When the cave door was unlocked, a sorrowful sight presented itself in the dim twilight of the place. Injun Joe upon the ground, dead, with his face close to the crack of the door; as if his longing eyes had been fixed, to the latest moment, upon the light and the cheer of the free world outside.
It was the treasure box, sure enough, occupying a snug little cavern, along with an empty powder keg, a couple of guns in leather cases, two or three pairs of old moccasins, a leather belt, and some other rubbish well soaked with water-drip . . . “Got it at last!” said Huck, plowing among the tarnished coins with his hand. “My, but we’re rich, Tom!”
He sprung his secret about Huck’s share in the adventure in the finest dramatic manner he was master of, but the surprise it occasioned was largely counterfeit and not as clamorous and effusive as it might have been under happier circumstances. However, the widow made a pretty fair show of astonishment, and heaped so many compliments and so much gratitude upon Huck that he almost forgot the nearly intolerable discomfort of his new clothes in the entirely intolerable discomfort of being set up as a target for everybody’s gaze and everybody’s laudations.
The reader may rest satisfied that Tom’s and Huck’s windfall made a mighty stir in the poor little village of St. Petersburg. So vast a sum, all in actual cash, seemed next to incredible. It was talked about, gloated over, glorified, until the reason of many of the citizens tottered under the strain of the unhealthy excitement.
“Now, that’s something like! Why, it’s a million times bullier than pirating. I’ll stick to the wider till I rot, Tom; and if I git to be a reg’lar ripper of a robber, and everybody talking ’bout it, I reckon she’ll be proud she snaked me in out of the wet.”
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