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Tom Sawyer Abroad                              11
against, but he bucked the best he could; and at a disadvantage, too, for Tom didn't set still as he'd orter done, to be fair, but always got up and sauntered around and worked his limp while Nat was painting up the adventure that he had in Washington; for Tom never let go that limp when his leg got well, but prac­ticed it nights at home, and kept it good as new right along.
Nat's adventure was like this; I don't know how true it is; maybe he got it out of a paper, or some­where, but I will say this for him, that he did know how to tell it. He could make anybody's flesh crawl, and he'd turn pale and hold his breath when he told it, and sometimes women and girls got so faint they couldn't stick it out. Well, it was this way, as near as I can remember:
He come a-loping into Washington, and put up his horse and shoved out to the President's house with his letter, and they told him the President was up to the Capitol, and just going to start for Philadelphia — not a minute to lose if he wanted to catch him. Nat 'most dropped, it made him so sick. His horse was put up, and he didn't know what to do. But just then along comes a darky driving an old ramshackly hack, and he see his chance. He rushes out and shouts: " A half a dollar if you git me to the Capitol in half an hour, and a quarter extra if you do it in twenty minutes!"
** Done !" says the darky.
Nat he jumped in and slammed the door, and away they went a-ripping and a-tearing over the roughest