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Chapter 22

Huck Finn Quotes Scripture

TOM JOINED THE NEW ORDER of Cadets of Temperance, being attracted by
the showy character of their “regalia.” He promised to abstain from smoking,
chewing and profanity as long as he remained a member. Now he found out a
new thing-namely, that to promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the
world to make a body want to go and do that very thing. Tom soon found
himself tormented with a desire to drink and swear; the desire grew to be so
intense that nothing but the hope of a chance to display himself in his red sash
kept him from withdrawing from the order. Fourth of July was coming; but he
soon gave that upgave it up before he had worn his shackles over forty-eight
hours-and fixed his hopes upon old Judge Frazer, justice of the peace, who was
apparently on his death-bed and would have a big public funeral, since he was
so high an official.

During three days Tom was deeply concerned about the judge’s condition and
hungry for news of it. Sometimes his hopes ran high-so high that he would
venture to get out his regalia and practice before the looking-glass. But the judge
had a most discouraging way of fluctuating. At last he was pronounced upon the
mend-and then convalescent. Tom was disgusted; and felt a sense of injury, too.
He handed in his resignation at once-and that night the judge suffered a relapse
and died. Tom resolved that he would never trust a man like that again.

The funeral was a fine thing. The Cadets paraded in a style calculated to kill the
late member with envy. Tom was a free boy again, however-there was
something in that. He could drink and swear, now-but found to his surprise that
he did not want to. The simple fact that he could, took the desire away, and the
charm of it.

Tom presently wondered to find that his coveted vacation was beginning to
hang a little heavily on his hands.

He attempted a diary-but nothing happened during three days, and so he
abandoned it.

The first of all the negro minstrel shows came to town, and made a sensation.
Tom and Joe Harper got up a band of performers and were happy for two days.
Even the Glorious Fourth was in some sense a failure, for it rained hard, there
was no procession in consequence, and the greatest man in the world (as Tom
supposed) Mr. Benton, an actual United States Senator, proved an overwhelming
disappointment-for he was not twenty-five feet high, nor even anywhere in the
neighborhood of it.

A circus came. The boys played circus for three days afterward in tents made of
rag carpeting-admission, three pins for boys, two for girls-and then circusing
was abandoned.

A phrenologist and a mesmerizer came-and went again and left the village
duller and drearier than ever.

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