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Tom Sawyer, Detective Mark Twain

Tom Sawyer Discovers The Murderers

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I says to myself, poor old Uncle Silas has been lying about it because he reckoned nobody seen him and he couldn't bear to break Aunt Sally's heart and Benny's; and right he was: as for me, I would 'a' lied the same way, and so would anybody that had any feeling, to save them such misery and sorrow which THEY warn't no ways responsible for. Well, it made our lawyer look pretty sick; and it knocked Tom silly, too, for a little spell, but then he braced up and let on that he warn't worried--but I knowed he WAS, all the same. And the people--my, but it made a stir amongst them!

And when that lawyer was done telling the jury what he was going to prove, he set down and begun to work his witnesses.

First, he called a lot of them to show that there was bad blood betwixt Uncle Silas and the diseased; and they told how they had heard Uncle Silas threaten the diseased, at one time and another, and how it got worse and worse and everybody was talking about it, and how diseased got afraid of his life, and told two or three of them he was certain Uncle Silas would up and kill him some time or another.

Tom and our lawyer asked them some questions; but it warn't no use, they stuck to what they said.

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Next, they called up Lem Beebe, and he took the stand. It come into my mind, then, how Lem and Jim Lane had come along talking, that time, about borrowing a dog or something from Jubiter Dunlap; and that brought up the blackberries and the lantern; and that brought up Bill and Jack Withers, and how they passed by, talking about a nigger stealing Uncle Silas's corn; and that fetched up our old ghost that come along about the same time and scared us so--and here HE was too, and a privileged character, on accounts of his being deef and dumb and a stranger, and they had fixed him a chair inside the railing, where he could cross his legs and be comfortable, whilst the other people was all in a jam so they couldn't hardly breathe. So it all come back to me just the way it was that day; and it made me mournful to think how pleasant it was up to then, and how miserable ever since.

    LEM BEEBE, sworn, said--"I was a-coming along, that day,
    second of September, and Jim Lane was with me, and it was
    towards sundown, and we heard loud talk, like quarrelling,
    and we was very close, only the hazel bushes between
    (that's along the fence); and we heard a voice say,
    'I've told you more'n once I'd kill you,' and knowed
    it was this prisoner's voice; and then we see a club
    come up above the bushes and down out of sight again.
    and heard a smashing thump and then a groan or two: and
    then we crope soft to where we could see, and there laid
    Jupiter Dunlap dead, and this prisoner standing over him
    with the club; and the next he hauled the dead man into
    a clump of bushes and hid him, and then we stooped low,
    to be cut of sight, and got away."

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Tom Sawyer, Detective
Mark Twain

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