TOM arrived at home in a dreary mood, and the first thing his aunt said
to him showed him that he had brought his sorrows to an unpromising
"Tom, I've a notion to skin you alive!"
"Auntie, what have I done?"
"Well, you've done enough. Here I go over to Sereny Harper, like an old
softy, expecting I'm going to make her believe all that rubbage about
that dream, when lo and behold you she'd found out from Joe that you was
over here and heard all the talk we had that night. Tom, I don't know
what is to become of a boy that will act like that. It makes me feel so
bad to think you could let me go to Sereny Harper and make such a fool
of myself and never say a word."
This was a new aspect of the thing. His smartness of the morning had
seemed to Tom a good joke before, and very ingenious. It merely looked
mean and shabby now. He hung his head and could not think of anything to
say for a moment. Then he said: