Original Illustrated Version By Mark Twain

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before ten o'clock he came out into an open place opposite the village, and saw the ferry boat lying in the shadow of the trees and the high bank. Everything was quiet under the blinking stars. . He crept down the bank, watching with all his eyes, slipped into the water, swam three or four strokes and climbed into the skiff that did "yawl " duty at the boat's stern. He laid himself down under the thwarts and waited, panting.
Presently the cracked bell tapped and a voice gave the order to "cast off." A minute or two later the skiffs head was standing high up, against the boat's swell, and the voyage was begun. Tom felt happy in his success, for he knew it was the boat's last trip for the night. At the end of a long twelve or fifteen minutes the wheels stopped, and Tom slipped overboard and swam ashore in the dusk, landing fifty yards down stream, out of danger.of possible stragglers.
He flew along unfrequented alleys, and shortly found himself at his aunt's back fence. He climbed over, approached the "ell" and looked in at the sitting-room window, for a light was burning there. There sat Aunt Polly, Sid, Mary, and Joe Harper's mother, grouped together, talking. They were by the bed, and the bed was between them and the door. Tom went to the door and began to softly lift the latch; then he pressed gently and the door yielded a crack ; he continued pushing cautiously, and quaking every time it creaked, till he judged he might squeeze through on his knees; and so he put his head through and began, warily.
" What makes the candle blow so ? " said Aunt Polly. Tom hurried up. " Why that door's open, I believe. Why of course it is. No end of strange things now. Go 'long and shut it, Sid."
Tom disappeared under the bed just in time. He lay and "breathed " him­self for a time, and then crept to where he could almost touch his aunt's foot.
" But as I was saying," said Aunt Polly, "he warn't bad, so to say—only mis­chievous. Only just giddy, and harum-scarum, you know. He warn't any more responsible than a colt. He never meant any harm, and he was the best-hearted boy that ever was "—and she began to cry.
" It was just so with my Joe—always full of his devilment, and up to every kind of mischief, but he was just as unselfish and kind as he could be— 9