HOPE GIVING WA Y TO DESPAIR.
of light would glimmer, and then a glorious shout would burst forth and a score of men go trooping down the echoing aisle—and then a sickening disappointment always followed ; the children were not there; it was only a searcher's light.
Three dreadful days and nights dragged their tedious hours along, and the village sank into a hopeless stupor. No one had heart for anything. The accidental discovery, just made, that the proprietor of the Temperance Tavern kept liquor on his premises, scarcely fluttered the public pulse, tremendous as the fact was. In a lucid interval, Huck feebly led up to the subject of taverns, and finally asked—dimly dreading the worst—if anything had been discovered at the Temperance Tavern since he had been ill?
"Yes," said the widow.
Huck started up in bed, wild-eyed:
"What! What was it?"
" Liquor!—and the place has been shut up. Lie down, child—what a turn you did give me! "
" Only tell me just one thing—only just one—please! Was it Tom Sawyer that found it?"
The widow burst into tears. " Hush, hush, child, hush! I've told you before, you must not talk. You are very, very sick! "
Then nothing but liquor had been found; there would have been a great powwow if it had been the gold. So the treasure was gone forever—gone forever! But what could she be crying about? Curious that she should cry.
These thoughts worked their dim way through Huck's mind, and under the weariness they gave him he fell asleep. The widow said to herself:
" There—he's asleep, poor wreck. Tom Sawyer find it! Pity but somebody could find Tom Sawyer! Ah, there ain't many left, now, that's got hope enough, or strength enough, either, to go on searching."