Tom Sawyer – Part Thirty-four

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

1. How did the dogs barking affect the way they ran?

2. What does Tom think will happen to Injun Joe if Doctor Robinson dies?

3. Why doens’t Huck think that Muff Potter died from the hit on the head?

4. What was it about Tom that impressed Huck?

5. What did the boys do with the piece of wood after they had sworn their oath?

Now read the text and answer the questions.

The two boys ran quickly toward the village, speechless with horror. They looked over their shoulders from time to time, apprehensively, as if they feared they might be followed.

Every tree and stone that they saw on the path looked like a man and an enemy, and made them catch their breath. As they ran past some cottages that were near the village, the barking of the watch-dogs seemed to give wings to their feet.

"If we can only get to the old stables before we break down!" whispered Tom, in short catches between breaths. "I can't stand it much longer."

Huckleberry's hard breaths were his only reply, and the boys fixed their eyes on the goal of their hopes and tried as hard as they could to get there.

They got close, and at last, together, they ran through the open door and fell grateful and exhausted inside.

After a time, their pulses slowed down and they began breathing normally. Tom whispered, "Huckleberry, what do you think will happen?"

"If Doctor Robinson dies, I think there’ll be a hanging."

"Really?"

"Yes, I’m sure, Tom."

Tom thought a while, then he said, "Who'll tell? Us?"

"What are you talking about? Suppose something happened and Injun Joe didn’t hang? He'd kill us sooner or later, I’m just as sure as we're laying here."

"That's just what I was thinking to myself, Huck."

"If anybody tells, let Muff Potter do it, if he's stupid enough. He's generally drunk enough."

Tom said nothing and went on thinking. Soon he whispered, "Huck, Muff Potter doesn't know. How can he say anything?"

"What's the reason he doesn't know?"

"Because he'd just been hit on the head when Injun Joe did it. Do you think he could see anything? Do you think he knew anything?"

"That's true, Tom!"

"Anyway, maybe that hit on the head killed him, too!"

"No, I don’t think so, Tom. He was really drunk, I could see that. When he’s drunk you could hit him on the head with a church and it wouldn’t affect him. He says so himself. But if a man was totally sober, I think maybe that hit might kill him. I don’t know."

After another reflective silence, Tom said, "Hucky, you sure you can keep the secret?"

"Tom, we’ve got to keep the secret. You know that. That Injun devil would drown us like a couple of cats, if we spoke about this and they didn't hang him. Tom, let’s swear to one another, that's what we must do, swear to keep quiet."

"I agree. It's the best thing. Would you just hold hands and swear that we...

"Oh no, that won’t work for this. That's good enough for little common things, especially with girls because they cheat on you anyway, and speak if they get annoyed. We must write something about a big thing like this. And put blood."Diccionario online

Tom completely agreed with this idea. It was deep, and dark, and awful. The time, the circumstances, the surroundings, were all in like with it.

He picked up a clean piece of wood that lay in the moonlight, took a small piece of chalk out of his pocket and, with the light of the moon to help him, started to write.

"Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer swear that they will keep quiet about This and They wish They may Drop down dead immediately if They ever Tell."

Huckleberry was filled with admiration of Tom's ability to write, and his wonderful use of language. He at once took a pin from his jacket and was going to prick his skin, but Tom said, "Hold on! Don't do that. A pin might have verdigrease on it."

"What's verdigrease?"

"It's poison. That's what it is. It’s dangerous. You only need to put it in your mouth once and you’ll see."

So Tom unwound the thread from one of his needles, and each boy pricked his thumb and squeezed out a drop of blood. In time, after many squeezes, Tom managed to sign his initials, using the tip of his little finger for a pen.

Then he showed Huckleberry how to make an H and an F, and the oath was complete. They buried the piece of wood close to the wall. They considered their tongues to be silent, the secret locked and the key thrown away.

A figure moved quietly at the other end of the building, but the boys did not notice it.

"Tom," whispered Huckleberry, "does this stop us from ever telling - always?"

"Of course it does. It doesn't make any difference waht happens, we must keep the secret. If not, we’d die. Don’t you know that?"

"Yes, I think that's true."

They continued to whisper for a while. Suddenly, a dog started to bark and howl just outside, within ten feet of them.

The boys held each other tightly in a grip of fear.

... to be continued!

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


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Tom Sawyer – Part Thirty-five

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

1. Who, or what, did the boys first think was making the noise?

2. Where does Tom probably think he’ll go when he dies?

3. What does Tom promise to do if he survives?

4. Who used to snore loudly and sleep with the pigs?

5. What did the boys plan to do if the snoring suddenly stopped?
   

Now read the text and answer the questions.
 
"Who’s he howling at?" gasped Huckleberry.

"I don’t know. Look through the crack. Quick!"

"No, YOU, Tom!"

"I can't! I can't do it, Huck!"

"Please, Tom. There it is again!"

"Oh, my God, I'm thankful!" whispered Tom. "I know his voice. It's Bull Harbison."

"Oh, that's good. I tell you, Tom, I was scared to death. I was sure it was a wild dog."

The dog howled again. The boys' hearts sank once more.

"Oh, Jesus! that is not Bull Harbison!" whispered Huckleberry. "Look, Tom!"

Tom, shaking with fear, put his eye to the crack. His whisper was hardly audible when he said:

"Oh, Huck, IT S A WILD DOG!"

"Quick, Tom, quick! Who’s he howling at?"

"Huck, he must be howling at both of us; we're together."

"Oh, Tom, we’re dead. I’m sure there’s no mistake where I’m going. I’ve been so bad."

"Goddamn it! This is what happens when a boy doesn’t go to school and doesn’t do what he’s supposed to do. I might have been good, like Sid, if I’d tried. But no, I wouldn’t of course. But if ever I get off this time, I promise I’ll go to Sunday school!

And Tom began to cry a little.

"You think you’re bad?" and Huckleberry began to cry too. "Hell, Tom Sawyer, you're nothing compared to me. I wish I was half as good as you."

Tom stopped crying and whispered:Diccionario online

"Look, Hucky, look! He's got his back to us!"

Hucky looked, with joy in his heart.

"Well, so he has! Did he have his back to us before?"

"Yes, he did. But I, like an idiot, I never thought about it. Oh, this is crazy, you know. Who’s he howling at?"

The howling stopped. Tom listened hard.

"Sh! What's that?" he whispered.

"Sounds like, wild pigs grunting. No, it's somebody snoring, Tom."

"You’re right! Where’s it coming from, Huck?"

"I think it’s down at the other end. That’s what it sounds like, anyway. Dad used to sleep there, sometimes, with the pigs, but he snores so loudly that he can lift things off the ground!. Besides, I don’t think he’ll be coming back to this town anymore."

The spirit of adventure rose in the boys' souls once more.

"Hucky, will you go if I go first?"

"I don't really want to. Tom, suppose it's Injun Joe!"

Tom agreed. But soon the temptation rose up strong again and the boys agreed to try, with the understanding that they would run away if the snoring stopped.

So they went quietly and carefully down, one behind the other. When they had got to within five steps of the snorer, Tom stepped on a stick, and it broke with a sharp snap.

... 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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