Huck started sorrowfully away, and Tom stood looking after him, with a
strong desire tugging at his heart to yield his pride and go along
too. He hoped the boys would stop, but they still waded slowly on. It
suddenly dawned on Tom that it was become very lonely and still. He made
one final struggle with his pride, and then darted after his comrades,
"Wait! Wait! I want to tell you something!"
They presently stopped and turned around. When he got to where they
were, he began unfolding his secret, and they listened moodily till
at last they saw the "point" he was driving at, and then they set up a
warwhoop of applause and said it was "splendid!" and said if he had
told them at first, they wouldn't have started away. He made a plausible
excuse; but his real reason had been the fear that not even the secret
would keep them with him any very great length of time, and so he had
meant to hold it in reserve as a last seduction.