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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

Found and Lost Again
(Chapter 31)

NOW to return to Tom and Becky's share in the picnic. They tripped along the murky aisles with the rest of the company, visiting the familiar wonders of the cave -- wonders dubbed with rather over-descriptive names, such as "The Drawing-Room," "The Cathedral," "Aladdin's Palace," and so on. Presently the hide-and-seek frolicking began, and Tom and Becky engaged in it with zeal until the exertion began to grow a trifle wearisome; then they wandered down a sinuous avenue holding their candles aloft and reading the tangled web-work of names, dates, post-office addresses, and mottoes with which the rocky walls had been frescoed (in candle-smoke). Still drifting along and talking, they scarcely noticed that they were now in a part of the cave whose walls were not frescoed. They smoked their own names under an overhanging shelf and moved on. Presently they came to a place where a little stream of water, trickling over a ledge and carrying a limestone sediment with it, had, in the slow-dragging ages, formed a laced and ruffled Niagara in gleaming and imperishable stone. Tom squeezed his small body behind it in order to illuminate it for Becky's gratification. He found that it curtained a sort of steep natural stairway which was enclosed between narrow walls, and at once the ambition to be a discoverer seized him. Becky responded to his call, and they made a smoke-mark for future guidance, and started upon their quest. They wound this way and that, far down into the secret depths of the cave, made another mark, and branched off in search of novelties to tell the upper world about. In one place they found a spacious cavern, from whose ceiling depended a multitude of shining stalactites of the length and circumference of a man's leg; they walked all about it, wondering and admiring, and presently left it by one of the numerous passages that opened into it. This shortly brought them to a bewitching spring, whose basin was incrusted with a frostwork of glittering crystals; it was in the midst of a cavern whose walls were supported by many fantastic pillars which had been formed by the joining of great stalactites and stalagmites together, the result of the ceaseless water-drip of centuries. Under the roof vast knots of bats had packed themselves together, thousands in a bunch; the lights disturbed the creatures and they came flocking down by hundreds, squeaking and darting furiously at the candles. Tom knew their ways and the danger of this sort of conduct. He seized Becky's hand and hurried her into the first corridor that offered; and none too soon, for a bat struck Becky's light out with its wing while she was passing out of the cavern. The bats chased the children a good distance; but the fugitives plunged into every new passage that offered, and at last got rid of the perilous things. Tom found a subterranean lake, shortly, which stretched its dim length away until its shape was lost in the shadows. He wanted to explore its borders, but concluded that it would be best to sit down and rest awhile, first. Now, for the first time, the deep stillness of the place laid a clammy hand upon the spirits of the children. Becky said:

"Why, I didn't notice, but it seems ever so long since I heard any of the others."

"Come to think, Becky, we are away down below them -- and I don't know how far away north, or south, or east, or whichever it is. We couldn't hear them here."

Becky grew apprehensive.

"I wonder how long we've been down here, Tom? We better start back."

"Yes, I reckon we better. P'raps we better."

"Can you find the way, Tom? It's all a mixed-up crookedness to me."

"I reckon I could find it -- but then the bats. If they put our candles out it will be an awful fix. Let's try some other way, so as not to go through there."

"Well. But I hope we won't get lost. It would be so awful!" and the girl shuddered at the thought of the dreadful possibilities.

They started through a corridor, and traversed it in silence a long way, glancing at each new opening, to see if there was anything familiar about the look of it; but they were all strange. Every time Tom made an examination, Becky would watch his face for an encouraging sign, and he would say cheerily:

"Oh, it's all right. This ain't the one, but we'll come to it right away!"

But he felt less and less hopeful with each failure, and presently began to turn off into diverging avenues at sheer random, in desperate hope of finding the one that was wanted. He still said it was "all right," but there was such a leaden dread at his heart that the words had lost their ring and sounded just as if he had said, "All is lost!" Becky clung to his side in an anguish of fear, and tried hard to keep back the tears, but they would come. At last she said:

"Oh, Tom, never mind the bats, let's go back that way! We seem to get worse and worse off all the time."

"Listen!" said he.

Profound silence; silence so deep that even their breathings were conspicuous in the hush. Tom shouted. The call went echoing down the empty aisles and died out in the distance in a faint sound that resembled a ripple of mocking laughter.

"Oh, don't do it again, Tom, it is too horrid," said Becky.

"It is horrid, but I better, Becky; they might hear us, you know," and he shouted again.

The "might" was even a chillier horror than the ghostly laughter, it so confessed a perishing hope. The children stood still and listened; but there was no result. Tom turned upon the back track at once, and hurried his steps. It was but a little while before a certain indecision in his manner revealed another fearful fact to Becky -- he could not find his way back!

"Oh, Tom, you didn't make any marks!"

"Becky, I was such a fool! Such a fool! I never thought we might want to come back! No -- I can't find the way. It's all mixed up."

"Tom, Tom, we're lost! we're lost! We never can get out of this awful place! Oh, why DID we ever leave the others!"

She sank to the ground and burst into such a frenzy of crying that Tom was appalled with the idea that she might die, or lose her reason. He sat down by her and put his arms around her; she buried her face in his bosom, she clung to him, she poured out her terrors, her unavailing regrets, and the far echoes turned them all to jeering laughter. Tom begged her to pluck up hope again, and she said she could not. He fell to blaming and abusing himself for getting her into this miserable situation; this had a better effect. She said she would try to hope again, she would get up and follow wherever he might lead if only he would not talk like that any more. For he was no more to blame than she, she said.

So they moved on again -- aimlessly -- simply at random -- all they could do was to move, keep moving. For a little while, hope made a show of reviving -- not with any reason to back it, but only because it is its nature to revive when the spring has not been taken out of it by age and familiarity with failure.

By-and-by Tom took Becky's candle and blew it out. This economy meant so much! Words were not needed. Becky understood, and her hope died again. She knew that Tom had a whole candle and three or four pieces in his pockets -- yet he must economize.

By-and-by, fatigue began to assert its claims; the children tried to pay attention, for it was dreadful to think of sitting down when time was grown to be so precious, moving, in some direction, in any direction, was at least progress and might bear fruit; but to sit down was to invite death and shorten its pursuit.

At last Becky's frail limbs refused to carry her farther. She sat down. Tom rested with her, and they talked of home, and the friends there, and the comfortable beds and, above all, the light! Becky cried, and Tom tried to think of some way of comforting her, but all his encouragements were grown threadbare with use, and sounded like sarcasms. Fatigue bore so heavily upon Becky that she drowsed off to sleep. Tom was grateful. He sat looking into her drawn face and saw it grow smooth and natural under the influence of pleasant dreams; and by-and-by a smile dawned and rested there. The peaceful face reflected somewhat of peace and healing into his own spirit, and his thoughts wandered away to bygone times and dreamy memories. While he was deep in his musings, Becky woke up with a breezy little laugh -- but it was stricken dead upon her lips, and a groan followed it.

"Oh, how could! I sleep! I wish I never, never had waked! No! No, I don't, Tom! Don't look so! I won't say it again."

"I'm glad you've slept, Becky; you'll feel rested, now, and we'll find the way out."

"We can try, Tom; but I've seen such a beautiful country in my dream. I reckon we are going there."

"Maybe not, maybe not. Cheer up, Becky, and let's go on trying."

They rose up and wandered along, hand in hand and hopeless. They tried to estimate how long they had been in the cave, but all they knew was that it seemed days and weeks, and yet it was plain that this could not be, for their candles were not gone yet. A long time after this -- they could not tell how long -- Tom said they must go softly and listen for dripping water -- they must find a spring. They found one presently, and Tom said it was time to rest again. Both were cruelly tired, yet Becky said she thought she could go a little farther. She was surprised to hear Tom dissent. She could not understand it. They sat down, and Tom fastened his candle to the wall in front of them with some clay. Thought was soon busy; nothing was said for some time. Then Becky broke the silence:

"Tom, I am so hungry!"

Tom took something out of his pocket.

"Do you remember this?" said he.

Becky almost smiled.

"It's our wedding-cake, Tom."

"Yes -- I wish it was as big as a barrel, for it's all we've got."

"I saved it from the picnic for us to dream on, Tom, the way grown-up people do with wedding-cake -- but it'll be our --"

She dropped the sentence where it was. Tom divided the cake and Becky ate with good appetite, while Tom nibbled at his moiety. There was abundance of cold water to finish the feast with. By-and-by Becky suggested that they move on again. Tom was silent a moment. Then he said:

"Becky, can you bear it if I tell you something?"

Becky's face paled, but she thought she could.

"Well, then, Becky, we must stay here, where there's water to drink. That little piece is our last candle!"

Becky gave loose to tears and wailings. Tom did what he could to comfort her, but with little effect. At length Becky said:

"Tom!"

"Well, Becky?"

"They'll miss us and hunt for us!"

"Yes, they will! Certainly they will!"

"Maybe they're hunting for us now, Tom."

"Why, I reckon maybe they are. I hope they are."

"When would they miss us, Tom?"

"When they get back to the boat, I reckon."

"Tom, it might be dark then -- would they notice we hadn't come?"

"I don't know. But anyway, your mother would miss you as soon as they got home."

A frightened look in Becky's face brought Tom to his senses and he saw that he had made a blunder. Becky was not to have gone home that night! The children became silent and thoughtful. In a moment a new burst of grief from Becky showed Tom that the thing in his mind had struck hers also -- that the Sabbath morning might be half spent before Mrs. Thatcher discovered that Becky was not at Mrs. Harper's.

The children fastened their eyes upon their bit of candle and watched it melt slowly and pitilessly away; saw the half inch of wick stand alone at last; saw the feeble flame rise and fall, climb the thin column of smoke, linger at its top a moment, and then – the horror of utter darkness reigned!

How long afterward it was that Becky came to a slow consciousness that she was crying in Tom's arms, neither could tell. All that they knew was, that after what seemed a mighty stretch of time, both awoke out of a dead stupor of sleep and resumed their miseries once more. Tom said it might be Sunday, now -- maybe Monday. He tried to get Becky to talk, but her sorrows were too oppressive, all her hopes were gone. Tom said that they must have been missed long ago, and no doubt the search was going on. He would shout and maybe some one would come. He tried it; but in the darkness the distant echoes sounded so hideously that he tried it no more.

The hours wasted away, and hunger came to torment the captives again. A portion of Tom's half of the cake was left; they divided and ate it. But they seemed hungrier than before. The poor morsel of food only whetted desire.

By-and-by Tom said:

"Sh! Did you hear that?"

Both held their breath and listened. There was a sound like the faintest, far-off shout. Instantly Tom answered it, and leading Becky by the hand, started groping down the corridor in its direction. Presently he listened again; again the sound was heard, and apparently a little nearer.

"It's them!" said Tom; "they're coming! Come along, Becky -- we're all right now!"

The joy of the prisoners was almost overwhelming. Their speed was slow, however, because pitfalls were somewhat common, and had to be guarded against. They shortly came to one and had to stop. It might be three feet deep, it might be a hundred -- there was no passing it at any rate. Tom got down on his breast and reached as far down as he could. No bottom. They must stay there and wait until the searchers came. They listened; evidently the distant shoutings were growing more distant! a moment or two more and they had gone altogether. The heart-sinking misery of it! Tom whooped until he was hoarse, but it was of no use. He talked hopefully to Becky; but an age of anxious waiting passed and no sounds came again.

The children groped their way back to the spring. The weary time dragged on; they slept again, and awoke famished and woe-stricken. Tom believed it must be Tuesday by this time.

Now an idea struck him. There were some side passages near at hand. It would be better to explore some of these than bear the weight of the heavy time in idleness. He took a kite-line from his pocket, tied it to a projection, and he and Becky started, Tom in the lead, unwinding the line as he groped along. At the end of twenty steps the corridor ended in a "jumping-off place." Tom got down on his knees and felt below, and then as far around the corner as he could reach with his hands conveniently; he made an effort to stretch yet a little farther to the right, and at that moment, not twenty yards away, a human hand, holding a candle, appeared from behind a rock! Tom lifted up a glorious shout, and instantly that hand was followed by the body it belonged to -- Injun Joe's! Tom was paralyzed; he could not move. He was vastly gratified the next moment, to see the "Spaniard" take to his heels and get himself out of sight. Tom wondered that Joe had not recognized his voice and come over and killed him for testifying in court. But the echoes must have disguised the voice. Without doubt, that was it, he reasoned. Tom's fright weakened every muscle in his body. He said to himself that if he had strength enough to get back to the spring he would stay there, and nothing should tempt him to run the risk of meeting Injun Joe again. He was careful to keep from Becky what it was he had seen. He told her he had only shouted "for luck."

But hunger and wretchedness rise superior to fears in the long run. Another tedious wait at the spring and another long sleep brought changes. The children awoke tortured with a raging hunger. Tom believed that it must be Wednesday or Thursday or even Friday or Saturday, now, and that the search had been given over. He proposed to explore another passage. He felt willing to risk Injun Joe and all other terrors. But Becky was very weak. She had sunk into a dreary apathy and would not be roused. She said she would wait, now, where she was, and die -- it would not be long. She told Tom to go with the kite-line and explore if he chose; but she implored him to come back every little while and speak to her; and she made him promise that when the awful time came, he would stay by her and hold her hand until all was over.

Tom kissed her, with a choking sensation in his throat, and made a show of being confident of finding the searchers or an escape from the cave; then he took the kite-line in his hand and went groping down one of the passages on his hands and knees, distressed with hunger and sick with bodings of coming doom.

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31章 得而复失

现在再回过头来说说汤姆和贝基参加野餐的情况。他们跟伙伴们一起穿行在黑暗的通道里,游览那些熟悉的洞中奇观——人们给它们起了些过于夸张的名子,诸如什么“客厅”、“大教堂”、“阿拉丁宫殿”等等。在这之后,他们开始玩捉迷藏游戏,玩得极其投入,一直玩到都有点厌烦了为止;然后他俩高举蜡烛,顺着一条弯曲的小路往前逛,边走边念着用蜡烛烟油刻写在石壁上面的名字、年月、通讯地址和格言之类的东西。他俩仍然边走边谈着,不知不觉地来到了另一个山洞。这里的墙上没有刻写字迹。在一块突出的岩石上面,他俩熏上自己名字后继续往前走去。不久,他们来到一个地方,那里有股溪流从突出的岩层上流下来,水里有石灰石沉渣,经年累月形成了瀑布一般的景观。它四周好像嵌着边,起伏不平,水中的石头晶莹闪亮,永不消失。汤姆挤到后边,好让贝基借着他的灯光看个够。他发现后面狭缝中有条陡峭的天然台阶,汤姆一下心血来潮,要去继续探险。贝基听他的,于是俩人熏了个记号,作为以后引路标志,就开始了探险。他俩一时这边走,一时那边走,就这样蜿蜒着进了以前没有人到过的洞中最深处,作了个记号后,又沿着叉道走下去以便出去后有新鲜事儿好跟人说。在一处,他们发现一个宽敞的石窟,上面垂下来一些人腿大小的钟乳石,他们在里面转了一圈,惊叹不已,然后从其中的一个出口离开了。不久他们就到了一个美妙的泉水旁,水底下石头形似雪花状玲珑剔透,泉水位于石窟中间,四周石壁全由形状奇特的柱子撑着,这些石柱是大钟乳石和大石笋相连而构成的,是千万年来水滴不息的结果。石窟上聚集着成群结队的蝙蝠,每一群都有上千上万只。灯光一照,数以千计的蝙蝠飞下来,尖叫着向蜡烛猛扑过去。汤姆知道它们的习惯和危险性,他拉着她钻到最近的一个通道里。这一招做得真好,因为贝基往外走时,手里的蜡烛正巧被一只蝙蝠给扑灭了。蝙蝠把他俩追出老远的一段距离。两个逃亡者只要看到通道就往里钻,最后终于摆脱了险境,把它们抛在后面。不久汤姆发现了地下湖,它渐渐地伸展,最后消失在黑暗中,他打算沿着岸去探个究竟,可转而一想还是坐下来先歇一会为妙。这时,平生第一次两个孩子感到这寂静的山洞里好像有冰冷的魔掌攫取了他俩的灵魂。贝基说:

“对了,我倒没留意。不过好像很长时间都没听到别的同伴的声音了。”

“想想看,贝基,我们现在离他们很远,钻到洞下面来了。我也不知道向北还是向南、向东或是什么方向跑了多远,我们在这个地方听不见他们。”

贝基开始担心起来。

“我不知道我们呆在这里有多久了,汤姆,我们还是回去吧!”

“对,我也是这样想的,也许还是回去的好。”

“你认识路,汤姆?这里弯弯曲曲,乱七八糟。”

“我想我能认识路——可是那些蝙蝠很讨厌。要是它们把我俩的蜡烛扑灭,那就更糟了。我们不妨从别的路走,避开那个地方。”

“行是行,不过但愿别再迷了路。真是要命!”小姑娘一想到前途未卜,不禁打了个寒颤。

他们钻进一条长廊,不声不响地走了老远,边走边看新出口,看看跟进来时的是否一样。可是没一个出口是原来的。汤姆每次认真查看新洞口,贝基就望着他的脸看是否有希望的表情,汤姆则愉快地说:

“噢,没什么大不了的,这不是的,不过我们会找到出口。”可是一次又一次的失败使汤姆感到希望越来越渺茫,随后他干脆见到出口就钻,拼命希望能找到来时的那个出口,嘴上仍说着“没什么大不了的,”心情却十分沉重,连说出来的话都失去了响声,听上去好像是“没救了!”贝基极度痛苦地紧跟在汤姆身旁,竭力想止住眼泪,可是眼泪还是流出来。她终于说:

“对了,汤姆,别管那些蝙蝠吧,还回到那条路上去!看样子,我们越走越不对劲。”

汤姆停住脚步。

“听!”他说。

周围万籁俱寂,静得连他们的喘息声都能听见,汤姆放开喉咙大叫。叫声回荡在通道里,渐渐远去,直至最后隐约听上去像是阵阵笑声一样消失在通道深处。

“喂,汤姆,别喊了,听起来怪吓人的。”贝基说。

“是吓人,但我最好还是喊,贝基,说不准他们能听见我们。”说完他又大喊起来。“说不准”三个字比那阵阵笑声更可怕,它表明希望正在消失,两个孩子静静地站在那里听着,可什么也没听见。汤姆立即按原路返回,步伐很快。可没多久,他表现出举棋不定的样子。贝基感到十分害怕,汤姆居然连往回走的路也找不着了。

“喂,汤姆,你怎么什么记号也没做!”

“贝基,我真笨!一个大笨蛋!我根本没想到还会顺原路返回!是的,我们现在迷路了。真是糟糕透顶。”

“汤姆,汤姆,我们迷了路!找不着路了!永远也走不出这个鬼地方了!真是的,我们当时干吗不和别的伙伴一起走呢!”

说完,她一下子瘫在地上,大哭起来,这下子吓坏了汤姆,他以为她快要死了,要不然就是要发疯了。他坐在她旁边搂着她。她紧紧地挨着汤姆,脸贴在他怀里,一古脑地诉说她的恐惧,连后悔都来不及了,这声音传到远处变成了嘲笑,回荡在通道里。汤姆求她再打起精神来,可她说不能。于是汤姆开始了自责,骂自己不该把她弄到这种不幸的地步。这一骂倒有了好效果。她表示要努力抱定希望,只要汤姆不再说这种话,她愿意跟汤姆一起闯关,因为要说谁有错的话,她自己也不例外。

这样他俩又开始往前走,漫无目标地胡乱走——他们现在能做的就是往前走,不断地往前走。不久,希望又开始复苏——它没有什么理由,很简单,只是因为希望的源泉还没有因时间和失败而消失时,它自然而然地要复苏。

过了一会工夫,汤姆把贝基的蜡烛拿来吹灭,这种节约意味深长,言辞是多余的,不用多解释,贝基就明白了其中的含义,她的希望又破灭了。她知道汤姆口袋里还有一根整蜡烛和几个蜡烛头——但他必须节约着用。

又过了一会,疲乏开始袭上心头,可两个孩子尽力想置之不理,因为现在时间就是生命。他们连想坐下来休息一下都不敢想。只要往前走,往一个方向或者无论是往哪边走都算是前进,有可能会有结果;但千万不能坐下来,否则等于坐以待毙,好让死神降临得快些。到后来,贝基柔弱的四肢再也支撑不住,她一步也走不动了。她坐在地上,汤姆也坐下来陪她休息。两人谈到家、那里的朋友、家里舒服的床铺,尤其是那灯光!贝基哭起来,汤姆想另换话题来安慰她,可是她已不止一次听到他这样鼓励,现在这些鼓励的话听起来倒像是在挖苦她。贝基实在疲乏极了,她昏昏欲睡,汤姆见此很高兴,他坐在那里盯着她看,只见她在甜蜜的睡梦中脸上的表情逐渐由绷紧状态变得舒展了,笑容也慢慢地露出来。那平静的脸庞给汤姆的心灵也带来了些慰籍。于是,他的心思转到了过去的时光和梦一般的回忆上去了,他陷入沉思时,贝基在一阵爽快的微笑中醒来,可是笑容突然中止,接着就是一阵呻吟声。

“唉,我怎么睡着了呢!要是一觉睡过去那该有多好啊!不!不!汤姆,我不是这么想的!不要这样看!我不说了。”

“贝基,你睡了一觉,这很好;你会觉得休息好了,我们会找到出去的路。”

“我们可以试试,汤姆。可我在梦中见到了一个美丽的国家,我想我们正是在去那儿的路上。”

“不一定,不一定。贝基,打起精神来!我们再去试它一试。”

他们站起身,手拉着手向前走去,可心里无数。他俩想合计出呆在洞里有多久了,可是他们只知道好像是过了许多天,有好几个星期,可是这不可能,因为蜡烛还没有用光。此后很长一段时间,他们都说不准在洞里到底呆了多久——汤姆说他们必须轻轻地走路,听听哪儿有滴水声——他们必须找到泉水处。不久他俩果真发现了一处泉水,汤姆又说这回该休息休息了。两人累得够呛,可是贝基却说她还能再走一会。汤姆不同意,这让贝基大吃一惊,不能理解。他们坐下来,汤姆用粘土把蜡烛粘在前面的石壁上。两人各想各的心思,谁也没说一句话。过了一段时间,还是贝基先开了口:

“汤姆,我很饿!”

汤姆从口袋里掏出点什么东西。

“还记得这个吗?”他问贝基。

她差点笑起来。

“是我俩的结婚喜糕啊,汤姆。”

“对了,现在就剩下这点东西了,它要是有方桶那么大就好了。”

“这还是我野餐时留下的,做个想头,汤姆,大人们的结婚喜糕不也是这样的吗?——不过这将是我俩的——”

她话只说了半截,汤姆就动手分喜糕。贝基大口大口地吃着,汤姆自己却一点一点、地尝着他那份。最后,他俩又饱饱地喝了一通凉水,结束了这顿“宴席”。这时贝基又开始建议继续往前走。汤姆先沉默了一会,然后说:

“贝基,如果我告诉你,你受得了吗?”

贝基的脸色发白,可她觉得她能受得了。

“是这样的,贝基,我们得呆在这里,这里有水喝,我们的蜡烛也只有这么一小截了!”

贝基放声大哭,汤姆尽全力来安慰她,可是一点用也没有。最后贝基说:

“汤姆!”

“我在这里,贝基,有什么要说的吗?”

“他们会想我俩,找我们的!”

“说得对,他们会的,一定会的!”

“说不定,现在正在找呢,汤姆。”

“当然喽,我想他们也许正在找,我希望如此。”

“汤姆,不知道他们什么时候会发现我们丢了?”

“大概是上船回去时吧。”

“汤姆,那可是天要黑的时候,他们会注意到我们没回去吗?”

“这,我就说不准了,不过他们一到家,你妈妈见不着你,一定会想你的。”

贝基的脸上露出害怕的神情,汤姆这才意识到他犯了个大错误。贝基说好那天晚上不回家。两个孩子沉默不语,各自思忖着,突然一阵悲痛袭上贝基心头,汤姆发现,他想的事情和她的一样——那就是星期天撒切尔夫人发现贝基不在哈帕夫人家时,已经是中午时分。孩子们眼睛盯着那截小蜡烛头,看着它一点一点、无情地烧掉,最后剩下半英寸长的烛心,那软弱的烛光忽高忽低,顺着细长的烟柱往上爬,爬到顶部徘徊了一会,接着恐怖的黑暗完全笼罩了一切。

也不知过了多久,贝基才慢慢意识到她趴在汤姆怀里哭。他俩只知道好像经过一段很长的时间后,两人从昏睡中醒来,再度一筹莫展。汤姆说现在可能是星期天,要么就是星期一。他尽力想让贝基说话,可是她十分悲伤,所有的希望全都泡了汤。汤姆说他们老早就走失了,毫无疑问,人们正在找他俩,他要叫喊,有许多人听见会来的。他叫了几声,可是黑暗中,回声听起来十分可怕,他只好停下来,不再叫喊。

时间一分一秒地逝去。现在饥饿又开始折磨这两个小家伙。汤姆拿出从他那份中留出来的一小块喜糕分给贝基吃,可是他们越吃越觉得饿得慌。那块小的可怜的喜糕反而激起了他们的食欲。

过了一会,汤姆说:

“嘘,你听见了吗?”

两人屏住呼吸静心听着,远处传来一阵模糊不清的喊叫声。汤姆立即搭上腔,拉着贝基的手,顺着声音传来的方向,摸索着进入通道里。他马上又听了听,声音又传过来,这次明显地近了。

“是他们!”汤姆说,“他们来了!快来贝基——我们现在有救了!”

两个被困在山洞里的“囚犯”高兴得几乎发狂。不过他俩走得很慢,因为脚下不时会碰到坑坑洼洼,必须小心点才行。说着说着,他们就碰到一个坑洼。他俩停下脚步。那坑大约有三英尺深,也许是一百英尺——不管怎么说是跨不过去的。汤姆趴在地上,尽量伸手去摸,可是根本摸不到坑底。他仍必须呆在这里,等待搜寻的人过来。他俩听着,很显然本来就很遥远的喊叫声,现在听起来更远了。一会工夫后,声音一点也听不到了。真是倒霉透顶!汤姆直喊得嗓子都哑了也无济于事。他充满希望地和贝基谈着,可过了一段令人焦虑的时刻后,再也没有听见那远去的喊叫声。孩子们摸索着重新回到泉水旁。时间慢慢地过去了,令人乏味。他们又睡了一觉,等醒来后饥肠辘辘,痛苦不堪,汤姆坚信今天一定是星期二。

汤姆突然想出个主意。附近有许多叉路口,与其在这里闲等着急人,不如去闯几条碰碰运气。他从口袋里掏出一根风筝线,把它系在一块突出的石头上,然后和贝基一起上了路。汤姆头里走,边走边放线。大约走出有二十步远,通道往下到了尽头。汤姆跪了下来,往下摸着,顺手摸到拐角处,他又使劲尽量往左边一点摸。这时,不到二十码的地方,有只手,拿着蜡烛,从石头后面出来了。汤姆大喝一声,那只手的主人——印第安·乔的身体立即露了出来。汤姆吓瘫了,他动弹不得。紧接着就见那西班牙人拔腿就跑,转眼就不见了,真是谢天谢地。汤姆在想乔没听出他是谁,否则会过来杀了他,以报他在法庭上作证之仇。山洞里的回音让人无法辨出谁是谁。毫无疑问这就是乔没能认出他的原因,汤姆这样合计着。汤姆被吓得浑身无力。他自言自语道,他要是还有气力回到泉水边,一定呆在那里,无论怎样,都不想再去冒险,碰上印第安·乔就完蛋了。他很谨慎,不想对贝基说出看到了什么。他讲他大喝一声只是为了碰碰运气。

可是从长远的角度来说害怕是次要的,主要的问题是饥饿和疲乏。他俩在泉水旁又度过了一个漫长而又乏味的夜晚,这给他俩带来了转机,孩子们醒来时,饥饿难忍。汤姆坚信日子到了星期三或是星期四,说不定是星期五、星期六都有可能,现在大伙们一定不再寻找他俩了,他提议重找一条出路。他现在觉得就是遇到印第安·乔和什么别的危险也不怕。问题是贝基虚弱得很。她陷入了麻木状态,唤不醒她的精神。她说她就原地呆着等待死亡——这不会太久。她对汤姆说,如果他愿意的话他自己可以顺着风筝线去找出路,但要求他时不时地回来好和她说说话,她还让他保证在最后时刻来临时,一定要守在她身旁,握着她的手,这样一直握下去。

汤姆吻了她,嗓子里却有种哽噎的感觉,表面上还装出信心十足的样子;别人一定会找来救他俩出洞。然后他手里拿着风筝线爬进一个通道。饥饿令他沮丧,尤其是一想到死到临头更令他感到悲伤。

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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