 
choly ; his feelings were in happy accord with his surroundings. He sat long 
with his elbows on his knees and his chin in his hands, meditating. It seemed to- 
him that life was but a trouble, at best, and he more than half envied Jimmy 
Hodges, so lately released ; it must be very peaceful, he thought, to lie and slumber 
and dream forever and ever, with the wind whispering through the trees and 
caressing the grass and the flowers over the grave, and nothing to bother and 
grieve about, ever any more. If he only had a clean Sunday-school record he 
could be willing to go, and be done with it all. Now as to this girl. What had he 
done ? Nothing. He had meant the best in the world, and been treated like a 
dog like a very dog. She would be sorry some day maybe when it was too 
late. Ah, if he could only die temporarily ! 

But the elastic heart of youth cannot be compressed into one constrained shape 
long at a time. Tom presently began to drift insensibly back into the concerns 
of this life again. What if he turned his back, now, and disappeared mysteriously ? 
What if he went away ever so far away, into unknown countries beyond the seas 
and never come back any more ! How would she feel then ! The idea of 
being a clown recurred to him now, only to fill him with disgust. For fri^lity 
and jokes and spotted tights were an offense, when they intruded themselves 
upon a spirit that was exalted into the vague august realm of the romantic. No, 
he would be a soldier, and return after long years, all war-worn and illustrious. 
No better still, he would join the Indians, and hunt buffaloes and go on the war- 
path in the mountain ranges and the trackless great plains of the Far West, and 
away in the future come back a great chief, bristling with feathers, hideous with 
paint, and prance into Sunday-school, some drowsy summer morning, with a 
blood-curdling war-whoop, and sear the eye-balls of all his companions with 
unappeasable envy. But no, there was something gaudier even than this. He 
would be a pirate! That was it! Now his future lay plain before him, and 
glowing with unimaginable splendor. How his name would fill the world, and 
make people shudder! How gloriously he would go plowing the dancing seas, in 
his long, low, black-hulled racer, the " Spirit of the Storm," with his grisly flag 



flying at the fore ! And at the zenith of his 
fame, how he would suddenly appear at the 
old village and stalk into church, brown and 
weather-beaten, in his black velvet doublet 
and trunks, his great jack-boots, his crimson 
sash, his belt bristling with horse-pistols, his 
crime-rusted cutlass at his side, his slouch 
hat with waving plumes, his black flag un- 
furled, with the skull and cross-bones on it, 
and hear with swelling ecstasy the whisper- 
ings, "It's Tom Sawyer the Pirate! the 
Black Avenger of the Spanish Main ! " 

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

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

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



" Well, that beats anything ? " 

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

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

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

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

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

" Brother go find your brother ! " 

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

Just here the blast of a toy tin trumpet came faintly down the green aisles of the 


forest. Tom flung off his jacket and trousers, turned a suspender into a belt, 
raked away some brush behind the rotten log, disclosing a rude bow and arrow, a 
lath sword and a tin trumpet, and in a moment had seized these things and 
bounded away, bare legged, with fluttering shirt. He presently halted under a 
great elm, blew an answering blast, and then began to tip-toe and look warily out, 
this way and that. He said cautiously to an imaginary company : 
" Hold, my merry men ! Keep hid till I blow." 

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

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

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

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

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

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

" Then art thou indeed that famous out- 
law ? Right gladly will I dispute with thee 
the passes of the merry wood. Have at thee !" 
They took their lath swords, dumped their 
other traps on the ground, struck a fencing 
attitude, foot to foot, and began a grave, 
careful combat, "two up and two down." 
Presently Tom said : 

" Now if you've got the hang, go it lively !" 
So they "went it lively," panting and 
perspiring with the work. By and by Tom shouted : 
" Fall ! fall ! Why don't you fall ? " 
" I shan't ! Why don't you fall yourself? You're getting the worst of it." 



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

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

" Now," said Joe, getting up, " You got to let me kill you. That's fair." 
" Why I can't do that, it ain't in the book." 
"Well it's blamed mean, that's all." 

" Well, say, Joe, you can be Friar Tuck or Much the miller's son and lam me 

with a quarter-staff; or I'll be the Sheriff of 
Nottingham and you be Robin Hood a little 
while and kill me." 

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

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


half past nine, that night, Tom 
and Sid were sent to bed, as usual. 
They said their prayers, and Sid was 
soon asleep. Tom lay awake and 
waited, in restless impatience. When 
it seemed to him that it must be nearly 
daylight, he heard the clock strike ten ! 
This was despair. He would have 
tossed and fidgeted, as his nerves de- 
manded, but he was afraid he might 
wake Sid. So he lay still, and stared 
up into the dark. Everything was dis- 
mally still. By and by, out of the still- 
ness, little, scarcely preceptible noises 
began to emphasize themselves. The 
ticking of the clock began to bring 
itself into notice. Old beams began to 

crack mysteriously. The stairs creaked faintly. Evidently spirits were abroad. 

A measured, muffled snore issued from Aunt Polly's chamber. And now the 




tiresome chirping of a cricket that no human ingenuity could locate, began. Next 
the ghastly ticking of a death-watch in the wall at the bed's head made Tom 
shudder it meant that somebody's days were numbered. Then the howl of a far- 
off dog rose on the night air, and was answered by a fainter howl from a remoter 
distance. Tom was in an agony. At last he was- satisfied that time had ceased 
and eternity begun ; he began to doze, in spite of himself; the clock chimed eleven 
but he did not hear it. And then there came mingling with his half-formed dreams, 

a most melancholy caterwauling. The 
raising of a neighboring window dis- 
turbed him. A cry of " Scat ! you devil !" 
and the crash of an empty bottle against 
the back of his aunt's woodshed brought 
him wide awake, and a single minute 
later he was dressed and out of the 
window and creeping along the roof of 
the " ell " on all fours. He " meow'd ' r 
with caution once or twice, as he went ; 
then jumped to the" roof of the wood- 
shed and thence to the ground. Huckle- 
berry Finn was there, with his dead cat. 
The boys moved off and disappeared in 
the gloom. At the end of half an hour 
they were wading through the tall grass 
of the graveyard. 

It was a graveyard of the old-fashioned 
1ESS - western kind. It was on a hill, about a 

mile and a half from the village. It had a crazy board fence around it, wffich 
leaned inward in places, and outward the rest of the time, but stood upright 
nowhere. Grass and weeds grew rank over the whole cemetery. All the old graves 
were sunken -in, there was not a tombstone on the place ; round-topped, worm- 
eaten boards staggered over the graves, leaning for support and finding none. 
"Sacred to the memory of" So-and-So had been painted on them once, but it 


could no longer have been read, on the most of them, now, even if there had 
been light. 

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

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

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

Huckleberry whispered : 

" I wisht I knowed. It's awful solemn like, ain't it? " 

" I bet it is." 

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

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

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

Tom, after a pause : 

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

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

This was a damper, and conversation died again. Presently Tom seized 
his comrade's arm and said : 

" Sh ! " 

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

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

ti j " 

" 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 ? " 

" O, Tom, they can see in the dark, same as cats. I wisht I hadn't come." 
" O, don't be afeard. / don't believe they'll bother us. We ain't doing any 
harm. If we keep perfectly still, maybe they won't notice us at all." 
"I'll try to, Tom, but Lord I'm all of a shiver." 
" Listen ! " 

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

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

"It's devil-fire. O, Tom, this is awful." 
Some vague figures approached through 
the gloom, swinging an old-fashioned tin 
lantern that freckled the ground with innu- 
merable little spangles of light. Presently 
Huckleberry whispered with a shudder : 

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

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

"What is it, Huck?" . 
TOM'S EFFORT AT PRATER. " They're humans ! One of 'em is, any- 

way. 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, 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 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Yes, and you done more than that," said Injun Joe, approaching the doctor, 
who was now standing. "Five years ago you drove me away from your 
father's kitchen one night, when I come to ask for something to eat, and you 
said I warn't there for any good ; and when I swore I'd get even with you if it 


took a hundred years, your father had me jailed for a vagrant. Did you think 
I'd forget? The Injun blood ain't in me for nothing. And now I've got you> 
and you got to settle, you know ! " 

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

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

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

"That score is settled damn you." 

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

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

" It's a dirty business," said Joe, without moving. "What did you do it for?" 

" I ! I never done it ! " 

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

Potter trembled and grew white. 


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

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

" O, 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 whisky ; and the excitement, I reckon. I 
never used a weepon in my life before, Joe. I've fought, but never with weep- 
ons. They'll all say that. Joe, don't tell ! Say you won't tell, Joe that's a 
good feller. I always liked you Joe, and stood up for you, too. Don't you 


remember ? You won't tell, will you Joe ?" And the poor creature dropped on 
his knees before the stolid murderer, and clasped his appealing hands. 

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

" O, 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 thiSi Move, now, and don't leave any tracks 
behind you." 

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

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

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

^^r-sjx. - 

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

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

Huckleberry's hard pantings were his only reply, and the boys fixed their 
eyes on the goal of their hopes and bent to their work to win it. They gained 
steadily on it, and at last, breast to breast they burst through the open door 



and fell grateful and exhausted in the sheltering shadows beyond. By and by 
their pulses slowed down, and Tom whispered : 

" Huckleberry, what do you, reckon '11 come of this?" * 

"If Dr. Robinson dies, I reckon hanging '11 come of it." 

" Do you though ? " 

"Why I know it, Tom." 

Tom thought a while, then he said : 

"Who'll tell? We?" 

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

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

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

Tom said nothing went on thinking. Presently he whispered : 

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

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

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

" By hokey, that's so Tom ! " 

"And besides, look-a-here maybe that whack done for him \ " 

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

After another reflective silence, Tom said : 

" Hucky, you sure you can keep mum ? " 

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



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

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

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


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

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

" What's verdigrease ? " 

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

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

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

" Tom," whispered Huckleberry, " does this keep us from ever telling always ? " 

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

" Yes, I reckon that's so." 

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

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

" I dono peep through the crack. Quick ! " 

"No,jw, Tom!" 

" I can't I can't do it, Huck ! " 

" Please, Tom. There 'tis again ! " 

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

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


" O, that's good I tell you, Tom, I was most scared to death ; I'd a bet any- 
thing it was a stray dog." 

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

" O, my ! that ain't no Bull Harbison ! " whispered Huckleberry, " Do, Tom i " 

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

" O, Huek, IT'S A STRAY DOG ! " 

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

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

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

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

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

Tom choked off and whispered : 

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

Hucky looked, with joy in his heart. 

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

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

The howling stopped. Tom pricked up his ears. 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Tom quailed. But presently the temptation rose up strong again and the boys 
agreed to try, with the understanding that they would take to their heels if the 
snoring stopped. So they went tip-toeing stealthily down, the one behind the 
other. When they had got to within five steps of the snorer, Tom stepped on a 
stick, and it broke with a sharp snap. The man moaned, writhed a little, and his 


face came into the moonlight. It was Muff Potter. The boys' hearts had stood 
still, and their hopes too, when the man moved, but their fears passed away now. 
They tip-toed out, through the broken weather-boarding, and stopped at a little 
distance to exchange a parting word. That long, lugubrious howl rose on the 
night air again ! They turned and saw the strange dog standing within a few feet 
of where Potter was lying, and facing Potter, with his nose pointing heavenward. 


" O, geeminy it's him \ " exclaimed both boys, in a breath. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

This final feather broke the camel's back. 

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

A gory knife had been found close 
to the murdered man, and it had been 
recognized by somebody as belong- 
ing to Muff Potter so the story ran, 
And it was said that a belated citizen 
had come upon Potter washing himself in the " branch " about one or two 
o'clock in the morning, and that Potter had at once sneaked off suspicious 




circumstances, especially the washing, which was not a habit with Potter. 

It was also said that the town had been ransacked for this " murderer," 

(the public are not slow in the matter 
of sifting evidence and arriving at a 
verdict), but that he could not be found. 
Horsemen had departed down all the 
roads in every direction, and the Sheriff 
" was confident " that he would be cap- 
tured before night. 

All the town was drifting toward 
the graveyard. Tom's heart-break van- 
ished and he joined the procession, not 
because he would not a thousand times 
rather go any where else, but because an 
awful, unaccountable fascination drew 
him on. Arrived at the dreadful place, 
he wormed his small body through the 
crowd and saw the dismal spectacle. 
A SUSPICIOUS INCIDENT. It seemed to him an age since he was 

there before. Somebody pinched his arm. He turned, and his eyes met 

Huckleberry's. Then both looked elsewhere at once, and wondered if anybody 

had noticed anything in their mutual glance. But everybody was talking, and 

intent upon the grisly spectacle before them. 

"Poor fellow!" "Poor young fellow!" "This ought to be a lesson to 

grave-robbers ! " " Muff Potter'll hang for this if they catch him ! " This was 

the drift of remark ; and the minister said, " It was a judgment; His hand is 


Now Tom shivered from head to heel ; for his eye fell upon the stolid face of 

Injun Joe. At this moment the crowd began to sway and struggle, and voices 

shouted, " It's him ! it's him ! he's coming himself! " 
" Who ? Who ? " from twenty voices. 
"Muff Potter!" 



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

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

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

The crowd fell apart, now, and the Sheriff came through, ostentatiously lead- 
ing Potter by the arm. The poor fellow's face was haggard, and his eyes 


showed the fear that was upon him. When he stood before the murdered man, 
he shook as with a palsy, and he put his face in his hands and burst into tears. 

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

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

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


" O, Injun Joe, you promised me you'd never " 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Tom blanched and dropped his eyes. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

It seemed to Tom that his schoolmates never would get done holding inquests 
on dead cats, and thus keeping his trouble present to his mind, Sid noticed 
that Tom never was coroner at one of these inquiries, though it had been his 
habit to take the lead in all new enterprises ; he noticed, too, that Tom never 
acted as a witness, and that was strange ; and Sid did not overlook the fact 


that Tom even showed a marked aversion to these inquests, and always avoided 
them when he could. Sid marveled, but said nothing. However, even inquests 
went out of vogue at last, and ceased to torture Tom's conscience. 

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

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


of the reasons why 
Tom's mind had drifted away from 
its secret troubles was, that it had 
found a new and weighty matter to 
interest itself about. Becky Thatcher 
had stopped coming to school. Tom 
had struggled with his pride a few 
days, and tried to " whistle her down 
the wind," but failed. He began to 
find himself hanging around her 
father's house, nights, and feeling 
very miserable. She was ill. What 
if she should die ! There was dis- 
traction in the thought. He no 
longer took an interest in war, nor 
even in piracy. The charm of life 

1 ' was gone; there was nothing but 

dreariness left. He put his hoop away, and his bat ; there was no joy in them 
any more. His aunt was concerned. She began to try all manner of remedies 




on him. She was one of those people who are infatuated with patent medicines 
and all new-fangled methods of producing health or mending it. She was an 
inveterate experimenter in these things. When something fresh in this line came 
out she was in a fever, right away, to try it; not on herself, for she was never 
ailing, but on anybody else that came handy. She was a subscriber for all the 
" Health " periodicals and phreneological frauds; and the solemn ignorance they 
were inflated with was breath to her nostrils. All the " rot " they contained about 

ventilation, and how to go to bed, and how 
to get up, and what to eat, and what to 
drink, and how much exercise to take, and 
what frame of mind to keep one's self in, 
and what sort of clothing to wear, was all 
gospel to her, and she never observed that 
her health-journals of the current month 
customarily upset everything they had rec- 
ommended the month before. She was as 
simple-hearted and honest as the day was 
long, and so she was an easy victim. She 
gathered together her quack periodicals 
and her quack medicines, and thus armed 
with death, went about on her pale horse, 
metaphorically speaking, with "hell follow- 
ing after." But she never suspected that 
she was not an angel of healing and the 
balm of Gilead in disguise, to the suffering neighbors. 

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

Yet notwithstanding all this, the boy grew more and more melancholy and pale 



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

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

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

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

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

But Peter signified that he did want it. 

" You better make sure." 

Peter was sure. 

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

Peter was agreeable. So Tom pried his mouth open and poured down the 


Pain-killer. Peter sprang a couple of yards in the air, and then delivered a 
war-whoop and set off round and round the room, banging against furniture, 
upsetting flower pots and making general havoc. Next he rose on his hind feet 
and pranced around, in a frenzy of enjoyment, with his head over his shoulder and 
his voice proclaiming his unappeasable happiness. Then he went tearing around 
the house again spreading chaos and destruction in his path. Aunt Polly entered 
in time to see him throw a few double summersets, deliver a final mighty hurrah, 


and sail through the open window, carrying the rest of the flower-pots with him. 
The old lady stood petrified with astonishment, peering over her glasses; Tom lay 
On the floor expiring with laughter. 

" Tom, what on earth ails that cat? " , 

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

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

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


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

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

" You do ? " 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tom looked up in her face with just a preceptible twinkle peeping through his 
gravity : 

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

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

Tom reached school ahead of time. It was noticed that this strange thing had 
been occurring every day latterly. And now, as usual of late, he hung about the 
gate of the school-yard instead of playing with his comrades. He was sick, he 
said, and he looked it. He tried to seem to be looking everywhere but whither he 
really was looking down the road. Presently Jeff Thatcher hove in sight, and 
Tom's face lighted ; he gazed a moment, and then turned sorrowfully away. When 


Jeff arrived, Tom accosted him, and "led up " warily to opportunities for remark 
about Becky, but the giddy lad never could see the bait. Tom watched and 
watched, hoping whenever a frisking frock came in sight, and hating the owner of 
it as soon as he saw she was not the right one. At last frocks ceased to appear, 
and he dropped hopelessly into the dumps ; he entered the empty school house 
and sat down to surfer. Then one more frock passed in at the gate, and Tom's 
heart gave a great bound. The next instant he was out, and " going on " like an 
Indian ; yelling, laughing, chasing boys, jumping over the fence at risk of life and 
limb, throwing hand-springs, standing on his head doing all the heroic things he 
could conceive of, and keeping a furtive eye out, all the while, to see if Becky 
Thatcher was noticing. But she seemed to be unconscious of it all ; she never 
looked. Could it be posssble that she was not aware that he was there ? He 
carried his exploits to her immediate vicinity ; came war-whooping around, snatched 
a boy's cap, hurled it to the roof of the school-house, broke through a group of 
boys, tumbling them in every direction, and fell sprawling, himself, under Becky's 
nose, almost upsetting her and she turned, with her nose in the air, and he heard 
her say. " Mf ! some people think they're mighty smart always showing off!-" 

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

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

J3y this time he was far down 
Meadow Lane, and the bell for school to "take up" tinkled faintly upon his 
ear. He sobbed, now, to think he should never, never hear that old familiar 
8 113 


sound any more it was very hard, but it was forced on him ; since he was 
driven out into the cold world, he must submit but he forgave them. Then 
the sobs came thick and fast. 

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

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

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

Three miles below St. Petersburg, at a point where the Mississippi river was 
a trifle over a mile wide, there was a long, narrow, wooded island, with a shal- 
low bar at the head of it, and this offered well as a rendezvous. It was not 
inhabited ; it lay far over toward the further shore, abreast a dense and almost 
wholly unpeopled forest. So Jackson's Island was chosen. Who were to be 
the subjects of their piracies, was a matter that did not occur to them. Then 
they hunted up Huckleberry Finn, and he joined them promptly, for all cafeers 
were one to him ; he was indifferent. They presently separated to meet at a 
lonely spot on the river bank two miles above the village at the favorite hour 
-which was midnight. There was a small log raft there which they meant to 


capture. Each would bring hooks and lines, and such provision as he could 
steal in the most dark and mysterious way as became outlaws. And before the 
afternoon was done, they had all managed to enjoy the sweet glory of spread- 
ing the fact that pretty soon the town would " hear something." All who got 
this vague hint wefe cautioned to "be mum and wait." 

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

" Who goes there ? " 

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

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

" Tis well. Give the countersign." 

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

BLOOD ! " 

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

The Terror of the Seas had brought a side of bacon, and had about worn 
himself out with getting it there. Finn the Red-Handed had stolen a skillet 
and a quantity of half-cured leaf tobacco, and had also brought a few corn- 
cobs to make pipes with. But none of the pirates smoked or "chewed" but 
himself. The Black Avenger of the Spanish Main said it would never do to 
start without some fire. That was a wise thought ; matches were hardly known 
there in that day. They saw a fire smouldering upon a great raft a hundred 
jards above, and they went stealthily thither and helped themselves to a chunk. 


They made an imposing adventure of it, saying " Hist ! " every now and then, 
and suddenly halting with finger on lip ; moving with hands on imaginary 
dagger-hilts; and giving orders in dismal whispers that if "the foe" stirred, to 
" let him have it to the hilt," because "dead men tell no tales." They knew 
well enough that the raftsmen were all down at the village laying in stores or 
having a spree, but still that was no excuse for their conducting this thing in 
an unpiratical way. 

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

" Luff, and bring her to the wind ! " 

" Aye-aye, sir ! " 

" Steady, stead-y-y-y ! " 

"Steady it is, sir ! " 

" Let her go off a point ! " 

" Point it is, sir ! " 

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

" What sail's she carrying ? " 

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

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

" Aye-aye, sir ! " 

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

" Aye- aye, sir ! " 

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

"Steady it is, sir!" 

The raft drew beyond the middle of the river ; the boys pointed her head 
right, and then lay on their oars. The river was not high, so there was not 
more than a two or three-mile current. Hardly a word was said during the 
next three-quarters of an hour. Now the raft was passing before the distant 


town. Two or three glimmering lights showed where it lay, peacefully sleep- 
ing, beyond the vague vast sweep of star-gemmed water, unconscious of the 
tremendous event that was happening. The Black Avenger stood still with 
folded arms, " looking his last " upon the scene of his former joys and his later 


sufferings, and wishing " she " could see him now, abroad on the wild sea, 
facing peril and death with dauntless heart, going to his doom with a grim 
smile on his lips. It was but a small strain on his imagination to remove Jack- 
son's Island beyond eye-shot of the village, and so he " looked his last " with 
a broken and satisfied heart. The other pirates were looking their last, too ; 
and they all looked so long that they came near letting the current drift them 
out of the range of the island. Bat they discovered the danger in time, and 
made shift to avert it. About two o'clock in the morning the raft grounded on 
the bar two hundred yards above the head of the island, and they waded 
back and forth until they had landed their freight. Part of the little raft's 


belongings consisted of an old sail, and this' they spread over a nook in the 
bushes for a tent to shelter their provisions; but they themselves would sleep 
in the open air in good weather, as became outlaws. 

They built a fire against the side of a great log twenty or thirty steps within 
the sombre depths of the forest, and then cooked some bacon in the frying-pan 

for supper, and used up half of the 
corn "pone" stock they had brought. 
It seemed glorious sport to be feasting 
in that wild free way in the virgin for- 
est of an unexplored and uninhabited 
island, far from the haunts of men, and 
they said they never would return to 
civilization. The climbing fire lit up 
their faces and threw its ruddy glare 
upon the pillared tree trunks of their 
forest temple, and upon the varnished 
foliage and festooning vines. 

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

" Ain't it gay ? " said Joe. 

" It's nuts ! " said Tom. " What would the boys say if they could see us ? " 
" Say ? Well they'd just^die to be here hey Hucky ! " 

"I reckon so," said Huckleberry; "anyways 7'm suited. I dont want noth- 
ing better'n this. I don't ever get enough to eat, gen 'ally and here they can't 
come and pick at a feller and bullyrag him so." 

"It's just the life for me," said Tom. ".You don't have to get up, mornings, 
and you don't have to go to school, and wash, and all that blame foolishness. 
You see a pirate don't have to do anything, Joe, when he's ashore, but a hermit 



he has to be praying considerable, and then he don't have any fun, anyway, all 
by himself that way." 

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

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

" What does he put sack-cloth and ashes on his head for ? " inquired Huck. 

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

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

"Well what would you do? " 

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

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

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

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

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

" What does pirates have to do? " 

Tom said : 

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

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

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


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

"Who?" said Huck. 

" Why the pirates." 

Huck scanned his own clothing forlornly. 

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

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

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

Tom awoke in the morn- 
ing, he wondered where he was. He 
sat up and rubbed his eyes and looked 
around. Then he comprehended. It 
was the cool gray dawn, and there was 
a delicious sense of repose and peace 
in the deep pervading calm and silence 
of the woods. Not a leaf stirred ; not 
a sound obtruded upon great Nature's 
meditation. Beaded dew-drops stood 
upon the leaves and grasses. A white 
layer of ashes covered the fire, and a 
thin blue breath of smoke rose straight 
into the air. Joe and Huck still slept. 
Now, far away in the woods a bird 
called ; another answered ; presently 
the hammering of a woodpecker was 
heard. Gradually the cool dim gray of the morning whitened, and as gradually 
sounds multiplied and life manifested itself. The marvel of Nature shaking off 


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

Tom stirred up the other pirates and they all clattered away with a shout, and 
in a minute or two were stripped and chasing after and tumbling over each other 
in the shallow limpid water of the white sand-bar. They felt no longing for the 


little village sleeping in the distance beyond the majestic waste of water. A 
vagrant current or a slight rise in the river had carried off their raft, but this only 
gratified them, since its going was some- 
thing like burning the bridge between them 
and civilization. 

They came back to camp wonderfully 
refreshed, glad-hearted, and ravenous ; and 
they soon had the camp-fire blazing up 
again. Huck found a spring of clear cold 
water close by, and the boys made cups of 
broad oak or hickory leaves', and felt that 
water, sweetened with such a wild-wood 
charm as that, would be a good enough 
substitute for coffee. While Joe was slicing 
bacon for breakfast, Tom and Huck asked 
him to hold on a minute ; they stepped to 
a promising nook in the river bank and 
threw in their lines; almost immediately 
they had reward. Joe had not had time to THF PIRATES' BATH. 

get impatient before they were back again with some handsome bass, a couple 
of sun-perch and a small catfish provisions enough for quite a family. They 
fried the fish with the bacon and were astonished; for no. fish had ever seemed so 
delicious before. They did not know that the quicker a'fresh water fish is on the 
fire after he is caught the better he is ; and they reflected little upon what a sauce 
open air sleeping, open air exercise, bathing, and a large ingredient of hunger 
makes, too. 

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

I2 4 


They found plenty of things to be delighted with but nothing to be astonished 
at. They discovered that the island was about three miles long and a quarter of 

a mile wide, and that the shore it lay 
closest to was only separated from it 
by a narrow channel hardly two hundred 
yards wide. They took a swim about 
every hour, so it was close upon the 
middle of the afternoon when they got 
back to camp. They were too hungry 
to stop to fish, but they fared sumptu- 
ously upon 'cold ham, and then threw 
themselves down, in the shade to talk. 
But the talk soon began to drag, and 
then died. The stillness, the solemnity 
that brooded in the woods, and the sense 
of loneliness, began to tell upon the 
spirits of the boys. They fell to think- 
ing. A sort of undefined longing crept 
upon them. This took dim shape, pre- 
Even Finn the Red-Handed was dreaming 
But they were all ashamed of their weak- 
ness, and none was brave enough to speak his thought. 

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

" Tain't thunder," said Huckleberry, in an awed tone, "becuz thunder " 
" Hark ! " said Tom. " Listen don't talk." 


sently it was budding home-sickness. 
-of his door-steps and empty hogsheads. 


I2 5 

They waited a time that seemed an age, and then the same muffled boom troubled 
the solemn hush. 
" Let's go and see." 
They sprang to their feet and hurried to the shore toward the town. They 


parted the bushes on the bank and peered out over the water. The little steam 
ferry boat was about a mile below the village, drifting with the current. Her 
broad deck seemed crowded with people. There were a great many skiffs rowing 
about or floating with the stream in the neighborhood of the ferry boat, but the 
boys could not determine what the men in them were doing. Presently a great 
jet of white smoke burst from the ferry boat's side, and as it expanded and rose in 
a lazy cloud, that same dull throb of sound was borne to the listeners again. 
" I know now ! " exclaimed Tom ; " somebody's drownded ! " 
"That's it! " said Huck; "they done that last summer, when Bill Turner got 
drownded ; they shoot a cannon over the water, and that makes him come up to 


the top. Yes, and they take loaves of bread and put quicksilver in 'em and set 'em 
afloat, and wherever there's anybody that's drownded, they'll float right there and 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As twilight drew on, the ferry boat went back to her accustomed business and 
the skiffs disappeared. The pirates returned to camp. They were jubilant with 
vanity over their new grandeur and the illustrious trouble they were making. 
They caught fish, cooked supper and ate it, and then fell to guessing at what the 
village was thinking and saying about them ; and the pictures they drew of the 
public distress on their account were gratifying to look upon from their point of 
view. But when the shadows of night closed them in, they gradually ceased to 



talk, and sat gazing into the fire, with their minds evidently wandering elsewhere. 
The excitement was gone, now, and Tom and Joe could not keep back thoughts 
of certain persons at home who were not' enjoying this fine frolic as much as they 
were. Misgivings came ; they grew troubled and unhappy ; a sigh or two escaped, 
unawares. By and by Jo/e timidly ventured upon a round-about " feeler " as to 
how the others might look upon a return to civilization not right now, but 

Tom withered him with derision ! Huck, being uncommitted, as yet, joined in 
with Tom, and the waverer quickly " ex- 
plained," and was glad to get out of the 
scrape with as little taint of chicken- 
hearted home-sickness clinging to his gar- 
ments as he could. Mutiny was effectu- 
ally laid to rest for the moment. 

As the night deepened, Huck began 
to nod, and presently to snore. Joe 
followed next. Tom lay upon his elbow 
motionless, for some time, watching the 
two intently. At last he got up cauti- 
ously, on his knees, and went searching 
among the grass and the flickering reflec- 
tions flung by the camp-fire. He picked 
up and inspected several large semi-cylin- 
ders of the thin white bark of a sycamore, 

and finally chose two which seemed to suit TOM'S MYSTERIOUS WRITING. 

him. Then he knelt by the fire and painfully wrote something upon each of these 
with his " red keel ; " one he rolled up and put in his jacket pocket, and the other 
,he put in Joe's hat and removed it to a little distance frcm the owner. And he 
also put into the hat certain school-boy treasures of almost inestimable value 
among them a lump of chalk, an India rubber ball, three fish-hooks, and one 
of that kind of marbles known as a "sure 'nough crystal." Then he tip-toed 
his way cautiously among the trees till he felt that he was out of hearing, and 
straightway broke into a keen run in the direction of the sand-bar. 

FEW minutes later Tom was 
in the shoal water of the bar, 
wading toward the Illinois shore. 
Before the depth reached his middle 
he was half way over ; the current 
would permit no more wading, now, 
so he struck out confidently to swim 
the remaining hundred yards. He 
swam quartering up stream, but 
still was swept downward rather 
faster than he had expected. How- 
ever, he reached the shore finally, and 
drifted along till he found a low 
place and drew himself out. He 
put his hand on his jacket pocket, found his piece of bark safe, and then struck 
through the woods, following the shore, with streaming garments. Shortly 



before ten o'clock he came out into an open place opposite the village, and saw 
the ferry boat lying in the shadow of the trees and the high bank. Everything 
was quiet under the blinking stars. . He crept down the bank, watching with 
all his eyes, slipped into the water, swam three or four strokes and climbed 
into the skiff that did "yawl " duty at the boat's stern. He laid himself down 
under the thwarts and waited, panting. 

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

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

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

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

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

"It was just so with my Joe always full of his devilment, and up to every 
kind of mischief, but he was just as unselfish and kind as he could be 



and laws bless me, to think I went and whipped him for taking that cream, 
never once recollecting that I throwed it out myself because it was sour, and I 
never to see him again in this world, never, never, never, poor abused boy! " 
And Mrs Harper sobbed as if her heart would break. 

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

" Sid! " Tom felt the glare of the old lady's eye, though he could not see it. 
" Not a word against my Tom, now that he's gone ! God'll take care of him 
never you trouble yourself, sir! Oh, Mrs. Harper, I don't know how to give 

him up ! I don't know how to give him up ! He was such a comfort to me, 
although he tormented my old heart out of me, "most." 

"The Lord giveth and the Lord hath taken away, Blessed be the name of 
the Lord ! But it's so hard Oh, it's so hard ! Only last Saturday my Joe 


busted a fire-cracker right under my nose and I knocked him sprawling. Lit- 
tle did I know then, how soon O, if it was to do over again I'd hug him and 
bless him for it." 

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

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

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

Mrs. Harper gave a sobbing good-night and turned to go. Then with a 


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

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

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

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

He sat down and took a long rest, torturing himself meantime to keep 
awake, and then started wearily down the home-stretch. The night was far 
spent. It was broad daylight before he found himself fairly abreast the island 
bar. He rested again until the sun was well up and gilding the great river 
with its splendor, and then he plunged into the stream. A little later he 


paused, dripping, upon the threshold of the camp, and heard Joe say : 

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

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

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

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

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


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

After breakfast they went whoop- 
ing and prancing out on the bar, and 
chased each other round and round, 
shedding clothes as they went, until 
were naked, and then continued the frolic far away up the shoal water of the 
against the stiff current, which latter tripped their legs from under them from 




time to time and greatly increased the fun. And now and then they stooped in a 
group and splashed water in each other's faces with their palms, gradually 
approaching each other, with averted faces to avoid the strangling sprays and 
finally gripping and struggling till the 
best man ducked his neighbor, and then 
they all went under in a tangle of white 
legs and arms and came up blowing, 
sputtering, laughing and gasping for breath 
at one and the same time. 

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

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


himself out of temptation by driving the other boys together and joining them. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Who cares!" said Tom. "Nobody wants you to. Go 'long home and get 
laughed at. O, you're a nice pirate. Huck and me ain't cry-babies. We'll stay, 


won't we Huck? Let him go if he wants to. I reckon we can get along without 
him, per'aps." 

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

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

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

"Tom, I better go." 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The lads came gaily back and went at their sports again with a will, chattering 
all the time about Tom's stupendous plan and admiring the genius of it. After a 


dainty egg and . fish dinner, Tom said he wanted to learn to smoke, now. Joe 
caught at the idea and said he would like to try, too. So Huck made pipes and 
filled them. These novices had never smoked anything before but cigars made of 
grape-vine and they "bit " the tongue and were not considered manly, anyway. 

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

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

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

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

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

"Yes heaps of times," said Huck. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

" O, dont // " said Joe, "Why I bet you Johnny Miller couldn't any more do 
this than nothing. Just one little snifter would fetch him." 

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

" So do I." 


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

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

" So do I ! And when we tell 'em we 

learned when we was off pirating, won't <^^B%&&*&flMy&kM 

they wish they'd been along?" . 

"O, I reckon not! I'll just, bet they 
will! " 

So the talk ran on. But presently it 
began to flag a trifle, and grow disjointed, s 
The silences widened ; the expectoration ' 
marvelously increased. Every pore inside 
the boys' cheeks became a spouting fount- i 
ain ; they could scarcely bail out the 1 
cellars under their tongues fast enough to 
prevent an inundation ; little overflowings 
down their throats occurred in spite of all 
they could do, and sudden retchings' 
followed every time. Both boys were ^ 
looking very pale and miserable, now. x 

Joe's pipe dropped from his nerveless TOM LOOKING FOR JOE'S KNIFE. 

fingers. Tom's followed. Both fountains were going furiously and both pumps 
bailing with might and main. Joe said feebly : 

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

Tom said, with quivering lips and halting utterance : 

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

So Huck sat down again, and waited an hour. Then he found it lonesome,. 


and went to find his comrades. They were wide apart in the woods, both very 
pale, both fast asleep. But something informed him that if they had had any 
trouble they had got rid of it. 

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

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

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

They sprang away, stumbling over roots and among vines in the dark, no two 
plunging in the same direction. A furious blast roared through the trees, making 
everything sing as it went. One blinding flash after another came, and peal on 
peal of deafening thunder. And now a drenching rain poured down and the 
rising hurricane drove it in sheets along the ground. The boys cried out to each 


other, but the roaring wind and the 
booming thunder-blasts drowned their 
voices utterly. However one by one 
they straggled in at last and took shelter 
under the tent, cold, scared, and stream- 
ing with water ; but to have company in 
misery seemed something to be grateful 
for. They could not talk, the old sail 
flapped so furiously, even if the other 
noises would have allowed them. The 
tempest rose higher and higher, and 
presently the sail tore loose from its 
fastenings and went winging away on 
the blast. The boys seized each others' 
hands and fled, with many tumblings and 
bruises, to the shelter of a great oak that 
stood upon the river bank. Now the 
battle was at its highest. Under the 
ceaseless conflagration of lightning that 
flamed in the skies, everything below 
stood out in clean-cut and shadowless 
distinctness: the bending trees, the bil- 
lowy river, white with foam, the driving 
spray of spume-flakes, the dim outlines 
of the high bluffs on the other side, 
glimpsed through the drifting cloud-rack 
and the slanting veil of rain. Every little 
while some giant tree yielded the fight 
and fell crashing through the younger 
growth ; and the unflagging thunder-peals 
came now in ear-splitting explosive 
bursts, keen and sharp, and unspeakably 


appalling. The storm culminated in one matchless effort that seemed likely to 
tear the island to pieces, burn it up, drown it to the- tree tops, blow it away, and 
deafen every creature in it, all at one and the same moment. It was a wild 
night for homeless young heads to be out in. 

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

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

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


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

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

And behold they were glad they, had 
gone into savagery, for they had gained 
something; they found that they could now 
.smoke a little without having to go and 


hunt for a lost knife ; they did not get sick enough to be seriously uncomfortable. 
They were not likely to fool away this high promise for lack of effort. No, they 
practiced cautiously, after supper, with right fair success, and so they spent a 
jubilant evening. They were prouder and happier in their new acquirement than 
they would have been in the scalping and skinning of the Six Nations. We will 
leave them to smoke and chatter and brag, since we have no further use for them 
.at present. 


;5fo ^ 

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

In the afternoon Becky Thatcher 
found herself moping about the deser- 
ted school-house yard, and feeling very 
melancholy. But she found nothing there to comfort her. She soliloquised : 
" Oh, if I only had his brass andiron-knob again ! But I haven't got any- 
thing now to remember him by." And she choked back a little sob. 



Presently she stopped, and said to herself: 

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

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

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

" Well, Tom Sawyer he licked me once." 

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

When the Sunday-school hour was finished, the next morning, the bell began 
to toll, instead of ringing in the usual way. It was a very still Sabbath, and 
the mournful sound seemed in keeping with the musing hush that lay upon 
nature. The villagers began to gather, loitering a moment in the vestibule to 
converse in whispers about the sad event. But there was no whispering in the 
house ; only the funereal rustling of dresses as the women gathered to their 
seats, disturbed the silence there. None could remember when the little church 


had been so full before. There was finally a waiting pause, an expectant dumb- 
ness, and then Aunt Polly entered, followed by Sid and Mary, and they by the 
Harper family, all in deep black, and the whole congregation, the old minister 
as well, rose reverently and stood, until the mourners were seated in the front 
pew. There was another communing silence, broken at intervals by muffled 
sobs, and then the minister spread his hands abroad and prayed. A moving 
hymn was sung, and the text followed: " I am the Resurrection and the Life." 

As the service proceeded, the clergyman drew such pictures of the graces, 
the winning ways and the rare promise of the lost lads, that every soul there, 
thinking he recognized these pictures, felt a pang in remembering that he had 
persistently blinded himself to them, always before, and had as persistently 
seen only faults and flaws in the poor boys. The minister related many a 
touching incident in the lives of the departed, too, which illustrated their sweet, 
generous natures, and the people could easily see, now, how noble and beauti- 
ful those episodes were, and remembered with grief that at the time they 
occurred they had seemed rank rascalities, well deserving of the cowhide. The 
congregation became more and more moved, as the pathetic tale went on, till 
at last the whole company broke down and joined the weeping mourners in a 
chorus of anguished sobs, the preacher himself giving way to his feelings, and 
crying in the pulpi't. 

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

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

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


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

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

And they did. Old Hundred swelled up with a triumphant burst, and while 


it shook the rafters Tom Sawyer the Pirate looked around upon .the envying 
juveniles about him and confessed in his heart that this was the proudest 
moment of his life. 

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

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


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

At breakfast, Monday morning, Aunt 
Polly and Mary were very loving to 
Tom, and very attentive to his wants. 
There was an unusual amount of talk. 
In the course of it Aunt Polly said : 
" Well, I don't say it wasn't a fine joke, Tom, to keep everybody suffering 'most 
a week so you boys had a good time, but it is a pity you could be so hard-hearted 



as to let me suffer so. If you could come over on a l6g to go to your funeral, you 
could have come over and give me a hint some way that you warn't dead, but only 
run off." 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Some how it seems to me that the wind the wind blov/ed the the " 

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


Tom pressed his fingers on his forehead an anxious minute, and then said 
" I've got it now ! I've got it now ! It blowed the candle ! " 
" Mercy on us ! Go on, Tom go on ! " 


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

" Go on, Tom ! " 

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

"As I'm a sitting here, I did ! Didn't I, Mary ! Goon!" 

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

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

"You made him you O, you made him shut it." 

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

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


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

"And then you began to cry." 

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

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

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

"Then Sid he said he said " 

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

" Yes you did, Sid," said Mary. 

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

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

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

" And you shut him up sharp." 

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

" And Mrs. Harper told about Joe scaring her with a fire-cracker, and you told 
about Peter and the Pain-killer " 

" Just as true as I live ! " 

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

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

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


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

"It was very kind, even though it was only a dream," Sid soliloquised just 

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

you've hendered me long enough." 

The children, left for school, and the old 
lady to call on Mrs. Harper and vanquish 
her realism with Tom's marvelous dream. 
Sid had better judgment than to utter the 
thought that was in his mind as he left the 
house. It was this : " Pretty thin as long 
a dream as that, without any mistakes in it ! " 
What a hero Tom "was become, now ! 
He did not go skipping and prancing, but 
moved with a dignified swagger as became a 
pirate who felt that the public eye was on 
him. And indeed it was ; he tried not to 
seem to see the looks or hear the remarks 
as he passed along, but they were food and 
drink to him. Smaller boys than himself 
THK HERO. flocked at his heels, as proud to be seen 

with him, and tolerated by him, as if he had been the drummer at the head of 
a procession or the elephant leading a menagerie into town. ' Boys of his own 


.size pretended not to know he had been away at all; but they were consuming 
with envy, nevertheless. They would have given anything to have that swarthy 
sun-tanned skin of his, and his glittering notoriety ; and Tom would not have 
parted with either for a circus. 

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

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

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

"I did come didn't you see me ? " 

" Why no ! Did you ? Where did you sit ? 

""I was in Miss Peter's class, where I always go. I sawj>w*." 



" Did you ? Why it's funny I didn't see you. I wanted to tell you about the- 

" O, that's jolly. Who's going to give it ? " 
" My ma's going to let me have one." 
"O, goody; I hope she'll let me come." 

" Well she will. The pic-nic's for me. She'll let anybody come that I want,, 
and I want you." 

" That's ever so nice. When is it going to be? " 
" By and by. Maybe about vacation." 

" O, won't it be fun ! You going to have 
all the girls and boys ? " 

" Yes, every one that's friends to me 
or wants to be;" and she glanced ever so 
furtively at Tom, but he talked right along 
to Amy Lawrence about the terrible storm 
on the island, and how the lightning tore 
the great sycamore tree "all to flinders" 
while he was " standing within three feet of 

" O, may I come ? " said Gracie Miller. 

"And me ? " said Sally Rogers. 

" And me, too ? " said Susy Harper. " And 


And so on, with clapping of joyful hands till all the group had begged for 
invitations but Tom and Amy. Then Tom turned coolly away, still talking, and 
took Amy with him. Becky's lips trembled and the tears came to her eyes; she 
hid these signs with a forced gayety and went on chattering, but the life had gone 
out of the pic-nic, now, and out of everything else ; she got away as soon as she 
could and hid herself and had what her sex call "a good cry." Then she sat 




moody, with wounded pride till the bell rang. She roused up, now, with a vin- 
dictive cast in her eye, and gave her plaited tails a shake and said she knew 
what shed do. 

At recess Tom continued his flirtation with Amy with jubilant self-satisfaction. 
And he kept drifting about to find Becky and lacerate her with the performance. 
At last he spied her, but there was a 
sudden falling of his mercury. She was 
sitting cosily on a little bench behind the 
school-house looking at a picture book 
with Alfred Temple and so absorbed 
were they, and their heads so close to- 
gether over the book that they did not 
seem to be conscious of anything in the 
world besides. Jealousy ran red hot 
through Tom's veins. He began to hate 
himself for throwing away the chance 
Becky had offered for a reconciliation. 
He called himself a fool, and all the hard 
names he could think of. He wanted to 
cry with vexation. Amy chatted happily 
along, as they walked, for her heart was 
singing, but Tom's tongue had lost its 
function. He did not hear what Amy BECKY RETALIATES. 

was saying, and whenever she paused expectantly he could only stammer an 
awkward assent, which was as often misplaced as otherwise. He kept drifting to 
the rear of the school-house, again and again, to sear his eye-balls with the hate- 
ful spectacle there. He could not help it. And it maddened him. to see, as he 
thought he saw, that Becky Thatcher never once suspected that he was even in 
the land of the living. But she did see, nevertheless ; and she knew she was. 
winning her fight, too, and was glad to see him suffer as she had suffered. 

Amy's happy prattle became intolerable. Tom hinted at things he had to attend 
to; things that must be done; and time was fleeting. But in vain the girl 


chirped on. Tom thought, " O hang her, ain't I ever going to get rid of her ?" 
At last he must be attending to those things and she said artlessly that she would 
be "around " when school let out. And.he hastened away, hating her for it. 

"Any other boy!" Tom thought, grating his teeth. "Any boy in the whole 
town but that Saint Louis smarty that thinks he dresses so fine and is aristocracy ! 
O, all right, I licked you the first day you ever saw this town, mister, and I'll lick 
you again ! You just wait till I catch you out ! I'll just take and " 

And he went through the motions of thrashing an imaginary boy pummeling 
the air, and kicking and gouging. " Oh, you do, do you ? You holler 'nough, do 
you? Now, then, let that learn you!" And so the imaginary flogging was 
finished to his satisfaction. 

Tom fled home at noon. His conscience could not endure any more of Amy's 

grateful happiness, and his jealousy could 
bear no more of the other distress. Becky 
resumed her picture-inspections with Alfred, 
but as the minutes dragged along and no 
Tom came to suffer, her triumph began to 
cloud and she lost interest ; gravity and 
absent-mindedness followed, and then mel- 
ancholy; two or three times she pricked 
up her ear at a footstep, but it was a 
false hope; no Tom came. At last she 
grew entirely miserable and wished she 
hadn't carried it so far. When poor Alfred, 
seeing that he was losing her, he did not 
know how, and kept exclaiming : " O here's 
a jolly one ! look at this ! " she lost pa- 
tience at last, and said, " Oh, don't bother 
me ! I don't care for them ! " and burst 
into tears, and got up and walked away. 
Alfred dropped alongside and was going to try to comfort her, but she said 
<c Go away and leave me alone, can't you ! I hate you ! 



T 57 

So the boy halted, wondering what he could have done for she had said she 
would look at pictures all through the nooning and she walked on, crying. 
Then Alfred went musing into the deserted school-house. He was humiliated 
and angry. He easily guessed his way to the truth the girl had simply made a 
convenience of him to vent her spite upon Tom Sawyer. He was far from hating 
Tom the less when this thought occurred 
to him. He wished there was some way to 
get that boy into trouble without much risk 
to himself. Tom's spelling book fell under 
his eye. Here was his opportunity. He 
gratefully opened to the lesson for the 
afternoon and poured ink upon the page. 

Becky, glancing in at a window behind 
him at the moment, saw the act, and 
moved on, without discovering herself. 
She started homeward, now, intending to 
find Tom and tell .him ; Tom would be 
thankful and their troubles would be 
healed. Before she was half way home, 
however, she had changed her mind. The 
thought of Tom's treatment of her when 
she was talking about her pic-nic came 
scorching back and filled her with shame. She resolved to let him get whipped 
on the damaged spelling-book's account, and to hate him forever, into the 

arrived at home in a dreary 
mood, and the first thing his aunt 
said to him showed him that he had 
brought his sonrows to an unprom- 
ising market : 

" Tom, I've a notion to skin you 
alive ! " 

" Auntie, \vhat have I done ? " 
" Well, you've done enough. Here 
I go over to Sereny Harper, like an 
old softy, expecting I'm going to 
make her believe all that rubbage 
about that dream, when lo and be- 
hold you she'd found out from Joe 
that you was over here and heard all 
the talk we had that night. Tom I 

don't know what is to become of a 

boy that will act like that. It makes me feel so bad to think you could let me 
go to Sereny Harper and make such a fool of myself and never say a word." 


This was a new aspect of the thing. His smartness of the morning had 
seeme.d to Tom a good joke before, and very ingenious. It merely looked mean 
and shabby now. He hung his head and could not think of anything to say 
for a moment. Then he said : 

"Auntie, I wish I hadn't done it but I didn't think." 

" O, child you never think. You never think of anything but your own 
selfishness. You could think to come all the way over here from Jackson's 
Island in the night to laugh at our troubles, and you could think to fool me 
with a lie about a dream ; but you couldn't ever think to pity us and save us 
from sorrow." 

"Auntie, I know now it was mean, but I didn't mean to be mean. I didn't, 
honest. And besides I didn't come over here to laugh at you that night." 

" What did you come for, then ? " 

" It was to tell you not to be uneasy about us, because we hadn't got 

" Tom, Tom, I would be the thankfullest soul in this world if I could 
believe you ever had as good a thought as that, but you know you never did 
and I know it, Tom." 

" Indeed and 'deed I did, auntie I wish I may never stir if I didn't." 

" O, Tom, don't lie don't do it. It only makes things a hundred times 

" It ain't a lie, auntie, it's the truth. I wanted to keep you from grieving 
that was all that made me come." 

" I'd give the whole world to believe that it would cover up a power of sins 
Tom. I'd 'most be glad you'd run off and acted so bad. But it aint reason- 
able ; because, why didn't you tell me, child ? " 

" Why, you see, auntie, when you got to talking about the funeral, I just got 
all full of the idea of our. coming and hiding in the church, and I couldn't 
somehow bear to spoil it. So I just put the bark back in my pocket and kept 

" What bark ? " 

" The bark I had wrote on to tell you we'd gone pirating. I wish, now, 
you'd waked up when I kissed you I do, honest." 



The hard lines in his aunt's face relaxed and a sudden tenderness dawned 
in her eyes. 

"Did you kiss me, Tom?" 
"Why yes I did." 
" Are you sure you did, Tom ? " 
" Why yes I did, auntie certain sure." 
"What did you kiss me for, Tom ?" 

" Because I loved you so, and you laid there moaning and I was so sorry." 
The words sounded like truth. The old lady could not hide a tremor in her 
voice when she said : 

"Kiss me again, Tom ! and be off with you to school, now, and don't bother 

me any more." 

The moment he was gone, she ran to a 
closet and got out the ruin of a jacket 
which Tom had gone pirating in. Then 
she stopped, with it in her hand, and said 
to herself: 

" No, I don't dare. Poor boy, I reckon 
he's lied about it but it's a blessed, 
blessed lie, there's such comfort come 
from it. I hope the Lord I knmv the 
Lord will forgive him, because it was such 
goodheartedness in him to tell it. But I 
don't want to find out it's a lie. I won't 

She put the jacket away, and stood by 
musing a minute. Twice she put out her 
hand to take the garment again, and twice 
she refrained. Once more she ventured,, 
and this time she fortified herself with the thought: "It's a good lie it's a 
good lie I won't let it grieve me." So she sought the jacket pocket. A 
moment later she was reading Tom's piece of bark through flowing tears and 
saying: " I could forgive the boy, now, if he'd committed a million sins ! " 


was something about Aunt Polly's 
manner, when she kissed Tom, 
that swept away his low spirits and made 
him light-hearted and happy again. He 
started to school and had the luck of 
coming upon Becky Thatcher at the 
head of Meadow Lane. His mood al- 
ways determined his manner. Without 
a moment's hesitation he ran to her and 
said : 

" I acted mighty mean to-day, Becky, 
and I'm so sorry. I won't ever, ever do 
that way again, as long as ever I live 
please make up, won't you? " 

The girl stopped and looked him scorn- 
fully in the face : 

" I'll thank you to keep yourself to yourself, Mr. Thomas Sawyer. I'll never 
speak to you again." 

ii 161 


She tossed her head and passed on. Tom was so stunned that he had not 
even presence of mind enough to say " Who cares, Miss Smarty ? " until the right 
time to say it had gone by. So he said nothing. But he was in a fine rage, 
nevertheless. He moped into the school-yard wishing she were a boy, and 
imagining how he would trounce her if she were. He presently encountered her 
and delivered a stinging remark as he passed. She hurled one in return, and the 
angry breach was complete. It seemed to Becky, in her hot resentment, that she 
could hardly wait for school to " take in," she was so impatient to see Tom flogged 
for the injured spelling-book. If she had had any lingering notion of exposing 
Alfred Temple, Tom's offensive fling had driven it entirely away. 

Poor girl, she did not know how fast she was Hearing trouble herself. The 
master, Mr. Dobbins, had reached middle age with an unsatisfied ambition. The 
darling of his desires was, to be a doctor, but poverty had decreed that he should 
be nothing higher than a village schoolmaster. Every day he took a mysterious 
book out of his desk and absorbed himself in it at times when no classes were 
reciting. He kept that book under lock and key. There was not an urchin in 
school but was perishing to have a glimpse of it, but the chance never came. 
Every boy and girl had a theory about the nature of that book ; but no two theo- 
ries were alike, and there was no way of getting at the facts in the case. Now, as 
Becky was passing by the desk, which stood near the door, she noticed that the 
key was in the lock ! It was a precious moment. She glanced around ; found 
herself alone, and the next instant she had the book in her hands. The title-page 
Professor somebody's " Anatomy " carried no information to her mind ; so she 
began to turn the leaves. She came at once upon a handsomely engraved and 
colored frontispiece a human figure, stark naked. At that moment a shadow 
fell on the page and Tom Sawyer stepped in at the door, and caught a glimpse of 
the picture. Becky snatched at the book to close it, and had the hard luck to tear 
the pictured page half down the middle. She thrust the volume into the desk, 
turned the key, and burst out crying with shame and vexation. 

"Tom Sawyer, you are just as mean as you can be, to sneak up on a person and 
look at what they're looking at." 

" How could / know you was looking at anything? " 



" You ought to be ashamed of yourself Tom Sawyer ; you know you're going to 
tell on me, and O, what shall I do, what shall I do ! I'll be whipped, and I never 
was whipped in school." 

Then she stamped her little foot and 
said : 

" Be so mean if you want to ! / know 
something that's going to happen. You 
just wait and you'll see ! Hateful, hateful, 
hateful ! " and she flung out of the house 
with a new explosion of crying. 

Tom stood still, rather flustered by this 
onslaught. Presently he said to himself: 

" What a curious kind of a fool a girl is. 
Never been licked in school ! Shucks. 
What's a licking! That's just like a girl 
they're so thin-skinned and chicken 
hearted. Well, of course / ain't going to 
tell old Dobbins on this little fool, because 
there's other ways of getting even on her, CAUGHT IN THB ACT. 

that ain't so mean ; but what of it ? Old Dobbins will ask who it was tore his 
book. Nobody'll answer. Then he'll do just the way he always does ask first 
one ( and then t'other, and when he comes to the right girl he'll know it, without 
any telling. Girl's faces always tell on them. They ain't got any back-bone. 
She'll get licked. Well, it's a kind of a tight place for Becky Thatcher, because 
there ain't any way out of it." Tom conned the thing a moment longer and then 
added : " All right, though ; she'd like to see me in just such a fix let her sweat 
it out ! " 

Tom joined the mob of skylarking scholars outside. In a few moments the 
master arrived and school " took in." Tom did not feel a strong interest in his 
studies. Every time he stole a glance at the girls' side of the room Becky's face 
troubled him. Considering all things, he did not want to pity her, and yet it was 
all he could do to help it. He could get up no exultation that was really worthy 


the name. Presently the spelling-book discovery was made, and Tom's mind 
was entirely full of his own matters for a while after that. Becky roused up 
from her lethargy of distress and showed good interest in the proceedings. She 
did not expect that Tom could get out of his trouble by denying that he spilt the 
ink on the book himself; and she was right. The denial only seemed to make 
the thing worse for Tom. Becky supposed she would be glad of that, and she 
tried to believe she was glad of it, but she found she was not certain. When the 
worst came to the worst, she had an impulse to get up and tell on Alfred Temple, 
but she made an effort and forced herself to. keep still because, said she to her- 
self, " he'll tell about me tearing the picture sure. I wouldn't say a word, not 
to save his life ! " 

Tom took his whipping and went back to his seat not at all broken-hearted, 
for he thought it was possible that he had unknowingly upset the ink on the spell- 
. ing-book himself, in some skylarking bout he had denied it for form's sake and 
because it was custom, and had stuck to the denial from principle. 

A whole hour drifted by, the master sat 'nodding in his throne, the air was 
drowsy with the hum of study. By and by, Mr. Dobbins straightened himself up, 
yawned, then unlocked his desk, and reached for his book, but seemed undecided 
whether to take it out or leave it. Most of the pupils glanced up languidly, but 
there were two among them that watched his movements with intent eyes. Mr. 
Dobbins fingered his book absently for a while, then took it out and settled him- 
self in his chair to read ! Tom shot a glance at Becky. He had seen a hunted 
and helpless rabbit look as she did, with a gun leveled at its head. Instantly he 
forgot his quarrel with her. Quick something must be done ! done in a flash, 
too! But the very imminence of the emergency paralyzed his invention. Good! 
he had an inspiration ! He would run and snatch the book, spring through the 
door and fly. But his resolution shook for one little instant, and the chance was 
lost the master opened the volume. If Tom only had the wasted opportun ity back 
again ! Too late. There was no help for Becky now, he said. The next moment 
the master faced the school. Every eye sunk under his gaze. There was that in 
it which smote even the innocent with fear. There was silence while one might 
count ten, the master was gathering his wrath. Then he spoke : 


" Who tore this- book ? " 

There was not a sound. One could have heard a pin drop. The stillness con- 
tinued ; the master searched face after face for signs of guilt. 
" Benjamin Rogers, did you tear this hook? " 
A denial. Another pause. 
" Joseph Harper, did you ? " 

Another denial. Tom's uneasiness grew more and more intense under the slow 

torture of these proceedings. The master 
scanned the ranks of boys considered 
a while, then turned to the girls : 
" Amy Lawrence ? " 
A shake of the head. 
" Gracie Miller ? " 
The same sign. 

" Susan Harper, did you do this ? " 
Another negative. The next girl was 
Becky Thatcher. Tom was trembling 
from head to foot with excitement and a 
sense of the hopelessness of the situation. 
" Rebecca Thatcher," [Tom glanced at 
her face it was white with terror,]" did 
you tear no, look me in the face " [her 
hands rose in appeal] " did you tear 
this book-? " 

A thought shot like lightning through Tom's brain. He sprang to his feet 
and shouted % ' / done it ! " 

The school stared in perplexity at this- incredible folly. Tom stood a moment, 
to gather his dismembered faculties; and when he stepped forward to go to his 
punishment the surprise, the gratitude, the adoration that shone upon him out of 
poor Becky's eyes seemed pay enough for a hundred floggings. Inspired by the 
splendor of his own act, he took without an outcry the most merciless flaying that 
even Mr. Dobbins had ever administered ; and also received with indifference the 




added cruelty of a command to remain two hours after school should be dismissed 
for he knew who would wait for him outside till his captivity was done, and not 
count the tedious time as loss, either. 

Tom went to bed that night planning vengeance against Alfred Temple ; for with 
shame and repentance Becky had told him all, not forgetting her own treachery; 
but even the longing for vengeance had to give way, soon, to pleasanter musings, 
and he fell asleep at last, with Becky's latest words lingering dreamily in his ear 

" Tom, how could you be so noble ! " 


was approaching. The 
schoolmaster, always severe, grew 
severer and more exacting than 
ever, for he wanted the school to 
make a good showing on " Ex- 
amination " day. His rod and his 
ferule were seldom idle now at 
least among the smaller pupils. 
Only the biggest boys, and young 
ladies of eighteen and twenty 
escaped lashing. Mr. Dobbins's 
lashings were very vigorous ones, 
too ; for although he carried, under 
his wig, a perfectly bald and shiny 
head, he had only reached middle 
age and there was no sign of 
feebleness in his muscle. As the 
great day approached, all the 

tyranny that was in him came to the surface; he seemed to take a vindictive, 
pleasure in punishing the least shortcomings. The consequence was, that the 




smaller boys spent their days in terror and suffering and their nights in plot- 
ting revenge. They threw away no opportunity to do the master a mischief. 
But he kept ahead all the time. The retribution that followed every vengeful 
success was so sweeping and majestic that the boys always retired from the 
field badly worsted. At last they conspired together and hit upon a plan that 
promised a dazzling victory. They* swore-in the sign-painter's boy, told him 
the scheme, and asked his help. He had his own reasons for being delighted, 
for the master boarded in his father's family and had given the boy ample 


cause to hate him. The master's wife would go on a visit to the country in a 
few days, and there would be nothing to interfere with the plan ; the master 
always prepared himself for great occasions by getting pretty well fuddled, and 
the sign-painter's boy said that when the dominie had reached the proper con- 
dition on Examination Evening he would " manage the thing " while he napped 


in his chair ; then he would have him awakened at the right time and hurried 
away to school. 

In the fullness of time the interesting occasion arrived. At eight in the 
evening the schoolhouse was brilliantly lighted, and adorned with wreaths and 
festoons of foliage and flowers. The master sat throned in his great chair 
upon a raised platform, with his blackboard behind him. He was looking 
tolerably mellow. Three rows of benches on each side and six rows in front 
of him were occupied by the dignitaries of the town and by the parents of the 
pupils. To his left, back of the rows of citizens, was a spacious temporary plat- 
form upon which were seated the scholars who were to take part in the exer- 
cises of the evening;, rows of small boys, washed and dressed to an intolerable 
state of discomfort ; rows of gawky big boys ; snow-banks of girls and young 
ladies clad in lawn and muslin and conspiciously conscious of their bare arms, 
their grandmothers' ancient trinkets, their bits of pink and blue ribbon and the 
flowers in their hair. All the rest of the house was filled with non-partici- 
pating scholars. 

The exercises began. A very little boy stood up and sheepishly recited, 
" You'd scarce expect one of my age to speak in public on the stage, etc " 
accompanying himself with the painfully exact and spasmodic gestures which 
a machine might have used supposing the machine to be a trifle out of order. 
But he got through safely, though cruelly scared, and got a fine round of 
applause when he made his manufactured bow and retired. 

A little shame-faced girl lisped " Mary had a little lamb, etc.," performed a 
compassion-inspiring curtsy, got her meed of applause, and sat down flushed 
and happy. 

Tom Sawyer stepped forward with conceited confidence and soared into the 
unquenchable and indestructible " Give me liberty or give me death " speech, 
with fine fury and frantic gesticulation, and broke down in the middle of it. 
A ghastly stage-fright siezed him, his legs quaked under him and he was like 
to choke. True, he had the manifest sympathy of the house but he had the 
house's silence, too, which was even worse than its sympathy. The master 
frowned, and this completed the disaster. Tom struggled a while and then 


retired, utterly defeated. There was a weak attempt at applause, but it died 

"The Boy stood on the Burning Deck" followed; also "The Assyrian Came 
Down," and other declamatory gems. Then there were reading exercises, and 
a spelling fight. The meager Latin class recited with honor. The prime 


feature of the evening was in order, now original "compositions" by the 
young ladies. Each in her turn stepped forward to the edge of the platform, 
cleared her throat, held up her manuscript (tied with dainty ribbon), and pro- 
ceeded to read, with labored attention to " expression " and punctuation. The 
themes were the same that had been illuminated upon similar occasions by 
their mothers before them, their grandmothers, and doubtless all their ances- 
tors in the female line clear back to the Crusades. " Friendship " was one; 
" Memories of Other Days ; " " Religion in History ; " " Dream Land ; " " The 
Advantages of Culture;" "Forms of Political Government Compared and 


Contrasted;" "Melancholy;" "Filial Love;" " Heart Longings," etc., etc. 

A prevalent feature in these compositions was a nursed and petted melan- 
choly ; another was a wasteful and opulent gush of " fine language ; " another 
was a tendency to lug in by the ears particularly prized words and phrases 
until they were worn entirely out; and a peculiarity that conspicuously 
marked and marred them was the inveterate and intolerable sermon that 
wagged its crippled tail at the end of each and every one of them. No matter 
what the subject might be, a brain-racking effort was made to squirm it into 
some aspect or other that the moral and religious mind could contemplate 
with edification. The glaring insincerity of these sermons was not sufficient to 
compass the banishment of the fashion from the schools, and it is not sufficient 
to-day ; it never will be sufficient while the world stands, perhaps. There is 
no school in all our land where the young ladies do not feel obliged to close 
their compositions with a sermom ; and you will find that the sermon of the 
most frivolous and least religious girl in the school is always the longest and the 
most relentlessly pious. But enough of this. Homely truth is unpalatable. 

Let us return to the " Examination." The first composition that was read 
was one entitled " Is this, then, Life?" Perhaps the reader can endure an 
extract from it : 

"In the common walks of life, with what delightful emotions does the youthful mind look 
forward to some anticipated scene of festivity ! Imagination is busy sketching rose-tinted pictures. 
of joy. In fancy, the voluptuous votary of fashion sees herself amid the festive throng, ' the 
observed of all observers.' Her graceful form, arrayed in snowy robes, is whirling through the 
mazes of the joyous dance ; her eye is brightest, her step is lightest in the gay assembly. 

" In such delicious fancies time quickly glides by, and the welcome hour arrives for her entrance 
into the elysian world, of which she has had such bright dreams. How fairy-like does every thing 
appear to her enchanted vision ! each new scene is more charming than the last. But after a while 
she finds that beneath this goodly exterior, all is vanity : the flattery which once charmed her soul, 
now grates harshly upon her ear ; the ball-room has lost its charms ; and with wasted health and 
imbittered heart, she turns away with the conviction that earthly pleasures cannot satisfy the 
longings of the soul ! " 

And so forth and so on. There was a buzz of gratification from time to time 
during the reading, accompanied by whispered ejaculations of " How sweet ! "" 
" How eloquent ! " " So true ! " etc., and after the thing had closed with a 
peculiarly afflicting sermon the applause was enthusiastic. 


Then arose a slim, melancholy girl, whose face had the " interesting " pale- 
ness that comes of pills and indigestion, and read a "poem." Two stanzas of 

it will do : 


ALABAMA, good-bye ! I love thee well ! 

But yet for awhile do I leave thee now ! 
Sad, yes, sad thoughts of thee my heart doth swell, 

And burning recollections throng my brow ! 
For I have wandered through thy flowery woods ; 

Have roamed and read near Tallapoosa's stream ; 
Have listened to Tallassee's warring floods, 

And wooed on Coosa's side Aurora's beam. 

Yet shame I not to bear an o'er-full heart, 

Nor blush to turn behind my tearful eyes ; 
'Tis from no stranger land I now must part, ,, 

'Tis to no strangers left I yield these sighs. 
Welcome and home were mine within this State, 

Whose vales I leave whose spires fade fast from me : 
And cold must be mine eyes, and heart, and tete, 

When, dear Alabama ! they turn cold on thee ! 

There were very few there who knew what " tete " meant, but the poem was 
very satisfactory, nevertheless. 

Next appeared a dark complexioned, black eyed, black haired young lady, 
who paused an impressive moment, assumed a tragic expression and began to 
read in a measured, solemn tone. 


Dark and tempestuous was night. Around the throne on high not a single star quivered ; but 
the deep intonations of the heavy thunder constantly vibrated upon the ear ; whilst the terrific 
lightning revelled in angry mood through the cloudy chambers of heaven, seeming to scorn the 
power exerted over its terror by the illustrious Franklin ! Even the boisterous winds unanimously 
came forth from their mystic homes, and blustered about as if to enhance by their aid the wildness 
of the scene. 

At such a time, so dark, so dreary, for human sympathy my very spirit sighed ; but instead 


" My dearest friend, my counsellor, my comforter and guide 
My joy in grief, my second bliss in Joy," came to my side. 

She moved like one of those bright beings pictured in the sunny walks of fancy's Eden by the 


romantic and young, a queen of beauty unadorned save by her own transcendent loveliness. So 
soft was her step, it failed to make even a sound, and but for the magical thrill imparted by her 
genial touch, as other unobtrusive beauties, she would have glided away unperceived unsought. 
A strange sadness rested upon her features, like icy tears upon the robe of December, as she 
pointed to the contending elements without, and bade me contemplate the two beings presented. 

This nightmare occupied some ten pages of manuscript and wound up with 
a sermon so destructive of all hope to non-Presbyterians that it took the first 


prize. This composition was considered to be the very finest effort of the 
evening. The mayor of the village, in delivering the prize to the author of it, 
made a warm speech in which he said that it was by far the most " eloquent " 
thing he had ever listened to, and that Daniel Webster himself might well be 
proud of it. 

It may be remarked, in passing, that the number of compositions in which 
the word " beauteous " was over-fondled, and human experience referred to as 
"life's page," was up to the usual average. 


Now the master, mellow almost to the 
verge of geniality, put his chair aside, 
turned his back to the audience, and 
began to draw a map of America on the 
blackboard, to exercise the geography 
class upon. But he made a sad business 
of it with his unsteady hand, and a 
smothered titter rippled over the house. 
He knew what the matter was and set 
himself to right it. He sponged out 
lines and re-made them ; but he only 
distorted them more than ever, and the 
tittering was more pronounced. He 
threw his entire attention upon his work, 
now, as if determined not to be put down 
by the mirth. He felt that all eyes were 
fastened upon him ; he imagined he was 
succeeding, and yet the tittering con- 
tinued ; it even manifestly increased. 
And well it might. There was a garret 
above, pierced with a scuttle over his 
head; and down through this scuttle 
came a cat, suspended around the 
haunches by a 'string; she had a rag 
tied about her head and jaws to keep 
her from mewing; as she slowly de- 
scended she curved upward and clawed 
at the string, she swung downward and 
clawed at the intangible air. The titter- 
ing rose higher and higher the cat was 
within six inches of the absorbed teacher's 
head down, down, a little lower, and 



she grabbed his wig with her desperate claws, clung to it and was snatched 
up into the garret in an instant with her trophy still in her possession ! And 
how the light did blaze abroad from the master's bald pate for the sign- 
painter's boy }\2idi gilded it! 

That broke up the meeting. The boys were avenged. Vacation had come. 

NOTE. The pretended " compositions " quoted in this chapter are taken without alteration from 
a volume entitled " Prose and Poetry, by a Western Lady " but they are exactly and precisely 
after the school-girl pattern and hence are much happier than any mere imitations could be. 


joined the new order of Cadets. 
of Temperance, being attracted by 
the showy character of their "regalia." 
He promised to abstain from smoking, 
chewing and profanity as long as he re- 
mained a member. Now he found out 
a new thing namely, that to promise 
not to do a thing is the surest way in 
the world to make a body want to go 
and do that very thing. Tom soon 
found himself tormented with a desire 
to drink and swear ; the desire grew 
to be so intense that nothing but the 
hope of a chance to display himself 
in his red sash kept him from with- 
drawing from the order. Fourth of 
July was coming ; but he soon gave 

that up gave it up before he had worn his shackles over forty-eight hours and 
fixed his hopes upon old Judge Frazer, justice of the peace, who was apparently 




on his death-bed and would have a big public funeral, since he was so high an 
official. During three days Tom was deeply concerned about the Judge's con- 
dition and hungry for news of it. Sometimes his hopes ran high so high that he 
would venture to get out his regalia and practice before the looking-glass. But 
the Judge had a most discouraging way of fluctuating. At last he was pronounced 
upon the mend and then convalescent. Tom was disgusted; and felt a sense of 
injury, too. He handed in his resignation at once and that night the Judge 


suffered a relapse and died. Tom resolved that he would never trust a man like 
that again. 

The funeral was a fine thing. The Cadets paraded in a style calculated to kill 
the late member with envy. Tom was a free boy again, however there was 
something in that. He could drink and swear, now but found to his surprise 



that he did not want to. The simple fact that he could, took the desire away, 
and the-charm of it. 

Tom presently wondered to find that his coveted vacation was beginning to 
hang a little heavily on his hands. 

He attempted a diary but nothing happened during three days, and so he 
abandoned it. 

The first of all the negro minstrel shows came to town, and made a sensation. 
Tom and Joe Harper got up a band of performers and were happy for two days. 

Even the Glorious Fourth was in some sense a failure, for it rained hard, there 
was no procession in consequence, and the greatest man in the world (as Tom 
supposed) Mr. Benton, an actual United States Senator, proved an overwhelming 
disappointment for he was not twenty-five feet high, nor even anywhere in the 

neighborhood of it. 

A circus came. The boys played circus 
for three days afterward in tents made of 
rag carpeting admission, three pins for 
boys, two for girls and then circusing was 

A phrenologist and a mesmerizer came 
and went again and left the village duller 
and drearier than ever. 

There were some boys-and-girls' parties, 
but they were so few and so delightful that 
they only made the aching voids between 
ache the harder. 

Becky Thatcher was gone to her Constan- 
tinople home to stay with her parents during 
vacation so there was no bright side to life 

It was a very cancer 


The dreadful secret of the murder was a chronic misery, 
for permanency and pain. 


Then came the measles. 

During two long weeks Tom lay a prisoner, dead to the world and its happen- 
ings. He was very ill, he was interested in nothing. When he got upon his feet 
.at last and moved feebly down town, a melancholy change had come over every- 
thing and every creature. There had been a " revival," and everybody had " got 
religion," not only the adults, but even the boys and girls. Tom went about, 
hoping against hope for the sight of one blessed sinful face, but disappointment 
crossed him everywhere. He found Joe Harper studying a Testament, and 
turned sadly away from the depressing spectacle. He sought Ben Rogers, and 
found him visiting the poor with a basket of tracts. He hunted up Jim Hollis, 
who called his attention to the precious blessing of his late measles as a warning. 
Every boy he encountered added another ton to his depression ; and when, in 
desperation, he flew for refuge at last to the bosom of Huckleberry Finn and was 
received with a scriptural quotation, his heart broke and he crept home and to 
bed realizing that he alone of all the town was lost, forever and forever. 

And that night there came on a terrific storm, with driving rain, awful claps of 
thunder and blinding sheets of lightning. He covered his head with the bed- 
clothes and waited in a horror of suspense for his doom; for he had not the 
shadow of a doubt that all this hubbub was about him. He believed he had 
taxed the forbearance of the powers above to the extremity of endurance and 
that this was the result. It might have seemed to him a waste of pomp and am- 
munition to kill a bug with a battery of artillery, but there seemed nothing incon- 
gruous about the getting up such an expensive thunder storm as this to knock 
the turf from under an insect like himself. 

By and by the tempest spent itself and died without accomplishing its object. 
The boy's first impulse was to be grateful, and reform. His second was to wait 
for there might not be any more storms. 

The next day the doctors were back ; Tom had relapsed. The three weeks he 
spent on his back this time seemed an entire age. When he got abroad at last he 
was hardly grateful that he had been spared, remembering how lonely was his 
estate, how companionless and forlorn he was. He drifted listlessly down the 



street and found Jim Hollis acting as judge in a juvenile court that was trying a 
cat for murder, in the presence of her victim, a bird. He found Joe Harper and 
Huck Finn up an alley eating a stolen melon. Poor lads ! they like Tom had 
suffered a relapse. 

last the sleepy atmosphere was 
stirred and vigorously : the murder 
trial came on in the court. It be- 
came the absorbing topic of village 
talk immediately. Tom could not 
get away from it. Every reference 
to the murder sent a shudder to his 
heart, for his troubled conscience 
and fears almost persuaded him that 
these remarks were put forth in his 
hearing as "feelers; " he did not see 
how he could be suspected of know- 
ing anything about the murder, but 
still he could not be comfortable in 
the midst of this gossip. It kept 
him in a cold shiver all the time. 
He took Huck to a lonely place to 
have a talk with him. It would be some relief to unseal his tongue for a little 
while; to divide his burden of distress with another sufferer. Moreover, he 
wanted to assure himself that Huck had remained discreet. 



"Huck, have you ever told anybody about that?" 

" 'Bout what ? " 

" You know what." 

" Oh 'course I haven't." 

" Never a word ? " 

" Never a solitary word, so help me. What makes you ask ? " 

"Well, I wasafeard." 

" Why Tom Sawyer, we wouldn't be alive two days if that got found ouL 
You know that." 

Tom felt more comfortable. After a pause : 

"Huck, they couldn't anybody get you to tell, could they ? " 

" Get me to tell? Why if I wanted that half-breed devil to drownd me they 
could get me to tell. They ain't no different way." 

"Well, that's all right, then. I reckon we're safe as long as we keep mum. 
But let's swear again, anyway. It's more surer." 

" I'm agreed." 

So they swore again with dread solemnities. 

" What is the talk around, Huck ? I've heard a power of it." 

"Talk? Well, it's just Muff Potter, Muff Potter, Muff Potter all the time. 
It keeps me in a sweat, constant, so's I want to hide som'ers." 

"That's just the same way they go on round me. I reckon he's a goner. 
Don't you feel sorry for him, sometimes? " 

"Most always most always. He ain't no account; but then he hain't ever 
done anything to hurt anybody. Just fishes a little, to get money to get drunk 
on and loafs around considerable; but lord we all do that leastways most of 
us, preachers and such like. But he's kind of good he give me half a fish, 
once, when there warn't enough for two; and lots of times he's kind of stood 
by me when I was out of luck." 

"Well, he's mended kites for me, Huck, and knitted hooks on to my line. I 
wish we could get him out of there." 

" My! we couldn't get him out Tom. And besides, 'twouldn't do any good; 
they'd ketch him again." 


"Yes so they would. But I hate to hear 'em abuse him so like the dickens 
when he never done that." 

" I do too, Tom. Lord, I hear 'em say he's the bloodiest looking villain in 
this country, and they wonder he wasn't ever hung before." 

"Yes, they talk like that, all the time. I've heard 'em say that if he was to 
get free they'd lynch him." 

" And they'd do it, too." 

The boys had a long talk, but it brought them little comfort. As the twi- 
light drew on, they found themselves hanging about the neighborhood of the 
little isolated jail, perhaps with an undefined hope that something would hap- 
pen that might clear away their difficulties. But nothing happened ; there 
seemed to be no angels or fairies interested in this luckless captive. 

The boys did as they had often done before went to the cell grating and 
gave Potter some tobacco and matches. He was on the ground floor and 
there were no guards. 

His gratitude for their gifts had always smote their consciences before it 
cut deeper than ever, this time. They felt cowardly and treacherous to the last 
degree when Potter said : 

" You've been mighty good to me, boys better'n anybody else in this town. 
And I don't forget it, I don't. Often I says to myself, says I, ' I used to mend 
all the boys' kites and things, and show 'em where the good fishin' places was, 
and befriend 'em what I could, and now they've all forgot old Muff when he's 
in trouble; but Tom don't, and Huck don't they don't forget him/ says I, 
'and I .don't forget them.' Well, boys, I done" an awful thing drunk and crazy 
at the time that's the only way I account for it and now I got to swing for 
it, and it's right. Right, and best, too I reckon hope so, anyway. Well, we 
won't talk about that. I don't want to make you feel bad; you've befriended 
me. But what I want to say, is, don't you ever get drunk then you won't ever 
get here. Stand a little furder west so that's it: it's a prime comfort to see 
faces that's friendly when a body's in such a muck of trouble, and there don't 
none come here but yourn. Good friendly faces good friendly faces. Git 
up on one another's backs and let me touch 'em. That's it. Shake hands 



yourn'll come through the bars, but mine's 
too big. Little hands, and weak but 
they've helped Muff Potter a power, and 
they'd help him more if they could." 

Tom went home miserable, and his 
dreams that night were full of horrors. 
The next day and the day after, he hung 
about the court room, drawn by an almost 
irresistible impulse to go in, but forcing 
himself to stay out. Huck was having 
the same experience. They studiously 
avoided each other. Each wandered away, 
from time to time, but the same dismal 
fascination always brought them back 
presently. Tom kept his ears open when 
idlers sauntered out of the court room, 
but invariably heard distressing news 
the toils were closing more and more re- 
lentlessly around poor Potter. At the 
end of the second day the village talk was 
to the effect that Injun Joe's evidence 
stood firm and unshaken, and that there 
was not the slightest question as to what 
the jury's verdict would be. 

Tom was out late, that night, and came 
to bed through the window. He was in 
a tremendous state of excitement. It was 
hours before he got to sleep. All the 
village flocked to the Court house the 
next morning, for this was to be the great 
day. Both sexes were about equally rep- 
resented in the packed audience. After 


-a long wait the jury filed in and took their places; shortly afterward, Potter, 
pale and haggard, timid and hopeless, was brought in, with chains upon him, 
and seated where all the curious eyes could stare at him ; no less conspicuous 
was Injun Joe, stolid as ever. There was another pause, and then the judge 
arrived and the sheriff proclaimed the opening of the court. The usual whis- 
perings among the lawyers and gathering together of papers followed. These 
details and accompanying delays worked up an atmosphere of preparation 
that was as impressive as it was fascinating. 

Now a witness was called who testified that he found Muff Potter washing 
in the brook, at an early hour of the morning that the murder was discovered, 
and that he immediately sneaked away. After some further questioning, coun- 
sel for the prosecution said 

"Take the witness." 

The prisoner raised his eyes for a moment, but dropped them again when his 
own counsel said 

" I have no questions to ask him." 

The next witness proved the finding of the knife near the corpse. Counsel 
for the prosecution said: 

" Take the witness." 

" I have no questions to ask him," Potter's lawyer replied. 

A third witness swore he had often seen the knife in Potter's possession. 

"Take the witness." 

Counsel for Potter declined to question him. The faces of the audience 
began to betray annoyance. Did this attorney mean to throw away his client's 
life without an effort ? 

Several witnesses deposed concerning Potter's guilty behavior when brought 
to the scene of the murder. They were allowed to leave the stand without 
being cross-questioned. 

Every detail of the damaging circumstances that occurred in the graveyard 
upon that morning which all present remembered so well, was brought out by 
credible witnesses, but none of them were cross-examined by Potter's lawyer. 
The perplexity and dissatisfaction of the house expressed itself in murmurs 



and provoked a reproof from the bench. Counsel for the prosecution now- 
said : 

" By the oaths of citizens whose simple word is above suspicion, we have 
fastened this awful crime beyond all possibility of question, upon the unhappy 
prisoner at the bar. We rest our case here." 

A groan escaped from poor Potter, and he put his face in his hands and 
rocked his body softly to and fro, while a painful silence reigned in the court- 
room. Many men were moved, and many women's compassion testified itself 
in tears. Counsel for the defence rose and said: 

" Your honor, in our remarks at the opening of this trial, we foreshadowed 

our purpose to prove that our client did 
this fearful deed while under the influence 
of a blind and irresponsible delirium 
produced by drink. We have changed 
our mind. We shall not offer that plea." 
[Then to the clerk ]: "Call Thomas 
Sawyer ! " 

A puzzled amazement awoke in every 
face in the house, not even excepting- 
Potter's. Every eye fastened itself with 
wondering interest upon Tom as he rose 
and took his place upon the stand. The 
boy looked wild enough, for he was badly 
scared. The oath was administered. 

" Thomas' Sawyer, where were you on 
the seventeenth of June, about the hour 
of midnight ? " 

Tom glanced at Injun Joe's iron face and his tongue failed him. The audi- 
ence listened breathless, but the words refused to come. After a few moments, 
however, the boy got a little of his strength back, and managed to put enough 
of it into his voice to make part of the house hear: 
" In the graveyard ! " 



" A little bit louder, please. Don't be afraid. You were " 

" In the graveyard." 

A contemptuous smile flitted across Injun Joe's face. 

" Were you anywhere near Horse Williams's grave ? " 

"Yes, sir." 

" Speak up just a trifle louder. How near were you?" 

" Near as I am to you." 

"Were you hidden, or not?" 

"I was hid." 


" Behind the elms that's on the edge of the grave." 

Injun Joe gave a barely perceptible start. 

" Any one with -you ? " 

"Yes, sir. I went there with " 

"Wait wait a moment. Nevermind mentioning your companion's name- 
We will produce him at the proper time. Did you carry anything there with, 

Tom hesitated and looked confused. 

" Speak out my boy don't be diffident. The truth is always respectable. 
What did you take there? " 

" Only a a dead cat." 

There was a ripple of mirth, which the court checked. 

"We will produce the skeleton of that cat. Now my boy, tell us everything 
that occurred tell it in your own way don't skip anything, and don't be 

Tom began hesitatingly at first, but as he warmed to his subject his words 
flowed more and more easily ; in a little while every sound ceased but his own 
voice; every eye fixed itself upon him ; with parted lips and bated breath the 
audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fas- 
cinations of the tale. The strain upon pent emotion reached its climax when 
the boy said 

" and as the doctor fetched the board around and Muff Potter fell, Injun 
Joe jumped with the knife and " 



Crash ! Quick as lightning the half-breed sprang for a window, tore his 
way through all opposers, and was gone! 

was a glittering hero once more 
the pet of the old, the envy of the 
young. His name even went into 
immortal print, for the village paper 
magnified him. There were some that 
believed he would be President, yet, 
if he escaped hanging. 

As usual, the fickle, unreasoning 
world took Muff Potter to its bosom 
and fondled him as lavishly as it had 
abused him before. But that sort 
of conduct is to the world's credit; 
therefore it is not well to find fault 
with it. 

Tom's days were days of splendor 
and exultation to him, but his nights 
were seasons of horror. Injun Joe 
infested all his dreams, and always with doom in his eye. Hardly any temptation 
could persuade the boy to stir abroad after nightfall. Poor Huck was in the 



same state of wretchedness and terror, for Tom had told the whole story to the 
lawyer the night before the great day of the trial, and Huck was sore afraid that 

his share in the business might leak out, 
yet, notwithstanding Injun Joe's flight had 
saved him the suffering of testifying in 
court. The poor fellow had got the attor- 
ney to promise secrecy, but what of that ? 
Since Tom's harrassed conscience had 
managed to drive him to the lawyer's 
house by night and wring a dread tale 
from lips that had been sealed with the 
dismalest and most formidable of oaths, 
Huck's confidence in the human race was 
well nigh obliterated. 

Daily Muff Potter's gratitude made Tom 
glad he had spoken ; but nightly he wished 
he had sealed up his tongue. 

Half the time Tom was afraid Injun Joe 
TOM DREAMS. wouldnever be captured; the other half 

he was afraid he would be. He felt sure he never could draw a safe breath again 
until that man was dead and he had seen the corpse. 

Rewards had been offered, the country had been scoured, but no Injun Joe was 
found. One of those omniscient and awe-inspiring marvels, a detective, came up 
from St Louis, moused around, shook his head, looked wise, and made that sort of 
astounding success which members of that craft usually achieve. That is to say 
he "found a clew." But you can't hang a " clew " for murder and so after that 
detective had got through and gone home, Tom felt just as insecure as he was 

The slow days drifted on, and each left behind it a slightly lightened weight of 


tmndance of that sort of time which is not money. 
" O, most anywhere." 
" Why, is it hid all around ? " 


comes a time in every right- 
ly constructed boy's life when he has 
a raging desire to go somewhere and 
dig for hidden treasure. This desire 
suddenly came upon Tom one day. 
He sallied out to find Joe Harper, 
but failed of success. Next he sought 
Ben Rogers; he had gone fishing. 
Presently he stumbled upon Huck 
Finn the Red-Handed. Huck would 
answer. Tom took him to a private 
place and opened the matter to him 
confidentially. Huck was willing. 
Huck was always willing to take a 
hand in any enterprise that offered 
entertainment and required no capi- 
tal, for he had a troublesome supera- 
" Where '11 we dig ? " said Huck. 

I 9 2 


"No indeed it ain't. It's hid in mighty particular places, Huck sometimes on 
islands, sometimes in rotten chests under the end of a limb of an old dead tree, just 

where the shadow falls at midnight; but 
mostly under the floor in ha'nted houses." 
" Who hides it ? " 

"Why robbers, of course who'd you 
reckon? Sunday-school sup'rintendents?" 
"I don't know. If 'twas mine I wouldn't 
hide it; I'd spend it and have a good 

" So would I. But robbers don't do that 
way. They always hide it and leave it 

" Don't they come after it any more ? " 
. " No, they think they will, but they gen- 
erally forget the marks, or else they die. 
Anyway it lays there a long time and gets, 
rusty; and by and by somebody finds an 
old yellow paper that tells how to find the 
THE PKITATE CONFERENCE. marks a. paper that's got to be ciphered 

over about a week because it's mostly signs and hy'roglyphics." 
" Hyro which ? " 

"Hy'rogliphics pictures and things, you know, that don't seem to mean 

" Have you got one of them papers, Tom ? " 

" Well then, how you going to find the marks ? " 

" I don't want any marks. They always bury it under a ha'nted house or on an 
island, or under a dead tree that's got one limb sticking out. Well, we've tried 
Jackson's Island a little, and we can try it again some time ; and there's the old 
ha'nted house up the Still-House branch, and there's lots of dead-limb trees 
dead loads of 'em." 


" Is it under all of them ? " 

"How you talk! No! " 

" Then how you going to know which one to go for ? " 

" Go for all of 'em ! " 

" Why Tom, it'll take all summer." 

" Well, what of that ? Suppose you find a brass pot with a hundred dollars 
in it, all rusty and gay, or a rotten chest full of di'monds. How's that ? " 

Huck's eyes glowed. 

" That's bully. Plenty bully enough for me. Just you gimme the hundred 
dollars and I don't want no di'monds." 

" All right. But I bet you / ain't going to throw off on di'monds. Some of 
'em's worth twenty dollars apiece there ain't any, hardly, but's worth six bits or 
a dollar." 

"No! Is that so?' 5 

" Cert'nly anybody'll tell you so. Hain't you ever seen one, Huck ? " 

" Not as I remember." 

" O, kings have slathers of them." 

"Well, I don't know no kings, Tom." 

" I reckon you don't. But if you was to go to Europe you'd see a raft of 'em 
hopping around." 

" Do they hop ? " 

" Hop ? your granny ! No ! " 

" Well what did you say they did, for ? " 

" Shucks, I only meant you'd see 'em not hopping, of course what do they 
want to hop for ? but I mean you'd just see 'em scattered around, you know, in 
a kind of a general way. Like that old hump-backed Richard." 

" Richard ? What's his other name ? " 

" He didn't have any other name. Kings don't have any but a given name." 

" No ? " 

" But they don't." 

" Well, if they like it, Tom, all right ; but I don't want to be a king and have 

I 9 4 


only just a given name, like a nigger. But say where you going to dig first?" 
"Well, I don't know. S'pose we tackle that old dead-limb tree on the hill 

t'other side of Still-House branch ? " 
"I'm agreed." 

So they got a crippled pick and a shovel, 
and set out on their three-mile tramp. They 
arrived hot and panting, and threw them- 
selves down in the shade of a neighboring 
elm to rest and have a smoke. 
" I like this," said Tom. 
"So do I." 

" Say, Huck, if we find a treasure here, 
what you going to do with your share ? " 

"Well I'll have pie and a glass of soda 
every day, and I'll go to every circus 
that comes along. I bet I'll have a gay 

" Well ain't you going to save any of it? " 
A KING, POOR FKLLOW! " Save it ? What for ? " 

"Why so as to have something to live on, by and by." 
" O, that ain't any use. Pap would come back to thish-yer town some day and 
get his claws on it if I didn't hurry up, and I tell you he'd clean it out pretty 
quick. What you going to do with yourn, Tom ? " 

" I'm going to buy a new drum, and a sure-'nough sword, and a red neck-tie 
and a bull pup, and get married." 
" Married ! " 
"That's it." 

" Tom, you why you ain't in your right mind." 
"Wait you'll see." 

" Well that's the foolishest thing you could do. Look at pap and my mother. 
Fight ! Why they used to fight all the time. I remember, mighty well." 
"That ain't anything. The girl I'm going to marry won't fight." 




" Tom, I reckon they're all alike. They'll all comb a body. Now you better 
think 'bout this a while. I tell you you better. What's the name of the gal? " 

" It ain't a gal at all it's a girl." 

"It's all the same, I reckon; some says gal, some says girl both's right, like 
enough. Anyway, what's her name, Tom ? " 

"I'll tell you some time not now." 

"All right that'll do. Only if you get married I'll be more lonesomer than ever." 

" No you won't. You'll come and live 
with me. Now stir out of this and we'll 
go to digging." 

They worked and sweated for half an 
hour. No result. They toiled another 
half hour. Still no result. Huck said : 

" Do they always bury it as deep as 

"Sometimes not always. Not gener- 
ally. I reckon we haven't got the right 

So they chose a new spot and began 
again. The labor dragged a little, but 
still they made progress. They pegged 
away in silence for some time. Finally 
Huck leaned on his shovel, swabbed the 
beaded drops from his brow with his 
sleeve, and said : 

" Where you going to dig next, after we get this one ? " 

" I reckon maybe we'll tackle the old tree that's over yonder on Cardiff Hill 
back of the widow's." 

" I reckon that'll be a good one. But won't the widow take it away from us 
Tom? It's on her land." 

"She take it away ! Maybe she'd like to try it once. Whoever finds one of 
these hid treasures, it belongs to him. It don't make any difference whose land 
it's on." 


That was satisfactory. The work went on. By and by Huck said : 

" Blame it, we must be in the wrong place again. What do you think ? " 

"It is mighty curious Huck. I don't understand it. Sometimes witches inter- 
fere. I reckon maybe that's what's the trouble now." 

" Shucks, witches ain't got no power in the daytime." 

" Well, that's so. I didn't think of that. Oh, I know what the matter is ! 
What a blamed lot of fools we are ! You got to find out where the shadow of the 
limb falls at midnight, and that's where you dig ! " 

" Then consound it, we've fooled away all this work for nothing. Now hang it 
all, we got to come back in the night. It's an awful long way. Can you get out ? " 

" I bet I will. We've got to do it to night, too, because if some body sees these 
holes they'll know in a minute what's here and they'll go for it." 

"Well, I'll come around and maow to night." 

"All right. Let's hide the tools in the bushes." 

The boys were there that night, about the appointed time. They sat in the 
shadow waiting. It was a lonely place, and an hour made solemn by old tra- 
ditions. Spirits whispered in the rustling leaves, ghosts lurked in the murky 
nooks, the deep baying of a hound floated up out of the distance, an owl answered 
with his sepulchral note. The boys were subdued by these solemnities, and 
talked little. By and by they judged that twelve had come ; they marked where 
the shadow fell, and began to dig. Their hopes commenced to rise. Their 
interest grew stronger, and their industry kept pace with it. The hole deepened 
and still deepened, but every time their hearts jumped to hear the pick strike 
upon something, they only suffered a new disappointment. It was only a stone 
or a chunk. At last Tom said : 

" It ain't any use, Huck, we're wrong again." 

" Well but we cant be wrong. We spotted the shadder to a dot." 
" I know it, but then there's another thing." 

"What's that?" 

" Why we only guessed at the time. Like enough it was too late or too early." 

Huck dropped his shovel. 

" That's it," said he. " That's the very trouble. We got to give this one up. 
We can't ever tell the right time, and besides this kind of thing's too awful, here this 


time of night with witches and ghosts a fluttering around so. I feel as if something's 
behind me all the time ; and I'm afeard to turn around, becuz maybe there's others 
in front a-waiting for a chance. I been creeping all over, ever since I got here." 

"Well, I've been pretty much so, too, Huck. They most always put in a dead 
man when they bury a treasure under a tree, to look out for it." 

" Lordy ! " 

" Yes, they do. I've always heard that." 

" Tom I don't like to fool around much where there's dead people. A body's 
bound to get into trouble with 'em, sure." 

"I don't like to stir 'em up, either. S'pose this one here was to stick his skull 
out and say something ! " 

" Don't, Tom! It's awful." 

"Well it just is. Huck, I don't feel comfortable a bit." 

" Say, Tom, let's give this place up, and try somewheres else." 

" All right, I reckon we better." 

" What '11 it be ? " 

Tom considered a while ; and then said 

" The ha'nted house. That's it ! " 

" Blame it, I don't like ha'nted houses Tom. Why they're a dern sight worse'n 
dead people. Dead people might talk, maybe, but they don't come sliding 
around in a shroud, when you ain't noticing, and peep over yo'ur shoulder all of a 
sudden and grit their teeth, the way a ghost does. I couldn't stand such a thing 
as that, Tom nobody could." 

" Yes, but Huck, ghosts don't travel around only at night. They won't hender 
us from digging there in the day time." 

" Well that's so. But you know mighty well people don't go about that ha'nted 
house in the day nor the night." 

" Well, that's mostly because they don't like to go where a man's been murdered, 
anyway but nothing's ever been seen around that house except in the night just 
some blue lights slipping by the windows no regular ghosts." 

"Well where you see one of them blue lights flickering around, Tom, you can 
bet there's a ghost mighty close behind it. It stands to reason. Becuz you know 
that they don't anybody but ghosts use 'em." 

z 9 8 


" Yes, that's so. But anyway they don't come around in the daytime, so what's 
the use of our being afeared ? " 

" Well, all right. We'll tackle the ha'nted house if you say so but I reckon 
it's taking chances." 

They had smarted down the hill by this time. There in the middle of the moon- 
lit valley below them stood the "ha'nted " house, utterly isolated, its fences gone 


long ago, rank weeds smothering the very doorsteps, the chimney crumbled to 
ruin, the window-sashes vacant, a corner of the roof caved in. The boys gazed a 
while, half expecting to see a blue light flit past a window; then talking in a low 
tone, as befitted the time and the circumstances, they struck far off to the right, 
to give the haunted house a wide berth, and took their way homeward through the 
woods that adorned the rearward side of Cardiff Hill. 

noon the next day the 
boys arrived at the dead tree; they 
had come for their tools. Tom was 
impatient to go to the haunted 
house; Huck was measurably so, 
alsobut suddenly said 

" Lookyhere, Tom, do you know 
what day it is? " 

Tom mentally ran over the days 
of the week, and then quickly lifted 
I his eyes with a startled look in 

"My! I never once thought. of 
it, Huck!" 

" Well I didn't neither, but all at 
once it popped onto me that it was 

" Blame it, a body can't be too careful, Huck. We might a got into an awful 
scrape, tackling such a thing on a Friday." 



''Might! Better say we would! There's some lucky days, maybe, but Friday 

"Any fool knows that. I don't reckon you was the first that found it out, 
Huck." ( 

" Well, I never said I was, did I ? And Friday ain't all, neither. I had a 
rotten bad dream last night dreampt about rats." 
" No ! Sure sign of trouble. Did they fight ? " 
' "No." 

"Well that's good, Huck. When they don't fight it's only a sign that there's 
trouble around, you know. All we got to do is to look mighty sharp and 

keep out of it. We'll drop this thing for to- 
day, and play. Do you know Robin Hood, 

" No. Who's Robin Hood ? " 
" Why he was one of the greatest men 
that was ever in England and the best. He 
was a robber." 

" Cracky, I wisht I was. Who did he rob ? " 
" Only sheriffs and bishops and rich people 
and kings, and such like. But he never 
bothered the poor. He loved 'em. He al- 
ways divided up with 'em perfectly square." 
""Well, he must 'a' been a brick." 
" I bet you he was, Huck. Oh, he was the 
noblest man that ever was. They ain't any 
THE GREATEST AND BEST. such men now, I can tell you. He could 

lick any man in England, with one hand tied behind him ; and he could take 
his yew bow and plug a ten cent piece every time, a mile and a half." 
"What's a yew bow ? " 

"/ don't know. It's some kind of a bow, of course. And if he hit that 
dime only on the edge he would set down and cry and curse. But we'll play 
Robin Hood it's noble fun. I'll learn you." 
"I'm agreed." 


So they played Robin Hood all the afternoon, now and then casting a 
yearning eye down upon the haunted house and passing a remark about the 
morrow's prospects and possibilities there. As the sun began to sink into the 
west they took their way homeward athwart the long shadows of the trees and 
soon were buried from sight in the forests of Cardiff Hill. 

On Saturday, shortly after noon, the boys were at the dead tree again. They 
had a smoke and a chat in the shade, and then dug a little in their last hole, 
not with great hope, but merely because Tom said there were so many cases 
where people had given up a treasure after getting down within six inches of it, 
and then somebody else had come along and turned it up with a single thrust 
of a shovel. The thing failed this time, however, so the boys shouldered their 
tools and went away feeling that they had not trifled with fortune but had ful- 
filled all the requirements that belong to the business of treasure-hunting. 

When they reached the haunted house there was something so wierd and grisly 
about the dead silence that reigned there under the baking sun, and something 
so depressing about the loneliness and desolation of the place, that they were 
afraid, for a moment, to venture in. Then they crept to the door and took a 
trembling peep. They saw a weed-grown, floorless room, unplastered, an 
ancient fireplace, vacant windows, a ruinous staircase ; and here, there, and 
everywhere, hung ragged and abandoned cobwebs. They presently entered, 
softly, with quickened pulses, talking in whispers, ears alert to catch the slight- 
est sound, and muscles tense and ready for instant retreat. 

In a little while familiarity modified their fears and they gave the place a 
critical and interested examination, rather admiring their own boldness, and 
wondering at it, too. Next they wanted to look up stairs. This was some- 
thing like cutting off retreat, but they got to daring each other, and of course 
there could be but one result they threw their tools into a corner and made 
the ascent. Up there were the same signs of decay. In one corner they found 
a closet that promised mystery, but the promise was a fraud there was noth- 
ing in it. Their courage was up now and well in hand. They were about to go 
down and begin work when 

" Sh ! " said Tom. 

" What is it ? " whispered Huck, blanching with fright. 


"Sh! There! ....'. Hear it?" 

"Yes! O, my! Let's run!" 

" Keep still ! Don't you budge ! They're coming right toward the door." 

The boys stretched themselves upon the floor with their eyes to knot holes 
in the planking, and lay waiting, in a misery of fear. 

" They've stopped No coming Here they are. Don't 

whisper another word, Huck. My goodness, I wish I was out of this ! " 

Two men entered. Each boy said to himself: "There's the old deaf and 
dumb Spaniard that's been about town once or twice lately never saw t'other 
man before." 

"T'other "was a ragged, unkempt creature, with nothing very pleasant in 
his face. The Spaniard was wrapped in a scrape ; he had bushy white whisk- 
ers; long white hair flowed from under his sombrero, and he wore green gog- 
gles. When they came in, " t'other " was talking in a low voice ; they sat down 
on the ground, facing the door, with their backs to the wall, and the speaker 
continued his remarks. His manner became less guarded and his words more 
distinct as he proceeded : 

" No," said he, " I've thought it all over, and I don't like it. It's dangerous." 

" Dangerous ! " grunted the " deaf and dumb " Spaniard, to the vast sur- 
prise of the boys. " Milksop ! " 

This voice made the boys gasp and quake. It was Injun Joe's! There was 
silence for some time. Then Joe said: 

"What's any more dangerous than that job up yonder but nothing's come 
of it." 

"That's different. Away up the river so, and not another house about. 
'Twon't ever be known that we tried, anyway, long as we didn't succeed." 

" Well, what's more dangerous than coming here in the day time ! anybody 
would suspicion us that saw us." 

" / know that. But there warn't any other place as handy after that fool of 
a job. I want to quit this shanty. I wanted to yesterday, only it warn't any 
use trying to stir out of here, with those infernal boys playing over there on 
the hill right in full view." 


" Those infernal boys," quaked again under the inspiration of this remark,, 
and thought how lucky it was that they had remembered it was Friday and 
concluded to wait a day. They wished in their hearts they had waited a year. 

The two men got out some food and made a luncheon. After a long and 
thoughtful silence, Injun Joe said : 

" Look here, lad you go back up the river where you belong. Wait there 
till you hear from me. I'll take the chances on dropping into this town just 
once more, for a look. We'll do that 'dangerous 'job after I've spied around a 
little and think things look well for it. Then for Texas ! We'll leg it 
together ! " 

This was satisfactory. Both men presently fell to yawning, and Injun Joe 

" I'm dead for sleep ! It's your turn to watch." 

He curled down in the weeds and soon began to snore. His comrade stirred 
him once or twice and he became quiet. Presently the watcher began to nod; 
his head drooped lower and lower, both men began to snore now. 

The boys drew a long, grateful breath. Tom whispered 

" Now's our chance come ! " 

Huck said : 

" I can't I'd die if they wasMo wake." 

Tom urged Huck held back. At last Tom rose slowly and softly, and 
started alone. But the first step he made wrung such a hideous creak from 
the crazy floor that he sank down almost dead with fright. He never made a 
second attempt. The boys lay there counting the dragging moments till it 
seemed to them that time must be done and eternity growing gray ; and then 
they were grateful to note that at last the sun was setting. 

Now one snore ceased. Injun Joe sat up, stared around smiled grimly 
upon his comrade, whose head was drooping upon his knees stirred him up 
with his foot and said 

"Here! You're a watchman, ain't you! All right, though nothing's 

" My ! have I been asleep ? " 


" Oh, partly, partly. Nearly time for us to be moving, pard. What'll we do 
with what little swag we've got left ? " 

" I don't know leave it here as we've always done, I reckon. No use to take 
it away till we start south. Six hundred and fifty in silver's something to 

"Well all right it won't matter to come here once more." 

" No but I'd say come in the night as we used to do it's better." 
"Yes; but look here ; it may be a good while before I get the right chance 
at that job; accidents might happen ; 'tain't in such a very good place; we'll 
just regularly bury it and bury it deep." 

" Good idea," said the comrade, who walked across the room, knelt down, 
raised one of the rearward hearthstones and took out a bag that jingled pleas- 
antly. He subtracted from it twenty or thirty dollars for himself and as much 
for Injun Joe and passed the bag to the latter, who was on his knees in the 
corner, now, digging with his bowie knife. 

The boys forgot all their fears, all their miseries in an instant. With gloat- 
ing eyes they watched every movement. Luck ! the splendor of it was 
beyond all imagination ! Six hundred dollars was money enough to make 
half a dozen boys rich ! Here was treasure-hunting under the happiest aus- 
pices there would not be any bothersome uncertainty as to where to dig. 
They nudged each other every moment eloquent nudges and easily under- 
stood, for they simply meant " O, but ain't you glad now we're here ! " 

Joe's knife struck upon something. 

" Hello ! " said he. 

" What is it ? " said his comrade. 

" Half-rotten plank no it's a box, I believe. Here bear a hand and we'll 
see what it's here for. Never mind, I've broke a hole." 

He reached his hand in and drew it out 

" Man, it's money ! " 

The two men examined the handful of coins. They were gold. The boys 
above were as excited as themselves, and as delighted. 

Joe's comrade said 



" We'll make quick work of this. There's an old rusty pick over amongst 
the weeds in the corner the other side of the fire-place I saw it a minute ago." 

He ran and brought the boys' pick and shovel. Injun Joe took the pick, 
looked it over critically, shook his head, muttered something to himself, and 
then began to use it. The box was soon unearthed. It was not very large ; 


it was iron bound and had been very strong before the slow years had injured 
it. The men contemplated the treasure a while in blissful silence. 

" Pard, there's thousands of dollars here," said Injun Joe. 

"'Twas always said that Murrel's gang used around here one summer," the 
stranger observed. 

" I know it," said Injun Joe; "and this looks like it, I should say." 

" Now you won't need to do that job." 

The half-breed frowned. Said he 

"You don't know me. Least you don't know all about that thing. Tain't 


robbery altogether it's revenge !" and a wicked light flamed in his eyes. " I'll 
need your help in it. When it's finished then Texas. Go home to your 
Nance and your kids, and stand by till you hear from me." 

" Well if you say so, what'll we do with this bury it again ? " 

"Yes. [Ravishing delight overhead.] No! by the great Sachem, no! 
[Profound distress overhead.] I'd nearly forgot. That pick had fresh earth 
on it ! [The boys were sick with terror in a moment.] What business has 
a pick and a shovel here ? What business with fresh earth on them ? Who 
brought them here and where are they gone ? Have you heard anybody? 
seen anybody ? What ! bury it again and leave them to come and see the 
ground disturbed? Not exactly not exactly. We'll take it to my den." 

"Why of course! Might have thought of that before. You mean Number 

"No Number Two under the cross. The other place is bad too 

" All right. It's nearly dark enough to start." 

Injun Joe got up and went about from window to window cautiously peep- 
ing out. Presently he said : 

" Who could have brought those tools here? Do you reckon they can be up 
stairs ? " 

The boys' breath forsook them. Injun Joe put his hand on his knife, halted 
a moment, undecided, and then turned toward the stairway. The boys thought 
of the closet, but their strength was gone. The steps came creaking up the 
stairs the intolerable distress of the situation woke the stricken resolution of 
the lads they were about to spring for the closet, when there was a crash of 
rotten timbers and Injun Joe landed on the ground amid the debris of the 
ruined stairway. He gathered himself up cursing, and his comrade said: 

*' Now what's the use of all that ? If it's anybody, and they're up there, let 
them stay there who cares? If they want to jump down, now, and get into 
trouble, who objects? It will be dark in fifteen minutes and then let them 
follow us if they want to. I'm willing. In my opinion, whoever hove those 
things in here caught a sight of us and took us for ghosts or devils or some- 
thing. I'll bet they're running yet." 



Joe grumbled a while ; then he agreed with his friend that what daylight 
was left ought to be economized in getting things ready for leaving. Shortly 
afterward they slipped out of the house 
in the deepening twilight, and moved 
toward the river with their precious 

Tom and Huck rose up, weak but 
vastly relieved, and stared after them 
through the chinks between the logs of 
the house. Follow ? Not they. They 
were content to reach ground again 
without broken necks, and take the 
townward track over the hill. They 
did not talk much. They were too 
much absorbed in hating themselves 
hating the ill luck that made them take 
the spade and the pick there. But for 
that, Injun Joe never would have sus- 
pected. He would have hidden .the 
silver with the gold to wait there till his "revenge" was satisfied, and then he 
would have had the misfortune to find that money turn up missing. Bitter, 
bitter luck that the tools were ever brought there ! 

They resolved to keep a lookout for that Spaniard when he should come to town 
spying out for chances to do his revengeful job, and follow him to " Number 
Two," wherever that might be. Then a ghastly thought occurred to Tom : 

" Revenge ? " What if he means us, Huck ! " 

" O, don't ! " said Huck, nearly fainting. 

They talked it all over, and as. they entered town they agreed to believe that 
he might possibly mean somebody else at least that he might at least mean 
nobody but Tom, since only Tom had testified. 

Very, very small comfort it was to Tom to be alone in danger ! Company 
wcruld be a palpable improvement, he thought. 


/I I ' 

adventure of the day mightily tor- 
mented Tom's dreams that night. 
Four times he had his hands on that 
rich treasure and four times it wasted 
to nothingness in his fingers as sleep 
forsook him and wakefulness brought 
back the hard reality of his misfor- 
tune. As he lay in the early morning 
recalling the incidents of his great ad- 
venture, he noticed that they seemed 
curiously subdued and far away 
somewhat as if they had happened in 
another world, or in a time long gone 
by. Then it occurred to him that 
the great adventure itself must be 
a dream ! There was one very strong 
argument in favor of this idea 
namely, that the quantity of coin he had seen was too vast to be real. He had 
never seen as much as fifty dollars in one mass before, and he was like all boys of 



his age and station in life, in that he imagined that all references to "hundreds" 
and "thousands " were mere fanciful forms of speech, and that no such sums 
really existed in the world. He never had supposed for a moment that so large a 
sum as a hundred dollars was to be found in actual money in any one's posses- 
sion. If his notions of hidden treasure had been analyzed, they would have been 
found to consist of a handful of real dimes and a bushel of vague, splendid, 
ungraspable dollars. 

But the incidents of his adventure grew sensibly sharper and clearer under the 

attrition of thinking them over, and so he 
presently found himself leaning to the 
impression that the thing might not have 
been a dream, after all. This uncertainty 
must be swept away. He would snatch a 
hurried breakfast and go and find Huck. 

Huck was sitting on the gunwale of a 
flatboat, listlessly dangling his feet in the 
water and looking very melancholy. Tom 
concluded to let Huck lead up to the sub- 
ject. If he did not do it, then the adven- 
ture would be proved to have been only 
a dream. 

" Hello, Huck ! " 
" Hello, yourself." 
Silence, for a minute. 
" Tom, if we'd a left the blame tools at 
O, ain't it awful ! " 

Somehow I most wish it was. Dog'd 


the dead tree, we'd 'a' got the money. 

" 'Tain't a dream, then, 'tain't a dream ! 
if I don't, Huck." 

" What ain't a dream ? " 

"Oh, that thing yesterday. I been half thinking it was." 

"Dream! If them stairs hadn't broke down you'd 'a' seen how much dream it 
was! I've had dreams enough all night with that patch-eyed Spanish devil 
going for me all through 'em rot him ! " 14 


" No, not rot him. Find him! Track the money! " 

"Tom, we'll never find him. A feller don't have only once chance for such a 
pile and that one's lost. I'd feel mighty shaky if I was to see him, anyway." 

"Well, so'd I; but I'd like to see him, anyway and track him out to his 
Number Two." 

"Number Two yes, that's it. I ben thinking 'bout that. But I can't make 
nothing out of it. What do you reckon it is? " 

" I dono. It's too deep. Say, Huck maybe it's the number of a house ! " 

" Goody ! No, Tom, that ain't it. If it is, it ain't in this one-horse 

town. They ain't no numbers here." 

"Well, that's so. Lemme think a minute. Here it's the number of a room 
in a tavern, you know ! " 

" O, that's the trick! They ain'.t only two taverns. We can find out quick." 

" You stay here, Huck, till I come." 

Tom was off at once. He did not care to have Huck's company in public 
places. He was gone half an hour. He found that in the best tavern, No. 2 had 
long been occupied by a young lawyer, and was still so occupied. In the less 
ostentatious house No. 2 was a mystery. The tavern-keeper's young son said it 
was kept locked all the time, and he never saw anybody go into it or come out of 
it except at night ; he did not know any particular reason for this state of things ; 
had had some little curiosity, but it was rather feeble ; had made the most of the 
mystery by entertaining himself with the idea that that room was " ha'nted ; " had 
noticed that there was a light in there the night before. 

" That's what I've found out, Huck. I reckon that's the very No. 2 we're after." 

" I reckon it is, Tom. Now what you going to do ? " 

"Lemme think." 

Tom thought a long time. Then he said : 

" I'll tell you. The back door of that No. 2 is the door that comes out into 
that little close alley between the tavern and the old rattle-trap of a brick store. 
Now you get hold of all the door-keys you can find, and I'll nip all of Auntie's and 
the first dark night we'll go there and try 'em. And mind you keep a lookout 
for Injun Joe, because he said he was going to drop into town and spy around 


once more for a chance to get his revenge. If you see him, you just follow him ; 

and if he don't go to that No. 2 l that ain't the place." 
" Lordy I don't want to foller him by myself! " 
"Why it'll be night, sure. He mightn't ever see you and if he did, maybe 

he'd never think anything." 

"Well, if it's pretty dark I reckon I'll track him. I dono I dono. I'll try." 
" You bet / '11 follow him, if it's dark, Huck. Why he might 'a' found out he 

couldn't get his revenge, and be going right after that .money." 
" It's so, Tom, it's so. I'll foller him ; I will, by jingoes ! " 
'"Now you're talking! Don't you ever weaken, Huck, and I won't." 

night Tom and Huck were- 
ready for their adventure. They 
hung about the neighborhood of the- 
tavern until after nine, one watching, 
the alley at a distance and the other 
the tavern door. Nobody entered 
the alley or left it ; nobody resem- 
bling the Spaniard entered or left 
the tavern door. The night prom- 
ised to be a fair one ; so Tom went 
home with the understanding that if 
a considerable degree of darkness 
came on, Huck was to come and 
"maow," whereupon he would slip 
out and try the keys. But the night 
remained clear, and Huck closed 
his watch and retired to bed in an 
empty sugar hogshead about twelve.. 
Tuesday the boys had the same ill luck. Also Wednesday. But Thursday 
night promised better. Tom slipped out in good season with his aunt's old tin. 




lantern, and a large towel to blindfold it with. He hid the lantern in Hack's sugar 
.hogshead and the watch began. An hour before midnight the tavern closed up 

and its lights (the only ones there- 
abouts) were put out. No Spaniard 
had been seen. Nobody had entered 
or left the alley. Everything was aus- 
picious. The blackness of darkness 
reigned, the perfect stillness was inter- 
rupted only by occasional mutterings 
of distant thunder. 

Tom got his lantern, lit it in the hogs- 
head, wrapped it closely in the towel, 
and the two adventurers crept in the 
gloom toward the tavern. Huck stood 
sentry and Tom felt his way into the 
alley. Then there was a season of 
waiting anxiety that weighed upon 
Huck's spirits like a mountain. He 
began to wish he could see a flash 
from the lantern it would frighten 
him, but it would at least tell him that Tom was alive yet. It seemed hours since 
Tom had disappeared. Surely he must have fainted; maybe he was dead; 
maybe his heart had burst under terror and excitement. In his uneasiness Huck 
found himself drawing closer and closer to the alley; fearing all sorts of dreadful 
things, and momentarily expecting some catastrophe to happen that would take 
away his breath. There was not much to take away, for he seemed only able to 
inhale it by thimblefuls, and his heart would soon wear itself out, the way it was 
beating. Suddenly there was a flash of light and Tom came tearing by him : 
" Run ! " said he ; " run, for your life ! " 

He needn't have repeated it; once was enough; Huck was making thirty or 
forty miles an hour before the repetition was uttered. The boys never stopped 
till they reached the shed of a deserted slaughter-house at the lower end of the 




village. Just as they got within its shelter the storm burst and the rain poured 
down. As soon as Tom got his breath he said : x 

" Huck, it was awful ! I tried two of the keys, just as soft as I could ; but they 
seemed to make such a power of racket that I couldn't hardly get my breath I 
was so scared. They wouldn't turn in the lock, either. Well, without noticing 


what I was doing, I took hold of the knob, and open comes the door ! It warn't 
locked ! I hopped in, and shook off the towel, and, great Ctzsars ghost ! " 

" What ! what 'd you see, Tom ! " 

" Huck, I most stepped onto Injun Joe's hand ! " 


"Yes! He was laying there, sound asleep on the floor, with his old patch on 
his eye and his arms spread out." 

" Lordy, what did you do? Did he wake up ? " 


" No, never budged. Drunk, I reckon. I just grabbed that towel and started !" 

'" I'd never 'a' thought of the towel, I bet ! " 

"Well, /would. My auixl would make me mighty sick if I lost it." 

" Say, Tom, did you see that box ? " 

" Huck I didn't wait to look around. I didn't see the box, I didn't see the 
cross. I didn't see anything but a bottle and a tin cup on the floor by Injun Joe ; 
yes, and I saw two barrels and lots more bottles in the room. Don't you see, now, 
what's the matter with that ha'nted room ? " 

" How ? " 

"Why it's ha'nted with whisky! Maybe all the Temperance Taverns have got 
a ha'nted room, hey Huck ? " 

"Well I reckon maybe that's so. Who'd 'a' thought such a thing? But say, 
Tom, now's a mighty good time to get that box, if Injun Joe's drunk." 

" It is, that! You try it ! " 

Huck shuddered. 

"Well, no I reckon' not." 

"And /reckon not, Huck. Only one bottle alongside of Injun Joe ain't 
enou'gh. If there'd been three, he'd be drunk enough and I'd do it." 

There was a long pause for reflection, and then Tom said : 

" Lookyhere, Huck, less not try that thing any more till we know Injun Joe's 
not in there. It's too scary. Now if we watch every night, we'll be dead sure to 
see him go out, some time or other, and then we'll snatch that box quicker'n 

" Well, I'm agreed. I'll watch the whole night long, and I'll do it every night, 
too, if you'll do the other part of the job." 

" All right, I will. All you got to do is to trot up Hooper street a block and 
maow and if I'm asleep, you throw some gravel at the window and that'll fetch 

VAgreed, and good as wheat! " 

" Now Huck, the storm's over, and I'll go home. It'll begin to be daylight in 
a couple of hours. You go back and watch that long, will you ? " 

" I said I would, Tom, and I will. I'll ha'nt that tavern every night for a year! 
I'll sleep all day and I'll stand watch all night." 



" That's all right. Now where you going to sleep? " 

" In Ben Rogers's hayloft. He let's me, and so does his pap's nigger man, 
Uncle Jake. I tote water for Uncle Jake whenever he wants me to, and any time 
I ask him he gives me a little something to eat if he can spare it. That's a 
mighty good nigger, Tom. He likes me, becuz I don't ever act as if I was above' 
him. Sometimes I've set right down and eat with him. But you needn't tell that. 
A body's got to do things when he's awful hungry he wouldn't want to do as a 
steady thing." 

"Well, if I don't want you in the day time, I'll let you sleep. I won't corne 
bothering around. Any time you see something's up, in the night, just skip right 
around and maow." 

first thing Tom heard on Fri- 
day morning was a glad piece of 
news Judge Thatcher's family had 
come back to town the night before. 
Both Injun Joe and the treasure 
sunk into secondary importance for 
a moment, and Becky took the chief 
place in the boy's interest. He saw 
her and they had an exhausting 
good time playing " hi-spy " and 
"gully-keeper" with a crowd of 
their schoolmates. The day was 
completed and crowned in a pecul- 
iarly satisfactory way : Becky teased 
her mother to appoint the next day 
for the long-promised and long- 
delayed picnic, and she consented. 
The child's delight was boundless; and Tom's not more moderate. The invi- 
tations were sent out before sunset, and straightway the young folks of the 



village were thrown into a fever of preparation and pleasurable anticipation. 
Tom's excitement enabled him to keep awake until a pretty late hour, and he had 
good hopes of hearing Huck's " maow," and of having his treasure to astonish 
Becky and the pic-nickers with, next day; but he was disappointed. No signal 
came that night. . 

Morning came, eventually, and by ten or eleven o'clock a giddy and rollicking 
company were gathered at Judge Thatcher's, and everything was ready for a start. 
It was not the custom for elderly people to mar pic-nics with their presence. The 
children were considered safe enough under the wings of a few young ladies of 
eighteen and a few young gentlemen of twenty-three or thereabouts. The old 
steam ferry-boat was chartered for the occasion; presently the gay throng filed 
up the main street laden with provision baskets. Sid was sick and had to miss the 
fun; Mary remained at home to entertain him. The last thing Mrs. Thatcher 
said to Becky, was 

"You'll not get back till late. Perhaps you'd better stay all night with some 
of the girls that live near the ferry landing, child." 

" Then I'll stay with Susy Harper, mamma." 

"Very well. And mind and behave yourself and don't be any trouble." 

Presently, as they tripped along, Tom said to Becky : 

"Say I'll tell you what we'll do. 'Stead of going to Joe Harper's we'll climb 
right up the hill and stop at the Widow Douglas's. She'll have ice cream ! She 
has it most every day dead loads of it. And she'll be.awful'glad to have us." 

" O, that will be fun ! " 

Then Becky reflected a moment and said : 

" But what will mamma say? " 

" How'll she ever know ? " 

The girl turned the idea over in her mind, and said reluctantly: 

" I reckon it's wrong but " 

"But shucks! Your mother won't know, and so what's the harm? All she 
wants is that you'll be safe; and I bet you she'd 'a' said go there if she'd 'a' 
thought of it. I know she would ! " 

The widow Douglas's splqndid hospitality was a tempting bait. It and Tom's 

THE PIC-NIC. 219- 

persuasions presently carried the day. So it was decided to say nothing to any- 
body about the night's programme. Presently it occurred to Tom that maybe 
Huck might come this very night and give the signal. The thought took a deal" 
of the spirit out of his anticipations. Still he could not bear to give up the fun at 
Widow Douglas's. And why should he give it up, he reasoned the signal did 
not come the night before, so why should it be any more likely to come to-night? 
The sure fun of the evening outweighed the uncertain treasure ; and boy like, he 
determined to yield to the stronger inclination and not allow himself to think of 
the box of money another time that day. 

Three miles below town the ferry-boat stopped at the mouth of a woody hollow 
and tied up. The crowd swarmed ashore and soon the forest distances and 
craggy heights echoed far and near with shoutings and laughter. All the different 
ways of getting hot and tired were gone through with, and by and by the rovers 
straggled back to camp fortified with responsible appetites, and then the destruc- 
tion of the good things began. After the feast there was a refreshing season of 
rest and chat in the shade of spreading oaks. By and by somebody shouted 

" Who's ready for the cave ? " 

Everybody was. Bundles of candles were procured, and straightway there was 
a general scamper up the hill.. The mouth of the cave was up the hillside an 
opening shaped like a letter A. It's massive oaken door stood unbarred. Within 
was a small chamber, chilly as an ice-house, and walled by Nature with solid 
limestone that was dewy with a cold sweat. It was romantic and mysterious to 
stand here in the deep gloom and look out upon the green valley shining in the 
sun. But the impressiveness of the situation quickly wore off, and the romping 
began again. The moment a candle was lighted there was a general rush upon 
the owner of it ; a struggle and a gallant defense followed, but the candle was 
soon knocked down or blown out, and then there was a glad clamor of laughter 
and a new chase. But all things have an end. By and by the procession went 
filing down the steep descent of the main avenue, the flickering rank of lights 
dimly revealing the lofty walls of rock almost to their point of junction sixty feet 
overhead. This main avenue was not more than eight or ten feet wide. Every 
few steps other lofty and still narrower crevices branched from it on either hand 


for McDougal's cave was but a vast 
labyrinth of crooked isles that ran into 
each other and out again and led nowhere. 
It was said that one might wander days 
and nights together through its intricate 
tangle of rifts and chasms, and never find 
the end of the cave ; and that he might go 
down, and down, and still down, into the 
earth, and it was just the same labyrinth 
underneath labyrinth, and no end to any of 
them. No man " knew " the cave. That 
was an impossible thing. Most of the 
young men knew a portion of it, and it 
was not customary to venture much beyond 
this known portion. Tom Sawyer knew as 
much of the cave as any one. 

The procession moved along the main 
avenue some three-quarters of a mile, and 
then groups and couples began to slip 
aside into branch avenues, fly along the 
dismal corridors, and take each other by 
surprise at points where the corridors 
joined again. Parties were able to elude 
each other for the space of half an hour 
without going beyond the "known" ground. 

By and by, one group after another came 
straggling back to the mouth of the cave, 
panting, hilarious, smeared from head to 
foot with tallow drippings, daubed with clay, 
and entirely delighted with the success of 
the day. Then they were astonished to 
find that they had been taking no note of 


time and that night was about at hand. The clanging bell had been calling for 
half an hour. However, this sort of close to the day's adventures was romantic 
and therefore satisfactory. When the feruy-boat with her wild freight pushed into 
the stream, no"body cared sixpence for the wasted time but the captain of the 

Huck was already upon his watch when the ferry-boat's lights went glinting past 
the wharf. He heard no noise on board, for the young people were as subdued and 
still as people usually are who are nearly tired to death. He wondered what boat 
it was, and why she did not stop at the wharf and then he dropped her out of his 
mind and put his attention upon his business. The night was growing cloudy and 
dark. Ten o'clock came, and the noise of vehicles ceased, scattered lights began 
to wink out, all straggling foot passengers disappeared, the village betook itself 
to its slumbers and left the small watcher alone with the silence and the ghosts. 
Eleven o'clock came, and the tavern 
lights were put out; darkness every- 
where, now. Huck waited what seemed 
a weary long time, but nothing happened. 
His faith was weakening. Was there any 
use ? Was there really any use ? Why 
not give it up and turn in ? 

A noise fell upon his ear. He was all 
attention in an instant. The alley door 
closed softly. He sprang to the corner of 
the brick store. The next moment two 
men brushed by him, and one seemed to 
have something under his arm. It must 
be that box ! So they were going to re- 
move the treasure. Why call Tom now ? 
It would be absurd the men would get 
away with the box and never be found HUUK ON DUTY - 

again. No, he would stick to their wake and follow them ; he would trust to the 
darkness for security from discovery. So communing with himself, Huck stepped 


out and glided along behind the men, cat-like, with bare feet, allowing them to 
keep just far enough ahead not to be invisible. 

They moved up the river street three^blocks, then turned to the left up a cross 
street. They went straight ahead, then, until they came to the path that led up 
Cardiff Hill ; this they took. They passed by the old Welchman's house, half way 
up the hill without hesitating, and still climbed upward. Good, thought Huck, 
they will bury it in the old quarry. But they never stopped at the quarry. They 
passed on, up the summit. They plunged into the narrow path between the tall 
.sumach bushes, and were at once hidden in the gloom. Huck closed up and 
shortened his distance, now, for they would never be able to see him. He trotted 
along a while; then slackened his pace, fearing he was gaining too fast; moved 
on a piece, then stopped altogether; listened; no sound; none, save that he 
seemed to hear the beating of his own heart. The hooting of an owl came from 
over the hill ominous sound! But no footsteps. Heavens, was everything lost! 
He was about to spring with winged feet, when a man cleared his throat not four 
feet from him ! Huck's heart shot into his throat, but he swallowed it again ; and 
then he stood there shaking as if a dozen agues had taken charge of him at once, 
and so weak that he thought he must surely fall to the ground. He knew where 
he was. He knew he was within five steps of the stile leading into Widow Doug- 
las's grounds. Very well, he thought, let them bury it there ; it won't be hard to 

Now there was a voice a very low voice Injun Joe's : 

" Damn her, maybe she's got company there's lights, late as it is." 

"I can't see any." 

This was that stranger's voice the stranger of the haunted house. A deadly 
chill went to Huck's heart this, then, was the "revenge" job! His thought was, 
to fly. Then he remembered that the Widow Douglas had been kind to him more 
than once, and maybe these men were going to murder her. He wished he dared 
venture to warn her ; but he knevr he didn't dare they might come and catch 
"him. He thought all this and more in the moment that elapsed between the 
stranger's remark and Injun Joe's next which was 

"Because the bush is in your way. Now this way now you see, don't you?" 


"Yes. Well there is company there, I reckon. Better give it up." 

" Give it up, and I just leaving this country forever ! Give it up and maybe 
never have another chance. I tell you again, as I've told you before, I don't care 
for her swag you may have it. But her husband was rough on me many times 
he was rough on me and mainly he was the justice of the peace that jugged me 
for a vagrant. And that ain't all. It ain't a millionth part of it ! He had me 
horsewhipped! horsewhipped in front of the jail, like a nigger! with all the town 
looking on ! HORSEWHIPPED ! do you understand ? He took advantage of me 
.and died. But I'll take it out of her" 

" Oh, don't kill her ! Don't do that ! " 

"Kill? Who said anything about killing? I would kill him if he was here; 
but not her. When you want to get revenge on a woman you don't kill her 
bosh ! you go for her looks. You slit her nostrils you notch her ears like a 

" By God, that's" 

" Keep your opinion to yourself! It will be safest for you. I'll tie her to the 
ted. If she bleeds to death, is that my fault? I'll not cry, if she does. My 
friend, you'll help in this thing for my sake that's why you're here I mightn't 
t>e able alone. If you flinch, I'll kill you. Do you understand that ? And if I 
/have to kill you, I'll kill her and then I reckon nobody '11 ever know much about 
who d'one this business." 

" Well, if it's got to be done, let's get at it. The quicker the better I'm all in 
a shiver." 

"Do it nowl And company there? Look here I'll get suspicious of you, 
first thing you know. No we'll wait till the lights are out there's no hurry." 

Huck felt that a silence was going to ensue a thing still more awful than any 
amount of murderous talk ; so he held his breath and stepped gingerly back ; 
planted his foot carefully and firmly, after balancing, one-legged, in a precarious 
way and almost toppling over, first on one side and then on the other. He took 
another step back, with the same elaboration and the same risks; then another 
and another, and a twig snapped under his foot ! His breath stopped and he 
listened. There was no sound the stillness was perfect. His gratitude was 



measureless. Now he turned in his tracks, between the walls of sumach bushes 
turned himself as carefully as if he were a ship and then stepped quickly but 
cautiously along. When he emerged at the quarry he felt secure, and so he picked 
up his nimble heels and flew. Down, down he sped, till he reached the Welch- 


man's. He banged at the door, and presently the heads of the old man and his-, 
two stalwart sons were thrust from windows. 

"What's the row there ? Who's banging? What do you want? " 

" Let me in quick ! I'll tell everything." 

" Why who are you ? " 

" Huckleberry Finn quick, let me in ! " 

"Huckleberry Finn, indeed! It ain't a name to open many doors, I judge I- 
But let him in, lads, and let's see what's the trouble." 

" Please don't ever tell / told you," were Huck's first words when he got in. 


" Please don't I'd be killed, sure but the Widow's been good friends to me 
sometimes, and I want to tell I will tell if you'll promise you won't ever say it 
was me." 

" By George he has got something to tell, or he wouldn't act so ! " exclaimed 
the old man; "out with it and nobody here '11 ever tell, lad." 

Three minutes later the old man and his sons, well armed, were up the hill, and 
just entering the sumach path on tip-toe, their weapons in their hands. Huck 
accompanied them no further. He hid behind a great bowlder and fell to listen- 
ing. Th.ere was a lagging, anxious silence, and then all of a sudden there was an 
explosion of firearms and a cry. 

Huck waited for no particulars. He sprang away and sped down the hill as 
fast as his legs could carry him. 

the earliest suspicion of dawn ap- 
peared on Sunday morning, Huck 
came groping up the hill and rapped 
gently at the old Welchman's door. 
The inmates were asleep but it was 
a sleep that was set on a hair-trigger, 
on account of the exciting episode 
of the night. A call came from a 

"Who's there! " 

Huck's scared voice answered in a 
low tone : 

" Please let me in ! It's only Huck 
Finn ! " 

" It's a name that can open this door 
night or day, lad ! and welcome ! " 

These were strange words to the 
vagabond boy's ears, and the pleasantest he had ever heard. He could not rec- 
ollect that the closing word had ever been applied in his case before. The door 




was quickly unlocked, and he entered. Huck was given a seat and the old man 
and his brace of tall sons speedily dressed themselves. 

" Now my boy I hope you're good and hungry, because breakfast will be ready 
as soon as the sun's up, and we'll have a piping hot one, too make yourself easy 
about that ! I and the boys hoped you'd turn up and stop here last night." 

" I was awful scared," said Huck, " and I run. I took out when the pistols 
went off, and I didn't stop for three mile. I've come now becuz I wanted to know 
about it, you know; and I come before daylight becuz I didn't want to run acrost 
them devils, even if they was dead." 

"Well, poor chap, you do look as if you'd had a hard night of it but there's 
a bed here for you when you've had your 
breakfast. No, they ain't dead, lad we 
are sorry enough for that. You see we 
knew right where to put our hands on 
them, by your description ; so we crept 
along on tip-toe till we got within fifteen 
feet of them dark as a cellar that sumach 
path was and just then I found I was 
going to sneeze. It was the meanest kind 
of luck ! I tried to keep it back, but no 
use 'twas bound to come, and it did 
come ! I was in the lead with my pistol 
raised, and when the sneeze started those 
scoundrels a-rustling to get out of the 
path, I sung out, ' Fire, boys ! ' and blazed 
away at the place where the rustling was. 
So did the boys. But they were off in a BESULT OF A SNEEZE. 

jiffy, those villains, and we after them, down through the woods. I judge we 
never touched them. They fired a shot apiece as they started, but their bullets 
whizzed by and didn't do us any harm. As soon as we lost the sound of their 
feet we quit chasing, and went down and stirred up the constables. They got 
a posse together, and went off to guard the river bank, and as soon as it is 

228 TOM SA W YRR. 

light the sheriff and a gang are going to beat up the woods. My boys will be 
with them presently. I wish we had some sort of description of those rascals 
'twould help a good deal. But you could'nt see what they were like, in the dark> 
lad, I suppose ? " 

" O, yes, I saw them down town and follered them." 
" Splendid ! Describe them describe them, my boy ! " 

" One's the old deaf and dumb Spaniard that's ben around here once or twice,, 
and t'other's a mean looking ragged " 

"That's enough, lad, we know the men! Happened on them in the woods- 
back of the widow's one day, and they slunk away. Off with you, boys, and tell 
the sheriff get your breakfast to-morrow morning I " 

The Welchman's sons departed at once. As. they were leaving the room Huc'k 
sprang up and exclaimed : 

" Oh, please don't tell anybody it was me that blowed on them ! Oh, please ! " 
" All right if you say it, Huck, but you ought to have the credit of what you did." 1 
" Oh, no, no ! Please don't tell ! " 

When the young men were gone, the old Welchman said 
" They won't tell and I won't. But why don't you want it known ? " 
Huck would not explain, further than to say that he already knew too much 
about one of those men and would not have the man know that he knew anything 
against him for the whole world he would be killed for knowing it, sure. 
The old man promised secrecy once more, and said : 

"How did you come to follow these fellows, lad ? Were they looking suspicious ?"' 

Huck was silent while he framed a duly cautious reply. Then he said : 

" Well, you see, I'm a kind of a hard lot, least everybody says so, and I don't 

see nothing agin it and sometimes I can't sleep much, on accounts of thinking 

about it and sort of trying to strike out a new way of doing. That was the way 

of it last night. I couldn't sleep, and so I come along up street 'bout midnight, 

a-turning it all over, and when I got to that old shackly brick store by the 

Temperance Tavern, I backed up agin the wall to have another think. Well, just 

then along comes these two chaps slipping along close by me, with -something 

under their arm and I reckoned they'd stole it. One was a-smoking, and t'other 



one wanted a light ; so they stopped right before me and the cigars lit up their 
faces and I see that the big one was the deaf and dumb Spaniard, by his white 
whiskers and the patch on his eye, and t'other one was a rusty, ragged looking 

" Could you see the rags by the light of the cigars? " 

This staggered Huck for a moment. Then he said : 

" Well, I don't know but somehow it seems as if I did." 

" Then they went on, and you " 

" Follered 'em yes. That was it. I wanted to see what was up they sneaked 
along so. I dogged 'em to the widder's stile, and stood in the dark and heard the 
ragged one beg for the widder, and the Spaniard swear he'd spile her looks just 
as I told you and your two " 

" What ! The deaf and dumb man said 
.all that ! " 

Huck had made another terrible mistake ! 
He was trying his best to keep the old man 
from getting the faintest hint of who the 
Spaniard might be, and yet his tongue 
seemed determined to get him into trouble 
in spite of all he could do. He made sev- 
eral efforts to creep out of his scrape, but 
the old man's eye was upon him and he 
made blunder after blunder. Presently the 
Welchman said : 

"My boy, don't be afraid of me. I 
wouldn't hurt a hair of your head for all 
the world. No I'd protect you I'd pro- 
tect you. This Spaniard is not deaf and 
dumb ; you've let that slip without intend- 
ing it; you can't cover that up now. You know something about that Spaniard 
that you want to keep dark. Now trust me tell me what it is, and trust me I 
won't betray you." 


Huck looked into the old man's honest eyes a moment, then bent over and 
whispered in his ear 

" 'Tain't a Spaniard it's Injun Joe ! " 

The Welchman almost jumped out of his chair. In a moment he said: 

" It's all plain enough, now. When you talked about notching ears and slitting 
noses I judged that that was your own embellishment, because white men don't 
take that sort of revenge. But an Injun ! That's a different matter altogether." 

During breakfast the talk went on, and in the course of it the old man said that 
the last thing which he and his sons had done, before going to bed, was to get a 
lantern and examine the stile and its vicinity for marks of blood. They found 
none, but captured a bulky bundle of 

"Of WHAT?" 

If the words had been lightning they could not have leaped with a more stun- 
ning suddenness from Huck's blanched lips. His eyes were staring wide, now 
and his breath suspended waiting for the answer. The Welchman starte 
stared in return three seconds five seconds ten then replied 

" Of burglar's tools. Why what's the matter with you ? " 

Huck sank back, panting gently, but deeply, unutterably grateful. The Welch- 
man eyed him gravely, curiously and presently said 

" Yes, burglar's tools. That appears to relieve you a good deal. But what did 
give you that turn ? What \\&i& you expecting we'd found ? " 

Huck was in a close place the inquiring eye was upon him he would have 
given anything for material for a plausible answer nothing suggested itself the 
inquiring eye was boring deeper and deeper a senseless reply offered there was 
no time to weigh it, so at a venture he uttered it feebly: 

" Sunday-school books, maybe." 

Poor Huck was too distressed to smile, but the old man laughed loud and joy- 
ously, shook up the details of his anatomy from head to foot, and ended by saying 
that such a laugh was money in a man's pocket, because it cut down the doctor's 
bills like everything. Then he added : 

" Popr old chap, you're white and jaded you ain't well a bit no wonder 
you're a little flighty and off your balance. But you'll come out of it. Rest and 
sleep will fetch you out all right, I hope." 


Huck was irritated to think he had been such a goose and betrayed such a sus- 
picious excitement, for he had dropped the idea that the parcel brought from the 
tavern was the treasure, as soon as he had heard the talk at the widow's stile. 
He had only thought it was not the treasure, however he had not known that it 
wasn't and so the suggestion of a captured bundle was too much for his self- 
possession. But on the whole he felt glad the little episode had happened, for 
now he knew beyond all question that that bundle was not the bundle, and so his 
mind was at rest and exceedingly comfortable. In fact everything seemed to be 
drifting just in the right direction, now; the treasure must be still in No. 2, the 
men would be captured and jailed that day, and he and Tom. could seize the gold 
that night without any trouble or any fear of interruption. 

Just as breakfast was completed there was a knock at the door. Huck jumped 
for a hiding place, for he had no mind to be connected even remotely with the late 
event. The Welchman admitted several ladies and gentlemen, among them the 
widow Douglas, and noticed that groups of citzens were climbing up the hill to 
stare at the stile. So the news had spread. 

The Welchman had to tell the story of the night to the visitors. The widow's 
gratitude for her preservation was outspoken. 

" Don't say a word about it madam. There's another that you're more beholden 
to than you are to me and my boys, maybe, but he don't allow me to tell his name. 
We wouldn't have been there but for him." 

Of course this excited a curiosity so vast that it almost belittled the main 
matter but the Welchman allowed it to eat into the vitals of his visitors, and 
through them be transmitted to the whole town, for he refused to part with his 
secret. When all else had been learned, the widow said : 

"I went to sleep reading in bed and slept straight through all that noise. Why 
didn't you come and wake me ? " 

"We judged it warn't worth while.' Those fellows warn't likely to come again 
they hadn't any tools left to work with, and what was the use of waking you up 
and scaring you to death ? My three negro men stood guard at your house all the 
rest of the night. They've' just come back." 

More visitors came, and the story had to be told and re-told for a couple of 
hours more. 


There was no Sabbath-school during day-school vacation, but everybody was 
early at church. The stirring event was well canvassed. News came that not a 
sign of the two villains had been yet discovered. When the sermon was finished, 
Judge Thatcher's wife dropped alongside of Mrs. Harper as she moved down the 
aisle with the crowd and said : 

" Is my Becky going to sleep all day ? I just expected she would be tired to 

" Your Becky ? " 

"Yes," with a startled look, " didn't she stay with you last night?" 

"Why, no." 

Mrs. Thatcher turned pale, and sank into 
a pew, just as Aunt Polly, talking briskly 
with a friend, passed by. Aunt Polly said : 
" Good morning, Mrs. Thatcher. Good 
morning Mrs. Harper. I've got a boy that's 
turned up missing. I reckon my Tom staid 
at your house last night one of you. And 
now he's afraid to come to church. I've 
got to settle with him." 

Mrs. Thatcher shook her head feebly and 
turned paler than ever. 

" He didn't stay with us," said Mrs. Har- 
per, beginning to look uneasy. A marked 
anxiety came into Aunt Polly's face. 

" Joe Harper, have you seen my Tom this 
morning? " 
" No'm." 

"When did you .see him last?" 

Joe tried to remember, but was not sure he could say. The people had stopped 
moving out of church. Whispers passed along, and a boding uneasiness took 
possession of every countenance. Children were anxiously questioned, and young 
teachers. They all said they had not noticed whether Tom and Becky were on 
board the ferry-boat on the homeward trip; it was dark; no one thought of 




inquiring if any one' was missing. One young man finally blurted out his fear 
that they were still in the cave ! Mrs. Thatcher swooned away. Aunt Polly fell 
to crying and wringing her hands. 

The alarm swept from lip to lip, from group to group, from street to street, and 
within five minutes the bells were wildly clanging and the whole town was up ! 
The Cardiff Hill episode sank into instant insignificance, the burglars were for- 
gotten, horses were saddled, skiffs were manned, the ferry-boat ordered out, and 


before the horror was half an hour old, two hundred men were pouring down 
high-road and river toward the cave. 

All the long afternoon the village seemed empty and dead. Many women 
visited Aunt Polly and> Mrs. Thatcher and tried to comfort them. They cried 
with them, too, and that was still better than words. All the tedious night the 
town waited for news; but when the morning dawned at last, all the word that 
came was, " Send more candles and send food." Mrs. Thatcher was almost 



crazed ; and Aunt Polly also. Judge Thatcher sent messages of hope and en- 
couragement from the cave, but they conveyed no real cheer. 

The old Welchrhan came home toward day light, spattered with candle grease, 
smeared with clay, and almost worn out. He found Huck still in the bed that 
had been provided for him, and delirious with fever. The physicians were all at 
the cave, so the Widow Douglas came and took charge of the patient. She said 
she would do her best by him, because, whether he was good, bad, or indifferent, 
he was the Lord's, and nothing that was the Lord's was a thing to be neglected. 
The Welchman said Huck had good spots in him, and the widow said 

"You can depend on it. That's the Lord's mark. He don't leave it off. He 
never does. Puts it somewhere on every creature that comes from his hands." 
Early in the forenoon parties of jaded men began to straggle into the village, but 

the strongest of the citizens continued 
searching. All the news that could be 
gained was that remotenesses of the cav- 
ern were being ransacked that had never 
been visited before; that every corner 
and crevice was going to be thoroughly 
searched; that wherever one wandered 
through the maze of passages, lights were 
to be seen flitting hither and thither in 
the distance, and shoutings and pistol 
shots sent their hollow reverberations to 
the ear down the sombre aisles. In one 
place, far from the section usually trav- 
ersed by tourists, the names "BECKY & 
TOM " had been found traced upon the 
rocky wall with candle smoke, and near 
TOM'S MAUK. at hand a grease-soiled bit of ribbon. 

Mrs. Thatcher recognized the ribbon and cried over it. She said it was the last 
relic she should ever have of her child; and that no other memorial of her could 
ever be so precious, because this one parted latest from the living body before the 
awful death came. Some said that now and then, in the cave, a far-away speck 


2 35 

of light would glimmer, and then a glorious shout would burst forth and a score 
of men go trooping down the echoing aisle and then a sickening disappointment 
always followed ; the children were not there \ it was only a searcher's light. 

Three dreadful days and nights dragged their tedious hours along, and the 
village sank into a hopeless stupor. No one had heart for anything. The acci- 
dental discovery, just made, that the pro- 
prietor of the Temperance Tavern kept 
liquor on his premises, scarcely fluttered 
the public pulse, tremendous as the fact 
was. In a lucid interval, Huck feebly led 
up to the subject of taverns, and finally 
asked dimly dreading the worst if any- 
thing had been discovered at the Temper- 
ance Tavern since he had been ill? 

" Yes," said the widow. 

Huck started up in bed, wild-eyed: 

"What! What was it?" 

" Liquor! and the place has been shut 
up. Lie down, child what a turn you did 
give me ! " 

" Only tell me just one thing only just 
one please ! Was it Tom Sawyer that 
found it ? " 

The widow burst into tears. " Hush, hush, child, hush! I've told you before, 
you must not talk. You are very, very sick ! " 

Then nothing but liquor had been found; there would have been a great pow- 
wow if it had been the gold. So the treasure was gone forever gone forever ! 
But what could she be crying about? Curious that she should cry. 

These thoughts worked their dim way through Huck's mind, and under the 
weariness they gave him he fell asleep. The widow said to herself: 

" There he's asleep, poor wreck. Tom Sawyer find it ! Pity but somebody 
could find Tom Sawyer! Ah, there ain't many left, now, that's got hope enough, 
or strength enough, either, to go on searching." 



to return to Tom and Becky's 
share in the pic-nic. They tripped 
along the murky aisles with the rest 
of the company, visiting the famil- 
iar wonders of the cave wonders 
dubbed with rather over-descriptive 
names, such as " The Drawing- 
Room," "The Cathedral," "Alad- 
din's Palace," and so on. Presently 
the hide-and-seek frolicking began, 
and Tom and Becky engaged in it 
with zeal until the exertion began to 
grow a trifle wearisome; then they 
wandered down a sinuous avenue 
holding their candles aloft and read- 
ing the tangled web-work of names, 
dates, post-office addresses and mot- 
toes with which the rocky walls had 
been frescoed (in candle smoke.) Still drifting along and talking, they scarcely 
noticed that they were now in a part of the cave whose walls were not frescoed. 




They smoked their own names under an overhanging shelf and moved on. 
Presently they came to a place where a little stream of water, trickling over a 
ledge and carrying a limestone sediment with it, had, in the slow-dragging 
ages, formed a laced and ruffled Niagara in gleaming and imperishable stone. 
Tom squeezed his small body behind it in order to illuminate it for Becky's 
gratification. He found that it cur- 
tained a sort of steep natural stairway 
which was enclosed between narrow 
walls, and at once the ambition to be a 
discoverer seized him. Becky respond- 
ed to his call, and they made a smoke- 
mark for future guidance, and started 
upon their quest. They wound this 
way and that, far down into the secret 
depths of the cave, made another mark, 
and branched off in search of novelties 
to tell the upper world about. In one 
place they found a spacious cavern, 
from whose ceiling depended a multi- 
tude of shining stalactites of the length 
and circumference of a man's leg; they 
walked all about it, wondering and ad- 
miring, and presently left it by one of 
the numerous passages that opened 
into it. This shortly brought them to 
a bewitching spring, whose basin was 
encrusted with a frost work of glitter- 
ing crystals; it was in the midst of a 
cavern whose walls were supported by many fantastic pillars which had been 
formed by the joining of great stalactites and stalagmites together, the result 
of the ceaseless water-drip of centuries. Under the roof vast knots of bats 
had packed themselves together, thousands in a bunch ; the lights disturbed 



the creatures and they came flocking down by hundreds, squeaking and dart- 
ing furiously at the candles. Tom knew their ways and the danger of this sort 
of conduct. He siezed Becky's hand and hurried her into the first corridor 
that offered; and none too soon, for a bat struck Becky's light out with its 


wing while she was passing out of the cavern. The bats chased the children 
a good distance; but the fugitives plunged into every new passage that offered, 
and at last got rid of the perilous things. Tom found a subterranean lake, 
shortly, which stretched its dim length away until its shape was lost in the 
shadows. He wanted to explore its borders, but concluded that it would be 


best to sit down and rest a while, first. Now, for the first time, the deep stillness 
of the place laid a clammy hand upon the spirits of the children. Becky said 

" Why, I didn't notice, but it seems ever so long since I heard any of the 

" Come to think, Becky, w.e are away down below them and I don't know 
how far away north, or south, or east, or whichever it is. We couldn't hear 
them here." 

Becky grew apprehensive. 

" I wonder how long we've been down here, Tom. We better start back." 

" Yes, I reckon we better. P'raps we better." 

" Can you find the way, Tom? It's all a mixed-up crookedness to me." 

" I reckon I could find it but then the bats. If they put both our candles 
out it will be an awful fix. Let's try some other way, so as not to go through 

"Well. But I hope we won't get lost. It would be so awful!" and the 
girl shuddered at the thought of the dreadful possibilities. 

They started through a corridor, and traversed it in silence a long way, 
glancing at each new opening, to see if there was anything familiar about the 
look of it ; but they were all strange. Every time Tom made an examination, 
Becky would watch his face for an encouraging sign, and he would say 

" Oh, it's all right. This ain't the one, but we'll come to it right away! " 

But he felt less and less hopeful with each failure, and presently began to 
turn off into diverging avenues at sheer random, in desperate hope of finding 
the one that was wanted! He still said it was " all right," but there was such 
,a leaden dread at his heart, that the words had lost their ring and sounded just 
.as if he had said, "All is lost! " Becky clung to his side in an anguish of fear, 
and tried hard to keep back the tears, but they would come. At last she said: 

" O, Tom, never mind the bats, let's go back that way ! We seem to get 
worse and worse off all the time." 

Tom stopped. 

" Listen ! " said he. 



Profound silence ; silence so deep that even their breathings were conspicuous 
in the hush. Tom shouted. The call went echoing down the empty aisles and 
died out in the distance in a faint sound that resembled a ripple of mocking 

" Oh, don't do it again, Tom, it is too horrid," said Becky. 
" It is horrid, but I better, Becky ; they might hear us, you know " and he 
shouted again. 

The " might " was even a chillier horror than the ghostly laughter, it so con- 
fessed a perishing hope. The children stood still and listened; but there was 
no result. Tom turned upon the back track at once, and hurried his steps. 
It was but a little while before a certain indecision in his manner revealed 

another fearful fact to Becky he could 
not find his way back ! 

"O, Tom, you didn't make any marks ! '" 
" Becky I was such a fool ! Such a 
fool ! I never thought we might want 
to come back! No I can't find the 
way. It's all mixed up." 

"Tom, Tom, we're lost! we're lost! 
We never can get out of this awful 
place! O, why did we ever leave the 
others ! " 

She sank to the ground and burst into 
such a frenzy of crying that Tom was 
appalled with the idea that she might 
die, or lose her reason. He sat down 
by her and put his arms around her; 
she buried her face in his bosom, she 

clung to. him, she poured out her terrors, her unavailing regrets, and the 
far echoes turned them all to jeering laughter. Tom begged her to pluck up 
hope again, and she said she could not. lie fell to blaming and abusing 
himself for getting her into this miserable situation ; this had a better effect. 


She said she would try to hope again, she would get up and follow wherever 
he might lead if only he would not talk like that any more. For he was no 
more to blame than she, she said. 

So they moved on, again aimlessly simply at random all they could do 
was to move, keep moving. For a little while, hope made a show of reviving 
not with any reason to back it, but only because it is its nature to revive when 
the spring has not been taken out of it by age and familiarity with failure. 

By and by. Tom took Becky's candle and blew it out. This economy meant 
so much ! Words were not needed. Becky understood, and her hope died 
again. She knew that Tom had a whole candle and three or four pieces in his 
pockets yet he must economise. 

By and by, fatigue began to assert its claims; the children tried to pay no 
attention, for it was dreadful to think of sitting down when time was grown 
to be so precious; moving, in some direction, in any direction, was at least 
progress and might bear fruit; but to sit down was to invite death and .shorten 
its pursuit. 

At last Becky's frail limbs refused to carry her farther. She sat down. Tom 
rested with her, and they talked of home, and the friends there, and the com- 
fortable beds and above all, the light! Becky cried, and Tom tried to think of 
some way of comforting her, but all his encouragements were grown thread- 
bare with use, and sounded like sarcasms. Fatigue bore so heavily upon 
Becky that she drowsed off to sleep. Tom was grateful. He sat looking into 
her drawn face and saw it grow smooth and natural under the influence of 
pleasant dreams; and by and by a smile dawned and rested there. The peace- 
ful face reflected somewhat of peace and healing into his own spirit, and his 
thoughts wandered away to by-gone times and dreamy memories. While he 
was deep in his musings, Becky woke up with a breezy little laugh but it was 
stricken dead upon her lips, and a groan followed it. 

" Oh, how could I sleep ! I wish I never, never had waked ! No ! No, I 
don't, Tom ! Don't look so ! I won't say it again." 

"I'm glad you've slept, Becky; you'll feel rested, now, and we'll find the 
way out." 




"We can try, Tom; but I've seen such a beautiful country in my dream. I 
reckon we are going there." 

" Maybe not, maybe not. Cheer up, Becky, and let's go on trying." 
They rose up and wandered along, hand in hand and hopeless. They tried 
to estimate how long they had been in the cave, but all they knew was that it 
seemed days and weeks, and yet it was plain that this could not be, for their 
candles were not gone yet. A long time after this they could not tell how 
long Tom said they must go softly and listen for dripping water they must 
find a spring. They found one presently, and Tom said it was time to rest 
again. Both were cruelly tired, yet Becky said she thought she could go on a 
little farther. She was surprised to hear Tom dissent. She could not under- 
stand it. They sat down, and Tom fastened his candle to the wall in front of 

them with some clay. Thought was 
soon busy ; nothing was said for some 
time. Then Becky broke the silence : 
"Tom, I am so hungry ! " 
Tom took something out of his pocket. 
" Do you remember this? " said he. 
Becky almost smiled. 
"It's our wedding cake, Tom." 
Yes I wish it was as big as a barrel, 
for it's all we've got." 

" I saved it from the pic-nic for us 
to dream on, Tom, the way grown-up 
people do with wedding cake but it'll 
be our" 

She dropped the sentence where it 
was. Tom divided the cake and Becky 
good appetite, while Tom nib- 


bled at his moiety. There was abundance of cold water to finish the feast 
with. By and by Becky suggested that they move on again. Tom was silent 
a moment. Then he said : 


" Becky, can you bear it if I tell you something ? " 

Becky's face paled, but she thought she could. 

"Well then, Becky, we must stay here, where there's water to drink. That 
little piece is our last candle ! " 

Becky gave loose to tears and wailings. Tom did what he could to comfort 
her but with little effect. At length Becky said : 

" Tom ! " 

" Well, Becky ? " 

" They'll miss us and hunt for us ! " 

" Yes, they will ! Certainly they will ! " 

" Maybe they're hunting for us now, Tom." 

" Why I reckon maybe they are. I hope they are." 

"When would they miss us, Tom?" 

" When they get back to the boat, I reckon." 

"Tom, it might be dark, then would they notice we hadn't come?" 

" I don't know. But anyway, your mother would miss you as soon as they 
got home." 

A frightened look in Becky's face brought Tom to his senses and he saw that 
he had made a blunder. Becky was not to have gone home that night ! The 
children became silent and thoughtful. In a moment a new burst of grief from 
Becky showed Tom that the thing in his mind had struck hers also that the 
Sabbath, morning might behalf spent before Mrs. Thatcher discovered that 
Becky was not at Mrs. Harper's. 

The children fastened their eyes upon their bit of candle and watched it melt 
slowly and pitilessly away; saw the half inch of wick stand alone at last ; saw 
the feeble flame rise and fall, climb the thin column of smoke, linger at its top 
a moment, and then the horror of utter darkness reigned ! 

How long afterward it was that Becky came to a slow consciousness that she 
was crying in Tom's arms, neither could tell. All that they knew was, that 
after what seemed a mighty stretch of time, both awoke out of a dead stupor 
of sleep and resumed their miseries once more. Tom said it might be Sunday, 
now maybe Monday. He tried to get Becky to talk, but her sorrows were 


too oppressive, all her hopes were gone. Tom said that they must have been 
missed long ago, and no doubt the search was going on. He would shout and 
maybe some one would come. He tried it ; but in the darkness the distant 
echoes sounded so hideously that he tried it no more. 

The hours wasted away, and hunger came to torment the captives again. A 
portion of Tom's half of the cake was left ; they divided and ate it. But they 
seemed hungrier than before. The poor morsel of food only whetted desire. 

By and by Tom said : 

" Sh ! Did you hear that? " 

Both held their breath and listened. There was a sound like the faintest, 
far-off shout. Instantly Tom answered it, and leading Becky by the hand, 
started groping down the corridor in its direction. Presently he listened again ; 
again the sound was heard, and apparently a little nearer. 

" It's them ! " said Tom ; " they're coming ! Come along Becky we're all 
right now ! " 

The joy of the prisoners was almost overwhelming. Their speed was slow, 
however, because pitfalls were somewhat common, and had to be guarded 
against. They shortly came to one and had to stop. It might be three feet 
deep, it might be a hundred there was no passing it at any rate. Tom got 
down on his breast and reached as far down as he could. No bottom. They 
must stay there and wait until the searchers came. They listened ; evidently 
the distant shoutings were growing more distant ! a moment or two more 
and they had gone altogether. The heart-sinking misery of it! Tom 
whooped until he was hoarse, but it was of no use. He talked hopefully to 
Becky; but an age of anxious waiting passed and no sounds came again. 

The children groped their way back to the spring. The weary time dragged 
on; they slept again, and awoke famished and woe-stricken. Tom believed it 
must be Tuesday by this time. 

Now an idea struck him. There were some side passages near at hand. It 
would be better to explore some of these than bear the weight of the heavy 
time in idleness. He took a kite-line from his pocket, tied it to a projection, 
and he and Becky started, Tom in the lead, unwinding the line as he groped 



along. At the end of twenty steps the corridor ended in a "jumping-off place." 
Tom got down on his knees and felt below, and then as far around the corner 
as he could reach with his hands conveniently ; he made an effort to stretch 
yet a little further to the right, and at that moment, not twenty yards away, a 
human hand, holding a candle, appeared from behind a rock ! Tom lifted up 
a glorious shout, and instantly that hand was followed by the body it belonged 


to Injun Joe's! Tom was paralyzed; he could not move. He was vastly 
gratified the next moment, to see the " Spaniard" take to his heels and get 
himself out of sight. Tom wondered that Joe had not recognized his voice 
and come over and killed him for testifying in court. But the echoes must 
have disguised the voice. Without doubt, that was it, he reasoned. Tom's 


fright weakened every muscle in his body. He said to himself that if he had 
strength enough to get back to the spring he would stay there, and nothing 
should tempt him to run the risk of meeting Injun Joe again. He was careful 
to keep from Becky what it was he had seen. He told her he had only shouted 
" for luck." 

But hunger and wretchedness rise superior to fears in the long run. Another 
tedious wait at the spring and another long sleep brought changes. The 
children awoke tortured with a raging hunger. Tom believed that it must be 
Wednesday or Thursday or even Friday or Saturday, now, and that the search 
had been given over. He proposed to explore another passage. He felt 
willing to risk Injun Joe and all other terrors. But Becky was very weak. 
She had sunk into a dreary apathy and would not be roused. She said she 
would wait, now, where she was, and die it would not be long. She told Tom 
to go with the kite-line and explore if he chose; but she implored him to come 
back every little while and speak to her ; and she made him promise that when 
the aw1~ul time came, he would stay by her and hold her hand until all was 

Tom kissed her, with a choking sensation in his throat, and made a show of 
being confident of finding the searchers or an escape from the cave; then he 
took the kite-line in his hand and went groping down one of the passages on 
his hands and knees, distressed with hunger and sick with bodings of coming, 

afternoon came, and waned 
to the twilight. The village of St. 
Petersburg still mourned. The lost 
children had not been found. Public 
prayers had been offered up for them, 
and many and many a private prayer 
that had the petitioner's whole heart 
in it; but still no good news came from 
the cave. The majority of the search- 
ers had given up the quest and gone 
back to their daily avocations, saying 
that it was plain the children could 
never be found. Mrs. Thatcher was 
very ill, and a great part of the time 
delirious. People said it was heart- 
breaking to hear her call her child, 
and raise her head and listen a whole 
minute at a time, then lay it wearily down again with a moan. Aunt Polly had 
drooped into a settled melancholy, and her gray hair had grown almost white. 
The village went to its rest on Tuesday night, sad and forlorn. 



Away in the middle of the night a wild peal burst from the village bells, and in 
a moment the streets were swarming with frantic half-clad people, who shouted, 
" Turn out ! turn out ! they're found ! they're found ! " Tin pans and horns were 
added to the din, the population massed itself and moved toward the river, met 
the children coming in an open carriage drawn by shouting citizens, thronged 


around it, joined its homeward march, and swept magnificently up the main street 
roaring huzzah after huzzah ! 

The village was illuminated ; nobody went to bed again ; it was the greatest 
night the little town had ever seen. During the first half hour a procession of 
villagers filed through Judge Thatcher's house, siezed the saved ones and kissed 
them, squeezed Mrs. Thatcher's hand, tried to speak but couldn't and drifted 
out raining tears all over the place. 

Aunt Polly's happiness was complete, and Mrs. Thatcher's nearly so. It would 



be complete, however, as soon as the messenger dispatched with the great news to 
the cave should get the word to her husband. Tom lay upon a sofa with an eager 
auditory about him and told the history of the wonderful adventure, putting in 
many striking additions to adorn it withal ; and closed with a description of how 
he left Becky and went on an exploring expedition ; how he followed two avenues 
as far as his kite-line would reach ; how he followed a third to the fullest stretch 
of the kite-line, and was about to turn back when he glimpsed a far-off speck that 
looked like daylight ; dropped the line and groped toward it, pushed his head and 


.shoulders through a small hole and saw the broad Mississippi rolling by,! And if 
it had only happened to be night he would not have seen that speck of daylight 
and would not have explored that passage any more! He told how he went back 
for Becky and broke the good news and she told him not to fret her with such stuff, 
for she was tired, and knew she was going to die, and wanted to. He described 


how he labored with her and convinced her; and how she almost died for joy 
when she had groped to where she actually saw the blue speck of daylight ; how- 
he pushed his way out at the hole and then helped her out; how they sat there 
and cried for gladness ; how some men came along in a skiff and Tom hailed them 
and told them their situation and their famished condition; how the men didn't 
believe the'wild tale at first, "because," said they, "you are five miles down the 
river below the valley the cave is in " then took them aboard, rowed to a house,, 
gave them supper, made them rest till two or three hours after dark and then 
brought them home. 

Before day-dawn, Judge Thatcher and the handful of searchers with him were 
tracked out, in the cave, by the twine clews they had strung behind them, and 
informed of the great news. 

Three days and nights of toil and hunger in the cave were not to be shaken off 
at once, as Tom and Becky soon discovered. They were bedridden all of Wed- 
nesday and Thursday, and seemed to grow more and more tired and worn, all the 
time. Tom got about, a little, on Thursday, was down town Friday, and nearly as 
whole as ever Saturday; but Becky did not leave her room until Sunday, and then 
she looked as if she had passed through a wasting illness. 

Tom learned ofHuck's sickness and went to see him on Friday, but could not 
be admitted to the bedroom; neither could he on Saturday or Sunday. He was 
admitted daily after that, but was warned to keep still about his adventure and 
introduce no exciting topic. The widow Douglas staid by to see that he obeyed. 
At home Tom 1-earned of the Cardiff Hill event; also that the "ragged man's" 
body had eventually been found in the river near the ferry landing; he had been 
drowned while trying to escape, perhaps. 

About a fortnight after Tom's rescue from the cave, he- started off to visit Huck,. 
who had grown plenty strong enough, now, to hear exciting talk, and Tom had 
some that would interest him, he thought. Judge Thatcher's house was on Tom's, 
way, and he stopped to see Becky. The Judge and some friends set Tom to 
talking, and some one asked him ironically if he wouldn't like to go to the cave 
again. Tom said he thought he wouldn't mind it. The Judge said : 

"Well, there are others just like you, Tom, I've not the least doubt. But 


we have taken care of that. Nobody will get lost in that cave any more."' 


"Because I had its big door sheathed with boiler iron two weeks ago, and triple- 
locked and I've got the keys." 

Tom turned as white as a sheet. 

"What's the matter, boy ! Here, run, somebody! Fetch a glass of water ! '" 

The water was brought and thrown into Tom's face. 

" Ah, now you're all right. What was the matter with you, Tom ? " 

" Oh, Judge, Injun Joe's in the cave ! " 

a few minutes the news had 
spread, and a dozen skiff-loads of men 
were on their way to McDougal's cave, 
and the ferry-boat, well filled with 
passengers, soon followed. Tom Saw- 
yer was in the skiff that bore Judge 

When the cave door was unlocked, a 
sorrowful sight presented itself in the 
dim twilight of the place. Injun Joe 
lay stretched upon the ground, dead, 
with his face close to the crack of the 
door, as if his longing eyes had been 
fixed, to the latest moment, upon the 
light and the cheer of the free world 
outside. Tom was touched, for he 
knew by his own experience how this 
wretch had suffered. His pity was moved, but nevertheless he felt an abounding 
sense of relief and security, now, which revealed to him in a degree which he had 




not fully appreciated before how vast a weight of dread had been lying upon him 
since the day he lifted his voice against this bloody-minded outcast. 

Injun Joe's bowie knife lay close by, its blade broken in two. The great found- 
ation-beam of the door had been chipped and hacked through, with tedious labor; 
useless labor, too, it was, for the native rock formed a sill outside it, and upon that 
stubborn material the knife had wrought no effect ; the only damage done was to- 
the knife itself. But if there had been no stony obstruction there the labor would 


have been useless still, for if the beam had been wholly cut away Injun Joe could 
not have squeezed his body under the door, and he knew it. So he had only 
hacked that place in order to be doing something in order to pass the weary 
time in order to employ his tortured faculties. Ordinarily one could find half a 
dozen bits of candle stuck around in the crevices of this vestibule, left there by 
tourists ; but there were none now. The prisoner had searched them out and eaten 
them. He had also contrived to catch a few bats, and these, also, he had eaten, 



leaving only their claws. The poor unfortunate had starved to death. In one 
place near at hand, a stalagmite had been slowly growing up from the ground for 
ages, builded by the water-drip from a stalactite overhead. The captive had broken 
off the stalagmite, and upon the stump had placed a 
stone, wherein he had scooped a shallow hollow to catch 
the precious drop that fell once in every three minutes 
with the dreary regularity of a clock-tick a dessert 
spoonful once in four and twenty hours. That drop 
was falling when the Pyramids were new; when Troy 
fell ; when the foundations of Rome were laid ; when 
Christ was crucified; when the Conqueror created the 
British empire ; when Columbus sailed ; when the 
massacre at Lexington was " news." It is falling now; 
it will still be falling when all these things shall have 
sunk down the afternoon of history, and the twilight 
of tradition, and been swallowed up in the thick night 
of oblivion. Has everything a purpose and a mission ? 
Did this drop fall patiently during five thousand years 
to be ready for this flitting human insect's need ? and 
has it another important object to accomplish ten thou- 
sand years to come ? No matter. It is many and many 
a year since the hapless half-breed scooped out the 
stone to catch the priceless drops, but to this day the 
tourist stares longest at that pathetic stone and that slow 
dropping water when he comes to see the wonders of 
McDougal's cave. Injun Joe's cup stands first in the 
list of the cavern's marvels; even "Aladdin's Palace" 
cannot rival it. 

Injun Joe was buried near the mouth of the cave ; and people nocked there in 
boats and wagons from the towns and from all the farms and hamlets for seven 
miles around ; they brought their children, and all sorts of provisions, and con- 
fessed that they had had almost as satisfactory a fime at the funeral as they could 
have had at the hanging. 



2 55 

This funeral stopped the further growth of one thing the petition to the Gover- 
nor for Injun Joe's pardon. The petition had been largely signed; many tearful 
.and eloquent meetings had been held, and a committee of sappy women been 


appointed to go in deep mourning and wail around the governor, and implore him 
to be a merciful ass and trample his duty under foot. Injun Joe was believed to 
have killed five citizens of the village, but what of that ? If he had been Satan 
himself there would have been plenty of weaklings ready to scribble their names 
to a pardon-petition, and drip a tear on it from their permanently impaired and 
leaky water-works. 

The morning after the funeral Tom took Huck to a private place to have an 
important talk. Huck had learned all about Tom's adventure from the Welchman 
and the widow Douglas, by this time, but Tom said he reckoned there was one 
thing they had not told him; that thing was what he wanted to talk about now. 
Huck's face saddened. He said : 

" I know what it is. You got into No. 2 and never found anything but whisky. 
Nobody told me it was you ; but I just knowed it must 'a' ben you, soon as I heard 
'bout that whisky business ; and I knowed you hadn't got the money becuz you'd 
'a* got at me some way or other and told me even if you was mum to everybody 
else. Tom, something's always told me we'd never get holt of that swag." 

" Why Huck, / never told on that tavern-keeper. You know his tavern was all 


right the Saturday I went to the pic-nic. Don't you remember you was to watch 
there that night?" 

" Oh, yes ! Why it seems 'bout a year ago. It was that very night that I 
follered Injun Joe to the widder's." 

" You followed him ? " 

" Yes but you keep mum. I reckon Injun Joe's left friends behind him, and 
I don't want 'em souring on me and doing me mean tricks. If it hadn't ben for 
me he'd be down in Texas now, all right." 

Then Huck told his entire adventure in confidence to Tom, who had only heard 
of the Welchmen's part of it before. 

" Well," said Huck, presently, coming back to the main question, " whoever 
nipped the whisky in No. 2, nipped the money too, I reckon anyways it's a goner 
for us, Tom." 

" Huck, that money wasn't ever in No. 2 ! " 

" What ! " Huck searched his comrade's face keenly. " Tom, have you got on 
the track of that money again ? " 

" Huck, it's in the cave ! " 

Huck's eyes blazed. 

" Say it again, Tom ! " 

" The money's in the cave ! " 

" Tom, honest injun, now is it fun, or earnest ? " 

" Earnest, Huck just as earnest as ever I was in my life. Will you go in there 
with me and help get it out ? " 

" I bet I will ! I will if it's where we can blaze our way to it and not get lost." 

" Huck, we can do that without the least little bit of trouble in the world." 

" Good as wheat ! What makes you think the money's " 

" Huck, you just wait till we get in there. If we don't find it I'll agree to give 
you my drum and everything I've got in the world. I will, byjings." 

" All right it's a whiz. When do you say ? " 

" Right now, if you say it. Are you strong enough ? " 

" Is it far in the cave ? I ben on my pins a little, three or four days, now, but I 
can't walk more'n a mile, Tom least I don't think I could." 




"It's about five mile into there the way 
anybody but me would go, Huck, but 
there's a mighty short cut that they don't 
anybody but me know about. Huck, I'll 
take you right to it in a skiff. I'll float 
the skiff down there, and I'll pull it back 
again all by myself. You needn't ever 
turn your hand over." 

" Less start right off, Tom." 

" All right. We want some bread and 
meat, and our pipes, and a little bag or 
two, and two or three kite-strings, and 
some of these new fangled things they 
call lucifer matches. I tell you many's 
the time I wished I had some when I 
was in there before." 

A trifle after noon the boys borrowed a 
small skiff from a citizen who was absent, 
and got under way at once. When they 
were several miles below " Cave Hollow," 
Tom said : 

" Now you see this bluff here looks all 
alike all the way down from the cave 
hollow no houses, no wood-yards, bushes 
all alike. But do you see that white place 
up yonder where there's been a land- 
slide? Well that's one of my marks. 
We'll get ashore, now." 

They landed. 

" Now Huck, where we're a-standing you 
could touch that hole I got out of with a 
fishing-pole. See if you can find it." 



Huck searched all the place about, and found nothing. Tom proudly marched 
into a thick clump of sumach bushes and said 

" Here you are ! Look at it, Huck ; it's the snuggest hole in this country. You 
just keep mum about it. All along I've been wanting to be a robber, but I knew 
I'd got to have a thing like this, and where to run across it was the bother. We've 
got it now, and we'll keep it quiet, only we'll let Joe Harper and Ben Rogers in 
because of course there's got to be a Gang, or else there wouldn't be any style 
about it. Tom Sawyer's Gang it sounds splendid, don't it, Huck ? " 

" Well, it just does, Tom. And who'll we rob ? " 

" Oh, most anybody. Waylay people that's mostly the way." 

"And kill them?" 

"No not always. Hive them in the cave till they raise a ransom." 

"What's a ransom ? " 

" Money. You make them raise all they can, offn their friends ; and after you've 
kept them a year, if it ain't raised then you kill them. That's the general way. 
Only you don't kill the women. You shut up the women, but you don't kill them. 
They're always beautiful and rich, and awfully scared. You take their watches 
and things, but you always take your hat off and talk polite. They ain't anybody 
as polite as robbers you'll see that in any book. Well the women get to loving 
you, and after they've been in the cave a week or two weeks they stop crying and 
after that you couldn't get them to leave. If you drove them out they'd turn right 
around and come back. It's so -in all the books." 

" Why it's real bully, .Tom. I b'lieve it's better'n to be a pirate." 

"Yes, it's better in some ways, because it's close to home and circuses and all that." 

By this time everything was ready and the boys entered the hole, Tom in the 
lead. They toiled their way to the farther end of the tunnel, then made their 
spliced kite-strings fast and moved on. A few steps brought them to the spring 
and Tom felt a shudder quiver all through him. He showed Huck the fragment of 
candle-wick perched on a lump of clay against the wall, and described how he and 
Becky had watched the flame struggle and expire. 

The boys began to quiet down to whispers, now, for the stillness and gloom of 
the place oppressed their spirits. They went on, and presently entered and followed 


Tom's other corridor until they reached the " jumping-off place." The candles 
revealed the fact that it was not really a precipice, but only a steep clay hill twenty 
or thirty feet high. Tom whispered 

" Now I'll show you something, Huck." 

He held his candle aloft and said 

"Look as far around the corner as you can. Do you see that? There on the 
big rock over yonder done with candle smoke." 

" Tom, its a cross ! " 

" Now where 's your Number Two ? ' Under the cross j hey ? Right yonder's 
where I saw Injun Joe poke up his candle, Huck! " 

Huck stared at the mystic sign a while, and then said with a shaky voice 

" Tom, less git out of here ! " 

" What ! and leave the treasure ? " 

" Yes leave it. Injun Joe's ghost is round about there, certain." 

" No it ain't, Huck, no it ain't. It would ha'nt the place where he died away 
out at the mouth of the cave five mile from here." 

" No, Tom, it wouldn't. It would hang round the money. I know the ways of 
ghosts, and so do you." 

Tom began to fear that Huck was right. Misgivings gathered in his mind. But 
presently an idea occurred to him 

" Looky here, Huck, what fools we're making of ourselves! Injun Joe's ghost 
ain't a going to come around where there's a cross ! " 

The point was well taken. It had its effect. 

"Tom I didn't think of that. But that's so. It's luck for us, that cross is. I 
reckon we'll climb down there and have a hunt for that box." 

Tom went first, cutting rude steps in the clay hill as he descended. Huck fol- 
lowed. Four avenues opened out of the small cavern which the great rock stood in. 
The boys examined three of them with no result. They found a small recess in the 
one nearest the base of the rock, with a pallet of blankets spread down in it ; also 
an old suspender, some bacon rhind, and the well gnawed bones of two or three 
fowls. But there was no money box. The lads searched and re-searched this 
place, but in vain. Tom said : 


" He said under the cross. Well, this comes nearest to being under the cross. 
It can't be under the rock itself, because that sets solid on the ground." 

They searched everywhere once more, and then sat down discouraged. Huck 
could suggest nothing. By and by Tom said : 

"Looky here, Huck, there's foot-prints and some candle grease on the clay 
about one side of this rock, but not on the other sides. Now what's that for ? I 
bet you the money is under the rock. I'm going to dig in the clay." 

" That ain't no bad notion, Tom ! " said Huck with animation. 

Tom's "real Barlow" was out at once, and he had not dug four inches before 
he struck wood. 

"Hey, Huck! you hear that?" 

Huck began to dig and scratch now. Some boards were soon uncovered and 
removed. They had concealed a natural chasm which led under the rock. Tom 
got into this and held his candle as far under the rock as he could, but said he 
could not see to the end of the rift. He proposed to explore. He stooped and 
passed under; the narrow way descended gradually. He followed its winding 
course, first to the right, then to the left, Huck at his heels. Tom turned a short 
curve, by and by, and exclaimed 

" My goodness, Huck, looky here ! " 

It was the treasure box, sure enough, occupying a snug little cavern, along 
with an empty powder keg, a couple of guns in leather cases, two or three pairs 
of old moccasins, a leather belt, and some other rubbish well soaked with the 

"Got it at last!" said Huck, plowing among the tarnished coins with his 
hand. " My, but we're rich, Tom ! " 

" Huck, I always reckoned we'd get it. It's just too good to believe, but we 
have got it, sure ! Say let's not fool around here. Let's snake it out. Lemme 
see if I can lift the box." 

It weighed about fifty pounds. Tom could lift it, after an awkward fashion, 
but could not carry it conveniently. 

"I thought so," he said; they carried it like it was heavy, that day at the 
ha'nted house. I noticed that. I reckon I was right to think of fetching the 
little bags along." 



The money was soon in the bags and the boys took it up to the cross-rock. 

" Now less fetch the guns and things," said Huck. 

"No, Huck leave them there. They're just the tricks to have when we go 
to robbing. We'll keep them there all the time, and we'll hold our orgies there, 
too. It's an awful snug place for orgies." 

"What's orgies? " 

"/ dono. But robbers always have orgies, and of course we've got to have 


them, too. Come along, Huck, we've been in here a long time. It's getting 
late, I reckon. I'm hungry, too. We'll eat and smoke when we get to the skiff." 
They presently emerged into the clump of sumach bushes, looked warily out, 
found the coast clear, and were soon lunching and smoking in the skiff. As the 
sun dipped toward the horizon they pushed out and got under way. Tom 
skimmed up the shore through the long twilight, chatting cheerily with Huck, 
and landed shortly after dark. 


" Now Huck," said Tom, " we'll hide the money in the loft of the widow's 
wood-shed, and I'll come up in the morning and we'll count it and divide, and 
then we'll hunt up a place out in the woods for it where it will be safe. Just 
you lay quiet here and watch the stuff till I run and hook Benny Taylor's little 
wagon ; I won't be gone a minute." 

He disappeared, and presently returned with the wagon, put the two small 
sacks into it, threw some old rags on top of them, and started off, dragging 
his cargo behind him. When the boys reached the Welchman's house, they 
stopped to rest. Just as they were about to move on, the Welchman stepped 
out and said : 

" Hallo, who's that ? " 

" Huck and Tom Sawyer." . 

"Good! Come along with me, boys, you are keeping everybody waiting. 
Here hurry up, trot ahead I'll haul the wagon for you. Why, it's not as 
light as it might be. Got bricks in it? or old metal? " 

" Old metal," said Tom. 

"I judged so; the boys in this town will take more trouble and-fool away 
more time, hunting up six bit's worth of old iron to sell to the foundry* than 
they would to make twice the money at regular work. But that's human nature 
hurry along, hurry along ! " 

The boys wanted* to know what the hurry was about. 

"Never mind; you'll see, when we get to the Widow Douglas's." 

Huck said with some apprehension for he was long used to being falsely 

" Mr. Jones, we haven't been doing nothing." 

The Welchman laughed. 

" Well, I don't know, Huck, my boy. I don't know about that. Ain't you 
and the widow good friends ? " 

"Yes. Well, she's ben good friends to me, any ways." 

" All right, then. What do you want to be afraid for ? " 

This question was not entirely answered in Huck' s slow mind before he 
found himself pushed, along with Tom, into Mrs. Douglas's drawing-room. 
Mr. Jones left the wagon near the door and followed. 



The place was grandly lighted, and everybody that was of any consequence 
in the village was there. The Thatchers were there, the Harpers, the Rogerses, 
Aunt Polly, Sid, Mary, the minister, the editor, and a great many more, and 
all dressed in their best. The widow received the boys as heartily as any one 
could well receive two such looking beings. They were covered with clay 
and candle grease. Aunt Polly blushed crimson with humiliation, and frowned 
and shook her head at Tom. No'body suffered half as much as the two boys 
did, however. Mr. Jones said : 

" Tom wasn't at home, yet, so I gave him up ; but I stumbled on him and 
Huck right at my door, and so I just brought them along in a hurry." 

" And you did just right," said the widow : " Come with me, boys." 

She took them to a bed chamber and said : 

" Now wash and dress yourselves. Here are two new suits of clothes 
shirts, socks, everything complete. They're Huck's no, no thanks, Huck 
Mr. Jones bought one and I the other. But they'll fit both of you. Get into 
them: We'll wait come down when you are slicked up enough." 

Then she left. 

said : " Tom, we can slope, if we 
can find a rope. The window ain't 
high from the ground." 

" Shucks, what do you want to 
slope for ? " 

" Well I ain't used to that kind of 
a crowd. I can't stand it. I ain't 
going down there, Tom." 

" O, bother ! It ain't anything. I 
don't mind it a bit. I'll take care of 

Sid appeared. 

" Tom," said he, " Auntie has been 
waiting for you all the afternoon. 
Mary got your Sunday clothes ready, 
and everybody's been fretting about you. Say ain't this grease and clay, on 
your clothes ? " 

" Now Mr. Siddy, you jist 'tend to your own business. What's all this blow- 
out about, anyway ? " 



" It's one of the widow's parties that she's always having. This time its for 
the Welchman and his sons, on account of that scrape they helped her out of 
the other night. And say I can tell you something, if you want to know." 

" Well, what ? " 

" Why old Mr. Jones is going to try to spring something on the people 
here to-night, but I overheard him tell auntie to-day about it, as a secret, but 
I reckon it's not much of a secret now. Everybody knows the widow, too, for 
all she tries to let on she don't. Mr. Jones was bound Huck should be here 
couldn't get along with his grand secret without Huck, you know ! " 

" Secret about what, Sid ? " 

" About Huck tracking the robbers to the widow's. I reckon Mr. Jones was 
going to make a grand time over his surprise, but I bet you it will drop pretty 

Sid chuckled in a very contented and satisfied way. 

" Sid, was it you that told ? " 

" O, never mind who it was. Somebody told that's enough." 

" Sid, there's only one person in this town mean enough to do that, and that's 
you. If you had been in Huck's place you'd 'a' sneaked down the hill and never 
told anybody on the robbers. You can't do any but mean things, and you can't 
bear to see anybody praised for doing good ones. There no thanks, as the 
widow says " and Tom cuffed Sid's ears and helped him to the door with 
several kicks. " Now go and tell auntie if you dare and to-morrow you'll 
catch it ! " 

Some minutes later the widow's guests were at the supper table, and a dozen 
children were propped up at little side tables in the same room, after the fashion 
of that country and that day. At the proper time Mr. Jones made his little 
speech, in which he thanked the widow for the honor she was doing himself 
and his sons, but said that there was another person whose modesty 

And so forth and so on. He sprung his secret about Huck's share in the ad- 
venture in the finest dramatic manner he was master of, but the surprise it 
occasioned was largely counterfeit and not as clamorous and effusive as it 
might have been under happier circumstances. However, the widow made a 



pretty fair show of astonishment, and heaped so many compliments and so- 
much gratitude upon Huck that he almost forgot the nearly intolerable dis- 
comfort of his new clothes in the entirely intolerable discomfort of being set 
up as a target for everybody's gaze and everybody's laudations. 

The widow said she meant to give Huck a home under her roof and have 
him educated ; and that when she could spare the money she would start him in. 
business in a modest way. Tom's chance was come. He said : 

" Huck don't need it. Huck's rich ! " 

Nothing but a heavy strain upon the good manners of the company kept. 


back the due and proper complimentary laugh at this pleasant joke. But the 
silence was a little awkward. Tom broke it 

" Huck's got money. Maybe you don't believe it, but he's got lots of it. 
you needn't smile I reckon I can show you. You just wait a minute." 



Tom ran out of doors. The company looked at each other with a perpl-exed 
interest and inquiringly at Huck, who was tongue-tied. 

"Sid, what ails Tom? "said Aunt Polly. "He well, there ain't ever any 
making of that boy out. I never " 

Tom entered, struggling with the weight of his sacks, and Aunt Polly did 
not finish her sentence. Tom poured the mass of yellow coin upon the table 
and said^- 

" There what did I tell you ? Half of it's Huck's and half of it's mine ! " 

The spectacle took the general breath away. All gazed, nobody spoke for a 
moment. Then there was a unanimous call for an explanation. Tom said he 
could furnish it, and he did. The tale was long, but brim full of interest. 
There was scarcely an interruption from anyone to break the charm of its 
flow. When he had finished, Mr. Jones said 

" I thought I had fixed up a little surprise for this occasion, but it don't 
amount to anything now. This one makes it sing mighty small, I'm willing 
to allow." 

The money was counted. The sum amounted to a little over twelve thou- 
sand dollars. It was more than any one present had ever seen at one time 
before, though several persons were there who were worth considerably more 
than that in property. 


reader may rest satisfied that Tom's 
and Huck's windfall made a mighty stir 
in the poor little village of St. Peters- 
burg. So vast a sum, all in actual cash, 
seemed next to incredible. It was talked 
about, gloated over, glorified, until the 
reason of many of the citizens tottered 
under the strain of the unhealthy ex- 
citement. Every " haunted " house in 
St. Petersburg and the neighboring vil- 
lages was dissected, plank by plank, and 
its foundations dug up and ransacked 
for hidden treasure and not by boys, 
but men pretty grave, unromantic men, 
too, some of them. Wherever Tom and 
Huck appeared they were courted, ad- 

mired, stared at. The boys were not able 
to remember that their remarks had possessed weight before ; but now their sayings 
were treasured and repeated ; everything they did seemed somehow to be regarded 



as remarkable ; they had evidently lost the power of doing and saying common- 
place things ; moreover, their past history was raked up and discovered to bear 
marks of conspicuous originality. The village paper published biographical 
sketches of the boys. 

The widow Douglas put Huck's money out at six per cent., and Judge Thatcher 
did the same with Tom's at Aunt Polly's request. Each lad had an income, now, 
that was simply prodigious a dollar for every week-day in the year and half of 
the Sundays. It was just what the minister got no, it was what he was promised 
he generally couldn't collect it. A dollar and a quarter a week would board, 
lodge and school a boy in those old simple days and clothe him and wash him, 
too, for that matter. 

Judge Thatcher had conceived a great opinion of Tom. He said that no 
commonplace boy would ever have got his daughter out of the cave. When 
Becky told her father, in strict confidence, how Tom had taken her whipping at 
school, the Judge was visibly moved ; and when she pleaded grace for the mighty 
lie which Tom had told in order to shift that whipping from her shoulders to his 
own, the Judge said with a fine outburst that it was a noble, a generous, a mag- 
nanimous lie a lie that was worthy to hold up its head and march down through 
history breast to breast with George Washington's lauded Truth about the 
hatchet ! Becky thought her father had never looked so tall and so superb as 
when he walked the floor and stamped his foot and said that. She went straight 
off and told Tom about it. 

Judge Thatcher hoped to see Tom a great lawyer or a great soldier some day. 
He said he meant to look to it that Tom should be admitted to the National 
military academy and afterwards trained in the best Jaw school in the country, in 
order that he might be ready for either career or both. 

Huck Finn's wealth and the fact that he was now under the widow Douglas's 
protection, introduced him into society no, dragged him into it, hurled him into 
it and his sufferings were almost more than he could bear. The widow's 
servants kept him clean and neat, combed and brushed, and they bedded him 
nightly in unsympathetic sheets that had not one little spot or stain which he 
could press to his heart and know for a friend. He had to eat with knife and 


fork; he had to use napkin, cup and plate; he had to learn his book, he had to 
go to church; he had to talk so properly, that speech was become insipid in his 
mouth; whithersoever he turned, the bars and shackles of civilization shut him 
in and bound him hand and foot. 

He bravely bore his miseries three weeks, and then one day turned up missing. 
For forty-eight hours the widow hunted for him everywhere in great distress. 
The public were profoundly concerned ; they searched high and low, they dragged 
the river for his body. Early the third morning Tom Sawyer wisely went poking 
among some old empty hogsheads down behind the abandoned slaughter-house, 
and in one of them he found the refugee. Huck had slept there ; he had just 
breakfasted upon some stolen odds and ends of food, and was lying off, now, in 
comfort with his pipe. He was unkempt, uncombed, and clad in the same old 
ruin of rags that had made him picturesque in the days when he was free and 
happy. Tom routed him out, told him the trouble he had been causing, and 
urged him to go home. Huck's face lost its tranquil content, and took a melan- 
choly cast. He said : 

" Don't talk about it, Tom. I've tried it, and it don't work ; it don't work, Tom. 
It ain't for me ; I ain't used to it. The widder's good to me, and friendly ; but I 
can't stand them ways. She makes me git up just at the same time every morning; 
she makes me wash, they comb me all to thunder; she won't let me sleep in 
the wood-shed ; I got to wear them blamed clothes that just smothers me, Tom ; 
they don't seem to any air git through 'em, somehow; and they're so rotten nice 
that I can't set down, nor lay down, nor roll around anywher's; I hain't slid on a 
cellar-door for well, it 'pears to be years ; I got to go to church and sweat and 
sweat I hate them ornery sermons ! I can't ketch a fly in there, I can't chaw, 
I got to wear shoes all Sunday. The widder eats by a bell ; she goes to bed by a 
bell; she gits up by a bell everything's so awful reg'lar a body can't stand it." 

"Well, everybody does that way, Huck." 

"Tom, it don't make no difference. I ain't everybody, and I can't stand it. It's 
awful to be tied up so. And grub comes too easy I don't take no interest in 
vittles, that way. I got to ask, to go a-fishing ; I got to ask, to go in a-swimming 
dern'd if I hain't got to ask to do everything. Well, I'd got to talk so nice it wasn't 



no comfort I'd got to go up in the attic and rip out a while, every day, to git a 
taste in my mouth, or I'd a died, Tom. The widder wouldn't let me smoke ; she 
wouldn't let me yell, she wouldn't let me gape, nor stretch, nor scratch, before 
folks " [Then with a spasm of special irritation and injury], "And dad fetch 
it, she prayed all the time ! I never see such a woman ! I had to' shove, Tom I 
just had to. And besides, that school's going to open, and I'd a had to go to it 


well, I wouldn't stand that, Tom. Lookyhere, Tom, being rich ain't what it's 
cracked up to be. It's just worry and worry, and sweat and sweat, and a-wishing 
you was dead all the time. Now these clothes suits me, and this bar'l suits me, 
and I ain't ever going to shake 'em any more. Tom, I wouldn't ever got into all. 
this trouble if it hadn't 'a' been for that money; now you just take my sheer of it 
along with your'n, and gimme a ten-center sometimes not many times, becuz I 


don't give a dern for a thing 'thout it's tollable hard to git and you go and beg. 
off for me with the widder." 

" Oh, Huck, you know I can't do that. 'Taint fair ; and besides if you'll try 
this thing just a while longer you'll come to like it." 

" Like it ! Yes the way I'd like a hot stove if I was to set on it long enough- 
No, Tom, I won't be rich, and I won't live in them cussed smothery houses. I 
like the woods, and the river, and hogsheads, and I'll stick to 'em, too. Blame 
it all! just as we'd got guns, and a cave, and all just fixed to rob, here this dern 
foolishness has got to come up and spile it all! " 

Tom saw his opportunity 

"Lookyhere, Huck, being rich ain't going to keep me back from turning 

" No ! Oh, good-licks, are you in real dead-wood earnest, Tom ? " 

"Just as dead earnest as I'm a sitting here. But Huck, we can't let you into- 
the gang if you ain't respectable, you know." 

Huck's joy was quenched. 

" Can't let me in, Tom ? Didn't you let me go for a pirate ? " 

" Yes, but that's different. A robber is more high-toned than what a pirate is 
as a general thing. In most countries they're awful high up in the nobility 
dukes and such." 

" Now Tom, hain't you always ben -friendly to me? You wouldn't shet me out, 
would you, Tom? You wouldn't do that, now, would you, Tom? " 

" Huck, I wouldn't want to, and I don't want to but what would people say? 
Why they'd say, 'Mph! Tom Sawyer's Gang! pretty low characters in it!' 
They'd mean you, Huck. You wouldn't like that, and I wouldn't." 

Huck was silent for some time, engaged in a mental struggle. Finally he said : 

" Well, I'll go back to the widder for a month and tackle it and see if I can 
come to stand it, if you'll let me b'long to the gang, Tom." 

"All right, Huck, it's a whiz ! Come along, old chap, and I'll ask the widow 
to let up on you a little, Huck." 

" Will you Tom now will you? That's good. If she'll let up on some of the 
roughest things, I'll smoke private and cuss private, and crowd through or bust. 
When you going to start the gang and turn robbers ? " 



" Oh, right off. We'll get the boys together and have the initiation to-night, 

" Have the which ? " 

" Have the initiation." 

"What's that?" 

" It's to swear to stand by one another, and never tell the gang's secrets, even 


if you're chopped all to flinders, and kill anybody and all his family that hurts one 
of the gang." 

"That's gay that's mighty gay, Tom, I tell you." 

"Well I bet it is. And all that swearing's got to be done at midnight, in the 
lonesotnest, awfulest place you can find a ha'nted house is the best, but they're 
all ripped up now." 



"Well, midnight's good, anyway, Tom." 

"Yes, so it is. And you've got to swear on a coffin, and sign it with blood." 
"Now that's something like! Why it's a million times bullier than pirating. 
I'll stick to the widder till I rot, Tom ; and if I git to be a reg'lar ripper of a 
robber, and everybody talking 'bout it, I reckon she'll be proud she snaked me in 
out of the wet." 


So endeth this chronicle. It being strictly a history of a boy, it must stop here ; 
the story could not go much further without becoming the history of a man. 
When one writes a novel about grown people, he knows exactly where to stop- 
that is, with a marriage ; but when he writes of juveniles, he must stop where he 
best can. 

Most of the characters that perform in this book still live, and are prosperous 
and happy. Some day it may seem worth while to take up the story of the 
younger ones again and see what sort of men and women they turned out to be ; 
therefore it will be wisest not to reveal any of that part of their lives at present. 


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Catalogue of Books Published by the 




ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER. MARK TWAIN'S last work. 150 Engravings. New, 
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TRUMBULL, LL. D., with Historical Introduction. An entirely new rendering of a very 
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THE BIG BONANZA : An authentic account of the discovery, development and won- 
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Splendidly Illustrated. It is a sensible, shrewd, American woman's description of India 
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Price in Cloth. Em. Morocco. Leather (library style). Half Morocco. 
In one Vol. $5.00 $5.00 

In two Vols. $3.50 each vol. $4.00 each vol. $4.00 each vol. $5.00 each vol. 

graphical sketches of most of the noted characters in the Bible. A valuable and instruct- 
ive book. 608 Pages, 18 Full Page steel Engravings, 1 Map. 

Price in Cloth. Cloth, Gilt Edges. Leather (library style). Full Morocco. 

$3.50 $4.00 $4.00 $6.00 

DEWOLFF BROWNBLL. Brought down to end of the Modoc war. 
760 Pages. 40 full-page Engravings, plain and colored. 

Price in English Cloth, $3.50. Leather (library style), $4.00. 

HUMOR. Profusely Illustrated by Thos. Nast, &c. 129 Engravings. 
Price in Cloth, $3.50. Cloth, Gilt Edges, $4.00. Library, $4.00. Half Morocco, $5.00. 

Sight-seeing in Europe, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Holland, &c; with an account of 
persons ana places connected with the Franco-Prussian war. A book of rare and 
exciting interest. Octavo, 591 Pages. 70 Illustrations. 

Price in Cloth. Cloth, Gilt Edges. Leather (library style). Half Morocco. 
$3.00 $3.60 -$3.50 $4.50 

OVERLAND THROUGH ASIA. By THOMAS W. KNOX. Pictures of Siberian, Chinese 
and Tartar life. A splendid work, full of interest. Octavo. 608 Pages. 193 Engra- 

V ]Price in Cloth. Cloth, Gilt Edges. Leather (library style). Half Morocco. Full Morocco. 
$3.50 $4.00 $4.00 $5.00 $8.00 

THE GREAT METROPOLIS. A Mirror of New York. A complete showing up of the 
great Metropolis inside and out. By JUNIUS HENRI BROWNE. Octavo, 700 Pages. 26 

' Price in Cloth, $3.00. Library, $3.60. Half Morocco, $4.50. 

HOLIDAY BOOKS. Most fascinating for Boys and Girls. Almost every page illustrated. 


THE HOLY BIBLE, with Apocrypha and Concordance (the authorized edition) ; to which 
are added Canne's Marginal References; Index and Table of Texts, and an account 
of the Lives and Martyrdoms of the Apostles and Evangelists. Illustrated with numer- 
ous beautifully executed Steel Plates. The cheapest Bible made. Price $6.00 to $13.00 

THE HOLY BIBLE, containing the Old and New Testaments. Translated Literally from 
the Original Tongues. By JULIA E. SMITH. Price $3.00. 


It has been claimed that books sold by Agents are higher in price than those of equal 
value sold at book-stores. This belief often prevents persons from buying of an Agent. 
So far as our books are concerned, there is no foundation for such a claim. Please consider 
the following statements. 

FIRST. Most of our books are fully illustrated, not only with full page but with text en- 
gravings. These illustrations must be printed on something better than ordinary book 
paper, and to be well executed it requires the whole book to be on fine, heavy paper 
suitable for the cuts, costing very high. Again, the printing of the text with cuts costs more 
than twice the price of plain printing. Hence, few books are printed with text engravings. 
For proof, we ask you to count up all you can remember of them, aside from ours. 
You will find they are very few. Publishers avoid them universally. 

SECOND. ' We claim that we sell you books with from two hundred to three hundred 
engravings, finely printed on extra fine paper, and most firmly bound, as low as you can 
buy any book equal in weight, size, and poptdarity, which contain but few if any cuts, at any 
book-store; while you will be asked there for books illustrated as are our $3.50 ones (if 
they have any such) at least $5 or $6. We do not ask you to take our word for this, 
but to test it by enquiry and comparison. We certainly sell books lower than book-stores. 

We allow our Agents exactly the discount on our price, that publishers allow the regular 
trade, and no more-; and as through our Agents we sell ten times more of our books than do 
the trade publishers, we can afford a better book for a given sum. We ask investigation on 
this subject that all may know whether we speak truly or not. We assert that no books of 
THROUGH ASIA," "ROUGHING IT," and others of our books have ever been sold in this 
country at the price we sell them at. 

THIRD. We employ only those Agents who enter into agreements with ns, pledging 
themselves not to put any books into stores ; and it is only through unreliable Agents that 
they are seen there. The great popularity of our works, and their ready sale make it an 
object for the trade to get them. Having, by some means, obtained them, dealers sometimes 
sell our books at a reduced price even without profit to themselves. This is done to injure 
Agents, and the Subscription-Business, and is the sole and only ground for the current belief 
that the trade sell books lower than the subscription houses. 

Our Agents are instructed by us to iatroduce our books, but never to press them upon 
those who do not desire them. We publish none but valuable and popular work, and we 
bespeak for our Agents a kind reception. 
The Atlantic Monthly says of us and one of our books : 

" If this book can make its way among the Subscription-Book public, it will do a vast 
service to literature in educating the popular taste to the appreciation of good reading, 
and the time will yet come when the Book-Agent will be welcomed at all our doors instead 
of warned from them by every prohibitory device." 

Also says the New York Journal of Commerce : 

"This is precisely the sort of book which everyone ougnt to be glad to have thrust in his 
face and urged on his attention. The purchaser will be grateful to the agent who has 
induced him to buy it" 

Such, commendations from such authority speak volumes for our books-