It wouldn't be you, Tom Sawyer, if you was to let such a chance go by. I reckon it ain't going to suffer none for lack of paint," I says, "when you start in to scollop the facts."
"Well, now," he says, perfectly ca'm, "what would you say if I was to tell you I ain't going to start in at all?"
I was astonished to hear him talk so. I says:
"I'd say it's a lie. You ain't in earnest, Tom Sawyer?"
"You'll soon see. Was the ghost barefooted?"
"No, it wasn't. What of it?"
"You wait--I'll show you what. Did it have its boots on?"
"Yes. I seen them plain."
"Yes, I swear it."
"So do I. Now do you know what that means?"
"No. What does it mean?"
"Means that them thieves DIDN'T GET THE DI'MONDS."
"Jimminy! What makes you think that?"
"I don't only think it, I know it. Didn't the breeches and goggles and whiskers and hand-bag and every blessed thing turn to ghost-stuff? Everything it had on turned, didn't it? It shows that the reason its boots turned too was because it still had them on after it started to go ha'nting around, and if that ain't proof that them blatherskites didn't get the boots, I'd like to know what you'd CALL proof."
Think of that now. I never see such a head as that boy had. Why, I had eyes and I could see things, but they never meant nothing to me. But Tom Sawyer was different. When Tom Sawyer seen a thing it just got up on its hind legs and TALKED to him--told him everything it knowed. I never see such a head.
"Tom Sawyer," I says, "I'll say it again as I've said it a many a time before: I ain't fitten to black your boots. But that's all right--that's neither here nor there. God Almighty made us all, and some He gives eyes that's blind, and some He gives eyes that can see, and I reckon it ain't none of our lookout what He done it for; it's all right, or He'd 'a' fixed it some other way. Go on--I see plenty plain enough, now, that them thieves didn't get way with the di'monds. Why didn't they, do you reckon?"
"Because they got chased away by them other two men before they could pull the boots off of the corpse."
"That's so! I see it now. But looky here, Tom, why ain't we to go and tell about it?"
"Oh, shucks, Huck Finn, can't you see? Look at it. What's a-going to happen? There's going to be an inquest in the morning. Them two men will tell how they heard the yells and rushed there just in time to not save the stranger. Then the jury'll twaddle and twaddle and twaddle, and finally they'll fetch in a verdict that he got shot or stuck or busted over the head with something, and come to his death by the inspiration of God. And after they've buried him they'll auction off his things for to pay the expenses, and then's OUR chance." "How, Tom?"
"Buy the boots for two dollars!"
Well, it 'most took my breath.
"My land! Why, Tom, WE'LL get the di'monds!"
"You bet. Some day there'll be a big reward offered for them--a thousand dollars, sure. That's our money! Now we'll trot in and see the folks. And mind you we don't know anything about any murder, or any di'monds, or any thieves--don't you forget that."
I had to sigh a little over the way he had got it fixed. I'd 'a' SOLD them di'monds--yes, sir--for twelve thousand dollars; but I didn't say anything. It wouldn't done any good. I says:
"But what are we going to tell your aunt Sally has made us so long getting down here from the village, Tom?"
"Oh, I'll leave that to you," he says. "I reckon you can explain it somehow."
He was always just that strict and delicate. He never would tell a lie himself.
We struck across the big yard, noticing this, that, and t'other thing that was so familiar, and we so glad to see it again, and when we got to the roofed big passageway betwixt the double log house and the kitchen part, there was everything hanging on the wall just as it used to was, even to Uncle Silas's old faded green baize working-gown with the hood to it, and raggedy white patch between the shoulders that always looked like somebody had hit him with a snowball; and then we lifted the latch and walked in. Aunt Sally she was just a-ripping and a-tearing around, and the children was huddled in one corner, and the old man he was huddled in the other and praying for help in time of need.