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188                         Tom Sawyer, Detective
" I'm a-listening."
" It ain't a ghost at all. It's Jake Dunlap his own self! "
" Oh your granny !" I says.
"HuckFinn, did we find any corpse in the syca­mores?"
" Or any sign of one?"
" No."
" Mighty good reason. Hadn't ever been any corpse there."
" Why, Tom, you know we heard—"
" Yes, we did — heard a howl or two. Does that prove anybody was killed? Course it don't. And we seen four men run, then this one come walking out and we took it for a ghost. No more ghost than you are. It was Jake Dunlap his own self, and it's Jake Dunlap now. He's been and got his hair cropped, the way he said he would, and he's playing himself for a stranger, just the same as he said he would. Ghost? Hum!— he's as sound as a nut."
Then I see it all, and how we had took too much for granted. I was powerful glad he didn't get killed, and so was Tom, and we wondered which he would like the best — for us to never let on to know him, or how? Tom reckoned the best way would be to go and ask him. So he started; but I kept a little behind, because I didn't know but it might be a ghost, after all. When Tom got to where he was, he says:
" Me and Huck's mighty glad to see you again,