Tom Sawyer – Part Sixty-eight

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

1. According to one witness, where was Muff Potter washing on the morning of the murder?

2. Was Muff Potter’s lawyer doing a good job of defending him?

3. What does one witness say was found near the dead body?

4. What expression used in the text means to be questioned by a lawyer in court?

5. Were the public in the court room happy by the way the trial was going?

Now read the text and answer the questions.

Tom went home miserable, and his dreams that night were full of horrors.

The next day and the day after, he hung around the court-room. He wanted to go inside, but he forced himself to stay outside.

Huck was having the same experience. They avoided each other. From time to time, they walked away, but the same sad, irresistible fascination always brought them back.

Tom kept his ears open when people came out of the court-room. The news was bad and the future did not look good for poor Potter.

At the end of the second day the talk in the village was that Injun Joe's evidence was solid, and that there was not the slightest question as to what the jury's verdict would be.

Tom was out late that night, and came to bed through the window. He was very excited. It took him hours to get to sleep.

The next morning, all the village went to the court-house. Both sexes were about equally represented in the packed audience.

After a long wait the jury came in and took their places. Then, Potter, pale and tired, timid and hopeless, was brought in, with chains on his legs and arms. He sat down where all the curious eyes could see him.

Injun Joe was there too, looking calm and without emotion.

There was another pause, and then the judge arrived and the sheriff proclaimed the opening of the court.

The usual whisperings among the lawyers and gathering together of papers followed. These details and delays caused an atmosphere that was both impressive and fascinating.

A witness was called who testified that he found Muff Potter washing in the stream the same morning that the murder was discovered, and then that he immediately disappeared. After some further questioning, counsel for the prosecution said,

"Your witness."

The prisoner raised his eyes for a moment, but looked down again when his own lawyer said,

"I have no questions to ask him."

The next witness admitted finding the knife near the dead body. The lawyer for the prosecution said,

"Your witness."

"I have no questions to ask him," Potter's lawyer replied.Diccionario online

A third witness said he had often seen the knife in Potter's possession.

"Your witness."

Potter’s lawyer declined to question him. The faces of the audience began to show annoyance.

Did this lawyer intend to throw away his client's life without even trying?

Several witnesses said how guilty Potter seemed when he was brought to the scene of the murder.

They were allowed to leave the stand without being cross-examined by Potter’s lawyer.

Every detail of the damaging circumstances that happened in the graveyard that morning which everyone remembered so well was confirmed by witnesses, but none of them were cross-examined by Potter's lawyer.

The dissatisfaction of the public in the court was obvious.

The lawyer for the prosecution said,

"By the oaths of citizens whose simple word is above suspicion, we have proved this awful crime, beyond all possibility of suspicion, against the unhappy prisoner. We rest our case here."

Poor Potter put his face in his hands and his body moved backward and forward softly, while a painful silence filled the court-room. Many men were moved, and many women cried with compassion.

... 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.


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Tom Sawyer – Part Sixty-nine

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

1. How did Tom seem when he was called as a witness?

2. What was the lawyer’s first question to Tom?

3. Where was Tom that night?

4. Why didn’t Injun Joe see Tom that night?

5. What did Tom have with him?

Now read the text and answer the questions.
The defence lawyer stood up and said,

"Your honour, in our remarks at the opening of this trial, we intended to prove that our client did this horrible act while under the influence of a blind and irresponsible delirium produced by drink. We have changed our mind. We shall not offer that plea."

He then turned to the clerk and said, "Call Thomas Sawyer!"

Everyone in the room was amazed, even Potter looked surprised. Every eye looked at Tom as he got up and took his place on the witness stand.

Tom looked scared as he was sworn in.

"Thomas Sawyer, where were you on the seventeenth of June, about the hour of midnight?"

Tom looked at Injun Joe's iron face and he couldn’t not speak. His tongue wasn’t working.

The audience listened breathless, but the words refused to come.

After a few moments, however, the boy got a little of his strength back, and managed to put enough of it into his voice to say:

"In the graveyard!"

"A little bit louder, please. Don't be afraid. You were…."

"In the graveyard."

A contemptuous smile moved across Injun Joe's face.

"Were you anywhere near Horse Williams' grave?"

"Yes, sir."

"Speak up, please. Just a little louder. How near were you?"

"As near as I am to you."

"Were you hidden, or not?"

"I was hidden."Diccionario online


"Behind the trees that are around the edge of the graveyard."

Injun Joe moved in his chair.

"Was there any one with you?"

"Yes, sir. I went there with….."

"Wait a moment. Don’t say your friend's name. We will produce him at the right time. Did you carry anything there with you."

Tom hesitated and looked confused.

"Speak up, my boy. The truth is always respectable. What did you take there?"

"Only a dead cat."

Some people in the court laughed at this.

"We will produce the skeleton of that cat. Now, my boy, tell us everything that happened in your own words. Don't miss anything out, and don't be afraid."

Tom began, hesitatingly at first, but as he warmed to his subject his words came more and more easily.

Soon, every sound stopped except Tom’s voice. Every eye was on him. People looked at Tom with their mouths open, focusing on every word. Time stood still. Emotion reached its climax when Tom said:

"…and as the doctor brought the board around and Muff Potter fell, Injun Joe jumped with the knife and…."

Crash! As fast as lightning the Indian ran towards an open window, pushed people out of the way and was gone!

... 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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