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Tom Sawyer Abroad                              81
thing in my life, but nothing that ever begun with that water.
Then we went down and had a swim, and then Tom came up and spelled me, and me and Jim had a swim, and then Jim spelled Tom, and me and Tom had a foot-race and a boxing-mill, and I don't reckon I ever had such a good time in my life. It warn't so very hot, because it was close on to evening, and we hadn't any clothes on, anyway. Clothes is well enough in school, and in towns, and at balls, too, but there ain't no sense in them when there ain't no civilization nor other kinds of bothers and fussiness around.
"Lions a-comin'! — lions! Quick, Mars Tom! Jump for yo' life, Huck!"
Oh, and didn't we ! We never stopped for clothes, but waltzed up the ladder just so. Jim lost his head straight off—he always done it whenever he got ex­cited and scared; and so now, 'stead of just easing the ladder up from the ground a little, so the animals couldn't reach it, he turned on a raft of power, and we went whizzing up and was dangling in the sky before he got his wits together and seen what a foolish thing he was doing. Then he stopped her, but he had clean forgot what to do next; so there we was, so high that the lions looked like pups, and we was drifting off on the wind.
But Tom he shinned up and went for the works and
begun to slant her down, and back toward the lake,
where the animals was gathering like a camp-meeting,
and I judged he had lost his head, too; for he knowed 6**