The adventures of tom sa.., p.2
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Part 6., p.2Mark Twain
TOM was a glittering hero once more--the pet of the old, the envy ofthe young. His name even went into immortal print, for the villagepaper magnified him. There were some that believed he would bePresident, yet, if he escaped hanging.
As usual, the fickle, unreasoning world took Muff Potter to its bosomand fondled him as lavishly as it had abused him before. But that sortof conduct is to the world's credit; therefore it is not well to findfault with it.
Tom's days were days of splendor and exultation to him, but his nightswere seasons of horror. Injun Joe infested all his dreams, and alwayswith doom in his eye. Hardly any temptation could persuade the boy tostir abroad after nightfall. Poor Huck was in the same state ofwretchedness and terror, for Tom had told the whole story to the lawyerthe night before the great day of the trial, and Huck was sore afraidthat his share in the business might leak out, yet, notwithstandingInjun Joe's flight had saved him the suffering of testifying in court.The poor fellow had got the attorney to promise secrecy, but what ofthat? Since Tom's harassed conscience had managed to drive him to thelawyer's house by night and wring a dread tale from lips that had beensealed with the dismalest and most formidable of oaths, Huck'sconfidence in the human race was well-nigh obliterated.
Daily Muff Potter's gratitude made Tom glad he had spoken; but nightlyhe wished he had sealed up his tongue.
Half the time Tom was afraid Injun Joe would never be captured; theother half he was afraid he would be. He felt sure he never could drawa safe breath again until that man was dead and he had seen the corpse.
Rewards had been offered, the country had been scoured, but no InjunJoe was found. One of those omniscient and awe-inspiring marvels, adetective, came up from St. Louis, moused around, shook his head,looked wise, and made that sort of astounding success which members ofthat craft usually achieve. That is to say, he "found a clew." But youcan't hang a "clew" for murder, and so after that detective had gotthrough and gone home, Tom felt just as insecure as he was before.
The slow days drifted on, and each left behind it a slightly lightenedweight of apprehension.
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