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Chapter 25

Seeking the Buried Treasure

THERE COMES A TIME in every rightly constructed boy’s life when he has a
raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure. This desire
suddenly came upon Tom one day. He sallied out to find Joe Harper, but failed
of success.

Next he sought Ben Rogers; he had gone fishing. Presently he stumbled upon
Huck Finn the Red-Handed. Huck would answer. Tom took him to a private
place and opened the matter to him confidentially. Huck was willing. Huck was
always willing to take a hand in any enterprise that offered entertainment and
required no capital, for he had a troublesome superabundance of that sort of
time which is not money.

“Where’ll we dig?” said Huck.
“O, most anywhere.” “Why, is it hid all around?” “No indeed it ain’t. It’s hid in
mighty particular places, Huck-sometimes on islands, sometimes in rotten
chests under the end of a limb of an old dead tree, just where the shadow falls at
midnight; but mostly under the floor in ha’nted houses.” “Who hides it?”

“Why robbers, of course-who’d you reckon? Sunday-school sup’rintendents?” “I
don’t know. If ‘twas mine I wouldn’t hide it; I’d spend it and have a good time.”
“So would I. But robbers don’t do that way. They always hide it and leave it
there.” “Don’t they come after it any more?” “No, they think they will, but they
generally forget the marks, or else they die.

Anyway it lays there a long time and gets rusty; and by and by somebody finds
an old yellow paper that tells how to find the marks-a paper that’s got to be
ciphered over about a week because it’s mostly signs and hy’rogliphics.” “Hyro-
which?” “Hy’rogliphics-pictures and things, you know, that don’t seem to mean
anything.” “Have you got one of them papers, Tom?” “No.” “Well then, how
you going to find the marks?” “I don’t want any marks. They always bury it
under a ha’nted house or on an island, or under a dead tree that’s got one limb
sticking out. Well, we’ve tried Jackson’s Island a little, and we can try it again
some time; and there’s the old ha’nted house up the Still-House branch, and
there’s lots of dead-limb trees-dead loads of ‘em.” “Is it under all of them?”
“How you talk! No!” “Then how you going to know which one to go for?” “Go
for all of ‘em!” “Why Tom, it’ll take all summer.” “Well, what of that? Suppose
you find a brass pot with a hundred dollars in it, all rusty and gray, or a rotten
chest full of di’monds. How’s that?” Huck’s eyes glowed.

“That’s bully. Plenty bully enough for me. Just you gimme the hundred dollars
and I don’t want no di’monds.” “All right. But I bet you I ain’t going to throw
off on di’monds. Some of ‘em’s worth twenty dollars apiece-there ain’t any,
hardly, but’s worth six bits or a dollar.” “No! Is that so?” “Cert’nly-anybody’ll
tell you so. Hain’t you ever seen one, Huck?” “Not as I remember.” “O, kings
have slathers of them.”

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