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Mark Twain > Adventures Of Tom Sawyer > Chapter XXVII

Adventures Of Tom Sawyer

Chapter XXVII


THE adventure of the day mightily tormented Tom's dreams that night.
Four times he had his hands on that rich treasure and four times it
wasted to nothingness in his fingers as sleep forsook him and
wakefulness brought back the hard reality of his misfortune. As he lay
in the early morning recalling the incidents of his great adventure, he
noticed that they seemed curiously subdued and far away--somewhat as if
they had happened in another world, or in a time long gone by. Then it
occurred to him that the great adventure itself must be a dream! There
was one very strong argument in favor of this idea--namely, that the
quantity of coin he had seen was too vast to be real. He had never seen
as much as fifty dollars in one mass before, and he was like all boys
of his age and station in life, in that he imagined that all references
to "hundreds" and "thousands" were mere fanciful forms of speech, and
that no such sums really existed in the world. He never had supposed
for a moment that so large a sum as a hundred dollars was to be found
in actual money in any one's possession. If his notions of hidden
treasure had been analyzed, they would have been found to consist of a
handful of real dimes and a bushel of vague, splendid, ungraspable
dollars.

But the incidents of his adventure grew sensibly sharper and clearer
under the attrition of thinking them over, and so he presently found
himself leaning to the impression that the thing might not have been a
dream, after all. This uncertainty must be swept away. He would snatch
a hurried breakfast and go and find Huck. Huck was sitting on the
gunwale of a flatboat, listlessly dangling his feet in the water and
looking very melancholy. Tom concluded to let Huck lead up to the
subject. If he did not do it, then the adventure would be proved to
have been only a dream.

"Hello, Huck!"

"Hello, yourself."

Silence, for a minute.

"Tom, if we'd 'a' left the blame tools at the dead tree, we'd 'a' got
the money. Oh, ain't it awful!"

"'Tain't a dream, then, 'tain't a dream! Somehow I most wish it was.
Dog'd if I don't, Huck."

"What ain't a dream?"

"Oh, that thing yesterday. I been half thinking it was."

"Dream! If them stairs hadn't broke down you'd 'a' seen how much dream
it was! I've had dreams enough all night--with that patch-eyed Spanish
devil going for me all through 'em--rot him!"

"No, not rot him. FIND him! Track the money!"

"Tom, we'll never find him. A feller don't have only one chance for
such a pile--and that one's lost. I'd feel mighty shaky if I was to see
him, anyway."

"Well, so'd I; but I'd like to see him, anyway--and track him out--to
his Number Two."

"Number Two--yes, that's it. I been thinking 'bout that. But I can't
make nothing out of it. What do you reckon it is?"

"I dono. It's too deep. Say, Huck--maybe it's the number of a house!"

"Goody! ... No, Tom, that ain't it. If it is, it ain't in this one-
horse town. They ain't no numbers here."

"Well, that's so. Lemme think a minute. Here--it's the number of a
room--in a tavern, you know!"

"Oh, that's the trick! They ain't only two taverns. We can find out
quick."

"You stay here, Huck, till I come."

Tom was off at once. He did not care to have Huck's company in public
places. He was gone half an hour. He found that in the best tavern, No.
2 had long been occupied by a young lawyer, and was still so occupied.
In the less ostentatious house, No. 2 was a mystery. The tavern-
keeper's young son said it was kept locked all the time, and he never
saw anybody go into it or come out of it except at night; he did not
know any particular reason for this state of things; had had some
little curiosity, but it was rather feeble; had made the most of the
mystery by entertaining himself with the idea that that room was
"ha'nted"; had noticed that there was a light in there the night before.

"That's what I've found out, Huck. I reckon that's the very No. 2
we're after."

"I reckon it is, Tom. Now what you going to do?"

"Lemme think."

Tom thought a long time. Then he said:

"I'll tell you. The back door of that No. 2 is the door that comes out
into that little close alley between the tavern and the old rattle trap
of a brick store. Now you get hold of all the door-keys you can find,
and I'll nip all of auntie's, and the first dark night we'll go there
and try 'em. And mind you, keep a lookout for Injun Joe, because he
said he was going to drop into town and spy around once more for a
chance to get his revenge. If you see him, you just follow him; and if
he don't go to that No. 2, that ain't the place."

"Lordy, I don't want to foller him by myself!"

"Why, it'll be night, sure. He mightn't ever see you--and if he did,
maybe he'd never think anything."

"Well, if it's pretty dark I reckon I'll track him. I dono--I dono.
I'll try."

"You bet I'll follow him, if it's dark, Huck. Why, he might 'a' found
out he couldn't get his revenge, and be going right after that money."

"It's so, Tom, it's so. I'll foller him; I will, by jingoes!"

"Now you're TALKING! Don't you ever weaken, Huck, and I won't."


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