Tom Sawyer – Part Sixty-six

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

1. Why did Tom stop trying to write a diary?

2. Why was there no procession on the 4th of July?

3. Tom admired someone called Mr. Benton. What was his profession?

4. Why didn’t Tom spend time with Becky Thatcher?

5. Why was Tom so sick?

Now read the text and answer the questions.

Tom joined a youth club called the Cadets of Temperance. He liked the badge and the clothes they wore. He promised not to smoke, drink alcohol, swear or chew tobacco as long as he was a member.

Now he found out a new thing. When you promise not to do something, that’s the best way to want to go and do it.

Tom soon found himself tormented with a desire to drink and swear. The desire grew to be so intense that nothing but the hope of a chance to wear the club’s red sash kept him from leaving it.

Fourth of July was coming. It was a chance for Tom to wear his uniform and club colours. But he wasn’t allowed. His next hope was old Judge Frazer, justice of the peace, who was very sick and about to die. Apparently, he would have a big public funeral because he was such a high public official.

For three days Tom followed the Judge's condition closely. Hoping for news of his death so he could wear his club’s uniform in public.

He was so excited that he often took out his red sash and practise in front of the mirror. But the Judge’s health has a disappointing way of going up and down until finally he made a complete recovery.

Tom was disgusted and felt a sense of injury, too. He handed in his resignation from the club immediately and that same night the judge became ill again and died.

Tom decided that he would never trust a man like that again.

The funeral was impressive. The Cadets paraded in a way that seemed to be designed to kill Tom with envy.

On the other hand, Tom was a free boy again and that was something to celebrate. He could drink and swear, now. Surprisingly, he discovered that he did not want to. The simple fact that he could, took away the attraction.

Tom was surprised to realise that his holiday was beginning to get a bit boring.

He tried to write a diary but nothing happened for three days, and so he stopped it.

A travelling music show arrived in the town, and made a sensation. Tom and Joe Harper started a performing group of their own and were happy for two days.

Even the Fourth of July celebration was in some sense a failure because it rained a lot. As a result, there was no procession in the street, and the greatest man in the world (according to Tom), Mr. Benton, an actual United States Senator, was a complete disappointment. He was not twenty - five feet high, not even close.

A circus came to town. The boys played circus for three days afterwards in tents made of old pieces of rag and cloth. The admission price was three pins for boys, two for girls. But then they abandoned the idea of a circus.

A mind reader and a hypnotist came, and went again, and left the village sadder and more boring than ever.

There were some boys-and-girls' parties, but they were so few and so enjoyable that they only made the difficult times between even harder to bear.

Becky Thatcher had gone to her holiday home to stay with her parents, so there was no bright side to life anywhere.Diccionario online

The dreadful secret of the murder was a permanent misery. It was a constant reminder of terrible pain.

Then the measles came.

For two long weeks Tom lay a prisoner, dead to the world and its happenings.

He was very ill and he was interested in nothing. When he finally stood up and moved weakly down into the centre, he saw that a sad change had come over everything and every creature.

There had been a "revival," and everybody had "got religion," not only the adults, but even the boys and girls.

Tom walked around, hoping to see someone normal, but there was disappointment everywhere. There was nobody bad left.

He found Joe Harper studying a bible, and turned sadly away from the depressing scene.

He found Ben Rogers who was visiting the poor with a basket of food.

He spoke to Jim Hollis, who told him that Tom had caught the measles as a warning not to sin.

Every boy he found made his depression worse. And when, in desperation, he ran to Huckleberry Finn he was received with a Scriptural quotation, his heart broke and he went home and to bed realizing that he alone
of all the town was lost, forever and forever.

And that night there came on a terrific storm, with heavy rain and thunder and lightning. He covered his head with his sheet and waited in a horror of suspense for his end. He was sure that all this was about him. He believed he had gone to far with the powers above and that this was the result.

Eventually the storm died down and Tom had survived. The boy's first impulse was to be grateful, and reform. His second was to wait. There might not be any more storms.

The next day the doctors were back to see Tom. He had gotten worse. The three weeks he spent on his back this time seemed an eternity.

When he finally felt well enough to get out of bed, he wasn’t particularly grateful to still be alive. He had been so lonely and friendless. He walked down the street and found Jim Hollis acting as judge in a juvenile court that was trying a cat for murder, in the presence of her victim, a bird.
Then he saw Joe Harper and Huck Finn in an alley eating a stolen melon.

Poor boys! They, like Tom, had been very sick.

... 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 Sixty-seven

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

1. What was making Tom feel so anxious that he needed to talk to Huck?

2. Had Huck told anyone about what had happened?

3. In which two ways had Muff Potter helped Tom in the past?

4. What two things did Huck and Tom give to Muff Potter?

5. How does Muff Potter explain his behaviour to the boys?

Now read the text and answer the questions.
At last, the murder trial came to the court. It became the absorbing topic of village talk immediately. Tom could not get away from it. Every reference to the murder made him nervous. He knew that logically he couldn’t be suspected of knowing anything about the murder, but still he could not be comfortable when everyone around him was talking about it.

It kept him in a cold shiver all the time. He took Huck to a quiet place to have a talk with him. He felt the need to talk about it and share his anxiety with another sufferer.

Moreover, he wanted to make sure that Huck was keeping the secret.

"Huck, have you ever told anybody about…..the thing?"

"'About what?"

"You know what."

"Of course I haven't."

"Not a word?"

"Not one word, so help me. Why do you ask?"

"Well, I was afraid."

"Why, Tom Sawyer, we wouldn't be alive more than two days if that ever got out. You know that."

Tom felt more comfortable. After a pause, Tom said,

"Huck, they couldn't get anyone to make you tell, could they?"

"Get me to tell? Even if that half-breed devil tried to drown me they could get me to tell. There’s no way I’d talk."

"Well, that's all right, then. I reckon we're safe as long as we keep quiet. But let's swear again, anyway. It's safer."

"I agree."

So they swore again with serious faces.
"What is the talk I’ve been hearing about, Huck?"

"Talk? Well, it's just Muff Potter, Muff Potter, Muff Potter all the time."

"I reckon he's finished now. Don't you feel sorry for him, sometimes?"

"Yes, a lot. He’s never done anything to hurt anybody. He just fishes a little, to get money to get drunk with. And he kills time and doesn’t do much. But we all do that!

At least, most of us do. But he's kind of a good guy. He gave me half a fish, once, when there wasn’t enough for two. Lots of times he's kind of stood by me when I was out of luck."

"Well, he's mended kites for me, Huck, and helped me put hooks on to my fishing line. I wish we could get him out of there."Diccionario online

"No! we can't get him out, Tom. And besides, it wouldn’t do any good. They’d catch him again."

"Yes, they probably would. But I hate to hear them abuse him so much when he never did anything."

"I do too, Tom. I hear them say that he's the bloodiest villain in this country, and he should have been killed a long time ago."

"Yes, they talk like that, all the time. I've heard them say that if he was to get free, they'd hang him."

"And they'd do it, too."

The boys had a long talk, but it brought them little comfort. As the sun set, they found themselves hanging about the neighborhood of the little isolated jail, perhaps hoping that something would happen that might clear away their difficulties.

But nothing happened. There seemed to be no angels or fairies interested in this unfortunate prisoner.

The boys did as they had often done before. They went to the jail window and gave Potter some tobacco and matches. He was on the ground floor and there were no guards.

His gratitude for their gifts had always affected their consciences before. Now, it cut deeper than ever.

They felt cowardly and treacherous to the last degree when Potter said,

"You've been so good to me, boys. Better than anybody else in this town. And I won't forget it, I won't.

I often say to myself, 'I used to mend all the boys' kites and things, and show them where the good fishing places were, and be their friends as much as I could, and now they've all forgotten old Muff when he's in trouble. But Tom hasn't, and Huck hasn't. They haven’t forgotten me, and I won't forget them.'

Well, boys, I’ve done an awful thing. I was drunk and crazy at the same time. That's the only way I can explain it. And now I’m going to hang for it, and that's right. It’s for the best. I hope so, anyway. Well, we won't talk about that. I don't want to make you feel bad, you've been my friends. But what I want to say, is, don't you ever get drunk. If you don’t get drunk, you won't ever get here where I am now.

Stand a little bit more to the right. That's it. It’s so nice to see friendly faces when a man’s in such bad trouble, and there’s no trouble worse than the trouble I’m in right now. It’s great to see your faces. Your good friendly faces. Get up on one another's backs and let me touch your faces. That's it. Shake hands with me. Your hands can reach through the bars, but mine's too big. Little hands, and weak hands, but they've helped Muff Potter a lot, and I know they'd help him more if they could."

... 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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