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Take time to read.
Reading is the
fountain of wisdom.


(Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

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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 ad-

venture, 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 oc-

curred 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 "thou-

sands" 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 hun-

dred 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, splen-

did, 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, list-

lessly 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 any-

body 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 enter-

taining 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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