THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER - online book

Original Illustrated Version By Mark Twain

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20
TOM SAWYER.
Aunt Polly asked him questions that were full of guile, and very deepófor she wanted to trap him into damaging revealments. Like many other simple-hearted souls, it was her pet vanity to believe she was endowed with a talent for dark and mysterious diplomacy, and she loved to contemplate her most transparent devices as marvels of low cunning. Said she:
"Tom, it was middling warm in school, warn't it?"
"Yes'm."
"Powerful warm, warn't it?"
"Yes'm."
"Didn't you want to go in a-swimming, Tom? "
A bit of a scare shot through Tomóa touch of uncomfortable suspicion. He searched Aunt Polly's face, but it told him nothing. So he said:
" No'mówell, not very much."
The old lady reached out her hand and felt Tom's shirt, and said:
"But you ain't too warm now, though." And it flattered her to reflect that she had discovered that the shirt was dry without anybody knowing that that was what she had in her mind. But in spite of her, Tom knew where the wind lay, now. So he forestalled what might be the next move:
" Some of us pumped on our headsómine's damp yet. See? M
Aunt Polly was vexed to think she had overlooked that bit of circumstantial evidence, and missed a trick. Then she had a new inspiration:
"Tom, you didn't have to undo your shirt collar where I sewed it, to pump on your head, did you? Unbutton your jacket! "
The trouble vanished out of Tom's face. He opened his jacket. His shirt collar was securely sewed.
"Bother! Well, go 'long with you, I'd made sure you'd played hookey and been a-swimming. But I forgive ye, Tom. I reckon you're a kind of a singed cat, as the saying isóbetter'n you look. This time."
She was half sorry her sagacity had miscarried, and half glad that Tom had stumbled into obedient conduct for once.
But Sidney said:
"Well, now, if I didn't think you sewed his collar with white thread, but it's black."