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|Tom Sawyer||Mark Twain|
|Page 4 of 5||
The boys forgot all their fears, all their miseries in an instant. With gloating eyes they watched every movement. Luck! -- the splendor of it was beyond all imagination! Six hundred dollars was money enough to make half a dozen boys rich! Here was treasure-hunting under the happiest auspices -- there would not be any bothersome uncertainty as to where to dig. They nudged each other every moment -- eloquent nudges and easily understood, for they simply meant -- "Oh, but ain't you glad NOW we're here!"
Joe's knife struck upon something.
"Hello!" said he.
"What is it?" said his comrade.
"Half-rotten plank -- no, it's a box, I believe. Here -- bear a hand and we'll see what it's here for. Never mind, I've broke a hole."
He reached his hand in and drew it out --
"Man, it's money!"
The two men examined the handful of coins. They were gold. The boys above were as excited as themselves, and as delighted.
Joe's comrade said:
"We'll make quick work of this. There's an old rusty pick over amongst the weeds in the corner the other side of the fireplace -- I saw it a minute ago."
He ran and brought the boys' pick and shovel. Injun Joe took the pick, looked it over critically, shook his head, muttered something to himself, and then began to use it. The box was soon unearthed. It was not very large; it was iron bound and had been very strong before the slow years had injured it. The men contemplated the treasure awhile in blissful silence.
"Pard, there's thousands of dollars here," said Injun Joe.
"'Twas always said that Murrel's gang used to be around here one summer," the stranger observed.
"I know it," said Injun Joe; "and this looks like it, I should say."
"Now you won't need to do that job."
The half-breed frowned. Said he:
"You don't know me. Least you don't know all about that thing. 'Tain't robbery altogether -- it's REVENGE!" and a wicked light flamed in his eyes. "I'll need your help in it. When it's finished -- then Texas. Go home to your Nance and your kids, and stand by till you hear from me."
"Well -- if you say so; what'll we do with this -- bury it again?"
"Yes. [Ravishing delight overhead.] NO! by the great Sachem, no! [Profound distress overhead.] I'd nearly forgot. That pick had fresh earth on it! [The boys were sick with terror in a moment.] What business has a pick and a shovel here? What business with fresh earth on them? Who brought them here -- and where are they gone? Have you heard anybody? -- seen anybody? What! bury it again and leave them to come and see the ground disturbed? Not exactly -- not exactly. We'll take it to my den."
"Why, of course! Might have thought of that before. You mean Number One?"
"No -- Number Two -- under the cross. The other place is bad -- too common."
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