MONDAY morning found Tom Sawyer miserable. Monday morning always found
him so--because it began another week's slow suffering in school. He
generally began that day with wishing he had had no intervening holiday,
it made the going into captivity and fetters again so much more odious.
Tom lay thinking. Presently it occurred to him that he wished he was
sick; then he could stay home from school. Here was a vague possibility.
He canvassed his system. No ailment was found, and he investigated
again. This time he thought he could detect colicky symptoms, and he
began to encourage them with considerable hope. But they soon grew
feeble, and presently died wholly away. He reflected further. Suddenly
he discovered something. One of his upper front teeth was loose. This
was lucky; he was about to begin to groan, as a "starter," as he
called it, when it occurred to him that if he came into court with that
argument, his aunt would pull it out, and that would hurt. So he thought
he would hold the tooth in reserve for the present, and seek further.
Nothing offered for some little time, and then he remembered hearing
the doctor tell about a certain thing that laid up a patient for two or
three weeks and threatened to make him lose a finger. So the boy eagerly
drew his sore toe from under the sheet and held it up for inspection.
But now he did not know the necessary symptoms. However, it seemed
well worth while to chance it, so he fell to groaning with considerable