CLIMBING THE LIGHTNING ROD. 297
a crippled plow. The match went out, and so did we, and shoved in the staple again, and the door was locked as good as ever. Tom was joyful. He says :
" Now we're all right. We'll dig him out. It'll take about a week ! "
Then we started for the house, and I went in the back door—you only have to pull a buckskin latch-string, they don't fasten the doors—but that warn't roman-tical enough for Tom Sawyer : no way would do him but he must climb up the lightning-rod. But after he got up half-way about three times, and missed fire and fell every time, and the last time most busted his brains out, he thought he'd got to give it up ; but after he was rested, he allowed he would give her one more turn for luck, and this time he made the trip.
In the morning we was up at break of day, and down to the nigger cabins to pet the dogs and make friends with the nigger that fed Jim—if it ivas Jim that was being fed. The niggers was just getting through breakfast and starting for the fields; and Jim's nigger was piling up a tin pan with bread and meat and things ; and whilst the others was leaving, the key come from the house.
This nigger had a good-natured, chuckle-headed face, and his wool was all tied up in little bunches with thread. That was to keep witches off. He said the witches was pestering him awful, these nights, and making him see all kinds of strange things, and hear all kinds of strange words and noises, and he didn't believe he was ever witched so long, before, in his life. He got so worked up, and got to runinng on so about his troubles, he forgot all about what he'd been agoing to do. So Tom says :
" What's the vittles for ? Going to feed the dogs ?"
The nigger kind, of smiled around graduly over his face, like when you heave a brickbat in a mud puddle, and he says :
"Yes, Mars Sid, a dog. Cur'us dog, top. Does you want to go en look at 'im?"
I hunched Tom, and whispers :
" You going, right here in the day-break ? That warn't the plan."
l<No, it warn't—but it's the plan noiv"
So, drat him, we went along, but I didn't like it much. When we got in,