Tom's mind was made up now. He was unhappy and
desperate. He was a forgotten boy with no friends. Nobody loved him. When they
found out what they made him do, perhaps they would be sorry.
He had tried to do right and fit in, but they would not let him. They wanted to
get rid of him, so be it. Let them blame him for the consequences. Why shouldn't
they? What right had a friendless boy to complain? Yes, they had forced him to
it at last: he would lead a life of crime. There was no choice.
By this time, he was far down Meadow Lane, and the bell to start school sounded
in his ear. He started crying. To think he should never, never hear that old
familiar sound any more - it was very hard, but it was forced on him. He was
sent out into the cold world and he must accept it. Even so, he forgave them.
Then he cried even more. Just at this point he met his soulmate, Joe Harper. His
eyes looked hard and he seemed very sad. Obviously, here were "two souls with
one single thought."
Tom, drying his eyes with his sleeve, began to say something about a decision to
escape from a hard life and lack of sympathy at home by going abroad into the
great world never to return. He ended by hoping that Joe would not forget him.
But that this was a request which Joe had just been going to make of Tom, and
had been looking for him for that reason. His mother had hit him for drinking
some cream which he had never had and knew nothing about. It was obvious that
she was tired of him and wanted him to go. if she felt that way, there was
nothing for him to do but agree. He hoped she would be happy, and never regret
having sent her poor boy out into the unfeeling world to suffer and die.
As the two boys walked sadly along, they agreed to stand by each other and be
brothers and never separate till death relieved them of their troubles.
Then they began to make their plans. Joe was for being a hermit, and living on
old pieces of bread in a remote cave, and dying, eventually, of cold and
starvation and sadness. However, after listening to Tom, he admitted that there
were some definite advantages from a life of crime, and so he agreed to be a
Three miles below St. Petersburg, at a point where the Mississippi River was a
little over a mile wide, there was a long, narrow island, full of trees and it
was a good place for a rendezvous.
It was on the other side of the river and it was not inhabited and full of thick
forest. So, Jackson's Island was chosen. Who were to be the subjects of their
piracies was a matter that did not occur to them. They went to find Huckleberry
Finn, and he joined them immediately. He didn’t care what they had decided to do
with the rest of their lives.
... to be continued!
* The text has been adapted from the Adventures
of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain
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