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Chapter I
"TOM!"
No answer.
"TOM!"
No answer.
"What's gone with that boy, I wonder?
You TOM!"
No answer.
The old lady pulled her spectacles down
and looked over them about the room; then
she put them up and looked out under them.
She seldom or never looked THROUGH them
for so small a thing as a boy; they were
her state pair, the pride of her heart,
and were built for "style," not service--
she could have seen through a pair of
stove-lids just as well.
She looked perplexed for a moment, and
then said, not fiercely, but still loud
enough for the furniture to hear:
"Well, I lay if I get hold of you I'll--"
She did not finish, for by this time she
was bending down and punching under the
bed with the broom, and so she needed
breath to punctuate the punches with.
She resurrected nothing but the cat.
"I never did see the beat of that boy!"
She went to the open door and stood in it
and looked out among the tomato vines and
"jimpson" weeds that constituted the
garden.
No Tom.
So she lifted up her voice at an angle
calculated for distance and shouted:
"Y-o-u-u TOM!"
There was a slight noise behind her and
she turned just in time to seize a small
boy by the slack of his roundabout and
arrest his flight.
"There!
I might 'a' thought of that closet.
What you been doing in there?"
"Nothing."
"Nothing!
Look at your hands.
And look at your mouth.
What IS that truck?"
"I don't know, aunt."
"Well, I know.
It's jam--that's what it is.
Forty times I've said if you didn't let
that jam alone I'd skin you.
Hand me that switch."
The switch hovered in the air--the peril
was desperate--
"My!
Look behind you, aunt!"
The old lady whirled round, and snatched
her skirts out of danger.
The lad fled on the instant, scrambled up
the high board-fence, and disappeared over
it.
His aunt Polly stood surprised a moment,
and then broke into a gentle laugh.
"Hang the boy, can't I never learn
anything?
Ain't he played me tricks enough like that
for me to be looking out for him by this
time?
But old fools is the biggest fools there
is.
Can't learn an old dog new tricks, as the
saying is.
But my goodness, he never plays them
alike, two days, and how is a body to know
what's coming?
He 'pears to know just how long he can
torment me before I get my dander up, and
he knows if he can make out to put me off
for a minute or make me laugh, it's all
down again and I can't hit him a lick.
I ain't doing my duty by that boy, and
that's the Lord's truth, goodness knows.
Spare the rod and spile the child, as the
Good Book says.
I'm a laying up sin and suffering for us
both, I know.
He's full of the Old Scratch, but laws-a-
me!
he's my own dead sister's boy, poor thing,
and I ain't got the heart to lash him,
somehow.
Every time I let him off, my conscience
does hurt me so, and every time I hit him
my old heart most breaks.
Well-a-well, man that is born of woman is
of few days and full of trouble, as the
Scripture says, and I reckon it's so.
He'll play hookey this evening, * and [*
Southwestern for "afternoon"] I'll just be
obleeged to make him work, to-morrow, to
punish him.
It's mighty hard to make him work
Saturdays, when all the boys is having
holiday, but he hates work more than he
hates anything else, and I've GOT to do
some of my duty by him, or I'll be the
ruination of the child."
Tom did play hookey, and he had a very
good time.
He got back home barely in season to help
Jim, the small colored boy, saw next-day's
wood and split the kindlings before
supper--at least he was there in time to
tell his adventures to Jim while Jim did
three-fourths of the work.
Tom's younger brother (or rather half-
brother) Sid was already through with his
part of the work (picking up chips), for
he was a quiet boy, and had no
adventurous, troublesome ways.
While Tom was eating his supper, and
stealing sugar as opportunity offered,
Aunt Polly asked him questions that were
full of guile, and very deep--for she
wanted to trap him into damaging
revealments.
Like many other simple-hearted souls, it
was her pet vanity to believe she was
endowed with a talent for dark and
mysterious diplomacy, and she loved to
contemplate her most transparent devices
as marvels of low cunning.
Said she:
"Tom, it was middling warm in school,
warn't it?"
"Yes'm."
"Powerful warm, warn't it?"
"Yes'm."
"Didn't you want to go in a-swimming,
Tom?"
A bit of a scare shot through Tom--a touch
of uncomfortable suspicion.
He searched Aunt Polly's face, but it told
him nothing.
So he said:
"No'm--well, not very much."
The old lady reached out her hand and felt
Tom's shirt, and said:
"But you ain't too warm now, though."
And it flattered her to reflect that she
had discovered that the shirt was dry
without anybody knowing that that was what
she had in her mind.
But in spite of her, Tom knew where the
wind lay, now.
So he forestalled what might be the next
move:
"Some of us pumped on our heads--mine's
damp yet.
See?"
Aunt Polly was vexed to think she had
overlooked that bit of circumstantial
evidence, and missed a trick.
Then she had a new inspiration:
"Tom, you didn't have to undo your shirt
collar where I sewed it, to pump on your
head, did you?
Unbutton your jacket!"
The trouble vanished out of Tom's face.
He opened his jacket.
His shirt collar was securely sewed.
"Bother!
Well, go 'long with you.
I'd made sure you'd played hookey and been
a-swimming.
But I forgive ye, Tom.
I reckon you're a kind of a singed cat, as
the saying is--better'n you look.
THIS time."
She was half sorry her sagacity had
miscarried, and half glad that Tom had
stumbled into obedient conduct for once.
But Sidney said:
"Well, now, if I didn't think you sewed
his collar with white thread, but it's
black."
"Why, I did sew it with white!
Tom!"
But Tom did not wait for the rest.
As he went out at the door he said:
"Siddy, I'll lick you for that."
In a safe place Tom examined two large
needles which were thrust into the lapels
of his jacket, and had thread bound about
them--one needle carried white thread and
the other black.
He said:
"She'd never noticed if it hadn't been for
Sid.
Confound it!
sometimes she sews it with white, and
sometimes she sews it with black.
I wish to geeminy she'd stick to one or
t'other--I can't keep the run of 'em.
But I bet you I'll lam Sid for that.
I'll learn him!"
He was not the Model Boy of the village.
He knew the model boy very well though--
and loathed him.
Within two minutes, or even less, he had
forgotten all his troubles.
Not because his troubles were one whit
less heavy and bitter to him than a man's
are to a man, but because a new and
powerful interest bore them down and drove
them out of his mind for the time--just as
men's misfortunes are forgotten in the
excitement of new enterprises.
This new interest was a valued novelty in
whistling, which he had just acquired from
a negro, and he was suffering to practise
it undisturbed.
It consisted in a peculiar bird-like turn,
a sort of liquid warble, produced by
touching the tongue to the roof of the
mouth at short intervals in the midst of
the music--the reader probably remembers
how to do it, if he has ever been a boy.
Diligence and attention soon gave him the
knack of it, and he strode down the street
with his mouth full of harmony and his
soul full of gratitude.
He felt much as an astronomer feels who
has discovered a new planet--no doubt, as
far as strong, deep, unalloyed pleasure is
concerned, the advantage was with the boy,
not the astronomer.
The summer evenings were long.
It was not dark, yet.
Presently Tom checked his whistle.
A stranger was before him--a boy a shade
larger than himself.
A new-comer of any age or either sex was
an impressive curiosity in the poor little
shabby village of St. Petersburg.
This boy was well dressed, too--well
dressed on a week-day.
This was simply astounding.
His cap was a dainty thing, his close-
buttoned blue cloth roundabout was new and
natty, and so were his pantaloons.
He had shoes on--and it was only Friday.
He even wore a necktie, a bright bit of
ribbon.
He had a citified air about him that ate
into Tom's vitals.
The more Tom stared at the splendid
marvel, the higher he turned up his nose
at his finery and the shabbier and
shabbier his own outfit seemed to him to
grow.
Neither boy spoke.
If one moved, the other moved--but only
sidewise, in a circle; they kept face to
face and eye to eye all the time.
Finally Tom said:
"I can lick you!"
"I'd like to see you try it."
"Well, I can do it."
"No you can't, either."
"Yes I can."
"No you can't."
"I can."
"You can't."
"Can!"
"Can't!"
An uncomfortable pause.
Then Tom said:
"What's your name?"
"'Tisn't any of your business, maybe."
"Well I 'low I'll MAKE it my business."
"Well why don't you?"
"If you say much, I will."
"Much--much--MUCH.
There now."
"Oh, you think you're mighty smart, DON'T
you?
I could lick you with one hand tied behind
me, if I wanted to."
"Well why don't you DO it?
You SAY you can do it."
"Well I WILL, if you fool with me."
"Oh yes--I've seen whole families in the
same fix."
"Smarty!
You think you're SOME, now, DON'T you?
Oh, what a hat!"
"You can lump that hat if you don't like
it.
I dare you to knock it off--and anybody
that'll take a dare will suck eggs."
"You're a liar!"
"You're another."
"You're a fighting liar and dasn't take it
up."
"Aw--take a walk!"
"Say--if you give me much more of your
sass I'll take and bounce a rock off'n
your head."
"Oh, of COURSE you will."
"Well I WILL."
"Well why don't you DO it then?
What do you keep SAYING you will for?
Why don't you DO it?
It's because you're afraid."
"I AIN'T afraid."
"You are."
"I ain't."
"You are."
Another pause, and more eying and sidling
around each other.
Presently they were shoulder to shoulder.
Tom said:
"Get away from here!"
"Go away yourself!"
"I won't."
"I won't either."
So they stood, each with a foot placed at
an angle as a brace, and both shoving with
might and main, and glowering at each
other with hate.
But neither could get an advantage.
After struggling till both were hot and
flushed, each relaxed his strain with
watchful caution, and Tom said:
"You're a coward and a pup.
I'll tell my big brother on you, and he
can thrash you with his little finger, and
I'll make him do it, too."
"What do I care for your big brother?
I've got a brother that's bigger than he
is--and what's more, he can throw him over
that fence, too."
[Both brothers were imaginary.]
"That's a lie."
"YOUR saying so don't make it so."
Tom drew a line in the dust with his big
toe, and said:
"I dare you to step over that, and I'll
lick you till you can't stand up.
Anybody that'll take a dare will steal
sheep."
The new boy stepped over promptly, and
said:
"Now you said you'd do it, now let's see
you do it."
"Don't you crowd me now; you better look
out."
"Well, you SAID you'd do it--why don't you
do it?"
"By jingo!
for two cents I WILL do it."
The new boy took two broad coppers out of
his pocket and held them out with
derision.
Tom struck them to the ground.
In an instant both boys were rolling and
tumbling in the dirt, gripped together
like cats; and for the space of a minute
they tugged and tore at each other's hair
and clothes, punched and scratched each
other's nose, and covered themselves with
dust and glory.
Presently the confusion took form, and
through the fog of battle Tom appeared,
seated astride the new boy, and pounding
him with his fists.
"Holler 'nuff!"
said he.
The boy only struggled to free himself.
He was crying--mainly from rage.
"Holler 'nuff!"--and the pounding went on.
At last the stranger got out a smothered
"'Nuff!"
and Tom let him up and said:
"Now that'll learn you.
Better look out who you're fooling with
next time."
The new boy went off brushing the dust
from his clothes, sobbing, snuffling, and
occasionally looking back and shaking his
head and threatening what he would do to
Tom the "next time he caught him out."
To which Tom responded with jeers, and
started off in high feather, and as soon
as his back was turned the new boy
snatched up a stone, threw it and hit him
between the shoulders and then turned tail
and ran like an antelope.
Tom chased the traitor home, and thus
found out where he lived.
He then held a position at the gate for
some time, daring the enemy to come
outside, but the enemy only made faces at
him through the window and declined.
At last the enemy's mother appeared, and
called Tom a bad, vicious, vulgar child,
and ordered him away.
So he went away; but he said he "'lowed"
to "lay" for that boy.
He got home pretty late that night, and
when he climbed cautiously in at the
window, he uncovered an ambuscade, in the
person of his aunt; and when she saw the
state his clothes were in her resolution
to turn his Saturday holiday into
captivity at hard labor became adamantine
in its firmness.
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トム・ソーヤーの冒険Cht1 (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain - Chapter 01 - Tom Plays, Fights, And Hides)

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羅致 2014 年 5 月 26 日 に公開
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