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right, I licked you the first day you ever saw this town, mister, and I’ll lick you
again! You just wait till I catch you out! I’ll just take and-” And he went through
the motions of thrashing an imaginary boy-pummeling the air, and kicking and
gouging. “O, you do, do you? You holler ‘nough, do you? Now, then, let that
learn you!” And so the imaginary flogging was finished to his satisfaction.

Tom fled home at noon. His conscience could not endure any more of Amy’s
grateful happiness, and his jealousy could bear no more of the other distress.
Becky resumed her picture-inspections with Alfred, but as the minutes dragged
along and no Tom came to suffer, her triumph began to cloud and she lost
interest; gravity and absent-mindedness followed, and then melancholy; two or
three times she pricked up her ear at a footstep, but it was a false hope; no Tom

At last she grew entirely miserable and wished she hadn’t carried it so far. When
poor Alfred, seeing that he was losing her, he did not know how, and kept
exclaiming: “O here’s a jolly one! look at this!” she lost patience at last, and said,
“O, don’t bother me! I don’t care for them!” and burst into tears, and got up and
walked away.

Alfred dropped alongside and was going to try to comfort her, but she said: “Go
away and leave me alone, can’t you! I hate you!” So the boy halted, wondering
what he could have done-for she had said she would look at pictures all
through the nooning-and she walked on, crying. Then Alfred went musing into
the deserted schoolhouse. He was humiliated and angry.

He easily guessed his way to the truth-the girl had simply made a convenience
of him to vent her spite upon Tom Sawyer. He was far from hating Tom the less
when this thought occurred to him. He wished there was some way to get that
boy into trouble without much risk to himself. Tom’s spelling book fell under his

Here was his opportunity. He gratefully opened to the lesson for the afternoon
and poured ink upon the page.

Becky, glancing in at a window behind him at the moment, saw the act, and
moved on, without discovering herself. She started homeward, now, intending
to find Tom and tell him; Tom would be thankful and their troubles would be
healed. Before she was half way home, however, she had changed her mind. The
thought of Tom’s treatment of her when she was talking about her picnic came
scorching back and filled her with shame. She resolved to let him get whipped
on the damaged spelling-book’s account, and to hate him forever, into the

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