Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers

Help / FAQ

<- Previous | First | Next -> Digital Library - Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Table of Contents

signal did not come the night before, so why should it be any more likely to
come to-night? The sure fun of the evening outweighed the uncertain treasure;
and boy like, he determined to yield to the stronger inclination and not allow
himself to think of the box of money another time that day.

Three miles below town the ferry boat stopped at the mouth of a woody hollow
and tied up. The crowd swarmed ashore and soon the forest distances and
craggy heights echoed far and near with shoutings and laughter. All the
different ways of getting hot and tired were gone through with, and by and by
the rovers straggled back to camp fortified with responsible appetites, and then
the destruction of the good things began. After the feast there was a refreshing
season of rest and chat in the shade of spreading oaks. By and by somebody
shouted“Who’s ready for the cave?”

Everybody was. Bundles of candles were produced, and straightway there was a
general scamper up the hill. The mouth of the cave was up the hillside-an
opening shaped like a letter A. Its massive oaken door stood unbarred. Within
was a small chamber, chilly as an ice-house, and walled by Nature with solid
limestone that was dewy with a cold sweat. It was romantic and mysterious to
stand here in the deep gloom and look out upon the green valley shining in the
sun. But the impressiveness of the situation quickly wore off, and the romping
began again. The moment a candle was lighted there was a general rush upon
the owner of it; a struggle and a gallant defense followed, but the candle was
soon knocked down or blown out, and then there was a glad clamor of laughter
and a new chase. But all things have an end. By and by the procession went
filing down the steep descent of the main avenue, the flickering rank of lights
dimly revealing the lofty walls of rock almost to their point of junction sixty feet
overhead. This main avenue was not more than eight or ten feet wide. Every few
steps other lofty and still narrower crevices branched from it on either hand-for
McDougal’s cave was but a vast labyrinth of crooked aisles that ran into each
other and out again and led nowhere. It was said that one might wander days
and nights together through its intricate tangle of rifts and chasms, and never
find the end of the cave; and that he might go down, and down, and still down,
into the earth, and it was just the same-labyrinth underneath labyrinth, and no
end to any of them. No man “knew” the cave. That was an impossible thing.
Most of the young men knew a portion of it, and it was not customary to venture
much beyond this known portion. Tom Sawyer knew as much of the cave as any

The procession moved along the main avenue some three-quarters of a mile, and
then groups and couples began to slip aside into branch avenues, fly along the
dismal corridors, and take each other by surprise at points where the corridors
joined again. Parties were able to elude each other for the space of half an hour
without going beyond the “known” ground.

By and by, one group after another came straggling back to the mouth of the
cave, panting, hilarious, smeared from head to foot with tallow drippings,
daubed with clay, and entirely delighted with the success of the day. Then they

<- Previous | First | Next -> Digital Library - Adventures of Tom Sawyer Table of Contents

All Contents Copyright © All rights reserved.
Further Distribution Is Strictly Prohibited.

About Us | Advertising | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Home Page

In Association with