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Tom Sawyer Abroad                             79
hopes to goodness we ain't gwine to see it no mo'. Dey's been a lake, en suthin's happened, en de lake's dead, en we's seen its ghos'; we's seen it twiste, en dat's proof. De desert's ha'nted, it's ha'nted, sho; oh, Mars Tom, le' 's git outen it; I'd ruther die den have de night ketch us in it ag'in en de ghos' er dat lake come a-mournin' aroun' us en we asleep en doan' know de danger we's in."
" Ghost, you gander! It ain't anything but air and heat and thirstiness pasted together by a person's imagination. If I — gimme the glass !"
He grabbed it and begun to gaze off to the right.
"It's a flock of birds," he says. "It's getting toward sundown, and they're making a bee-line across our track for somewheres. They mean business—» maybe they're going for food or water, or both. Let her go to starboard ! — Port your helium ! Hard down ! There — ease up — steady, as you go."
We shut down some of the power, so as not to out-speed them, and took out after them. We went skim­ming along a quarter of a mile behind them, and when we had followed them an hour and a half and was get­ting pretty discouraged, and was thirsty clean to unendurableness, Tom says:
" Take the glass, one of you, and see what that is, away ahead of the birds."
Jim got the first glimpse, and slumped down on the locker sick. He was most crying, and says:
" She's dah ag'in, Mars Tom, she's dah ag'in, en I knows I's gwine to die, 'case when a body sees a ghos'