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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
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Tom Plays, Fights, and Hides
“TOM!” No answer.
“Tom!” No answer.
“What’s gone with that boy, I wonder? You TOM!” No answer.
The old lady pulled her spectacles down and looked over them, about the room;
then she put them up and looked out under them. She seldom or never looked
through them for so small a thing as a boy; they were her state pair, the pride of
her heart, and were built for “style,” not service;- she could have seen through a
pair of stove lids just as well. She looked perplexed for a moment, and then said,
not fiercely, but still loud enough for the furniture to hear: “Well, I lay if I get
hold of you I’ll-” She did not finish, for by this time she was bending down and
punching under the bed with the broom-and so she needed breath to punctuate
the punches with.
She resurrected nothing but the cat.
“I never did see the beat of that boy!” She went to the open door and stood in it
and looked out among the tomato vines and “jimpson” weeds that constituted
the garden. No Tom. So she lifted up her voice, at an angle calculated for
distance, and shouted: “Y-o-u-u Tom!” There was a slight noise behind her and
she turned just in time to seize a small boy by the slack of his roundabout and
arrest his flight.
“There! I might ‘a’ thought of that closet. What you been doing in there?”
“Nothing.” “Nothing! Look at your hands. And look at your mouth. What is that
truck?” “I don’t know, aunt.” “Well, I know. It’s jam-that’s what it is. Forty
times I’ve said if you didn’t let that jam alone I’d skin you. Hand me that
switch.” The switch hovered in the airthe peril was desperate“My! Look behind
you, aunt!” The old lady whirled round, and snatched her skirts out of danger.
The lad fled, on the instant, scrambled up the high board-fence, and disappeared
His aunt Polly stood surprised a moment, and then broke into a gentle laugh.
“Hang the boy, can’t I never learn anything? Ain’t he played me tricks enough
like that for me to be looking out for him by this time? But old fools is the
biggest fools there is. Can’t learn an old dog new tricks, as the saying is. But my
goodness, he never plays them alike, two days, and how is a body to know
what’s coming? He ‘pears to know just how long he can torment me before I get
my dander up, and he knows if he can make out to put me off for a minute or
make me laugh, it’s all down again and I can’t hit him a lick. I ain’t doing my
duty by that boy, and that’s the Lord’s truth, goodness knows. Spare the rod and
spile the child, as the Good Book says. I’m a laying up sin and suffering for us
both, I know. He’s full of the Old Scratch, but laws-a-me! he’s my own dead
sister’s boy, poor thing, and I ain’t got the heart to lash him, somehow. Every
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