THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER - online book

Original Illustrated Version By Mark Twain

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TOM'S CONSCIENCE A T WORK.                                        105
" It was within three feet of Muff Potter when it done it."
Tom's fearful secret and gnawing conscience disturbed his sleep for as much as a week after this; and at breakfast one morning Sid said :
"Tom, you pitch around and talk in your sleep so much that you keep me awake about half the time."
Tom blanched and dropped his eyes.
" It's a bad sign," said Aunt Polly, gravely. " What you got on your mind, Tom?"
"Nothing. Nothing't I know of." But the boy's hand shook so that he spilled his coffee.
" And you do talk such stuff," Sid said. " Last night you said '.it's blood, it's blood, that's what it is !' You said that over and over. And you said, ' Don't torment me so—I'll tell!' Tell what? What is it you'll tell ?"
Everything was swimming before Tom. There is no telling what might have happened, now, but luckily the concern passed out of Aunt Polly's face and she came to Tom's relief without knowing it. She said :
" Sho ! It's that dreadful murder. I dream about it most every night myself. Sometimes I dream it's me that done it."
Mary said she had been affected much the same way. Sid seemed satisfied. Tom got out of the presence as quick as he plausibly could, and after that he complained of toothache for a week, and tied up his jaws every night. He never knew that Sid lay nightly watching, and frequently slipped the bandage free and then leaned on his elbow listening a good while at a time, and after­ward slipped the bandage back to its place again. Tom's distress of mind wore off gradually and the toothache grew irksome and was discarded. If Sid really managed to make anything out of Tom's disjointed mutterings, he kept it to himself.
It seemed to Tom that his schoolmates never would get done holding inquests on dead cats, and thus keeping his trouble present to his mind, Sid noticed that Tom never was coroner at one of these inquiries, though it had been his habit to take the lead in all new enterprises; he noticed, too, that Tom never acted as a witness,—and that was strange; and Sid did not overlook the fact