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-The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Complete
-by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
-
-This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
-almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
-re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
-with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
-
-
-Title: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Complete
-
-Author: Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
-
-Release Date: August 20, 2006 [EBook #74]
-[Last updated: May 3, 2011]
-
-Language: English
-
-
-*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK TOM SAWYER ***
-
-
-
-
-Produced by David Widger. The previous edition was updated by Jose
-Menendez.
-
-
-
-
-
-                   THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER
-                                BY
-                            MARK TWAIN
-                     (Samuel Langhorne Clemens)
-
-
-
-
-                           P R E F A C E
-
-MOST of the adventures recorded in this book really occurred; one or
-two were experiences of my own, the rest those of boys who were
-schoolmates of mine. Huck Finn is drawn from life; Tom Sawyer also, but
-not from an individual--he is a combination of the characteristics of
-three boys whom I knew, and therefore belongs to the composite order of
-architecture.
-
-The odd superstitions touched upon were all prevalent among children
-and slaves in the West at the period of this story--that is to say,
-thirty or forty years ago.
-
-Although my book is intended mainly for the entertainment of boys and
-girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account,
-for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what
-they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked,
-and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in.
-
-                                                            THE AUTHOR.
-
-HARTFORD, 1876.
-
-
-
-                          T O M   S A W Y E R
-
-
-
-CHAPTER I
-
-"TOM!"
-
-No answer.
-
-"TOM!"
-
-No answer.
-
-"What's gone with that boy,  I wonder? You TOM!"
-
-No answer.
-
-The old lady pulled her spectacles down and looked over them about the
-room; then she put them up and looked out under them. She seldom or
-never looked THROUGH them for so small a thing as a boy; they were her
-state pair, the pride of her heart, and were built for "style," not
-service--she could have seen through a pair of stove-lids just as well.
-She looked perplexed for a moment, and then said, not fiercely, but
-still loud enough for the furniture to hear:
-
-"Well, I lay if I get hold of you I'll--"
-
-She did not finish, for by this time she was bending down and punching
-under the bed with the broom, and so she needed breath to punctuate the
-punches with. She resurrected nothing but the cat.
-
-"I never did see the beat of that boy!"
-
-She went to the open door and stood in it and looked out among the
-tomato vines and "jimpson" weeds that constituted the garden. No Tom.
-So she lifted up her voice at an angle calculated for distance and
-shouted:
-
-"Y-o-u-u TOM!"
-
-There was a slight noise behind her and she turned just in time to
-seize a small boy by the slack of his roundabout and arrest his flight.
-
-"There! I might 'a' thought of that closet. What you been doing in
-there?"
-
-"Nothing."
-
-"Nothing! Look at your hands. And look at your mouth. What IS that
-truck?"
-
-"I don't know, aunt."
-
-"Well, I know. It's jam--that's what it is. Forty times I've said if
-you didn't let that jam alone I'd skin you. Hand me that switch."
-
-The switch hovered in the air--the peril was desperate--
-
-"My! Look behind you, aunt!"
-
-The old lady whirled round, and snatched her skirts out of danger. The
-lad fled on the instant, scrambled up the high board-fence, and
-disappeared over it.
-
-His aunt Polly stood surprised a moment, and then broke into a gentle
-laugh.
-
-"Hang the boy, can't I never learn anything? Ain't he played me tricks
-enough like that for me to be looking out for him by this time? But old
-fools is the biggest fools there is. Can't learn an old dog new tricks,
-as the saying is. But my goodness, he never plays them alike, two days,
-and how is a body to know what's coming? He 'pears to know just how
-long he can torment me before I get my dander up, and he knows if he
-can make out to put me off for a minute or make me laugh, it's all down
-again and I can't hit him a lick. I ain't doing my duty by that boy,
-and that's the Lord's truth, goodness knows. Spare the rod and spile
-the child, as the Good Book says. I'm a laying up sin and suffering for
-us both, I know. He's full of the Old Scratch, but laws-a-me! he's my
-own dead sister's boy, poor thing, and I ain't got the heart to lash
-him, somehow. Every time I let him off, my conscience does hurt me so,
-and every time I hit him my old heart most breaks. Well-a-well, man
-that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble, as the
-Scripture says, and I reckon it's so. He'll play hookey this evening, *
-and [* Southwestern for "afternoon"] I'll just be obleeged to make him
-work, to-morrow, to punish him. It's mighty hard to make him work
-Saturdays, when all the boys is having holiday, but he hates work more
-than he hates anything else, and I've GOT to do some of my duty by him,
-or I'll be the ruination of the child."
-
-Tom did play hookey, and he had a very good time. He got back home
-barely in season to help Jim, the small colored boy, saw next-day's
-wood and split the kindlings before supper--at least he was there in
-time to tell his adventures to Jim while Jim did three-fourths of the
-work. Tom's younger brother (or rather half-brother) Sid was already
-through with his part of the work (picking up chips), for he was a
-quiet boy, and had no adventurous, troublesome ways.
-
-While Tom was eating his supper, and stealing sugar as opportunity
-offered, Aunt Polly asked him questions that were full of guile, and
-very deep--for she wanted to trap him into damaging revealments. Like
-many other simple-hearted souls, it was her pet vanity to believe she
-was endowed with a talent for dark and mysterious diplomacy, and she
-loved to contemplate her most transparent devices as marvels of low
-cunning. Said she:
-
-"Tom, it was middling warm in school, warn't it?"
-
-"Yes'm."
-
-"Powerful warm, warn't it?"
-
-"Yes'm."
-
-"Didn't you want to go in a-swimming, Tom?"
-
-A bit of a scare shot through Tom--a touch of uncomfortable suspicion.
-He searched Aunt Polly's face, but it told him nothing. So he said:
-
-"No'm--well, not very much."
-
-The old lady reached out her hand and felt Tom's shirt, and said:
-
-"But you ain't too warm now, though." And it flattered her to reflect
-that she had discovered that the shirt was dry without anybody knowing
-that that was what she had in her mind. But in spite of her, Tom knew
-where the wind lay, now. So he forestalled what might be the next move:
-
-"Some of us pumped on our heads--mine's damp yet. See?"
-
-Aunt Polly was vexed to think she had overlooked that bit of
-circumstantial evidence, and missed a trick. Then she had a new
-inspiration:
-
-"Tom, you didn't have to undo your shirt collar where I sewed it, to
-pump on your head, did you? Unbutton your jacket!"
-
-The trouble vanished out of Tom's face. He opened his jacket. His
-shirt collar was securely sewed.
-
-"Bother! Well, go 'long with you. I'd made sure you'd played hookey
-and been a-swimming. But I forgive ye, Tom. I reckon you're a kind of a
-singed cat, as the saying is--better'n you look. THIS time."
-
-She was half sorry her sagacity had miscarried, and half glad that Tom
-had stumbled into obedient conduct for once.
-
-But Sidney said:
-
-"Well, now, if I didn't think you sewed his collar with white thread,
-but it's black."
-
-"Why, I did sew it with white! Tom!"
-
-But Tom did not wait for the rest. As he went out at the door he said:
-
-"Siddy, I'll lick you for that."
-
-In a safe place Tom examined two large needles which were thrust into
-the lapels of his jacket, and had thread bound about them--one needle
-carried white thread and the other black. He said:
-
-"She'd never noticed if it hadn't been for Sid. Confound it! sometimes
-she sews it with white, and sometimes she sews it with black. I wish to
-geeminy she'd stick to one or t'other--I can't keep the run of 'em. But
-I bet you I'll lam Sid for that. I'll learn him!"
-
-He was not the Model Boy of the village. He knew the model boy very
-well though--and loathed him.
-
-Within two minutes, or even less, he had forgotten all his troubles.
-Not because his troubles were one whit less heavy and bitter to him
-than a man's are to a man, but because a new and powerful interest bore
-them down and drove them out of his mind for the time--just as men's
-misfortunes are forgotten in the excitement of new enterprises. This
-new interest was a valued novelty in whistling, which he had just
-acquired from a negro, and he was suffering to practise it undisturbed.
-It consisted in a peculiar bird-like turn, a sort of liquid warble,
-produced by touching the tongue to the roof of the mouth at short
-intervals in the midst of the music--the reader probably remembers how
-to do it, if he has ever been a boy. Diligence and attention soon gave
-him the knack of it, and he strode down the street with his mouth full
-of harmony and his soul full of gratitude. He felt much as an
-astronomer feels who has discovered a new planet--no doubt, as far as
-strong, deep, unalloyed pleasure is concerned, the advantage was with
-the boy, not the astronomer.
-
-The summer evenings were long. It was not dark, yet. Presently Tom
-checked his whistle. A stranger was before him--a boy a shade larger
-than himself. A new-comer of any age or either sex was an impressive
-curiosity in the poor little shabby village of St. Petersburg. This boy
-was well dressed, too--well dressed on a week-day. This was simply
-astounding. His cap was a dainty thing, his close-buttoned blue cloth
-roundabout was new and natty, and so were his pantaloons. He had shoes
-on--and it was only Friday. He even wore a necktie, a bright bit of
-ribbon. He had a citified air about him that ate into Tom's vitals. The
-more Tom stared at the splendid marvel, the higher he turned up his
-nose at his finery and the shabbier and shabbier his own outfit seemed
-to him to grow. Neither boy spoke. If one moved, the other moved--but
-only sidewise, in a circle; they kept face to face and eye to eye all
-the time. Finally Tom said:
-
-"I can lick you!"
-
-"I'd like to see you try it."
-
-"Well, I can do it."
-
-"No you can't, either."
-
-"Yes I can."
-
-"No you can't."
-
-"I can."
-
-"You can't."
-
-"Can!"
-
-"Can't!"
-
-An uncomfortable pause. Then Tom said:
-
-"What's your name?"
-
-"'Tisn't any of your business, maybe."
-
-"Well I 'low I'll MAKE it my business."
-
-"Well why don't you?"
-
-"If you say much, I will."
-
-"Much--much--MUCH. There now."
-
-"Oh, you think you're mighty smart, DON'T you? I could lick you with
-one hand tied behind me, if I wanted to."
-
-"Well why don't you DO it? You SAY you can do it."
-
-"Well I WILL, if you fool with me."
-
-"Oh yes--I've seen whole families in the same fix."
-
-"Smarty! You think you're SOME, now, DON'T you? Oh, what a hat!"
-
-"You can lump that hat if you don't like it. I dare you to knock it
-off--and anybody that'll take a dare will suck eggs."
-
-"You're a liar!"
-
-"You're another."
-
-"You're a fighting liar and dasn't take it up."
-
-"Aw--take a walk!"
-
-"Say--if you give me much more of your sass I'll take and bounce a
-rock off'n your head."
-
-"Oh, of COURSE you will."
-
-"Well I WILL."
-
-"Well why don't you DO it then? What do you keep SAYING you will for?
-Why don't you DO it? It's because you're afraid."
-
-"I AIN'T afraid."
-
-"You are."
-
-"I ain't."
-
-"You are."
-
-Another pause, and more eying and sidling around each other. Presently
-they were shoulder to shoulder. Tom said:
-
-"Get away from here!"
-
-"Go away yourself!"
-
-"I won't."
-
-"I won't either."
-
-So they stood, each with a foot placed at an angle as a brace, and
-both shoving with might and main, and glowering at each other with
-hate. But neither could get an advantage. After struggling till both
-were hot and flushed, each relaxed his strain with watchful caution,
-and Tom said:
-
-"You're a coward and a pup. I'll tell my big brother on you, and he
-can thrash you with his little finger, and I'll make him do it, too."
-
-"What do I care for your big brother? I've got a brother that's bigger
-than he is--and what's more, he can throw him over that fence, too."
-[Both brothers were imaginary.]
-
-"That's a lie."
-
-"YOUR saying so don't make it so."
-
-Tom drew a line in the dust with his big toe, and said:
-
-"I dare you to step over that, and I'll lick you till you can't stand
-up. Anybody that'll take a dare will steal sheep."
-
-The new boy stepped over promptly, and said:
-
-"Now you said you'd do it, now let's see you do it."
-
-"Don't you crowd me now; you better look out."
-
-"Well, you SAID you'd do it--why don't you do it?"
-
-"By jingo! for two cents I WILL do it."
-
-The new boy took two broad coppers out of his pocket and held them out
-with derision. Tom struck them to the ground. In an instant both boys
-were rolling and tumbling in the dirt, gripped together like cats; and
-for the space of a minute they tugged and tore at each other's hair and
-clothes, punched and scratched each other's nose, and covered
-themselves with dust and glory. Presently the confusion took form, and
-through the fog of battle Tom appeared, seated astride the new boy, and
-pounding him with his fists. "Holler 'nuff!" said he.
-
-The boy only struggled to free himself. He was crying--mainly from rage.
-
-"Holler 'nuff!"--and the pounding went on.
-
-At last the stranger got out a smothered "'Nuff!" and Tom let him up
-and said:
-
-"Now that'll learn you. Better look out who you're fooling with next
-time."
-
-The new boy went off brushing the dust from his clothes, sobbing,
-snuffling, and occasionally looking back and shaking his head and
-threatening what he would do to Tom the "next time he caught him out."
-To which Tom responded with jeers, and started off in high feather, and
-as soon as his back was turned the new boy snatched up a stone, threw
-it and hit him between the shoulders and then turned tail and ran like
-an antelope. Tom chased the traitor home, and thus found out where he
-lived. He then held a position at the gate for some time, daring the
-enemy to come outside, but the enemy only made faces at him through the
-window and declined. At last the enemy's mother appeared, and called
-Tom a bad, vicious, vulgar child, and ordered him away. So he went
-away; but he said he "'lowed" to "lay" for that boy.
-
-He got home pretty late that night, and when he climbed cautiously in
-at the window, he uncovered an ambuscade, in the person of his aunt;
-and when she saw the state his clothes were in her resolution to turn
-his Saturday holiday into captivity at hard labor became adamantine in
-its firmness.
-
-
-
-CHAPTER II
-
-SATURDAY morning was come, and all the summer world was bright and
-fresh, and brimming with life. There was a song in every heart; and if
-the heart was young the music issued at the lips. There was cheer in
-every face and a spring in every step. The locust-trees were in bloom
-and the fragrance of the blossoms filled the air. Cardiff Hill, beyond
-the village and above it, was green with vegetation and it lay just far
-enough away to seem a Delectable Land, dreamy, reposeful, and inviting.
-
-Tom appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of whitewash and a
-long-handled brush. He surveyed the fence, and all gladness left him and
-a deep melancholy settled down upon his spirit. Thirty yards of board
-fence nine feet high. Life to him seemed hollow, and existence but a
-burden. Sighing, he dipped his brush and passed it along the topmost
-plank; repeated the operation; did it again; compared the insignificant
-whitewashed streak with the far-reaching continent of unwhitewashed
-fence, and sat down on a tree-box discouraged. Jim came skipping out at
-the gate with a tin pail, and singing Buffalo Gals. Bringing water from
-the town pump had always been hateful work in Tom's eyes, before, but
-now it did not strike him so. He remembered that there was company at
-the pump. White, mulatto, and negro boys and girls were always there
-waiting their turns, resting, trading playthings, quarrelling,
-fighting, skylarking. And he remembered that although the pump was only
-a hundred and fifty yards off, Jim never got back with a bucket of
-water under an hour--and even then somebody generally had to go after
-him. Tom said:
-
-"Say, Jim, I'll fetch the water if you'll whitewash some."
-
-Jim shook his head and said:
-
-"Can't, Mars Tom. Ole missis, she tole me I got to go an' git dis
-water an' not stop foolin' roun' wid anybody. She say she spec' Mars
-Tom gwine to ax me to whitewash, an' so she tole me go 'long an' 'tend
-to my own business--she 'lowed SHE'D 'tend to de whitewashin'."
-
-"Oh, never you mind what she said, Jim. That's the way she always
-talks. Gimme the bucket--I won't be gone only a a minute. SHE won't
-ever know."
-
-"Oh, I dasn't, Mars Tom. Ole missis she'd take an' tar de head off'n
-me. 'Deed she would."
-
-"SHE! She never licks anybody--whacks 'em over the head with her
-thimble--and who cares for that, I'd like to know. She talks awful, but
-talk don't hurt--anyways it don't if she don't cry. Jim, I'll give you
-a marvel. I'll give you a white alley!"
-
-Jim began to waver.
-
-"White alley, Jim! And it's a bully taw."
-
-"My! Dat's a mighty gay marvel, I tell you! But Mars Tom I's powerful
-'fraid ole missis--"
-
-"And besides, if you will I'll show you my sore toe."
-
-Jim was only human--this attraction was too much for him. He put down
-his pail, took the white alley, and bent over the toe with absorbing
-interest while the bandage was being unwound. In another moment he was
-flying down the street with his pail and a tingling rear, Tom was
-whitewashing with vigor, and Aunt Polly was retiring from the field
-with a slipper in her hand and triumph in her eye.
-
-But Tom's energy did not last. He began to think of the fun he had
-planned for this day, and his sorrows multiplied. Soon the free boys
-would come tripping along on all sorts of delicious expeditions, and
-they would make a world of fun of him for having to work--the very
-thought of it burnt him like fire. He got out his worldly wealth and
-examined it--bits of toys, marbles, and trash; enough to buy an
-exchange of WORK, maybe, but not half enough to buy so much as half an
-hour of pure freedom. So he returned his straitened means to his
-pocket, and gave up the idea of trying to buy the boys. At this dark
-and hopeless moment an inspiration burst upon him! Nothing less than a
-great, magnificent inspiration.
-
-He took up his brush and went tranquilly to work. Ben Rogers hove in
-sight presently--the very boy, of all boys, whose ridicule he had been
-dreading. Ben's gait was the hop-skip-and-jump--proof enough that his
-heart was light and his anticipations high. He was eating an apple, and
-giving a long, melodious whoop, at intervals, followed by a deep-toned
-ding-dong-dong, ding-dong-dong, for he was personating a steamboat. As
-he drew near, he slackened speed, took the middle of the street, leaned
-far over to starboard and rounded to ponderously and with laborious
-pomp and circumstance--for he was personating the Big Missouri, and
-considered himself to be drawing nine feet of water. He was boat and
-captain and engine-bells combined, so he had to imagine himself
-standing on his own hurricane-deck giving the orders and executing them:
-
-"Stop her, sir! Ting-a-ling-ling!" The headway ran almost out, and he
-drew up slowly toward the sidewalk.
-
-"Ship up to back! Ting-a-ling-ling!" His arms straightened and
-stiffened down his sides.
-
-"Set her back on the stabboard! Ting-a-ling-ling! Chow! ch-chow-wow!
-Chow!" His right hand, meantime, describing stately circles--for it was
-representing a forty-foot wheel.
-
-"Let her go back on the labboard! Ting-a-lingling! Chow-ch-chow-chow!"
-The left hand began to describe circles.
-
-"Stop the stabboard! Ting-a-ling-ling! Stop the labboard! Come ahead
-on the stabboard! Stop her! Let your outside turn over slow!
-Ting-a-ling-ling! Chow-ow-ow! Get out that head-line! LIVELY now!
-Come--out with your spring-line--what're you about there! Take a turn
-round that stump with the bight of it! Stand by that stage, now--let her
-go! Done with the engines, sir! Ting-a-ling-ling! SH'T! S'H'T! SH'T!"
-(trying the gauge-cocks).
-
-Tom went on whitewashing--paid no attention to the steamboat. Ben
-stared a moment and then said: "Hi-YI! YOU'RE up a stump, ain't you!"
-
-No answer. Tom surveyed his last touch with the eye of an artist, then
-he gave his brush another gentle sweep and surveyed the result, as
-before. Ben ranged up alongside of him. Tom's mouth watered for the
-apple, but he stuck to his work. Ben said:
-
-"Hello, old chap, you got to work, hey?"
-
-Tom wheeled suddenly and said:
-
-"Why, it's you, Ben! I warn't noticing."
-
-"Say--I'm going in a-swimming, I am. Don't you wish you could? But of
-course you'd druther WORK--wouldn't you? Course you would!"
-
-Tom contemplated the boy a bit, and said:
-
-"What do you call work?"
-
-"Why, ain't THAT work?"
-
-Tom resumed his whitewashing, and answered carelessly:
-
-"Well, maybe it is, and maybe it ain't. All I know, is, it suits Tom
-Sawyer."
-
-"Oh come, now, you don't mean to let on that you LIKE it?"
-
-The brush continued to move.
-
-"Like it? Well, I don't see why I oughtn't to like it. Does a boy get
-a chance to whitewash a fence every day?"
-
-That put the thing in a new light. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom
-swept his brush daintily back and forth--stepped back to note the
-effect--added a touch here and there--criticised the effect again--Ben
-watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more
-absorbed. Presently he said:
-
-"Say, Tom, let ME whitewash a little."
-
-Tom considered, was about to consent; but he altered his mind:
-
-"No--no--I reckon it wouldn't hardly do, Ben. You see, Aunt Polly's
-awful particular about this fence--right here on the street, you know
---but if it was the back fence I wouldn't mind and SHE wouldn't. Yes,
-she's awful particular about this fence; it's got to be done very
-careful; I reckon there ain't one boy in a thousand, maybe two
-thousand, that can do it the way it's got to be done."
-
-"No--is that so? Oh come, now--lemme just try. Only just a little--I'd
-let YOU, if you was me, Tom."
-
-"Ben, I'd like to, honest injun; but Aunt Polly--well, Jim wanted to
-do it, but she wouldn't let him; Sid wanted to do it, and she wouldn't
-let Sid. Now don't you see how I'm fixed? If you was to tackle this
-fence and anything was to happen to it--"
-
-"Oh, shucks, I'll be just as careful. Now lemme try. Say--I'll give
-you the core of my apple."
-
-"Well, here--No, Ben, now don't. I'm afeard--"
-
-"I'll give you ALL of it!"
-
-Tom gave up the brush with reluctance in his face, but alacrity in his
-heart. And while the late steamer Big Missouri worked and sweated in
-the sun, the retired artist sat on a barrel in the shade close by,
-dangled his legs, munched his apple, and planned the slaughter of more
-innocents. There was no lack of material; boys happened along every
-little while; they came to jeer, but remained to whitewash. By the time
-Ben was fagged out, Tom had traded the next chance to Billy Fisher for
-a kite, in good repair; and when he played out, Johnny Miller bought in
-for a dead rat and a string to swing it with--and so on, and so on,
-hour after hour. And when the middle of the afternoon came, from being
-a poor poverty-stricken boy in the morning, Tom was literally rolling
-in wealth. He had besides the things before mentioned, twelve marbles,
-part of a jews-harp, a piece of blue bottle-glass to look through, a
-spool cannon, a key that wouldn't unlock anything, a fragment of chalk,
-a glass stopper of a decanter, a tin soldier, a couple of tadpoles, six
-fire-crackers, a kitten with only one eye, a brass doorknob, a
-dog-collar--but no dog--the handle of a knife, four pieces of
-orange-peel, and a dilapidated old window sash.
-
-He had had a nice, good, idle time all the while--plenty of company
---and the fence had three coats of whitewash on it! If he hadn't run out
-of whitewash he would have bankrupted every boy in the village.
-
-Tom said to himself that it was not such a hollow world, after all. He
-had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it--namely,
-that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only
-necessary to make the thing difficult to attain. If he had been a great
-and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have
-comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is OBLIGED to do,
-and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And
-this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers
-or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or
-climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There are wealthy gentlemen in
-England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles
-on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them
-considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service,
-that would turn it into work and then they would resign.
-
-The boy mused awhile over the substantial change which had taken place
-in his worldly circumstances, and then wended toward headquarters to
-report.
-
-
-
-CHAPTER III
-
-TOM presented himself before Aunt Polly, who was sitting by an open
-window in a pleasant rearward apartment, which was bedroom,
-breakfast-room, dining-room, and library, combined. The balmy summer
-air, the restful quiet, the odor of the flowers, and the drowsing murmur
-of the bees had had their effect, and she was nodding over her knitting
---for she had no company but the cat, and it was asleep in her lap. Her
-spectacles were propped up on her gray head for safety. She had thought
-that of course Tom had deserted long ago, and she wondered at seeing him
-place himself in her power again in this intrepid way. He said: "Mayn't
-I go and play now, aunt?"
-
-"What, a'ready? How much have you done?"
-
-"It's all done, aunt."
-
-"Tom, don't lie to me--I can't bear it."
-
-"I ain't, aunt; it IS all done."
-
-Aunt Polly placed small trust in such evidence. She went out to see
-for herself; and she would have been content to find twenty per cent.
-of Tom's statement true. When she found the entire fence whitewashed,
-and not only whitewashed but elaborately coated and recoated, and even
-a streak added to the ground, her astonishment was almost unspeakable.
-She said:
-
-"Well, I never! There's no getting round it, you can work when you're
-a mind to, Tom." And then she diluted the compliment by adding, "But
-it's powerful seldom you're a mind to, I'm bound to say. Well, go 'long
-and play; but mind you get back some time in a week, or I'll tan you."
-
-She was so overcome by the splendor of his achievement that she took
-him into the closet and selected a choice apple and delivered it to
-him, along with an improving lecture upon the added value and flavor a
-treat took to itself when it came without sin through virtuous effort.
-And while she closed with a happy Scriptural flourish, he "hooked" a
-doughnut.
-
-Then he skipped out, and saw Sid just starting up the outside stairway
-that led to the back rooms on the second floor. Clods were handy and
-the air was full of them in a twinkling. They raged around Sid like a
-hail-storm; and before Aunt Polly could collect her surprised faculties
-and sally to the rescue, six or seven clods had taken personal effect,
-and Tom was over the fence and gone. There was a gate, but as a general
-thing he was too crowded for time to make use of it. His soul was at
-peace, now that he had settled with Sid for calling attention to his
-black thread and getting him into trouble.
-
-Tom skirted the block, and came round into a muddy alley that led by
-the back of his aunt's cow-stable. He presently got safely beyond the
-reach of capture and punishment, and hastened toward the public square
-of the village, where two "military" companies of boys had met for
-conflict, according to previous appointment. Tom was General of one of
-these armies, Joe Harper (a bosom friend) General of the other. These
-two great commanders did not condescend to fight in person--that being
-better suited to the still smaller fry--but sat together on an eminence
-and conducted the field operations by orders delivered through
-aides-de-camp. Tom's army won a great victory, after a long and
-hard-fought battle. Then the dead were counted, prisoners exchanged,
-the terms of the next disagreement agreed upon, and the day for the
-necessary battle appointed; after which the armies fell into line and
-marched away, and Tom turned homeward alone.
-
-As he was passing by the house where Jeff Thatcher lived, he saw a new
-girl in the garden--a lovely little blue-eyed creature with yellow hair
-plaited into two long-tails, white summer frock and embroidered
-pantalettes. The fresh-crowned hero fell without firing a shot. A
-certain Amy Lawrence vanished out of his heart and left not even a
-memory of herself behind. He had thought he loved her to distraction;
-he had regarded his passion as adoration; and behold it was only a poor
-little evanescent partiality. He had been months winning her; she had
-confessed hardly a week ago; he had been the happiest and the proudest
-boy in the world only seven short days, and here in one instant of time
-she had gone out of his heart like a casual stranger whose visit is
-done.
-
-He worshipped this new angel with furtive eye, till he saw that she
-had discovered him; then he pretended he did not know she was present,
-and began to "show off" in all sorts of absurd boyish ways, in order to
-win her admiration. He kept up this grotesque foolishness for some
-time; but by-and-by, while he was in the midst of some dangerous
-gymnastic performances, he glanced aside and saw that the little girl
-was wending her way toward the house. Tom came up to the fence and
-leaned on it, grieving, and hoping she would tarry yet awhile longer.
-She halted a moment on the steps and then moved toward the door. Tom
-heaved a great sigh as she put her foot on the threshold. But his face
-lit up, right away, for she tossed a pansy over the fence a moment
-before she disappeared.
-
-The boy ran around and stopped within a foot or two of the flower, and
-then shaded his eyes with his hand and began to look down street as if
-he had discovered something of interest going on in that direction.
-Presently he picked up a straw and began trying to balance it on his
-nose, with his head tilted far back; and as he moved from side to side,
-in his efforts, he edged nearer and nearer toward the pansy; finally
-his bare foot rested upon it, his pliant toes closed upon it, and he
-hopped away with the treasure and disappeared round the corner. But
-only for a minute--only while he could button the flower inside his
-jacket, next his heart--or next his stomach, possibly, for he was not
-much posted in anatomy, and not hypercritical, anyway.
-
-He returned, now, and hung about the fence till nightfall, "showing
-off," as before; but the girl never exhibited herself again, though Tom
-comforted himself a little with the hope that she had been near some
-window, meantime, and been aware of his attentions. Finally he strode
-home reluctantly, with his poor head full of visions.
-
-All through supper his spirits were so high that his aunt wondered
-"what had got into the child." He took a good scolding about clodding
-Sid, and did not seem to mind it in the least. He tried to steal sugar
-under his aunt's very nose, and got his knuckles rapped for it. He said:
-
-"Aunt, you don't whack Sid when he takes it."
-
-"Well, Sid don't torment a body the way you do. You'd be always into
-that sugar if I warn't watching you."
-
-Presently she stepped into the kitchen, and Sid, happy in his
-immunity, reached for the sugar-bowl--a sort of glorying over Tom which
-was wellnigh unbearable. But Sid's fingers slipped and the bowl dropped
-and broke. Tom was in ecstasies. In such ecstasies that he even
-controlled his tongue and was silent. He said to himself that he would
-not speak a word, even when his aunt came in, but would sit perfectly
-still till she asked who did the mischief; and then he would tell, and
-there would be nothing so good in the world as to see that pet model
-"catch it." He was so brimful of exultation that he could hardly hold
-himself when the old lady came back and stood above the wreck
-discharging lightnings of wrath from over her spectacles. He said to
-himself, "Now it's coming!" And the next instant he was sprawling on
-the floor! The potent palm was uplifted to strike again when Tom cried
-out:
-
-"Hold on, now, what 'er you belting ME for?--Sid broke it!"
-
-Aunt Polly paused, perplexed, and Tom looked for healing pity. But
-when she got her tongue again, she only said:
-
-"Umf! Well, you didn't get a lick amiss, I reckon. You been into some
-other audacious mischief when I wasn't around, like enough."
-
-Then her conscience reproached her, and she yearned to say something
-kind and loving; but she judged that this would be construed into a
-confession that she had been in the wrong, and discipline forbade that.
-So she kept silence, and went about her affairs with a troubled heart.
-Tom sulked in a corner and exalted his woes. He knew that in her heart
-his aunt was on her knees to him, and he was morosely gratified by the
-consciousness of it. He would hang out no signals, he would take notice
-of none. He knew that a yearning glance fell upon him, now and then,
-through a film of tears, but he refused recognition of it. He pictured
-himself lying sick unto death and his aunt bending over him beseeching
-one little forgiving word, but he would turn his face to the wall, and
-die with that word unsaid. Ah, how would she feel then? And he pictured
-himself brought home from the river, dead, with his curls all wet, and
-his sore heart at rest. How she would throw herself upon him, and how
-her tears would fall like rain, and her lips pray God to give her back
-her boy and she would never, never abuse him any more! But he would lie
-there cold and white and make no sign--a poor little sufferer, whose
-griefs were at an end. He so worked upon his feelings with the pathos
-of these dreams, that he had to keep swallowing, he was so like to
-choke; and his eyes swam in a blur of water, which overflowed when he
-winked, and ran down and trickled from the end of his nose. And such a
-luxury to him was this petting of his sorrows, that he could not bear
-to have any worldly cheeriness or any grating delight intrude upon it;
-it was too sacred for such contact; and so, presently, when his cousin
-Mary danced in, all alive with the joy of seeing home again after an
-age-long visit of one week to the country, he got up and moved in
-clouds and darkness out at one door as she brought song and sunshine in
-at the other.
-
-He wandered far from the accustomed haunts of boys, and sought
-desolate places that were in harmony with his spirit. A log raft in the
-river invited him, and he seated himself on its outer edge and
-contemplated the dreary vastness of the stream, wishing, the while,
-that he could only be drowned, all at once and unconsciously, without
-undergoing the uncomfortable routine devised by nature. Then he thought
-of his flower. He got it out, rumpled and wilted, and it mightily
-increased his dismal felicity. He wondered if she would pity him if she
-knew? Would she cry, and wish that she had a right to put her arms
-around his neck and comfort him? Or would she turn coldly away like all
-the hollow world? This picture brought such an agony of pleasurable
-suffering that he worked it over and over again in his mind and set it
-up in new and varied lights, till he wore it threadbare. At last he
-rose up sighing and departed in the darkness.
-
-About half-past nine or ten o'clock he came along the deserted street
-to where the Adored Unknown lived; he paused a moment; no sound fell
-upon his listening ear; a candle was casting a dull glow upon the
-curtain of a second-story window. Was the sacred presence there? He
-climbed the fence, threaded his stealthy way through the plants, till
-he stood under that window; he looked up at it long, and with emotion;
-then he laid him down on the ground under it, disposing himself upon
-his back, with his hands clasped upon his breast and holding his poor
-wilted flower. And thus he would die--out in the cold world, with no
-shelter over his homeless head, no friendly hand to wipe the
-death-damps from his brow, no loving face to bend pityingly over him
-when the great agony came. And thus SHE would see him when she looked
-out upon the glad morning, and oh! would she drop one little tear upon
-his poor, lifeless form, would she heave one little sigh to see a bright
-young life so rudely blighted, so untimely cut down?
-
-The window went up, a maid-servant's discordant voice profaned the
-holy calm, and a deluge of water drenched the prone martyr's remains!
-
-The strangling hero sprang up with a relieving snort. There was a whiz
-as of a missile in the air, mingled with the murmur of a curse, a sound
-as of shivering glass followed, and a small, vague form went over the
-fence and shot away in the gloom.
-
-Not long after, as Tom, all undressed for bed, was surveying his
-drenched garments by the light of a tallow dip, Sid woke up; but if he
-had any dim idea of making any "references to allusions," he thought
-better of it and held his peace, for there was danger in Tom's eye.
-
-Tom turned in without the added vexation of prayers, and Sid made
-mental note of the omission.
-
-
-
-CHAPTER IV
-
-THE sun rose upon a tranquil world, and beamed down upon the peaceful
-village like a benediction. Breakfast over, Aunt Polly had family
-worship: it began with a prayer built from the ground up of solid
-courses of Scriptural quotations, welded together with a thin mortar of
-originality; and from the summit of this she delivered a grim chapter
-of the Mosaic Law, as from Sinai.
-
-Then Tom girded up his loins, so to speak, and went to work to "get
-his verses." Sid had learned his lesson days before. Tom bent all his
-energies to the memorizing of five verses, and he chose part of the
-Sermon on the Mount, because he could find no verses that were shorter.
-At the end of half an hour Tom had a vague general idea of his lesson,
-but no more, for his mind was traversing the whole field of human
-thought, and his hands were busy with distracting recreations. Mary
-took his book to hear him recite, and he tried to find his way through
-the fog:
-
-"Blessed are the--a--a--"
-
-"Poor"--
-
-"Yes--poor; blessed are the poor--a--a--"
-
-"In spirit--"
-
-"In spirit; blessed are the poor in spirit, for they--they--"
-
-"THEIRS--"
-
-"For THEIRS. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom
-of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they--they--"
-
-"Sh--"
-
-"For they--a--"
-
-"S, H, A--"
-
-"For they S, H--Oh, I don't know what it is!"
-
-"SHALL!"
-
-"Oh, SHALL! for they shall--for they shall--a--a--shall mourn--a--a--
-blessed are they that shall--they that--a--they that shall mourn, for
-they shall--a--shall WHAT? Why don't you tell me, Mary?--what do you
-want to be so mean for?"
-
-"Oh, Tom, you poor thick-headed thing, I'm not teasing you. I wouldn't
-do that. You must go and learn it again. Don't you be discouraged, Tom,
-you'll manage it--and if you do, I'll give you something ever so nice.
-There, now, that's a good boy."
-
-"All right! What is it, Mary, tell me what it is."
-
-"Never you mind, Tom. You know if I say it's nice, it is nice."
-
-"You bet you that's so, Mary. All right, I'll tackle it again."
-
-And he did "tackle it again"--and under the double pressure of
-curiosity and prospective gain he did it with such spirit that he
-accomplished a shining success. Mary gave him a brand-new "Barlow"
-knife worth twelve and a half cents; and the convulsion of delight that
-swept his system shook him to his foundations. True, the knife would
-not cut anything, but it was a "sure-enough" Barlow, and there was
-inconceivable grandeur in that--though where the Western boys ever got
-the idea that such a weapon could possibly be counterfeited to its
-injury is an imposing mystery and will always remain so, perhaps. Tom
-contrived to scarify the cupboard with it, and was arranging to begin
-on the bureau, when he was called off to dress for Sunday-school.
-
-Mary gave him a tin basin of water and a piece of soap, and he went
-outside the door and set the basin on a little bench there; then he
-dipped the soap in the water and laid it down; turned up his sleeves;
-poured out the water on the ground, gently, and then entered the
-kitchen and began to wipe his face diligently on the towel behind the
-door. But Mary removed the towel and said:
-
-"Now ain't you ashamed, Tom. You mustn't be so bad. Water won't hurt
-you."
-
-Tom was a trifle disconcerted. The basin was refilled, and this time
-he stood over it a little while, gathering resolution; took in a big
-breath and began. When he entered the kitchen presently, with both eyes
-shut and groping for the towel with his hands, an honorable testimony
-of suds and water was dripping from his face. But when he emerged from
-the towel, he was not yet satisfactory, for the clean territory stopped
-short at his chin and his jaws, like a mask; below and beyond this line
-there was a dark expanse of unirrigated soil that spread downward in
-front and backward around his neck. Mary took him in hand, and when she
-was done with him he was a man and a brother, without distinction of
-color, and his saturated hair was neatly brushed, and its short curls
-wrought into a dainty and symmetrical general effect. [He privately
-smoothed out the curls, with labor and difficulty, and plastered his
-hair close down to his head; for he held curls to be effeminate, and
-his own filled his life with bitterness.] Then Mary got out a suit of
-his clothing that had been used only on Sundays during two years--they
-were simply called his "other clothes"--and so by that we know the
-size of his wardrobe. The girl "put him to rights" after he had dressed
-himself; she buttoned his neat roundabout up to his chin, turned his
-vast shirt collar down over his shoulders, brushed him off and crowned
-him with his speckled straw hat. He now looked exceedingly improved and
-uncomfortable. He was fully as uncomfortable as he looked; for there
-was a restraint about whole clothes and cleanliness that galled him. He
-hoped that Mary would forget his shoes, but the hope was blighted; she
-coated them thoroughly with tallow, as was the custom, and brought them
-out. He lost his temper and said he was always being made to do
-everything he didn't want to do. But Mary said, persuasively:
-
-"Please, Tom--that's a good boy."
-
-So he got into the shoes snarling. Mary was soon ready, and the three
-children set out for Sunday-school--a place that Tom hated with his
-whole heart; but Sid and Mary were fond of it.
-
-Sabbath-school hours were from nine to half-past ten; and then church
-service. Two of the children always remained for the sermon
-voluntarily, and the other always remained too--for stronger reasons.
-The church's high-backed, uncushioned pews would seat about three
-hundred persons; the edifice was but a small, plain affair, with a sort
-of pine board tree-box on top of it for a steeple. At the door Tom
-dropped back a step and accosted a Sunday-dressed comrade:
-
-"Say, Billy, got a yaller ticket?"
-
-"Yes."
-
-"What'll you take for her?"
-
-"What'll you give?"
-
-"Piece of lickrish and a fish-hook."
-
-"Less see 'em."
-
-Tom exhibited. They were satisfactory, and the property changed hands.
-Then Tom traded a couple of white alleys for three red tickets, and
-some small trifle or other for a couple of blue ones. He waylaid other
-boys as they came, and went on buying tickets of various colors ten or
-fifteen minutes longer. He entered the church, now, with a swarm of
-clean and noisy boys and girls, proceeded to his seat and started a
-quarrel with the first boy that came handy. The teacher, a grave,
-elderly man, interfered; then turned his back a moment and Tom pulled a
-boy's hair in the next bench, and was absorbed in his book when the boy
-turned around; stuck a pin in another boy, presently, in order to hear
-him say "Ouch!" and got a new reprimand from his teacher. Tom's whole
-class were of a pattern--restless, noisy, and troublesome. When they
-came to recite their lessons, not one of them knew his verses
-perfectly, but had to be prompted all along. However, they worried
-through, and each got his reward--in small blue tickets, each with a
-passage of Scripture on it; each blue ticket was pay for two verses of
-the recitation. Ten blue tickets equalled a red one, and could be
-exchanged for it; ten red tickets equalled a yellow one; for ten yellow
-tickets the superintendent gave a very plainly bound Bible (worth forty
-cents in those easy times) to the pupil. How many of my readers would
-have the industry and application to memorize two thousand verses, even
-for a Dore Bible? And yet Mary had acquired two Bibles in this way--it
-was the patient work of two years--and a boy of German parentage had
-won four or five. He once recited three thousand verses without
-stopping; but the strain upon his mental faculties was too great, and
-he was little better than an idiot from that day forth--a grievous
-misfortune for the school, for on great occasions, before company, the
-superintendent (as Tom expressed it) had always made this boy come out
-and "spread himself." Only the older pupils managed to keep their
-tickets and stick to their tedious work long enough to get a Bible, and
-so the delivery of one of these prizes was a rare and noteworthy
-circumstance; the successful pupil was so great and conspicuous for
-that day that on the spot every scholar's heart was fired with a fresh
-ambition that often lasted a couple of weeks. It is possible that Tom's
-mental stomach had never really hungered for one of those prizes, but
-unquestionably his entire being had for many a day longed for the glory
-and the eclat that came with it.
-
-In due course the superintendent stood up in front of the pulpit, with
-a closed hymn-book in his hand and his forefinger inserted between its
-leaves, and commanded attention. When a Sunday-school superintendent
-makes his customary little speech, a hymn-book in the hand is as
-necessary as is the inevitable sheet of music in the hand of a singer
-who stands forward on the platform and sings a solo at a concert
---though why, is a mystery: for neither the hymn-book nor the sheet of
-music is ever referred to by the sufferer. This superintendent was a
-slim creature of thirty-five, with a sandy goatee and short sandy hair;
-he wore a stiff standing-collar whose upper edge almost reached his
-ears and whose sharp points curved forward abreast the corners of his
-mouth--a fence that compelled a straight lookout ahead, and a turning
-of the whole body when a side view was required; his chin was propped
-on a spreading cravat which was as broad and as long as a bank-note,
-and had fringed ends; his boot toes were turned sharply up, in the
-fashion of the day, like sleigh-runners--an effect patiently and
-laboriously produced by the young men by sitting with their toes
-pressed against a wall for hours together. Mr. Walters was very earnest
-of mien, and very sincere and honest at heart; and he held sacred
-things and places in such reverence, and so separated them from worldly
-matters, that unconsciously to himself his Sunday-school voice had
-acquired a peculiar intonation which was wholly absent on week-days. He
-began after this fashion:
-
-"Now, children, I want you all to sit up just as straight and pretty
-as you can and give me all your attention for a minute or two. There
---that is it. That is the way good little boys and girls should do. I see
-one little girl who is looking out of the window--I am afraid she
-thinks I am out there somewhere--perhaps up in one of the trees making
-a speech to the little birds. [Applausive titter.] I want to tell you
-how good it makes me feel to see so many bright, clean little faces
-assembled in a place like this, learning to do right and be good." And
-so forth and so on. It is not necessary to set down the rest of the
-oration. It was of a pattern which does not vary, and so it is familiar
-to us all.
-
-The latter third of the speech was marred by the resumption of fights
-and other recreations among certain of the bad boys, and by fidgetings
-and whisperings that extended far and wide, washing even to the bases
-of isolated and incorruptible rocks like Sid and Mary. But now every
-sound ceased suddenly, with the subsidence of Mr. Walters' voice, and
-the conclusion of the speech was received with a burst of silent
-gratitude.
-
-A good part of the whispering had been occasioned by an event which
-was more or less rare--the entrance of visitors: lawyer Thatcher,
-accompanied by a very feeble and aged man; a fine, portly, middle-aged
-gentleman with iron-gray hair; and a dignified lady who was doubtless
-the latter's wife. The lady was leading a child. Tom had been restless
-and full of chafings and repinings; conscience-smitten, too--he could
-not meet Amy Lawrence's eye, he could not brook her loving gaze. But
-when he saw this small new-comer his soul was all ablaze with bliss in
-a moment. The next moment he was "showing off" with all his might
---cuffing boys, pulling hair, making faces--in a word, using every art
-that seemed likely to fascinate a girl and win her applause. His
-exaltation had but one alloy--the memory of his humiliation in this
-angel's garden--and that record in sand was fast washing out, under
-the waves of happiness that were sweeping over it now.
-
-The visitors were given the highest seat of honor, and as soon as Mr.
-Walters' speech was finished, he introduced them to the school. The
-middle-aged man turned out to be a prodigious personage--no less a one
-than the county judge--altogether the most august creation these
-children had ever looked upon--and they wondered what kind of material
-he was made of--and they half wanted to hear him roar, and were half
-afraid he might, too. He was from Constantinople, twelve miles away--so
-he had travelled, and seen the world--these very eyes had looked upon
-the county court-house--which was said to have a tin roof. The awe
-which these reflections inspired was attested by the impressive silence
-and the ranks of staring eyes. This was the great Judge Thatcher,
-brother of their own lawyer. Jeff Thatcher immediately went forward, to
-be familiar with the great man and be envied by the school. It would
-have been music to his soul to hear the whisperings:
-
-"Look at him, Jim! He's a going up there. Say--look! he's a going to
-shake hands with him--he IS shaking hands with him! By jings, don't you
-wish you was Jeff?"
-
-Mr. Walters fell to "showing off," with all sorts of official
-bustlings and activities, giving orders, delivering judgments,
-discharging directions here, there, everywhere that he could find a
-target. The librarian "showed off"--running hither and thither with his
-arms full of books and making a deal of the splutter and fuss that
-insect authority delights in. The young lady teachers "showed off"
---bending sweetly over pupils that were lately being boxed, lifting
-pretty warning fingers at bad little boys and patting good ones
-lovingly. The young gentlemen teachers "showed off" with small
-scoldings and other little displays of authority and fine attention to
-discipline--and most of the teachers, of both sexes, found business up
-at the library, by the pulpit; and it was business that frequently had
-to be done over again two or three times (with much seeming vexation).
-The little girls "showed off" in various ways, and the little boys
-"showed off" with such diligence that the air was thick with paper wads
-and the murmur of scufflings. And above it all the great man sat and
-beamed a majestic judicial smile upon all the house, and warmed himself
-in the sun of his own grandeur--for he was "showing off," too.
-
-There was only one thing wanting to make Mr. Walters' ecstasy
-complete, and that was a chance to deliver a Bible-prize and exhibit a
-prodigy. Several pupils had a few yellow tickets, but none had enough
---he had been around among the star pupils inquiring. He would have given
-worlds, now, to have that German lad back again with a sound mind.
-
-And now at this moment, when hope was dead, Tom Sawyer came forward
-with nine yellow tickets, nine red tickets, and ten blue ones, and
-demanded a Bible. This was a thunderbolt out of a clear sky. Walters
-was not expecting an application from this source for the next ten
-years. But there was no getting around it--here were the certified
-checks, and they were good for their face. Tom was therefore elevated
-to a place with the Judge and the other elect, and the great news was
-announced from headquarters. It was the most stunning surprise of the
-decade, and so profound was the sensation that it lifted the new hero
-up to the judicial one's altitude, and the school had two marvels to
-gaze upon in place of one. The boys were all eaten up with envy--but
-those that suffered the bitterest pangs were those who perceived too
-late that they themselves had contributed to this hated splendor by
-trading tickets to Tom for the wealth he had amassed in selling
-whitewashing privileges. These despised themselves, as being the dupes
-of a wily fraud, a guileful snake in the grass.
-
-The prize was delivered to Tom with as much effusion as the
-superintendent could pump up under the circumstances; but it lacked
-somewhat of the true gush, for the poor fellow's instinct taught him
-that there was a mystery here that could not well bear the light,
-perhaps; it was simply preposterous that this boy had warehoused two
-thousand sheaves of Scriptural wisdom on his premises--a dozen would
-strain his capacity, without a doubt.
-
-Amy Lawrence was proud and glad, and she tried to make Tom see it in
-her face--but he wouldn't look. She wondered; then she was just a grain
-troubled; next a dim suspicion came and went--came again; she watched;
-a furtive glance told her worlds--and then her heart broke, and she was
-jealous, and angry, and the tears came and she hated everybody. Tom
-most of all (she thought).
-
-Tom was introduced to the Judge; but his tongue was tied, his breath
-would hardly come, his heart quaked--partly because of the awful
-greatness of the man, but mainly because he was her parent. He would
-have liked to fall down and worship him, if it were in the dark. The
-Judge put his hand on Tom's head and called him a fine little man, and
-asked him what his name was. The boy stammered, gasped, and got it out:
-
-"Tom."
-
-"Oh, no, not Tom--it is--"
-
-"Thomas."
-
-"Ah, that's it. I thought there was more to it, maybe. That's very
-well. But you've another one I daresay, and you'll tell it to me, won't
-you?"
-
-"Tell the gentleman your other name, Thomas," said Walters, "and say
-sir. You mustn't forget your manners."
-
-"Thomas Sawyer--sir."
-
-"That's it! That's a good boy. Fine boy. Fine, manly little fellow.
-Two thousand verses is a great many--very, very great many. And you
-never can be sorry for the trouble you took to learn them; for
-knowledge is worth more than anything there is in the world; it's what
-makes great men and good men; you'll be a great man and a good man
-yourself, some day, Thomas, and then you'll look back and say, It's all
-owing to the precious Sunday-school privileges of my boyhood--it's all
-owing to my dear teachers that taught me to learn--it's all owing to
-the good superintendent, who encouraged me, and watched over me, and
-gave me a beautiful Bible--a splendid elegant Bible--to keep and have
-it all for my own, always--it's all owing to right bringing up! That is
-what you will say, Thomas--and you wouldn't take any money for those
-two thousand verses--no indeed you wouldn't. And now you wouldn't mind
-telling me and this lady some of the things you've learned--no, I know
-you wouldn't--for we are proud of little boys that learn. Now, no
-doubt you know the names of all the twelve disciples. Won't you tell us
-the names of the first two that were appointed?"
-
-Tom was tugging at a button-hole and looking sheepish. He blushed,
-now, and his eyes fell. Mr. Walters' heart sank within him. He said to
-himself, it is not possible that the boy can answer the simplest
-question--why DID the Judge ask him? Yet he felt obliged to speak up
-and say:
-
-"Answer the gentleman, Thomas--don't be afraid."
-
-Tom still hung fire.
-
-"Now I know you'll tell me," said the lady. "The names of the first
-two disciples were--"
-
-"DAVID AND GOLIAH!"
-
-Let us draw the curtain of charity over the rest of the scene.
-
-
-
-CHAPTER V
-
-ABOUT half-past ten the cracked bell of the small church began to
-ring, and presently the people began to gather for the morning sermon.
-The Sunday-school children distributed themselves about the house and
-occupied pews with their parents, so as to be under supervision. Aunt
-Polly came, and Tom and Sid and Mary sat with her--Tom being placed
-next the aisle, in order that he might be as far away from the open
-window and the seductive outside summer scenes as possible. The crowd
-filed up the aisles: the aged and needy postmaster, who had seen better
-days; the mayor and his wife--for they had a mayor there, among other
-unnecessaries; the justice of the peace; the widow Douglass, fair,
-smart, and forty, a generous, good-hearted soul and well-to-do, her
-hill mansion the only palace in the town, and the most hospitable and
-much the most lavish in the matter of festivities that St. Petersburg
-could boast; the bent and venerable Major and Mrs. Ward; lawyer
-Riverson, the new notable from a distance; next the belle of the
-village, followed by a troop of lawn-clad and ribbon-decked young
-heart-breakers; then all the young clerks in town in a body--for they
-had stood in the vestibule sucking their cane-heads, a circling wall of
-oiled and simpering admirers, till the last girl had run their gantlet;
-and last of all came the Model Boy, Willie Mufferson, taking as heedful
-care of his mother as if she were cut glass. He always brought his
-mother to church, and was the pride of all the matrons. The boys all
-hated him, he was so good. And besides, he had been "thrown up to them"
-so much. His white handkerchief was hanging out of his pocket behind, as
-usual on Sundays--accidentally. Tom had no handkerchief, and he looked
-upon boys who had as snobs.
-
-The congregation being fully assembled, now, the bell rang once more,
-to warn laggards and stragglers, and then a solemn hush fell upon the
-church which was only broken by the tittering and whispering of the
-choir in the gallery. The choir always tittered and whispered all
-through service. There was once a church choir that was not ill-bred,
-but I have forgotten where it was, now. It was a great many years ago,
-and I can scarcely remember anything about it, but I think it was in
-some foreign country.
-
-The minister gave out the hymn, and read it through with a relish, in
-a peculiar style which was much admired in that part of the country.
-His voice began on a medium key and climbed steadily up till it reached
-a certain point, where it bore with strong emphasis upon the topmost
-word and then plunged down as if from a spring-board:
-
-  Shall I be car-ri-ed toe the skies, on flow'ry BEDS of ease,
-
-  Whilst others fight to win the prize, and sail thro' BLOODY seas?
-
-He was regarded as a wonderful reader. At church "sociables" he was
-always called upon to read poetry; and when he was through, the ladies
-would lift up their hands and let them fall helplessly in their laps,
-and "wall" their eyes, and shake their heads, as much as to say, "Words
-cannot express it; it is too beautiful, TOO beautiful for this mortal
-earth."
-
-After the hymn had been sung, the Rev. Mr. Sprague turned himself into
-a bulletin-board, and read off "notices" of meetings and societies and
-things till it seemed that the list would stretch out to the crack of
-doom--a queer custom which is still kept up in America, even in cities,
-away here in this age of abundant newspapers. Often, the less there is
-to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.
-
-And now the minister prayed. A good, generous prayer it was, and went
-into details: it pleaded for the church, and the little children of the
-church; for the other churches of the village; for the village itself;
-for the county; for the State; for the State officers; for the United
-States; for the churches of the United States; for Congress; for the
-President; for the officers of the Government; for poor sailors, tossed
-by stormy seas; for the oppressed millions groaning under the heel of
-European monarchies and Oriental despotisms; for such as have the light
-and the good tidings, and yet have not eyes to see nor ears to hear
-withal; for the heathen in the far islands of the sea; and closed with
-a supplication that the words he was about to speak might find grace
-and favor, and be as seed sown in fertile ground, yielding in time a
-grateful harvest of good. Amen.
-
-There was a rustling of dresses, and the standing congregation sat
-down. The boy whose history this book relates did not enjoy the prayer,
-he only endured it--if he even did that much. He was restive all
-through it; he kept tally of the details of the prayer, unconsciously
---for he was not listening, but he knew the ground of old, and the
-clergyman's regular route over it--and when a little trifle of new
-matter was interlarded, his ear detected it and his whole nature
-resented it; he considered additions unfair, and scoundrelly. In the
-midst of the prayer a fly had lit on the back of the pew in front of
-him and tortured his spirit by calmly rubbing its hands together,
-embracing its head with its arms, and polishing it so vigorously that
-it seemed to almost part company with the body, and the slender thread
-of a neck was exposed to view; scraping its wings with its hind legs
-and smoothing them to its body as if they had been coat-tails; going
-through its whole toilet as tranquilly as if it knew it was perfectly
-safe. As indeed it was; for as sorely as Tom's hands itched to grab for
-it they did not dare--he believed his soul would be instantly destroyed
-if he did such a thing while the prayer was going on. But with the
-closing sentence his hand began to curve and steal forward; and the
-instant the "Amen" was out the fly was a prisoner of war. His aunt
-detected the act and made him let it go.
-
-The minister gave out his text and droned along monotonously through
-an argument that was so prosy that many a head by and by began to nod
---and yet it was an argument that dealt in limitless fire and brimstone
-and thinned the predestined elect down to a company so small as to be
-hardly worth the saving. Tom counted the pages of the sermon; after
-church he always knew how many pages there had been, but he seldom knew
-anything else about the discourse. However, this time he was really
-interested for a little while. The minister made a grand and moving
-picture of the assembling together of the world's hosts at the
-millennium when the lion and the lamb should lie down together and a
-little child should lead them. But the pathos, the lesson, the moral of
-the great spectacle were lost upon the boy; he only thought of the
-conspicuousness of the principal character before the on-looking
-nations; his face lit with the thought, and he said to himself that he
-wished he could be that child, if it was a tame lion.
-
-Now he lapsed into suffering again, as the dry argument was resumed.
-Presently he bethought him of a treasure he had and got it out. It was
-a large black beetle with formidable jaws--a "pinchbug," he called it.
-It was in a percussion-cap box. The first thing the beetle did was to
-take him by the finger. A natural fillip followed, the beetle went
-floundering into the aisle and lit on its back, and the hurt finger
-went into the boy's mouth. The beetle lay there working its helpless
-legs, unable to turn over. Tom eyed it, and longed for it; but it was
-safe out of his reach. Other people uninterested in the sermon found
-relief in the beetle, and they eyed it too. Presently a vagrant poodle
-dog came idling along, sad at heart, lazy with the summer softness and
-the quiet, weary of captivity, sighing for change. He spied the beetle;
-the drooping tail lifted and wagged. He surveyed the prize; walked
-around it; smelt at it from a safe distance; walked around it again;
-grew bolder, and took a closer smell; then lifted his lip and made a
-gingerly snatch at it, just missing it; made another, and another;
-began to enjoy the diversion; subsided to his stomach with the beetle
-between his paws, and continued his experiments; grew weary at last,
-and then indifferent and absent-minded. His head nodded, and little by
-little his chin descended and touched the enemy, who seized it. There
-was a sharp yelp, a flirt of the poodle's head, and the beetle fell a
-couple of yards away, and lit on its back once more. The neighboring
-spectators shook with a gentle inward joy, several faces went behind
-fans and handkerchiefs, and Tom was entirely happy. The dog looked
-foolish, and probably felt so; but there was resentment in his heart,
-too, and a craving for revenge. So he went to the beetle and began a
-wary attack on it again; jumping at it from every point of a circle,
-lighting with his fore-paws within an inch of the creature, making even
-closer snatches at it with his teeth, and jerking his head till his
-ears flapped again. But he grew tired once more, after a while; tried
-to amuse himself with a fly but found no relief; followed an ant
-around, with his nose close to the floor, and quickly wearied of that;
-yawned, sighed, forgot the beetle entirely, and sat down on it. Then
-there was a wild yelp of agony and the poodle went sailing up the
-aisle; the yelps continued, and so did the dog; he crossed the house in
-front of the altar; he flew down the other aisle; he crossed before the
-doors; he clamored up the home-stretch; his anguish grew with his
-progress, till presently he was but a woolly comet moving in its orbit
-with the gleam and the speed of light. At last the frantic sufferer
-sheered from its course, and sprang into its master's lap; he flung it
-out of the window, and the voice of distress quickly thinned away and
-died in the distance.
-
-By this time the whole church was red-faced and suffocating with
-suppressed laughter, and the sermon had come to a dead standstill. The
-discourse was resumed presently, but it went lame and halting, all
-possibility of impressiveness being at an end; for even the gravest
-sentiments were constantly being received with a smothered burst of
-unholy mirth, under cover of some remote pew-back, as if the poor
-parson had said a rarely facetious thing. It was a genuine relief to
-the whole congregation when the ordeal was over and the benediction
-pronounced.
-
-Tom Sawyer went home quite cheerful, thinking to himself that there
-was some satisfaction about divine service when there was a bit of
-variety in it. He had but one marring thought; he was willing that the
-dog should play with his pinchbug, but he did not think it was upright
-in him to carry it off.
-
-
-
-CHAPTER VI
-
-MONDAY morning found Tom Sawyer miserable. Monday morning always found
-him so--because it began another week's slow suffering in school. He
-generally began that day with wishing he had had no intervening
-holiday, it made the going into captivity and fetters again so much
-more odious.
-
-Tom lay thinking. Presently it occurred to him that he wished he was
-sick; then he could stay home from school. Here was a vague
-possibility. He canvassed his system. No ailment was found, and he
-investigated again. This time he thought he could detect colicky
-symptoms, and he began to encourage them with considerable hope. But
-they soon grew feeble, and presently died wholly away. He reflected
-further. Suddenly he discovered something. One of his upper front teeth
-was loose. This was lucky; he was about to begin to groan, as a
-"starter," as he called it, when it occurred to him that if he came
-into court with that argument, his aunt would pull it out, and that
-would hurt. So he thought he would hold the tooth in reserve for the
-present, and seek further. Nothing offered for some little time, and
-then he remembered hearing the doctor tell about a certain thing that
-laid up a patient for two or three weeks and threatened to make him
-lose a finger. So the boy eagerly drew his sore toe from under the
-sheet and held it up for inspection. But now he did not know the
-necessary symptoms. However, it seemed well worth while to chance it,
-so he fell to groaning with considerable spirit.
-
-But Sid slept on unconscious.
-
-Tom groaned louder, and fancied that he began to feel pain in the toe.
-
-No result from Sid.
-
-Tom was panting with his exertions by this time. He took a rest and
-then swelled himself up and fetched a succession of admirable groans.
-
-Sid snored on.
-
-Tom was aggravated. He said, "Sid, Sid!" and shook him. This course
-worked well, and Tom began to groan again. Sid yawned, stretched, then
-brought himself up on his elbow with a snort, and began to stare at
-Tom. Tom went on groaning. Sid said:
-
-"Tom! Say, Tom!" [No response.] "Here, Tom! TOM! What is the matter,
-Tom?" And he shook him and looked in his face anxiously.
-
-Tom moaned out:
-
-"Oh, don't, Sid. Don't joggle me."
-
-"Why, what's the matter, Tom? I must call auntie."
-
-"No--never mind. It'll be over by and by, maybe. Don't call anybody."
-
-"But I must! DON'T groan so, Tom, it's awful. How long you been this
-way?"
-
-"Hours. Ouch! Oh, don't stir so, Sid, you'll kill me."
-
-"Tom, why didn't you wake me sooner? Oh, Tom, DON'T! It makes my
-flesh crawl to hear you. Tom, what is the matter?"
-
-"I forgive you everything, Sid. [Groan.] Everything you've ever done
-to me. When I'm gone--"
-
-"Oh, Tom, you ain't dying, are you? Don't, Tom--oh, don't. Maybe--"
-
-"I forgive everybody, Sid. [Groan.] Tell 'em so, Sid. And Sid, you
-give my window-sash and my cat with one eye to that new girl that's
-come to town, and tell her--"
-
-But Sid had snatched his clothes and gone. Tom was suffering in
-reality, now, so handsomely was his imagination working, and so his
-groans had gathered quite a genuine tone.
-
-Sid flew down-stairs and said:
-
-"Oh, Aunt Polly, come! Tom's dying!"
-
-"Dying!"
-
-"Yes'm. Don't wait--come quick!"
-
-"Rubbage! I don't believe it!"
-
-But she fled up-stairs, nevertheless, with Sid and Mary at her heels.
-And her face grew white, too, and her lip trembled. When she reached
-the bedside she gasped out:
-
-"You, Tom! Tom, what's the matter with you?"
-
-"Oh, auntie, I'm--"
-
-"What's the matter with you--what is the matter with you, child?"
-
-"Oh, auntie, my sore toe's mortified!"
-
-The old lady sank down into a chair and laughed a little, then cried a
-little, then did both together. This restored her and she said:
-
-"Tom, what a turn you did give me. Now you shut up that nonsense and
-climb out of this."
-
-The groans ceased and the pain vanished from the toe. The boy felt a
-little foolish, and he said:
-
-"Aunt Polly, it SEEMED mortified, and it hurt so I never minded my
-tooth at all."
-
-"Your tooth, indeed! What's the matter with your tooth?"
-
-"One of them's loose, and it aches perfectly awful."
-
-"There, there, now, don't begin that groaning again. Open your mouth.
-Well--your tooth IS loose, but you're not going to die about that.
-Mary, get me a silk thread, and a chunk of fire out of the kitchen."
-
-Tom said:
-
-"Oh, please, auntie, don't pull it out. It don't hurt any more. I wish
-I may never stir if it does. Please don't, auntie. I don't want to stay
-home from school."
-
-"Oh, you don't, don't you? So all this row was because you thought
-you'd get to stay home from school and go a-fishing? Tom, Tom, I love
-you so, and you seem to try every way you can to break my old heart
-with your outrageousness." By this time the dental instruments were
-ready. The old lady made one end of the silk thread fast to Tom's tooth
-with a loop and tied the other to the bedpost. Then she seized the
-chunk of fire and suddenly thrust it almost into the boy's face. The
-tooth hung dangling by the bedpost, now.
-
-But all trials bring their compensations. As Tom wended to school
-after breakfast, he was the envy of every boy he met because the gap in
-his upper row of teeth enabled him to expectorate in a new and
-admirable way. He gathered quite a following of lads interested in the
-exhibition; and one that had cut his finger and had been a centre of
-fascination and homage up to this time, now found himself suddenly
-without an adherent, and shorn of his glory. His heart was heavy, and
-he said with a disdain which he did not feel that it wasn't anything to
-spit like Tom Sawyer; but another boy said, "Sour grapes!" and he
-wandered away a dismantled hero.
-
-Shortly Tom came upon the juvenile pariah of the village, Huckleberry
-Finn, son of the town drunkard. Huckleberry was cordially hated and
-dreaded by all the mothers of the town, because he was idle and lawless
-and vulgar and bad--and because all their children admired him so, and
-delighted in his forbidden society, and wished they dared to be like
-him. Tom was like the rest of the respectable boys, in that he envied
-Huckleberry his gaudy outcast condition, and was under strict orders
-not to play with him. So he played with him every time he got a chance.
-Huckleberry was always dressed in the cast-off clothes of full-grown
-men, and they were in perennial bloom and fluttering with rags. His hat
-was a vast ruin with a wide crescent lopped out of its brim; his coat,
-when he wore one, hung nearly to his heels and had the rearward buttons
-far down the back; but one suspender supported his trousers; the seat
-of the trousers bagged low and contained nothing, the fringed legs
-dragged in the dirt when not rolled up.
-
-Huckleberry came and went, at his own free will. He slept on doorsteps
-in fine weather and in empty hogsheads in wet; he did not have to go to
-school or to church, or call any being master or obey anybody; he could
-go fishing or swimming when and where he chose, and stay as long as it
-suited him; nobody forbade him to fight; he could sit up as late as he
-pleased; he was always the first boy that went barefoot in the spring
-and the last to resume leather in the fall; he never had to wash, nor
-put on clean clothes; he could swear wonderfully. In a word, everything
-that goes to make life precious that boy had. So thought every
-harassed, hampered, respectable boy in St. Petersburg.
-
-Tom hailed the romantic outcast:
-
-"Hello, Huckleberry!"
-
-"Hello yourself, and see how you like it."
-
-"What's that you got?"
-
-"Dead cat."
-
-"Lemme see him, Huck. My, he's pretty stiff. Where'd you get him?"
-
-"Bought him off'n a boy."
-
-"What did you give?"
-
-"I give a blue ticket and a bladder that I got at the slaughter-house."
-
-"Where'd you get the blue ticket?"
-
-"Bought it off'n Ben Rogers two weeks ago for a hoop-stick."
-
-"Say--what is dead cats good for, Huck?"
-
-"Good for? Cure warts with."
-
-"No! Is that so? I know something that's better."
-
-"I bet you don't. What is it?"
-
-"Why, spunk-water."
-
-"Spunk-water! I wouldn't give a dern for spunk-water."
-
-"You wouldn't, wouldn't you? D'you ever try it?"
-
-"No, I hain't. But Bob Tanner did."
-
-"Who told you so!"
-
-"Why, he told Jeff Thatcher, and Jeff told Johnny Baker, and Johnny
-told Jim Hollis, and Jim told Ben Rogers, and Ben told a nigger, and
-the nigger told me. There now!"
-
-"Well, what of it? They'll all lie. Leastways all but the nigger. I
-don't know HIM. But I never see a nigger that WOULDN'T lie. Shucks! Now
-you tell me how Bob Tanner done it, Huck."
-
-"Why, he took and dipped his hand in a rotten stump where the
-rain-water was."
-
-"In the daytime?"
-
-"Certainly."
-
-"With his face to the stump?"
-
-"Yes. Least I reckon so."
-
-"Did he say anything?"
-
-"I don't reckon he did. I don't know."
-
-"Aha! Talk about trying to cure warts with spunk-water such a blame
-fool way as that! Why, that ain't a-going to do any good. You got to go
-all by yourself, to the middle of the woods, where you know there's a
-spunk-water stump, and just as it's midnight you back up against the
-stump and jam your hand in and say:
-
-  'Barley-corn, barley-corn, injun-meal shorts,
-   Spunk-water, spunk-water, swaller these warts,'
-
-and then walk away quick, eleven steps, with your eyes shut, and then
-turn around three times and walk home without speaking to anybody.
-Because if you speak the charm's busted."
-
-"Well, that sounds like a good way; but that ain't the way Bob Tanner
-done."
-
-"No, sir, you can bet he didn't, becuz he's the wartiest boy in this
-town; and he wouldn't have a wart on him if he'd knowed how to work
-spunk-water. I've took off thousands of warts off of my hands that way,
-Huck. I play with frogs so much that I've always got considerable many
-warts. Sometimes I take 'em off with a bean."
-
-"Yes, bean's good. I've done that."
-
-"Have you? What's your way?"
-
-"You take and split the bean, and cut the wart so as to get some
-blood, and then you put the blood on one piece of the bean and take and
-dig a hole and bury it 'bout midnight at the crossroads in the dark of
-the moon, and then you burn up the rest of the bean. You see that piece
-that's got the blood on it will keep drawing and drawing, trying to
-fetch the other piece to it, and so that helps the blood to draw the
-wart, and pretty soon off she comes."
-
-"Yes, that's it, Huck--that's it; though when you're burying it if you
-say 'Down bean; off wart; come no more to bother me!' it's better.
-That's the way Joe Harper does, and he's been nearly to Coonville and
-most everywheres. But say--how do you cure 'em with dead cats?"
-
-"Why, you take your cat and go and get in the graveyard 'long about
-midnight when somebody that was wicked has been buried; and when it's
-midnight a devil will come, or maybe two or three, but you can't see
-'em, you can only hear something like the wind, or maybe hear 'em talk;
-and when they're taking that feller away, you heave your cat after 'em
-and say, 'Devil follow corpse, cat follow devil, warts follow cat, I'm
-done with ye!' That'll fetch ANY wart."
-
-"Sounds right. D'you ever try it, Huck?"
-
-"No, but old Mother Hopkins told me."
-
-"Well, I reckon it's so, then. Becuz they say she's a witch."
-
-"Say! Why, Tom, I KNOW she is. She witched pap. Pap says so his own
-self. He come along one day, and he see she was a-witching him, so he
-took up a rock, and if she hadn't dodged, he'd a got her. Well, that
-very night he rolled off'n a shed wher' he was a layin drunk, and broke
-his arm."
-
-"Why, that's awful. How did he know she was a-witching him?"
-
-"Lord, pap can tell, easy. Pap says when they keep looking at you
-right stiddy, they're a-witching you. Specially if they mumble. Becuz
-when they mumble they're saying the Lord's Prayer backards."
-
-"Say, Hucky, when you going to try the cat?"
-
-"To-night. I reckon they'll come after old Hoss Williams to-night."
-
-"But they buried him Saturday. Didn't they get him Saturday night?"
-
-"Why, how you talk! How could their charms work till midnight?--and
-THEN it's Sunday. Devils don't slosh around much of a Sunday, I don't
-reckon."
-
-"I never thought of that. That's so. Lemme go with you?"
-
-"Of course--if you ain't afeard."
-
-"Afeard! 'Tain't likely. Will you meow?"
-
-"Yes--and you meow back, if you get a chance. Last time, you kep' me
-a-meowing around till old Hays went to throwing rocks at me and says
-'Dern that cat!' and so I hove a brick through his window--but don't
-you tell."
-
-"I won't. I couldn't meow that night, becuz auntie was watching me,
-but I'll meow this time. Say--what's that?"
-
-"Nothing but a tick."
-
-"Where'd you get him?"
-
-"Out in the woods."
-
-"What'll you take for him?"
-
-"I don't know. I don't want to sell him."
-
-"All right. It's a mighty small tick, anyway."
-
-"Oh, anybody can run a tick down that don't belong to them. I'm
-satisfied with it. It's a good enough tick for me."
-
-"Sho, there's ticks a plenty. I could have a thousand of 'em if I
-wanted to."
-
-"Well, why don't you? Becuz you know mighty well you can't. This is a
-pretty early tick, I reckon. It's the first one I've seen this year."
-
-"Say, Huck--I'll give you my tooth for him."
-
-"Less see it."
-
-Tom got out a bit of paper and carefully unrolled it. Huckleberry
-viewed it wistfully. The temptation was very strong. At last he said:
-
-"Is it genuwyne?"
-
-Tom lifted his lip and showed the vacancy.
-
-"Well, all right," said Huckleberry, "it's a trade."
-
-Tom enclosed the tick in the percussion-cap box that had lately been
-the pinchbug's prison, and the boys separated, each feeling wealthier
-than before.
-
-When Tom reached the little isolated frame schoolhouse, he strode in
-briskly, with the manner of one who had come with all honest speed.
-He hung his hat on a peg and flung himself into his seat with
-business-like alacrity. The master, throned on high in his great
-splint-bottom arm-chair, was dozing, lulled by the drowsy hum of study.
-The interruption roused him.
-
-"Thomas Sawyer!"
-
-Tom knew that when his name was pronounced in full, it meant trouble.
-
-"Sir!"
-
-"Come up here. Now, sir, why are you late again, as usual?"
-
-Tom was about to take refuge in a lie, when he saw two long tails of
-yellow hair hanging down a back that he recognized by the electric
-sympathy of love; and by that form was THE ONLY VACANT PLACE on the
-girls' side of the schoolhouse. He instantly said:
-
-"I STOPPED TO TALK WITH HUCKLEBERRY FINN!"
-
-The master's pulse stood still, and he stared helplessly. The buzz of
-study ceased. The pupils wondered if this foolhardy boy had lost his
-mind. The master said:
-
-"You--you did what?"
-
-"Stopped to talk with Huckleberry Finn."
-
-There was no mistaking the words.
-
-"Thomas Sawyer, this is the most astounding confession I have ever
-listened to. No mere ferule will answer for this offence. Take off your
-jacket."
-
-The master's arm performed until it was tired and the stock of
-switches notably diminished. Then the order followed:
-
-"Now, sir, go and sit with the girls! And let this be a warning to you."
-
-The titter that rippled around the room appeared to abash the boy, but
-in reality that result was caused rather more by his worshipful awe of
-his unknown idol and the dread pleasure that lay in his high good
-fortune. He sat down upon the end of the pine bench and the girl
-hitched herself away from him with a toss of her head. Nudges and winks
-and whispers traversed the room, but Tom sat still, with his arms upon
-the long, low desk before him, and seemed to study his book.
-
-By and by attention ceased from him, and the accustomed school murmur
-rose upon the dull air once more. Presently the boy began to steal
-furtive glances at the girl. She observed it, "made a mouth" at him and
-gave him the back of her head for the space of a minute. When she
-cautiously faced around again, a peach lay before her. She thrust it
-away. Tom gently put it back. She thrust it away again, but with less
-animosity. Tom patiently returned it to its place. Then she let it
-remain. Tom scrawled on his slate, "Please take it--I got more." The
-girl glanced at the words, but made no sign. Now the boy began to draw
-something on the slate, hiding his work with his left hand. For a time
-the girl refused to notice; but her human curiosity presently began to
-manifest itself by hardly perceptible signs. The boy worked on,
-apparently unconscious. The girl made a sort of noncommittal attempt to
-see, but the boy did not betray that he was aware of it. At last she
-gave in and hesitatingly whispered:
-
-"Let me see it."
-
-Tom partly uncovered a dismal caricature of a house with two gable
-ends to it and a corkscrew of smoke issuing from the chimney. Then the
-girl's interest began to fasten itself upon the work and she forgot
-everything else. When it was finished, she gazed a moment, then
-whispered:
-
-"It's nice--make a man."
-
-The artist erected a man in the front yard, that resembled a derrick.
-He could have stepped over the house; but the girl was not
-hypercritical; she was satisfied with the monster, and whispered:
-
-"It's a beautiful man--now make me coming along."
-
-Tom drew an hour-glass with a full moon and straw limbs to it and
-armed the spreading fingers with a portentous fan. The girl said:
-
-"It's ever so nice--I wish I could draw."
-
-"It's easy," whispered Tom, "I'll learn you."
-
-"Oh, will you? When?"
-
-"At noon. Do you go home to dinner?"
-
-"I'll stay if you will."
-
-"Good--that's a whack. What's your name?"
-
-"Becky Thatcher. What's yours? Oh, I know. It's Thomas Sawyer."
-
-"That's the name they lick me by. I'm Tom when I'm good. You call me
-Tom, will you?"
-
-"Yes."
-
-Now Tom began to scrawl something on the slate, hiding the words from
-the girl. But she was not backward this time. She begged to see. Tom
-said:
-
-"Oh, it ain't anything."
-
-"Yes it is."
-
-"No it ain't. You don't want to see."
-
-"Yes I do, indeed I do. Please let me."
-
-"You'll tell."
-
-"No I won't--deed and deed and double deed won't."
-
-"You won't tell anybody at all? Ever, as long as you live?"
-
-"No, I won't ever tell ANYbody. Now let me."
-
-"Oh, YOU don't want to see!"
-
-"Now that you treat me so, I WILL see." And she put her small hand
-upon his and a little scuffle ensued, Tom pretending to resist in
-earnest but letting his hand slip by degrees till these words were
-revealed: "I LOVE YOU."
-
-"Oh, you bad thing!" And she hit his hand a smart rap, but reddened
-and looked pleased, nevertheless.
-
-Just at this juncture the boy felt a slow, fateful grip closing on his
-ear, and a steady lifting impulse. In that wise he was borne across the
-house and deposited in his own seat, under a peppering fire of giggles
-from the whole school. Then the master stood over him during a few
-awful moments, and finally moved away to his throne without saying a
-word. But although Tom's ear tingled, his heart was jubilant.
-
-As the school quieted down Tom made an honest effort to study, but the
-turmoil within him was too great. In turn he took his place in the
-reading class and made a botch of it; then in the geography class and
-turned lakes into mountains, mountains into rivers, and rivers into
-continents, till chaos was come again; then in the spelling class, and
-got "turned down," by a succession of mere baby words, till he brought
-up at the foot and yielded up the pewter medal which he had worn with
-ostentation for months.
-
-
-
-CHAPTER VII
-
-THE harder Tom tried to fasten his mind on his book, the more his
-ideas wandered. So at last, with a sigh and a yawn, he gave it up. It
-seemed to him that the noon recess would never come. The air was
-utterly dead. There was not a breath stirring. It was the sleepiest of
-sleepy days. The drowsing murmur of the five and twenty studying
-scholars soothed the soul like the spell that is in the murmur of bees.
-Away off in the flaming sunshine, Cardiff Hill lifted its soft green
-sides through a shimmering veil of heat, tinted with 

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