He flew along unfrequented alleys, and shortly found himself at his
aunt's back fence. He climbed over, approached the "ell," and looked
in at the sitting-room window, for a light was burning there. There
sat Aunt Polly, Sid, Mary, and Joe Harper's mother, grouped together,
talking. They were by the bed, and the bed was between them and the
door. Tom went to the door and began to softly lift the latch; then
he pressed gently and the door yielded a crack; he continued pushing
cautiously, and quaking every time it creaked, till he judged he might
squeeze through on his knees; so he put his head through and began,
"What makes the candle blow so?" said Aunt Polly. Tom hurried up. "Why,
that door's open, I believe. Why, of course it is. No end of strange
things now. Go 'long and shut it, Sid."
Tom disappeared under the bed just in time. He lay and "breathed"
himself for a time, and then crept to where he could almost touch his
"But as I was saying," said Aunt Polly, "he warn't bad, so to say--only
mischeevous. Only just giddy, and harum-scarum, you know. He warn't
any more responsible than a colt. He never meant any harm, and he was
the best-hearted boy that ever was"--and she began to cry.