Infomotions, Inc.Tom Sawyer, Detective / Twain, Mark



Author: Twain, Mark
Title: Tom Sawyer, Detective
Publisher: Wiretap Electronic Text Archive
Tag(s): jubiter; uncle silas; tom; silas; jubiter dunlap; tom sawyer; huck; dunlap; aunt sally; uncle; brace dunlap; huck finn; uncle silas's; aunt; reckon; jim lane; tom says; got; american literature
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Identifier: twain-tom-40
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Internet Wiretap Edition of

TOM SAWYER, DETECTIVE by MARK TWAIN

From "The Writings of Mark Twain, Volume XX"
Copyright 1903, Samuel Clemens.

This text is placed in the Public Domain, May 1993.

Electronic edition by <dell@wiretap.spies.com>

TOM SAWYER, DETECTIVE

CHAPTER I.
AN INVITATION FOR TOM AND HUCK

[Footnote:  Strange as the incidents of this story are,
they are not inventions, but facts -- even to the
public confession of the accused. I take them from an
old-time Swedish criminal trial, change the actors, 
and transfer the scenes to America. I have added some
details, but only a couple of them are important
ones. -- M. T.]
                                 
WELL, it was the next spring after me and Tom
Sawyer set our old nigger Jim free, the time he
was chained up for a runaway slave down there on
Tom's uncle Silas's farm in Arkansaw. The frost was
working out of the ground, and out of the air, too, and
it was getting closer and closer onto barefoot time every
day; and next it would be marble time, and next
mumbletypeg, and next tops and hoops, and next
kites, and then right away it would be summer and go-
ing in a-swimming. It just makes a boy homesick to
look ahead like that and see how far off summer is.
Yes, and it sets him to sighing and saddening around,
and there's something the matter with him, he don't
know what. But anyway, he gets out by himself and
mopes and thinks; and mostly he hunts for a lone-
some place high up on the hill in the edge of the woods,
and sets there and looks away off on the big Mississippi
down there a-reaching miles and miles around the points
where the timber looks smoky and dim it's so far off and
still, and everything's so solemn it seems like everybody
you've loved is dead and gone, and you 'most wish you
was dead and gone too, and done with it all.

Don't you know what that is? It's spring fever.
That is what the name of it is. And when you've got
it, you want -- oh, you don't quite know what it is you
DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you
want it so! It seems to you that mainly what you want
is to get away; get away from the same old tedious
things you're so used to seeing and so tired of, and set
something new. That is the idea; you want to go and
be a wanderer; you want to go wandering far away to
strange countries where everything is mysterious and
wonderful and romantic. And if you can't do that,
you'll put up with considerable less; you'll go any-
where you CAN go, just so as to get away, and be thank-
ful of the chance, too.

Well, me and Tom Sawyer had the spring fever, and
had it bad, too; but it warn't any use to think about
Tom trying to get away, because, as he said, his Aunt
Polly wouldn't let him quit school and go traipsing off
somers wasting time; so we was pretty blue. We was
setting on the front steps one day about sundown talk-
ing this way, when out comes his aunt Polly with a
letter in her hand and says:

"Tom, I reckon you've got to pack up and go down
to Arkansaw -- your aunt Sally wants you."

I 'most jumped out of my skin for joy. I reckoned
Tom would fly at his aunt and hug her head off; but if
you believe me he set there like a rock, and never said
a word. It made me fit to cry to see him act so foolish,
with such a noble chance as this opening up. Why,
we might lose it if he didn't speak up and show he was
thankful and grateful. But he set there and studied
and studied till I was that distressed I didn't know
what to do; then he says, very ca'm, and I could a
shot him for it:

"Well," he says, "I'm right down sorry, Aunt
Polly, but I reckon I got to be excused -- for the
present."

His aunt Polly was knocked so stupid and so mad at
the cold impudence of it that she couldn't say a word
for as much as a half a minute, and this gave me a
chance to nudge Tom and whisper:

"Ain't you got any sense? Sp'iling such a noble
chance as this and throwing it away?"

But he warn't disturbed. He mumbled back:

"Huck Finn, do you want me to let her SEE how bad
I want to go? Why, she'd begin to doubt, right
away, and imagine a lot of sicknesses and dangers and
objections, and first you know she'd take it all back.
You lemme alone; I reckon I know how to work her."

Now I never would 'a' thought of that. But he was
right. Tom Sawyer was always right -- the levelest
head I ever see, and always AT himself and ready for
anything you might spring on him. By this time his
aunt Polly was all straight again, and she let fly. She
says:

"You'll be excused! YOU will! Well, I never
heard the like of it in all my days! The idea of you
talking like that to ME! Now take yourself off and
pack your traps; and if I hear another word out of
you about what you'll be excused from and what you
won't, I lay I'LL excuse you -- with a hickory!"

She hit his head a thump with her thimble as we
dodged by, and he let on to be whimpering as we
struck for the stairs. Up in his room he hugged me,
he was so out of his head for gladness because he was
going traveling. And he says:

"Before we get away she'll wish she hadn't let me
go, but she won't know any way to get around it now.
After what she's said, her pride won't let her take it
back."

Tom was packed in ten minutes, all except what his
aunt and Mary would finish up for him; then we waited
ten more for her to get cooled down and sweet and
gentle again; for Tom said it took her ten minutes to
unruffle in times when half of her feathers was up, but
twenty when they was all up, and this was one of the
times when they was all up. Then we went down,
being in a sweat to know what the letter said.

She was setting there in a brown study, with it laying
in her lap. We set down, and she says:

"They're in considerable trouble down there, and
they think you and Huck'll be a kind of diversion for
them -- 'comfort,' they say. Much of that they'll get
out of you and Huck Finn, I reckon. There's a neigh-
bor named Brace Dunlap that's been wanting to marry
their Benny for three months, and at last they told him
point blank and once for all, he COULDN'T; so he has soured
on them, and they're worried about it. I reckon he's
somebody they think they better be on the good side
of, for they've tried to please him by hiring his no-
account brother to help on the farm when they can't
hardly afford it, and don't want him around anyhow.
Who are the Dunlaps?"

"They live about a mile from Uncle Silas's place,
Aunt Polly -- all the farmers live about a mile apart
down there -- and Brace Dunlap is a long sight richer
than any of the others, and owns a whole grist of nig-
gers. He's a widower, thirty-six years old, without
any children, and is proud of his money and overbear-
ing, and everybody is a little afraid of him. I judge he
thought he could have any girl he wanted, just for the
asking, and it must have set him back a good deal when
he found he couldn't get Benny. Why, Benny's only
half as old as he is, and just as sweet and lovely asÑ
well, you've seen her. Poor old Uncle Silas -- why,
it's pitiful, him trying to curry favor that way -- so hard
pushed and poor, and yet hiring that useless Jubiter
Dunlap to please his ornery brother."

"What a name -- Jubiter! Where'd he get it?"

"It's only just a nickname. I reckon they've forgot
his real name long before this. He's twenty-seven,
now, and has had it ever since the first time he ever
went in swimming. The school teacher seen a round
brown mole the size of a dime on his left leg above his
knee, and four little bits of moles around it, when he
was naked, and he said it minded him of Jubiter and
his moons; and the children thought it was funny, and
so they got to calling him Jubiter, and he's Jubiter yet.
He's tall, and lazy, and sly, and sneaky, and ruther
cowardly, too, but kind of good-natured, and wears
long brown hair and no beard, and hasn't got a cent,
and Brace boards him for nothing, and gives him his old
clothes to wear, and despises him. Jubiter is a twin."

"What's t'other twin like?"

"Just exactly like Jubiter -- so they say; used to
was, anyway, but he hain't been seen for seven years.
He got to robbing when he was nineteen or twenty,
and they jailed him; but he broke jail and got away --
up North here, somers. They used to hear about him
robbing and burglaring now and then, but that was
years ago. He's dead, now. At least that's what
they say. They don't hear about him any more."

"What was his name?"

"Jake."

There wasn't anything more said for a considerable
while; the old lady was thinking. At last she says:

"The thing that is mostly worrying your aunt Sally
is the tempers that that man Jubiter gets your uncle
into."

Tom was astonished, and so was I. Tom says:

"Tempers? Uncle Silas? Land, you must be jok-
ing! I didn't know he HAD any temper."

"Works him up into perfect rages, your aunt Sally
says; says he acts as if he would really hit the man,
sometimes."

"Aunt Polly, it beats anything I ever heard of.
Why, he's just as gentle as mush."

"Well, she's worried, anyway. Says your uncle
Silas is like a changed man, on account of all this
quarreling. And the neighbors talk about it, and lay
all the blame on your uncle, of course, because he's a
preacher and hain't got any business to quarrel. Your
aunt Sally says he hates to go into the pulpit he's so
ashamed; and the people have begun to cool toward
him, and he ain't as popular now as he used to was."

"Well, ain't it strange? Why, Aunt Polly, he was
always so good and kind and moony and absent-minded
and chuckle-headed and lovable -- why, he was just an
angel! What CAN be the matter of him, do you
reckon?"

CHAPTER II.
JAKE DUNLAP

WE had powerful good luck; because we got a
chance in a stern-wheeler from away North which
was bound for one of them bayous or one-horse rivers
away down Louisiana way, and so we could go all the
way down the Upper Mississippi and all the way down
the Lower Mississippi to that farm in Arkansaw with-
out having to change steamboats at St. Louis; not so
very much short of a thousand miles at one pull.

A pretty lonesome boat; there warn't but few
passengers, and all old folks, that set around, wide
apart, dozing, and was very quiet. We was four days
getting out of the "upper river," because we got
aground so much. But it warn't dull -- couldn't be
for boys that was traveling, of course.

From the very start me and Tom allowed that there
was somebody sick in the stateroom next to ourn, be-
cause the meals was always toted in there by the wait-
ers. By and by we asked about it -- Tom did and
the waiter said it was a man, but he didn't look sick.

"Well, but AIN'T he sick?"

"I don't know; maybe he is, but 'pears to me he's
just letting on."

"What makes you think that?"

"Because if he was sick he would pull his clothes off
SOME time or other -- don't you reckon he would?
Well, this one don't. At least he don't ever pull off
his boots, anyway."

"The mischief he don't! Not even when he goes
to bed?"

"No."

It was always nuts for Tom Sawyer -- a mystery was.
If you'd lay out a mystery and a pie before me and
him, you wouldn't have to say take your choice; it
was a thing that would regulate itself. Because in my
nature I have always run to pie, whilst in his nature he
has always run to mystery. People are made different.
And it is the best way. Tom says to the waiter:

"What's the man's name?"

"Phillips."

"Where'd he come aboard?"

"I think he got aboard at Elexandria, up on the
Iowa line."

"What do you reckon he's a-playing?"

"I hain't any notion -- I never thought of it."

I says to myself, here's another one that runs to pie.

"Anything peculiar about him? -- the way he acts or
talks?"

"No -- nothing, except he seems so scary, and
keeps his doors locked night and day both, and when
you knock he won't let you in till he opens the door a
crack and sees who it is."

"By jimminy, it's int'resting! I'd like to get a
look at him. Say -- the next time you're going in
there, don't you reckon you could spread the door
and --"

"No, indeedy! He's always behind it. He would
block that game."

Tom studied over it, and then he says:

"Looky here. You lend me your apern and let me
take him his breakfast in the morning. I'll give you a
quarter."

The boy was plenty willing enough, if the head
steward wouldn't mind. Tom says that's all right, he
reckoned he could fix it with the head steward; and he
done it. He fixed it so as we could both go in with
aperns on and toting vittles.

He didn't sleep much, he was in such a sweat to get
in there and find out the mystery about Phillips; and
moreover he done a lot of guessing about it all night,
which warn't no use, for if you are going to find out
the facts of a thing, what's the sense in guessing out
what ain't the facts and wasting ammunition? I
didn't lose no sleep. I wouldn't give a dern to know
what's the matter of Phillips, I says to myself.

Well, in the morning we put on the aperns and got a
couple of trays of truck, and Tom he knocked on the
door. The man opened it a crack, and then he let us in
and shut it quick. By Jackson, when we got a sight of
him, we 'most dropped the trays! and Tom says:

"Why, Jubiter Dunlap, where'd YOU come from?"

Well, the man was astonished, of course; and first
off he looked like he didn't know whether to be scared,
or glad, or both, or which, but finally he settled down
to being glad; and then his color come back, though at
first his face had turned pretty white. So we got to
talking together while he et his breakfast. And he
says:

"But I aint Jubiter Dunlap. I'd just as soon tell
you who I am, though, if you'll swear to keep mum,
for I ain't no Phillips, either."

Tom says:

"We'll keep mum, but there ain't any need to tell
who you are if you ain't Jubiter Dunlap."

"Why?"

"Because if you ain't him you're t'other twin, Jake.
You're the spit'n image of Jubiter."

"Well, I'm Jake. But looky here, how do you
come to know us Dunlaps?"

Tom told about the adventures we'd had down there
at his uncle Silas's last summer, and when he see that
there warn't anything about his folks -- or him either,
for that matter -- that we didn't know, he opened out
and talked perfectly free and candid. He never made
any bones about his own case; said he'd been a hard
lot, was a hard lot yet, and reckoned he'd be a hard lot
plumb to the end. He said of course it was a danger-
ous life, and --

He give a kind of gasp, and set his head like a person
that's listening. We didn't say anything, and so it
was very still for a second or so, and there warn't no
sounds but the screaking of the woodwork and the chug-
chugging of the machinery down below.

Then we got him comfortable again, telling him about
his people, and how Brace's wife had been dead three
years, and Brace wanted to marry Benny and she shook
him, and Jubiter was working for Uncle Silas, and him
and Uncle Silas quarreling all the time -- and then he
let go and laughed.

"Land!" he says, "it's like old times to hear all
this tittle-tattle, and does me good. It's been seven
years and more since I heard any. How do they talk
about me these days?"

"Who?"

"The farmers -- and the family."

"Why, they don't talk about you at all -- at least
only just a mention, once in a long time."

"The nation!" he says, surprised; "why is that?"

"Because they think you are dead long ago."

"No! Are you speaking true? -- honor bright,
now." He jumped up, excited.

"Honor bright. There ain't anybody thinks you are
alive."

"Then I'm saved, I'm saved, sure! I'll go home.
They'll hide me and save my life. You keep mum.
Swear you'll keep mum -- swear you'll never, never tell
on me. Oh, boys, be good to a poor devil that's being
hunted day and night, and dasn't show his face! I've
never done you any harm; I'll never do you any, as
God is in the heavens; swear you'll be good to me
and help me save my life."

We'd a swore it if he'd been a dog; and so we done
it. Well, he couldn't love us enough for it or be grate-
ful enough, poor cuss; it was all he could do to keep
from hugging us.

We talked along, and he got out a little hand-bag
and begun to open it, and told us to turn our backs.
We done it, and when he told us to turn again he was
perfectly different to what he was before. He had on
blue goggles and the naturalest-looking long brown
whiskers and mustashes you ever see. His own
mother wouldn't 'a' knowed him. He asked us if he
looked like his brother Jubiter, now.

"No," Tom said; "there ain't anything left that's
like him except the long hair."

"All right, I'll get that cropped close to my head be-
fore I get there; then him and Brace will keep my
secret, and I'll live with them as being a stranger, and
the neighbors won't ever guess me out. What do you
think?"

Tom he studied awhile, then he says:

"Well, of course me and Huck are going to keep
mum there, but if you don't keep mum yourself there's
going to be a little bit of a risk -- it ain't much, maybe,
but it's a little. I mean, if you talk, won't people
notice that your voice is just like Jubiter's; and
mightn't it make them think of the twin they reckoned
was dead, but maybe after all was hid all this time
under another name?"

"By George," he says, "you're a sharp one!
You're perfectly right. I've got to play deef and
dumb when there's a neighbor around. If I'd a struck
for home and forgot that little detail -- However, I
wasn't striking for home. I was breaking for any
place where I could get away from these fellows that
are after me; then I was going to put on this disguise
and get some different clothes, and --"

He jumped for the outside door and laid his ear
against it and listened, pale and kind of panting.
Presently he whispers:

"Sounded like cocking a gun! Lord, what a life to
lead!"

Then he sunk down in a chair all limp and sick like,
and wiped the sweat off of his face.

CHAPTER III.
A DIAMOND ROBBERY

FROM that time out, we was with him 'most all the
time, and one or t'other of us slept in his upper
berth. He said he had been so lonesome, and it was
such a comfort to him to have company, and somebody
to talk to in his troubles. We was in a sweat to find
out what his secret was, but Tom said the best way was
not to seem anxious, then likely he would drop into it
himself in one of his talks, but if we got to asking
questions he would get suspicious and shet up his shell.
It turned out just so. It warn't no trouble to see that
he WANTED to talk about it, but always along at first he
would scare away from it when he got on the very edge
of it, and go to talking about something else. The
way it come about was this: He got to asking us,
kind of indifferent like, about the passengers down on
deck. We told him about them. But he warn't satis-
fied; we warn't particular enough. He told us to de-
scribe them better. Tom done it. At last, when Tom
was describing one of the roughest and raggedest ones,
he gave a shiver and a gasp and says:

"Oh, lordy, that's one of them! They're aboard
sure -- I just knowed it. I sort of hoped I had got
away, but I never believed it. Go on."

Presently when Tom was describing another mangy,
rough deck passenger, he give that shiver again and
says:

"That's him! -- that's the other one. If it would
only come a good black stormy night and I could get
ashore. You see, they've got spies on me. They've
got a right to come up and buy drinks at the bar
yonder forrard, and they take that chance to bribe
somebody to keep watch on me -- porter or boots or
somebody. If I was to slip ashore without anybody
seeing me, they would know it inside of an hour."

So then he got to wandering along, and pretty soon,
sure enough, he was telling! He was poking along
through his ups and downs, and when he come to that
place he went right along. He says:

"It was a confidence game. We played it on a julery-
shop in St. Louis. What we was after was a couple of
noble big di'monds as big as hazel-nuts, which every-
body was running to see. We was dressed up fine, and
we played it on them in broad daylight. We ordered
the di'monds sent to the hotel for us to see if we
wanted to buy, and when we was examining them we
had paste counterfeits all ready, and THEM was the things
that went back to the shop when we said the water
wasn't quite fine enough for twelve thousand dollars."

"TwelveÑthousandÑdollars!" Tom says. "Was
they really worth all that money, do you reckon?"

"Every cent of it."

"And you fellows got away with them?"

"As easy as nothing. I don't reckon the julery
people know they've been robbed yet. But it wouldn't
be good sense to stay around St. Louis, of course, so
we considered where we'd go. One was for going one
way, one another, so we throwed up, heads or tails,
and the Upper Mississippi won. We done up the
di'monds in a paper and put our names on it and put
it in the keep of the hotel clerk, and told him not to
ever let either of us have it again without the others was
on hand to see it done; then we went down town, each
by his own self -- because I reckon maybe we all had
the same notion. I don't know for certain, but I
reckon maybe we had."

"What notion?" Tom says.

"To rob the others."

"What -- one take everything, after all of you had
helped to get it?"

"Cert'nly."

It disgusted Tom Sawyer, and he said it was the
orneriest, low-downest thing he ever heard of. But
Jake Dunlap said it warn't unusual in the profession.
Said when a person was in that line of business he'd
got to look out for his own intrust, there warn't no-
body else going to do it for him. And then he went
on. He says:

"You see, the trouble was, you couldn't divide up
two di'monds amongst three. If there'd been three --
But never mind about that, there warn't three. I
loafed along the back streets studying and studying.
And I says to myself, I'll hog them di'monds the first
chance I get, and I'll have a disguise all ready, and I'll
give the boys the slip, and when I'm safe away I'll put
it on, and then let them find me if they can. So I got
the false whiskers and the goggles and this countrified
suit of clothes, and fetched them along back in a hand-
bag; and when I was passing a shop where they sell all
sorts of things, I got a glimpse of one of my pals
through the window. It was Bud Dixon. I was glad,
you bet. I says to myself, I'll see what he buys. So
I kept shady, and watched. Now what do you reckon
it was he bought?"

"Whiskers?" said I.

"No."

"Goggles?"

"No."

"Oh, keep still, Huck Finn, can't you, you're only
just hendering all you can. What WAS it he bought,
Jake?"

"You'd never guess in the world. It was only just
a screwdriver -- just a wee little bit of a screwdriver."

"Well, I declare! What did he want with that?"

"That's what I thought. It was curious. It clean
stumped me. I says to myself, what can he want with
that thing? Well, when he come out I stood back out
of sight, and then tracked him to a second-hand slop-
shop and see him buy a red flannel shirt and some old
ragged clothes -- just the ones he's got on now, as
you've described. Then I went down to the wharf and
hid my things aboard the up-river boat that we had
picked out, and then started back and had another
streak of luck. I seen our other pal lay in HIS stock
of old rusty second-handers. We got the di'monds
and went aboard the boat.

"But now we was up a stump, for we couldn't go
to bed. We had to set up and watch one another.
Pity, that was; pity to put that kind of a strain on us,
because there was bad blood between us from a
couple of weeks back, and we was only friends in the
way of business. Bad anyway, seeing there was only
two di'monds betwixt three men. First we had supper,
and then tramped up and down the deck together
smoking till most midnight; then we went and set
down in my stateroom and locked the doors and looked
in the piece of paper to see if the di'monds was all
right, then laid it on the lower berth right in full sight;
and there we set, and set, and by-and-by it got to be
dreadful hard to keep awake. At last Bud Dixon he
dropped off. As soon as he was snoring a good regular
gait that was likely to last, and had his chin on his
breast and looked permanent, Hal Clayton nodded
towards the di'monds and then towards the outside
door, and I understood. I reached and got the paper,
and then we stood up and waited perfectly still; Bud
never stirred; I turned the key of the outside door
very soft and slow, then turned the knob the same
way, and we went tiptoeing out onto the guard, and
shut the door very soft and gentle.

"There warn't nobody stirring anywhere, and the
boat was slipping along, swift and steady, through the
big water in the smoky moonlight. We never said a
word, but went straight up onto the hurricane-deck and
plumb back aft, and set down on the end of the sky-
light. Both of us knowed what that meant, without
having to explain to one another. Bud Dixon would
wake up and miss the swag, and would come straight
for us, for he ain't afeard of anything or anybody, that
man ain't. He would come, and we would heave him
overboard, or get killed trying. It made me shiver,
because I ain't as brave as some people, but if I
showed the white feather -- well, I knowed better than
do that. I kind of hoped the boat would land somers,
and we could skip ashore and not have to run the risk
of this row, I was so scared of Bud Dixon, but she
was an upper-river tub and there warn't no real chance
of that.

"Well, the time strung along and along, and that
fellow never come! Why, it strung along till dawn
begun to break, and still he never come. 'Thunder,' I
says, 'what do you make out of this? -- ain't it sus-
picious?' 'Land!' Hal says, 'do you reckon he's
playing us? -- open the paper!' I done it, and by
gracious there warn't anything in it but a couple of
little pieces of loaf-sugar! THAT'S the reason he could
set there and snooze all night so comfortable. Smart?
Well, I reckon! He had had them two papers all fixed
and ready, and he had put one of them in place of
t'other right under our noses.

"We felt pretty cheap. But the thing to do, straight
off, was to make a plan; and we done it. We would
do up the paper again, just as it was, and slip in, very
elaborate and soft, and lay it on the bunk again, and
let on WE didn't know about any trick, and hadn't any
idea he was a-laughing at us behind them bogus snores
of his'n; and we would stick by him, and the first
night we was ashore we would get him drunk and
search him, and get the di'monds; and DO for him,
too, if it warn't too risky. If we got the swag, we'd
GOT to do for him, or he would hunt us down and do for
us, sure. But I didn't have no real hope. I knowed
we could get him drunk -- he was always ready for
that -- but what's the good of it? You might search
him a year and never find --

"Well, right there I catched my breath and broke
off my thought! For an idea went ripping through my
head that tore my brains to rags -- and land, but I felt
gay and good! You see, I had had my boots off, to
unswell my feet, and just then I took up one of them
to put it on, and I catched a glimpse of the heel-
bottom, and it just took my breath away. You re-
member about that puzzlesome little screwdriver?"

"You bet I do," says Tom, all excited.

"Well, when I catched that glimpse of that boot
heel, the idea that went smashing through my head
was, I know where he's hid the di'monds! You look
at this boot heel, now. See, it's bottomed with a steel
plate, and the plate is fastened on with little screws.
Now there wasn't a screw about that feller anywhere
but in his boot heels; so, if he needed a screwdriver,
I reckoned I knowed why."

"Huck, ain't it bully!" says Tom.

"Well, I got my boots on, and we went down and
slipped in and laid the paper of sugar on the berth,
and sat down soft and sheepish and went to listening to
Bud Dixon snore. Hal Clayton dropped off pretty
soon, but I didn't; I wasn't ever so wide awake in my
life. I was spying out from under the shade of my
hat brim, searching the floor for leather. It took me a
long time, and I begun to think maybe my guess was
wrong, but at last I struck it. It laid over by the
bulkhead, and was nearly the color of the carpet. It
was a little round plug about as thick as the end of your
little finger, and I says to myself there's a di'mond in
the nest you've come from. Before long I spied out
the plug's mate .

"Think of the smartness and coolness of that
blatherskite! He put up that scheme on us and
reasoned out what we would do, and we went ahead
and done it perfectly exact, like a couple of pudd'n-
heads. He set there and took his own time to un-
screw his heelplates and cut out his plugs and stick in
the di'monds and screw on his plates again . He
allowed we would steal the bogus swag and wait all
night for him to come up and get drownded, and by
George it's just what we done! I think it was power-
ful smart."

"You bet your life it was!" says Tom, just full of
admiration.

CHAPTER IV.
THE THREE SLEEPERS

WELL, all day we went through the humbug of
watching one another, and it was pretty sickly
business for two of us and hard to act out, I can tell
you. About night we landed at one of them little
Missouri towns high up toward Iowa, and had supper
at the tavern, and got a room upstairs with a cot and a
double bed in it, but I dumped my bag under a deal
table in the dark hall while we was moving along it to
bed, single file, me last, and the landlord in the lead
with a tallow candle. We had up a lot of whisky, and
went to playing high-low-jack for dimes, and as soon
as the whisky begun to take hold of Bud we stopped
drinking, but we didn't let him stop. We loaded him
till he fell out of his chair and laid there snoring.

"We was ready for business now. I said we better
pull our boots off, and his'n too, and not make any
noise, then we could pull him and haul him around and
ransack him without any trouble. So we done it. I
set my boots and Bud's side by side, where they'd be
handy. Then we stripped him and searched his seams
and his pockets and his socks and the inside of his
boots, and everything, and searched his bundle. Never
found any di'monds. We found the screwdriver, and
Hal says, 'What do you reckon he wanted with that?'
I said I didn't know; but when he wasn't looking I
hooked it. At last Hal he looked beat and discour-
aged, and said we'd got to give it up. That was what
I was waiting for. I says:

"'There's one place we hain't searched.'

"'What place is that?' he says.

"'His stomach.'

"'By gracious, I never thought of that! NOW we're
on the homestretch, to a dead moral certainty. How'll
we manage?'

"'Well,' I says, 'just stay by him till I turn out and
hunt up a drug store, and I reckon I'll fetch something
that'll make them di'monds tired of the company
they're keeping.'

"He said that's the ticket, and with him looking
straight at me I slid myself into Bud's boots instead of
my own, and he never noticed. They was just a shade
large for me, but that was considerable better than be-
ing too small. I got my bag as I went a-groping
through the hall, and in about a minute I was out the
back way and stretching up the river road at a five-mile
gait.

"And not feeling so very bad, neither -- walking on
di'monds don't have no such effect. When I had gone
fifteen minutes I says to myself, there's more'n a mile
behind me, and everything quiet. Another five minutes
and I says there's considerable more land behind me
now, and there's a man back there that's begun to
wonder what's the trouble. Another five and I says to
myself he's getting real uneasy -- he's walking the floor
now. Another five, and I says to myself, there's two
mile and a half behind me, and he's AWFUL uneasy -- be-
ginning to cuss, I reckon. Pretty soon I says to my-
self, forty minutes gone -- he KNOWS there's something
up! Fifty minutes -- the truth's a-busting on him
now! he is reckoning I found the di'monds whilst we
was searching, and shoved them in my pocket and never
let on -- yes, and he's starting out to hunt for me.
He'll hunt for new tracks in the dust, and they'll as
likely send him down the river as up.

"Just then I see a man coming down on a mule, and
before I thought I jumped into the bush. It was
stupid! When he got abreast he stopped and waited
a little for me to come out; then he rode on again.
But I didn't feel gay any more. I says to myself I've
botched my chances by that; I surely have, if he meets
up with Hal Clayton.

"Well, about three in the morning I fetched Elex-
andria and see this stern-wheeler laying there, and was
very glad, because I felt perfectly safe, now, you know.
It was just daybreak. I went aboard and got this state-
room and put on these clothes and went up in the pilot-
house -- to watch, though I didn't reckon there was
any need of it. I set there and played with my
di'monds and waited and waited for the boat to start,
but she didn't. You see, they was mending her
machinery, but I didn't know anything about it, not
being very much used to steamboats.

"Well, to cut the tale short, we never left there till
plumb noon; and long before that I was hid in this
stateroom; for before breakfast I see a man coming,
away off, that had a gait like Hal Clayton's, and it
made me just sick. I says to myself, if he finds out
I'm aboard this boat, he's got me like a rat in a trap.
All he's got to do is to have me watched, and wait --
wait till I slip ashore, thinking he is a thousand miles
away, then slip after me and dog me to a good place
and make me give up the di'monds, and then he'll --
oh, I know what he'll do! Ain't it awful -- awful!
And now to think the OTHER one's aboard, too! Oh,
ain't it hard luck, boys -- ain't it hard! But you'll help
save me, WON'T you? -- oh, boys, be good to a poor
devil that's being hunted to death, and save me -- I'll
worship the very ground you walk on!"

We turned in and soothed him down and told him
we would plan for him and help him, and he needn't
be so afeard; and so by and by he got to feeling kind
of comfortable again, and unscrewed his heelplates and
held up his di'monds this way and that, admiring them
and loving them; and when the light struck into them
they WAS beautiful, sure; why, they seemed to kind of
bust, and snap fire out all around. But all the same I
judged he was a fool. If I had been him I would a
handed the di'monds to them pals and got them to go
ashore and leave me alone. But he was made differ-
ent. He said it was a whole fortune and he couldn't
bear the idea.

Twice we stopped to fix the machinery and laid a
good while, once in the night; but it wasn't dark
enough, and he was afeard to skip. But the third
time we had to fix it there was a better chance. We
laid up at a country woodyard about forty mile above
Uncle Silas's place a little after one at night, and it was
thickening up and going to storm. So Jake he laid for
a chance to slide. We begun to take in wood. Pretty
soon the rain come a-drenching down, and the wind
blowed hard. Of course every boat-hand fixed a
gunny sack and put it on like a bonnet, the way they
do when they are toting wood, and we got one for
Jake, and he slipped down aft with his hand-bag and
come tramping forrard just like the rest, and walked
ashore with them, and when we see him pass out of the
light of the torch-basket and get swallowed up in the
dark, we got our breath again and just felt grateful and
splendid. But it wasn't for long. Somebody told, I
reckon; for in about eight or ten minutes them two
pals come tearing forrard as tight as they could jump
and darted ashore and was gone. We waited plumb
till dawn for them to come back, and kept hoping they
would, but they never did. We was awful sorry and
low-spirited. All the hope we had was that Jake had
got such a start that they couldn't get on his track, and
he would get to his brother's and hide there and be
safe.

He was going to take the river road, and told us to
find out if Brace and Jubiter was to home and no
strangers there, and then slip out about sundown and
tell him. Said he would wait for us in a little bunch of
sycamores right back of Tom's uncle Silas's tobacker
field on the river road, a lonesome place.

We set and talked a long time about his chances, and
Tom said he was all right if the pals struck up the
river instead of down, but it wasn't likely, because
maybe they knowed where he was from; more likely
they would go right, and dog him all day, him not
suspecting, and kill him when it come dark, and take
the boots. So we was pretty sorrowful.

CHAPTER V.
A TRAGEDY IN THE: WOODS

WE didn't get done tinkering the machinery till away
late in the afternoon, and so it was so close to
sundown when we got home that we never stopped on
our road, but made a break for the sycamores as tight
as we could go, to tell Jake what the delay was, and
have him wait till we could go to Brace's and find out
how things was there. It was getting pretty dim by the
time we turned the corner of the woods, sweating and
panting with that long run, and see the sycamores thirty
yards ahead of us; and just then we see a couple of
men run into the bunch and heard two or three terrible
screams for help. "Poor Jake is killed, sure," we
says. We was scared through and through, and broke
for the tobacker field and hid there, trembling so our
clothes would hardly stay on; and just as we skipped
in there, a couple of men went tearing by, and into the
bunch they went, and in a second out jumps four men
and took out up the road as tight as they could go,
two chasing two.

We laid down, kind of weak and sick, and listened
for more sounds, but didn't hear none for a good while
but just our hearts. We was thinking of that awful
thing laying yonder in the sycamores, and it seemed
like being that close to a ghost, and it give me the cold
shudders. The moon come a-swelling up out of the
ground, now, powerful big and round and bright, be-
hind a comb of trees, like a face looking through prison
bars, and the black shadders and white places begun to
creep around, and it was miserable quiet and still and
night-breezy and graveyardy and scary. All of a sud-
den Tom whispers:

"Look! -- what's that?"

"Don't!" I says. "Don't take a person by sur-
prise that way. I'm 'most ready to die, anyway, with-
out you doing that."

"Look, I tell you. It's something coming out of
the sycamores."

"Don't, Tom!"

"It's terrible tall!"

"Oh, lordy-lordy! let's --"

"Keep still -- it's a-coming this way."

He was so excited he could hardly get breath enough
to whisper. I had to look. I couldn't help it. So
now we was both on our knees with our chins on a
fence rail and gazing -- yes, and gasping too. It was
coming down the road -- coming in the shadder of the
trees, and you couldn't see it good; not till it was
pretty close to us; then it stepped into a bright splotch
of moonlight and we sunk right down in our tracks --
it was Jake Dunlap's ghost! That was what we said
to ourselves.

We couldn't stir for a minute or two; then it was
gone We talked about it in low voices. Tom
says:

"They're mostly dim and smoky, or like they're
made out of fog, but this one wasn't."

"No," I says; "I seen the goggles and the whiskers
perfectly plain."

"Yes, and the very colors in them loud countrified
Sunday clothes -- plaid breeches, green and black --"

"Cotton velvet westcot, fire-red and yaller squares --"

"Leather straps to the bottoms of the breeches legs
and one of them hanging unbottoned --"

"Yes, and that hat --"

"What a hat for a ghost to wear!"

You see it was the first season anybody wore that
kind -- a black sitff-brim stove-pipe, very high, and
not smooth, with a round top -- just like a sugar-loaf.

"Did you notice if its hair was the same, Huck?"

"No -- seems to me I did, then again it seems to me
I didn't."

"I didn't either; but it had its bag along, I noticed
that."

"So did I. How can there be a ghost-bag, Tom?"

"Sho! I wouldn't be as ignorant as that if I was
you, Huck Finn. Whatever a ghost has, turns to ghost-
stuff. They've got to have their things, like anybody
else. You see, yourself, that its clothes was turned to
ghost-stuff. Well, then, what's to hender its bag from
turning, too? Of course it done it."

That was reasonable. I couldn't find no fault with
it. Bill Withers and his brother Jack come along by,
talking, and Jack says:

"What do you reckon he was toting?"

"I dunno; but it was pretty heavy."

"Yes, all he could lug. Nigger stealing corn from
old Parson Silas, I judged."

"So did I. And so I allowed I wouldn't let on to
see him."

"That's me, too."

Then they both laughed, and went on out of hearing.
It showed how unpopular old Uncle Silas had got to be
now. They wouldn't 'a' let a nigger steal anybody
else's corn and never done anything to him.

We heard some more voices mumbling along towards
us and getting louder, and sometimes a cackle of a
laugh. It was Lem Beebe and Jim Lane. Jim Lane
says:

"Who? -- Jubiter Dunlap?"

"Yes."

"Oh, I don't know. I reckon so. I seen him spad-
ing up some ground along about an hour ago, just be-
fore sundown -- him and the parson. Said he guessed
he wouldn't go to-night, but we could have his dog if
we wanted him."

"Too tired, I reckon."

"Yes -- works so hard!"

"Oh, you bet!"

They cackled at that, and went on by. Tom said we
better jump out and tag along after them, because they
was going our way and it wouldn't be comfortable to
run across the ghost all by ourselves. So we done it,
and got home all right.

That night was the second of September -- a Satur-
day. I sha'n't ever forget it. You'll see why, pretty
soon .

CHAPTER VI.
PLANS TO SECURE THE DIAMONDS

WE tramped along behind Jim and Lem till we come
to the back stile where old Jim's cabin was that
he was captivated in, the time we set him free, and here
come the dogs piling around us to say howdy, and
there was the lights of the house, too; so we warn't
afeard any more, and was going to climb over, but
Tom says:

"Hold on; set down here a minute. By George!"

"What's the matter?" says I.

"Matter enough!" he says. "Wasn't you expect-
ing we would be the first to tell the family who it is
that's been killed yonder in the sycamores, and all
about them rapscallions that done it, and about the
di'monds they've smouched off of the corpse, and paint
it up fine, and have the glory of being the ones that
knows a lot more about it than anybody else?"

"Why, of course. It wouldn't be you, Tom Sawyer,
if you was to let such a chance go by. I reckon it
ain't going to suffer none for lack of paint," I says,
"when you start in to scollop the facts."

"Well, now," he says, perfectly ca'm, "what would
you say if I was to tell you I ain't going to start in at
all?"

I was astonished to hear him talk so. I says:

"I'd say it's a lie. You ain't in earnest, Tom
Sawyer?"

"You'll soon see. Was the ghost barefooted?"

"No, it wasn't. What of it?"

"You wait -- I'll show you what. Did it have its
boots on?"

"Yes. I seen them plain."

"Swear it?"

"Yes, I swear it."

"So do I. Now do you know what that means?"

"No. What does it mean?"

"Means that them thieves DIDN'T GET THE DI'MONDS."

"Jimminy! What makes you think that?"

"I don't only think it, I know it. Didn't the
breeches and goggles and whiskers and hand-bag and
every blessed thing turn to ghost-stuff? Everything it
had on turned, didn't it? It shows that the reason its
boots turned too was because it still had them on after
it started to go ha'nting around, and if that ain't proof
that them blatherskites didn't get the boots, I'd like to
know what you'd CALL proof."

Think of that now. I never see such a head as that
boy had. Why, I had eyes and I could see things, but
they never meant nothing to me. But Tom Sawyer
was different. When Tom Sawyer seen a thing it just
got up on its hind legs and TALKED to him -- told him
everything it knowed. I never see such a head.

"Tom Sawyer," I says, "I'll say it again as I've
said it a many a time before: I ain't fitten to black
your boots. But that's all right -- that's neither here
nor there. God Almighty made us all, and some He
gives eyes that's blind, and some He gives eyes that
can see, and I reckon it ain't none of our lookout what
He done it for; it's all right, or He'd 'a' fixed it some
other way. Go on -- I see plenty plain enough, now,
that them thieves didn't get way with the di'monds.
Why didn't they, do you reckon?"

"Because they got chased away by them other two
men before they could pull the boots off of the corpse."

"That's so! I see it now. But looky here, Tom,
why ain't we to go and tell about it?"

"Oh, shucks, Huck Finn, can't you see? Look at
it. What's a-going to happen? There's going to be
an inquest in the morning. Them two men will tell
how they heard the yells and rushed there just in time
to not save the stranger. Then the jury'll twaddle
and twaddle and twaddle, and finally they'll fetch in a
verdict that he got shot or stuck or busted over the
head with something, and come to his death by the in-
spiration of God. And after they've buried him they'll
auction off his things for to pay the expenses, and
then's OUR chance."
"How, Tom?"

"Buy the boots for two dollars!"

Well, it 'most took my breath.

"My land! Why, Tom, WE'LL get the di'monds!"

"You bet. Some day there'll be a big reward
offered for them -- a thousand dollars, sure. That's
our money! Now we'll trot in and see the folks.
And mind you we don't know anything about any
murder, or any di'monds, or any thieves -- don't you
forget that."

I had to sigh a little over the way he had got it fixed.
I'd 'a' SOLD them di'monds -- yes, sir -- for twelve
thousand dollars; but I didn't say anything. It
wouldn't done any good. I says:

"But what are we going to tell your aunt Sally has
made us so long getting down here from the village,
Tom?"

"Oh, I'll leave that to you," he says. "I reckon
you can explain it somehow."

He was always just that strict and delicate. He
never would tell a lie himself.

We struck across the big yard, noticing this, that,
and t'other thing that was so familiar, and we so glad
to see it again, and when we got to the roofed big
passageway betwixt the double log house and the
kitchen part, there was everything hanging on the wall
just as it used to was, even to Uncle Silas's old faded
green baize working-gown with the hood to it, and rag-
gedy white patch between the shoulders that always
looked like somebody had hit him with a snowball; and
then we lifted the latch and walked in. Aunt Sally she
was just a-ripping and a-tearing around, and the
children was huddled in one corner, and the old man
he was huddled in the other and praying for help in
time of need. She jumped for us with joy and tears
running down her face and give us a whacking box on
the ear, and then hugged us and kissed us and boxed
us again, and just couldn't seem to get enough of it,
she was so glad to see us; and she says:

"Where HAVE you been a-loafing to, you good-for-
nothing trash! I've been that worried about you I
didn't know what to do. Your traps has been here
ever so long, and I've had supper cooked fresh about
four times so as to have it hot and good when you
come, till at last my patience is just plumb wore out,
and I declare I -- I -- why I could skin you alive! You
must be starving, poor things! -- set down, set down,
everybody; don't lose no more time."

It was good to be there again behind all that noble
corn-pone and spareribs, and everything that you could
ever want in this world. Old Uncle Silas he peeled off
one of his bulliest old-time blessings, with as many
layers to it as an onion, and whilst the angels was haul-
ing in the slack of it I was trying to study up what to
say about what kept us so long. When our plates was
all loadened and we'd got a-going, she asked me, and
I says:

"Well, you see, -- er -- Mizzes --"

"Huck Finn! Since when am I Mizzes to you?
Have I ever been stingy of cuffs or kisses for you since
the day you stood in this room and I took you for Tom
Sawyer and blessed God for sending you to me, though
you told me four thousand lies and I believed every
one of them like a simpleton? Call me Aunt Sally --
like you always done."

So I done it. And I says:

"Well, me and Tom allowed we would come along
afoot and take a smell of the woods, and we run across
Lem Beebe and Jim Lane, and they asked us to go with
them blackberrying to-night, and said they could bor-
row Jubiter Dunlap's dog, because he had told them
just that minute --"

"Where did they see him?" says the old man; and
when I looked up to see how HE come to take an intrust
in a little thing like that, his eyes was just burning into
me, he was that eager. It surprised me so it kind of
throwed me off, but I pulled myself together again and
says:

"It was when he was spading up some ground along
with you, towards sundown or along there."

He only said, "Um," in a kind of a disappointed
way, and didn't take no more intrust. So I went on.
I says:

"Well, then, as I was a-saying --"

"That'll do, you needn't go no furder." It was
Aunt Sally. She was boring right into me with her
eyes, and very indignant. "Huck Finn," she says,
"how'd them men come to talk about going a-black-
berrying in September -- in THIS region?"

I see I had slipped up, and I couldn't say a word.
She waited, still a-gazing at me, then she says:

"And how'd they come to strike that idiot idea of
going a-blackberrying in the night?"

"Well, m'm, they -- er -- they told us they had a
lantern, and --"

"Oh, SHET up -- do! Looky here; what was they
going to do with a dog? -- hunt blackberries with it?"

"I think, m'm, they --"

"Now, Tom Sawyer, what kind of a lie are you fix-
ing YOUR mouth to contribit to this mess of rubbage?
Speak out -- and I warn you before you begin, that
I don't believe a word of it. You and Huck's been up
to something you no business to -- I know it perfectly
well; I know you, BOTH of you. Now you explain that
dog, and them blackberries, and the lantern, and the
rest of that rot -- and mind you talk as straight as a
string -- do you hear?"

Tom he looked considerable hurt, and says, very
dignified:

"It is a pity if Huck is to be talked to that way, just
for making a little bit of a mistake that anybody could
make."

"What mistake has he made?"

"Why, only the mistake of saying blackberries when
of course he meant strawberries."

"Tom Sawyer, I lay if you aggravate me a little
more, I'll --"

"Aunt Sally, without knowing it -- and of course
without intending it -- you are in the wrong. If you'd
'a' studied natural history the way you ought, you
would know that all over the world except just here in
Arkansaw they ALWAYS hunt strawberries with a dog --
and a lantern --"

But she busted in on him there and just piled into
him and snowed him under. She was so mad she
couldn't get the words out fast enough, and she gushed
them out in one everlasting freshet. That was what
Tom Sawyer was after. He allowed to work her up
and get her started and then leave her alone and let her
burn herself out. Then she would be so aggravated
with that subject that she wouldn't say another word
about it, nor let anybody else. Well, it happened just
so. When she was tuckered out and had to hold up,
he says, quite ca'm:

"And yet, all the same, Aunt Sally --"

"Shet up!" she says, "I don't want to hear
another word out of you."

So we was perfectly safe, then, and didn't have no
more trouble about that delay. Tom done it elegant.

CHAPTER VII.
A NIGHT'S VIGIL

BENNY she was looking pretty sober, and she sighed
some, now and then; but pretty soon she got to
asking about Mary, and Sid, and Tom's aunt Polly,
and then Aunt Sally's clouds cleared off and she got in
a good humor and joined in on the questions and was
her lovingest best self, and so the rest of the supper
went along gay and pleasant. But the old man he
didn't take any hand hardly, and was absent-minded
and restless, and done a considerable amount of sigh-
ing; and it was kind of heart-breaking to see him so
sad and troubled and worried.

By and by, a spell after supper, come a nigger and
knocked on the door and put his head in with his old
straw hat in his hand bowing and scraping, and said his
Marse Brace was out at the stile and wanted his
brother, and was getting tired waiting supper for him,
and would Marse Silas please tell him where he was?
I never see Uncle Silas speak up so sharp and fractious
before. He says:

"Am I his brother's keeper?" And then he kind
of wilted together, and looked like he wished he hadn't
spoken so, and then he says, very gentle: "But you
needn't say that, Billy; I was took sudden and irritable,
and I ain't very well these days, and not hardly respon-
sible. Tell him he ain't here."

And when the nigger was gone he got up and
walked the floor, backwards and forwards, mumbling
and muttering to himself and plowing his hands through
his hair. It was real pitiful to see him. Aunt Sally she
whispered to us and told us not to take notice of him,
it embarrassed him. She said he was always thinking
and thinking, since these troubles come on, and she
allowed he didn't more'n about half know what he was
about when the thinking spells was on him; and she
said he walked in his sleep considerable more now than
he used to, and sometimes wandered around over the
house and even outdoors in his sleep, and if we catched
him at it we must let him alone and not disturb him.
She said she reckoned it didn't do him no harm, and
may be it done him good. She said Benny was the
only one that was much help to him these days. Said
Benny appeared to know just when to try to soothe
him and when to leave him alone.

So he kept on tramping up and down the floor and
muttering, till by and by he begun to look pretty tired;
then Benny she went and snuggled up to his side and
put one hand in his and one arm around his waist and
walked with him; and he smiled down on her, and
reached down and kissed her; and so, little by little
the trouble went out of his face and she persuaded him
off to his room. They had very petting ways together,
and it was uncommon pretty to see.

Aunt Sally she was busy getting the children ready
for bed; so by and by it got dull and tedious, and me
and Tom took a turn in the moonlight, and fetched up
in the watermelon-patch and et one, and had a good
deal of talk. And Tom said he'd bet the quarreling
was all Jubiter's fault, and he was going to be on hand
the first time he got a chance, and see; and if it was
so, he was going to do his level best to get Uncle Silas
to turn him off.

And so we talked and smoked and stuffed water-
melons much as two hours, and then it was pretty late,
and when we got back the house was quiet and dark,
and everybody gone to bed.

Tom he always seen everything, and now he see that
the old green baize work-gown was gone, and said it
wasn't gone when he went out; so he allowed it was
curious, and then we went up to bed.

We could hear Benny stirring around in her room,
which was next to ourn, and judged she was worried a
good deal about her father and couldn't sleep. We
found we couldn't, neither. So we set up a long time,
and smoked and talked in a low voice, and felt pretty
dull and down-hearted. We talked the murder and the
ghost over and over again, and got so creepy and
crawly we couldn't get sleepy nohow and noway.

By and by, when it was away late in the night and all
the sounds was late sounds and solemn, Tom nudged
me and whispers to me to look, and I done it, and there
we see a man poking around in the yard like he didn't
know just what he wanted to do, but it was pretty dim
and we couldn't see him good. Then he started for
the stile, and as he went over it the moon came out
strong, and he had a long-handled shovel over his
shoulder, and we see the white patch on the old work-
gown. So Tom says:

"He's a-walking in his sleep. I wish we was
allowed to follow him and see where he's going to.
There, he's turned down by the tobacker-field. Out
of sight now. It's a dreadful pity he can't rest no
better."

We waited a long time, but he didn't come back any
more, or if he did he come around the other way; so
at last we was tuckered out and went to sleep and had
nightmares, a million of them. But before dawn we
was awake again, because meantime a storm had come
up and been raging, and the thunder and lightning
was awful, and the wind was a-thrashing the trees
around, and the rain was driving down in slanting
sheets, and the gullies was running rivers. Tom says:

"Looky here, Huck, I'll tell you one thing that's
mighty curious. Up to the time we went out last night
the family hadn't heard about Jake Dunlap being mur-
dered. Now the men that chased Hal Clayton and
Bud Dixon away would spread the thing around in a
half an hour, and every neighbor that heard it would
shin out and fly around from one farm to t'other and
try to be the first to tell the news. Land, they don't
have such a big thing as that to tell twice in thirty year!
Huck, it's mighty strange; I don't understand it."

So then he was in a fidget for the rain to let up, so
we could turn out and run across some of the people
and see if they would say anything about it to us.
And he said if they did we must be horribly surprised
and shocked.

We was out and gone the minute the rain stopped.
It was just broad day then. We loafed along up the
road, and now and then met a person and stopped and
said howdy, and told them when we come, and how we
left the folks at home, and how long we was going to
stay, and all that, but none of them said a word about
that thing; which was just astonishing, and no mistake.
Tom said he believed if we went to the sycamores we
would find that body laying there solitary and alone,
and not a soul around. Said he believed the men
chased the thieves so far into the woods that the thieves
prob'ly seen a good chance and turned on them at last,
and maybe they all killed each other, and so there
wasn't anybody left to tell.

First we knowed, gabbling along that away, we was
right at the sycamores. The cold chills trickled down
my back and I wouldn't budge another step, for all
Tom's persuading. But he couldn't hold in; he'd GOT
to see if the boots was safe on that body yet. So he
crope in -- and the next minute out he come again with
his eyes bulging he was so excited, and says:

"Huck, it's gone!"

I WAS astonished! I says:

"Tom, you don't mean it."

"It's gone, sure. There ain't a sign of it. The
ground is trampled some, but if there was any blood
it's all washed away by the storm, for it's all puddles
and slush in there."

At last I give in, and went and took a look myself;
and it was just as Tom said -- there wasn't a sign of a
corpse.

"Dern it," I says, "the di'monds is gone. Don't
you reckon the thieves slunk back and lugged him off,
Tom?"

"Looks like it. It just does. Now where'd they
hide him, do you reckon?"

"I don't know," I says, disgusted, "and what's
more I don't care. They've got the boots, and that's
all I cared about. He'll lay around these woods a
long time before I hunt him up."

Tom didn't feel no more intrust in him neither, only
curiosity to know what come of him; but he said we'd
lay low and keep dark and it wouldn't be long till the
dogs or somebody rousted him out.

We went back home to breakfast ever so bothered
and put out and disappointed and swindled. I warn't
ever so down on a corpse before.

CHAPTER VIII.
TALKING WITH THE GHOST

IT warn't very cheerful at breakfast. Aunt Sally she
looked old and tired and let the children snarl and
fuss at one another and didn't seem to notice it was
going on, which wasn't her usual style; me and Tom
had a plenty to think about without talking; Benny she
looked like she hadn't had much sleep, and whenever
she'd lift her head a little and steal a look towards her
father you could see there was tears in her eyes; and
as for the old man, his things stayed on his plate and
got cold without him knowing they was there, I reckon,
for he was thinking and thinking all the time, and never
said a word and never et a bite.

By and by when it was stillest, that nigger's head
was poked in at the door again, and he said his Marse
Brace was getting powerful uneasy about Marse Jubiter,
which hadn't come home yet, and would Marse Silas
please --

He was looking at Uncle Silas, and he stopped there,
like the rest of his words was froze; for Uncle Silas he
rose up shaky and steadied himself leaning his fingers
on the table, and he was panting, and his eyes was set
on the nigger, and he kept swallowing, and put his
other hand up to his throat a couple of times, and at
last he got his words started, and says:

"Does he -- does he -- think -- WHAT does he think!
Tell him -- tell him --" Then he sunk down in his
chair limp and weak, and says, so as you could hardly
hear him: "Go away -- go away!"

The nigger looked scared and cleared out, and we
all felt -- well, I don't know how we felt, but it was
awful, with the old man panting there, and his eyes set
and looking like a person that was dying. None of us
could budge; but Benny she slid around soft, with her
tears running down, and stood by his side, and nestled
his old gray head up against her and begun to stroke it
and pet it with her hands, and nodded to us to go
away, and we done it, going out very quiet, like the
dead was there.

Me and Tom struck out for the woods mighty
solemn, and saying how different it was now to what it
was last summer when we was here and everything was
so peaceful and happy and everybody thought so much
of Uncle Silas, and he was so cheerful and simple-
hearted and pudd'n-headed and good -- and now look
at him. If he hadn't lost his mind he wasn't muck
short of it. That was what we allowed.

It was a most lovely day now, and bright and sun.
shiny; and the further and further we went over the
hills towards the prairie the lovelier and lovelier the
trees and flowers got to be and the more it seemed
strange and somehow wrong that there had to be
trouble in such a world as this. And then all of a
sudden I catched my breath and grabbed Tom's arm, and
all my livers and lungs and things fell down into my legs.

"There it is!" I says. We jumped back behind a
bush shivering, and Tom says:

"'Sh! -- don't make a noise."

It was setting on a log right in the edge of a little
prairie, thinking. I tried to get Tom to come away,
but he wouldn't, and I dasn't budge by myself. He
said we mightn't ever get another chance to see one,
and he was going to look his fill at this one if he died
for it. So I looked too, though it give me the fan-
tods to do it. Tom he HAD to talk, but he talked low.
He says:

"Poor Jakey, it's got all its things on, just as he
said he would. NOW you see what we wasn't certain
about -- its hair. It's not long now the way it was:
it's got it cropped close to its head, the way he said he
would. Huck, I never see anything look any more
naturaler than what It does."

"Nor I neither," I says; "I'd recognize it any-
wheres."

"So would I. It looks perfectly solid and genu-
wyne, just the way it done before it died."

So we kept a-gazing. Pretty soon Tom says:

"Huck, there's something mighty curious about this
one, don't you know? IT oughtn't to be going around
in the daytime."

"That's so, Tom -- I never heard the like of it
before."

"No, sir, they don't ever come out only at night --
and then not till after twelve. There's something
wrong about this one, now you mark my words. I
don't believe it's got any right to be around in the
daytime. But don't it look natural! Jake was going
to play deef and dumb here, so the neighbors wouldn't
know his voice. Do you reckon it would do that if we
was to holler at it?"

"Lordy, Tom, don't talk so! If you was to holler
at it I'd die in my tracks."

"Don't you worry, I ain't going to holler at it.
Look, Huck, it's a-scratching its head -- don't you see?"

"Well, what of it?"

"Why, this. What's the sense of it scratching its
head? There ain't anything there to itch; its head is
made out of fog or something like that, and can't itch.
A fog can't itch; any fool knows that."

"Well, then, if it don't itch and can't itch, what in
the nation is it scratching it for? Ain't it just habit,
don't you reckon?"

"No, sir, I don't. I ain't a bit satisfied about the
way this one acts. I've a blame good notion it's a
bogus one -- I have, as sure as I'm a-sitting here.
Because, if it -- Huck!"

"Well, what's the matter now?"

"YOU CAN'T SEE THE BUSHES THROUGH IT!"

"Why, Tom, it's so, sure! It's as solid as a cow.
I sort of begin to think --"

"Huck, it's biting off a chaw of tobacker! By
George, THEY don't chaw -- they hain't got anything to
chaw WITH. Huck!"

"I'm a-listening."

"It ain't a ghost at all. It's Jake Dunlap his own
self!"

"Oh your granny!" I says.

"Huck Finn, did we find any corpse in the syca-
mores?"

"No."

"Or any sign of one?"

"No."

"Mighty good reason. Hadn't ever been any corpse
there."

"Why, Tom, you know we heard --"

"Yes, we didÊ-- heard a howl or two. Does that
prove anybody was killed? Course it don't. And we
seen four men run, then this one come walking out and
we took it for a ghost. No more ghost than you are.
It was Jake Dunlap his own self, and it's Jake Dunlap
now. He's been and got his hair cropped, the way he
said he would, and he's playing himself for a stranger,
just the same as he said he would. Ghost? Hum! --
he's as sound as a nut."

Then I see it all, and how we had took too much for
granted. I was powerful glad he didn't get killed, and
so was Tom, and we wondered which he would like the
best -- for us to never let on to know him, or how?
Tom reckoned the best way would be to go and ask
him. So he started; but I kept a little behind, because
I didn't know but it might be a ghost, after all. When
Tom got to where he was, he says:

"Me and Huck's mighty glad to see you again,
and you needn't be afeared we'll tell. And if you
think it'll be safer for you if we don't let on to know
you when we run across you, say the word and you'll
see you can depend on us, and would ruther cut our
hands off than get you into the least little bit of
danger."

First off he looked surprised to see us, and not very
glad, either; but as Tom went on he looked pleasanter,
and when he was done he smiled, and nodded his head
several times, and made signs with his hands, and says:

"Goo-goo -- goo-goo," the way deef and dummies
does.

Just then we see some of Steve Nickerson's people
coming that lived t'other side of the prairie, so Tom
says:

"You do it elegant; I never see anybody do it
better. You're right; play it on us, too; play it on
us same as the others; it'll keep you in practice and
prevent you making blunders. We'll keep away from
you and let on we don't know you, but any time we
can be any help, you just let us know."

Then we loafed along past the Nickersons, and of
course they asked if that was the new stranger yonder,
and where'd he come from, and what was his name,
and which communion was he, Babtis' or Methodis',
and which politics, Whig or Democrat, and how long
is he staying, and all them other questions that humans
always asks when a stranger comes, and animals does,
too. But Tom said he warn't able to make anything
out of deef and dumb signs, and the same with goo-
gooing. Then we watched them go and bullyrag Jake;
because we was pretty uneasy for him. Tom said it
would take him days to get so he wouldn't forget he
was a deef and dummy sometimes, and speak out be-
fore he thought. When we had watched long enough
to see that Jake was getting along all right and working
his signs very good, we loafed along again, allowing to
strike the schoolhouse about recess time, which was a
three-mile tramp.

I was so disappointed not to hear Jake tell about the
row in the sycamores, and how near he come to get-
ting killed, that I couldn't seem to get over it, and
Tom he felt the same, but said if we was in Jake's fix
we would want to go careful and keep still and not take
any chances.

The boys and girls was all glad to see us again, and
we had a real good time all through recess. Coming
to school the Henderson boys had come across the new
deef and dummy and told the rest; so all the scholars
was chuck full of him and couldn't talk about anything
else, and was in a sweat to get a sight of him because
they hadn't ever seen a deef and dummy in their lives,
and it made a powerful excitement.

Tom said it was tough to have to keep mum now;
said we would be heroes if we could come out and tell
all we knowed; but after all, it was still more heroic to
keep mum, there warn't two boys in a million could do
it. That was Tom Sawyer's idea about it, and
reckoned there warn't anybody could better it.

CHAPTER IX.
FINDING OF JUBITER DUNLAP

IN the next two or three days Dummy he got to be
powerful popular. He went associating around with
the neighbors, and they made much of him, and was
proud to have such a rattling curiosity among them.
They had him to breakfast, they had him to dinner,
they had him to supper; they kept him loaded up
with hog and hominy, and warn't ever tired staring at
him and wondering over him, and wishing they knowed
more about him, he was so uncommon and romantic.
His signs warn't no good; people couldn't under-
stand them and he prob'ly couldn't himself, but he
done a sight of goo-gooing, and so everybody was sat-
isfied, and admired to hear him go it. He toted a
piece of slate around, and a pencil; and people wrote
questions on it and he wrote answers; but there warn't
anybody could read his writing but Brace Dunlap.
Brace said he couldn't read it very good, but he could
manage to dig out the meaning most of the time. He
said Dummy said he belonged away off somers and
used to be well off, but got busted by swindlers which
he had trusted, and was poor now, and hadn't any way
to make a living.

Everybody praised Brace Dunlap for being so good
to that stranger. He let him have a little log-cabin all
to himself, and had his niggers take care of it, and fetch
him all the vittles he wanted.

Dummy was at our house some, because old Uncle
Silas was so afflicted himself, these days, that anybody
else that was afflicted was a comfort to him. Me and
Tom didn't let on that we had knowed him before, and
he didn't let on that he had knowed us before. The
family talked their troubles out before him the same as
if he wasn't there, but we reckoned it wasn't any harm
for him to hear what they said. Generly he didn't
seem to notice, but sometimes he did.

Well, two or three days went along, and everybody
got to getting uneasy about Jubiter Dunlap. Every-
body was asking everybody if they had any idea what
had become of him. No, they hadn't, they said: and
they shook their heads and said there was something
powerful strange about it. Another and another day
went by; then there was a report got around that praps
he was murdered. You bet it made a big stir! Every-
body's tongue was clacking away after that. Saturday
two or three gangs turned out and hunted the woods to
see if they could run across his remainders. Me and
Tom helped, and it was noble good times and exciting.
Tom he was so brimful of it he couldn't eat nor rest.
He said if we could find that corpse we would be
celebrated, and more talked about than if we got
drownded.

The others got tired and give it up; but not Tom
Sawyer -- that warn't his style. Saturday night he
didn't sleep any, hardly, trying to think up a plan;
and towards daylight in the morning he struck it. He
snaked me out of bed and was all excited, and says:

"Quick, Huck, snatch on your clothes -- I've got
it! Bloodhound!"

In two minutes we was tearing up the river road in
the dark towards the village. Old Jeff Hooker had a
bloodhound, and Tom was going to borrow him. I
says:

"The trail's too old, Tom -- and besides, it's rained,
you know."

"It don't make any difference, Huck. If the body's
hid in the woods anywhere around the hound will find
it. If he's been murdered and buried, they wouldn't
bury him deep, it ain't likely, and if the dog goes over
the spot he'll scent him, sure. Huck, we're going to
be celebrated, sure as you're born!"

He was just a-blazing; and whenever he got afire he
was most likely to get afire all over. That was the way
this time. In two minutes he had got it all ciphered
out, and wasn't only just going to find the corpse --
no, he was going to get on the track of that murderer
and hunt HIM down, too; and not only that, but he
was going to stick to him till --

"Well," I says, "you better find the corpse first; I
reckon that's a-plenty for to-day. For all we know,
there AIN'T any corpse and nobody hain't been mur-
dered. That cuss could 'a' gone off somers and not
been killed at all."

That graveled him, and he says:

"Huck Finn, I never see such a person as you to
want to spoil everything. As long as YOU can't see
anything hopeful in a thing, you won't let anybody
else. What good can it do you to throw cold water on
that corpse and get up that selfish theory that there
ain't been any murder? None in the world. I don't
see how you can act so. I wouldn't treat you like
that, and you know it. Here we've got a noble good
opportunity to make a ruputation, and --"

"Oh, go ahead," I says. "I'm sorry, and I take it
all back. I didn't mean nothing. Fix it any way
you want it. HE ain't any consequence to me. If
he's killed, I'm as glad of it as you are; and if he --"

"I never said anything about being glad; I only --"

"Well, then, I'm as SORRY as you are. Any way
you druther have it, that is the way I druther have it.
He --"

"There ain't any druthers ABOUT it, Huck Finn; no-
body said anything about druthers. And as for --"

He forgot he was talking, and went tramping along,
studying. He begun to get excited again, and pretty
soon he says:

"Huck, it'll be the bulliest thing that ever happened
if we find the body after everybody else has quit look-
ing, and then go ahead and hunt up the murderer. It
won't only be an honor to us, but it'll be an honor to
Uncle Silas because it was us that done it. It'll set
him up again, you see if it don't."

But Old Jeff Hooker he throwed cold water on the
whole business when we got to his blacksmith shop and
told him what we come for.

"You can take the dog," he says, "but you ain't
a-going to find any corpse, because there ain't any
corpse to find. Everybody's quit looking, and they're
right. Soon as they come to think, they knowed there
warn't no corpse. And I'll tell you for why. What
does a person kill another person for, Tom Sawyer? --
answer me that."

"Why, he -- er --"

"Answer up! You ain't no fool. What does he kill
him FOR?"

"Well, sometimes it's for revenge, and --"

"Wait. One thing at a time. Revenge, says you;
and right you are. Now who ever had anything agin
that poor trifling no-account? Who do you reckon
would want to kill HIM? -- that rabbit!"

Tom was stuck. I reckon he hadn't thought of a
person having to have a REASON for killing a person be-
fore, and now he sees it warn't likely anybody would
have that much of a grudge against a lamb like Jubiter
Dunlap. The blacksmith says, by and by:

"The revenge idea won't work, you see. Well,
then, what's next? Robbery? B'gosh, that must 'a'
been it, Tom! Yes, sirree, I reckon we've struck it
this time. Some feller wanted his gallus-buckles, and
so he --"

But it was so funny he busted out laughing, and just
went on laughing and laughing and laughing till he was
'most dead, and Tom looked so put out and cheap that
I knowed he was ashamed he had come, and he wished
he hadn't. But old Hooker never let up on him. He
raked up everything a person ever could want to kill
another person about, and any fool could see they
didn't any of them fit this case, and he just made no
end of fun of the whole business and of the people
that had been hunting the body; and he said:

"If they'd had any sense they'd 'a' knowed the lazy
cuss slid out because he wanted a loafing spell after all
this work. He'll come pottering back in a couple of
weeks, and then how'll you fellers feel? But, laws
bless you, take the dog, and go and hunt his re-
mainders. Do, Tom."

Then he busted out, and had another of them forty-
rod laughs of hisn. Tom couldn't back down after all
this, so he said, "All right, unchain him;" and the
blacksmith done it, and we started home and left that
old man laughing yet.

It was a lovely dog. There ain't any dog that's got
a lovelier disposition than a bloodhound, and this one
knowed us and liked us. He capered and raced
around ever so friendly, and powerful glad to be free
and have a holiday; but Tom was so cut up he couldn't
take any intrust in him, and said he wished he'd stopped
and thought a minute before he ever started on such a
fool errand. He said old Jeff Hooker would tell every-
body, and we'd never hear the last of it.

So we loafed along home down the back lanes, feel-
ing pretty glum and not talking. When we was pass-
ing the far corner of our tobacker field we heard the
dog set up a long howl in there, and we went to the
place and he was scratching the ground with all his
might, and every now and then canting up his head
sideways and fetching another howl.

It was a long square, the shape of a grave; the rain
had made it sink down and show the shape. The
minute we come and stood there we looked at one
another and never said a word. When the dog had
dug down only a few inches he grabbed something and
pulled it up, and it was an arm and a sleeve. Tom
kind of gasped out, and says:

"Come away, Huck -- it's found."

I just felt awful. We struck for the road and
fetched the first men that come along. They got a
spade at the crib and dug out the body, and you never
see such an excitement. You couldn't make anything
out of the face, but you didn't need to. Everybody
said:

"Poor Jubiter; it's his clothes, to the last rag!"

Some rushed off to spread the news and tell the
justice of the peace and have an inquest, and me and
Tom lit out for the house. Tom was all afire and 'most
out of breath when we come tearing in where Uncle
Silas and Aunt Sally and Benny was. Tom sung
out:

"Me and Huck's found Jubiter Dunlap's corpse all
by ourselves with a bloodhound, after everybody else
had quit hunting and given it up; and if it hadn't a
been for us it never WOULD 'a' been found; and he WAS
murdered too -- they done it with a club or something
like that; and I'm going to start in and find the mur-
derer, next, and I bet I'll do it!"

Aunt Sally and Benny sprung up pale and astonished,
but Uncle Silas fell right forward out of his chair on to
the floor and groans out:

"Oh, my God, you've found him NOW!"

CHAPTER X.
THE ARREST OF UNCLE SILAS

THEM awful words froze us solid. We couldn't
move hand or foot for as much as half a minute.
Then we kind of come to, and lifted the old man up
and got him into his chair, and Benny petted him and
kissed him and tried to comfort him, and poor old
Aunt Sally she done the same; but, poor things, they
was so broke up and scared and knocked out of their
right minds that they didn't hardly know what they was
about. With Tom it was awful; it 'most petrified him
to think maybe he had got his uncle into a thousand
times more trouble than ever, and maybe it wouldn't
ever happened if he hadn't been so ambitious to get
celebrated, and let the corpse alone the way the others
done. But pretty soon he sort of come to himself
again and says:

"Uncle Silas, don't you say another word like that.
It's dangerous, and there ain't a shadder of truth in it."

Aunt Sally and Benny was thankful to hear him say
that, and they said the same; but the old man he
wagged his head sorrowful and hopeless, and the tears
run down his face, and he says;

"No -- I done it; poor Jubiter, I done it!"

It was dreadful to hear him say it. Then he went
on and told about it, and said it happened the day
me and Tom come -- along about sundown. He said
Jubiter pestered him and aggravated him till he was so
mad he just sort of lost his mind and grabbed up a stick
and hit him over the head with all his might, and
Jubiter dropped in his tracks. Then he was scared and
sorry, and got down on his knees and lifted his head
up, and begged him to speak and say he wasn't dead;
and before long he come to, and when he see who it
was holding his head, he jumped like he was 'most
scared to death, and cleared the fence and tore into the
woods, and was gone. So he hoped he wasn't hurt
bad.

"But laws," he says, "it was only just fear that
gave him that last little spurt of strength, and of course
it soon played out and he laid down in the bush, and
there wasn't anybody to help him, and he died."

Then the old man cried and grieved, and said he was
a murderer and the mark of Cain was on him, and he
had disgraced his family and was going to be found
out and hung. But Tom said:

"No, you ain't going to be found out. You DIDN'T
kill him. ONE lick wouldn't kill him. Somebody else
done it."

"Oh, yes," he says, "I done it -- nobody else.
Who else had anything against him? Who else COULD
have anything against him?"

He looked up kind of like he hoped some of us could
mention somebody that could have a grudge against
that harmless no-account, but of course it warn't no
use -- he HAD us; we couldn't say a word. He
noticed that, and he saddened down again, and I never
see a face so miserable and so pitiful to see. Tom
had a sudden idea, and says:

"But hold on! -- somebody BURIED him. Now
who --"

He shut off sudden. I knowed the reason. It give
me the cold shudders when he said them words, because
right away I remembered about us seeing Uncle Silas
prowling around with a long-handled shovel away in
the night that night. And I knowed Benny seen him,
too, because she was talking about it one day. The
minute Tom shut off he changed the subject and went
to begging Uncle Silas to keep mum, and the rest of us
done the same, and said he MUST, and said it wasn't his
business to tell on himself, and if he kept mum nobody
would ever know; but if it was found out and any
harm come to him it would break the family's hearts
and kill them, and yet never do anybody any good.
So at last he promised. We was all of us more com-
fortable, then, and went to work to cheer up the old
man. We told him all he'd got to do was to keep still,
and it wouldn't be long till the whole thing would blow
over and be forgot. We all said there wouldn't any-
body ever suspect Uncle Silas, nor ever dream of such
a thing, he being so good and kind, and having such a
good character; and Tom says, cordial and hearty, he
says:

"Why, just look at it a minute; just consider.
Here is Uncle Silas, all these years a preacher -- at his
own expense; all these years doing good with all his
might and every way he can think of -- at his own ex-
pense, all the time; always been loved by everybody,
and respected; always been peaceable and minding his
own business, the very last man in this whole deestrict
to touch a person, and everybody knows it. Suspect
HIM? Why, it ain't any more possible than --"

"By authority of the State of Arkansaw, I arrest
you for the murder of Jubiter Dunlap!" shouts the
sheriff at the door.

It was awful. Aunt Sally and Benny flung themselves
at Uncle Silas, screaming and crying, and hugged him
and hung to him, and Aunt Sally said go away, she
wouldn't ever give him up, they shouldn't have him,
and the niggers they come crowding and crying to the
door and -- well, I couldn't stand it; it was enough to
break a person's heart; so I got out.

They took him up to the little one-horse jail in the
village, and we all went along to tell him good-bye;
and Tom was feeling elegant, and says to me, "We'll
have a most noble good time and heaps of danger some
dark night getting him out of there, Huck, and it'll be
talked about everywheres and we will be celebrated;"
but the old man busted that scheme up the minute he
whispered to him about it. He said no, it was his duty
to stand whatever the law done to him, and he would
stick to the jail plumb through to the end, even if
there warn't no door to it. It disappointed Tom
and graveled him a good deal, but he had to put up
with it.

But he felt responsible and bound to get his uncle
Silas free; and he told Aunt Sally, the last thing, not
to worry, because he was going to turn in and work
night and day and beat this game and fetch Uncle Silas
out innocent; and she was very loving to him and
thanked him and said she knowed he would do his very
best. And she told us to help Benny take care of the
house and the children, and then we had a good-bye
cry all around and went back to the farm, and left her
there to live with the jailer's wife a month till the trial
in October.

CHAPTER XI.
TOM SAWYER DISCOVERS THE MURDERERS

WELL, that was a hard month on us all. Poor
Benny, she kept up the best she could, and me
and Tom tried to keep things cheerful there at the
house, but it kind of went for nothing, as you may say.
It was the same up at the jail. We went up every day
to see the old people, but it was awful dreary, because
the old man warn't sleeping much, and was walking in
his sleep considerable and so he got to looking fagged
and miserable, and his mind got shaky, and we all got
afraid his troubles would break him down and kill him.
And whenever we tried to persuade him to feel cheer-
fuler, he only shook his head and said if we only
knowed what it was to carry around a murderer's load
in your heart we wouldn't talk that way. Tom and all
of us kept telling him it WASN'T murder, but just acci-
dental killing! but it never made any difference -- it was
murder, and he wouldn't have it any other way. He
actu'ly begun to come out plain and square towards
trial time and acknowledge that he TRIED to kill the man.
Why, that was awful, you know. It made things seem
fifty times as dreadful, and there warn't no more com-
fort for Aunt Sally and Benny. But he promised he
wouldn't say a word about his murder when others
was around, and we was glad of that.

Tom Sawyer racked the head off of himself all that
month trying to plan some way out for Uncle Silas, and
many's the night he kept me up 'most all night with
this kind of tiresome work, but he couldn't seem to get
on the right track no way. As for me, I reckoned a
body might as well give it up, it all looked so blue and
I was so downhearted; but he wouldn't. He stuck to
the business right along, and went on planning and
thinking and ransacking his head.

So at last the trial come on, towards the middle of
October, and we was all in the court. The place was
jammed, of course. Poor old Uncle Silas, he looked
more like a dead person than a live one, his eyes was so
hollow and he looked so thin and so mournful. Benny
she set on one side of him and Aunt Sally on the other,
and they had veils on, and was full of trouble. But
Tom he set by our lawyer, and had his finger in every-
wheres, of course. The lawyer let him, and the judge
let him. He 'most took the business out of the law-
yer's hands sometimes; which was well enough, be-
cause that was only a mud-turtle of a back-settlement
lawyer and didn't know enough to come in when it
rains, as the saying is.

They swore in the jury, and then the lawyer for the
prostitution got up and begun. He made a terrible
speech against the old man, that made him moan and
groan, and made Benny and Aunt Sally cry. The way
HE told about the murder kind of knocked us all stupid
it was so different from the old man's tale. He said
he was going to prove that Uncle Silas was SEEN to
kill Jubiter Dunlap by two good witnesses, and done it
deliberate, and SAID he was going to kill him the very
minute he hit him with the club; and they seen him hide
Jubiter in the bushes, and they seen that Jubiter was
stone-dead. And said Uncle Silas come later and
lugged Jubiter down into the tobacker field, and two
men seen him do it. And said Uncle Silas turned out,
away in the night, and buried Jubiter, and a man seen
him at it.

I says to myself, poor old Uncle Silas has been lying
about it because he reckoned nobody seen him and he
couldn't bear to break Aunt Sally's heart and Benny's;
and right he was: as for me, I would 'a' lied the
same way, and so would anybody that had any feeling,
to save them such misery and sorrow which THEY warn't
no ways responsible for. Well, it made our lawyer
look pretty sick; and it knocked Tom silly, too, for a
little spell, but then he braced up and let on that he
warn't worried -- but I knowed he WAS, all the same.
And the people -- my, but it made a stir amongst
them!

And when that lawyer was done telling the jury what
he was going to prove, he set down and begun to work
his witnesses.

First, he called a lot of them to show that there was
bad blood betwixt Uncle Silas and the diseased; and
they told how they had heard Uncle Silas threaten the
diseased, at one time and another, and how it got
worse and worse and everybody was talking about it,
and how diseased got afraid of his life, and told two or
three of them he was certain Uncle Silas would up and
kill him some time or another.

Tom and our lawyer asked them some questions;
but it warn't no use, they stuck to what they said.

Next, they called up Lem Beebe, and he took the
stand. It come into my mind, then, how Lem and Jim
Lane had come along talking, that time, about borrow-
ing a dog or something from Jubiter Dunlap; and that
brought up the blackberries and the lantern; and that
brought up Bill and Jack Withers, and how they passed
by, talking about a nigger stealing Uncle Silas's corn;
and that fetched up our old ghost that come along
about the same time and scared us so -- and here HE
was too, and a privileged character, on accounts of his
being deef and dumb and a stranger, and they had fixed
him a chair inside the railing, where he could cross his
legs and be comfortable, whilst the other people was all
in a jam so they couldn't hardly breathe. So it all
come back to me just the way it was that day; and it
made me mournful to think how pleasant it was up to
then, and how miserable ever since.

  LEM BEEBE, sworn, said -- "I was a-coming along, 
  that day, second of September, and Jim Lane was with
  me, and it was towards sundown, and we heard loud
  talk, like quarrelling, and we was very close, only
  the hazel bushes between (that's along the fence);
  and we heard a voice say, 'I've told you more'n once
  I'd kill you,' and knowed it was this prisoner's
  voice; and then we see a club come up above the
  bushes and down out of sight again. and heard a
  smashing thump and then a groan or two: and then we
  crope soft to where we could see, and there laid
  Jupiter Dunlap dead, and this prisoner standing over
  him with the club; and the next he hauled the dead
  man into a clump of bushes and hid him, and then we
  stooped low, to be cut of sight, and got away."

Well, it was awful. It kind of froze everybody's
blood to hear it, and the house was 'most as still whilst
he was telling it as if there warn't nobody in it. And
when he was done, you could hear them gasp and sigh,
all over the house, and look at one another the same
as to say, "Ain't it perfectly terrible -- ain't it awful!"

Now happened a thing that astonished me. All the
time the first witnesses was proving the bad blood and
the threats and all that, Tom Sawyer was alive and lay-
ing for them; and the minute they was through, he
went for them, and done his level best to catch them in
lies and spile their testimony. But now, how different.
When Lem first begun to talk, and never said anything
about speaking to Jubiter or trying to borrow a dog
off of him, he was all alive and laying for Lem, and you
could see he was getting ready to cross-question him to
death pretty soon, and then I judged him and me would
go on the stand by and by and tell what we heard him
and Jim Lane say. But the next time I looked at Tom
I got the cold shivers. Why, he was in the brownest
study you ever see -- miles and miles away. He warn't
hearing a word Lem Beebe was saying; and when he
got through he was still in that brown-study, just the
same. Our lawyer joggled him, and then he looked up
startled, and says, "Take the witness if you want him.
Lemme alone -- I want to think."

Well, that beat me. I couldn't understand it. And
Benny and her mother -- oh, they looked sick, they
was so troubled. They shoved their veils to one side
and tried to get his eye, but it warn't any use, and I
couldn't get his eye either. So the mud-turtle he
tackled the witness, but it didn't amount to nothing;
and he made a mess of it.

Then they called up Jim Lane, and he told the very
same story over again, exact. Tom never listened to
this one at all, but set there thinking and thinking, miles
and miles away. So the mud-turtle went in alone
again and come out just as flat as he done before. The
lawyer for the prostitution looked very comfortable,
but the judge looked disgusted. You see, Tom was
just the same as a regular lawyer, nearly, because it
was Arkansaw law for a prisoner to choose anybody he
wanted to help his lawyer, and Tom had had Uncle
Silas shove him into the case, and now he was botching
it and you could see the judge didn't like it much.
All that the mud-turtle got out of Lem and Jim was
this: he asked them:

"Why didn't you go and tell what you saw?"

"We was afraid we would get mixed up in it our-
selves. And we was just starting down the river
a-hunting for all the week besides; but as soon as we
come back we found out they'd been searching for the
body, so then we went and told Brace Dunlap all
about it."

"When was that?"

"Saturday night, September 9th."

The judge he spoke up and says:

"Mr. Sheriff, arrest these two witnesses on suspicions
of being accessionary after the fact to the murder."

The lawyer for the prostitution jumps up all excited,
and says:

"Your honor! I protest against this extraordi --"

"Set down!" says the judge, pulling his bowie and
laying it on his pulpit. "I beg you to respect the
Court."

So he done it. Then he called Bill Withers.

  BILL WITHERS, sworn, said: "I was coming along
  about sundown, Saturday, September 2d, by the
  prisoner's field, and my brother Jack was with me
  and we seen a man toting off something heavy on
  his back and allowed it was a nigger stealing
  corn; we couldn't see distinct; next we made out
  that it was one man carrying another; and the way
  it hung, so kind of limp, we judged it was
  somebody that was drunk; and by the man's walk we
  said it was Parson Silas, and we judged he had
  found Sam Cooper drunk in the road, which he was
  always trying to reform him, and was toting him
  out of danger."

It made the people shiver to think of poor old Uncle
Silas toting off the diseased down to the place in his
tobacker field where the dog dug up the body, but
there warn't much sympathy around amongst the faces,
and I heard one cuss say "'Tis the coldest blooded
work I ever struck, lugging a murdered man around
like that, and going to bury him like a animal, and him
a preacher at that."

Tom he went on thinking, and never took no notice;
so our lawyer took the witness and done the best he
could, and it was plenty poor enough.

Then Jack Withers he come on the stand and told the
same tale, just like Bill done.

And after him comes Brace Dunlap, and he was look-
ing very mournful, and most crying; and there was a
rustle and a stir all around, and everybody got ready to
listen, and lost of the women folks said, "Poor cretur,
poor cretur," and you could see a many of them wip-
ing their eyes.

  BRACE DUNLAP, sworn, said: "I was in considerable
  trouble a long time about my poor brother, but I
  reckoned things warn't near so bad as he made out,
  and I couldn't make myself believe anybody would
  have the heart to hurt a poor harmless cretur like
  that" -- [by jings, I was sure I seen Tom give a
  kind of a faint little start, and then look
  disappointed again] -- "and you know I COULDN'T
  think a preacher would hurt him -- it warn't natural
  to think such an onlikely thing -- so I never paid
  much attention, and now I sha'n't ever, ever
  forgive myself; for if I had a done different, my
  poor brother would be with me this day, and not
  laying yonder murdered, and him so harmless." He
  kind of broke down there and choked up, and waited
  to get his voice; and people all around said the
  most pitiful things, and women cried; and it was
  very still in there, and solemn, and old Uncle Silas,
  poor thing, he give a groan right out so everybody
  heard him. Then Brace he went on, "Saturday,
  September 2d, he didn't come home to supper. 
  By-and-by I got a little uneasy, and one of my
  niggers went over to this prisoner's place, but come
  back and said he warn't there. So I got uneasier
  and uneasier, and couldn't rest. I went to bed, but
  I couldn't sleep; and turned out, away late in the
  night, and went wandering over to this prisoner's
  place and all around about there a good while, hoping
  I would run across my poor brother, and never
  knowing he was out of his troubles and gone to a
  better shore --" So he broke down and choked up again,
  and most all the women was crying now. Pretty soon
  he got another start and says: "But it warn't no use;
  so at last I went home and tried to get some sleep,
  but couldn't. Well, in a day or two everybody was
  uneasy, and they got to talking about this prisoner's
  threats, and took to the idea, which I didn't take
  no stock in, that my brother was murdered so they
  hunted around and tried to find his body, but
  couldn't and give it up. And so I reckoned he was
  gone off somers to have a little peace, and would
  come back to us when his troubles was kind of healed.
  But late Saturday night, the 9th, Lem Beebe and
  Jim Lane come to my house and told me all -- told me
  the whole awful 'sassination, and my heart was
  broke. And THEN I remembered something that hadn't
  took no hold of me at the time, because reports said
  this prisoner had took to walking in his sleep and
  doing all kind of things of no consequence, not
  knowing what he was about. I will tell you what that
  thing was that come back into my memory. Away late
  that awful Saturday night when I was wandering
  around about this prisoner's place, grieving and
  troubled, I was down by the corner of the tobacker-
  field and I heard a sound like digging in a gritty
  soil; and I crope nearer and peeped through the
  vines that hung on the rail fence and seen this
  prisoner SHOVELING -- shoveling with a long-handled
  shovel -- heaving earth into a big hole that was
  most filled up; his back was to me, but it was
  bright moonlight and I knowed him by his old green
  baize work-gown with a splattery white patch in
  the middle of the back like somebody had hit him
  with a snowball. HE WAS BURYING THE MAN HE'D MURDERED!"

And he slumped down in his chair crying and sob-
bing, and 'most everybody in the house busted out
wailing, and crying, and saying, "Oh, it's awful --
awful -- horrible! and there was a most tremendous ex-
citement, and you couldn't hear yourself think; and
right in the midst of it up jumps old Uncle Silas, white
as a sheet, and sings out:

"IT'S TRUE, EVERY WORD -- I MURDERED HIM IN COLD
BLOOD!"

By Jackson, it petrified them! People rose up wild
all over the house, straining and staring for a better look
at him, and the judge was hammering with his mallet
and the sheriff yelling "Order -- order in the court --
order!"

And all the while the old man stood there a-quaking
and his eyes a-burning, and not looking at his wife and
daughter, which was clinging to him and begging him
to keep still, but pawing them off with his hands and
saying he WOULD clear his black soul from crime, he
WOULD heave off this load that was more than he could
bear, and he WOULDN'T bear it another hour! And
then he raged right along with his awful tale, every-
body a-staring and gasping, judge, jury, lawyers, and
everybody, and Benny and Aunt Sally crying their
hearts out. And by George, Tom Sawyer never
looked at him once! Never once -- just set there
gazing with all his eyes at something else, I couldn't
tell what. And so the old man raged right along,
pouring his words out like a stream of fire:

"I killed him! I am guilty! But I never had the
notion in my life to hurt him or harm him, spite of all
them lies about my threatening him, till the very
minute I raised the club -- then my heart went cold! --
then the pity all went out of it, and I struck to kill! In
that one moment all my wrongs come into my mind;
all the insults that that man and the scoundrel his
brother, there, had put upon me, and how they laid in
together to ruin me with the people, and take away
my good name, and DRIVE me to some deed that would
destroy me and my family that hadn't ever done THEM
no harm, so help me God! And they done it in a mean
revenge -- for why? Because my innocent pure girl
here at my side wouldn't marry that rich, insolent,
ignorant coward, Brace Dunlap, who's been sniveling
here over a brother he never cared a brass farthing
for -- "[I see Tom give a jump and look glad THIS time,
to a dead certainty]" -- and in that moment I've told
you about, I forgot my God and remembered only my
heart's bitterness, God forgive me, and I struck to kill.
In one second I was miserably sorry -- oh, filled with
remorse; but I thought of my poor family, and I MUST
hide what I'd done for their sakes; and I did hide that
corpse in the bushes; and presently I carried it to the
tobacker field; and in the deep night I went with my
shovel and buried it where --"

Up jumps Tom and shouts:

"NOW, I've got it!" and waves his hand, oh, ever
so fine and starchy, towards the old man, and says:

"Set down! A murder WAS done, but you never
had no hand in it!"

Well, sir, you could a heard a pin drop. And the
old man he sunk down kind of bewildered in his seat
and Aunt Sally and Benny didn't know it, because they
was so astonished and staring at Tom with their
mouths open and not knowing what they was about.
And the whole house the same. I never seen people
look so helpless and tangled up, and I hain't ever seen
eyes bug out and gaze without a blink the way theirn
did. Tom says, perfectly ca'm:

"Your honor, may I speak?"

"For God's sake, yes -- go on!" says the judge, so
astonished and mixed up he didn't know what he was
about hardly.

Then Tom he stood there and waited a second or two
-- that was for to work up an "effect," as he calls it
-- then he started in just as ca'm as ever, and says:

"For about two weeks now there's been a little bill
sticking on the front of this courthouse offering two
thousand dollars reward for a couple of big di'monds
-- stole at St. Louis. Them di'monds is worth twelve
thousand dollars. But never mind about that till I get
to it. Now about this murder. I will tell you all
about it -- how it happened -- who done it -- every
DEtail."

You could see everybody nestle now, and begin to
listen for all they was worth.

"This man here, Brace Dunlap, that's been sniveling
so about his dead brother that YOU know he never
cared a straw for, wanted to marry that young girl
there, and she wouldn't have him. So he told Uncle
Silas he would make him sorry. Uncle Silas knowed
how powerful he was, and how little chance he had
against such a man, and he was scared and worried, and
done everything he could think of to smooth him over
and get him to be good to him: he even took his no-
account brother Jubiter on the farm and give him wages
and stinted his own family to pay them; and Jubiter
done everything his brother could contrive to insult
Uncle Silas, and fret and worry him, and try to drive
Uncle Silas into doing him a hurt, so as to injure Uncle
Silas with the people. And it done it. Everybody
turned against him and said the meanest kind of things
about him, and it graduly broke his heart -- yes, and
he was so worried and distressed that often he warn't
hardly in his right mind.

"Well, on that Saturday that we've had so much
trouble about, two of these witnesses here, Lem Beebe
and Jim Lane, come along by where Uncle Silas and
Jubiter Dunlap was at work -- and that much of what
they've said is true, the rest is lies. They didn't hear
Uncle Silas say he would kill Jubiter; they didn't hear
no blow struck; they didn't see no dead man, and they
didn't see Uncle Silas hide anything in the bushes.
Look at them now -- how they set there, wishing they
hadn't been so handy with their tongues; anyway,
they'll wish it before I get done.

"That same Saturday evening Bill and Jack Withers
DID see one man lugging off another one. That much
of what they said is true, and the rest is lies. First off
they thought it was a nigger stealing Uncle Silas's corn
-- you notice it makes them look silly, now, to find out
somebody overheard them say that. That's because
they found out by and by who it was that was doing
the lugging, and THEY know best why they swore here
that they took it for Uncle Silas by the gait -- which it
WASN'T, and they knowed it when they swore to that lie.

"A man out in the moonlight DID see a murdered
person put under ground in the tobacker field -- but it
wasn't Uncle Silas that done the burying. He was in
his bed at that very time.

"Now, then, before I go on, I want to ask you if
you've ever noticed this: that people, when they're
thinking deep, or when they're worried, are most always
doing something with their hands, and they don't know
it, and don't notice what it is their hands are doing.
some stroke their chins; some stroke their noses; some
stroke up UNDER their chin with their hand; some twirl
a chain, some fumble a button, then there's some that
draws a figure or a letter with their finger on their
cheek, or under their chin or on their under lip. That's
MY way. When I'm restless, or worried, or thinking
hard, I draw capital V's on my cheek or on my under
lip or under my chin, and never anything BUT capital
V's -- and half the time I don't notice it and don't
know I'm doing it."

That was odd. That is just what I do; only I make
an O. And I could see people nodding to one another,
same as they do when they mean "THAT's so."

"Now, then, I'll go on. That same Saturday -- no,
it was the night before -- there was a steamboat laying
at Flagler's Landing, forty miles above here, and it
was raining and storming like the nation. And there
was a thief aboard, and he had them two big di'monds
that's advertised out here on this courthouse door;
and he slipped ashore with his hand-bag and struck
out into the dark and the storm, and he was a-hoping
he could get to this town all right and be safe. But he
had two pals aboard the boat, hiding, and he knowed
they was going to kill him the first chance they got and
take the di'monds; because all three stole them, and
then this fellow he got hold of them and skipped.

"Well, he hadn't been gone more'n ten minutes be-
fore his pals found it out, and they jumped ashore and
lit out after him. Prob'ly they burnt matches and
found his tracks. Anyway, they dogged along after
him all day Saturday and kept out of his sight; and
towards sundown he come to the bunch of sycamores
down by Uncle Silas's field, and he went in there to
get a disguise out of his hand-bag and put it on before
he showed himself here in the town -- and mind you he
done that just a little after the time that Uncle Silas was
hitting Jubiter Dunlap over the head with a club -- for
he DID hit him.

"But the minute the pals see that thief slide into the
bunch of sycamores, they jumped out of the bushes
and slid in after him.

"They fell on him and clubbed him to death.

"Yes, for all he screamed and howled so, they never
had no mercy on him, but clubbed him to death. And
two men that was running along the road heard him
yelling that way, and they made a rush into the syca-   i
more bunch -- which was where they was bound for,
anyway -- and when the pals saw them they lit out and
the two new men after them a-chasing them as tight as
they could go. But only a minute or two -- then these
two new men slipped back very quiet into the syca-
mores.

"THEN what did they do? I will tell you what they
done. They found where the thief had got his disguise
out of his carpet-sack to put on; so one of them strips
and puts on that disguise."

Tom waited a little here, for some more "effect" --
then he says, very deliberate:

"The man that put on that dead man's disguise was
-- JUBITER DUNLAP!"

"Great Scott!" everybody shouted, all over the
house, and old Uncle Silas he looked perfectly
astonished.

"Yes, it was Jubiter Dunlap. Not dead, you see.
Then they pulled off the dead man's boots and put
Jubiter Dunlap's old ragged shoes on the corpse and put
the corpse's boots on Jubiter Dunlap. Then Jubiter
Dunlap stayed where he was, and the other man lugged
the dead body off in the twilight; and after midnight
he went to Uncle Silas's house, and took his old green
work-robe off of the peg where it always hangs in the
passage betwixt the house and the kitchen and put it on,
and stole the long-handled shovel and went off down
into the tobacker field and buried the murdered man."

He stopped, and stood half a minute. Then --

"And who do you reckon the murdered man WAS?
It was -- JAKE Dunlap, the long-lost burglar!"

"Great Scott!"

"And the man that buried him was -- BRACE Dunlap,
his brother!"

"Great Scott!"

"And who do you reckon is this mowing idiot here
that's letting on all these weeks to be a deef and dumb
stranger? It's -- JUBITER Dunlap!"

My land, they all busted out in a howl, and you
never see the like of that excitement since the day you
was born. And Tom he made a jump for Jubiter and
snaked off his goggles and his false whiskers, and there
was the murdered man, sure enough, just as alive as
anybody! And Aunt Sally and Benny they went to
hugging and crying and kissing and smothering old
Uncle Silas to that degree he was more muddled and
confused and mushed up in his mind than he ever was
before, and that is saying considerable. And next,
people begun to yell:

"Tom Sawyer! Tom Sawyer! Shut up every-
body, and let him go on! Go on, Tom Sawyer!"

Which made him feel uncommon bully, for it was
nuts for Tom Sawyer to be a public character that-
away, and a hero, as he calls it. So when it was all
quiet, he says:

"There ain't much left, only this. When that man
there, Bruce Dunlap, had most worried the life and
sense out of Uncle Silas till at last he plumb lost his
mind and hit this other blatherskite, his brother, with a
club, I reckon he seen his chance. Jubiter broke for
the woods to hide, and I reckon the game was for him
to slide out, in the night, and leave the country.
Then Brace would make everybody believe Uncle Silas
killed him and hid his body somers; and that would
ruin Uncle Silas and drive HIM out of the country --
hang him, maybe; I dunno. But when they found
their dead brother in the sycamores without knowing
him, because he was so battered up, they see they had
a better thing; disguise BOTH and bury Jake and dig
him up presently all dressed up in Jubiter's clothes,
and hire Jim Lane and Bill Withers and the others to
swear to some handy lies -- which they done. And
there they set, now, and I told them they would be
looking sick before I got done, and that is the way
they're looking now.

"Well, me and Huck Finn here, we come down on
the boat with the thieves, and the dead one told us all
about the di'monds, and said the others would murder
him if they got the chance; and we was going to help
him all we could. We was bound for the sycamores
when we heard them killing him in there; but we was
in there in the early morning after the storm and
allowed nobody hadn't been killed, after all. And
when we see Jubiter Dunlap here spreading around in
the very same disguise Jake told us HE was going to
wear, we thought it was Jake his own self -- and he was
goo-gooing deef and dumb, and THAT was according to
agreement.

"Well, me and Huck went on hunting for the corpse
after the others quit, and we found it. And was proud,
too; but Uncle Silas he knocked us crazy by telling us
HE killed the man. So we was mighty sorry we found
the body, and was bound to save Uncle Silas's neck if
we could; and it was going to be tough work, too,
because he wouldn't let us break him out of prison the
way we done with our old nigger Jim.

"I done everything I could the whole month to think
up some way to save Uncle Silas, but I couldn't strike
a thing. So when we come into court to-day I come
empty, and couldn't see no chance anywheres. But
by and by I had a glimpse of something that set me
thinking -- just a little wee glimpse -- only that, and
not enough to make sure; but it set me thinking hard
-- and WATCHING, when I was only letting on to think;
and by and by, sure enough, when Uncle Silas was pil-
ing out that stuff about HIM killing Jubiter Dunlap, I
catched that glimpse again, and this time I jumped up
and shut down the proceedings, because I KNOWED
Jubiter Dunlap was a-setting here before me. I knowed
him by a thing which I seen him do -- and I remem-
bered it. I'd seen him do it when I was here a year
ago."

He stopped then, and studied a minute -- laying for
an "effect" -- I knowed it perfectly well. Then he
turned off like he was going to leave the platform, and
says, kind of lazy and indifferent:

"Well, I believe that is all."

Why, you never heard such a howl! -- and it come
from the whole house:

"What WAS it you seen him do? Stay where you
are, you little devil! You think you are going to
work a body up till his mouth's a-watering and stop
there? What WAS it he done?"

That was it, you see -- he just done it to get an
"effect "; you couldn't 'a' pulled him off of that plat-
form with a yoke of oxen.

"Oh, it wasn't anything much," he says. "I seen
him looking a little excited when he found Uncle Silas
was actuly fixing to hang himself for a murder that
warn't ever done; and he got more and more nervous
and worried, I a-watching him sharp but not seeming
to look at him -- and all of a sudden his hands begun
to work and fidget, and pretty soon his left crept up
and HIS FINGER DRAWED A CROSS ON HIS CHEEK, and then I
HAD him!"

Well, then they ripped and howled and stomped and
clapped their hands till Tom Sawyer was that proud
and happy he didn't know what to do with him-
self.

And then the judge he looked down over his pulpit
and says:

"My boy, did you SEE all the various details of this
strange conspiracy and tragedy that you've been de-
scribing?"

"No, your honor, I didn't see any of them."

"Didn't see any of them! Why, you've told the
whole history straight through, just the same as if
you'd seen it with your eyes. How did you manage
that?"

Tom says, kind of easy and comfortable:

"Oh, just noticing the evidence and piecing this and
that together, your honor; just an ordinary little bit of
detective work; anybody could 'a' done it."

"Nothing of the kind! Not two in a million could
'a' done it. You are a very remarkable boy."

Then they let go and give Tom another smashing
round, and he -- well, he wouldn't 'a' sold out for a
silver mine. Then the judge says:

"But are you certain you've got this curious history
straight?"

"Perfectly, your honor. Here is Brace Dunlap --
let him deny his share of it if he wants to take the
chance; I'll engage to make him wish he hadn't said
anything...... Well, you see HE'S pretty quiet. And
his brother's pretty quiet, and them four witnesses that
lied so and got paid for it, they're pretty quiet. And
as for Uncle Silas, it ain't any use for him to put in
his oar, I wouldn't believe him under oath!"

Well, sir, that fairly made them shout; and even the
judge he let go and laughed. Tom he was just feeling
like a rainbow. When they was done laughing he
looks up at the judge and says:

"Your honor, there's a thief in this house."

"A thief?"

"Yes, sir. And he's got them twelve-thousand-
dollar di'monds on him."

By gracious, but it made a stir! Everybody went
shouting:

"Which is him? which is him? p'int him out!"

And the judge says:

"Point him out, my lad. Sheriff, you will arrest
him. Which one is it?"

Tom says:

"This late dead man here -- Jubiter Dunlap."

Then there was another thundering let-go of astonish-
ment and excitement; but Jubiter, which was astonished
enough before, was just fairly putrified with astonish-
ment this time. And he spoke up, about half crying,
and says:

"Now THAT'S a lie. Your honor, it ain't fair; I'm
plenty bad enough without that. I done the other
things -- Brace he put me up to it, and persuaded me,
and promised he'd make me rich, some day, and I done
it, and I'm sorry I done it, and I wisht I hadn't; but I
hain't stole no di'monds, and I hain't GOT no di'monds;
I wisht I may never stir if it ain't so. The sheriff can
search me and see."

Tom says:

"Your honor, it wasn't right to call him a thief, and
I'll let up on that a little. He did steal the di'monds,
but he didn't know it. He stole them from his brother
Jake when he was laying dead, after Jake had stole them
from the other thieves; but Jubiter didn't know he was
stealing them; and he's been swelling around here with
them a month; yes, sir, twelve thousand dollars' worth
of di'monds on him -- all that riches, and going around
here every day just like a poor man. Yes, your honor,
he's got them on him now."

The judge spoke up and says:

"Search him, sheriff."

Well, sir, the sheriff he ransacked him high and low,
and everywhere: searched his hat, socks, seams, boots,
everything -- and Tom he stood there quiet, laying for
another of them effects of hisn. Finally the sheriff he
give it up, and everybody looked disappointed, and
Jubiter says:

"There, now! what'd I tell you?"

And the judge says:

"It appears you were mistaken this time, my
boy."

Then Tom took an attitude and let on to be studying
with all his might, and scratching his head. Then all
of a sudden he glanced up chipper, and says:

"Oh, now I've got it ! I'd forgot."

Which was a lie, and I knowed it. Then he says:

"Will somebody be good enough to lend me a little
small screwdriver? There was one in your brother's
hand-bag that you smouched, Jubiter. but I reckon
you didn't fetch it with you."

"No, I didn't. I didn't want it, and I give it
away."

"That's because you didn't know what it was
for."

Jubiter had his boots on again, by now, and when
the thing Tom wanted was passed over the people's
heads till it got to him, he says to Jubiter:

"Put up your foot on this chair." And he kneeled
down and begun to unscrew the heel-plate, everybody
watching; and when he got that big di'mond out of
that boot-heel and held it up and let it flash and blaze
and squirt sunlight everwhichaway, it just took every-
body's breath; and Jubiter he looked so sick and sorry
you never see the like of it. And when Tom held up
the other di'mond he looked sorrier than ever. Land!
he was thinking how he would 'a' skipped out and been
rich and independent in a foreign land if he'd only had
the luck to guess what the screwdriver was in the
carpet-bag for.

Well, it was a most exciting time, take it all around,
and Tom got cords of glory. The judge took the
di'monds, and stood up in his pulpit, and cleared his
throat, and shoved his spectacles back on his head, and
says:

"I'll keep them and notify the owners; and when
they send for them it will be a real pleasure to me to
hand you the two thousand dollars, for you've earned
the money -- yes, and you've earned the deepest and
most sincerest thanks of this community besides, for
lifting a wronged and innocent family out of ruin and
shame, and saving a good and honorable man from a
felon's death, and for exposing to infamy and the pun-
ishment of the law a cruel and odious scoundrel and his
miserable creatures!"

Well, sir, if there'd been a brass band to bust out
some music, then, it would 'a' been just the perfectest
thing I ever see, and Tom Sawyer he said the same.

Then the sheriff he nabbed Brace Dunlap and his
crowd, and by and by next month the judge had them
up for trial and jailed the whole lot. And everybody
crowded back to Uncle Silas's little old church, and was
ever so loving and kind to him and the family and
couldn't do enough for them; and Uncle Silas he
preached them the blamedest jumbledest idiotic sermons
you ever struck, and would tangle you up so you
couldn't find your way home in daylight; but the peo-
ple never let on but what they thought it was the clear-
est and brightest and elegantest sermons that ever was;
and they would set there and cry, for love and pity;
but, by George, they give me the jim-jams and the fan-
tods and caked up what brains I had, and turned them
solid; but by and by they loved the old man's intellects
back into him again, and he was as sound in his skull as
ever he was, which ain't no flattery, I reckon. And
so the whole family was as happy as birds, and nobody
could be gratefuler and lovinger than what they was to
Tom Sawyer; and the same to me, though I hadn't
done nothing. And when the two thousand dollars
come, Tom give half of it to me, and never told any-
body so, which didn't surprise me, because I knowed
him.

END OF "TOM SAWYER, DETECTIVE".
.

Colophon

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