So Tom unwound the thread from one of his needles, and each boy pricked
the ball of his thumb and squeezed out a drop of blood. In time, after
many squeezes, Tom managed to sign his initials, using the ball of his
little finger for a pen. Then he showed Huckleberry how to make an H and
an F, and the oath was complete. They buried the shingle close to the
wall, with some dismal ceremonies and incantations, and the fetters
that bound their tongues were considered to be locked and the key thrown
A figure crept stealthily through a break in the other end of the ruined
building, now, but they did not notice it.
"Tom," whispered Huckleberry, "does this keep us from ever
"Of course it does. It don't make any difference what happens, we got
to keep mum. We'd drop down dead--don't you know that?"
"Yes, I reckon that's so."
They continued to whisper for some little time. Presently a dog set up
a long, lugubrious howl just outside--within ten feet of them. The boys
clasped each other suddenly, in an agony of fright.
"Which of us does he mean?" gasped Huckleberry.