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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesMitch Miller - Chapter 12
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Mitch Miller - Chapter 12 Post by :lornar Category :Long Stories Author :Edgar Lee Masters Date :May 2012 Read :1383

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Mitch Miller - Chapter 12

CHAPTER XII

Ma brought Mitch in the room, and said: "Have a good visit now, for we're goin' to send Skeet to the farm. He needs it, and I'm worn out. Your grandpa is comin' on Saturday, and they want you out there for a while, and it will do you good."

Mitch looked a minute and said: "I'll miss you, but there's nothing to do here." Then when ma went out of the room, he said: "The jig's up at Salem. I dug the Peter Lukins' cellar out, and there's nothing there, and nothing at Salem. So it's us for Tom Sawyer." Then he fished some letters out of his pocket and handed one to me to read. "This is your writin', Mitch," I said. "I know it," says Mitch--"But wait, read this, and I'll show you somethin'." This is what it said:


"Dear Tom: My name is Mitch Miller, and I live here in Petersburg, as you'll see. My chum is Skeet Kirby, a boy as good as Huckleberry Finn, but different, as you'll see when you meet him. But you'll like him. He's sick now, but he's true blue, and when he gets up, we want to come to see you. For we've dug for treasure all around here, and as fur as that goes, we found some, only the law took it away. But what I want to say is that we know you have things to say that is not in your book, not only about treasure, but about a lot of things. And anyway, we want to see you, and the Mississippi, and Huck, and your folks, and have a visit. Nobody knows that I'm writin' this letter, because they say here that you ain't real. But I know better, and Skeet does, and so I've made up my mind to try this letter. If you're real, write me and if you want us to come, say so, and we'll be there, if there's a way. Next to Skeet, I love you and Huck more than anybody in the world, barrin' near relatives, for I think you're brave and plucky, and square, as anybody would who reads your book. I want to meet Becky, too.


"Your Friend,
"Mitch Miller."


"Well," I said after readin' this, "when you goin' to send this?" "I have sent it," said Mitch. "This is a copy kept for you to see. Yes, sir, I've sent it, and here is Tom's letter to me."

He pulled a letter out all stamped and everything--stamped Hannibal, Missouri, and handed it to me to take the letter out my own self, which I did, and read:


"Dear Mitch: It's all right for you to come down here and we'll be glad to see you--although you can't depend much on Huck for he's in trouble all the time with his pap. The old man is lawin' with Judge Thatcher about Huck's money, and Huck ain't had any peace of mind since we found the treasure. Don't think I'm puttin' on airs, when I say that this findin' of treasure ain't what it's cracked up to be. You see I ain't got my own money either. Aunt Polly is my guardeen, and it's put away until I grow up and have some sense, as she says. By that time, maybe I won't know what to do with it, or we'll be dead or some thin'. You never can tell, and everything is so blamed uncertain. But if I can help you and Skeet any way, I'll do it, and so will Huck. Yours is the first letter I ever got, because everybody I know lives here, and I'm glad to hear from you. So come along, and if we can't put you up here, we'll get the Widow Douglas to take you in. And maybe if I can get you to give up this treasure huntin', which ain't much after all, you'll want to join the gang I'm formin'--that is if I really see that you and Skeet are the right kind. I sign myself,


"Your Friend,
"Tom Sawyer."


"There," said Mitch--"how's that? And to show you it's Tom's writin', I've brought the book along. Look here!" Mitch turned to where Tom wrote on the shingle with blood, and sure enough the writin' was the same. Any one could see it; and so Tom Sawyer was a real person, and it was proved.

Then Mitch said: "Go out to your grandpa's and stay a week. That'll give you time to get strong again. I'm ready to start now, but you ain't. We may have to walk miles and miles, and you must be able to keep up a good pace; for while we can hop some rides now and then, we'll have to do a lot of walkin'. And then we'll have to sleep in barns, in hay-stacks, and everywheres on the way, and pick up what we can eat by odd jobs, maybe."

Says I, "I can get some money. My grandma will pay me for helpin' her. And maybe I can have a couple of dollars by the time I'm fit to go."

Mitch says: "Charley King has the agency for the Springfield papers, and he's goin' to divy with me for helpin' him deliver, and that way I can get some money too. But shucks, as for that, we can turn tricks on the way for money. All we need is hand-outs, and that's easy."

"Well, then," says I, "let me furnish the money. You just plan things out and wait for me."

Mitch caught somethin' in my voice, and he said, "What makes you say that? I'm square. I want to do my share on the money."

"Well," says I, "I don't like to have you goin' with Charley King. It don't seem the thing to me. His folks don't seem right to me; and he's older than you, and I'm afraid somethin' will happen. I have a funny feelin' about that boy and about George Heigold, too."

"Oh, you're just ticklish," said Mitch, "and if you're afeard they can win me away from you, don't think of it, for they can't, and no one can."

All this time I'd forgot something. Here we was plannin' to go to Hannibal in about a week, when it was clear out of the question, for it was gettin' close to court time, and we was subpoened, Mitch and me, to testify against Doc Lyon. It was clear crazy to think of goin' to Hannibal and gettin' back in time. And I'd made up my mind to stick it out--we couldn't run away for good. And if I had anything to say, I wasn't goin' to let Mitch slump on that. Here was a chance to get rid of a awful criminal, this Doc Lyon, and we could help, and it was our duty. Pa had said so. So I spoke up and says to Mitch, "You've forgot somethin', Mitch. We can't leave till this Doc Lyon matter is all fixed."

"It's fixed," said Mitch.

"How?" says I.

"Doc Lyon fixed it his own self. He killed hisself in jail while you was sick."

"What!" says I.

"Yep," says Mitch. "He's dead and buried, and we're out of the law, and I say let's keep out. Let's never be a witness to anything again. We ain't got time till we get this treasure. Do you promise?"

I said "yes."

Then Mitch took my hand and said, "A week from Saturday be down at the corner where Linkern got the line wrong, and I'll have everything ready, and we'll go."

So I promised, and Mitch said good-by and left.

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