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162                       Tom Sawyer, Detective
" Well, to cut the tale short, we never left there till plumb noon; and long before that I was hid in this stateroom; for before breakfast I see a man coming, away off, that had a gait like Hal Clayton's, and it made me just sick. I says to myself, if he finds out I'm aboard this boat, he's got me like a rat in a trap. All he's got to do is to have me watched, and wait — wait till I slip ashore, thinking he is a thousand miles away, then slip after me and dog me to a good place and make me give up the di'monds, and then he'll — oh, I know what he'll do! Ain't it awful — awful! And now to think the other one's aboard, too! Oh, ain't it hard luck, boys —ain't it hard ! But you'll help save me, won't you? — oh, boys, be good to a poor devil that's being hunted to death, and save me—I'll worship the very ground you walk on!"
We turned in and soothed him down and told him we would plan for him and help him, and he needn't be so afeard; and so by and by he got to feeling kind of comfortable again, and unscrewed his heelplates and held up his di'monds this way and that, admiring them and loving them; and when the light struck into them they was beautiful, sure; why, they seemed to kind of bust, and snap fire out all around. But all the same I judged he was a fool. If I had been him I would a handed the di'monds to them pals and got them to go ashore and leave me alone. But he was made differ­ent. He said it was a whole fortune and he couldn't bear the idea.
Twice we stopped to fix the machinery and laid a