1 Presently Becky began to suspect.
2 Becky Thatcher had stopped coming to school.
3 I acted mighty mean today, Becky, and I'm so sorry.
4 Tom decided that he could be independent of Becky Thatcher now.
5 And he kept drifting about to find Becky and lacerate her with the performance.
6 Every time he stole a glance at the girls' side of the room Becky's face troubled him.
7 He began to hate himself for throwing away the chance Becky had offered for a reconciliation.
8 He started to school and had the luck of coming upon Becky Thatcher at the head of Meadow Lane.
9 Becky snatched at the book to close it, and had the hard luck to tear the pictured page half down the middle.
10 Becky, glancing in at a window behind him at the moment, saw the act, and moved on, without discovering herself.
11 In the afternoon Becky Thatcher found herself moping about the deserted schoolhouse yard, and feeling very melancholy.
12 And it maddened him to see, as he thought he saw, that Becky Thatcher never once suspected that he was even in the land of the living.
13 When Jeff arrived, Tom accosted him; and "led up" warily to opportunities for remark about Becky, but the giddy lad never could see the bait.
14 Becky hesitating, Tom took silence for consent, and passed his arm about her waist and whispered the tale ever so softly, with his mouth close to her ear.
15 Then they sat together, with a slate before them, and Tom gave Becky the pencil and held her hand in his, guiding it, and so created another surprising house.
16 It seemed to Becky, in her hot resentment, that she could hardly wait for school to "take in," she was so impatient to see Tom flogged for the injured spelling-book.
17 Becky resumed her picture inspections with Alfred, but as the minutes dragged along and no Tom came to suffer, her triumph began to cloud and she lost interest; gravity and absentmindedness followed, and then melancholy; two or three times she pricked up her ear at a footstep, but it was a false hope; no Tom came.
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