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Tom Sawyer Abroad                            91
and that and t'other thing, the more nobier and bigger and grander it got to look right along. And so, hunt­ing among the Aggers, Tom found, by and by, that it was just the same size as the Empire of China. Then he showed us the spread the Empire of China made on the map, and the room she took up in the world. Well, it was wonderful to think of, and I says:
"Why, I've heard talk about this Desert plenty of times, but I never knowed before how important she was."
Then Tom says:
"Important! Sahara important! That's just the way with some people. If a thing's big, it's important. That's all the sense they've got. All they can see is size. Why, look at England. It's the most important country in the world; and yet you could put it in China's vest-pocket; and not only that, but you'd have the dickens's own time to find it again the next time you wanted it. And look at Russia. It spreads all around and everywhere, and yet ain't no more im­portant in this world than Rhode Island is, and hasn't got half as much in it that's worth saving."
Away off now we see a little hill, a-standing up just on the edge of the world. Tom broke off his talk, and reached for a glass very much excited, and took a look, and says:
"That's it—it's the one I've been looking for, sure. If I'm right, it's the one the dervish took the man into and showed him all the treasures."
So we begun to gaze, and he begun to tell about it out of the Arabian Nights.