Close upon the hour of noon the whole village was suddenly electrified with the ghastly news. No need of the as yet undreamed-of telegraph; the tale flew from man to man, from group to group, from house to house, with little less than telegraphic speed . . . A gory knife had been found close to the murdered man, and it had been recognized by somebody as belonging to Muff Potter—so the story ran.
Every day or two, during this time of sorrow, Tom watched his opportunity and went to the little grated jail window and smuggled each small comforts through to the “murderer” as he could get hold of . . . These offerings greatly helped to ease Tom’s conscience.
The charm of life was gone; there was nothing but dreariness left. He put his hoop away, and his bat; there was no joy in them any more. His aunt was concerned. She began to try all manner of remedies on him.
It seemed glorious sport to be feasting in that wild free way in the virgin forest of an unexplored and uninhabited island, far from the haunts of men, and they said they never would return to civilization.