24 TOM SAWYER.
" Your saying so don't make it so."
Tom drew a line in the dust with his big toe, and said:
" I dare you to step over that, and I'll lick you till you can't stand up. Anybody that'll take a dare will steal sheep."
The new boy stepped over promptly, and said:
" Now you said you'd do it, now let's see you do it."
" Don't you crowd me now; you better look out."
" Well, you said you'd do it—why don't you do it ? "
"By jingo! for two cents I will do it."
The new boy took two broad coppers out of his pocket and held them out with derision. Tom struck them to the ground. In an instant both boys were rolling and tumbling in the dirt, gripped together like cats; and for the space of a minute they tugged and tore at each other's hair and clothes, punched and scratched each other's noses, and covered themselves with dust and glory. Presently the confusion took form and through the fog of battle Tom appeared, seated astride the new boy, and pounding him with his fists.
* Holler 'miff!" said he.
The boy only struggled to free himself. He was crying,—mainly from rage.
"Holler 'nuff! "—and the pounding went on.
At last the stranger got out a smothered " 'Nuff! " and Tom let him up and said :
" Now that'll learn you. Better look out who you're fooling with next time."
The new boy went off brushing the dust from his clothes, sobbing, snuffling, and occasionally looking back and shaking his head and threatening what he would do to Tom the "next time he caught him out." To which Tom responded with jeers, and started off in high feather, and as soon as his back was turned the new boy snatched up a stone, threw it and hit him between the shoulders and then turned tail and ran like an antelope. Tom chased the traitor home, and thus found out where he lived. He then held a position at the gate for some time, daring the enemy to corne outside, but the enemy only made faces at him through the window and declined. At last the enemy's mother appeared, and called Tom a bad, vicious, vulgar child, and ordered him away. So he went away; but he said he " 'lowed " to ' 'lay " for that boy.