audiobooks The Adventures of TOM SAWYER#12 Mark Twain

of Tom Sawyer by Mark Huck saves the widow the first thing Tom heard on Friday morning was a glad piece of news judge Thatcher’s family had come back to town the night before both Injun Joe and the treasure sank into secondary importance for a moment and Becky took the chief place in the boys interest he saw her and they had an exhausting good time playing high spy and gully keeper with a crowd of their schoolmates the day was completed and crowned in a peculiarly satisfactory way Becky teased her mother to appoint the next day for the long-promised and long-delayed picnic and she consented the child’s delight was boundless and Tom’s not more moderate the invitations were sent out before sunset and straightway the young folks of the village were thrown into a fever of preparation and pleasurable anticipation Tom’s excitement enabled him to keep awake until a pretty late hour and he had good hopes of hearing Huck’s mal and of having his treasure to astonish becky and the picnickers with next day but he was disappointed no signal came that night morning came eventually and by ten or eleven o’clock a giddy and rollicking company were gathered at judge Thatcher’s and everything was ready for a start it was not the custom for elderly people to Mar picnics with their presence the children were considered safe enough under the wings of a few young ladies of eighteen and a few young gentlemen of twenty-three or thereabouts the old steam ferryboat was chartered for the occasion presently the gay throng filed up the Main Street laden with provision baskets Sid was sick and had to miss the fun Mary remained at home to entertain him the last thing mrs. Thatcher said to Becky was you’ll not get back too late perhaps you’d better stay all night with some of the girls that live near the ferry-landing child then I’ll stay with Susy Harper mamma very well and mine then behave yourself and don’t be any trouble presently as they tripped along Tom said to Becky say I’ll tell you what we’ll do to Joe Harper’s will climb right up the hill and stop at the Widow Douglas she’ll have ice cream she has it most every day dead loads of it and she’ll be awful glad to have us oh that will be fun then Becky reflected a moment said but what will mama say well she’ll ever know the girl turned the idea over in her mind and said reluctantly I reckon it’s wrong but but shucks your mother won’t know and so what’s the harm all she wants is that you’ll be safe and I bet you she had said go there if she’d have thought about it I know she would the Widow Douglas is splendid hospitality was a tempting bait even Tom’s persuasions presently carried the day so it was decided to say nothing to anybody about the night’s program presently it occurred to Tom that maybe Huck might come in this very night and give the signal the thought took a deal of the spirit out of his anticipation still he could not bear to give up the fun at Widow Douglass’s and why should he give it up he reasoned the signal did not come the night before so why should it be any more likely to come tonight the sure fun of the evening outweighed the uncertain treasure and boy-like he determined to yield to the stronger inclination and not allow himself to think of the box of money another time that day three miles below town the ferryboat stopped at the mouth of the woody Hollow and tied up the crowd swarmed ashore and soon the forest distances and craggy Heights echoed far and near with shoutings and laughter all the different ways of getting hot and tired were gone through with and by-and-by the rover’s straggled back to camp fortified with responsible appetites and then the destruction of the good things began after the feast there was a refreshing season of rest and chat in the shade of spreading Oaks and by-and-by somebody shouted who’s ready for the cave everybody was bundles of candles were procured and straightaway there was a general scamper up the hill the mouth of the cave was up the hillside an opening shaped like a letter a its massive oaken door stood unbarred within was a small chamber chilly as an Icehouse and walled by nature with solid limestone that was Dewey with a cold sweat it was romantic and mysterious to stand here in the deep gloom and look out upon the Green Valley shining in the Sun but the impressiveness of the situation quickly wore off and the romping began again the moment a candle was lighted there was a general rush upon the owner of it a struggle and a gallant defense followed but the candle was soon knocked down or blown out and then there was a glad clamor of laughter and a new chase but all things have an end by-and-by the procession went filing down the steep descent of the main

avenue the flickering rank of Lights dimly revealing the lofty walls of rock almost to their point of Junction 60 feet overhead this Main Avenue was not more than eight or ten feet wide every few steps other lofty and still narrower crevices branched from it on either hand for mcdougal’s cave was but a vast labyrinth of crooked aisles that ran into each other and out again and led nowhere it was said that one might wander days and nights together through its intricate tangle of rifts and chasms and never find the end of the cave and that he might go down and down and still down into the earth and it was just the same labyrinth underneath labyrinth and no end to any of them no man knew the cave that was an impossible thing most of the young men knew a portion of it and it was not customary to venture much beyond this known portion Tom Sawyer knew as much of the cave as anyone the procession moved along the main avenue some three-quarters of a mile then groups and couples began to slip aside into branch avenues fly along the dismal corridors and take each other by surprise at points where the corridors joined again parties were able to elude each other for the space of half an hour without going beyond the known ground by-and-by one group after another came straggling back to the mouth of the cave panting hilarious smeared from head to foot with tallow drippings daubed with clay and entirely delighted with the success of the day then they were astonished to find that they had been taking no note of time and that night was about at hand the clanging Bell had been calling for half an hour however this sort of close to the day’s adventures was romantic and therefore satisfactory when the ferry boat was her wild Freight pushed into the stream nobody cared sixpence for the wasted time but the captain of the craft Huck was already upon his watch when the ferry boats lights went glinting past the wharf he heard no noise on board for the young people were as subdued and still as people usually are who were nearly tired to death he wondered what boat it was and why she did not stop at the wharf and then he dropped her out of his mind and put his attention upon his business the night was growing cloudy and dark ten o’clock came and the noise a vehicle ceased scattered lights began to wink out all straggling foot-passengers disappeared the village took itself to its slumbers and left the small watcher alone with a silence and the ghosts eleven o’clock came and the tavern lights were put out darkness everywhere now Huck waited what seemed a weary long time but nothing happened his faith was weakening was there any use was there really any use why not give it up and turn in a noise fell upon his ear he was all attention in an instant the alley door closed softly he sprang to the corner of the brick store the next moment two men brushed by him and one seemed to have something under his arm it must be that box so they were going to remove the treasurer why called Tom now it would be absurd the men would get away with the box and never be found again no he would stick to their wake and follow them he would trust to the darkness for security from discovery so communing with himself Huck stepped out and glided along behind the men cat-like with bare feet allowing them to keep just far enough ahead not to be invisible they moved up the river street three blocks then turned to the left up a cross street they went straight ahead then until they came to the path that led up Cardiff Hill this they took they passed by the old Welshman’s house halfway up the hill without hesitating and still climbed upward could Huk they will bury it in the old quarry but they never stopped at the quarry they passed on up the summit they plunged into the narrow path between the tall sumach bushes and were at once hidden in the gloom huh closed up and shortened his distance now for they would never be able to see him he trotted along a while and slackened his pace fearing he was gaining too fast moved on a piece then stopped altogether listened no sound none saved that he seemed to hear the beating of his own heart the hooting of an owl came from over the hill ominous sound but no footsteps heavens was everything lost he was about to spring with winged feet when a man cleared his throat not four feet from him hug his heart shot into his throat but he swallowed it again and then he stood there shaking as if a dozen egg use had taken charge of him at once and so weak that he thought he must surely fall to the ground he knew where he was he knew he was within five steps of the stile leading into Widow Douglass’s grounds very well he thought let them bury it there it won’t be hard to find

now there was a voice a very low voice Injun Joe’s damned her maybe she’s got company there’s lights late as it is I can’t see any this was that strangers voice the stranger of the haunted house a deadly chill went to Huck’s heart this then was the revenge job his thought was to fly then he remembered that the Widow Douglas had been kind to him more than once and maybe these men were going to murder her he wished he dared venture to warn her but he knew he didn’t dare they might come and catch him he thought all this and more in the moment that elapsed between the stranger’s remark and injun joe’s next which was because the bush is in your way now this way now you see don’t you yes well there is company there and I reckon better give it up give it up and I just leaving this country forever give it up and maybe never have another chance I tell you again as I’ve told you before I don’t care for her swag you may have it but her husband was rough on me many times he was rough on me and mainly he was the justice of the peace that jugged me for a vagrant and that ain’t all it ain’t a millionth part of it he had me horsewhipped horsewhipped in front of the jail like a nigger with all the town looking on horse whip do you understand he took advantage of me and died but I’ll take it out of her oh don’t kill her don’t do that kill who said anything about killing I would kill him if he were here but not her when you want to get revenge on a woman you don’t kill her MA she go for her looks you slit nostrils you you not your ears like a South by god that’s keep your opinion to yourself it will be safest for you I’ll tie her to the bed or she bleeds to death is that my fault I’ll not cry if she does my friend you’ll help in this thing for my sake that’s why you’re here I might be able to loan if you flinch I’ll kill you do you understand that and if I have to kill you I’ll kill her and then I reckon nobody’ll ever know much about who done this business well if it’s got to be done let’s get at it the quicker the better I’m all in a shiver do it now and company there look here I’ll get suspicious a few first thing you know no we’ll wait till the lights are out there’s no hurry Huck felt that a silence was going to ensue a thing still more awful than any amount of murderous talk so he held his breath and stepped gingerly back planted his foot carefully and firmly after balancing one-legged in a precarious way and almost toppling over first on one side and then on the other he took another step back with a same elaboration and the same risks than another and another and a twig snapped under his foot his breath stopped and he listened there was no sound the stillness was perfect his gratitude was measureless now he turned in his tracks between the walls of sumach bushes turned himself as carefully as if he were a ship and then stepped quickly but cautiously along when he emerged at the quarry he fell secure and so he picked up his nimble heels and flew down down he sped till he reached the Welshman’s he banged at the door and presently the heads of the old man and his two stalwart sons were thrust from windows what’s the route there who’s banging what do you want let me in quick I’ll tell everything why who are you huckleberry finn quick let me in huckleberry finn indeed it ain’t a name to open many doors I judge but let him in lads and let’s see what’s the trouble please don’t ever tell I told you were Huck’s first words when he got in please don’t I’d be killed sure but the widow’s been good friends to me sometimes and i want to tell i will tell if you’ll promise you won’t ever say it was me by George he has got something to tell or he wouldn’t act so exclaimed the old man out with it and nobody here will ever tell that three minutes later the old man and his sons well-armed were up the hill and just entering the sumach path on tiptoe their weapons in their hands huck accompanied them no farther he hid behind a great boulder and fell to listening there was a lagging anxious silence and then all of a sudden there was an explosion of firearms and a cry Huck waited for no particulars he sprang away and sped down the hill as fast as his legs could carry him end of chapter 29 chapter 30 Tom and Becky in the cave as the earliest suspicion of dawn appeared on Sunday morning Huck came groping up the hill and rapped gently at the old Welshman’s door the inmates were asleep but it was asleep that was set on a hair-trigger on account of the exciting episode of the night a call came from a window who’s there Huck’s scared voice answered in a low

tone please let me in it’s only Huck Finn it’s a name that can open this door night or day lad and welcome these were strange words to the Vagabond boy’s ears and the pleasantest he had ever heard he could not recollect that the closing word had ever been applied in his case before the door was quickly unlocked and he entered Huck was given a seat and the old man and his brace of tall sons speedily dressed themselves now my boy I hope you’re good and hungry because breakfast will be ready as soon as the Sun’s up and we’ll have a piping hot one to make yourself easy about that I and the boys hoped you’d turn up and stop here last night I was awful scared said Huck and I run I took out when the pistols went off and I didn’t stop for three miles I’ve come now because I wanted to know about it you know and I come before daylight because I didn’t want to run across them Devils even if they was dead well poor chap you do look as if you’d had a hard night of it but there’s a bed here for you when you’ve had your breakfast no they ain’t dead lad we were sorry enough for that you see we knew right where to put our hands on them by your description so we crept along on tiptoe till we got within 15 feet of them dark is a cellar that sumach path was and just then I found I was going to sneeze it was the meanest kind of luck I tried to keep it back but no use it was bound to come and it did come I was in the lead with my pistol raised and when the sneeze started those scoundrels are rustling to get out of the path I sang out fire boys and blazed away at the place where the rustling was so did the boys but they were off in a jiffy those villains and we after them down through the woods I judge we never touched them they fired a shot of peace as they started but their bullets whizzed by and didn’t do miss any harm as soon as we lost the sound of their feet we quit chasin and went down and stirred up the constables they got a posse together and went off to guard the riverbank and as soon as it is light the sheriff and a gang are going to beat up the woods my boys will be with them presently I wish we had some sort of description of those Rascals to help a good deal but you couldn’t see what they were like in the dark glad I suppose oh yes I saw them downtown and followed them splendid describe them describe them my boy one is the old deaf and dumb spaniard that’s been round here once or twice and t’others a mean-looking ragged that’s enough lad we know the men happened on them in the woods back of the widow’s one day and they slunk away off with your boys and tell the sheriff get your breakfast tomorrow morning the Welshman’s sons departed at once as they were leaving the room huck sprang up and exclaimed oh please don’t tell anybody it was me that blowed on him oh please all right if you say it huck but you ought to have the credit of what you did no no no please don’t tell when the young man were gone the old Welshman said they won’t tell and I won’t but why don’t you want it known huck would not explain further than to say that he already knew too much about one of those men and would not have the man know that he knew anything against him is for the whole world he would be killed for knowing it sure the old man promised secrecy once more and said how did you come to follow these fellows lad were they looking suspicious Huck was silent while he framed a duly cautious reply and then he said well you see I’m a kind of a hard lot least everybody says so and I don’t see nothing again it and sometimes I can’t sleep much on accounts of thinking about it and sort of trying to strike out a new way of doing that was the way it was last night I couldn’t sleep and so I come along up street bout midnight turning it all over and when I got to that old shackly Brick Store by the temperance tavern I backed up agin the wall to have another thing well just then along comes these two chaps slipping along close by me was something under their arm and I reckon they’d stole it one was a smokin and t’other one wanted a light so they stopped right before me and the cigars lit up their faces and I see that the big one was the deaf and dumb spaniard by his white and whiskers and the patch on his eye and t’other one was a rusty ragged-looking devil could you see the rags by the light of the cigars this staggered Huck for a moment then he said well I don’t know but somehow it seems as if I did then they went on and you followed him yes that was it I wanted to see what was up they sneaked along so I dogged him to the Widders stile and stood in the dark and heard the ragged one beg for the Widder and the Spaniard swear he’d spoil her looks just as I told you in your – what the deaf and dumb man said all that Huck had made another terrible mistake he was trying his best to keep the old man from getting the faintest hint of who the Spaniard might be and yet his tongue seemed determined to get him into trouble in spite of all

he could do he made several efforts to creep out of his scrape but the old man’s eye was upon him and he made blunder after blunder presently the Welshman said my boy don’t be afraid of me I wouldn’t hurt a hair of your head for all the world know I’d protect you I’ll I’d protect you this Spaniard is not deaf and dumb you’ve let that slip without intending it you can’t cover that up now you know something about that Spaniard that you want to keep dark now trust me tell me what it is and trust me I won’t betray you I looked into the old man’s honest eyes a moment then bent over and whispered in his ear take the Spaniard its Injun Joe the Welshman almost jumped out of his chair in a moment he said it’s all plain enough now when you talked about notching ears and the slitting noses I judged that was your own embellishment because white men don’t take that sort of revenge but an Injun that’s a different matter altogether during breakfast the talk went on and in the course of it the old man said that the last thing which he and his sons had done before going to bed was to get a lantern and examine the style and its vicinity for marks of blood they found none but captured a bulky bundle of of what if the words had been lightning they could not have left with a more stunning suddenness from Huck’s blanched lips his eyes were steering wide now and his breath suspended waiting for the answer the Welshman started stared in return three seconds five seconds ten then replied of burglars tools why what’s the matter with you huck sank back panting gently but deeply I’m not her plea grateful the Welshman eyed him gravely curiously and presently said yes burglars tools that appears to relieve you a good deal but what did give you that turn what were you expecting we’d found huck was in a close place the inquiring eye was upon him he would have given anything for material for a plausible and sir nothing suggested itself they’re inquiring I was boring deeper and deeper a senseless reply offered there was no time to weigh it so at a venture he uttered it feebly Sunday School books maybe poor Huck was too distressed to smile but the old man laughed loud and joyously shook up the details of his anatomy from head to foot and ended by saying that such a laugh was money in a man’s pocket because it cut down the doctors bills like everything then he added poor old chap you’re white and jaded you ain’t well a bit no wonder you’re a little flighty and off your balance but you’ll come out of it rest and sleep we’ll catch you up alright I hope 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 winter style he had only thought it was not the treasure however he had not known that it wasn’t and so the suggestion if 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 number two the men would be captured in jail 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 Welshman admitted several ladies and gentlemen among them the Widow Douglas and noticed that groups of citizens were climbing up the hill to stare at the style so the news had spread the Welshman 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 excite curiosity so vast that it almost belittled the main matter but the Welshman 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 weren’t worthwhile those fellows weren’t likely to come again they had many 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 retold for a couple of hours more there was no Sabbath school during day school vacation but everybody was early at church the stirring event was well canvassed news came that not a sign of the two villains had been yet discovered when the sermon was finished judge Thatcher’s wife dropped alongside of mrs. Harper as she moved down the aisle with a crowd and said is my Becky going to sleep all day I just expected she would be tired to death you’re Becky yes with a startled look didn’t she stay with you last night why no mrs. Thatcher turned pale and sank into a Pew just as Polly talking briskly with a friend passed by Polly said good morning mrs. Thatcher good morning mrs. Harper I’ve got a boy that’s turned up missing I reckon my Tom stayed at your house last night one of you and now he’s afraid to come to church I’ve got to settle with him mrs Thatcher shook her head feebly and turned paler than ever he didn’t stay with us said mrs. Harper beginning to look uneasy a marked anxiety came to that Polly’s face Jo Harper have you seen my Tom this morning no ma’am when did you see him last Joe tried to remember but was not sure he could say the people had stopped moving out of church whispers passed along and a boding uneasiness took possession of every countenance children were anxiously questioned and young teachers they all said they had not noticed whether Tom and Becky were on board the ferryboat on the home or trip it was dark no one thought of inquiring if anyone was missing one young man finally blurted out his fear that they were still in the cave mrs Thatcher swooned away Polly fell to crying and wringing her hands the alarm swept from lip to lip from group to group from Street to Street and within five minutes the bells were wildly clanging and the whole town was up the Cardiff Hill episode sank into instant insignificance the burglars were forgotten horses were saddled skiffs were manned the ferryboat ordered out and before the horror was half an hour old two hundred men were pouring down high road and river toward the cave all the long afternoon the village seemed empty and dead many women visited Aunt Polly and mrs. Thatcher and tried to comfort them they cried with them too and that was still better than words all the tedious night the town waited for news but when the morning dawned at last all the word that came was send more candles and send food mrs. Thatcher was almost crazed and Aunt Polly also Judge Thatcher sent messages of hope and encouragement from the cave but they conveyed no real cheer the old Welshman came home toward daylight spattered with candle grease smeared with clay and almost worn out he found Huck still in the bed that had been provided for him and delirious with fever the physicians were all at the cave so the Widow Douglas came and took charge of the patient she said she would do her best by him because whether he was good bad or indifferent he was the Lord’s and nothing that was the Lord’s was a thing to be neglected the Welshman said Huck had good spots in him and the widow said you can depend on it that’s the Lord’s mark he don’t leave it off he never does puts it somewhere on every creature that comes from his hands early in the forenoon parties of jaded men began to straggle into the village but the strongest of the citizens continued searching all the news that could be gained was that remoteness –is of the cavern were being ransacked that had never been visited before that every corner and crevice was going to be thoroughly searched that wherever one wandered through the maze of passages lights were to be seen flitting hither and thither in the distance and shoutings and pistol-shots sent their hollow reverberations to the ear down the sombre aisles in one place far from the section usually traversed by tourists the names Becky and Tom had been found traced upon the rocky wall with candle smoke and near at hand a grease soiled bit of ribbon mrs. Thatcher recognized the ribbon and cried over it she said it was the last relic she would ever have of her child and that no other memorial of her could ever be so precious because this one parted latest from the living body before the awful death came some said that now and then in the cave a faraway speck of light would glimmer and then a glorious shout would burst forth and a score of men go trooping down the echoing Isle and then a sickening disappointment always followed the children were not there it was only a searchers 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 you fell asleep the widow said to herself there he’s asleep poor wreck Tom Sawyer find it pity but somebody could find Tom Sawyer there ain’t many left now that’s got hope enough or strength enough either to go on searching end of chapter 30