don't give a dern for a thing 'thout it's tollable hard to git—and you go and beg. off for me with the widder."
"Oh, Huck, you know I can't do that. 'Taint fair; and besides if you'll try this thing just a while longer you'll come to like it."
" Like it! Yes—the way I'd like a hot stove if I was to set on it long enough. No, Tom, I won't be rich, and I won't live in them cussed smothery houses. I like the woods, and the river, and hogsheads, and I'll stick to 'em, too. Blame it all! just as we'd got guns, and a cave, and all just fixed to rob, here this dern foolishness has got to come up and spile it all! "
Tom saw his opportunity—
"Lookyhere, Huck, being rich ain't going to keep me back from turning robber."
" No ! Oh, good-licks, are you in real dead-wood earnest, Tom ? "
"Just as dead earnest as I'm a sitting here. But Huck, we can't let you into-the gang if you ain't respectable, you know."
Huck's joy was quenched.
" Can't let me in, Tom ? Didn't you let me go for a pirate ? "
" Yes, but that's different. A robber is more high-toned than what a pirate is— as a general thing. In most countries they're awful high up in the nobility— dukes and such."
" Now Tom, hain't you always ben friendly to me? You wouldn't shet me out, would you, Tom? You wouldn't do that, now, would you, Tom? "
"Huck, I wouldn't want to, and I don't want to—but what would people say? Why they'd say, 'Mph! Tom Sawyer's Gang! pretty low characters in it!' They'd mean you, Huck. You wouldn't like that, and I wouldn't."
Huck was silent for some time, engaged in a mental struggle. Finally he said:
"Well, I'll go back to the widder for a month and tackle it and see if I can come to stand it, if you'll let me b'long to the gang, Tom."
"All right, Huck, it's a whiz! Come along, old chap, and I'll ask the widow to let up on you a little, Huck."
" Will you Tom—now will you? That's good. If she'll let up on some of the roughest things, I'll smoke private and cuss private, and crowd through or bust. When you going to start the gang and turn robbers? "