THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER - online book

Original Illustrated Version By Mark Twain

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A DAYS AMUSEMENTS.                                               135
time to time and greatly increased the fun. And now and then they stooped in a group and splashed water in each other's faces with their palms, gradually approaching each other, with averted faces to avoid the strangling sprays and finally gripping and struggling till the best man ducked his neighbor, and then they all went under in a tangle of white legs and arms and came up blowing, sputtering, laughing and gasping for breath at one and the same time.
When they were well exhausted, they would run out and sprawl on the dry, hot sand, and lie there and cover themselves up with it, and by and by break for the water again and go through the original performance once more. Finally it oc≠curred to them that their naked skin represented flesh-colored " tights" very fairly; so they drew a ring in the sand and had a circusówith three clowns in it, for none would yield this proudest post to his neighbor.                                                                     the pirates' egg market.
Next they got their marbles and played " knucks " and " ring-taw " and " keeps " till that amusement grew stale. Then Joe and Huck had another swim, but Tom would not venture, because he found that in kicking oft his trousers he had kicked his string of rattlesnake rattles off his ankle, and he wondered how he had escaped cramp so long without the protection of this mysterious charm. He did not venture again until he had found it, and by that time the other boys were tired and ready to rest. They gradually wandered apart, dropped into the "dumps," and fell to gazing longingly across the wide river to where the village lay drowsing in the sun. Tom found himself writing " Becky " in the sand with his big toe ; he scratched it out, and was angry with himself for his weakness. But he wrote it again, nevertheless ; he could not help it. He erased it once more and then took