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Tom Sawyer Abroad                              47
en, moreover, it's sinful. You knows a letter ain't no shirt, en dey ain't no ruffles on it, nuther. Dey ain't no place to put 'em on; you can't put 'em on, and dey wouldn't stay ef you did."
" Oh, do shut up, and wait till something's started that you know something about."
"Why, Mars Tom, sholy you can't mean to say I don't know about shirts, when, goodness knows, I's toted home de washin' ever sence—"
" I tell you, this hasn't got anything to do with shirts. I only—"
"Why, Mars Tom, you said yo'self dat a letter—"
"Do you want to drive me crazy? Keep still. I only used it as a metaphor."
That word kinder bricked us up for a minute. Then Jim says — rather timid, because he see Tom was get­ting pretty tetchy:
" Mars Tom, what is a metaphor?"
"A metaphor's a — well, it's a — a-—a metaphor's an illustration." He see that didn't git home, so he tried again. "When I say birds of a feather flocks together, it's a metaphorical way of saying—"
"But dey don't, Mars Tom. No, sir, 'deed dey don't. Dey ain't no feathers dat's more alike den a bluebird en a jaybird, but ef you waits till you catches dem birds together, you'll—"
"Oh, give us a rest! You can't get the simplest little thing through your thick skull. Now don't bother me any more."
Jim was satisfied to stop. He was dreadful pleased