Original Illustrated Version By Mark Twain

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The hard lines in his aunt's face relaxed and a sudden tenderness dawned in her eyes.
'"Did you kiss me, Tom?" "Why yes I did." " Are you sure you did, Tom ?" "Why yes I did, auntie—certain sureI' "What did you kiss me for, Tom ?"
"Because I loved you so, and you laid there moaning and I was so sorry." The words sounded like truth. The old lady could not hide a tremor in her voice when she said:
"Kiss me again, Tom!—and be off with you to school, now, and don't bother
me any more."
The moment he was gone, she ran to a closet and got out the ruin of a jacket which Tom had gone pirating in. Then she stopped, with it in her hand, and said to herself:
" No, I don't dare. Poor boy, I reckon he's lied about it—but it's a blessed, blessed lie, there's such comfort come from it. I hope the Lord—I know the Lord will forgive him, because it was such goodheartedness in him to tell it. But I don't want to find out it's a lie. I won't look."
She put the jacket away, and stood by musing a minute. Twice she put out her hand to take the garment again, and twice
she refrained. Once more she ventured,, and this time she fortified herself with the thought: "It's a good lie—it's a good lie—I won't let it grieve me." So she sought the jacket pocket. A moment later she was reading Tom's piece of bark through flowing tears and saying: " I could forgive the boy, now, if he'd committed a million sins! "