THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER - online book

Original Illustrated Version By Mark Twain

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THE STORY CIRCULA TED,
231
Huck was irritated to think he had been such a goose and betrayed such a sus­picious excitement, for he had dropped the idea that the parcel brought from the tavern was the treasure, as soon as he had heard the talk at the widow's stile. He had only thought it was not the treasure, however—he had not known that it wasn't —and so the suggestion of a captured bundle was too much for his self-possession. But on the whole he felt glad the little episode had happened, for now he knew beyond all question that that bundle was not the bundle, and so his mind was at rest and exceedingly comfortable. In fact everything seemed to be drifting just in the right direction, now; the treasure must be still in No. 2, the men would be captured and jailed that day, and he and Tom. could seize the gold that night without any trouble or any fear of interruption.
Just as breakfast was completed there was a knock at the door. Huck jumped for a hiding place, for he had no mind to be connected even remotely with the late event. The Welchman admitted several ladies and gentlemen, among them the widow Douglas, and noticed that groups of citzens were climbing up the hill—to stare at the stile. So the news had spread.
The Welchman had to tell the story of the night to the visitors. The widow's gratitude for her preservation was outspoken.
" Don't say a word about it madam. There's another that you're more beholden to than you are to me and my boys, maybe, but he don't allow me to tell his name. We wouldn't have been there but for him."
Of course this excited a curiosity so vast that it almost belittled the main matter—but the Welchman allowed it to eat into the vitals of his visitors, and through them be transmitted to the whole town, for he refused to part with his secret. When all else had been learned, the widow said:
"I went to sleep reading in bed and slept straight through all that noise. Why didn't you come and wake me ? "
"We judged it warn't worth while. Those fellows warn't likely to come again— they hadn't any tools left to work with, and what was the use of waking you up and scaring you to death ? My three negro men stood guard at your house all the rest of the night. They've'just come back."
More visitors came, and the story had to be told and re-told for a couple of hours more.