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The Adverntures of Tom Sawyer Chapter1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Dire Prophecy of the Howling Dog
(Chapter 10)

THE two boys flew on and on, toward the village, speechless with horror. They glanced backward over their shoulders from time to time, apprehensively, as if they feared they might be followed. Every stump that started up in their path seemed a man and an enemy, and made them catch their breath; and as they sped by some outlying cottages that lay near the village, the barking of the aroused watch-dogs seemed to give wings to their feet.

"If we can only get to the old tannery before we break down!" whispered Tom, in short catches between breaths. "I can't stand it much longer."

Huckleberry's hard pantings were his only reply, and the boys fixed their eyes on the goal of their hopes and bent to their work to win it. They gained steadily on it, and at last, breast to breast, they burst through the open door and fell grateful and exhausted in the sheltering shadows beyond. By and by their pulses slowed down, and Tom whispered:

"Huckleberry, what do you reckon'll come of this?"

"If Doctor Robinson dies, I reckon hanging'll come of it."

"Do you though?"

"Why, I know it, Tom."

Tom thought a while, then he said:

"Who'll tell? We?"

"What are you talking about? S'pose something happened and Injun Joe didn't hang? Why, he'd kill us some time or other, just as dead sure as we're a laying here."

"That's just what I was thinking to myself, Huck."

"If anybody tells, let Muff Potter do it, if he's fool enough. He's generally drunk enough."

Tom said nothing -- went on thinking. Presently he whispered:

"Huck, Muff Potter don't know it. How can he tell?"

"What's the reason he don't know it?"

"Because he'd just got that whack when Injun Joe done it. D'you reckon he could see anything? D'you reckon he knowed anything?"

"By hokey, that's so, Tom!"

"And besides, look-a-here -- maybe that whack done for him!"

"No, 'taint likely, Tom. He had liquor in him; I could see that; and besides, he always has. Well, when pap's full, you might take and belt him over the head with a church and you couldn't phase him. He says so, his own self. So it's the same with Muff Potter, of course. But if a man was dead sober, I reckon maybe that whack might fetch him; I dono."

After another reflective silence, Tom said:

"Hucky, you sure you can keep mum?"

"Tom, we got to keep mum. You know that. That Injun devil wouldn't make any more of drownding us than a couple of cats, if we was to squeak 'bout this and they didn't hang him. Now, look-a-here, Tom, less take and swear to one another -- that's what we got to do -- swear to keep mum."

"I'm agreed. It's the best thing. Would you just hold hands and swear that we --"

"Oh no, that wouldn't do for this. That's good enough for little rubbishy common things -- specially with gals, cuz they go back on you anyway, and blab if they get in a huff -- but there orter be writing 'bout a big thing like this. And blood."

Tom's whole being applauded this idea. It was deep, and dark, and awful; the hour, the circumstances, the surroundings, were in keeping with it. He picked up a clean pine shingle that lay in the moonlight, took a little fragment of "red keel" out of his pocket, got the moon on his work, and painfully scrawled these lines, emphasizing each slow down-stroke by clamping his tongue between his teeth, and letting up the pressure on the up-strokes.

"Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer swears they will keep mum about This and They wish They may Drop   down dead in Their Tracks if They ever Tell and Rot.

Huckleberry was filled with admiration of Tom's facility in writing, and the sublimity of his language. He at once took a pin from his lapel and was going to prick his flesh, but Tom said:

"Hold on! Don't do that. A pin's brass. It might have verdigrease on it."

"What's verdigrease?"

"It's p'ison. That's what it is. You just swaller some of it once -- you'll see."

So Tom unwound the thread from one of his needles, and each boy pricked the ball of his thumb and squeezed out a drop of blood. In time, after many squeezes, Tom managed to sign his initials, using the ball of his little finger for a pen. Then he showed Huckleberry how to make an H and an F, and the oath was complete. They buried the shingle close to the wall, with some dismal ceremonies and incantations, and the fetters that bound their tongues were considered to be locked and the key thrown away.

A figure crept stealthily through a break in the other end of the ruined building, now, but they did not notice it.

"Tom," whispered Huckleberry, "does this keep us from ever telling -- always?"

"Of course it does. It don't make any difference what happens, we got to keep mum. We'd drop down dead -- don't you know that?"

"Yes, I reckon that's so."

They continued to whisper for some little time. Presently a dog set up a long, lugubrious howl just outside -- within ten feet of them. The boys clasped each other suddenly, in an agony of fright.

"Which of us does he mean?" gasped Huckleberry.

"I dono -- peep through the crack. Quick!"

"No, you, Tom!"

"I can't -- I can't do it, Huck!"

"Please, Tom. There 'tis again!"

"Oh, lordy, I'm thankful!" whispered Tom. "I know his voice. It's Bull Harbison."*

[* If Mr. Harbison owned a slave named Bull, Tom would have spoken of him as "Harbison's Bull," but a son or a dog of that name was "Bull Harbison."]

"Oh, that's good -- I tell you, Tom, I was most scared to death; I'd a bet anything it was a stray dog."

The dog howled again. The boys' hearts sank once more.

"Oh, my! that ain't no Bull Harbison!" whispered Huckleberry. "do, Tom!"

Tom, quaking with fear, yielded, and put his eye to the crack. His whisper was hardly audible when he said:

"Oh, Huck, it's a stray dog!"

"Quick, Tom, quick! Who does he mean?"

"Huck, he must mean us both -- we're right together."

"Oh, Tom, I reckon we're goners. I reckon there ain't no mistake 'bout where I'll go to. I been so wicked."

"Dad fetch it! This comes of playing hookey and doing everything a feller's told not to do. I might a been good, like Sid, if I'd a tried -- but no, I wouldn't, of course. But if ever I get off this time, I lay I'll just waller in Sunday-schools!" And Tom began to snuffle a little.

"You bad!" and Huckleberry began to snuffle too. "Consound it, Tom Sawyer, you're just old pie, 'longside o' what I am. Oh, lordy, lordy, lordy, I wisht I only had half your chance."

Tom choked off and whispered:

"Look, Hucky, look! He's got his back to us!"

Hucky looked, with joy in his heart.

"Well, he has, by jingoes! Did he before?"

"Yes, he did. But I, like a fool, never thought. Oh, this is bully, you know. Now who can he mean?"

The howling stopped. Tom pricked up his ears.

"Sh! What's that?" he whispered.

"Sounds like -- like hogs grunting. No -- it's somebody snoring, Tom."

"That is it! Where 'bouts is it, Huck?"

"I bleeve it's down at 'tother end. Sounds so, anyway. Pap used to sleep there, sometimes, 'long with the hogs, but laws bless you, he just lifts things when he snores. Besides, I reckon he ain't ever coming back to this town any more."

The spirit of adventure rose in the boys' souls once more.

"Hucky, do you das't to go if I lead?"

"I don't like to, much. Tom, s'pose it's Injun Joe!"

Tom quailed. But presently the temptation rose up strong again and the boys agreed to try, with the understanding that they would take to their heels if the snoring stopped. So they went tiptoeing stealthily down, the one behind the other. When they had got to within five steps of the snorer, Tom stepped on a stick, and it broke with a sharp snap. The man moaned, writhed a little, and his face came into the moonlight. It was Muff Potter. The boys' hearts had stood still, and their hopes too, when the man moved, but their fears passed away now. They tiptoed out, through the broken weather-boarding, and stopped at a little distance to exchange a parting word. That long, lugubrious howl rose on the night air again! They turned and saw the strange dog standing within a few feet of where Potter was lying, and FACING Potter, with his nose pointing heavenward.

"Oh, geeminy, it's him!" exclaimed both boys, in a breath.

"Say, Tom -- they say a stray dog come howling around Johnny Miller's house, 'bout midnight, as much as two weeks ago; and a whippoorwill come in and lit on the banisters and sung, the very same evening; and there ain't anybody dead there yet."

"Well, I know that. And suppose there ain't. Didn't Gracie Miller fall in the kitchen fire and burn herself terrible the very next Saturday?"

"Yes, but she ain't dead. And what's more, she's getting better, too."

"All right, you wait and see. She's a goner, just as dead sure as Muff Potter's a goner. That's what the niggers say, and they know all about these kind of things, Huck."

Then they separated, cogitating. When Tom crept in at his bedroom window the night was almost spent. He undressed with excessive caution, and fell asleep congratulating himself that nobody knew of his escapade. He was not aware that the gently-snoring Sid was awake, and had been so for an hour.

When Tom awoke, Sid was dressed and gone. There was a late look in the light, a late sense in the atmosphere. He was startled. Why had he not been called -- persecuted till he was up, as usual? The thought filled him with bodings. Within five minutes he was dressed and down-stairs, feeling sore and drowsy. The family were still at table, but they had finished breakfast. There was no voice of rebuke; but there were averted eyes; there was a silence and an air of solemnity that struck a chill to the culprit's heart. He sat down and tried to seem gay, but it was up-hill work; it roused no smile, no response, and he lapsed into silence and let his heart sink down to the depths.

After breakfast his aunt took him aside, and Tom almost brightened in the hope that he was going to be flogged; but it was not so. His aunt wept over him and asked him how he could go and break her old heart so; and finally told him to go on, and ruin himself and bring her gray hairs with sorrow to the grave, for it was no use for her to try any more. This was worse than a thousand whippings, and Tom's heart was sorer now than his body. He cried, he pleaded for forgiveness, promised to reform over and over again, and then received his dismissal, feeling that he had won but an imperfect forgiveness and established but a feeble confidence.

He left the presence too miserable to even feel revengeful toward Sid; and so the latter's prompt retreat through the back gate was unnecessary. He moped to school gloomy and sad, and took his flogging, along with Joe Harper, for playing hookey the day before, with the air of one whose heart was busy with heavier woes and wholly dead to trifles. Then he betook himself to his seat, rested his elbows on his desk and his jaws in his hands, and stared at the wall with the stony stare of suffering that has reached the limit and can no further go. His elbow was pressing against some hard substance. After a long time he slowly and sadly changed his position, and took up this object with a sigh. It was in a paper. He unrolled it. A long, lingering, colossal sigh followed, and his heart broke. It was his brass andiron knob!

This final feather broke the camel's back.

明明白白读英语 轻轻松松记单词

You can memorize words in an efficient way if you pronounce them reasonably. Say words correctly, and you will learn them easily. Correct pronunciation means correct spelling of the words. English spelling is not good to guide its pronunciation. But spelling and pronunciation have closed relationship. They match each other perfectly. Sometimes we can pronounce a word according to its spelling. English pronunciation can also guide its spelling. This is a two-way communication.
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第10章 狗吠不祥,雪上加霜

两个孩子由于恐惧,一言不发,只顾朝着村庄飞快地跑啊跑。他们时不时地边跑边回头看,十分担心被人跟踪。路上遇到的每个树桩,对他俩来说都好比是一个人,一个对手,吓得他们连气都不敢喘。在经过村庄附近的农舍时,受惊的狗一声狂叫更吓得他俩腿上生风。

“乘还没有累垮,要是一口气能跑到老制革厂那儿就好了!”上气不接下气的汤姆低语道,“我实在跑不了多久了。”

哈克贝利也喘得很厉害,这清楚地表明他俩现在处境相同。两个孩子眼睛直盯着希望中的目的地,一心一意拚命往那儿跑去。渐渐地他俩跑近了。后来,他们肩并肩冲进敞开的大门,精疲力尽地扑到在里边的阴暗处,感到舒坦极了。过了一会,他们平静了下来,汤姆低声说:

“哈克贝利,你想这事结果会怎么样?”

“要是鲁宾逊医生死了,我想就要用绞刑。”

“真的吗?”

“那还用说,我知道,汤姆。”

汤姆略作思忖,然后说:

“那谁去揭发呢?是我们吗?”

“你扯到哪里去了,万一事情不顺当,印第安·乔没上绞架,那该怎么办?他迟早会要我们的命,这一点肯定无疑。”

“哈克,我心里想得正是这事。”

“要揭发就让莫夫·波特那个傻瓜去干吧!他总是喝得醉醺醺的。”

汤姆没吱声,还在想着。片刻后他低声说:

“哈克,莫夫·波特不知道出事了,他怎么能告发呢?”

“他怎么不知道出事了?”

“印第安·乔动手的时候,他刚挨了一击,你想他还能看见什么?还能知道什么吗?

“真有你的,不错,是这样,汤姆。”

“另外,你再想一想,那一击说不定要了他的命!”

“不,这不可能,汤姆。他当时喝酒了,我能看得出,更何况他经常喝酒。我爸就是这样一个人,要是他喝足了,你就是搬座教堂压在他头上休想惊动他。他自己也是这么说的。所以莫夫·波特当然也不例外喽。但话说回来,要是你绝对没喝酒,那一击说不定会要了你的命,我也不太能说清楚。”

汤姆又沉思默想了一会后说:

“哈奇,你肯定不说出去吗?”

“汤姆,我们必须一字不露才行,这你也明白。要是那个鬼印第安·乔没被绞死而我们又走漏了风声,那他会像淹两只小猫一样把我俩给淹死。好了,听着,汤姆,现在我们彼此发誓——我们必须这样做——绝不走漏半点风声。”

“我同意。这再好不过了。好,请举起手发誓:我们……”

“哦,不不不,光举手发誓不行。这只能用于像小姐们发誓那样的小事情。她们前面发誓,后面就忘得一干二净,一气之下就把你给卖了。像我们今天这样的大事情,光口头发誓还不算,要写下来,喋血为盟。”

听他这么一说,汤姆佩服得五体投地。时值夜色深沉,四周漆黑,令人胆战心惊。此时、此地、此景正合这种气氛的拍。他借着月光从地上捡起一块干净的松木板,又从口袋里掏出一小截“红砚石”,然后对着月光划了起来。他向下落笔又慢又重,向上抬笔又轻又快。他一边写,一边嘴动个不停,好像在帮着用劲。最后费了九牛二虎之力,他才划成了下面几句:

  哈克·费恩和汤姆·索亚对天盟誓:我们将恪守秘密,若有半点私心假意泄密,愿当场倒毙,尸骨无存。

对汤姆流利的书写、响亮的内容,哈克贝利心悦诚服。他立即从衣服领子上拿下一枚别针,对着自己就要放血,这时汤姆说:

“别忙!这样不行。别针是铜做的,上面可能有铜绿。”

“那是什么东西?”

“不管是什么东西,反正上面有毒。要不然,你现在就吞点下肚,有你好看的。”

于是汤姆拿出一根针,去掉了线。两个孩子各自往大拇指上戳了一下,然后挤出两滴血来。接着他们又挤了数次,汤姆马上用小指蘸血写下了自己姓名的首字母。他又教哈克写好H和F,到此为止,宣誓结束。他们念着咒语,举行了干巴巴的埋葬仪式,靠墙将松木板埋了。他们认为连同埋葬的还有那锁住他们口舌的枷锁,因此钥匙也用不着了。

这时,这幢破楼的另一头,有个人影鬼鬼祟祟地从缺口处溜进来,可是他俩却没有发觉。

“汤姆,”哈克贝利小声问道,“这样一来,我们将不会泄密,永远都不会,是吗?”

“那还用说。不管发生了什么,千变万变我们得保守秘密这条不能变,否则我们将‘当场倒毙’,这你也晓得。”

“对,我想这没错。”

他们又小声嘀咕了一阵子。没多久,外面传来了狗叫声,那声音又长又凄凉,离他们不到十英尺远。两个孩子一阵害怕,突然紧紧地抱在一起。

“它在哭嗥我们俩人中哪一个?”哈克贝利喘着气问道。

“我不知道,你从缝里往外瞅瞅。快点!”

“我不干,你自己来看,汤姆!”

“我不能——我不能去看,哈克!”

“求你了,汤姆。它又叫起来了!”

“哦,我的老天爷,谢天谢地!”汤姆小声说,“我听得出它的声音,原来是布尔·哈宾逊①。”

   ①如果哈宾逊先生有个奴仆叫布尔的话,汤姆就叫他“哈宾逊的布尔”;可是若是他的儿子或狗叫布尔,那汤姆就叫他(它)布尔·哈宾逊。

“哦,这下可好了,汤姆,我差点被吓死了,我以为那是只野狗呐。”

那只狗又嗥起来,孩子们的心情再次低落下来。

“哦,我的天那!那家伙决不是布尔·哈宾逊!”哈克贝利悄声说,“去瞅瞅,汤姆!”汤姆吓得直发抖,但还是走过去,贴着裂逢往外看。“哦,哈克,那果然是只野狗!”汤姆话低得几乎让人听不见。

“快点,汤姆,快点,那狗是在嗥谁?”

“哈克,它一定是嗥我们吧,谁让我俩抱在一起呢。”

“唉,汤姆,我想我俩死定了。我也知道我的下场如何,谁叫我平时干了那么多坏事呢。”

“真是一团糟,都怪我逃学旷课,又不听话。我要是肯干的话,我也会像希德那样当个表现好的孩子,可是我却不肯干。不过,这次要是饶了我的话,我敢打赌我一定在主日学校里好好干!”说着说着,汤姆开始有点抽鼻子了。“你还算坏吗?”哈克贝利已跟着抽起鼻子来。“汤姆·索亚,你和我相比,真是一个天上,一个地下。哦,我的老天爷呀,老天爷呀,我要是有一半如你就好了。”

汤姆哽咽着低声说:

“瞧,哈奇,你瞧,它现在是背对我们的。”

哈克心里高兴,看了看后说:

“不错,是背对着我们,刚才也是这样的吗?”

“是的,可我傻乎乎的,根本没往上想。哦,你瞧这太棒了。那么这回它是嗥谁的呢?”

狗不嗥了,汤姆警觉地侧耳听着。

“嘘!那是什么声音?”他小声说。

“像——像是猪发出的声音。不,汤姆,是人的打呼声。”

“对,是打呼声!哈克,你听在什么地方?”

“我断定在那头。不过,至少听起来呼声是从那头传过来的。我老爸过去有时和猪一起睡在那头,要是他打起呼来,那可不得了,简直是如雷灌耳。再说,我估计他不会再回到这个镇上了。”

两个孩子再次想去碰碰运气,看能否逃走。

“哈奇,要是我打头阵,你敢跟我一块去看看吗?”

“我不太想去。汤姆,万一那是印第安·乔呢!”

汤姆刚一动摇,可还是抵挡不住强烈的诱惑。两人决定试试看,他们达成默契:只要呼声一停,他俩就溜之大吉。于是,他俩一前一后,踮着脚尖,偷偷走过去。在离那人不到五步远的地方,汤姆啪地一声,踩断了一根树枝。那人哼哼着稍微动了一下身子,脸暴露在月光下,原来是莫夫·波特。刚才,莫夫·波特动弹时,两个孩子的心一下子提到了嗓子眼,以为这下是跑不成了,但现在恐惧过去了。他俩踮着脚,溜到了破烂的挡风木板墙外边,没走多远就道了别分了手。夜空中又传来了那又长又凄凉的狗叫声。他们转身看见那条陌生的狗在离躺着的莫夫·波特不到几英尺的地方,脸冲着他,正仰天长嗥。

“哦,我的妈呀,那狗嗥的原来是他呀!”

两个孩子不约而同地惊呼道。

“喂,我说汤姆,听他们讲,大约两个星期前,有只野狗半夜围着约翰尼·米勒家叫;同一天晚上,还飞来一只夜鹰落在栏杆上叫个不停,不过并没有谁死啊。”

“嗯,这我知道,人是没有死,但是格霍丝·米勒不正是在紧接着的星期六那天摔倒在厨房的火里,被烧得很惨吗?”

“这没错,可她毕竟还活着,并且正在康复呐。”

“那我就没什么好说的喽,你等着瞧吧!和莫夫·波特一样,她就要完了,这是那些黑鬼说的。哈克,他们对这类事情可灵着呢。”

分手的时候,他们还在想这个问题。等汤姆从窗户爬进卧室时,天已经快亮了。他轻手轻脚脱去衣服,睡下的时候,庆幸自己出去没被人发觉。但他却没发现轻轻打着呼声的希德没睡着,而且醒了已有一个小时。

汤姆醒来后发现希德已穿戴完毕走了。天已大亮,寝室里又没有人,一看便知时候不早了。汤姆感到很吃惊——为什么今天没人叫他呢?要是往日的话,他们非盯着他起来不可。想到这,他觉得情况有点不妙。不到五分钟,他就穿好衣服到了楼下,感到浑身不对劲,懒洋洋的。全家人已吃完了早饭,但仍然坐在餐桌旁,没人怪他迟到,也没人瞅他。大家默不作声,显得十分严肃,这让他的心凉了半截。他坐下来,装着愉快的样子,可是谈何容易。大伙既不笑,也不吱声。于是他也只好一声不吭,心情沉重到了极点。

早饭过后,汤姆被姨妈叫到一边,他面带喜色满以为希望就要实现:挨鞭笞。可是姨妈没有打他,而是站在他旁边痛哭起来。她边哭边责怪汤姆怎么能这样让她这把年纪的人伤心呢?然后她说了通气话,既然汤姆不再听她的,那就让他继续这样混下去,自暴自弃直至要了她这条老命为止。这一席话比一千下鞭打更管用,汤姆的心比肉体更加痛楚不安。他大哭起来,一边央求姨妈原谅他,一边一遍又一遍地保证悔过自新。这样姨妈最后饶了他,可他觉得她并没有完全饶恕他,因此心中还是半信半疑。他离去时很伤心,结果都想不起来要报复希德这件事,可是希德却多此一举:快速从后门溜掉了。汤姆满脸愁容,闷闷不乐地来到学校。他和乔·哈帕一起,因为头一天逃学的事情被鞭笞了一顿。在挨鞭笞时,他一副忧心仲仲的样子,根本不把鞭笞这类小事情放在眼里。之后,他走到位子上坐下来,两手托腮放在桌子上,一副痛苦的样子,目不转睛地盯着墙直发愣。他的肘部压在什么硬东西上,过了好一段时间,他才难过地慢慢移动了下肘部,叹息着拿起那样东西。东西包在纸里,他打开纸包,接着重重地长叹一声,原来纸包里包着他的那个铜把手!这一下犹如雪上加霜,汤姆彻底地崩溃了。

The Adverntures of Tom Sawyer Chapter1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

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