Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers

Help / FAQ

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

Table of Contents

Chapter 10

Dire Prophecy of the Howling Dog

THE TWO BOYS flew on and on, toward the village, speechless with horror.
They glanced backward over their shoulders from time to time, apprehensively,
as if they feared they might be followed. Every stump that started up in their
path seemed a man and an enemy, and made them catch their breath; and as
they sped by some outlying cottages that lay near the village, the barking of the
aroused watch-dogs seemed to give wings to their feet.

“If we can only get to the old tannery, before we break down!” whispered Tom,
in short catches between breaths, “I can’t stand it much longer.” Huckleberry’s
hard pantings were his only reply, and the boys fixed their eyes on the goal of
their hopes and bent to their work to win it. They gained steadily on it, and at
last, breast to breast they burst through the open door and fell grateful and
exhausted in the sheltering shadows beyond. By and by their pulses slowed
down, and Tom whispered: “Huckleberry, what do you reckon ‘ll come of this?”
“If Dr. Robinson dies, I reckon hanging ‘ll come of it.” “Do you though?” “Why I
know it, Tom.”

Tom thought a while, then he said: “Who’ll tell? We?” “What are you talking
about? S’pose something happened and Injun Joe didn’t hang? Why he’d kill us
some time or other, just as dead sure as we’re a-laying here.” “That’s just what I
was thinking to myself, Huck.” “If anybody tells, let Muff Potter do it, if he’s
fool enough. He’s generally drunk enough.” Tom said nothing-went on
thinking. Presently he whispered: “Huck, Muff Potter don’t know it. How can he
tell?” “What’s the reason he don’t know it?” “Because he’d just got that whack
when Injun Joe done it. D’ you reckon he could see anything? D’ you reckon he
knowed anything?” “By hokey, that’s so Tom!” “And besides, look-a-here-
maybe that whack done for him!” “No, ‘tain’t likely Tom. He had liquor in him;
I could see that; and besides, he always has. Well when pap’s full, you might
take and belt him over the head with a church and you couldn’t phase him. He
says so, his own self. So it’s the same with Muff Potter, of course. But if a man
was dead sober, I reckon maybe that whack might fetch him; I dono.”

After another reflective silence, Tom said: “Hucky, you sure you can keep
mum?” “Tom, we got to keep mum. You know that. That Injun devil wouldn’t
make any more of drownding us than a couple of cats, if we was to squeak ‘bout
this and they didn’t hang him. Now look-a-here, Tom, less take and swear to one
another-that’s what we got to do-swear to keep mum.” “I’m agreed, Huck. It’s
the best thing. Would you just hold hands and swear that we-” “O, no, that
wouldn’t do for this. That’s good enough for little rubbishy common things-
specially with gals, cuz they go back on you anyway, and blab if they get in a
huff-but there orter be writing ‘bout a big thing like this. And blood.” Tom’s
whole being applauded this idea. It was deep, and dark, and awful; the hour,
the circumstances, the surroundings, were in keeping with it. He picked up a

<- 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