Tom Sawyer – Part Twenty-four

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

1. How many students were in the class?

2. What did Tom take out of his pocket to play with?

3. What did Tom draw on the slate?

4. Who had more time playing with the tick, Joe or Tom?

5. Why was there dust coming from the boys’ jackets?

Now read the text and answer the questions.

The harder Tom tried to concentrate on his book, the more his ideas wandered. So at last, with a sigh and a yawn, he gave it up. It seemed to him that the break time would never come.

The air was totally dead. There was not a breath moving. It was the sleepiest of sleepy days. The drowsing murmur of the twenty five studying pupils soothed the soul like the spell that is in the murmur of bees.

A long way away in the bright sunshine, the soft green sides of Cardiff Hill could be seen through a shimmering veil of heat, coloured with the purple of distance. A few birds floated on lazy wings high in the air. No other living thing was visible except some cows, and they were asleep.

Tom's heart ached to be free, or at least to have something interesting to do to pass the time. His hand went into his pocket and his face lit up with a glow of gratitude that was prayer, though he did not know it.

He secretly took out the percussion-cap box. He released the tick and put him on the long flat desk. The creature probably glowed with a gratitude that was like prayer, too, at this moment, but it was premature, because when he started thankfully to travel off, Tom turned him around with a pin and made him take a new direction.

Tom's closest friend sat next him, suffering just as Tom had been, and now he was deeply and gratefully interested in this entertainment.

This close friend was Joe Harper. The two boys were best friends all the week, and worst enemies on Saturdays. Joe took a pin out of his jacket and began to help with the prisoner’s exercise.

The sport became more interesting very quickly. Tom said that they were interfering with each other, and neither was getting the fullest benefit of the tick. So he put Joe's slate on the desk and drew a line down the middle of it from top to bottom.

"Now," said he, "as long as he is on your side you can play with him and I'll leave him alone, but if you let him get away and get on my side, you must leave him alone as long as I can keep him from crossing over."

"All right, go ahead. Let’s start."

The tick escaped from Tom very quickly and crossed the equator. Joe played with him for a while, and then he got away and crossed back again.

This change of sides occurred often. While one boy was disturbing the tick with absorbing interest, the other would look on with interest just as strong, the two heads were close together over the slate, and the two souls dead to everything else.

At last luck seemed to be on Joe’s side. The tick tried everything, and got as excited and as anxious as the boys themselves, but
time and time again just as he would have victory in his very grasp, so to speak, and Tom's fingers would be twitching to begin, Joe's pin would skillfully block him, and keep possession.

At last Tom could stand it no more. The temptation was too strong. So he reached out with his pin. Joe was angry and said:Diccionario online

"Tom, leave him alone."

"I only want to get him excited, Joe."

"No way, it’s not fair. Leave him alone."

"I’m not going to move him much."

"Leave him alone, I’m telling you."

"I won't!"

"You will, he's on my side of the line."

"Look, Joe Harper, whose is that tick?"

"I don't care whose tick he is. He's on my side of the line, and you mustn’t touch him."

"Well, I bet I will. He's my tick and I'll do what I want to with him!"

A tremendous whack came down on Tom's shoulders, and also on Joe's. For two minutes the dust continued to fly from the two jackets and the whole school enjoyed it.

The boys had been too busy to notice the quiet that had fallen on the school before the teacher came slowly across the room and stood over them.

... to be continued!

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

  Download the original book for free

*Consulta un PDF con la información y resumen de 100 libros en inglés
que puedes descargar en 1 único archivo.


  Haz click para comprobar las soluciones

Tom Sawyer – Part Twenty-five

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

1. Who was in the school when Tom and Becky returned during break time?

2. Becky doesn’t like rats, but what does she like?

3. How much money does Tom say clowns get paid in the circus?

4. According to Tom what do people who are in love with each other always do?

5. What did Tomand Becky whisper to each other?

Now read the text and answer the questions.
When it was time for the midday break, Tom ran to Becky Thatcher, and whispered in her ear:

"Put on your hat and pretend you're going home, and when you get to the corner, lose everyone else and go through the lane and come back. I'll go the other way and come back the same way."

So Becky went off with one group of pupils, and Tom with another. In a little while the two met at the bottom of the lane, and when they reached the school they had it all to themselves. They sat together, with a slate in front of them, and Tom gave Becky the pencil and held her hand in his, guiding it, and drew another surprising house.

When they started to lose interest in art, they began talking. Tom was incredibly happy. He said:

"Do you love rats?"

"No! I hate them!"

"Well, I do, too, LIVE ones. But I mean dead ones, to swing round your head with a string."

"No, I’m not keen on rats much, anyway. What I like is chewing-gum."

"Oh, I should say so! I wish I had some now."

"Do you? I've got some. I'll let you chew it for a while, but you must give it back to me."

That was agreeable, so they took turns chewing it, and happily swang their legs against the bench.

"Have you ever been to a circus?" said Tom.

"Yes, and my dad's going to take me again some time, if I'm good."

"I’ve been to the circus three or four times. Lots of times. Church is nothing compared to a circus. There's things going on at a circus all the time.

I'm going to be a clown in a circus when I grow up."

"Oh, are you! That will be nice. They're so lovely, with all their spots."

"Yes, that's true. And they get lots of money, nearly a dollar a day, Ben Rogers says. Becky, have you ever been engaged?"

"What's that?"Diccionario online

"Engaged to be married."


"Would you like to?"

"Maybe. I don't know. What’s it like?"

"Like? Well, it’s not like anything. You just tell a boy you won't ever have anybody except him, ever ever ever, and then you kiss and that's all. Anybody can do it."

"Kiss? What do you kiss for?"

"Well, that, you know, is to…….well, they always do that."


"Yes, everybody that's in love with each other. Do you remember what I wrote on the slate?"


"What was it?"

"I won’t tell you."

"Shall I tell YOU?"

"Ye--yes--but some other time."

"No, now."

"No, not now. Tomorrow."

"Oh, no, NOW. Please, Becky. I'll whisper it, I'll whisper it really softly."

Becky hesitating, Tom took silence for consent, and put his arm around her waist and whispered ever so softly, with his mouth close to her ear. And then he added:

"Now you whisper it to me, exactly the same."

She resisted, for a while, and then said:

"You turn your face away so you can't see, and then I will. But you mustn't ever tell anybody, WILL you, Tom? Now you won't, WILL you?"

"No, indeed, indeed I won't. Now, Becky."

He turned his face away. She came shyly closer until her breath moved his hair and whispered, "I-love-you!"

... to be continued!

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

  Download the original book for free

*Consulta un PDF con la información y resumen de 100 libros en inglés
que puedes descargar en 1 único archivo.


  Haz click para comprobar las soluciones

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