Tom Sawyer – Part Twenty

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

1. Why didn’t Huckleberry Finn’s clothes fit him?

2. Where did Huckleberry Finn sleep when it rained?

3. What did Huckleberry Finn have with him when Tom met him?

4. What does Huckleberry say that dead cats are good for??

5. What do you think ‘spunk-water’ is?
a) Water that has had a dead cat in it
b) Water that you can drink to cure you of illness and disease
c) Water that collects in the stump of a tree when it rains
d) Water that gives you courage and strength when you drink it

Now read the text and answer the questions.

After a while, Tom came to the juvenile outcast of the village, Huckleberry Finn, son of the town drunkard. Huckleberry was hated and feared by all the mothers of the town, because he was lazy and lawless and vulgar and bad, and because all their children admired him so much, and wished they could be like him.

Tom was like the rest of the respectable boys, in that he envied Huckleberry his rough outcast appearance, and was under strict orders not to play with him. So he played with him every time he got the chance. Huckleberry was always dressed in the torn, thrown-away clothes of full-grown men. His hat was a total ruin with a wide crescent cut out of its brim. His coat, when he wore one, hung nearly to his heels and had buttons at the back, but one suspender supported his trousers. The seat of the trousers hung low and contained nothing, the ruined trouser legs dragged in the dirt when not rolled up.

Huckleberry came and went, at his own free will. He slept on doorsteps in fine weather and in empty pigsties in wet. He did not have to go to school or to church, or call anyone master or obey anybody. He could go fishing or swimming when and where he chose, and stay as long as it suited him.

Nobody forbade him to fight. He could stay up as late as he pleased at night. He was always the first boy that went barefoot in the spring and the last to put on shoes in the fall. He never had to wash, nor put on clean clothes. He could swear wonderfully. In a word, everything that goes to make life precious that boy had. This is what every harassed, hampered, respectable boy in St. Petersburg thought.

Tom greeted the romantic outcast: "Hello, Huckleberry!"

"Hello yourself, and see how you like it."

"What's that you got?"

"Dead cat."

"Let me see him, Huck. Wow, he's pretty stiff. Where'd you get him?"

"Bought him off of a boy."

"What did you give?"

"I gave a blue ticket and a bladder that I got at the slaughter-house."

"Where'd you get the blue ticket?"Diccionario online

"Bought it off of Ben Rogers two weeks ago for a hoop-stick."

"Tell me, what are dead cats good for, Huck?"

"Good for? Cure warts with."

"No! Really? Is that true? I know something that's better."

"I bet you don't. What is it?"

"Why, spunk-water."

"Spunk-water! I couldn’t care less about spunk-water."

"You wouldn't, wouldn't you? Have you ever tried it?"

"No, I haven't. But Bob Tanner did."

"Who told you?"

"Why, he told Jeff Thatcher, and Jeff told Johnny Baker, and Johnny told Jim Hollis, and Jim told Ben Rogers, and Ben told me. So there!"

"Well, so what? They'll all lie. Now you tell me how Bob Tanner done it, Huck."

"Well, he put his hand in a rotten stump where the rain-water was."

"During the day?"


"With his face to the stump?"

"Yes. At least I suppose so."

"Did he say anything?"

"I don't think he did. I don't know."

... 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

Tom Sawyer – Part Twenty-one

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

1. What’s the reason Tom gives for having a lot of warts?

2. What does Huck say you should do with the half of the bean that hasn’t got blood on it?

3. What time should you take your dead cat to the graveyard in order to remove warts?

4. What do people say about Mother Hopkins?

5. Which expression is used in the text to mean ‘to bewitch’ someone?

Now read the text and answer the questions.
That’s a stupid way to talk about trying to cure warts with spunk-water! That’s not going to do any good. You’ve got to go all by yourself, to the middle of the forest, where you know there's a spunk-water tree stump, and just at midnight you get close to the stump and put your hand in and say: 'Barley-corn, barley-corn, injun-meal shorts, Spunk-water, spunk-water, swallow these warts,' and then walk away quickly, eleven steps, with your eyes shut, and then turn around three times and walk home without speaking to anybody. Because if you speak it doesn’t work."

"Well, that sounds like a good way, but that’s not what Bob Tanner did."

"No way, I’m sure he didn’t because he's the wartiest boy in this town and he wouldn't have a single wart on him if he knew how to use spunk-water. I've taken thousands of warts off of my hands that way.

Huck. I play with frogs so much that I've always got so many warts. Sometimes I take them off with a bean."

"Yes, beans are good. I've done that."

"Have you? How do you do it?"

"You take the bean and split it, and then cut the wart so as to get some blood, and then you put the blood on one piece of the bean and then dig a hole and bury it about midnight at the crossroads in the moonlight, and then you burn the rest of the bean. The piece that's got the blood on it will keep
pulling and pulling, trying to get the other piece to it, and so that helps the blood to draw the wart, and pretty soon off she comes."

"Yes, that's it, Huck. That's it! Though, when you're burying it if you say 'Down bean; off wart. Come no more to bother me!' it's better. That's the way Joe Harper does it, and he's been almost everywhere. But how do you cure them with dead cats?"

"Well, you take your cat and go to the graveyard about midnight when somebody that was wicked has been buried. When it's midnight a devil will come, or maybe two or three, but you can't see them, you can only hear something like the wind, or maybe hear them talk, and when they're taking that man away, you throw your cat after them and say, 'Devil follow corpse, cat follow devil, warts follow cat, I'm done with you!' That'll get rid of ANY wart."

"Sounds right. Have you ever tried it, Huck?"

"No, but old Mother Hopkins told me."

"Well, I reckon it's true, then, because they say she's a witch."Diccionario online

"Come on, Tom, I KNOW she is. She cast a spell on pap. Pap himself told me. He came along one day, and he saw she was casting a spell on him, so he picked up a rock, and if she hadn't moved, he'd have hit her. Well, that same night he fell off a roof where he was sleeping drunk and broke his arm."

"Why, that's awful. How did he know she was casting a spell on him?"

"Pap says it’s easy. When they keep looking at you for a long time, they're casting a spell on you.

Especially if they mumble, because when they mumble they're saying the Lord's Prayer backwards."

... 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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