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|Tom Sawyer Abroad||Mark Twain|
It's A Caravan
|Page 2 of 3||
"Mars Tom, I reckon dey's a mistake som'er's. hain't seen no niggers yit."
"That's nothing; they don't live in the desert. What is that, 'way off yonder? Gimme a glass."
He took a long look, and said it was like a black string stretched across the sand, but he couldn't guess what it was.
"Well," I says, "I reckon maybe you've got a chance now to find out whereabouts this balloon is, because as like as not that is one of these lines here, that's on the map, that you call meridians of longitude, and we can drop down and look at its number, and --"
"Oh, shucks, Huck Finn, I never see such a lunk-head as you. Did you s'pose there's meridians of longitude on the EARTH?"
"Tom Sawyer, they're set down on the map, and you know it perfectly well, and here they are, and you can see for yourself."
"Of course they're on the map, but that's nothing; there ain't any on the GROUND."
"Tom, do you know that to be so?"
"Certainly I do."
"Well, then, that map's a liar again. I never see such a liar as that map."
He fired up at that, and I was ready for him, and Jim was warming his opinion, too, and next minute we'd 'a' broke loose on another argument, if Tom hadn't dropped the glass and begun to clap his hands like a maniac and sing out:
"Camels! -- Camels!"
So I grabbed a glass and Jim, too, and took a look, but I was disappointed, and says:
"Camels your granny; they're spiders."
"Spiders in a desert, you shad? Spiders walking in a procession? You don't ever reflect, Huck Finn, and I reckon you really haven't got anything to reflect WITH. Don't you know we're as much as a mile up in the air, and that that string of crawlers is two or three miles away? Spiders, good land! Spiders as big as a cow? Perhaps you'd like to go down and milk one of 'em. But they're camels, just the same. It's a caravan, that's what it is, and it's a mile long."
"Well, then, let's go down and look at it. I don't believe in it, and ain't going to till I see it and know it."
"All right," he says, and give the command:
As we come slanting down into the hot weather, we could see that it was camels, sure enough, plodding along, an everlasting string of them, with bales strapped to them, and several hundred men in long white robes, and a thing like a shawl bound over their heads and hanging down with tassels and fringes; and some of the men had long guns and some hadn't, and some was riding and some was walking. And the weatherJ-- well, it was just roasting. And how slow they did creep along! We swooped down now, all of a sudden, and stopped about a hundred yards over their heads.
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|Tom Sawyer Abroad
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