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, trouble-some 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?"
"Powerful warm, warn't it?"