Original Illustrated Version By Mark Twain

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"No—is that so? Oh come, now—lemme just try. Only just a little—I'd let you, if you was me, Tom."
"Ben, I'd like to, honest injun; but Aunt Polly—well Jim wanted to do it, but she wouldn't let him; Sid wanted to do it, and she wouldn't let Sid. Now don't you see how I'm fixed ? If you was to tackle this fence and anything was to happen to it— "
" Oh, shucks, I'll be just as careful. Now lemme try. Say—I'll give you the core of my apple."
"Well, here—. No, Ben, now don't. I'm afeard— "
"I'll give you all of it!"
Tom gave up the brush with reluctance in his face but alacrity in his heart. And while the late steamer " Big Missouri " worked and sweated in the sun, the retired artist sat on a barrel iri the shade close by, dangled his legs, munched his apple, and planned the slaughter of more innocents. There was no lack of mate­rial; boys happened along every little while; they came to jeer, but remained to whitewash. By the time Ben was fagged out, Tom had traded the next chance to Billy Fisher for a kite, in good repair; and when he played out, Johnny Miller bought in for a dead rat and a string to swing it with—and so on, and so on, hour after hour. And when the middle of the afternoon came, from being a poor poverty-stricken boy in the morning, Tom was literally rolling in wealth. He had beside the things before mentioned, twelve marbles, part of a jews-harp, a piece of blue bottle-glass to look through, a spool cannon, a key that wouldn't unlock anything, a fragment of chalk, a glass stopper of a decanter, a tin soldier, a couple of tadpoles, six fire-crackers, a kitten with only one eye, a brass door-knob, a dog-collar—but no dog—the handle of a knife, four pieces of orange-peel, and a dilapidated old window-sash.