[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 going 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 lonesome 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 anywhere you CAN go, just so as to get away, and be
thankful 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 talking this way,
when out comes his aunt Polly with a letter in her hand
"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
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 neighbor 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 niggers.
He's a widower, thirty-six years old, without any children,
and is proud of his money and overbearing, 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 as--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
"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?"
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 joking! 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 without 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,
From the very start me and Tom allowed that there
was somebody sick in the stateroom next to ourn,
because the meals was always toted in there by the waiters.
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
"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?"
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?"
"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
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
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."
"We'll keep mum, but there ain't any need to tell who you
are if you ain't Jubiter Dunlap."
"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
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 dangerous 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
"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 grateful 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 before
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
"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 satisfied; we warn't particular enough.
He told us to describe 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 everybody 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."
"Twelve-thousand-dollars!" 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?"
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 nobody 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.
"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
"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 suspicious?' '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
"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 remember 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'nheads. He set there and took his
own time to unscrew 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 powerful 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
"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 discouraged, and said we'd
got to give it up. That was what I was waiting for.
"'There's one place we hain't searched.'
"'What place is that?' he says.
"'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 being 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--beginning to cuss, I reckon.
Pretty soon I says to myself, 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 Elexandria
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 stateroom 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 different. 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, behind 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 sudden Tom whispers:
"Don't!" I says. "Don't take a person by surprise that way.
I'm 'most ready to die, anyway, without you doing that."
"Look, I tell you. It's something coming out of the sycamores."
"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
"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:
"Oh, I don't know. I reckon so. I seen him spading
up some ground along about an hour ago, just before
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 Saturday.
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 expecting 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."
"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 inspiration of God.
And after they've buried him they'll auction off his
things for to pay the expenses, and then's OUR chance."
"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 raggedy 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
hauling 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 borrow 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.
"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 fixing 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
"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 sighing; 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.
"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 responsible.
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
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 watermelons 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.
"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 murdered.
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
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,
"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
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
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 anywheres."
"So would I. It looks perfectly solid and genuwyne,
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.
"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 sycamores?"
"Or any sign of one?"
"Mighty good reason. Hadn't ever been any corpse there."
"Why, Tom, you know we heard--"
"Yes, we did--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,
"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 before 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 getting 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 understand them
and he prob'ly couldn't himself, but he done a sight of
goo-gooing, and so everybody was satisfied, 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. Everybody 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! Everybody'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,
"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 murdered.
That cuss could 'a' gone off somers and not been killed
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; nobody 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 looking,
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."
"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?--
Tom was stuck. I reckon he hadn't thought of a person
having to have a REASON for killing a person before,
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 remainders. 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 everybody, and we'd
never hear the last of it.
So we loafed along home down the back lanes, feeling pretty
glum and not talking. When we was passing 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 murderer, 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
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
"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
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 comfortable,
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 anybody 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 expense, 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 cheerfuler,
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 accidental 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 comfort 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 everywheres, of course. The lawyer
let him, and the judge let him. He 'most took the business
out of the lawyer's hands sometimes; which was well enough,
because 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
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 borrowing 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 laying 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 ourselves.
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,
"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
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 looking
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 sobbing,
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 excitement,
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, everybody 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
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
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 before
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 sycamores.
"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
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--
"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!"
"And the man that buried him was--BRACE Dunlap, his brother!"
"And who do you reckon is this mowing idiot here that's
letting on all these weeks to be a deef and dumb stranger?
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 everybody, 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
"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 piling 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
remembered it. I'd seen him do it when I was here a
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 platform
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 himself.
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 describing?"
"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
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."
"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?"
"This late dead man here--Jubiter Dunlap."
Then there was another thundering let-go of astonishment
and excitement; but Jubiter, which was astonished enough before,
was just fairly putrified with astonishment 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."
"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 everybody'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 punishment 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 people never let on but what they
thought it was the clearest 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 anybody so,
which didn't surprise me, because I knowed him.