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were astonished to find that they had been taking no note of time and that night
was about at hand. The clanging bell had been calling for half an hour.
However, this sort of close to the day’s adventures was romantic and therefore

When the ferry boat with her wild freight pushed into the stream, nobody cared
sixpence for the wasted time but the captain of the craft.

Huck was already upon his watch when the ferry boat’s lights went glinting past
the wharf. He heard no noise on board, for the young people were as subdued
and still as people usually are who are nearly tired to death. He wondered what
boat it was, and why she did not stop at the wharf-and then he dropped her out
of his mind and put his attention upon his business. The night was growing
cloudy and dark. Ten o’clock came, and the noise of vehicles ceased, scattered
lights began to wink out, all straggling foot passengers disappeared, the village
betook itself to its slumbers and left the small watcher alone with the silence and
the ghosts. Eleven o’clock came, and the tavern lights were put out; darkness
everywhere, now. Huck waited what seemed a weary long time, but nothing

His faith was weakening. Was there any use? Was there really any use? Why not
give it up and turn in? A noise fell upon his ear. He was all attention in an
instant. The alley door closed softly. He sprang to the corner of the brick store.
The next moment two men brushed by him, and one seemed to have something
under his arm. It must be that box! So they were going to remove the treasure.
Why call Tom now? It would be absurd-the men would get away with the box
and never be found again.

No, he would stick to their wake and follow them; he would trust to the
darkness for security from discovery. So communing with himself, Huck
stepped out and glided along behind the men, cat-like, with bare feet, allowing
them to keep just far enough ahead not to be invisible.

They moved up the river street three blocks, then turned to the left up a cross
street. They went straight ahead, then, until they came to the path that led up
Cardiff Hill; this they took. They passed by the old Welchman’s house, half way
up the hill without hesitating, and still climbed upward. Good, thought Huck,
they will bury it in the old quarry. But they never stopped at the quarry. They
passed on, up the summit. They plunged into the narrow path between the tall
sumach bushes, and were at once hidden in the gloom. Huck closed up and
shortened his distance, now, for they would never be able to see him. He trotted
along a while; then slackened his pace, fearing he was gaining too fast; moved
on a piece, then stopped altogether; listened; no sound; none, save that he
seemed to hear the beating of his own heart. The hooting of an owl came from
over the hill-ominous sound! But no footsteps. Heavens, was everything lost! He
was about to spring with winged feet, when a man cleared his throat not four
feet from him! Huck’s heart shot into his throat, but he swallowed it again; and
then he stood there shaking as if a dozen agues had taken charge of him at once,
and so weak that he thought he must surely fall to the ground. He knew where

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