136 TOM SAWYER.
himself out of temptation by driving the other boys together and joining them.
But Joe's spirits had gone down almost beyond resurrection. He was so homesick that he could hardly endure the misery of it. The tears lay very near the surface. Huck was melancholy, too. Tom was down-hearted, but tried hard not to show it. He had a secret which he was not ready to tell, yet, but if this mutinous depression was not broken up soon, he would have to bring it out. He said, with a great show of cheerfulness :
"I bet there's been pirates on this island before, boys. We'll explore it again. They've hid treasures here somewhere. How'd you feel to light on a rotten chest full of gold and silver—hey ? "
But it roused only a faint enthusiasm, which faded out, with no reply. Tom tried one or two other seductions; but they failed, too. It was discouraging work. Joe sat poking up the sand with a stick and looking very gloomy. Finally he said:
" O, boys, let's give it up. I want to go home. It's so lonesome."
"Oh, no, Joe, you'll feel better by and by," said Tom. "Just think of the fishing that's here."
" I don't care for fishing. I want to go home."
" But Joe, there ain't such another swimming place anywhere."
" Swimming's no good. I don't seem to care for it, somehow, when there ain't anybody to say I shan't go in. I mean to go home."
"O, shucks! Baby! You want to see your mother, I reckon."
" Yes, I do want to see my mother—and you would too, if you had one. I ain't any more baby than you are." And Joe snuffled a little.
"Well, we'll let the cry-baby go home to his mother, won't we Huck? Poor thing—does it want to see its mother? And so it shall. You like it here, don't you Huck ? We'll stay, won't we ? "
Huck said " Y-e-s "—without any heart in it.
"I'll never speak to you again as long as I live," said Joe, rising. "There now! " And he moved moodily away and began to dress himself.
"Who cares ! " said Tom. " Nobody wants you to. Go 'long home and get laughed at. O, you're a nice pirate. Huck and me ain't cry-babies. We'll stay,