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168                         Tom Sawyer, Detective
it. Bill Withers and his brother Jack come along by, talking, and Jack says:
" What do you reckon he was toting?"
" I dunno ; but it was pretty heavy."
" Yes, all he could lug. Nigger stealing corn from old Parson Silas, I judged."
" So did I. And so I allowed I wouldn't let on to see him."
"That's me, too."
Then they both laughed, and went on out of hearing. It showed how unpopular old Uncle Silas had got to be now. They wouldn't 'a' let a nigger steal anybody else's corn and never done anything to him.
We heard some more voices mumbling along towards us and getting louder, and sometimes a cackle of a laugh. It was Lem Beebe and Jim Lane. Jim Lane says:
" Who?— Jubiter Dunlap?"
" Oh, I don't know. I reckon so. I seen him spad­ing up some ground along about an hour ago, just be­fore sundown — him and the parson. Said he guessed he wouldn't go to-night, but we could have his dog if we wanted him."
"Too tired, I reckon."
" Yes — works so hard !''
"Oh, you bet!"
They cackled at that, and went on by. Tom said we better jump out and tag along after them, because they was going our way and it wouldn't be comfortable to