Chapter 8

Chapter 8

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  • Tom dodged hither and thither through lanes until he was well out of the track of returning scholars, and then fell into a moody jog.
  • It must be very peaceful, he thought, to lie and slumber and dream forever and ever. With the wind whispering through the trees and caressing the grass and the flowers over the grave, and nothing to bother and grieve about, ever any more. 
  • He has walked on the path until he had reached behind the Douglas Mansion on the summit of Cardiff hill, to where he can no longer see the school house. 
  • 30 minutes later ....
  • He picked his pathless way to the center of it and sat down on a mossy spot under a spreading oak. there was not even a zephyr stirring; the dead noonday heat had even stilled the songs of the birds; nature lay in a trance that was broken by no sound by the occasional far-off hammering of a woodpecker, and this seemed to render the pervading silence and sense of loneliness the more profound. 
  • His soul was steeped in melancholy; his feelings were happy accord with his surroundings. Meditating; it seemed to him that life was but a trouble, at best, and he more than half envied Jimmy Hodges, so lately released. 
  • He would be a soldier and return after long years, all war-worn and illustrious. No-better still, he would join the Indians and hunt buffaloes and go on the warpath in the mountain ranges and the trackless great plains of the Far West, and away in the future come back a great chief, bristling with feathers, hideous with paint, prance into Sunday School, some drowsy summer morning, with a blood curdling war-whoop, and sear the eyeballs of all his companions with unappeasable envy. 
  • But no, there was something gaudier even than this. HE WOULD BE A PIRATE!! that was it! Now his future lay plain before him, glowing with unimaginable splendor. How his name would fill the world, and make people shudder!
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