Tom Sawyer, Detective

by Mark Twain

Chapter 9

rule OF JUBITER DUNLAP Tom Sawyer, Detective chapter 9 IN the adjacent two or three days Dummy he got to be mighty popular. He went associating around with the neighbors, and they made much of him, and was proud to have such a fantastic curio among them. They had him to breakfast, they had him to dinner, they had him to supper ; they kept him loaded up with hog and hominy, and war n’t ever tired star at him and wondering over him, and wishing they knowed more about him, he was soun common and amatory. His signs war n’t no good ; people couldn’tunderstand them and he prob’ly could n’t himself, but he done a spy ofgoo-gooing, and thus everybody was satisfied, and admired to hear him goit. He toted a part of slate around, and a pencil ; and people wrotequestions on it and he wrote answers ; but there war n’t anybody could readhis writing but Brace Dunlap. Brace said he could n’t read it identical good, but he could manage to dig out the meaning most of the clock time. He saidDummy said he belonged away off somers and used to be well off, but gotbusted by swindlers which he had trusted, and was poor people now, and hadn’tany way to make a living.

Everybody praised Brace Dunlap for being sol good to that strange. Helet him have a short log-cabin all to himself, and had his niggers takecare of it, and fetch him all the vittles he wanted. Dummy was at our house some, because old Uncle Silas was thus afflictedhimself, these days, that anybody else that was afflicted was a comfortto him. Me and Tom did n’t let on that we had knowed him before, and hedid n’t let on that he had knowed us before. The class talked theirtroubles out before him the same as if he was n’t there, but we reckonedit was n’t any injury for him to hear what they said. Generly he did n’t seemto notice, but sometimes he did. well, two or three days went along, and everybody got to getting uneasyabout Jubiter Dunlap. Everybody was asking everybody if they had anyidea what had become of him. No, they had n’t, they said : and they shooktheir heads and said there was something mighty strange about it.Another and another day went by ; then there was a report got approximately thatpraps he was murdered. You bet it made a big raise ! Everybody ‘s tonguewas clacking away after that. Saturday two or three gangs turned out andhunted the woods to see if they could run across his remainders. Me andTom helped, and it was noble full times and exciting. Tom he was sobrimful of it he could n’t eat nor rest. He said if we could find thatcorpse we would be celebrated, and more talked about than if we gotdrownded. The others got tire and give it up ; but not Tom Sawyer — that war n’t hisstyle. Saturday nox he did n’t sleep any, hardly, trying to think up aplan ; and towards daylight in the dawn he struck it. He snaked me outof bed and was all excited, and says : “ Quick, Huck, catch on your clothes — I ‘ve got it ! bloodhound ! ” In two minutes we was tearing up the river road in the dark towards thevillage. Old Jeff Hooker had a bloodhound, and Tom was going to borrowhim. I says : “ The trail ‘s besides old, Tom — and besides, it ‘s rained, you know. ” “ It do n’t make any deviation, Huck. If the consistency ‘s hide in the woodsanywhere around the cad will find it. If he ‘s been murdered and buried, they would n’t bury him deeply, it ai n’t likely, and if the chase goes overthe spot he ‘ll scent him, certain. Huck, we ‘re going to be celebrated, sureas you ‘re hold ! ” He was just a-blazing ; and whenever he got ablaze he was most probable toget afire all over. That was the way this time. In two minutes he hadgot it all ciphered out, and was n’t entirely merely going to find thecorpse — no, he was going to get on the track of that murderer and huntHIM down, excessively ; and not only that, but he was going to stick to him till — ” well, ” I says, “ you better find the cadaver first ; I reckon that’sa-plenty for to-day. For all we know, there AI N’T any cadaver and nobodyhai n’t been murdered. That pest could ‘a ‘ gone off somers and not beenkilled at all. ” That graveled him, and he says : “ Huck Finn, I never see such a person as you to want to spoil everything.As retentive as YOU ca n’t see anything hopeful in a thing, you wo n’t letanybody else. What good can it do you to throw cold water on that corpseand get up that selfish theory that there ai n’t been any murder ? none inthe populace. I do n’t see how you can act sol. I would n’t treat you likethat, and you know it. here we ‘ve got a noble good opportunity to make aruputation, and — ” “ Oh, go ahead, ” I says. “ I ‘m deplorable, and I take it all bet on. I didn’tmean nothing. Fix it any way you want it. HE ai n’t any consequence tome. If he ‘s killed, I ‘m as glad of it as you are ; and if he — ” “ I never said anything about being gladiolus ; I alone — ” “ well, then, I ‘m a SORRY as you are. Any means you druther have it, thatis the means I druther have it. He — ” “ There ai n’t any druthers ABOUT it, Huck Finn ; cipher said anything aboutdruthers. And as for — ” He forgot he was talking, and went tramping along, studying. He begun toget excited again, and pretty soon he says : “ Huck, it ‘ll be the bulliest thing that ever happened if we find the bodyafter everybody else has leave office looking, and then go ahead and hunt up themurderer. It wo n’t only be an award to us, but it ‘ll be an respect toUncle Silas because it was us that done it. It ‘ll set him up again, yousee if it do n’t. ” But Old Jeff Hooker he throwed cold water on the unharmed occupation when wegot to his blacksmith shop and told him what we come for.

“ You can take the cad, ” he says, “ but you ai n’t a-going to find anycorpse, because there ai n’t any cadaver to find. Everybody ‘s leave office looking, and they ‘re correct. soon as they come to think, they knowed there warn’tno cadaver. And I ‘ll tell you for why. What does a person kill anotherperson for, Tom Sawyer ? — answer me that. ” “ Why, he — er — ” “ Answer up ! You ai n’t no chump. What does he kill him FOR ? ” “ well, sometimes it ‘s for retaliation, and — ” “ Wait. One thing at a time. Revenge, says you ; and right you are. Nowwho ever had anything agin that poor people trifling goldbrick ? Who do youreckon would want to kill HIM ? — that lapin ! ” Tom was stuck. I reckon he had n’t thought of a person having to have aREASON for killing a person before, and now he sees it war n’t likelyanybody would have that a lot of a grudge against a lamb like JubiterDunlap. The blacksmith says, by and by : “ The revenge idea wo n’t work, you see. Well, then, what ‘s adjacent ? Robbery ? B’gosh, that must ‘a ‘ been it, Tom ! Yes, sirree, I reckon we ‘ve struck itthis clock. Some chap wanted his gallus-buckles, and thus he — ” But it was then funny story he busted out laugh, and just went on laughing andlaughing and laughing till he was ‘most dead, and Tom looked therefore put outand brassy that I knowed he was ashamed he had come, and he wished hehad n’t. But old Hooker never let up on him. He raked up everything aperson ever could want to kill another person about, and any gull couldsee they did n’t any of them fit this casing, and he good made no end of funof the whole business and of the people that had been hunting the body ; and he said : “ If they ‘d had any feel they ‘d ‘a ‘ knowed the lazy curse slid out becausehe wanted a idleness enchantment after all this work. He ‘ll come pottering backin a match of weeks, and then how ‘ll you fellers feel ? But, laws blessyou, take the frump, and go and hunt his remainders. Do, Tom. ” then he busted out, and had another of them forty-rod laughs of hisn.Tom could n’t back down after all this, so he said, “ All right, unchainhim ; ” and the blacksmith done it, and we started home and left that oldman laughing even. It was a adorable frank. There ai n’t any frank that ‘s got a lovelierdisposition than a bloodhound, and this one knowed us and liked us. Hecapered and raced around ever sol friendly, and brawny glad to be freeand have a vacation ; but Tom was sol cut up he could n’t take any entrust inhim, and said he wished he ‘d stopped and thought a infinitesimal before he everstarted on such a fritter errand. He said old Jeff Hooker would telleverybody, and we ‘d never hear the last of it. So we loafed along base down the back lanes, feeling pretty glum and nottalking. When we was passing the far corner of our tobacker field weheard the andiron set up a long howl in there, and we went to the invest andhe was scratching the ground with all his might, and every now and thencanting up his head sideways and fetching another howl. It was a long square, the condition of a scratch ; the rain had made it sinkdown and show the condition. The minute we come and stood there we looked expiate another and never said a word. When the andiron had dug down only a fewinches he grabbed something and pulled it up, and it was an branch and asleeve. Tom kind of gasped out, and says : “ Come away, Huck — it ‘s found. ” I fair felt terribly. We struck for the road and fetched the first men thatcome along. They got a spade at the cribbage and dug out the consistency, and younever see such an excitement. You could n’t make anything out of theface, but you did n’t need to. Everybody said : “ Poor Jubiter ; it ‘s his clothes, to the final rag ! ” Some rushed off to spread the news and tell the justice of the peace andhave an inquest, and me and Tom lit out for the house. Tom was all afireand ‘most out of breath when we come tearing in where Uncle Silas andAunt Sally and Benny was. Tom sung out :

“ Me and Huck ‘s discover Jubiter Dunlap ‘s cadaver all by ourselves with abloodhound, after everybody else had leave office hunt and given it up ; and ifit had n’t a been for us it never WOULD ‘a ‘ been found ; and he WASmurdered excessively — they done it with a club or something like that ; and I’mgoing to start in and find the murderer, adjacent, and I bet I ‘ll do it ! ” Aunt Sally and Benny sprung up pale and astonished, but Uncle Silas fellright ahead out of his president on to the floor and groans out : “ Oh, my God, you ‘ve found him now ! ”

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