Tom's whole being applauded this idea. It was deep, and dark, and awful;
the hour, the circumstances, the surroundings, were in keeping with it.
He picked up a clean pine shingle that lay in the moon-light, took a
little fragment of "red keel" out of his pocket, got the moon on
his work, and painfully scrawled these lines, emphasizing each slow
down-stroke by clamping his tongue between his teeth, and letting up the
pressure on the up-strokes. [See next page.]
"Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer swears they will keep mum about This and They
wish They may Drop down dead in Their Tracks if They ever Tell and Rot."
Huckleberry was filled with admiration of Tom's facility in writing, and
the sublimity of his language. He at once took a pin from his lapel and
was going to prick his flesh, but Tom said:
"Hold on! Don't do that. A pin's brass. It might have verdigrease on
"It's p'ison. That's what it is. You just swaller some of it once--you'll