8 Tom Sawyer Abroad
by the steamboat both ways. The boys envied me and Jim a good deal, but land ! they just knuckled to the dirt before TOM.
Well, I don't know; maybe he might have been satisfied if it hadn't been for old Nat Parsons, which was postmaster, and powerful long and slim, and kind o' good-hearted and silly, and bald-headed, on account of his age? and about the talkiest old cretur I ever see. For as much as thirty years he'd been the only man in the village that had a reputation — I mean a reputation for being a traveler, and of course he was mortal proud of it, and it was reckoned that in the course of that thirty years he had told about that journey over a million times and enjoyed it every time. And now comes along a boy not quite fifteen, and sets everybody admiring and gawking over his travels, and it just give the poor old man the high strikes.. It made him sick to listen to Tom, and to hear the people say " My land!" "Did you ever!" "My goodness sakes alive!" and all such things; but he couldn't pull away from it, any more than a fly that's got its hind leg fast in the molasses. And always when Tom come to a rest, the poor old cretur would chip in on his same old travels and work them for all they were worth; but they were pretty faded, and didn't go for much, and it was pitiful to see. And then Tom would take another innings, and then the old man again — and so on, and so on, for an hour and more, each trying to beat out the other.
You see, Parsons' travels happened like this: When