Tom Sawyer – Part Eighteen

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

1. What did the beetle do to Tom when he took it out of the box?

2. What part of the dog’s body did the beetle bite (the first time)?

3. What did the people in church hide their faces behind when the dog got bitten?

4. Apart from the beetle, what other two insects did the poodle try to amuse himself with?

5. What did the dog’s owner do with the dog when it jumped onto his lap?

Now read the text and answer the questions.

The minister started delivering his sermon and droned on and on monotonously through an argument that was so boring that many heads soon began to nod. They napped despite the fact that the argument dealt with limitless fire and destruction which reduced the chosen few to such a small number that they hardly seemed worth saving.

Tom counted the pages of the sermon. After church he always knew how many pages there had been, but he seldom knew anything about what had actually been said. However, this time he was really interested for a little while. The minister created a wonderfully emotional picture of the assembling together of the world's hosts at the millennium when the lion and the lamb should lie down together and a little child should lead them.

But the pathos, the lesson, the moral of the great spectacle were lost on Tom. He only thought of how conspicuous the main character was in front of all the on-looking nations. His face lit up with the thought, and he said to himself that he wished he could be that child, if it was a tame lion.

Now he returned to suffering again, as the dry argument continued. Suddenly he remembered a treasure he had and got it out. It was a large black beetle with formidable jaws; a "pinchbug," he called it.

It was in a small box. The first thing the beetle did was to bite his finger, which caused Tom to flick it into the aisle and it landed on its back. Tom’s hurt finger went into his mouth. The beetle lay there working its helpless legs, unable to turn over. Tom looked at it, and wanted it, but it was safe out of his reach. Other people uninterested in the sermon found relief in the beetle, and they watched it too.

After a while a small dog, a poodle, slowly wandered in. He seemed sad and moved slowly and heavily due to the summer heat. The dog saw the beetle and his sad tail lifted and began to wag. He inspected the prize, walked around it, smelt it from a safe distance, walked around it again, became braver and took a closer smell. Then he lifted his lip and slowly tried to take it in his mouth. But he missed. He tried again, and again. He began to enjoy the diversion and dropped down on his stomach with the beetle between his paws, and continued his experiments.

Eventually, the poodle got bored, and then tired and absent-minded. His head nodded, and little by little his chin came down and touched the enemy, who immediately bit it. There was a loud yelp, a flick of the dog's head, and the beetle fell a couple of yards away, and landed on its back once more.

The spectators became very amused and several faces went behind fans and handkerchiefs, and Tom was entirely happy. The poodle looked foolish, and probably felt it, but there was resentment in his heart, too, and a craving for revenge. So he went to the beetle and began to attack it again. He jumped at it from every angle, hit it with his front paws and bit at it with his teeth, all the time jerking his head and flapping his ears. Diccionario online

But he grew tired once more, after a while. He tried to amuse himself with a fly but this didn’t work. He followed an ant around, with his nose close to the floor, and quickly got tired of that, too. He yawned, sighed, forgot the beetle entirely, and sat down on it. Then there was a wild yelp of agony and the poodle went sailing up the aisle.

The yelps continued, and so did the dog. He crossed the church in front of the altar. He ran down the other aisle. He crossed in front of the doors and ran along the side until he was a woolly comet moving in its orbit with the speed of light.

At last the frantic sufferer changed course, and jumped into its master's lap, who threw it out of the window, and the voice of distress quickly thinned away and disappeared in the distance.

By this time, everyone in the church was red-faced and trying not to laugh, and the sermon had stopped. Soon, the parson continued, but it had lost the impressiveness and impact it had had before. Even the most serious messages were constantly being received with smothered bursts of unholy laughter. It was a genuine relief to the whole congregation when the sermon
was over and the benediction pronounced.

Tom Sawyer went home quite cheerful, thinking to himself that there was some satisfaction about divine service when there was a bit of variety in it. He had but one thought that troubled him. He was ok with the dog playing with his beetle, but he did not think it was fair that he carried it away with him.

... to be continued!

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


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*Consulta un PDF con la información y resumen de 100 libros en inglés
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Tom Sawyer – Part Nineteen

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

1. Why doesn’t Tom like Monday mornings?

2. How did Tom wake Sid up?

3. Apart from his tooth, which part of Tom’s body did he tell his aunt was hurting him?

4. What two things did Tom’s aunt ask Mary to bring from the kitchen?

5. What could Tom do better after he’d had his tooth removed?
   

Now read the text and answer the questions.
 
CHAPTER VI

Monday morning found Tom Sawyer miserable. Monday morning always found him like this because it began another week's slow suffering in school. He generally began that day with wishing he had had no holiday at the weekend, it made going into captivity and chains again so much more hateful.

Tom lay in bed thinking. It soon occurred to him that he wished he was sick, then he could stay home from school. Here was a vague possibility. He checked himself and found no illness, and he investigated again. This time he thought he could detect symptoms of a stomach illness, and he began to encourage them with considerable hope. But they soon grew weak and disappeared completely.

He reflected further and suddenly he discovered something. One of his upper front teeth was loose. This was lucky and he was about to begin to groan and complain, as a "starter," as he called it, when it occurred to him that if he came into court with that argument, his aunt would pull it out, and that would hurt. So he thought he would hold the tooth in reserve for the present, and look further.

Nothing appeared for a while, and then he remembered hearing the
doctor talk about a certain thing that kept a patient in bed for two or three weeks and threatened to make him lose a finger. So the boy took out his sore toe from under the sheet and held it up for inspection. But now he did not know the necessary symptoms. However, it seemed well worthwhile to take a chance, so he started groaning with energy and enthusiasm.

But Sid slept on unconscious. Tom groaned louder, and believed that he began to feel pain in the toe. No result from Sid. Tom was breathless with his exertions by this time. He took a rest and some deep breaths and let out a succession of admirable groans.

Sid snored on.

Tom was aggravated. He said, "Sid, Sid!" and shook him. This course worked well, and Tom began to groan again. Sid yawned, stretched, then brought himself up on his elbow, and began to stare
at Tom. Tom went on groaning. Sid said:
"Tom! Hey, Tom!" [No response.]
"Here, Tom! TOM! What is the matter, Tom?" And he shook him and looked in his face anxiously.

Tom moaned: "Oh, don't, Sid. Don't shake me."

"Why, what's the matter, Tom? I must call auntie."

"No, never mind. It'll be over soon, maybe. Don't call anybody."Diccionario online

"But I must! DON'T groan so much, Tom, it's awful. How long you been this way?"

"Hours. Ouch! Oh, don't move so much, Sid, you'll kill me."

"Tom, why didn't you wake me sooner? Oh, Tom, DON'T! It makes my flesh crawl to hear you. Tom, what is the matter?"

"I forgive you everything, Sid. [Groan.] Everything you've ever done to me. When I'm gone……"

"Oh, Tom, you're not dying, are you? Don't, Tom, oh, don't. Maybe….."

"I forgive everybody, Sid. [Groan.] Tell them this, Sid. And Sid, you give my window-cloth and my cat with one eye to that new girl that's come to town, and tell her…."

But Sid had grabbed his clothes and gone. Tom’s imagination was working so well that he was really suffering now, and so his groans had become quite believable.

Sid flew down-stairs and said: "Oh, Aunt Polly, come! Tom's dying!"

"Dying!"

"Yes ma’am. Don't wait, come quick!"

"Rubbish! I don't believe it!"

But she ran up-stairs, nevertheless, with Sid and Mary at her heels. And her face grew white, too, and her lip trembled. When she reached the bedside she gasped out: "You, Tom! Tom, what's the matter with you?"

"Oh, auntie, I'm…."

"What's the matter with you? What is the matter with you, child?"

"Oh, auntie, my sore toe's dead!"

The old lady sank down into a chair and laughed a little, then cried a little, then did both together. This made her feel better and she said: "Tom, what a fright you gave me. Now you shut up that nonsense and stop this."

The groans stopped and the pain vanished from the toe. The boy felt a little foolish, and he said: "Aunt Polly, it SEEMED dead, and it hurt so much I never noticed my tooth at all."

"Your tooth, indeed! What's the matter with your tooth?"

"One of them's loose, and it aches really badly."

"There, there, now, don't begin that groaning again. Open your mouth. Well, your tooth IS loose, but you're not going to die from that. Mary, get me a silk thread, and a chunk of fire out of the kitchen."

Tom said: "Oh, please, auntie, don't pull it out. It doesn't hurt any more. I wish I may never get up if it does. Please don't, auntie. I don't want to stay home from school."

"Oh, you don't, don't you? So all this fuss was because you thought you'd get to stay home from school and go fishing? Tom, Tom, I love you so much, and you seem to try every way you can to break my old heart with your outrageousness."

By this time the dental instruments were ready. The old lady tied one end of the silk thread to Tom's tooth with a loop and tied the other to the bedpost. Then she took the chunk of fire and suddenly pushed it almost into the boy's face. The tooth hung dangling by the bedpost, now.

But all traumas have their compensations. As Tom walked to school after breakfast, he was the envy of every boy he met because the gap in his upper row of teeth enabled him to spit in a new and
admirable way. He collected a large following of lads interested in the exhibition, and one boy who had cut his finger and had been the centre of fascination until now, suddenly found himself with no fans and without any glory. His heart was heavy, and he said with a dislike which he did not feel that it wasn't anything special to spit like Tom Sawyer, but another boy said, "Sour grapes!" and he wandered away a dismantled hero.

... to be continued!

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


  Download the original book for free
 

*Consulta un PDF con la información y resumen de 100 libros en inglés
que puedes descargar en 1 único archivo.

 

  Haz click para comprobar las soluciones
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