Tom Sawyer – Part Four

Before you read the text, read the following comprehension questions.

1. What does Tom dare the new boy to do?

2. What does the new boy take out of his pocket?

3. Who won the fight?

4. What did the new boy throw at Tom?

5. What will Tom’s punishment be for staying out late and ruining his clothes?

Now read the text and answer the questions.

Tom said:

"What's your name?"

"'It isn’t any of your business."

"Well I'll MAKE it my business."

"Well why don't you?"

"If you say so, I will."

"So, so, SO! There you are."

"Oh, you think you're very clever, DON'T you? I could beat you with one hand tied behind me, if I wanted to."

"Well why don't you DO it? You SAY you can do it."

"Well I WILL, if you mess with me."

"Oh yes, I've seen whole families in the same situation."

"Smarty! You think you're something, now, DON'T you? Oh, what a hat!"

"You can lump that hat if you don't like it. I dare you to knock it off, and anyone who tries will pay for it.”

"You're a liar!"

"You're another."

"You're a fighting liar."

"Aw – get lost!"

"Listen, if you give me much more of your cheek I'll bounce a rock off of your head."

"Oh, of COURSE you will."

"Well I WILL."

"Well why don't you DO it then? What do you keep SAYING you will for? Why don't you DO it? It's because you're afraid."

"I’m NOT afraid."

"You are."

"I’m not."

"You are."

Another pause, and more moving around each other. Eventually they were shoulder to shoulder.

Tom said:

"Get away from here!"

"Go away yourself!"

"I won't."

"I won't either."

So they stood, each with a foot placed at an angle, and both pushing as hard as they could and staring at each other with hate. But neither could get an advantage. After struggling till both were hot and flushed, each relaxed cautiously, and Tom said:

"You're a coward and a fool. I'll tell my big brother about you, and he’ll beat you with his little finger."

"I don’t care about your big brother. I've got a brother that's bigger than he is, and what's more, he can throw him over that fence, too." [Both brothers were imaginary.]

"That's a lie."Diccionario online

"YOUR saying so doesn't make it so."

Tom drew a line in the dust with his big toe, and said:

"I dare you to step over that, and I'll beat you till you can't stand up.

The new boy stepped over the line promptly, and said:

"Now you said you'd do it, now let's see you do it."

"Don't get too close; you better look out."

"Well, you SAID you'd do it - why don't you do it?"

"Damn! For two cents I WILL do it."

The new boy took two cents out of his pocket and held them out. Tom knocked them to the ground. In an instant both boys were rolling and tumbling in the dirt, gripped together like cats; and for a minute they pulled and tore at each other's hair and clothes, punched and scratched each
other's nose, and covered themselves with dust and glory.

Presently the confusion took form, and through the fog of battle Tom appeared, seated on top of the new boy, and hitting him with his fists. "Give in!" he said.

The boy only struggled to free himself. He was crying, mainly from anger rage.

"Give in!" - and the punching went on.

At last the stranger got out a smothered "'Enough!" and Tom let him up and said:

"Now that'll teach you. Better look out who you're messing with next time."

The new boy went off brushing the dust from his clothes, crying, sniffing, and occasionally looking back and shaking his head and threatening what he would do to Tom the "next time he saw him out."

To which Tom responded with jeers, and walked off with his head high, and as soon as his back was turned the new boy picked up a stone, threw it and hit him between the shoulders and then turned and ran like an antelope.

Tom chased the traitor home, and found out where he lived. He then waited at the gate for a long time, daring the enemy to come outside, but the enemy only made faces at him through the window and declined.

At last the enemy's mother appeared, and called Tom a bad, vicious, vulgar
child, and ordered him away. So he went away.

He got home pretty late that night, and when he climbed cautiously in at the window, his aunt was waiting for him; and when she saw the state his clothes were in her decision to turn his Saturday holiday into captivity at hard labor became firm and immovable
... to be continued!

* The text has been adapted from the Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain


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Tom Sawyer – Part Five

Before you read the text, read the following comprehension questions.
 

1. Why did Tom’s mood change from happy to sad when he saw the fence?

2. How high was the fence?

3. Why did Jim have a bucket?

4. What part of Tom’s body did he show Jim?

5. What did Aunt Polly use to hit Jim?
   

Now read the text and answer the questions.
 
SATURDAY morning arrived, and the summer world was bright and fresh, and full of life.

There was a song in every heart; and if the heart was young the music came out of the lips. There was happiness in every face and a spring in every step.

The locust-trees were in bloom and the fragrance of the blossoms filled the air. Cardiff Hill, beyond the village and above it, was green with vegetation and it lay just far enough away to seem a Delectable Land, dreamy, restful, and inviting.

Tom appeared on the pavement with a bucket of paint and a long-handled brush. He looked at the fence, and all happiness left him and a deep sadness settled down upon his spirit.

Thirty metres of board fence 3 metres high. Life to him seemed empty, and existence only a burden. Sighing, he dipped his brush and passed it along the top of the fence; repeated the operation; did it again; compared the insignificant painted line with the far-reaching enormity of unpainted fence, and sat down on a box discouraged.

Jim came running out of the gate with a tin bucket, and singing a song. Bringing water from the town pump had always been hateful work in Tom's eyes, before, but now it did not seem so bad.

He remembered that there was company at the pump. White, mulatto, and black boys and girls were always there waiting their turns, resting, swapping and comparing toys, arguing, fighting, messing around. And he remembered that although the pump was only a hundred and fifty metres away, Jim never got back with a bucket of water in less than an hour - and even then somebody generally had to go after him.

Tom said:

"Say, Jim, I'll fetch the water if you'll do some painting."

Jim shook his head and said:

"I can't, Tom. The missus told me I’ve got to go and get water and not mess about with anybody. She says she suspected you Tom would ask me to paint, so she told me to get going and mind my own business.

"Oh, never mind what she said, Jim. That's the way she always talks. Give me the bucket, I’ll only be gone a minute. She won't ever know."

"Oh, I dare not, Tom. If I did that, missus will take my head off.Diccionario online

"She never beats anybody, just hits them on the head with her finger and who cares about that, I'd like to know. She talks and threatens, but talk doesn't hurt. Jim, I'll give you a present. I'll give you a marble!"

Jim began to think twice.

"A marble, Jim! And good a one, too."

"Well! That’s a great present, for sure! But Tom, I’m very afraid of the missus."

"And besides Jim, if you do this, I'll show you my sore toe."

Jim was only human. This attraction was too much for him. He put down his bucket, took the marble, and bent over the toe with absorbing interest while the bandage was being taken off.

In a moment, Jim was running down the street with his bucket and a sore bum, Tom was painting hard, and Aunt Polly was walking back from the field with a slipper in her hand and triumph in her eye.

But Tom's energy did not last. He began to think of the fun he had planned for this day, and his sadness increased.

Soon the free boys would come walking along on all sorts of delicious expeditions, and they would make fun of him for having to work - the very thought of it burnt him like fire.

He got out his worldly wealth and examined it. He had bits of toys, marbles, and rubbish, enough to buy an exchange of WORK, maybe, but not as much to buy so much as half an hour of pure freedom. So he returned his possessions to his pocket, and gave up the idea of trying to buy the boys.

At this dark and hopeless moment an inspiration hit him! Nothing less than a great, magnificent inspiration
... to be continued!

* The text has been adapted from the Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain


  Download the original book for free
 

  Haz click para comprobar las soluciones
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