Tom Sawyer – Part Forty-six

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

1. What were the boys feeling guilty about before they fell asleep?

2. Which boy woke up first?

3. What creature started to crawl on Tom’s body?

4. Which two four-legged animals came quite close to the boys?

5. What had disappeared during the night?

Now read the text and answer the questions.

Gradually their talk died out and they became tired. The pipe dropped from the fingers of the Red-Handed, and he slept the sleep of the conscience-free and the weary.

The Terror of the Seas and the Black Avenger of the Spanish Main had more difficulty in getting to sleep.

They said their prayers inwardly, and lying down, because there was nobody there with authority to make them kneel and pray aloud. They actually felt like not saying them at all, but they were afraid to. They didn’t want to be hit by a thunderbolt from heaven.

Just before falling asleep, they were visited by uncomfortable thoughts that played on their conscience. They began to feel afraid that they had done wrong to run away. Next, they thought of the stolen meat, and then the real torture came.

They tried to argue it away by reminding their conscience that they had stolen sweetmeats and apples many times in the past. But their conscience was not convinced.

It seemed to them, in the end, that there was no avoiding the fact that taking sweetmeats was only "playing," while taking bacon and hams and such valuables was real stealing, and there was a command against that in the Bible.

So, they inwardly decided that so long as they stayed pirates, they should not commit the crime of stealing.

Then their conscience forgave them and these curiously inconsistent pirates fell peacefully to sleep.


When Tom woke up in the morning, he wondered where he was. He sat up and rubbed his eyes and looked around.

Then he understood. It was a cool grey dawn, and there was a delicious sense of rest and peace in the calm and silence of the woods.

Not a leaf moved; not a sound disturbed great Nature's meditation. The leaves and grass were full with morning dew. A white layer of ashes covered the fire, and a thin blue breath of smoke rose straight into the air.

Joe and Huck still slept.Diccionario online

Far away in the forest a bird called; another answered; presently the hammering sound of a woodpecker was heard. A little green worm came crawling over a wet leaf, lifting two-thirds of his body into the air from time to time and "sniffing around," then continued again.

The worm approached Tom who sat as still as a stone, with his hopes rising and falling as the creature either came toward him or preferred to change direction and go somewhere else.

Finally, it lifted its curved body in the air and then came decisively down on Tom's leg and began a journey over him. He was happy because that meant that he was going to have a new suit of clothes for sure. A smart pirate’s uniform.

Now a procession of ants appeared, from nowhere in particular, and went about their work. One struggled manfully by with a dead spider five times as big as itself in its arms, and pulled it straight up a tree-trunk.

A brown spotted ladybird climbed up some grass and Tom bent down close to it and said, "Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home, your house is on fire, your children's alone," and she flew off to check on it which did not surprise the boy. He’d known for a long time that this insect believed everything it heard.

A beetle came next, pushing its ball, and Tom touched the creature to see it close its legs against its body and pretend to be dead.

The birds were totally awake by this time. One of them flew to a tree over Tom's head, and sang happily with its friends in the neighbouring tree.

Then a smaller bird flew down and stopped on a twig almost within the boy's reach. It put its head to one side and looked at the strangers with curiosity.

A grey squirrel and a fox came running along, sitting up at intervals to inspect and chatter at the boys. These wild creatures had probably never seen a human being before and didn’t know whether to be afraid or not.

All Nature was wide awake now. Sunlight pierced down through the thick forest and a few butterflies also arrived at the scene.

Tom woke up the other pirates and they all shouted and chatted away together. In a minute or two the boys had undressed and were playing together in the shallow water of the white sandbar.

They paid no attention to the little village sleeping in the distance beyond the water. The movement of the water and a rise in the river had carried off their raft, but this made them happy, since its going was something like burning the bridge between them and civilization.

... 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
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Tom Sawyer – Part Forty-seven

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

1. What did the boys eat for breakfast?

2. What had the boys been doing to make them so hungry?

3. How big was the island?

4. How often did the boys go swimming?

5. Why were the boys feeling a bit sad?

Now read the text and answer the questions.
They came back to camp wonderfully refreshed, happy and hungry and they soon had the campfire burning again. Huck found a spring of clear cold water close by, and the boys made cups of leaf-flavoured tea that they decided would be a good enough substitute for coffee.

While Joe was slicing bacon for breakfast, Tom and Huck asked him to hold on a minute. They arrived at a promising place in the river-bank and stopped.

Almost immediately they had a reward. Joe had not had time to get impatient before they were back again with some great-looking fish, enough to feed a large family.

They fried the fish with the bacon, and were astonished because no fish had ever seemed so delicious before.

They did not know that the quicker a fresh-water fish is on the fire after it is caught the better it tastes. They also thought about how sleeping in the open air, exercising and bathing makes people really hungry.

They lay around in the shade, after breakfast, while Huck had a smoke, and then went off through the woods on an exploring expedition.

They trekked along happily, over parts of trees and through bushes and branches. Now and then they came across lovely sections of grass which were decorated with flowers.

They found lots of things to be delighted with, but nothing to be astonished at. They discovered that the island was about four kilometres long and a half a kilometer wide, and that the beach it lay closest to was only separated from it by a narrow channel less than two hundred metres wide.

They took a swim about every hour, so it was about mid-afternoon when they got back to camp. They were too hungry to stop to fish, but they ate well on cold ham, and then threw themselves down in the shade to talk.

But the talk soon began to slow down, and then died. The stillness, the solemnity that existed in the forest, and the sense of loneliness, began to affect the spirits of the boys. They became deep in thought.

They eventually realized that they were very homesick.
Even Finn the Red-Handed was dreaming of his poor and basic home. But they were all ashamed of their weakness, and none was brave enough to speak his thought.

For some time, now, the boys had been conscious of a strange sound in the distance, just like when you are vaguely aware of the ticking of a clock which you take no notice of.

But now this mysterious sound became more noticeable. The boys suddenly looked at each other, and then they started to listen very carefully.Diccionario online

There was a long silence, profound and unbroken, then a deep boom came floating down out of the distance.

"What is it?" asked Joe, under his breath.

"I wonder," said Tom in a whisper.

"'it isn’t thunder," said Huckleberry, "because thunder……."

"Listen!" said Tom. "Listen. Don’t talk."

They waited for a long time, and then the same muffled boom interrupted the silence.

"Let's go and see."

... 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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