138 TOM SAWYER.
dainty egg and . fish dinner, Tom said he wanted to learn to smoke, now. Joe
caught at the idea and said he would like to try, too. So Huck made pipes and
filled them. These novices had never smoked anything before but cigars made of
grape-vine and they "bit " the tongue and were not considered manly, anyway.
Now they stretched themselves out on their elbows and began to puff, charily, and with slender confidence. The smoke had an unpleasant taste, and they gagged a little, but Tom said :
"Why it's just as easy! If I'd a knowed this was all, I'd a learnt long ago."
" So would I," said Joe. " It's just nothing."
" Why many a time I've looked at people smoking, and thought well I wish I could do that; but I never thought I could," said Tom.
"That's just the way with me, hain't it Huck? You've heard me talk just that way—haven't you Huck ? I'll leave it to Huck if I haven't."
"Yes—heaps of times," said Huck.
"Weill have too," said Tom; " O, hundreds of times. Once down by the slaughter-house. Don't you remember, Huck? Bob Tanner was there, and Johnny Miller, and Jeff Thatcher, when I said it. Don't you remember Huck, 'bout me saying that ? "
"Yes, that's so," said Huck. "That was the day after I lost a white alley. No, 'twas the day before."
" There—I told you so," said Tom. " Huck recollects it."
"I bleeve I;could smoke this pipe all day," said Joe. "Idon't feel sickI
"Neither do I," said Tom. "Icould smoke it all day. But I bet you Jeff Thatcher couldn't."
"Jeff Thatcher! Why he'd keel over just with two draws. Just let him try it once. He'd see ! "
"I bet he would. And Johnny Miller—I wish I could see Johnny Miller tackle it once."
" O, dont 1! " said Joe, "Why I bet you Johnny Miller couldn't any more do this than nothing. Just one little snifter would fetch him"
" 'Deed it would, Joe. Say—I wish the boys could see us now."
"So do I."