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Chapter 26

Real Robbers Seize the Box of Gold

ABOUT NOON THE NEXT DAY the boys arrived at the dead tree; they had
come for their tools. Tom was impatient to go to the haunted house; Huck was
measurably so, also-but suddenly said“Looky-here, Tom, do you know what
day it is?” Tom mentally ran over the days of the week, and then quickly lifted
his eyes with a startled look in them“My! I never once thought of it, Huck!”
“Well I didn’t neither, but all at once it popped onto me that it was Friday.”
“Blame it, a body can’t be too careful, Huck. We might a got into an awful
scrape, tackling such a thing on a Friday.” “Might! Better say we would! There’s
some lucky days, maybe, but Friday ain’t.” “Any fool knows that. I don’t reckon
you was the first that found it out, Huck.” “Well, I never said I was, did I? And
Friday ain’t all, neither. I had a rotten bad dream last night-dreampt about rats.”
“No! Sure sign of trouble. Did they fight?” “No.” “Well that’s good, Huck. When
they don’t fight it’s only a sign that there’s trouble around, you know. All we got
to do is to look mighty sharp and keep out of it. We’ll drop this thing for to-day,
and play. Do you know Robin Hood, Huck?” “No. Who’s Robin Hood?” “Why
he was one of the greatest men that was ever in England-and the best.

He was a robber.” “Cracky, I wisht I was. Who did he rob?” “Only sheriffs and
bishops and rich people and kings, and such like. But he never bothered the
poor. He loved ‘em. He always divided up with ‘em perfectly square.” “Well, he
must ‘a’ ben a brick.” “I bet you he was, Huck. Oh, he was the noblest man that
ever was. They ain’t any such men now, I can tell you. He could lick any man in
England, with one hand tied behind him; and he could take his yew bow and
plug a ten-cent piece every time, a mile and a half.” “What’s a yew bow?”

“I don’t know. It’s some kind of a bow, of course. And if he hit that dime only on
the edge he would set down and cry-and curse. But we’ll play Robin Hoodit’s
noble fun. I’ll learn you.” “I’m agreed.” So they played Robin Hood all the
afternoon, now and then casting a yearning eye down upon the haunted house
and passing a remark about the morrow’s prospects and possibilities there. As
the sun began to sink into the west they took their way homeward athwart the
long shadows of the trees and soon were buried from sight in the forests of
Cardiff Hill.

On Saturday, shortly after noon, the boys were at the dead tree again. They had
a smoke and a chat in the shade, and then dug a little in their last hole, not with
great hope, but merely because Tom said there were so many cases where
people had given up a treasure after getting down within six inches of it, and
then somebody else had come along and turned it up with a single thrust of a

The thing failed this time, however, so the boys shouldered their tools and went
away feeling that they had not trifled with fortune but had fulfilled all the
requirements that belong to the business of treasure-hunting.

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