Tom Sawyer – Part Thirty-six

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

1. What kind of animal was looking at Potter?

2. What happened to Gracie Miller

3. How did Tom get back into the house?

4. How did Tom’s aunt find out what he had been doing?

5. Why did Tom and Joe Harper get beaten at school?

Now read the text and answer the questions.

The man moaned, moved a little, and his face appeared in the moonlight. It was Muff Potter. The boys' hearts had stood still, and their hopes too, when the man moved, but their fears disappeared now.

They walked out silently and stopped at after a little distance to say goodbye. That long 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 looking at Potter, with his nose pointing up.

"Oh, blimey, it's him!" exclaimed both boys.

"Hey, Tom. They say a stray dog was howling around Johnny Miller's house, about midnight two weeks ago. And someone came in and same evening; and there isn’t anybody dead there yet."

"Well, I know that. Didn't Gracie Miller fall in the kitchen fire and burn herself really badly the following Saturday?"

"Yes, but she’s not dead. And what's more, she's getting better, too."

"All right, you wait and see. She's just as good as dead, the same way Muff Potter is. That's what the black people say, and they know all about these kind of things, Huck."

Then they said goodbye and separated. When Tom crept in through his bedroom window the night was almost over.

He got undressed very, very carefully, and fell asleep congratulating himself that nobody knew of his adventure. He was not aware that the gently-snoring Sid was awake, and had been so for an hour.

When Tom woke up, Sid was dressed and gone. It seemed to be late in the morning. He was surprised. Why had he not been called and shouted at until he was up, as usual?

The thought made him nervous. Within five minutes he was dressed and down-stairs, feeling sore and sleepy.

The family were still sitting at the table, but they had finished breakfast.

No one said anything bad to him, but they did not look at him. There was a silence and a seriousness in the air that scared him. He sat down and tried to seem happy, but it was difficult work. No one smiled. There was no response, and he also became silent and let his heart sink down to the depths.

After breakfast his aunt took him to one side, and Tom cheered up in the hope that he was going to be hit and beaten, but no. His aunt cried and asked him how he could go and break her old heart like that. She finally told him to go on, and ruin himself and bring her gray hairs and send her sad to the grave, because there was no point in her trying anymore.Diccionario online

This was worse than a thousand beatings, and Tom's heart hurt him more than his body. He cried, he asked for forgiveness, promised to reform over and over again, and then went away, feeling that at least he had won an imperfect forgiveness and established a weak confidence.

He left his aunt too miserable to even feel revengeful toward Sid, and so Sid’s quick retreat through the back gate was unnecessary.

He went to school miserable and sad, and accepted his beating, together with Joe Harper, for not going to school the day before. There were more serious things on his mind than the beating.

Then he went to his seat, rested his elbows on his desk and his
head in his hands, and stared at the wall with the stony stare of suffering that has reached the limit and can go on no further.

His elbow was pressing against something hard. After a long time he slowly and sadly changed his position, and picked up this object. It was in a piece of paper. He opened it. A long, huge sigh followed, and his heart broke. It was his brass knob!

This final straw broke the camel's back.

... 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 Thirty-seven

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

1. What was Potter seen doing in the early hours of the morning?

2. Who was organising the search for the murderer by men on horses?

3. The sight of whose face made Tom ‘shiver from head to toe’?

4. What was Muff Potter’s reaction when he saw the dead body?

5. Who was lying and who was telling the truth between Muff Potter and Injun Joe?

Now read the text and answer the questions.
It was nearly 12 o’clock noon when the whole village was suddenly electrified with the horrible news. It spread quickly from man to man, from group to group, from house to house, as fast as lightening. Of course, the schoolmaster gave all the children the afternoon off school. The town would have thought strangely of him if he hadn’t.

A bloody knife had been found close to the murdered man, and it had been recognized by somebody as belonging to Muff Potter. And it was said that someone had seen Potter washing himself in the river about one or two o'clock in the morning, and that Potter had at immediately rushed off under suspicious circumstances. Suspicious partly because washing was not a habit with Potter.

It was also said that everywhere in the town had been searched for this "murderer" (the public are not slow in the matter of examining evidence and arriving at a verdict), but that he could not be found.

Men on horses had ridden down all the roads in every direction, and the Sheriff "was confident" that he would be captured before dark.

Everyone in the town slowly moved toward the graveyard. Tom's sad feeling disappeared and he joined the procession, not because he would not have preferred to go anywhere else, but because an awful, unaccountable fascination drew him on.

After arriving at the dreadful place, he moved his small body through the crowd and saw the horrible sight. It seemed to him ages ago since he was there before. Somebody pinched his arm. He turned, and his eyes met Huckleberry's. Then both looked somewhere else at once, and wondered if anybody had noticed anything. But everybody was talking, and concentrating on the awful sight in front of them.

"Poor man!" "Poor young man!" "This should be a lesson to grave robbers!" "Muff Potter will hang for this if they catch him!" The minister said, "It was a judgment; His hand is here."

Now Tom shivered from head to toe. He saw the blank face of Injun Joe. At this moment the crowd began to move and push forward, and voices shouted, "It's him! it's him! he's coming!"

"Who? Who?" said twenty voices.

"Muff Potter!"

"He's stopped! Look out, he's turning! Don't let him get away!"

People in the branches of the trees over Tom's head said he wasn't trying to get away, he only seemed doubtful and worried.

"What the hell!" someone shouted. "He wanted to come and take a quiet look at his work, I think, and he didn't expect to be seen."

The crowd fell apart, now, and the Sheriff came through, ostentatiously leading Potter by the arm. The poor man's face was white, and his eyes showed the fear that was inside him. When he stood before the murdered man, his whole body shook, and he put his face in his hands and burst into tears.Diccionario online

"I didn't do it, friends," he cried. “On my word of honor I didn’t do it."

"Who's accused you?" shouted a voice.

This point had a strong effect. Potter lifted his face and looked around him with a pathetic hopelessness in his eyes. He saw Injun Joe, and said, "Oh, Injun Joe, you promised me you'd never…"

"Is that your knife?" and it was shown to him by the Sheriff.

Potter would have fallen if they had not caught him and lowered him to the ground. Then he said, "Something told me that if I didn't come back and get…" He shivered and then waved his hand and said, "Tell them, Joe, tell them. There’s no point anymore."

Then Huckleberry and Tom stood silently and stared. They heard the stony-hearted liar say his false statement, and expected that any moment the clear sky would open and deliver God's lightnings upon his head. Obviously, this man had sold himself to Satan and it would be fatal to interfere with such a great power as that.

"Why didn't you leave? What did you want to come here for?" somebody said.

"I couldn't help it. I couldn't help it," Potter moaned. "I wanted to run away, but I couldn't seem to come anywhere but here." And he started crying again.
Injun Joe repeated his statement, just as calmly, a few minutes later during the inquest, under oath. The boys, seeing that the lightnings still hadn’t come, were convinced that Joe had sold himself to the devil.

He had now become, to them, the most interesting object they had ever seen, and they could not take their fascinated eyes from his face.

They promised to watch him at night, whenever they could, in the hope of getting a glimpse of his dreadful master, the devil.

Injun Joe helped to raise the body of the murdered man and put it in a wagon for removal. It was whispered through the crowd that the wound bled a little! The boys thought that this happy circumstance would turn suspicion in the right direction; but they were disappointed, for more than one villager said, "It was within three feet of Muff Potter when it did it."

... 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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