Tom Sawyer – Part Sixty-two

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

1. How did Tom feel after he spoke to Becky??

2. Why did Tom wish that Becky were a boy?

3. What had been Mr. Dobbins’ ambition before he became a teacher?

4. What did Becky see in the book when she opened it?

5. What three adjectives does Tom use to describe girls?

Now read the text and answer the questions.

There was something about the way Aunt Polly kissed Tom, that made him happy. He started walking to school and luckily saw Becky Thatcher at the beginning of Meadow Lane. Without a moment's hesitation he ran up to her and said:

"I acted very mean today, Becky, and I'm so sorry. I won't ever, ever behave that way again, as long as I live. Please forgive me, won't you?"

The girl stopped and looked him angrily in the face:

"Please keep yourself to yourself, Mr. Thomas Sawyer. I'll never speak to you again."

She tossed her head and walked away. Tom was so stunned that he didn’t even think of saying, "Who cares, Miss Smarty?" until it was too late.

So he said nothing. But he was really angry. He walked sadly into the schoolyard wishing she were a boy, and imagining how he
would hit her if she were.

He soon saw her and threw an insult at her as he walked passed.

She threw one back at him. In her anger, Becky could hardly wait for Tom to be punished for the damaged spelling book. If she had had any thoughts of exposing Alfred Temple, Tom's offensive insult had driven it entirely out of her mind.

Poor girl, she did not know how fast she was getting near to trouble herself.

The teacher, Mr. Dobbins, had reached middle age with an unsatisfied ambition. He had wanted to be a doctor, but because he was poor, he could only be a village school teacher.

Every day he took a mysterious book out of his desk and absorbed himself in it whenever he wasn’t teaching. He kept that book under lock and key.

Every kid in the school wanted to see that book but the chance never came. Every boy and girl had a theory about the kind of book it was, but no two
theories were the same, and there was no way of looking at the book to settle the argument.

Now, as Becky walked past the desk, which stood near the door, she noticed that the key was in the lock! It was a precious moment. She looked around and she was alone, and the next moment she had the book in her hands.

The title page, Professor somebody's Anatomy, meant little to her, so she began to turn the pages. She soon came to a beautiful coloured picture, a human figure, totally naked. At that moment a shadow fell on the page and Tom Sawyer stepped in the room and caught a glimpse of the picture.

Becky quickly tried to close the book, but had the bad luck to tear the pictured page in half. She threw it into the desk, turned the key, and burst out crying with shame.

"Tom Sawyer, you are so mean to sneak up on a person and look at what they're looking at."Diccionario online

"How could I know you was looking at anything?"

"You should be ashamed of yourself, Tom Sawyer. You know you're going to tell on me, and oh, what shall I do, what shall I do! I'll be whipped, and I’ve never been whipped in school."

Then she stamped her little foot and said:

"Ok, be mean if you want to! I know something that's going to happen. You just wait and you'll see!

Hateful, hateful, hateful!" and she ran out of the school crying.

Tom stood still. He was confused and didn’t know what to think. He said to himself:

"What a curious, fool of a girl she is! Never been whipped in school! Unbelievable! That's just like a girl. They're so thin, skinny and nervous.

Well, of course I’m not going to tell old Dobbins about this little fool. There are other, not so nasty, ways of getting even with her. But old Dobbins will ask who it was who tore his book. Nobody will answer him. Then he'll do what he always does. He’ll ask all of us, one at a time, and when he comes to the right girl he'll know it. Girls' faces always tell the truth. They don’t have any courage. She'll get punished. Well, it's kind of a tough situation for Becky Thatcher, because there’s no way out of it."

Tom thought this over for a moment longer, and then added: "All right, then. She'd like to see me in just such trouble. Let her sweat it out!"

... 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 Sixty-three

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

1. How did Tom try to get out of trouble?

2. Did Becky tell the teacher that Alfred Temple had spilt the ink on the spelling book?

3. Why did it take Mr. Dobbins an hour befoer he looked at his book?

4. Who took the blame for tearing the teacher’s book?

5. What punishment did Tom receive apart from a severe beating?
   

Now read the text and answer the questions.
 
Tom joined the group of boys playing outside. In a few moments the teacher arrived and school started. Tom did not feel a strong interest in his studies. Every time he looked at the girls' side of the room Becky's face bothered him.

He did not want to pity her, but he couldn’t help it. However, soon the discovery of the spelling book was made, and Tom's mind was entirely full of his own problems for a while.

Becky stopped feeling sad and was very interested in what was happening. She did not expect that Tom could get out of trouble by denying that he spilt the ink on the book himself. She was right. The denial only seemed to make the thing worse for Tom.

Becky supposed she would be happy about that, but she was not sure. When the worst came to the worst, she had an impulse to get up and tell on Alfred Temple, but she made an effort and forced herself to keep still. She said to herself, "He'll tell about me tearing the picture for sure. I wouldn't say a word, not to save his life!"

Tom took his whipping as punishment and went back to his seat not at all broken. He actually thought it was possible that he had unknowingly spilt the ink on the spelling-book himself while he was playing about. He had denied it because it was the custom, and had stuck to the denial from principle.

A whole hour passed by, the teacher sat sleeping in his chair, the air was thick with the hum of study. Eventually, Mr. Dobbins straightened himself up, yawned, then unlocked his desk, and reached for his book, but seemed undecided whether to take it out or leave it.

Most of the pupils looked up and then down again, but there were two among them that watched his movements with intent eyes. Mr. Dobbins fingered his book absently for a while, then took it out and settled himself in his chair to read! Tom looked quickly at Becky.

He had seen a similar look from a helpless rabbit with a gun at its head. Instantly he forgot his argument with her. Quick, something must be done! And quickly, too!

But the very urgency of the emergency paralyzed his thoughts. Suddenly, he had an idea! He would run and take the book, jump through the door and escape with it. But he doubted himself for one second, and the chance was lost.

The teacher opened the book. Too late. There was no help for Becky now, he said. The next moment the teacher faced the school. Every eye looked down under his gaze. His look was so intense that it hit even the innocent with fear. There was silence for a long time. The teacher was collecting his anger. Then he spoke: "Who tore this book?"

There was not a sound. One could have heard a pin drop. The stillness continued as the teacher looked at face after face for signs of guilt.

"Benjamin Rogers, did you tear this book?"

A denial. Another pause.

"Joseph Harper, did you?"

Another denial. Tom's uneasiness grew more and more intense under the slow torture of these proceedings. The teacher scanned the boys faces, thought for a while, then looked at the girls:

"Amy Lawrence?"Diccionario online

A shake of the head.

"Gracie Miller?"

The same sign.

"Susan Harper, did you do this?"

Another negative. The next girl was Becky Thatcher. Tom was trembling from head to foot with excitement and a sense of the hopelessness of the situation.

"Rebecca Thatcher" Tom looked at her face--it was white with terror.

"Did you tear - no, look me in the face. - Did you tear this book?"

A thought shot like lightning through Tom's brain. He jumped to his feet and shouted, "I did it!"

The class stared, confused, at this incredible stupidity. Tom stood for a moment, to gather his thoughts and when he stepped forward to go to his punishment the surprise, the gratitude, the adoration that he saw in poor Becky's eyes seemed pay enough for a hundred beatings.

Inspired by the splendor of his own act, he took without a cry the most severe beating that Mr. Dobbins had ever given. He also received with indifference the added cruelty of a punishment to stay two hours after school. He knew that Becky would wait for him outside till his detention was over.

Tom went to bed that night planning vengeance against Alfred Temple. Becky had told him everything, not forgetting her own treachery and deception. But even the desire for vengeance had to give way, soon, to nicer thoughts, and he fell asleep at last with Becky's latest words repeating dreamily in his ear;

"Tom, how could you be so noble!"

... 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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