Ch. 10 - Dire Prophecy of the Howling Dog - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer


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The boys run to a deserted tannery and hide, unaware of Injun Joe’s plot to blame Potter for the murder. They decide that if they tell what they saw and Injun Joe escapes hanging, he will probably kill them. Consequently, they decide to swear in blood never to tell anyone what they saw. After taking the oath, they hear the howls of a stray dog, which they interpret as a sign that whomever the animal is howling at will die. Tom and Huck assume the dog’s howls are for them, but when they go outside, they see that the dog is facing Muff Potter.

Tom goes home and crawls into bed. Sid, still awake, takes note of Tom’s late arrival and tells Aunt Polly about it the next morning. She lectures Tom and asks how he can go on breaking her heart; her heavy sorrow is for Tom a punishment “worse than a thousand whippings.” Tom goes off to school dejected. On his desk he finds the brass andiron knob he tried to give to Becky the day before, and his anguish deepens.

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