182 TOM SAWYER.
"Huck, have you ever told anybody about—that?"
" You know what."
" Oh—'course I haven't."
" Never a word? "
"Never a solitary word, so help me. What makes you ask? "
"Well, I wasafeard."
" Why Tom Sawyer, we wouldn't be alive two days if that got found out You know that."
Tom felt more comfortable. After a pause:
" Huck, they couldn't anybody get you to tell, could they ? "
" Get me to tell? Why if I wanted that half-breed devil to drownd me they could get me to tell. They ain't no different way."
"Well, that's all right, then. I reckon we're safe as long as we keep mum. But let's swear again, anyway. It's more surer."
So they swore again with dread solemnities.
" What is the talk around, Huck ? I've heard a power of it."
"Talk? Well, it's just Muff Potter, Muff Potter, Muff Potter all the time. It keeps me in a sweat, constant, so's I want to hide som'ers."
"That's just the same way they go on round me. I reckon he's a goner. Don't you feel sorry for him, sometimes? "
"Most always—most always. He ain't no account; but then he hain't ever done anything to hurt anybody. Just fishes a little, to get money to get drunk on—and loafs around considerable; but lord we all do that—leastways most of us,—preachers and such like. But he's kind of good—he give me half a fish, once, when there warn't enough for two; and lots of times he's kind of stood by me when I was out of luck."
"Well, he's mended kites for me, Huck, and knitted hooks on to my line. I wish we could get him out of there."
" My! we couldn't get him out Tom. And besides, 'twouldn't do any good; they'd ketch him again."