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long night comes. Go ‘long Sid, Mary, Tom-take yourselves off-you’ve
hendered me long enough.” The children left for school, and the old lady to call
on Mrs. Harper and vanquish her realism with Tom’s marvelous dream. Sid had
better judgment than to utter the thought that was in his mind as he left the
house. It was this: “Pretty thinas long a dream as that, without any mistakes in
it!” What a hero Tom was become, now! He did not go skipping and prancing,
but moved with a dignified swagger as became a pirate who felt that the public
eye was on him. And indeed it was; he tried not to seem to see the looks or hear
the remarks as he passed along, but they were food and drink to him. Smaller
boys than himself flocked at his heels, as proud to be seen with him and
tolerated by him, as if he had been the drummer at the head of a procession or
the elephant leading a menagerie into town. Boys of his own size pretended not
to know he had been away at all; but they were consuming with envy,
nevertheless. They would have given anything to have that swarthy sun-tanned
skin of his, and his glittering notoriety; and Tom would not have parted with
either for a circus.

At school the children made so much of him and of Joe, and delivered such
eloquent admiration from their eyes, that the two heroes were not long in
becoming insufferably “stuck-up.” They began to tell their adventures to hungry
listeners-but they only began; it was not a thing likely to have an end, with
imaginations like theirs to furnish material. And finally, when they got out their
pipes and went serenely puffing around, the very summit of glory was reached.
Tom decided that he could be independent of Becky Thatcher now. Glory was
sufficient. He would live for glory. Now that he was distinguished, maybe she
would be wanting to “make up.” Well, let her-she should see that he could be as
indifferent as some other people. Presently she arrived. Tom pretended not to
see her. He moved away and joined a group of boys and girls and began to talk.
Soon he observed that she was tripping gayly back and forth with flushed face
and dancing eyes, pretending to be busy chasing school-mates, and screaming
with laughter when she made a capture; but he noticed that she always made
her captures in his vicinity, and that she seemed to cast a conscious eye in his
direction at such times, too. It gratified all the vicious vanity that was in him;
and so, instead of winning him it only “set him up” the more and made him the
more diligent to avoid betraying that he knew she was about. Presently she gave
over skylarking, and moved irresolutely about, sighing once or twice and
glancing furtively and wistfully toward Tom. Then she observed that now Tom
was talking more particularly to Amy Lawrence than to any one else. She felt a
sharp pang and grew disturbed and uneasy at once. She tried to go away, but
her feet were treacherous, and carried her to the group instead. She said to a girl
almost at Tom’s elbowwith sham vivacity: “Why Mary Austin! you bad girl,
why didn’t you come to Sunday-school?” “I did come-didn’t you see me?”
“Why no! Did you? Where did you sit?” “I was in Miss Peter’s class, where I
always go. I saw you.” “Did you? Why it’s funny I didn’t see you. I wanted to
tell you about the picnic.” “O, that’s jolly. Who’s going to give it?” “My ma’s

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