TOM'S NOBILITY ASSERTS ITSELF.
"Who tore this-book?"
There was not a sound. One could have heard a pin drop. The stillness continued ; the master searched face after face for signs of guilt. " Benjamin Rogers, did you tear this book? " A denial. Another pause. " Joseph Harper, did you ? "
Another denial. Tom's uneasiness grew more and more intense under the slow
torture of these proceedings. The master scanned the ranks of boys—considered a while, then turned to the girls: " Amy Lawrence ? " A shake of the head. " Gracie Miller ? " The same sign.
"Susan Harper, did you do this? " Another negative. The next girl was Becky Thatcher. Tom was trembling from head to foot with excitement and a sense of the hopelessness of the situation. " Rebecca Thatcher," [Tom glanced at her face—it was white with terror,]—" did you tear—no, look me in the face "—[her hands rose in appeal]—"did you tear
TOM ASTONISHES THE SCHOOL. \\\\$ book'7* "
A thought shot like lightning through Tom's brain. He sprang to his feet and shouted—" I done it! "
The school stared in perplexity at this incredible folly. Tom stood a moment, to gather his dismembered faculties; and when he stepped forward to go to his punishment the surprise, the gratitude, the adoration that shone upon him out of poor Becky's eyes seemed pay enough for a hundred floggings. Inspired by the splendor of his own act, he took without an outcry the most merciless flaying that even Mr. Dobbins had ever administered; and also received with indifference the