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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

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undefined hope that something would happen that might clear away their
difficulties. But nothing happened; there seemed to be no angels or fairies
interested in this luckless captive.

The boys did as they had often done before-went to the cell grating and gave
Potter some tobacco and matches. He was on the ground floor and there were no
guards.

His gratitude for their gifts had always smote their consciences before-it cut
deeper than ever, this time. They felt cowardly and treacherous to the last degree
when Potter said: ďYouíve ben mighty good to me, boys-betterín anybody else
in this town.

And I donít forget it, I donít. Often I says to myself, says I, ĎI used to mend all
the boysí kites and things, and show Ďem where the good fishiní places was, and
befriend Ďem what I could, and now theyíve all forgot old Muff when heís in
trouble; but Tom donít, and Huck donít-they donít forget him,í says I, Ďand I
donít forget them.í Well, boys, I done an awful thing-drunk and crazy at the
timethatís the only way I account for it-and now I got to swing for it, and itís
right.

Right, and best, too I reckon-hope so, anyway. Well, we wonít talk about that. I
donít want to make you feel bad; youíve befriended me. But what I want to say,
is, donít you ever get drunk-then you wonít ever get here. Stand a little furder
west-so-thatís it; itís a prime comfort to see faces thatís friendly when a bodyís
in such a muck of trouble, and there donít none come here but yourn. Good
friendly faces-good friendly faces. Git up on one anotherís backs and let me
touch Ďem. Thatís it. Shake hands-yourníll come through the bars, but mineís too
big. Little hands, and weak-but theyíve helped Muff Potter a power, and theyíd
help him more if they could.Ē Tom went home miserable, and his dreams that
night were full of horrors. The next day and the day after, he hung about the
court room, drawn by an almost irresistible impulse to go in, but forcing himself
to stay out. Huck was having the same experience. They studiously avoided each
other. Each wandered away, from time to time, but the same dismal fascination
always brought them back presently.

Tom kept his ears open when idlers sauntered out of the courtroom, but
invariably heard distressing news-the toils were closing more and more
relentlessly around poor Potter. At the end of the second day the village talk was
to the effect that Injun Joeís evidence stood firm and unshaken, and that there
was not the slightest question as to what the juryís verdict would be.

Tom was out late, that night, and came to bed through the window. He was in a
tremendous state of excitement. It was hours before he got to sleep. All the
village flocked to the courthouse the next morning, for this was to be the great
day.

Both sexes were about equally represented in the packed audience. After a long
wait the jury filed in and took their places; shortly afterward, Potter, pale and
haggard, timid and hopeless, was brought in, with chains upon him, and seated
where all the curious eyes could stare at him; no less conspicuous was Injun Joe,


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