The adventures of tom sawyer by mark twain

(Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

Electronic Edition by
Released to the public June 1993


MOST of the adventures recorded in this book
Really occurred; one or two were experiences of
My own, the rest those of boys who were schoolmates
Of mine. Huck Finn is drawn from life; Tom Sawyer
Also, but not from an individual – he is a combina-
Tion of the characteristics of three boys whom I knew,
And therefore belongs to the composite order of archi-

The odd superstitions touched upon were all preva-
Lent among children and slaves in the West at the
Period of this story – that is to say, thirty or
Forty years ago.

Although my book is intended mainly for the en-
Tertainment of boys and girls, I hope it will not be
Shunned by men and women on that account, for
Part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind
Adults of what they once were themselves, and of
How they felt and thought and talked, and what queer
Enterprises they sometimes engaged in.






No answer.


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:


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

“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! 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 des-
Perate –

“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 look-
Ing out for him by this time? But old fools is the big-
Gest 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

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The adventures of tom sawyer by mark twain