Library. Read online. Free books read online. Read books without registering

Free e-online library. On our resource there are books of different genres and themes that you will be comfortable reading






[Footnote: Strange as the incidents of this story are,

they are not inventions, but facts — even to the

public confession of the accused. I take them from an

old-time Swedish criminal trial, change the actors,

and transfer the scenes to America. I have added some

details, but only a couple of them are important

ones. — M. T.]

WELL, it was the next spring after me and Tom

Sawyer set our old nigger Jim free, the time he

was chained up for a runaway slave down there on

Tom’s uncle Silas’s farm in Arkansaw. The frost was

working out of the ground, and out of the air, too, and

it was getting closer and closer onto barefoot time every

day; and next it would be marble time, and next

mumbletypeg, and next tops and hoops, and next

kites, and then right away it would be summer and go-

ing in a-swimming. It just makes a boy homesick to

look ahead like that and see how far off summer is.

Yes, and it sets him to sighing and saddening around,

and there’s something the matter with him, he don’t

know what. But anyway, he gets out by himself and

mopes and thinks; and mostly he hunts for a lone-

some place high up on the hill in the edge of the woods,

and sets there and looks away off on the big Mississippi

down there a-reaching miles and miles around the points

where the timber looks smoky and dim it’s so far off and

still, and everything’s so solemn it seems like everybody

you’ve loved is dead and gone, and you ‘most wish you

was dead and gone too, and done with it all.

Don’t you know what that is? It’s spring fever.

That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got

it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you

DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you

want it so! It seems to you that mainly what you want

is to get away; get away from the same old tedious

things you’re so used to seeing and so tired of, and set

something new. That is the idea; you want to go and

be a wanderer; you want to go wandering far away to

strange countries where everything is mysterious and

wonderful and romantic. And if you can’t do that,

you’ll put up with considerable less; you’ll go any-

where you CAN go, just so as to get away, and be thank-

ful of the chance, too.

Well, me and Tom Sawyer had the spring fever, and

had it bad, too; but it warn’t any use to think about

Tom trying to get away, because, as he said, his Aunt

Polly wouldn’t let him quit school and go traipsing off

somers wasting time; so we was pretty blue. We was

setting on the front steps one day about sundown talk-

ing this way, when out comes his aunt Polly with a

letter in her hand and says:

“Tom, I reckon you’ve got to pack up and go down

to Arkansaw — your aunt Sally wants you.”

I ‘most jumped out of my skin for joy. I reckoned

Tom would fly at his aunt and hug her head off; but if

you believe me he set there like a rock, and never said

a word. It made me fit to cry to see him act so foolish,

with such a noble chance as this opening up. Why,

we might lose it if he didn’t speak up and show he was

thankful and grateful. But he set there and studied

and studied till I was that distressed I didn’t know

what to do; then he says, very ca’m, and I could a

shot him for it:

“Well,” he says, “I’m right down sorry, Aunt

Polly, but I reckon I got to be excused — for the


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


“You’ll be excused! YOU will! Well, I never

heard the like of it in all my days! The idea of you

talking like that to ME! Now take yourself off and

pack your traps; and if I hear another word out of

you about what you’ll be excused from and what you

won’t, I lay I’LL excuse you — with a hickory!”

She hit his head a thump with her thimble as we

dodged by, and he let on to be whimpering as we

struck for the stairs. Up in his room he hugged me,

he was so out of his head for gladness because he was

going traveling. And he says:

“Before we get away she’ll wish she hadn’t let me

go, but she won’t know any way to get around it now.

After what she’s said, her pride won’t let her take it


Tom was packed in ten minutes, all except what his

aunt and Mary would finish up for him; then we waited

ten more for her to get cooled down and sweet and

gentle again; for Tom said it took her ten minutes to

unruffle in times when half of her feathers was up, but

twenty when they was all up, and this was one of the

times when they was all up. Then we went down,

being in a sweat to know what the letter said.

She was setting there in a brown study, with it laying

in her lap. We set down, and she says:

“They’re in considerable trouble down there, and

they think you and Huck’ll be a kind of diversion for

them — ‘comfort,’ they say. Much of that they’ll get

out of you and Huck Finn, I reckon. There’s a neigh-

bor named Brace Dunlap that’s been wanting to marry

their Benny for three months, and at last they told him

point blank and once for all, he COULDN’T; so he has soured

on them, and they’re worried about it. I reckon he’s

somebody they think they better be on the good side

of, for they’ve tried to please him by hiring his no-

account brother to help on the farm when they can’t

hardly afford it, and don’t want him around anyhow.

Who are the Dunlaps?”

“They live about a mile from Uncle Silas’s place,

Aunt Polly — all the farmers live about a mile apart

down there — and Brace Dunlap is a long sight richer

than any of the others, and owns a whole grist of nig-

gers. He’s a widower, thirty-six years old, without

any children, and is proud of his money and overbear-

ing, and everybody is a little afraid of him. I judge he

thought he could have any girl he wanted, just for the

asking, and it must have set him back a good deal when

he found he couldn’t get Benny. Why, Benny’s only

half as old as he is, and just as sweet and lovely asQ

well, you’ve seen her. Poor old Uncle Silas — why,

it’s pitiful, him trying to curry favor that way — so hard

pushed and poor, and yet hiring that useless Jubiter

Dunlap to please his ornery brother.”

“What a name — Jubiter! Where’d he get it?”

“It’s only just a nickname. I reckon they’ve forgot

his real name long before this. He’s twenty-seven,

now, and has had it ever since the first time he ever

went in swimming. The school teacher seen a round

brown mole the size of a dime on his left leg above his

knee, and four little bits of moles around it, when he

was naked, and he said it minded him of Jubiter and

his moons; and the children thought it was funny, and

so they got to calling him Jubiter, and he’s Jubiter yet.

He’s tall, and lazy, and sly, and sneaky, and ruther

cowardly, too, but kind of good-natured, and wears

long brown hair and no beard, and hasn’t got a cent,

and Brace boards him for nothing, and gives him his old

clothes to wear, and despises him. Jubiter is a twin.”

“What’s t’other twin like?”

“Just exactly like Jubiter — so they say; used to

was, anyway, but he hain’t been seen for seven years.

He got to robbing when he was nineteen or twenty,

and they jailed him; but he broke jail and got away —

up North here, somers. They used to hear about him

robbing and burglaring now and then, but that was

years ago. He’s dead, now. At least that’s what

they say. They don’t hear about him any more.”

“What was his name?”


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


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

“Tempers? Uncle Silas? Land, you must be jok-

ing! I didn’t know he HAD any temper.”

“Works him up into perfect rages, your aunt Sally

says; says he acts as if he would really hit the man,


“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




WE had powerful good luck; because we got a

chance in a stern-wheeler from away North which

was bound for one of them bayous or one-horse rivers

away down Louisiana way, and so we could go all the

way down the Upper Mississippi and all the way down

the Lower Mississippi to that farm in Arkansaw with-

out having to change steamboats at St. Louis; not so

very much short of a thousand miles at one pull.

A pretty lonesome boat; there warn’t but few

passengers, and all old folks, that set around, wide

apart, dozing, and was very quiet. We was four days

getting out of the “upper river,” because we got

aground so much. But it warn’t dull — couldn’t be

for boys that was traveling, of course.

From the very start me and Tom allowed that there

was somebody sick in the stateroom next to ourn, be-

cause the meals was always toted in there by the wait-

ers. By and by we asked about it — Tom did and

the waiter said it was a man, but he didn’t look sick.

“Well, but AIN’T he sick?”

“I don’t know; maybe he is, but ‘pears to me he’s

just letting on.”

“What makes you think that?”

“Because if he was sick he would pull his clothes off

SOME time or other — don’t you reckon he would?

Well, this one don’t. At least he don’t ever pull off

his boots, anyway.”

“The mischief he don’t! Not even when he goes

to bed?”


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


“No — nothing, except he seems so scary, and

keeps his doors locked night and day both, and when

you knock he won’t let you in till he opens the door a

crack and sees who it is.”

“By jimminy, it’s int’resting! I’d like to get a

look at him. Say — the next time you’re going in

there, don’t you reckon you could spread the door

and –”

“No, indeedy! He’s always behind it. He would

block that game.”

Tom studied over it, and then he says:

“Looky here. You lend me your apern and let me

take him his breakfast in the morning. I’ll give you a


The boy was plenty willing enough, if the head

steward wouldn’t mind. Tom says that’s all right, he

reckoned he could fix it with the head steward; and he

done it. He fixed it so as we could both go in with

aperns on and toting vittles.

He didn’t sleep much, he was in such a sweat to get

in there and find out the mystery about Phillips; and

moreover he done a lot of guessing about it all night,

which warn’t no use, for if you are going to find out

the facts of a thing, what’s the sense in guessing out

what ain’t the facts and wasting ammunition? I

didn’t lose no sleep. I wouldn’t give a dern to know

what’s the matter of Phillips, I says to myself.

Well, in the morning we put on the aperns and got a

couple of trays of truck, and Tom he knocked on the

door. The man opened it a crack, and then he let us in

and shut it quick. By Jackson, when we got a sight of

him, we ‘most dropped the trays! and Tom says:

“Why, Jubiter Dunlap, where’d YOU come from?”

Well, the man was astonished, of course; and first

off he looked like he didn’t know whether to be scared,

or glad, or both, or which, but finally he settled down

to being glad; and then his color come back, though at

first his face had turned pretty white. So we got to

talking together while he et his breakfast. And he


“But I aint Jubiter Dunlap. I’d just as soon tell

you who I am, though, if you’ll swear to keep mum,

for I ain’t no Phillips, either.”

Tom says:

“We’ll keep mum, but there ain’t any need to tell

who you are if you ain’t Jubiter Dunlap.”


“Because if you ain’t him you’re t’other twin, Jake.

You’re the spit’n image of Jubiter.”

“Well, I’m Jake. But looky here, how do you

come to know us Dunlaps?”

Tom told about the adventures we’d had down there

at his uncle Silas’s last summer, and when he see that

there warn’t anything about his folks — or him either,

for that matter — that we didn’t know, he opened out

and talked perfectly free and candid. He never made

any bones about his own case; said he’d been a hard

lot, was a hard lot yet, and reckoned he’d be a hard lot

plumb to the end. He said of course it was a danger-

ous life, and —

He give a kind of gasp, and set his head like a person

that’s listening. We didn’t say anything, and so it

was very still for a second or so, and there warn’t no

sounds but the screaking of the woodwork and the chug-

chugging of the machinery down below.

Then we got him comfortable again, telling him about

his people, and how Brace’s wife had been dead three

years, and Brace wanted to marry Benny and she shook

him, and Jubiter was working for Uncle Silas, and him

and Uncle Silas quarreling all the time — and then he

let go and laughed.

“Land!” he says, “it’s like old times to hear all

this tittle-tattle, and does me good. It’s been seven

years and more since I heard any. How do they talk

about me these days?”


“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


“Then I’m saved, I’m saved, sure! I’ll go home.

They’ll hide me and save my life. You keep mum.

Swear you’ll keep mum — swear you’ll never, never tell

on me. Oh, boys, be good to a poor devil that’s being

hunted day and night, and dasn’t show his face! I’ve

never done you any harm; I’ll never do you any, as

God is in the heavens; swear you’ll be good to me

and help me save my life.”

We’d a swore it if he’d been a dog; and so we done

it. Well, he couldn’t love us enough for it or be grate-

ful enough, poor cuss; it was all he could do to keep

from hugging us.

We talked along, and he got out a little hand-bag

and begun to open it, and told us to turn our backs.

We done it, and when he told us to turn again he was

perfectly different to what he was before. He had on

blue goggles and the naturalest-looking long brown

whiskers and mustashes you ever see. His own

mother wouldn’t ‘a’ knowed him. He asked us if he

looked like his brother Jubiter, now.

“No,” Tom said; “there ain’t anything left that’s

like him except the long hair.”

“All right, I’ll get that cropped close to my head be-

fore I get there; then him and Brace will keep my

secret, and I’ll live with them as being a stranger, and

the neighbors won’t ever guess me out. What do you


Tom he studied awhile, then he says:

“Well, of course me and Huck are going to keep

mum there, but if you don’t keep mum yourself there’s

going to be a little bit of a risk — it ain’t much, maybe,

but it’s a little. I mean, if you talk, won’t people

notice that your voice is just like Jubiter’s; and

mightn’t it make them think of the twin they reckoned

was dead, but maybe after all was hid all this time

under another name?”

“By George,” he says, “you’re a sharp one!

You’re perfectly right. I’ve got to play deef and

dumb when there’s a neighbor around. If I’d a struck

for home and forgot that little detail — However, I

wasn’t striking for home. I was breaking for any

place where I could get away from these fellows that

are after me; then I was going to put on this disguise

and get some different clothes, and –”

He jumped for the outside door and laid his ear

against it and listened, pale and kind of panting.

Presently he whispers:

“Sounded like cocking a gun! Lord, what a life to


Then he sunk down in a chair all limp and sick like,

and wiped the sweat off of his face.



FROM that time out, we was with him ‘most all the

time, and one or t’other of us slept in his upper

berth. He said he had been so lonesome, and it was

such a comfort to him to have company, and somebody

to talk to in his troubles. We was in a sweat to find

out what his secret was, but Tom said the best way was

not to seem anxious, then likely he would drop into it

himself in one of his talks, but if we got to asking

questions he would get suspicious and shet up his shell.

It turned out just so. It warn’t no trouble to see that

he WANTED to talk about it, but always along at first he

would scare away from it when he got on the very edge

of it, and go to talking about something else. The

way it come about was this: He got to asking us,

kind of indifferent like, about the passengers down on

deck. We told him about them. But he warn’t satis-

fied; we warn’t particular enough. He told us to de-

scribe them better. Tom done it. At last, when Tom

was describing one of the roughest and raggedest ones,

he gave a shiver and a gasp and says:

“Oh, lordy, that’s one of them! They’re aboard

sure — I just knowed it. I sort of hoped I had got

away, but I never believed it. Go on.”

Presently when Tom was describing another mangy,

rough deck passenger, he give that shiver again and


“That’s him! — that’s the other one. If it would

only come a good black stormy night and I could get

ashore. You see, they’ve got spies on me. They’ve

got a right to come up and buy drinks at the bar

yonder forrard, and they take that chance to bribe

somebody to keep watch on me — porter or boots or

somebody. If I was to slip ashore without anybody

seeing me, they would know it inside of an hour.”

So then he got to wandering along, and pretty soon,

sure enough, he was telling! He was poking along

through his ups and downs, and when he come to that

place he went right along. He says:

“It was a confidence game. We played it on a julery-

shop in St. Louis. What we was after was a couple of

noble big di’monds as big as hazel-nuts, which every-

body was running to see. We was dressed up fine, and

we played it on them in broad daylight. We ordered

the di’monds sent to the hotel for us to see if we

wanted to buy, and when we was examining them we

had paste counterfeits all ready, and THEM was the things

that went back to the shop when we said the water

wasn’t quite fine enough for twelve thousand dollars.”

“TwelveQthousandQdollars!” 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 no-

body else going to do it for him. And then he went

on. He says:

“You see, the trouble was, you couldn’t divide up

two di’monds amongst three. If there’d been three —

But never mind about that, there warn’t three. I

loafed along the back streets studying and studying.

And I says to myself, I’ll hog them di’monds the first

chance I get, and I’ll have a disguise all ready, and I’ll

give the boys the slip, and when I’m safe away I’ll put

it on, and then let them find me if they can. So I got

the false whiskers and the goggles and this countrified

suit of clothes, and fetched them along back in a hand-

bag; and when I was passing a shop where they sell all

sorts of things, I got a glimpse of one of my pals

through the window. It was Bud Dixon. I was glad,

you bet. I says to myself, I’ll see what he buys. So

I kept shady, and watched. Now what do you reckon

it was he bought?”

“Whiskers?” said I.




“Oh, keep still, Huck Finn, can’t you, you’re only

just hendering all you can. What WAS it he bought,


“You’d never guess in the world. It was only just

a screwdriver — just a wee little bit of a screwdriver.”

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

“That’s what I thought. It was curious. It clean

stumped me. I says to myself, what can he want with

that thing? Well, when he come out I stood back out

of sight, and then tracked him to a second-hand slop-

shop and see him buy a red flannel shirt and some old

ragged clothes — just the ones he’s got on now, as

you’ve described. Then I went down to the wharf and

hid my things aboard the up-river boat that we had

picked out, and then started back and had another

streak of luck. I seen our other pal lay in HIS stock

of old rusty second-handers. We got the di’monds

and went aboard the boat.

“But now we was up a stump, for we couldn’t go

to bed. We had to set up and watch one another.

Pity, that was; pity to put that kind of a strain on us,

because there was bad blood between us from a

couple of weeks back, and we was only friends in the

way of business. Bad anyway, seeing there was only

two di’monds betwixt three men. First we had supper,

and then tramped up and down the deck together

smoking till most midnight; then we went and set

down in my stateroom and locked the doors and looked

in the piece of paper to see if the di’monds was all

right, then laid it on the lower berth right in full sight;

and there we set, and set, and by-and-by it got to be

dreadful hard to keep awake. At last Bud Dixon he

dropped off. As soon as he was snoring a good regular

gait that was likely to last, and had his chin on his

breast and looked permanent, Hal Clayton nodded

towards the di’monds and then towards the outside

door, and I understood. I reached and got the paper,

and then we stood up and waited perfectly still; Bud

never stirred; I turned the key of the outside door

very soft and slow, then turned the knob the same

way, and we went tiptoeing out onto the guard, and

shut the door very soft and gentle.

“There warn’t nobody stirring anywhere, and the

boat was slipping along, swift and steady, through the

big water in the smoky moonlight. We never said a

word, but went straight up onto the hurricane-deck and

plumb back aft, and set down on the end of the sky-

light. Both of us knowed what that meant, without

having to explain to one another. Bud Dixon would

wake up and miss the swag, and would come straight

for us, for he ain’t afeard of anything or anybody, that

man ain’t. He would come, and we would heave him

overboard, or get killed trying. It made me shiver,

because I ain’t as brave as some people, but if I

showed the white feather — well, I knowed better than

do that. I kind of hoped the boat would land somers,

and we could skip ashore and not have to run the risk

of this row, I was so scared of Bud Dixon, but she

was an upper-river tub and there warn’t no real chance

of that.

“Well, the time strung along and along, and that

fellow never come! Why, it strung along till dawn

begun to break, and still he never come. ‘Thunder,’ I

says, ‘what do you make out of this? — ain’t it sus-

picious?’ ‘Land!’ Hal says, ‘do you reckon he’s

playing us? — open the paper!’ I done it, and by

gracious there warn’t anything in it but a couple of

little pieces of loaf-sugar! THAT’S the reason he could

set there and snooze all night so comfortable. Smart?

Well, I reckon! He had had them two papers all fixed

and ready, and he had put one of them in place of

t’other right under our noses.

“We felt pretty cheap. But the thing to do, straight

off, was to make a plan; and we done it. We would

do up the paper again, just as it was, and slip in, very

elaborate and soft, and lay it on the bunk again, and

let on WE didn’t know about any trick, and hadn’t any

idea he was a-laughing at us behind them bogus snores

of his’n; and we would stick by him, and the first

night we was ashore we would get him drunk and

search him, and get the di’monds; and DO for him,

too, if it warn’t too risky. If we got the swag, we’d

GOT to do for him, or he would hunt us down and do for

us, sure. But I didn’t have no real hope. I knowed

we could get him drunk — he was always ready for

that — but what’s the good of it? You might search

him a year and never find —

“Well, right there I catched my breath and broke

off my thought! For an idea went ripping through my

head that tore my brains to rags — and land, but I felt

gay and good! You see, I had had my boots off, to

unswell my feet, and just then I took up one of them

to put it on, and I catched a glimpse of the heel-

bottom, and it just took my breath away. You re-

member about that puzzlesome little screwdriver?”

“You bet I do,” says Tom, all excited.

“Well, when I catched that glimpse of that boot

heel, the idea that went smashing through my head

was, I know where he’s hid the di’monds! You look

at this boot heel, now. See, it’s bottomed with a steel

plate, and the plate is fastened on with little screws.

Now there wasn’t a screw about that feller anywhere

but in his boot heels; so, if he needed a screwdriver,

I reckoned I knowed why.”

“Huck, ain’t it bully!” says Tom.

“Well, I got my boots on, and we went down and

slipped in and laid the paper of sugar on the berth,

and sat down soft and sheepish and went to listening to

Bud Dixon snore. Hal Clayton dropped off pretty

soon, but I didn’t; I wasn’t ever so wide awake in my

life. I was spying out from under the shade of my

hat brim, searching the floor for leather. It took me a

long time, and I begun to think maybe my guess was

wrong, but at last I struck it. It laid over by the

bulkhead, and was nearly the color of the carpet. It

was a little round plug about as thick as the end of your

little finger, and I says to myself there’s a di’mond in

the nest you’ve come from. Before long I spied out

the plug’s mate .

“Think of the smartness and coolness of that

blatherskite! He put up that scheme on us and

reasoned out what we would do, and we went ahead

and done it perfectly exact, like a couple of pudd’n-

heads. He set there and took his own time to un-

screw his heelplates and cut out his plugs and stick in

the di’monds and screw on his plates again . He

allowed we would steal the bogus swag and wait all

night for him to come up and get drownded, and by

George it’s just what we done! I think it was power-

ful smart.”

“You bet your life it was!” says Tom, just full of




WELL, all day we went through the humbug of

watching one another, and it was pretty sickly

business for two of us and hard to act out, I can tell

you. About night we landed at one of them little

Missouri towns high up toward Iowa, and had supper

at the tavern, and got a room upstairs with a cot and a

double bed in it, but I dumped my bag under a deal

table in the dark hall while we was moving along it to

bed, single file, me last, and the landlord in the lead

with a tallow candle. We had up a lot of whisky, and

went to playing high-low-jack for dimes, and as soon

as the whisky begun to take hold of Bud we stopped

drinking, but we didn’t let him stop. We loaded him

till he fell out of his chair and laid there snoring.

“We was ready for business now. I said we better

pull our boots off, and his’n too, and not make any

noise, then we could pull him and haul him around and

ransack him without any trouble. So we done it. I

set my boots and Bud’s side by side, where they’d be

handy. Then we stripped him and searched his seams

and his pockets and his socks and the inside of his

boots, and everything, and searched his bundle. Never

found any di’monds. We found the screwdriver, and

Hal says, ‘What do you reckon he wanted with that?’

I said I didn’t know; but when he wasn’t looking I

hooked it. At last Hal he looked beat and discour-

aged, and said we’d got to give it up. That was what

I was waiting for. I says:

“‘There’s one place we hain’t searched.’

“‘What place is that?’ he says.

“‘His stomach.’

“‘By gracious, I never thought of that! NOW we’re

on the homestretch, to a dead moral certainty. How’ll

we manage?’

“‘Well,’ I says, ‘just stay by him till I turn out and

hunt up a drug store, and I reckon I’ll fetch something

that’ll make them di’monds tired of the company

they’re keeping.’

“He said that’s the ticket, and with him looking

straight at me I slid myself into Bud’s boots instead of

my own, and he never noticed. They was just a shade

large for me, but that was considerable better than be-

ing too small. I got my bag as I went a-groping

through the hall, and in about a minute I was out the

back way and stretching up the river road at a five-mile


“And not feeling so very bad, neither — walking on

di’monds don’t have no such effect. When I had gone

fifteen minutes I says to myself, there’s more’n a mile

behind me, and everything quiet. Another five minutes

and I says there’s considerable more land behind me

now, and there’s a man back there that’s begun to

wonder what’s the trouble. Another five and I says to

myself he’s getting real uneasy — he’s walking the floor

now. Another five, and I says to myself, there’s two

mile and a half behind me, and he’s AWFUL uneasy — be-

ginning to cuss, I reckon. Pretty soon I says to my-

self, forty minutes gone — he KNOWS there’s something

up! Fifty minutes — the truth’s a-busting on him

now! he is reckoning I found the di’monds whilst we

was searching, and shoved them in my pocket and never

let on — yes, and he’s starting out to hunt for me.

He’ll hunt for new tracks in the dust, and they’ll as

likely send him down the river as up.

“Just then I see a man coming down on a mule, and

before I thought I jumped into the bush. It was

stupid! When he got abreast he stopped and waited

a little for me to come out; then he rode on again.

But I didn’t feel gay any more. I says to myself I’ve

botched my chances by that; I surely have, if he meets

up with Hal Clayton.

“Well, about three in the morning I fetched Elex-

andria and see this stern-wheeler laying there, and was

very glad, because I felt perfectly safe, now, you know.

It was just daybreak. I went aboard and got this state-

room and put on these clothes and went up in the pilot-

house — to watch, though I didn’t reckon there was

any need of it. I set there and played with my

di’monds and waited and waited for the boat to start,

but she didn’t. You see, they was mending her

machinery, but I didn’t know anything about it, not

being very much used to steamboats.

“Well, to cut the tale short, we never left there till

plumb noon; and long before that I was hid in this

stateroom; for before breakfast I see a man coming,

away off, that had a gait like Hal Clayton’s, and it

made me just sick. I says to myself, if he finds out

I’m aboard this boat, he’s got me like a rat in a trap.

All he’s got to do is to have me watched, and wait —

wait till I slip ashore, thinking he is a thousand miles

away, then slip after me and dog me to a good place

and make me give up the di’monds, and then he’ll —

oh, I know what he’ll do! Ain’t it awful — awful!

And now to think the OTHER one’s aboard, too! Oh,

ain’t it hard luck, boys — ain’t it hard! But you’ll help

save me, WON’T you? — oh, boys, be good to a poor

devil that’s being hunted to death, and save me — I’ll

worship the very ground you walk on!”

We turned in and soothed him down and told him

we would plan for him and help him, and he needn’t

be so afeard; and so by and by he got to feeling kind

of comfortable again, and unscrewed his heelplates and

held up his di’monds this way and that, admiring them

and loving them; and when the light struck into them

they WAS beautiful, sure; why, they seemed to kind of

bust, and snap fire out all around. But all the same I

judged he was a fool. If I had been him I would a

handed the di’monds to them pals and got them to go

ashore and leave me alone. But he was made differ-

ent. He said it was a whole fortune and he couldn’t

bear the idea.

Twice we stopped to fix the machinery and laid a

good while, once in the night; but it wasn’t dark

enough, and he was afeard to skip. But the third

time we had to fix it there was a better chance. We

laid up at a country woodyard about forty mile above

Uncle Silas’s place a little after one at night, and it was

thickening up and going to storm. So Jake he laid for

a chance to slide. We begun to take in wood. Pretty

soon the rain come a-drenching down, and the wind

blowed hard. Of course every boat-hand fixed a

gunny sack and put it on like a bonnet, the way they

do when they are toting wood, and we got one for

Jake, and he slipped down aft with his hand-bag and

come tramping forrard just like the rest, and walked

ashore with them, and when we see him pass out of the

light of the torch-basket and get swallowed up in the

dark, we got our breath again and just felt grateful and

splendid. But it wasn’t for long. Somebody told, I

reckon; for in about eight or ten minutes them two

pals come tearing forrard as tight as they could jump

and darted ashore and was gone. We waited plumb

till dawn for them to come back, and kept hoping they

would, but they never did. We was awful sorry and

low-spirited. All the hope we had was that Jake had

got such a start that they couldn’t get on his track, and

he would get to his brother’s and hide there and be


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.



WE didn’t get done tinkering the machinery till away

late in the afternoon, and so it was so close to

sundown when we got home that we never stopped on

our road, but made a break for the sycamores as tight

as we could go, to tell Jake what the delay was, and

have him wait till we could go to Brace’s and find out

how things was there. It was getting pretty dim by the

time we turned the corner of the woods, sweating and

panting with that long run, and see the sycamores thirty

yards ahead of us; and just then we see a couple of

men run into the bunch and heard two or three terrible

screams for help. “Poor Jake is killed, sure,” we

says. We was scared through and through, and broke

for the tobacker field and hid there, trembling so our

clothes would hardly stay on; and just as we skipped

in there, a couple of men went tearing by, and into the

bunch they went, and in a second out jumps four men

and took out up the road as tight as they could go,

two chasing two.

We laid down, kind of weak and sick, and listened

for more sounds, but didn’t hear none for a good while

but just our hearts. We was thinking of that awful

thing laying yonder in the sycamores, and it seemed

like being that close to a ghost, and it give me the cold

shudders. The moon come a-swelling up out of the

ground, now, powerful big and round and bright, be-

hind a comb of trees, like a face looking through prison

bars, and the black shadders and white places begun to

creep around, and it was miserable quiet and still and

night-breezy and graveyardy and scary. All of a sud-

den Tom whispers:

“Look! — what’s that?”

“Don’t!” I says. “Don’t take a person by sur-

prise that way. I’m ‘most ready to die, anyway, with-

out you doing that.”

“Look, I tell you. It’s something coming out of

the sycamores.”

“Don’t, Tom!”

“It’s terrible tall!”

“Oh, lordy-lordy! let’s –”

“Keep still — it’s a-coming this way.”

He was so excited he could hardly get breath enough

to whisper. I had to look. I couldn’t help it. So

now we was both on our knees with our chins on a

fence rail and gazing — yes, and gasping too. It was

coming down the road — coming in the shadder of the

trees, and you couldn’t see it good; not till it was

pretty close to us; then it stepped into a bright splotch

of moonlight and we sunk right down in our tracks —

it was Jake Dunlap’s ghost! That was what we said

to ourselves.

We couldn’t stir for a minute or two; then it was

gone We talked about it in low voices. Tom


“They’re mostly dim and smoky, or like they’re

made out of fog, but this one wasn’t.”

“No,” I says; “I seen the goggles and the whiskers

perfectly plain.”

“Yes, and the very colors in them loud countrified

Sunday clothes — plaid breeches, green and black –”

“Cotton velvet westcot, fire-red and yaller squares –”

“Leather straps to the bottoms of the breeches legs

and one of them hanging unbottoned –”

“Yes, and that hat –”

“What a hat for a ghost to wear!”

You see it was the first season anybody wore that

kind — a black sitff-brim stove-pipe, very high, and

not smooth, with a round top — just like a sugar-loaf.

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

“No — seems to me I did, then again it seems to me

I didn’t.”

“I didn’t either; but it had its bag along, I noticed


“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


“Who? — Jubiter Dunlap?”


“Oh, I don’t know. I reckon so. I seen him spad-

ing up some ground along about an hour ago, just be-

fore sundown — him and the parson. Said he guessed

he wouldn’t go to-night, but we could have his dog if

we wanted him.”

“Too tired, I reckon.”

“Yes — works so hard!”

“Oh, you bet!”

They cackled at that, and went on by. Tom said we

better jump out and tag along after them, because they

was going our way and it wouldn’t be comfortable to

run across the ghost all by ourselves. So we done it,

and got home all right.

That night was the second of September — a Satur-

day. I sha’n’t ever forget it. You’ll see why, pretty

soon .



WE tramped along behind Jim and Lem till we come

to the back stile where old Jim’s cabin was that

he was captivated in, the time we set him free, and here

come the dogs piling around us to say howdy, and

there was the lights of the house, too; so we warn’t

afeard any more, and was going to climb over, but

Tom says:

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

“What’s the matter?” says I.

“Matter enough!” he says. “Wasn’t you expect-

ing we would be the first to tell the family who it is

that’s been killed yonder in the sycamores, and all

about them rapscallions that done it, and about the

di’monds they’ve smouched off of the corpse, and paint

it up fine, and have the glory of being the ones that

knows a lot more about it than anybody else?”

“Why, of course. It wouldn’t be you, Tom Sawyer,

if you was to let such a chance go by. I reckon it

ain’t going to suffer none for lack of paint,” I says,

“when you start in to scollop the facts.”

“Well, now,” he says, perfectly ca’m, “what would

you say if I was to tell you I ain’t going to start in at


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

“I’d say it’s a lie. You ain’t in earnest, Tom


“You’ll soon see. Was the ghost barefooted?”

“No, it wasn’t. What of it?”

“You wait — I’ll show you what. Did it have its

boots on?”

“Yes. I seen them plain.”

“Swear it?”

“Yes, I swear it.”

“So do I. Now do you know what that means?”

“No. What does it mean?”

“Means that them thieves DIDN’T GET THE DI’MONDS.”

“Jimminy! What makes you think that?”

“I don’t only think it, I know it. Didn’t the

breeches and goggles and whiskers and hand-bag and

every blessed thing turn to ghost-stuff? Everything it

had on turned, didn’t it? It shows that the reason its

boots turned too was because it still had them on after

it started to go ha’nting around, and if that ain’t proof

that them blatherskites didn’t get the boots, I’d like to

know what you’d CALL proof.”

Think of that now. I never see such a head as that

boy had. Why, I had eyes and I could see things, but

they never meant nothing to me. But Tom Sawyer

was different. When Tom Sawyer seen a thing it just

got up on its hind legs and TALKED to him — told him

everything it knowed. I never see such a head.

“Tom Sawyer,” I says, “I’ll say it again as I’ve

said it a many a time before: I ain’t fitten to black

your boots. But that’s all right — that’s neither here

nor there. God Almighty made us all, and some He

gives eyes that’s blind, and some He gives eyes that

can see, and I reckon it ain’t none of our lookout what

He done it for; it’s all right, or He’d ‘a’ fixed it some

other way. Go on — I see plenty plain enough, now,

that them thieves didn’t get way with the di’monds.

Why didn’t they, do you reckon?”

“Because they got chased away by them other two

men before they could pull the boots off of the corpse.”

“That’s so! I see it now. But looky here, Tom,

why ain’t we to go and tell about it?”

“Oh, shucks, Huck Finn, can’t you see? Look at

it. What’s a-going to happen? There’s going to be

an inquest in the morning. Them two men will tell

how they heard the yells and rushed there just in time

to not save the stranger. Then the jury’ll twaddle

and twaddle and twaddle, and finally they’ll fetch in a

verdict that he got shot or stuck or busted over the

head with something, and come to his death by the in-

spiration of God. And after they’ve buried him they’ll

auction off his things for to pay the expenses, and

then’s OUR chance.”

“How, Tom?”

“Buy the boots for two dollars!”

Well, it ‘most took my breath.

“My land! Why, Tom, WE’LL get the di’monds!”

“You bet. Some day there’ll be a big reward

offered for them — a thousand dollars, sure. That’s

our money! Now we’ll trot in and see the folks.

And mind you we don’t know anything about any

murder, or any di’monds, or any thieves — don’t you

forget that.”

I had to sigh a little over the way he had got it fixed.

I’d ‘a’ SOLD them di’monds — yes, sir — for twelve

thousand dollars; but I didn’t say anything. It

wouldn’t done any good. I says:

“But what are we going to tell your aunt Sally has

made us so long getting down here from the village,


“Oh, I’ll leave that to you,” he says. “I reckon

you can explain it somehow.”

He was always just that strict and delicate. He

never would tell a lie himself.

We struck across the big yard, noticing this, that,

and t’other thing that was so familiar, and we so glad

to see it again, and when we got to the roofed big

passageway betwixt the double log house and the

kitchen part, there was everything hanging on the wall

just as it used to was, even to Uncle Silas’s old faded

green baize working-gown with the hood to it, and rag-

gedy white patch between the shoulders that always

looked like somebody had hit him with a snowball; and

then we lifted the latch and walked in. Aunt Sally she

was just a-ripping and a-tearing around, and the

children was huddled in one corner, and the old man

he was huddled in the other and praying for help in

time of need. She jumped for us with joy and tears

running down her face and give us a whacking box on

the ear, and then hugged us and kissed us and boxed

us again, and just couldn’t seem to get enough of it,

she was so glad to see us; and she says:

“Where HAVE you been a-loafing to, you good-for-

nothing trash! I’ve been that worried about you I

didn’t know what to do. Your traps has been here

ever so long, and I’ve had supper cooked fresh about

four times so as to have it hot and good when you

come, till at last my patience is just plumb wore out,

and I declare I — I — why I could skin you alive! You

must be starving, poor things! — set down, set down,

everybody; don’t lose no more time.”

It was good to be there again behind all that noble

corn-pone and spareribs, and everything that you could

ever want in this world. Old Uncle Silas he peeled off

one of his bulliest old-time blessings, with as many

layers to it as an onion, and whilst the angels was haul-

ing in the slack of it I was trying to study up what to

say about what kept us so long. When our plates was

all loadened and we’d got a-going, she asked me, and

I says:

“Well, you see, — er — Mizzes –”

“Huck Finn! Since when am I Mizzes to you?

Have I ever been stingy of cuffs or kisses for you since

the day you stood in this room and I took you for Tom

Sawyer and blessed God for sending you to me, though

you told me four thousand lies and I believed every

one of them like a simpleton? Call me Aunt Sally —

like you always done.”

So I done it. And I says:

“Well, me and Tom allowed we would come along

afoot and take a smell of the woods, and we run across

Lem Beebe and Jim Lane, and they asked us to go with

them blackberrying to-night, and said they could bor-

row Jubiter Dunlap’s dog, because he had told them

just that minute –”

“Where did they see him?” says the old man; and

when I looked up to see how HE come to take an intrust

in a little thing like that, his eyes was just burning into

me, he was that eager. It surprised me so it kind of

throwed me off, but I pulled myself together again and


“It was when he was spading up some ground along

with you, towards sundown or along there.”

He only said, “Um,” in a kind of a disappointed

way, and didn’t take no more intrust. So I went on.

I says:

“Well, then, as I was a-saying –”

“That’ll do, you needn’t go no furder.” It was

Aunt Sally. She was boring right into me with her

eyes, and very indignant. “Huck Finn,” she says,

“how’d them men come to talk about going a-black-

berrying in September — in THIS region?”

I see I had slipped up, and I couldn’t say a word.

She waited, still a-gazing at me, then she says:

“And how’d they come to strike that idiot idea of

going a-blackberrying in the night?”

“Well, m’m, they — er — they told us they had a

lantern, and –”

“Oh, SHET up — do! Looky here; what was they

going to do with a dog? — hunt blackberries with it?”

“I think, m’m, they –”

“Now, Tom Sawyer, what kind of a lie are you fix-

ing YOUR mouth to contribit to this mess of rubbage?

Speak out — and I warn you before you begin, that

I don’t believe a word of it. You and Huck’s been up

to something you no business to — I know it perfectly

well; I know you, BOTH of you. Now you explain that

dog, and them blackberries, and the lantern, and the

rest of that rot — and mind you talk as straight as a

string — do you hear?”

Tom he looked considerable hurt, and says, very


“It is a pity if Huck is to be talked to that way, just

for making a little bit of a mistake that anybody could


“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.



BENNY she was looking pretty sober, and she sighed

some, now and then; but pretty soon she got to

asking about Mary, and Sid, and Tom’s aunt Polly,

and then Aunt Sally’s clouds cleared off and she got in

a good humor and joined in on the questions and was

her lovingest best self, and so the rest of the supper

went along gay and pleasant. But the old man he

didn’t take any hand hardly, and was absent-minded

and restless, and done a considerable amount of sigh-

ing; and it was kind of heart-breaking to see him so

sad and troubled and worried.

By and by, a spell after supper, come a nigger and

knocked on the door and put his head in with his old

straw hat in his hand bowing and scraping, and said his

Marse Brace was out at the stile and wanted his

brother, and was getting tired waiting supper for him,

and would Marse Silas please tell him where he was?

I never see Uncle Silas speak up so sharp and fractious

before. He says:

“Am I his brother’s keeper?” And then he kind

of wilted together, and looked like he wished he hadn’t

spoken so, and then he says, very gentle: “But you

needn’t say that, Billy; I was took sudden and irritable,

and I ain’t very well these days, and not hardly respon-

sible. Tell him he ain’t here.”

And when the nigger was gone he got up and

walked the floor, backwards and forwards, mumbling

and muttering to himself and plowing his hands through

his hair. It was real pitiful to see him. Aunt Sally she

whispered to us and told us not to take notice of him,

it embarrassed him. She said he was always thinking

and thinking, since these troubles come on, and she

allowed he didn’t more’n about half know what he was

about when the thinking spells was on him; and she

said he walked in his sleep considerable more now than

he used to, and sometimes wandered around over the

house and even outdoors in his sleep, and if we catched

him at it we must let him alone and not disturb him.

She said she reckoned it didn’t do him no harm, and

may be it done him good. She said Benny was the

only one that was much help to him these days. Said

Benny appeared to know just when to try to soothe

him and when to leave him alone.

So he kept on tramping up and down the floor and

muttering, till by and by he begun to look pretty tired;

then Benny she went and snuggled up to his side and

put one hand in his and one arm around his waist and

walked with him; and he smiled down on her, and

reached down and kissed her; and so, little by little

the trouble went out of his face and she persuaded him

off to his room. They had very petting ways together,

and it was uncommon pretty to see.

Aunt Sally she was busy getting the children ready

for bed; so by and by it got dull and tedious, and me

and Tom took a turn in the moonlight, and fetched up

in the watermelon-patch and et one, and had a good

deal of talk. And Tom said he’d bet the quarreling

was all Jubiter’s fault, and he was going to be on hand

the first time he got a chance, and see; and if it was

so, he was going to do his level best to get Uncle Silas

to turn him off.

And so we talked and smoked and stuffed water-

melons much as two hours, and then it was pretty late,

and when we got back the house was quiet and dark,

and everybody gone to bed.

Tom he always seen everything, and now he see that

the old green baize work-gown was gone, and said it

wasn’t gone when he went out; so he allowed it was

curious, and then we went up to bed.

We could hear Benny stirring around in her room,

which was next to ourn, and judged she was worried a

good deal about her father and couldn’t sleep. We

found we couldn’t, neither. So we set up a long time,

and smoked and talked in a low voice, and felt pretty

dull and down-hearted. We talked the murder and the

ghost over and over again, and got so creepy and

crawly we couldn’t get sleepy nohow and noway.

By and by, when it was away late in the night and all

the sounds was late sounds and solemn, Tom nudged

me and whispers to me to look, and I done it, and there

we see a man poking around in the yard like he didn’t

know just what he wanted to do, but it was pretty dim

and we couldn’t see him good. Then he started for

the stile, and as he went over it the moon came out

strong, and he had a long-handled shovel over his

shoulder, and we see the white patch on the old work-

gown. So Tom says:

“He’s a-walking in his sleep. I wish we was

allowed to follow him and see where he’s going to.

There, he’s turned down by the tobacker-field. Out

of sight now. It’s a dreadful pity he can’t rest no


We waited a long time, but he didn’t come back any

more, or if he did he come around the other way; so

at last we was tuckered out and went to sleep and had

nightmares, a million of them. But before dawn we

was awake again, because meantime a storm had come

up and been raging, and the thunder and lightning

was awful, and the wind was a-thrashing the trees

around, and the rain was driving down in slanting

sheets, and the gullies was running rivers. Tom says:

“Looky here, Huck, I’ll tell you one thing that’s

mighty curious. Up to the time we went out last night

the family hadn’t heard about Jake Dunlap being mur-

dered. Now the men that chased Hal Clayton and

Bud Dixon away would spread the thing around in a

half an hour, and every neighbor that heard it would

shin out and fly around from one farm to t’other and

try to be the first to tell the news. Land, they don’t

have such a big thing as that to tell twice in thirty year!

Huck, it’s mighty strange; I don’t understand it.”

So then he was in a fidget for the rain to let up, so

we could turn out and run across some of the people

and see if they would say anything about it to us.

And he said if they did we must be horribly surprised

and shocked.

We was out and gone the minute the rain stopped.

It was just broad day then. We loafed along up the

road, and now and then met a person and stopped and

said howdy, and told them when we come, and how we

left the folks at home, and how long we was going to

stay, and all that, but none of them said a word about

that thing; which was just astonishing, and no mistake.

Tom said he believed if we went to the sycamores we

would find that body laying there solitary and alone,

and not a soul around. Said he believed the men

chased the thieves so far into the woods that the thieves

prob’ly seen a good chance and turned on them at last,

and maybe they all killed each other, and so there

wasn’t anybody left to tell.

First we knowed, gabbling along that away, we was

right at the sycamores. The cold chills trickled down

my back and I wouldn’t budge another step, for all

Tom’s persuading. But he couldn’t hold in; he’d GOT

to see if the boots was safe on that body yet. So he

crope in — and the next minute out he come again with

his eyes bulging he was so excited, and says:

“Huck, it’s gone!”

I WAS astonished! I says:

“Tom, you don’t mean it.”

“It’s gone, sure. There ain’t a sign of it. The

ground is trampled some, but if there was any blood

it’s all washed away by the storm, for it’s all puddles

and slush in there.”

At last I give in, and went and took a look myself;

and it was just as Tom said — there wasn’t a sign of a


“Dern it,” I says, “the di’monds is gone. Don’t

you reckon the thieves slunk back and lugged him off,


“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.



IT warn’t very cheerful at breakfast. Aunt Sally she

looked old and tired and let the children snarl and

fuss at one another and didn’t seem to notice it was

going on, which wasn’t her usual style; me and Tom

had a plenty to think about without talking; Benny she

looked like she hadn’t had much sleep, and whenever

she’d lift her head a little and steal a look towards her

father you could see there was tears in her eyes; and

as for the old man, his things stayed on his plate and

got cold without him knowing they was there, I reckon,

for he was thinking and thinking all the time, and never

said a word and never et a bite.

By and by when it was stillest, that nigger’s head

was poked in at the door again, and he said his Marse

Brace was getting powerful uneasy about Marse Jubiter,

which hadn’t come home yet, and would Marse Silas

please —

He was looking at Uncle Silas, and he stopped there,

like the rest of his words was froze; for Uncle Silas he

rose up shaky and steadied himself leaning his fingers

on the table, and he was panting, and his eyes was set

on the nigger, and he kept swallowing, and put his

other hand up to his throat a couple of times, and at

last he got his words started, and says:

“Does he — does he — think — WHAT does he think!

Tell him — tell him –” Then he sunk down in his

chair limp and weak, and says, so as you could hardly

hear him: “Go away — go away!”

The nigger looked scared and cleared out, and we

all felt — well, I don’t know how we felt, but it was

awful, with the old man panting there, and his eyes set

and looking like a person that was dying. None of us

could budge; but Benny she slid around soft, with her

tears running down, and stood by his side, and nestled

his old gray head up against her and begun to stroke it

and pet it with her hands, and nodded to us to go

away, and we done it, going out very quiet, like the

dead was there.

Me and Tom struck out for the woods mighty

solemn, and saying how different it was now to what it

was last summer when we was here and everything was

so peaceful and happy and everybody thought so much

of Uncle Silas, and he was so cheerful and simple-

hearted and pudd’n-headed and good — and now look

at him. If he hadn’t lost his mind he wasn’t muck

short of it. That was what we allowed.

It was a most lovely day now, and bright and sun.

shiny; and the further and further we went over the

hills towards the prairie the lovelier and lovelier the

trees and flowers got to be and the more it seemed

strange and somehow wrong that there had to be

trouble in such a world as this. And then all of a

sudden I catched my breath and grabbed Tom’s arm, and

all my livers and lungs and things fell down into my legs.

“There it is!” I says. We jumped back behind a

bush shivering, and Tom says:

“‘Sh! — don’t make a noise.”

It was setting on a log right in the edge of a little

prairie, thinking. I tried to get Tom to come away,

but he wouldn’t, and I dasn’t budge by myself. He

said we mightn’t ever get another chance to see one,

and he was going to look his fill at this one if he died

for it. So I looked too, though it give me the fan-

tods to do it. Tom he HAD to talk, but he talked low.

He says:

“Poor Jakey, it’s got all its things on, just as he

said he would. NOW you see what we wasn’t certain

about — its hair. It’s not long now the way it was:

it’s got it cropped close to its head, the way he said he

would. Huck, I never see anything look any more

naturaler than what It does.”

“Nor I neither,” I says; “I’d recognize it any-


“So would I. It looks perfectly solid and genu-

wyne, just the way it done before it died.”

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

“Huck, there’s something mighty curious about this

one, don’t you know? IT oughtn’t to be going around

in the daytime.”

“That’s so, Tom — I never heard the like of it


“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?”


“Why, Tom, it’s so, sure! It’s as solid as a cow.

I sort of begin to think –”

“Huck, it’s biting off a chaw of tobacker! By

George, THEY don’t chaw — they hain’t got anything to

chaw WITH. Huck!”

“I’m a-listening.”

“It ain’t a ghost at all. It’s Jake Dunlap his own


“Oh your granny!” I says.

“Huck Finn, did we find any corpse in the syca-



“Or any sign of one?”


“Mighty good reason. Hadn’t ever been any corpse


“Why, Tom, you know we heard –”

“Yes, we didJ– heard a howl or two. Does that

prove anybody was killed? Course it don’t. And we

seen four men run, then this one come walking out and

we took it for a ghost. No more ghost than you are.

It was Jake Dunlap his own self, and it’s Jake Dunlap

now. He’s been and got his hair cropped, the way he

said he would, and he’s playing himself for a stranger,

just the same as he said he would. Ghost? Hum! —

he’s as sound as a nut.”

Then I see it all, and how we had took too much for

granted. I was powerful glad he didn’t get killed, and

so was Tom, and we wondered which he would like the

best — for us to never let on to know him, or how?

Tom reckoned the best way would be to go and ask

him. So he started; but I kept a little behind, because

I didn’t know but it might be a ghost, after all. When

Tom got to where he was, he says:

“Me and Huck’s mighty glad to see you again,

and you needn’t be afeared we’ll tell. And if you

think it’ll be safer for you if we don’t let on to know

you when we run across you, say the word and you’ll

see you can depend on us, and would ruther cut our

hands off than get you into the least little bit of


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


Just then we see some of Steve Nickerson’s people

coming that lived t’other side of the prairie, so Tom


“You do it elegant; I never see anybody do it

better. You’re right; play it on us, too; play it on

us same as the others; it’ll keep you in practice and

prevent you making blunders. We’ll keep away from

you and let on we don’t know you, but any time we

can be any help, you just let us know.”

Then we loafed along past the Nickersons, and of

course they asked if that was the new stranger yonder,

and where’d he come from, and what was his name,

and which communion was he, Babtis’ or Methodis’,

and which politics, Whig or Democrat, and how long

is he staying, and all them other questions that humans

always asks when a stranger comes, and animals does,

too. But Tom said he warn’t able to make anything

out of deef and dumb signs, and the same with goo-

gooing. Then we watched them go and bullyrag Jake;

because we was pretty uneasy for him. Tom said it

would take him days to get so he wouldn’t forget he

was a deef and dummy sometimes, and speak out be-

fore he thought. When we had watched long enough

to see that Jake was getting along all right and working

his signs very good, we loafed along again, allowing to

strike the schoolhouse about recess time, which was a

three-mile tramp.

I was so disappointed not to hear Jake tell about the

row in the sycamores, and how near he come to get-

ting killed, that I couldn’t seem to get over it, and

Tom he felt the same, but said if we was in Jake’s fix

we would want to go careful and keep still and not take

any chances.

The boys and girls was all glad to see us again, and

we had a real good time all through recess. Coming

to school the Henderson boys had come across the new

deef and dummy and told the rest; so all the scholars

was chuck full of him and couldn’t talk about anything

else, and was in a sweat to get a sight of him because

they hadn’t ever seen a deef and dummy in their lives,

and it made a powerful excitement.

Tom said it was tough to have to keep mum now;

said we would be heroes if we could come out and tell

all we knowed; but after all, it was still more heroic to

keep mum, there warn’t two boys in a million could do

it. That was Tom Sawyer’s idea about it, and

reckoned there warn’t anybody could better it.



IN the next two or three days Dummy he got to be

powerful popular. He went associating around with

the neighbors, and they made much of him, and was

proud to have such a rattling curiosity among them.

They had him to breakfast, they had him to dinner,

they had him to supper; they kept him loaded up

with hog and hominy, and warn’t ever tired staring at

him and wondering over him, and wishing they knowed

more about him, he was so uncommon and romantic.

His signs warn’t no good; people couldn’t under-

stand them and he prob’ly couldn’t himself, but he

done a sight of goo-gooing, and so everybody was sat-

isfied, and admired to hear him go it. He toted a

piece of slate around, and a pencil; and people wrote

questions on it and he wrote answers; but there warn’t

anybody could read his writing but Brace Dunlap.

Brace said he couldn’t read it very good, but he could

manage to dig out the meaning most of the time. He

said Dummy said he belonged away off somers and

used to be well off, but got busted by swindlers which

he had trusted, and was poor now, and hadn’t any way

to make a living.

Everybody praised Brace Dunlap for being so good

to that stranger. He let him have a little log-cabin all

to himself, and had his niggers take care of it, and fetch

him all the vittles he wanted.

Dummy was at our house some, because old Uncle

Silas was so afflicted himself, these days, that anybody

else that was afflicted was a comfort to him. Me and

Tom didn’t let on that we had knowed him before, and

he didn’t let on that he had knowed us before. The

family talked their troubles out before him the same as

if he wasn’t there, but we reckoned it wasn’t any harm

for him to hear what they said. Generly he didn’t

seem to notice, but sometimes he did.

Well, two or three days went along, and everybody

got to getting uneasy about Jubiter Dunlap. Every-

body was asking everybody if they had any idea what

had become of him. No, they hadn’t, they said: and

they shook their heads and said there was something

powerful strange about it. Another and another day

went by; then there was a report got around that praps

he was murdered. You bet it made a big stir! Every-

body’s tongue was clacking away after that. Saturday

two or three gangs turned out and hunted the woods to

see if they could run across his remainders. Me and

Tom helped, and it was noble good times and exciting.

Tom he was so brimful of it he couldn’t eat nor rest.

He said if we could find that corpse we would be

celebrated, and more talked about than if we got


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


“The trail’s too old, Tom — and besides, it’s rained,

you know.”

“It don’t make any difference, Huck. If the body’s

hid in the woods anywhere around the hound will find

it. If he’s been murdered and buried, they wouldn’t

bury him deep, it ain’t likely, and if the dog goes over

the spot he’ll scent him, sure. Huck, we’re going to

be celebrated, sure as you’re born!”

He was just a-blazing; and whenever he got afire he

was most likely to get afire all over. That was the way

this time. In two minutes he had got it all ciphered

out, and wasn’t only just going to find the corpse —

no, he was going to get on the track of that murderer

and hunt HIM down, too; and not only that, but he

was going to stick to him till —

“Well,” I says, “you better find the corpse first; I

reckon that’s a-plenty for to-day. For all we know,

there AIN’T any corpse and nobody hain’t been mur-

dered. That cuss could ‘a’ gone off somers and not

been killed at all.”

That graveled him, and he says:

“Huck Finn, I never see such a person as you to

want to spoil everything. As long as YOU can’t see

anything hopeful in a thing, you won’t let anybody

else. What good can it do you to throw cold water on

that corpse and get up that selfish theory that there

ain’t been any murder? None in the world. I don’t

see how you can act so. I wouldn’t treat you like

that, and you know it. Here we’ve got a noble good

opportunity to make a ruputation, and –”

“Oh, go ahead,” I says. “I’m sorry, and I take it

all back. I didn’t mean nothing. Fix it any way

you want it. HE ain’t any consequence to me. If

he’s killed, I’m as glad of it as you are; and if he –”

“I never said anything about being glad; I only –”

“Well, then, I’m as SORRY as you are. Any way

you druther have it, that is the way I druther have it.

He –”

“There ain’t any druthers ABOUT it, Huck Finn; no-

body said anything about druthers. And as for –”

He forgot he was talking, and went tramping along,

studying. He begun to get excited again, and pretty

soon he says:

“Huck, it’ll be the bulliest thing that ever happened

if we find the body after everybody else has quit look-

ing, and then go ahead and hunt up the murderer. It

won’t only be an honor to us, but it’ll be an honor to

Uncle Silas because it was us that done it. It’ll set

him up again, you see if it don’t.”

But Old Jeff Hooker he throwed cold water on the

whole business when we got to his blacksmith shop and

told him what we come for.

“You can take the dog,” he says, “but you ain’t

a-going to find any corpse, because there ain’t any

corpse to find. Everybody’s quit looking, and they’re

right. Soon as they come to think, they knowed there

warn’t no corpse. And I’ll tell you for why. What

does a person kill another person for, Tom Sawyer? —

answer me that.”

“Why, he — er –”

“Answer up! You ain’t no fool. What does he kill

him FOR?”

“Well, sometimes it’s for revenge, and –”

“Wait. One thing at a time. Revenge, says you;

and right you are. Now who ever had anything agin

that poor trifling no-account? Who do you reckon

would want to kill HIM? — that rabbit!”

Tom was stuck. I reckon he hadn’t thought of a

person having to have a REASON for killing a person be-

fore, and now he sees it warn’t likely anybody would

have that much of a grudge against a lamb like Jubiter

Dunlap. The blacksmith says, by and by:

“The revenge idea won’t work, you see. Well,

then, what’s next? Robbery? B’gosh, that must ‘a’

been it, Tom! Yes, sirree, I reckon we’ve struck it

this time. Some feller wanted his gallus-buckles, and

so he –”

But it was so funny he busted out laughing, and just

went on laughing and laughing and laughing till he was

‘most dead, and Tom looked so put out and cheap that

I knowed he was ashamed he had come, and he wished

he hadn’t. But old Hooker never let up on him. He

raked up everything a person ever could want to kill

another person about, and any fool could see they

didn’t any of them fit this case, and he just made no

end of fun of the whole business and of the people

that had been hunting the body; and he said:

“If they’d had any sense they’d ‘a’ knowed the lazy

cuss slid out because he wanted a loafing spell after all

this work. He’ll come pottering back in a couple of

weeks, and then how’ll you fellers feel? But, laws

bless you, take the dog, and go and hunt his re-

mainders. Do, Tom.”

Then he busted out, and had another of them forty-

rod laughs of hisn. Tom couldn’t back down after all

this, so he said, “All right, unchain him;” and the

blacksmith done it, and we started home and left that

old man laughing yet.

It was a lovely dog. There ain’t any dog that’s got

a lovelier disposition than a bloodhound, and this one

knowed us and liked us. He capered and raced

around ever so friendly, and powerful glad to be free

and have a holiday; but Tom was so cut up he couldn’t

take any intrust in him, and said he wished he’d stopped

and thought a minute before he ever started on such a

fool errand. He said old Jeff Hooker would tell every-

body, and we’d never hear the last of it.

So we loafed along home down the back lanes, feel-

ing pretty glum and not talking. When we was pass-

ing the far corner of our tobacker field we heard the

dog set up a long howl in there, and we went to the

place and he was scratching the ground with all his

might, and every now and then canting up his head

sideways and fetching another howl.

It was a long square, the shape of a grave; the rain

had made it sink down and show the shape. The

minute we come and stood there we looked at one

another and never said a word. When the dog had

dug down only a few inches he grabbed something and

pulled it up, and it was an arm and a sleeve. Tom

kind of gasped out, and says:

“Come away, Huck — it’s found.”

I just felt awful. We struck for the road and

fetched the first men that come along. They got a

spade at the crib and dug out the body, and you never

see such an excitement. You couldn’t make anything

out of the face, but you didn’t need to. Everybody


“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


“Me and Huck’s found Jubiter Dunlap’s corpse all

by ourselves with a bloodhound, after everybody else

had quit hunting and given it up; and if it hadn’t a

been for us it never WOULD ‘a’ been found; and he WAS

murdered too — they done it with a club or something

like that; and I’m going to start in and find the mur-

derer, next, and I bet I’ll do it!”

Aunt Sally and Benny sprung up pale and astonished,

but Uncle Silas fell right forward out of his chair on to

the floor and groans out:

“Oh, my God, you’ve found him NOW!”



THEM awful words froze us solid. We couldn’t

move hand or foot for as much as half a minute.

Then we kind of come to, and lifted the old man up

and got him into his chair, and Benny petted him and

kissed him and tried to comfort him, and poor old

Aunt Sally she done the same; but, poor things, they

was so broke up and scared and knocked out of their

right minds that they didn’t hardly know what they was

about. With Tom it was awful; it ‘most petrified him

to think maybe he had got his uncle into a thousand

times more trouble than ever, and maybe it wouldn’t

ever happened if he hadn’t been so ambitious to get

celebrated, and let the corpse alone the way the others

done. But pretty soon he sort of come to himself

again and says:

“Uncle Silas, don’t you say another word like that.

It’s dangerous, and there ain’t a shadder of truth in it.”

Aunt Sally and Benny was thankful to hear him say

that, and they said the same; but the old man he

wagged his head sorrowful and hopeless, and the tears

run down his face, and he says;

“No — I done it; poor Jubiter, I done it!”

It was dreadful to hear him say it. Then he went

on and told about it, and said it happened the day

me and Tom come — along about sundown. He said

Jubiter pestered him and aggravated him till he was so

mad he just sort of lost his mind and grabbed up a stick

and hit him over the head with all his might, and

Jubiter dropped in his tracks. Then he was scared and

sorry, and got down on his knees and lifted his head

up, and begged him to speak and say he wasn’t dead;

and before long he come to, and when he see who it

was holding his head, he jumped like he was ‘most

scared to death, and cleared the fence and tore into the

woods, and was gone. So he hoped he wasn’t hurt


“But laws,” he says, “it was only just fear that

gave him that last little spurt of strength, and of course

it soon played out and he laid down in the bush, and

there wasn’t anybody to help him, and he died.”

Then the old man cried and grieved, and said he was

a murderer and the mark of Cain was on him, and he

had disgraced his family and was going to be found

out and hung. But Tom said:

“No, you ain’t going to be found out. You DIDN’T

kill him. ONE lick wouldn’t kill him. Somebody else

done it.”

“Oh, yes,” he says, “I done it — nobody else.

Who else had anything against him? Who else COULD

have anything against him?”

He looked up kind of like he hoped some of us could

mention somebody that could have a grudge against

that harmless no-account, but of course it warn’t no

use — he HAD us; we couldn’t say a word. He

noticed that, and he saddened down again, and I never

see a face so miserable and so pitiful to see. Tom

had a sudden idea, and says:

“But hold on! — somebody BURIED him. Now

who –”

He shut off sudden. I knowed the reason. It give

me the cold shudders when he said them words, because

right away I remembered about us seeing Uncle Silas

prowling around with a long-handled shovel away in

the night that night. And I knowed Benny seen him,

too, because she was talking about it one day. The

minute Tom shut off he changed the subject and went

to begging Uncle Silas to keep mum, and the rest of us

done the same, and said he MUST, and said it wasn’t his

business to tell on himself, and if he kept mum nobody

would ever know; but if it was found out and any

harm come to him it would break the family’s hearts

and kill them, and yet never do anybody any good.

So at last he promised. We was all of us more com-

fortable, then, and went to work to cheer up the old

man. We told him all he’d got to do was to keep still,

and it wouldn’t be long till the whole thing would blow

over and be forgot. We all said there wouldn’t any-

body ever suspect Uncle Silas, nor ever dream of such

a thing, he being so good and kind, and having such a

good character; and Tom says, cordial and hearty, he


“Why, just look at it a minute; just consider.

Here is Uncle Silas, all these years a preacher — at his

own expense; all these years doing good with all his

might and every way he can think of — at his own ex-

pense, all the time; always been loved by everybody,

and respected; always been peaceable and minding his

own business, the very last man in this whole deestrict

to touch a person, and everybody knows it. Suspect

HIM? Why, it ain’t any more possible than –”

“By authority of the State of Arkansaw, I arrest

you for the murder of Jubiter Dunlap!” shouts the

sheriff at the door.

It was awful. Aunt Sally and Benny flung themselves

at Uncle Silas, screaming and crying, and hugged him

and hung to him, and Aunt Sally said go away, she

wouldn’t ever give him up, they shouldn’t have him,

and the niggers they come crowding and crying to the

door and — well, I couldn’t stand it; it was enough to

break a person’s heart; so I got out.

They took him up to the little one-horse jail in the

village, and we all went along to tell him good-bye;

and Tom was feeling elegant, and says to me, “We’ll

have a most noble good time and heaps of danger some

dark night getting him out of there, Huck, and it’ll be

talked about everywheres and we will be celebrated;”

but the old man busted that scheme up the minute he

whispered to him about it. He said no, it was his duty

to stand whatever the law done to him, and he would

stick to the jail plumb through to the end, even if

there warn’t no door to it. It disappointed Tom

and graveled him a good deal, but he had to put up

with it.

But he felt responsible and bound to get his uncle

Silas free; and he told Aunt Sally, the last thing, not

to worry, because he was going to turn in and work

night and day and beat this game and fetch Uncle Silas

out innocent; and she was very loving to him and

thanked him and said she knowed he would do his very

best. And she told us to help Benny take care of the

house and the children, and then we had a good-bye

cry all around and went back to the farm, and left her

there to live with the jailer’s wife a month till the trial

in October.



WELL, that was a hard month on us all. Poor

Benny, she kept up the best she could, and me

and Tom tried to keep things cheerful there at the

house, but it kind of went for nothing, as you may say.

It was the same up at the jail. We went up every day

to see the old people, but it was awful dreary, because

the old man warn’t sleeping much, and was walking in

his sleep considerable and so he got to looking fagged

and miserable, and his mind got shaky, and we all got

afraid his troubles would break him down and kill him.

And whenever we tried to persuade him to feel cheer-

fuler, he only shook his head and said if we only

knowed what it was to carry around a murderer’s load

in your heart we wouldn’t talk that way. Tom and all

of us kept telling him it WASN’T murder, but just acci-

dental killing! but it never made any difference — it was

murder, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. He

actu’ly begun to come out plain and square towards

trial time and acknowledge that he TRIED to kill the man.

Why, that was awful, you know. It made things seem

fifty times as dreadful, and there warn’t no more com-

fort for Aunt Sally and Benny. But he promised he

wouldn’t say a word about his murder when others

was around, and we was glad of that.

Tom Sawyer racked the head off of himself all that

month trying to plan some way out for Uncle Silas, and

many’s the night he kept me up ‘most all night with

this kind of tiresome work, but he couldn’t seem to get

on the right track no way. As for me, I reckoned a

body might as well give it up, it all looked so blue and

I was so downhearted; but he wouldn’t. He stuck to

the business right along, and went on planning and

thinking and ransacking his head.

So at last the trial come on, towards the middle of

October, and we was all in the court. The place was

jammed, of course. Poor old Uncle Silas, he looked

more like a dead person than a live one, his eyes was so

hollow and he looked so thin and so mournful. Benny

she set on one side of him and Aunt Sally on the other,

and they had veils on, and was full of trouble. But

Tom he set by our lawyer, and had his finger in every-

wheres, of course. The lawyer let him, and the judge

let him. He ‘most took the business out of the law-

yer’s hands sometimes; which was well enough, be-

cause that was only a mud-turtle of a back-settlement

lawyer and didn’t know enough to come in when it

rains, as the saying is.

They swore in the jury, and then the lawyer for the

prostitution got up and begun. He made a terrible

speech against the old man, that made him moan and

groan, and made Benny and Aunt Sally cry. The way

HE told about the murder kind of knocked us all stupid

it was so different from the old man’s tale. He said

he was going to prove that Uncle Silas was SEEN to

kill Jubiter Dunlap by two good witnesses, and done it

deliberate, and SAID he was going to kill him the very

minute he hit him with the club; and they seen him hide

Jubiter in the bushes, and they seen that Jubiter was

stone-dead. And said Uncle Silas come later and

lugged Jubiter down into the tobacker field, and two

men seen him do it. And said Uncle Silas turned out,

away in the night, and buried Jubiter, and a man seen

him at it.

I says to myself, poor old Uncle Silas has been lying

about it because he reckoned nobody seen him and he

couldn’t bear to break Aunt Sally’s heart and Benny’s;

and right he was: as for me, I would ‘a’ lied the

same way, and so would anybody that had any feeling,

to save them such misery and sorrow which THEY warn’t

no ways responsible for. Well, it made our lawyer

look pretty sick; and it knocked Tom silly, too, for a

little spell, but then he braced up and let on that he

warn’t worried — but I knowed he WAS, all the same.

And the people — my, but it made a stir amongst


And when that lawyer was done telling the jury what

he was going to prove, he set down and begun to work

his witnesses.

First, he called a lot of them to show that there was

bad blood betwixt Uncle Silas and the diseased; and

they told how they had heard Uncle Silas threaten the

diseased, at one time and another, and how it got

worse and worse and everybody was talking about it,

and how diseased got afraid of his life, and told two or

three of them he was certain Uncle Silas would up and

kill him some time or another.

Tom and our lawyer asked them some questions;

but it warn’t no use, they stuck to what they said.

Next, they called up Lem Beebe, and he took the

stand. It come into my mind, then, how Lem and Jim

Lane had come along talking, that time, about borrow-

ing a dog or something from Jubiter Dunlap; and that

brought up the blackberries and the lantern; and that

brought up Bill and Jack Withers, and how they passed

by, talking about a nigger stealing Uncle Silas’s corn;

and that fetched up our old ghost that come along

about the same time and scared us so — and here HE

was too, and a privileged character, on accounts of his

being deef and dumb and a stranger, and they had fixed

him a chair inside the railing, where he could cross his

legs and be comfortable, whilst the other people was all

in a jam so they couldn’t hardly breathe. So it all

come back to me just the way it was that day; and it

made me mournful to think how pleasant it was up to

then, and how miserable ever since.

LEM BEEBE, sworn, said — “I was a-coming along,

that day, second of September, and Jim Lane was with

me, and it was towards sundown, and we heard loud

talk, like quarrelling, and we was very close, only

the hazel bushes between (that’s along the fence);

and we heard a voice say, ‘I’ve told you more’n once

I’d kill you,’ and knowed it was this prisoner’s

voice; and then we see a club come up above the

bushes and down out of sight again. and heard a

smashing thump and then a groan or two: and then we

crope soft to where we could see, and there laid

Jupiter Dunlap dead, and this prisoner standing over

him with the club; and the next he hauled the dead

man into a clump of bushes and hid him, and then we

stooped low, to be cut of sight, and got away.”

Well, it was awful. It kind of froze everybody’s

blood to hear it, and the house was ‘most as still whilst

he was telling it as if there warn’t nobody in it. And

when he was done, you could hear them gasp and sigh,

all over the house, and look at one another the same

as to say, “Ain’t it perfectly terrible — ain’t it awful!”

Now happened a thing that astonished me. All the

time the first witnesses was proving the bad blood and

the threats and all that, Tom Sawyer was alive and lay-

ing for them; and the minute they was through, he

went for them, and done his level best to catch them in

lies and spile their testimony. But now, how different.

When Lem first begun to talk, and never said anything

about speaking to Jubiter or trying to borrow a dog

off of him, he was all alive and laying for Lem, and you

could see he was getting ready to cross-question him to

death pretty soon, and then I judged him and me would

go on the stand by and by and tell what we heard him

and Jim Lane say. But the next time I looked at Tom

I got the cold shivers. Why, he was in the brownest

study you ever see — miles and miles away. He warn’t

hearing a word Lem Beebe was saying; and when he

got through he was still in that brown-study, just the

same. Our lawyer joggled him, and then he looked up

startled, and says, “Take the witness if you want him.

Lemme alone — I want to think.”

Well, that beat me. I couldn’t understand it. And

Benny and her mother — oh, they looked sick, they

was so troubled. They shoved their veils to one side

and tried to get his eye, but it warn’t any use, and I

couldn’t get his eye either. So the mud-turtle he

tackled the witness, but it didn’t amount to nothing;

and he made a mess of it.

Then they called up Jim Lane, and he told the very

same story over again, exact. Tom never listened to

this one at all, but set there thinking and thinking, miles

and miles away. So the mud-turtle went in alone

again and come out just as flat as he done before. The

lawyer for the prostitution looked very comfortable,

but the judge looked disgusted. You see, Tom was

just the same as a regular lawyer, nearly, because it

was Arkansaw law for a prisoner to choose anybody he

wanted to help his lawyer, and Tom had had Uncle

Silas shove him into the case, and now he was botching

it and you could see the judge didn’t like it much.

All that the mud-turtle got out of Lem and Jim was

this: he asked them:

“Why didn’t you go and tell what you saw?”

“We was afraid we would get mixed up in it our-

selves. And we was just starting down the river

a-hunting for all the week besides; but as soon as we

come back we found out they’d been searching for the

body, so then we went and told Brace Dunlap all

about it.”

“When was that?”

“Saturday night, September 9th.”

The judge he spoke up and says:

“Mr. Sheriff, arrest these two witnesses on suspicions

of being accessionary after the fact to the murder.”

The lawyer for the prostitution jumps up all excited,

and says:

“Your honor! I protest against this extraordi –”

“Set down!” says the judge, pulling his bowie and

laying it on his pulpit. “I beg you to respect the


So he done it. Then he called Bill Withers.

BILL WITHERS, sworn, said: “I was coming along

about sundown, Saturday, September 2d, by the

prisoner’s field, and my brother Jack was with me

and we seen a man toting off something heavy on

his back and allowed it was a nigger stealing

corn; we couldn’t see distinct; next we made out

that it was one man carrying another; and the way

it hung, so kind of limp, we judged it was

somebody that was drunk; and by the man’s walk we

said it was Parson Silas, and we judged he had

found Sam Cooper drunk in the road, which he was

always trying to reform him, and was toting him

out of danger.”

It made the people shiver to think of poor old Uncle

Silas toting off the diseased down to the place in his

tobacker field where the dog dug up the body, but

there warn’t much sympathy around amongst the faces,

and I heard one cuss say “‘Tis the coldest blooded

work I ever struck, lugging a murdered man around

like that, and going to bury him like a animal, and him

a preacher at that.”

Tom he went on thinking, and never took no notice;

so our lawyer took the witness and done the best he

could, and it was plenty poor enough.

Then Jack Withers he come on the stand and told the

same tale, just like Bill done.

And after him comes Brace Dunlap, and he was look-

ing very mournful, and most crying; and there was a

rustle and a stir all around, and everybody got ready to

listen, and lost of the women folks said, “Poor cretur,

poor cretur,” and you could see a many of them wip-

ing their eyes.

BRACE DUNLAP, sworn, said: “I was in considerable

trouble a long time about my poor brother, but I

reckoned things warn’t near so bad as he made out,

and I couldn’t make myself believe anybody would

have the heart to hurt a poor harmless cretur like

that” — [by jings, I was sure I seen Tom give a

kind of a faint little start, and then look

disappointed again] — “and you know I COULDN’T

think a preacher would hurt him — it warn’t natural

to think such an onlikely thing — so I never paid

much attention, and now I sha’n’t ever, ever

forgive myself; for if I had a done different, my

poor brother would be with me this day, and not

laying yonder murdered, and him so harmless.” He

kind of broke down there and choked up, and waited

to get his voice; and people all around said the

most pitiful things, and women cried; and it was

very still in there, and solemn, and old Uncle Silas,

poor thing, he give a groan right out so everybody

heard him. Then Brace he went on, “Saturday,

September 2d, he didn’t come home to supper.

By-and-by I got a little uneasy, and one of my

niggers went over to this prisoner’s place, but come

back and said he warn’t there. So I got uneasier

and uneasier, and couldn’t rest. I went to bed, but

I couldn’t sleep; and turned out, away late in the

night, and went wandering over to this prisoner’s

place and all around about there a good while, hoping

I would run across my poor brother, and never

knowing he was out of his troubles and gone to a

better shore –” So he broke down and choked up again,

and most all the women was crying now. Pretty soon

he got another start and says: “But it warn’t no use;

so at last I went home and tried to get some sleep,

but couldn’t. Well, in a day or two everybody was

uneasy, and they got to talking about this prisoner’s

threats, and took to the idea, which I didn’t take

no stock in, that my brother was murdered so they

hunted around and tried to find his body, but

couldn’t and give it up. And so I reckoned he was

gone off somers to have a little peace, and would

come back to us when his troubles was kind of healed.

But late Saturday night, the 9th, Lem Beebe and

Jim Lane come to my house and told me all — told me

the whole awful ‘sassination, and my heart was

broke. And THEN I remembered something that hadn’t

took no hold of me at the time, because reports said

this prisoner had took to walking in his sleep and

doing all kind of things of no consequence, not

knowing what he was about. I will tell you what that

thing was that come back into my memory. Away late

that awful Saturday night when I was wandering

around about this prisoner’s place, grieving and

troubled, I was down by the corner of the tobacker-

field and I heard a sound like digging in a gritty

soil; and I crope nearer and peeped through the

vines that hung on the rail fence and seen this

prisoner SHOVELING — shoveling with a long-handled

shovel — heaving earth into a big hole that was

most filled up; his back was to me, but it was

bright moonlight and I knowed him by his old green

baize work-gown with a splattery white patch in

the middle of the back like somebody had hit him


And he slumped down in his chair crying and sob-

bing, and ‘most everybody in the house busted out

wailing, and crying, and saying, “Oh, it’s awful —

awful — horrible! and there was a most tremendous ex-

citement, and you couldn’t hear yourself think; and

right in the midst of it up jumps old Uncle Silas, white

as a sheet, and sings out:



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 —


And all the while the old man stood there a-quaking

and his eyes a-burning, and not looking at his wife and

daughter, which was clinging to him and begging him

to keep still, but pawing them off with his hands and

saying he WOULD clear his black soul from crime, he

WOULD heave off this load that was more than he could

bear, and he WOULDN’T bear it another hour! And

then he raged right along with his awful tale, every-

body a-staring and gasping, judge, jury, lawyers, and

everybody, and Benny and Aunt Sally crying their

hearts out. And by George, Tom Sawyer never

looked at him once! Never once — just set there

gazing with all his eyes at something else, I couldn’t

tell what. And so the old man raged right along,

pouring his words out like a stream of fire:

“I killed him! I am guilty! But I never had the

notion in my life to hurt him or harm him, spite of all

them lies about my threatening him, till the very

minute I raised the club — then my heart went cold! —

then the pity all went out of it, and I struck to kill! In

that one moment all my wrongs come into my mind;

all the insults that that man and the scoundrel his

brother, there, had put upon me, and how they laid in

together to ruin me with the people, and take away

my good name, and DRIVE me to some deed that would

destroy me and my family that hadn’t ever done THEM

no harm, so help me God! And they done it in a mean

revenge — for why? Because my innocent pure girl

here at my side wouldn’t marry that rich, insolent,

ignorant coward, Brace Dunlap, who’s been sniveling

here over a brother he never cared a brass farthing

for — “[I see Tom give a jump and look glad THIS time,

to a dead certainty]” — and in that moment I’ve told

you about, I forgot my God and remembered only my

heart’s bitterness, God forgive me, and I struck to kill.

In one second I was miserably sorry — oh, filled with

remorse; but I thought of my poor family, and I MUST

hide what I’d done for their sakes; and I did hide that

corpse in the bushes; and presently I carried it to the

tobacker field; and in the deep night I went with my

shovel and buried it where –”

Up jumps Tom and shouts:

“NOW, I’ve got it!” and waves his hand, oh, ever

so fine and starchy, towards the old man, and says:

“Set down! A murder WAS done, but you never

had no hand in it!”

Well, sir, you could a heard a pin drop. And the

old man he sunk down kind of bewildered in his seat

and Aunt Sally and Benny didn’t know it, because they

was so astonished and staring at Tom with their

mouths open and not knowing what they was about.

And the whole house the same. I never seen people

look so helpless and tangled up, and I hain’t ever seen

eyes bug out and gaze without a blink the way theirn

did. Tom says, perfectly ca’m:

“Your honor, may I speak?”

“For God’s sake, yes — go on!” says the judge, so

astonished and mixed up he didn’t know what he was

about hardly.

Then Tom he stood there and waited a second or two

— that was for to work up an “effect,” as he calls it

— then he started in just as ca’m as ever, and says:

“For about two weeks now there’s been a little bill

sticking on the front of this courthouse offering two

thousand dollars reward for a couple of big di’monds

— stole at St. Louis. Them di’monds is worth twelve

thousand dollars. But never mind about that till I get

to it. Now about this murder. I will tell you all

about it — how it happened — who done it — every


You could see everybody nestle now, and begin to

listen for all they was worth.

“This man here, Brace Dunlap, that’s been sniveling

so about his dead brother that YOU know he never

cared a straw for, wanted to marry that young girl

there, and she wouldn’t have him. So he told Uncle

Silas he would make him sorry. Uncle Silas knowed

how powerful he was, and how little chance he had

against such a man, and he was scared and worried, and

done everything he could think of to smooth him over

and get him to be good to him: he even took his no-

account brother Jubiter on the farm and give him wages

and stinted his own family to pay them; and Jubiter

done everything his brother could contrive to insult

Uncle Silas, and fret and worry him, and try to drive

Uncle Silas into doing him a hurt, so as to injure Uncle

Silas with the people. And it done it. Everybody

turned against him and said the meanest kind of things

about him, and it graduly broke his heart — yes, and

he was so worried and distressed that often he warn’t

hardly in his right mind.

“Well, on that Saturday that we’ve had so much

trouble about, two of these witnesses here, Lem Beebe

and Jim Lane, come along by where Uncle Silas and

Jubiter Dunlap was at work — and that much of what

they’ve said is true, the rest is lies. They didn’t hear

Uncle Silas say he would kill Jubiter; they didn’t hear

no blow struck; they didn’t see no dead man, and they

didn’t see Uncle Silas hide anything in the bushes.

Look at them now — how they set there, wishing they

hadn’t been so handy with their tongues; anyway,

they’ll wish it before I get done.

“That same Saturday evening Bill and Jack Withers

DID see one man lugging off another one. That much

of what they said is true, and the rest is lies. First off

they thought it was a nigger stealing Uncle Silas’s corn

— you notice it makes them look silly, now, to find out

somebody overheard them say that. That’s because

they found out by and by who it was that was doing

the lugging, and THEY know best why they swore here

that they took it for Uncle Silas by the gait — which it

WASN’T, and they knowed it when they swore to that lie.

“A man out in the moonlight DID see a murdered

person put under ground in the tobacker field — but it

wasn’t Uncle Silas that done the burying. He was in

his bed at that very time.

“Now, then, before I go on, I want to ask you if

you’ve ever noticed this: that people, when they’re

thinking deep, or when they’re worried, are most always

doing something with their hands, and they don’t know

it, and don’t notice what it is their hands are doing.

some stroke their chins; some stroke their noses; some

stroke up UNDER their chin with their hand; some twirl

a chain, some fumble a button, then there’s some that

draws a figure or a letter with their finger on their

cheek, or under their chin or on their under lip. That’s

MY way. When I’m restless, or worried, or thinking

hard, I draw capital V’s on my cheek or on my under

lip or under my chin, and never anything BUT capital

V’s — and half the time I don’t notice it and don’t

know I’m doing it.”

That was odd. That is just what I do; only I make

an O. And I could see people nodding to one another,

same as they do when they mean “THAT’s so.”

“Now, then, I’ll go on. That same Saturday — no,

it was the night before — there was a steamboat laying

at Flagler’s Landing, forty miles above here, and it

was raining and storming like the nation. And there

was a thief aboard, and he had them two big di’monds

that’s advertised out here on this courthouse door;

and he slipped ashore with his hand-bag and struck

out into the dark and the storm, and he was a-hoping

he could get to this town all right and be safe. But he

had two pals aboard the boat, hiding, and he knowed

they was going to kill him the first chance they got and

take the di’monds; because all three stole them, and

then this fellow he got hold of them and skipped.

“Well, he hadn’t been gone more’n ten minutes be-

fore his pals found it out, and they jumped ashore and

lit out after him. Prob’ly they burnt matches and

found his tracks. Anyway, they dogged along after

him all day Saturday and kept out of his sight; and

towards sundown he come to the bunch of sycamores

down by Uncle Silas’s field, and he went in there to

get a disguise out of his hand-bag and put it on before

he showed himself here in the town — and mind you he

done that just a little after the time that Uncle Silas was

hitting Jubiter Dunlap over the head with a club — for

he DID hit him.

“But the minute the pals see that thief slide into the

bunch of sycamores, they jumped out of the bushes

and slid in after him.

“They fell on him and clubbed him to death.

“Yes, for all he screamed and howled so, they never

had no mercy on him, but clubbed him to death. And

two men that was running along the road heard him

yelling that way, and they made a rush into the syca- i

more bunch — which was where they was bound for,

anyway — and when the pals saw them they lit out and

the two new men after them a-chasing them as tight as

they could go. But only a minute or two — then these

two new men slipped back very quiet into the syca-


“THEN what did they do? I will tell you what they

done. They found where the thief had got his disguise

out of his carpet-sack to put on; so one of them strips

and puts on that disguise.”

Tom waited a little here, for some more “effect” —

then he says, very deliberate:

“The man that put on that dead man’s disguise was


“Great Scott!” everybody shouted, all over the

house, and old Uncle Silas he looked perfectly


“Yes, it was Jubiter Dunlap. Not dead, you see.

Then they pulled off the dead man’s boots and put

Jubiter Dunlap’s old ragged shoes on the corpse and put

the corpse’s boots on Jubiter Dunlap. Then Jubiter

Dunlap stayed where he was, and the other man lugged

the dead body off in the twilight; and after midnight

he went to Uncle Silas’s house, and took his old green

work-robe off of the peg where it always hangs in the

passage betwixt the house and the kitchen and put it on,

and stole the long-handled shovel and went off down

into the tobacker field and buried the murdered man.”

He stopped, and stood half a minute. Then —

“And who do you reckon the murdered man WAS?

It was — JAKE Dunlap, the long-lost burglar!”

“Great Scott!”

“And the man that buried him was — BRACE Dunlap,

his brother!”

“Great Scott!”

“And who do you reckon is this mowing idiot here

that’s letting on all these weeks to be a deef and dumb

stranger? It’s — JUBITER Dunlap!”

My land, they all busted out in a howl, and you

never see the like of that excitement since the day you

was born. And Tom he made a jump for Jubiter and

snaked off his goggles and his false whiskers, and there

was the murdered man, sure enough, just as alive as

anybody! And Aunt Sally and Benny they went to

hugging and crying and kissing and smothering old

Uncle Silas to that degree he was more muddled and

confused and mushed up in his mind than he ever was

before, and that is saying considerable. And next,

people begun to yell:

“Tom Sawyer! Tom Sawyer! Shut up every-

body, and let him go on! Go on, Tom Sawyer!”

Which made him feel uncommon bully, for it was

nuts for Tom Sawyer to be a public character that-

away, and a hero, as he calls it. So when it was all

quiet, he says:

“There ain’t much left, only this. When that man

there, Bruce Dunlap, had most worried the life and

sense out of Uncle Silas till at last he plumb lost his

mind and hit this other blatherskite, his brother, with a

club, I reckon he seen his chance. Jubiter broke for

the woods to hide, and I reckon the game was for him

to slide out, in the night, and leave the country.

Then Brace would make everybody believe Uncle Silas

killed him and hid his body somers; and that would

ruin Uncle Silas and drive HIM out of the country —

hang him, maybe; I dunno. But when they found

their dead brother in the sycamores without knowing

him, because he was so battered up, they see they had

a better thing; disguise BOTH and bury Jake and dig

him up presently all dressed up in Jubiter’s clothes,

and hire Jim Lane and Bill Withers and the others to

swear to some handy lies — which they done. And

there they set, now, and I told them they would be

looking sick before I got done, and that is the way

they’re looking now.

“Well, me and Huck Finn here, we come down on

the boat with the thieves, and the dead one told us all

about the di’monds, and said the others would murder

him if they got the chance; and we was going to help

him all we could. We was bound for the sycamores

when we heard them killing him in there; but we was

in there in the early morning after the storm and

allowed nobody hadn’t been killed, after all. And

when we see Jubiter Dunlap here spreading around in

the very same disguise Jake told us HE was going to

wear, we thought it was Jake his own self — and he was

goo-gooing deef and dumb, and THAT was according to


“Well, me and Huck went on hunting for the corpse

after the others quit, and we found it. And was proud,

too; but Uncle Silas he knocked us crazy by telling us

HE killed the man. So we was mighty sorry we found

the body, and was bound to save Uncle Silas’s neck if

we could; and it was going to be tough work, too,

because he wouldn’t let us break him out of prison the

way we done with our old nigger Jim.

“I done everything I could the whole month to think

up some way to save Uncle Silas, but I couldn’t strike

a thing. So when we come into court to-day I come

empty, and couldn’t see no chance anywheres. But

by and by I had a glimpse of something that set me

thinking — just a little wee glimpse — only that, and

not enough to make sure; but it set me thinking hard

— and WATCHING, when I was only letting on to think;

and by and by, sure enough, when Uncle Silas was pil-

ing out that stuff about HIM killing Jubiter Dunlap, I

catched that glimpse again, and this time I jumped up

and shut down the proceedings, because I KNOWED

Jubiter Dunlap was a-setting here before me. I knowed

him by a thing which I seen him do — and I remem-

bered it. I’d seen him do it when I was here a year


He stopped then, and studied a minute — laying for

an “effect” — I knowed it perfectly well. Then he

turned off like he was going to leave the platform, and

says, kind of lazy and indifferent:

“Well, I believe that is all.”

Why, you never heard such a howl! — and it come

from the whole house:

“What WAS it you seen him do? Stay where you

are, you little devil! You think you are going to

work a body up till his mouth’s a-watering and stop

there? What WAS it he done?”

That was it, you see — he just done it to get an

“effect “; you couldn’t ‘a’ pulled him off of that plat-

form with a yoke of oxen.

“Oh, it wasn’t anything much,” he says. “I seen

him looking a little excited when he found Uncle Silas

was actuly fixing to hang himself for a murder that

warn’t ever done; and he got more and more nervous

and worried, I a-watching him sharp but not seeming

to look at him — and all of a sudden his hands begun

to work and fidget, and pretty soon his left crept up


HAD him!”

Well, then they ripped and howled and stomped and

clapped their hands till Tom Sawyer was that proud

and happy he didn’t know what to do with him-


And then the judge he looked down over his pulpit

and says:

“My boy, did you SEE all the various details of this

strange conspiracy and tragedy that you’ve been de-


“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


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


“Perfectly, your honor. Here is Brace Dunlap —

let him deny his share of it if he wants to take the

chance; I’ll engage to make him wish he hadn’t said

anything…… Well, you see HE’S pretty quiet. And

his brother’s pretty quiet, and them four witnesses that

lied so and got paid for it, they’re pretty quiet. And

as for Uncle Silas, it ain’t any use for him to put in

his oar, I wouldn’t believe him under oath!”

Well, sir, that fairly made them shout; and even the

judge he let go and laughed. Tom he was just feeling

like a rainbow. When they was done laughing he

looks up at the judge and says:

“Your honor, there’s a thief in this house.”

“A thief?”

“Yes, sir. And he’s got them twelve-thousand-

dollar di’monds on him.”

By gracious, but it made a stir! Everybody went


“Which is him? which is him? p’int him out!”

And the judge says:

“Point him out, my lad. Sheriff, you will arrest

him. Which one is it?”

Tom says:

“This late dead man here — Jubiter Dunlap.”

Then there was another thundering let-go of astonish-

ment and excitement; but Jubiter, which was astonished

enough before, was just fairly putrified with astonish-

ment this time. And he spoke up, about half crying,

and says:

“Now THAT’S a lie. Your honor, it ain’t fair; I’m

plenty bad enough without that. I done the other

things — Brace he put me up to it, and persuaded me,

and promised he’d make me rich, some day, and I done

it, and I’m sorry I done it, and I wisht I hadn’t; but I

hain’t stole no di’monds, and I hain’t GOT no di’monds;

I wisht I may never stir if it ain’t so. The sheriff can

search me and see.”

Tom says:

“Your honor, it wasn’t right to call him a thief, and

I’ll let up on that a little. He did steal the di’monds,

but he didn’t know it. He stole them from his brother

Jake when he was laying dead, after Jake had stole them

from the other thieves; but Jubiter didn’t know he was

stealing them; and he’s been swelling around here with

them a month; yes, sir, twelve thousand dollars’ worth

of di’monds on him — all that riches, and going around

here every day just like a poor man. Yes, your honor,

he’s got them on him now.”

The judge spoke up and says:

“Search him, sheriff.”

Well, sir, the sheriff he ransacked him high and low,

and everywhere: searched his hat, socks, seams, boots,

everything — and Tom he stood there quiet, laying for

another of them effects of hisn. Finally the sheriff he

give it up, and everybody looked disappointed, and

Jubiter says:

“There, now! what’d I tell you?”

And the judge says:

“It appears you were mistaken this time, my


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


“That’s because you didn’t know what it was


Jubiter had his boots on again, by now, and when

the thing Tom wanted was passed over the people’s

heads till it got to him, he says to Jubiter:

“Put up your foot on this chair.” And he kneeled

down and begun to unscrew the heel-plate, everybody

watching; and when he got that big di’mond out of

that boot-heel and held it up and let it flash and blaze

and squirt sunlight everwhichaway, it just took every-

body’s breath; and Jubiter he looked so sick and sorry

you never see the like of it. And when Tom held up

the other di’mond he looked sorrier than ever. Land!

he was thinking how he would ‘a’ skipped out and been

rich and independent in a foreign land if he’d only had

the luck to guess what the screwdriver was in the

carpet-bag for.

Well, it was a most exciting time, take it all around,

and Tom got cords of glory. The judge took the

di’monds, and stood up in his pulpit, and cleared his

throat, and shoved his spectacles back on his head, and


“I’ll keep them and notify the owners; and when

they send for them it will be a real pleasure to me to

hand you the two thousand dollars, for you’ve earned

the money — yes, and you’ve earned the deepest and

most sincerest thanks of this community besides, for

lifting a wronged and innocent family out of ruin and

shame, and saving a good and honorable man from a

felon’s death, and for exposing to infamy and the pun-

ishment of the law a cruel and odious scoundrel and his

miserable creatures!”

Well, sir, if there’d been a brass band to bust out

some music, then, it would ‘a’ been just the perfectest

thing I ever see, and Tom Sawyer he said the same.

Then the sheriff he nabbed Brace Dunlap and his

crowd, and by and by next month the judge had them

up for trial and jailed the whole lot. And everybody

crowded back to Uncle Silas’s little old church, and was

ever so loving and kind to him and the family and

couldn’t do enough for them; and Uncle Silas he

preached them the blamedest jumbledest idiotic sermons

you ever struck, and would tangle you up so you

couldn’t find your way home in daylight; but the peo-

ple never let on but what they thought it was the clear-

est and brightest and elegantest sermons that ever was;

and they would set there and cry, for love and pity;

but, by George, they give me the jim-jams and the fan-

tods and caked up what brains I had, and turned them

solid; but by and by they loved the old man’s intellects

back into him again, and he was as sound in his skull as

ever he was, which ain’t no flattery, I reckon. And

so the whole family was as happy as birds, and nobody

could be gratefuler and lovinger than what they was to

Tom Sawyer; and the same to me, though I hadn’t

done nothing. And when the two thousand dollars

come, Tom give half of it to me, and never told any-

body so, which didn’t surprise me, because I knowed



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *