HIS LEVEL BEST. 311
amongst the old tools, and got a pick-ax and give it to him, and he took it and went to work, and never said a word.
He was always just that particular. Full of principle
So then I got a shovel, and then we picked and shoveled, turn about, and made the fur fly. We stuck to it about a half an hour, which was as long as we could stand up ; but we had a good deal of a hole to show for it. When I got up stairs, I looked out at the window and see Tom doing his level best with the lightning-rod, but he couldn't come it, his hands was so sore. At last he says:
" It ain't no use, it can't be done. What you reckon I better do ? Can't you think up no way ?"
"Yes," I says, "but I reckon it ain't regular. Come up the stairs, and let on it's a lightning-rod."
So he done it.
Next day Tom stole a pewter spoon and a brass candlestick in the
house, for to make some pens for Jim out of, and six tallow candles ; and I hung around the nigger cabins, and laid for a chance, and stole three tin plates. Tom said it wasn't enough; but I said nobody wouldn't ever see the plates that Jim thro wed out, because they'd fall in the dog-fennel and jimpson weeds under the window-hole—then we could tote them back and he could use them over again. So Tom was satisfied. Then he says :
" Now, the thing to study out is, how to get the things to Jim."
"Take them in through the hole," I says, " when we get it done."