Just at this point he met his soul's sworn comrade, Joe
Harper--hard-eyed, and with evidently a great and dismal purpose in his
heart. Plainly here were "two souls with but a single thought." Tom,
wiping his eyes with his sleeve, began to blubber out something about
a resolution to escape from hard usage and lack of sympathy at home by
roaming abroad into the great world never to return; and ended by hoping
that Joe would not forget him.
But it transpired that this was a request which Joe had just been going
to make of Tom, and had come to hunt him up for that purpose. His mother
had whipped him for drinking some cream which he had never tasted and
knew nothing about; it was plain that she was tired of him and wished
him to go; if she felt that way, there was nothing for him to do but
succumb; he hoped she would be happy, and never regret having driven her
poor boy out into the unfeeling world to suffer and die.