There's a hundred miles an hour in this old thing without any wind to help. There's two- hundred-mile gales to be found, any time you want to hunt for them."
"We'll hunt for them, sir."
"See that you do. Sometimes you may have to go up a couple of miles, and it'll be p'ison cold, but most of the time you'll find your storm a good deal lower. If you can only strike a cyclone -- that's the ticket for you! You'll see by the professor's books that they travel west in these latitudes; and they travel low, too."
Then he ciphered on the time, and says --
"Seven thousand miles, three hundred miles an hour -- you can make the trip in a day -- twenty-four hours. This is Thursday; you'll be back here Sat- urday afternoon. Come, now, hustle out some blankets and food and books and things for me and Huck, and you can start right along. There ain't no occasion to fool around -- I want a smoke, and the quicker you fetch that pipe the better."
All hands jumped for the things, and in eight min- utes our things was out and the balloon was ready for America. So we shook hands good-bye, and Tom gave his last orders:
"It's 1O minutes to 2 P.M. now, Mount Sinai time. In 24 hours you'll be home, and it'll be 6 to-mor- row morning, village time. When you strike the village, land a little back of the top of the hill, in the woods, out of sight; then you rush down, Jim, and shove these letters in the post-office, and if you see anybody stirring, pull your slouch down over your face so they won't know you. Then you go and slip in the back way to the kitchen and git the pipe, and lay this piece of paper on the kitchen table, and put something on it to hold it, and then slide out and git away, and don't let Aunt Polly catch a sight of you, nor nobody else. Then you jump for the balloon and shove for Mount Sinai three hundred miles an hour. You won't have lost more than an hour. You'll start back at 7 or 8 A.M., village time, and be here in 24 hours, arriving at 2 or 3 P.M., Mount Sinai time."
Tom he read the piece of paper to us. He had wrote on it:
"THURSDAY AFTERNOON. Tom Sawyer the Erro- nort sends his love to Aunt Polly from Mount Sinai where the Ark was, and so does Huck Finn, and she will get it to-morrow morning half-past six." *
[* This misplacing of the Ark is probably Huck's error, not Tom's. -- M.T.]
"That'll make her eyes bulge out and the tears come," he says. Then he says:
"Stand by! One -- two -- three -- away you go!"
And away she DID go! Why, she seemed to whiz out of sight in a second.
Then we found a most comfortable cave that looked out over the whole big plain, and there we camped to wait for the pipe.
The balloon come hack all right, and brung the pipe; but Aunt Polly had catched Jim when he was getting it, and anybody can guess what happened: she sent for Tom. So Jim he says:
"Mars Tom, she's out on de porch wid her eye sot on de sky a-layin' for you, en she say she ain't gwyne to budge from dah tell she gits hold of you. Dey's gwyne to be trouble, Mars Tom, 'deed dey is."
So then we shoved for home, and not feeling very gay, neither.