powerful bad for Tom, and I'll dig out for the island, right off. So away I shoved, and turned the corner, and nearly rammed my head into Uncle Silas's stomach ! He says :
" Why, Tom ! Where you been, all this time, you rascal ?"
" I hain't been nowheres," I says, " only just hunting for the runaway nigger —me and Sid."
"Why, where ever did you go?" he says. "Your aunt's been mighty uneasy."
" She needn't," I says, " because we was all right. We followed the men and the dogs, but they out-run us, and we lost them ; but we thought we heard them on the water, so we got a canoe and took out after them, and crossed over but couldn't find nothing of them ; so we cruised along up-shore till we got kind of tired and beat out; and tied up the canoe and went to sleep, and never waked up till about an hour ago, then we paddled over here to hear the news, and Sid's at the post-office to see what he can hear, and I'm a branching out to get something to eat for us, and then we're going home."
So then we went to the post-office to get "Sid " ; but just as I suspicioned, he warn't there ; so the old man he got a letter out of the office, and we waited a while longer but Sid didn't come ; so the old man said come along, let Sid foot it home, or canoe-it, when he got done fooling around—but we would ride. I couldn't get him to let me stay and wait for Sid; and he said there warn't no use in it, and I must come along, and let Aunt Sally see we was all right.
When we got home, Aunt Sally was that glad to see me she laughed and cried both, and hugged me, and give me one of them lickings of hern that don't amount to shucks, and said she'd serve Sid the same when he come.
And the place was plumb full of farmers and farmers' wives, to dinner ; and such another clack a body never heard. Old Mrs. Hotchkiss was the worst; her tongue was agoing all the time. She says :
"Well, Sister Phelps, I've ransacked that-air cabin over an' I b'lieve the nigger was cpazy. I says so to Sister Damrell—didn't I, Sister Damrell ?—s'l, he's crazy, s'I-them's the very words I said. You all hearn me : he's crazy, s'l; everything shows it, s'l. Look at that-air grindstone, s'l; want to tell me't any