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Chapter 34

Floods of Gold

“Tom, we can slope, if we can find a rope. The window ain’t high from the
ground.” “Shucks, what do you want to slope for?” “Well I ain’t used to that
kind of a crowd. I can’t stand it. I ain’t going down there, Tom.” “O, bother! It
ain’t anything. I don’t mind it a bit. I’ll take care of you.” Sid appeared.

“Tom,” said he, “Auntie has been waiting for you all the afternoon. Mary got
your Sunday clothes ready, and everybody’s been fretting about you. Say-ain’t
this grease and clay, on your clothes?” “Now Mr. Siddy, you just ‘tend to your
own business. What’s all this blowout about, anyway?” “It’s one of the widow’s
parties that she’s always having. This time it’s for the Welchman and his sons, on
account of that scrape they helped her out of the other night. And say-I can tell
you something, if you want to know.”

“Well, what?” “Why old Mr. Jones is going to try to spring something on the
people here tonight, but I overheard him tell auntie to-day about it, as a secret,
but I reckon it’s not much of a secret now. Everybody knows-the widow, too,
for all she tries to let on she don’t. Oh, Mr. Jones was bound Huck should be
here-couldn’t get along with his grand secret without Huck, you know!” “Secret
about what, Sid?” “About Huck tracking the robbers to the widow’s. I reckon
Mr. Jones was going to make a grand time over his surprise, but I bet you it will
drop pretty flat.” Sid chuckled in a very contented and satisfied way.

“Sid, was it you that told?” “O, never mind who it was. Somebody told-that’s
enough.” “Sid, there’s only one person in this town mean enough to do that, and
that’s you. If you had been in Huck’s place you’d ‘a’ sneaked down the hill and
never told anybody on the robbers. You can’t do any but mean things, and you
can’t bear to see anybody praised for doing good ones. There-no thanks, as the
widow says”- and Tom cuffed Sid’s ears and helped him to the door with
several kicks.

“Now go and tell auntie if you dare-and to-morrow you’ll catch it!” Some
minutes later the widow’s guests were at the supper table, and a dozen children
were propped up at little side tables in the same room, after the fashion of that
country and that day. At the proper time Mr. Jones made his little speech, in
which he thanked the widow for the honor she was doing himself and his sons,
but said that there was another person whose modestyAnd so forth and so on.
He sprung his secret about Huck’s share in the adventure in the finest dramatic
manner he was master of, but the surprise it occasioned was largely counterfeit
and not as clamorous and effusive as it might have been under happier
circumstances. However, the widow made a pretty fair show of astonishment,
and heaped so many compliments and so much gratitude upon Huck that he
almost forgot the nearly intolerable discomfort of his new clothes in the entirely

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