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Adventures of Tom Sawyer Classic Narration

Mark Twain (1835 – 1910) Samuel Langhorne Clemens
Part IV
After breakfast they went whooping and prancing out on the bar, and chased each
other round and round, shedding clothes as they went, until they were naked, and then
continued the frolic far away up the shoal water of the bar, against the stiff current,
which latter tripped their legs from under them from time to time and greatly increased
the fun. And now and then they stooped in a group and splashed water in each other’s
faces with their palms, gradually approaching each other, with averted faces to avoid
the strangling sprays, and finally gripping and struggling till the best man ducked his
neighbor, and then they all went under in a tangle of white legs and arms and came up
blowing, sputtering, laughing, and gasping for breath at one and the same time.
When they were well exhausted, they would run out and sprawl on the dry, hot sand,
and lie there and cover themselves up with it, and by and by break for the water again
and go through the original performance once more. Finally it occurred to them that
their naked skin represented flesh-colored “tights” very fairly; so they drew a ring in the
sand and had a circus—with three clowns in it, for none would yield this proudest post
to his neighbor.
Next they got their marbles and played “knucks” and “ringtaw” and “keeps” till that
amusement grew stale. Then Joe and Huck had another swim, but Tom would not venture,
because he found that in kicking off his trousers he had kicked his string of rattlesnake
rattles off his ankle, and he wondered how he had escaped cramp so long without
the protection of this mysterious charm. He did not venture again until he had found
it, and by that time the other boys were tired and ready to rest. They gradually wandered
apart, dropped into the “dumps,” and fell to gazing longingly across the wide river
to where the village lay drowsing in the sun. Tom found himself writing “BECKY” in the
sand with his big toe; he scratched it out, and was angry with himself for his weakness.
But he wrote it again, nevertheless; he could not help it. He erased it once more and
then took himself out of temptation by driving the other boys together and joining them.