THAT was Tom's great secret--the scheme to return home with his brother
pirates and attend their own funerals. They had paddled over to the
Missouri shore on a log, at dusk on Saturday, landing five or six miles
below the village; they had slept in the woods at the edge of the town
till nearly daylight, and had then crept through back lanes and alleys
and finished their sleep in the gallery of the church among a chaos of
At breakfast, Monday morning, Aunt Polly and Mary were very loving to
Tom, and very attentive to his wants. There was an unusual amount of
talk. In the course of it Aunt Polly said:
"Well, I don't say it wasn't a fine joke, Tom, to keep everybody
suffering 'most a week so you boys had a good time, but it is a pity you
could be so hard-hearted as to let me suffer so. If you could come over
on a log to go to your funeral, you could have come over and give me a
hint some way that you warn't dead, but only run off."
"Yes, you could have done that, Tom," said Mary; "and I believe you
would if you had thought of it."
"Would you, Tom?" said Aunt Polly, her face lighting wistfully. "Say,
now, would you, if you'd thought of it?"