Tom Sawyer – Part Two

Before you read the text, read the following comprehension questions.

1. What expression in the text means ‘not to go to school or do work but to do something more enjoyable instead’?

2. What’s the relationship between Tom and Sidney?

3. What was Tom stealing during dinner?

4. What’s the name of Tom’s aunt?

5. What had Tom been doing instead of going to school?

Now read the text and answer the questions.

Tom did play truant, and he had a very good time. He got back home barely in time to help Jim, the small coloured boy, saw next-day's wood before dinner. At least he was there in time to tell his adventures to Jim while Jim did three-quarters of the work.

Tom's younger brother (or rather half-brother) Sid had already finished his part of the work (picking up wood). Sid he was a quiet boy, and didn’t have any adventurous, troublesome ways.

While Tom was eating his dinner, and stealing sugar whenever he could, Aunt Polly asked him deep, clever questions. She wanted to trap him into admitting the things he’d done.

Like many other simple-hearted souls, it was her vanity to believe she was blessed with a talent for dark and mysterious diplomacy, and she loved to contemplate her methods as marvels of low cunning. She said:

"Tom, it was quite warm in school today, wasn't it?"

"Yes ma’am."

"Very warm, wasn't it?"

"Yes ma’am."

"Didn't you want to go swimming, Tom?"

A bit of a scare shot through Tom - a touch of uncomfortable suspicion. He looked at Aunt Polly's face, but it told him nothing. So he said:

"No ma’am - well, not very much."

The old lady reached out her hand and felt Tom's shirt, and said:

"But you aren't too warm now, though." It flattered her to reflect that she had discovered that the shirt was dry without anybody knowing that that was what she had in her mind. But nevertheless, Tom knew
What was happening, now:

"Some of us pumped water on our heads - mine's a bit wet still. Can you see?"Diccionario online

Aunt Polly was annoyed to think she had overlooked that bit of circumstantial evidence, and missed a trick. Then she had a new inspiration:

"Tom, you didn't have to undo your shirt collar where I sewed it, to pump water on your head, did you? Unbutton your jacket!"

The trouble vanished out of Tom's face. He opened his jacket. His shirt collar was securely sewed.

"Bother! Well, you don’t surprise me. I was sure you'd played truant and been swimming. But I forgive you, Tom. THIS time."

She was half sorry her judgement had been wrong, and half glad that Tom had fallen into obedient conduct for once.

But Sidney said:

"Well, I thought you would’ve sown his collar with white thread, but it's black."

"Why, I did sew it with white! Tom!"

But Tom did not wait for the rest. As he went out at the door he said:

"Siddy, I'll get you for that!"

In a safe place Tom examined the two large needles with thread which were stuck in the lapels of his jacket - one needle carried white thread and the other black. He said:

"She'd never have noticed if it hadn't been for Sid. Damn it! Sometimes she sews it with white, and sometimes she sews it with black. I wish she'd stick to one or the other – I can’t keep up with it. But I promise I’ll get Sid for that. I'll teach him!"
...to be continued!

* The text has been adapted from the Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain


  Download the original book for free
 

  Haz click para comprobar las soluciones

Tom Sawyer – Part Three

Before you read the text, read the following comprehension questions.
 

1. What has Tom just learned to do?

2. What time of year is it? Which season?

3. What day of the week is it?

4. What was the well-dressed boy wearing on his head?

5. Which expression in the text means ‘to disapprove of’?
   

Now read the text and answer the questions.
 
Tom was not the Model Boy of the village. He knew the model boy very well though, and hated him. Tom had forgotten all his troubles. Not because his troubles were, to him, less than a man's are to a man, but because a new and powerful interest had just captured his imagination, in the same way that a man’s misfortunes are forgotten in the excitement of new enterprises.

This new interest was a strong fascination with whistling, which he had just
acquired from a friend, and he was trying to practise it undisturbed. It consisted of a peculiar bird-like sound, a sort of liquid noise, produced by touching the tongue to the roof of the mouth at short intervals - the reader probably remembers how to do it, if he or she has ever been a boy or girl.

Hard work, consistency and attention soon gave him the hang of it, and he walked down the street with his mouth full of harmony and his soul full of gratitude. He felt like an astronomer feels who has discovered a new planet.

The summer evenings were long. It was not dark, yet. Tom gave a short whistle. A stranger was in front of him. It was a boy a bit larger than himself. A new person of any age or either sex was an impressive
curiosity in the poor little shabby village of St. Petersburg. This boy was well dressed, too – very well dressed for a week-day.

This was simply astounding. His cap was a pretty thing, his close-buttoned blue cloth shirt collar was new and shiny, and so were his trousers. He had shoes on - and it was only Friday. He even wore a tie, a bright bit of cloth.

He have the impression of the city, and this annoyed Tom. The
more Tom stared at the splendid marvel, the higher he turned up his nose at his smartness and the older, dirtier and shabbier his own outfit seemed to become.

Neither boy spoke. If one moved, the other moved - but only to the side, in a circle; they kept face to face and eye to eye all the time. Finally Tom said:

- "I can beat you!"
- "I'd like to see you try it."
- "Well, I can do it."
- "No you can't."
- "Yes I can."
- "No you can't."Diccionario online
- "I can."
- "You can't."
- "Can!"
- "Can't!"

An uncomfortable pause. Then Tom said:

- "What's your name?"
... to be continued!

* The text has been adapted from the Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain


  Download the original book for free
 

  Haz click para comprobar las soluciones
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