THE adventure of the day mightily tormented Tom's dreams that night. Four
times he had his hands on that rich
treasure and four times it wasted to
nothingness in his fingers as sleep forsook him and wakefulness brought back
the hard reality of his misfortune. As he lay in the
early morning recalling the incidents of his great adventure, he noticed that they seemed curiously subdued
and far away -- somewhat as if they had happened in
another world, or in a time long gone by. Then it occurred to him that the great adventure itself must be
a dream! There was one very strong argument in favor
of this idea -- namely, that the quantity of coin he had
seen was too vast to be real. He had never seen as
much as fifty dollars in one mass before, and he was
like all boys of his age and station in life, in that he
imagined that all references to "hundreds" and "thousands" were mere fanciful forms of speech, and that
no such sums really existed in the world. He never had
supposed for a moment that so large a sum as a hundred dollars was to be found in actual money in any
one's possession. If his notions of hidden treasure had
been analyzed, they would have been found to consist of
a handful of real dimes and a bushel of vague, splendid, ungraspable dollars.
But the incidents of his adventure grew sensibly
sharper and clearer under the attrition of thinking them
over, and so he presently found himself leaning to the
impression that the thing might not have been a dream,
after all. This uncertainty must be swept away. He
would snatch a hurried breakfast and go and find Huck.
Huck was sitting on the gunwale of a flatboat, listlessly dangling his feet in the water and looking very
melancholy. Tom concluded to let Huck lead up to
the subject. If he did not do it, then the adventure
would be proved to have been only a dream.
Silence, for a minute.
"Tom, if we'd 'a' left the blame tools at the dead
tree, we'd 'a' got the money. Oh, ain't it awful!"
"'Tain't a dream, then, 'tain't a dream! Somehow
I most wish it was. Dog'd if I don't, Huck."
"What ain't a dream?"
"Oh, that thing yesterday. I been half thinking
"Dream! If them stairs hadn't broke down you'd
'a' seen how much dream it was! I've had dreams
enough all night -- with that patch-eyed Spanish devil
going for me all through 'em -- rot him!"
"No, not rot him. FIND him! Track the money!"
"Tom, we'll never find him. A feller don't have
only one chance for such a pile -- and that one's lost.
I'd feel mighty shaky if I was to see him, anyway."
"Well, so'd I; but I'd like to see him, anyway -- and track him out -- to his Number Two."
"Number Two -- yes, that's it. I been thinking
'bout that. But I can't make nothing out of it. What
do you reckon it is?"
"I dono. It's too deep. Say, Huck -- maybe it's
the number of a house!"
"Goody! ... No, Tom, that ain't it. If it is, it ain't
in this one-horse town. They ain't no numbers here."
"Well, that's so. Lemme think a minute. Here -- it's the number of a room -- in a tavern, you know!"
"Oh, that's the trick! They ain't only two taverns.
We can find out quick."
"You stay here, Huck, till I come."
Tom was off at once. He did not care to have
Huck's company in public places. He was gone half
an hour. He found that in the best tavern, No. 2
had long been occupied by a young lawyer, and was
still so occupied. In the less ostentatious house, No. 2
was a mystery. The tavern-keeper's young son said
it was kept locked all the time, and he never saw anybody go into it or come out of it except at night; he
did not know any particular reason for this state of
things; had had some little curiosity, but it was rather
feeble; had made the most of the mystery by entertaining himself with the idea that that room was
"ha'nted"; had noticed that there was a light in there
the night before.
"That's what I've found out, Huck. I reckon
that's the very No. 2 we're after."
"I reckon it is, Tom. Now what you going to do?"
Tom thought a long time. Then he said:
"I'll tell you. The back door of that No. 2 is
the door that comes out into that little close alley
between the tavern and the old rattle trap of a brick
store. Now you get hold of all the door-keys you
can find, and I'll nip all of auntie's, and the first dark
night we'll go there and try 'em. And mind you,
keep a lookout for Injun Joe, because he said he was
going to drop into town and spy around once more
for a chance to get his revenge. If you see him, you
just follow him; and if he don't go to that No. 2,
that ain't the place."
"Lordy, I don't want to foller him by myself!"
"Why, it'll be night, sure. He mightn't ever see
you -- and if he did, maybe he'd never think anything."
"Well, if it's pretty dark I reckon I'll track him.
I dono -- I dono. I'll try."
"You bet I'll follow him, if it's dark, Huck. Why,
he might 'a' found out he couldn't get his revenge,
and be going right after that money."
"It's so, Tom, it's so. I'll foller him; I will, by
"Now you're TALKING! Don't you ever weaken,
Huck, and I won't."