1 Tom reached school ahead of time.
2 Becky Thatcher had stopped coming to school.
3 Presently it occurred to him that he wished he was sick; then he could stay home from school.
4 Jeff Thatcher immediately went forward, to be familiar with the great man and be envied by the school.
5 By and by attention ceased from him, and the accustomed school murmur rose upon the dull air once more.
6 As the school quieted down Tom made an honest effort to study, but the turmoil within him was too great.
7 Then Tom marched out of the house and over the hills and far away, to return to school no more that day.
8 By this time he was far down Meadow Lane, and the bell for school to "take up" tinkled faintly upon his ear.
9 You don't have to get up, mornings, and you don't have to go to school, and wash, and all that blame foolishness.
10 In a little while the two met at the bottom of the lane, and when they reached the school they had it all to themselves.
11 In that wise he was borne across the house and deposited in his own seat, under a peppering fire of giggles from the whole school.
12 The visitors were given the highest seat of honor, and as soon as Mr. Walters' speech was finished, he introduced them to the school.
13 The boys had been too absorbed to notice the hush that had stolen upon the school awhile before when the master came tiptoeing down the room and stood over them.
14 As Tom wended to school after breakfast, he was the envy of every boy he met because the gap in his upper row of teeth enabled him to expectorate in a new and admirable way.
15 A tremendous whack came down on Tom's shoulders, and its duplicate on Joe's; and for the space of two minutes the dust continued to fly from the two jackets and the whole school to enjoy it.
16 He moped to school gloomy and sad, and took his flogging, along with Joe Harper, for playing hookey the day before, with the air of one whose heart was busy with heavier woes and wholly dead to trifles.
17 It was the most stunning surprise of the decade, and so profound was the sensation that it lifted the new hero up to the judicial one's altitude, and the school had two marvels to gaze upon in place of one.
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