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Chapter 18

Tom Reveals His Dream Secret

THAT WAS TOM’S GREAT secret-the scheme to return home with his brother
pirates and attend their own funerals. They had paddled over to the Missouri
shore on a log, at dusk on Saturday, landing five or six miles below the village;
they had slept in the woods at the edge of the town till nearly daylight, and had
then crept through back lanes and alleys and finished their sleep in the gallery of
the church among a chaos of invalided benches.

At breakfast Monday morning, Aunt Polly and Mary were very loving to Tom,
and very attentive to his wants. There was an unusual amount of talk. In the
course of it Aunt Polly said: “Well, I don’t say it wasn’t a fine joke, Tom, to keep
everybody suffering ‘most a week so you boys had a good time, but it is a pity
you could be so hardhearted as to let me suffer so. If you could come over on a
log to go to your funeral, you could have come over and give me a hint some
way that you warn’t dead, but only run off.” “Yes, you could have done that,
Tom,” said Mary; “and I believe you would if you had thought of it.” “Would
you Tom?” said Aunt Polly, her face lighting wistfully.

“Say, now, would you, if you’d thought of it?”
“I-well I don’t know. ‘Twould a spoiled everything.” “Tom, I hoped you loved
me that much,” said Aunt Polly, with a grieved tone that discomforted the boy.
“It would been something if you’d cared enough to think of it, even if you didn’t
do it.” “Now auntie, that ain’t any harm,” pleaded Mary; “it’s only Tom’s giddy
wayhe is always in such a rush that he never thinks of anything.” “More’s the
pity. Sid would have thought. And Sid would have come and done it, too. Tom,
you’ll look back, some day, when it’s too late, and wish you’d cared a little more
for me when it would have cost you so little.” “Now auntie, you know I do care
for you,” said Tom.

“I’d know it better if you acted more like it.” “I wish now I’d thought,” said
Tom, with a repentant tone; “but I dreamed about you anyway. That’s
something, ain’t it?” “It ain’t much-a cat does that much-but it’s better than
nothing. What did you dream?” “Why Wednesday night I dreamt that you was
sitting over there by the bed, and Sid was sitting by the wood-box, and Mary
next to him.” “Well, so we did. So we always do. I’m glad your dreams could
take even that much trouble about us.” “And I dreamt that Joe Harper’s mother
was here.”

“Why, she was here! Did you dream any more?” “O, lots. But it’s so dim, now.”
“Well, try to recollect-can’t you?” “Somehow it seems to me that the wind-the
wind blowed the-the-” “Try harder, Tom! The wind did blow something.
Come!” Tom pressed his fingers on his forehead an anxious minute, and then
said: “I’ve got it now! I’ve got it now! It blowed the candle!” “Mercy on us! Go
on, Tom-go on!” “And it seems to me that you said, ‘Why I believe that that
door-’” “Go on, Tom!” “Just let me study a moment-just a moment. O, yes-you

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