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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

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kept him clean and neat, combed and brushed, and they bedded him nightly in
unsympathetic sheets that had not one little spot or stain which he could press to
his heart and know for a friend. He had to eat with knife and fork; he had to use
napkin, cup and plate; he had to learn his book, he had to go to church; he had to
talk so properly that speech was become insipid in his mouth; whithersoever he
turned, the bars and shackles of civilization shut him in and bound him hand
and foot.

He bravely bore his miseries three weeks, and then one day turned up missing.
For forty-eight hours the widow hunted for him everywhere in great distress.
The public were profoundly concerned; they searched high and low, they
dragged the river for his body. Early the third morning Tom Sawyer wisely
went poking among some old empty hogsheads down behind the abandoned
slaughter-house, and in one of them he found the refugee. Huck had slept there;
he had just breakfasted upon some stolen odds and ends of food, and was lying
off, now, in comfort with his pipe. He was unkempt, uncombed, and clad in the
same old ruin of rags that had made him picturesque in the days when he was
free and happy. Tom routed him out, told him the trouble he had been causing,
and urged him to go home. Huckís face lost its tranquil content, and took a
melancholy cast. He said: ďDonít talk about it, Tom. Iíve tried it, and it donít
work; it donít work, Tom.

It ainít for me; I ainít used to it. The widderís good to me, and friendly; but I
canít stand them ways. She makes me git up just at the same time every
morning; she makes me wash, they comb me all to thunder; she wonít let me
sleep in the wood-shed; I got to wear them blamed clothes that just smothers me,
Tom; they donít seem to any air git through Ďem, somehow; and theyíre so rotten
nice that I canít set down, nor lay down, nor roll around anywherís; I hainít slid
on a cellardoor for-well, it Ďpears to be years; I got to go to church and sweat
and sweat-I hate them ornery sermons! I canít ketch a fly in there, I canít chaw, I
got to wear shoes all Sunday. The widder eats by a bell; she goes to bed by a
bell; she gits up by a bell-everythingís so awful regílar a body canít stand it.Ē
ďWell, everybody does that way, Huck.Ē ďTom, it donít make no difference. I
ainít everybody, and I canít stand it. Itís awful to be tied up so. And grub comes
too easy-I donít take no interest in vittles, that way. I got to ask, to go a-fishing; I
got to ask, to go in a-swimmingderníd if I hainít got to ask to do everything.
Well, Iíd got to talk so nice it wasnít no comfort-Iíd got to go up in the attic and
rip out a while, every day, to git a taste in my mouth, or Iíd a died, Tom. The
widder wouldnít let me smoke; she wouldnít let me yell, she wouldnít let me
gape, nor stretch, nor scratch, before folks-Ē [Then with a spasm of special
irritation and injury],- ďAnd dad fetch it, she prayed all the time! I never see
such a woman! I had to shove, Tom-I just had to. And besides, that schoolís
going to open, and Iíd a had to go to it-well, I wouldnít stand that, Tom. Looky-
here, Tom, being rich ainít what itís cracked up to be. Itís just worry and worry,
and sweat and sweat, and a-wishing you was dead all the time. Now these
clothes suits me, and this baríl suits me, and I ainít ever going to shake Ďem any


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