Table of Contents

+ Add to Library

Previous Next

Chapter 27

  • The adventure of the day mightily tormented Tom's dreams that night. Fou_imes he had his hands on that rich treasure and four times it wasted t_othingness in his fingers as sleep forsook him and wakefulness brought bac_he hard reality of his misfortune. As he lay in the early morning recallin_he incidents of his great adventure, he noticed that they seemed curiousl_ubdued and far away — somewhat as if they had happened in another world, o_n a time long gone by. Then it occurred to him that the great adventur_tself must be a dream! There was one very strong argument in favor of thi_dea — 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 lik_ll boys of his age and station in life, in that he imagined that al_eferences 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 _oment that so large a sum as a hundred dollars was to be found in actua_oney in any one's possession. If his notions of hidden treasure had bee_nalyzed, they would have been found to consist of a handful of real dimes an_ bushel of vague, splendid, ungraspable dollars.
  • But the incidents of his adventure grew sensibly sharper and clearer under th_ttrition of thinking them over, and so he presently found himself leaning t_he impression that the thing might not have been a dream, after all. Thi_ncertainty must be swept away. He would snatch a hurried breakfast and go an_ind Huck. Huck was sitting on the gunwale of a flatboat, listlessly danglin_is feet in the water and looking very melancholy. Tom concluded to let Huc_ead up to the subject. If he did not do it, then the adventure would b_roved 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 th_oney. Oh, ain't it awful!"
  • "'Tain't a dream, then, 'tain't a dream! Somehow I most wish it was. Dog'd 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 goin_or 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 _ile — 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 hi_umber Two."
  • "Number Two — yes, that's it. I been thinking 'bout that. But I can't mak_othing 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 — i_ 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 lon_een occupied by a young lawyer, and was still so occupied. In the les_stentatious house, No. 2 was a mystery. The tavern-keeper's young son said i_as kept locked all the time, and he never saw anybody go into it or come ou_f it except at night; he did not know any particular reason for this state o_hings; had had some little curiosity, but it was rather feeble; had made th_ost 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'r_fter."
  • "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 int_hat little close alley between the tavern and the old rattle trap of a bric_tore. Now you get hold of all the door-keys you can find, and I'll nip all o_untie'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 tow_nd spy around once more for a chance to get his revenge. If you see him, yo_ust 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, mayb_e'd never think anything."
  • "Well, if it's pretty dark I reckon I'll track him. I dono — I dono. I'l_ry."
  • "You bet I'll follow him, if it's dark, Huck. Why, he might 'a' found out h_ouldn'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."