The Adventures of Tom Sawyer



   El lector pot restar convençut que la ganga de Tom i Huck produí una forta sensació en el pobre poblet de Sant Petersburg. Una quantitat tan gran, i tota ella veritablement encaixada, semblava gairebé increïble. Se'n parlotejà, de la cosa, i se la va estufar i glorificar fins que el seny de molts dels habitants vacil·là sota la tensió del malaltís exaltament. Totes les cases de Sant Petersburg i els llogarrets veïns foren analitzades, post darrera post, i llurs fonaments descolgats i escorcollats, en la recerca del tresor ocult. I no pas per minyons, sinó per homes; i alguns de ben seriosos i sense el més petit romanticisme. Onsevulla que Tom i Huck apareguessin, hom els festejava, els admirava, s'hi embadalia. Els minyons no podien recordar que llurs observacions haguessin estat de pes, abans; però ara les dites llurs eren atresorades i repetides: tot el que feien, ça com lla, semblava ésser considerat com a notable: havien perdut, evidentment, el poder de fer i dir coses vulgars. A més, llur passada història va ser furgada, i hom descobrí que hi havia marques d'originalitat ben paleses. El periòdic local publicà esbossos biogràfics dels minyons.

   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. Every "haunted" house in St. Petersburg and the neighboring villages was dissected, plank by plank, and its foundations dug up and ransacked for hidden treasure--and not by boys, but men--pretty grave, unromantic men, too, some of them. Wherever Tom and Huck appeared they were courted, admired, stared at. The boys were not able to remember that their remarks had possessed weight before; but now their sayings were treasured and repeated; everything they did seemed somehow to be regarded as remarkable; they had evidently lost the power of doing and saying commonplace things; moreover, their past history was raked up and discovered to bear marks of conspicuous originality. The village paper published biographical sketches of the boys.

   La vídua Douglas posà el diner de Huck al sis per cent, i el jutge Thatcher féu el mateix amb el de Tom, a requesta de la tia Polly. Cada minyó tenia ara una renda simplement prodigiosa: un dòlar per cada dia de feina de l'any, i mig més els diumenges. Era exactament ço que guanyava el ministre. (No, era el que li prometien: generalment no podia arreplegar-ho.) Amb un dòlar i quart per setmana, un minyó podia ésser allotjat, mantingut i ensenyat, en aquells antics dies innocents... i també vestit i rentat, fet i fet.

   The Widow Douglas put Huck's money out at six per cent., and Judge Thatcher did the same with Tom's at Aunt Polly's request. Each lad had an income, now, that was simply prodigious--a dollar for every weekday in the year and half of the Sundays. It was just what the minister got--no, it was what he was promised--he generally couldn't collect it. A dollar and a quarter a week would board, lodge, and school a boy in those old simple days--and clothe him and wash him, too, for that matter.

   El jutge Thatcher s'havia format una gran opinió de Tom. Digué que cap minyó dels corrents no hauria tret mai la seva filla de la cova. Quan Becky digué al seu pare, en estricta confiança, còm, a l'escola, Tom havia rebut les fuetades en lloc d'ella, el jutge en fou visiblement commogut; i, quan ella demanà gràcia per la gran mentida que Tom havia dit per transportar el fueteig de l'espatlla d'ella a la seva, el jutge digué, en un bell esclat, que aquella era una mentida noble, generosa, magnànima: una mentida digna de redreçar el cap i transitar per la història de bracet amb la lloada Veritat de George Washington sobre la destral! Becky pensà que son pare mai no havia semblat tan alt i tan ufanós com quan caminava per la cambra i dava un cop de peu i deia això. Ella eixí de dret, i va assabentar-ne Tom.

   Judge Thatcher had conceived a great opinion of Tom. He said that no commonplace boy would ever have got his daughter out of the cave. When Becky told her father, in strict confidence, how Tom had taken her whipping at school, the Judge was visibly moved; and when she pleaded grace for the mighty lie which Tom had told in order to shift that whipping from her shoulders to his own, the Judge said with a fine outburst that it was a noble, a generous, a magnanimous lie--a lie that was worthy to hold up its head and march down through history breast to breast with George Washington's lauded Truth about the hatchet! Becky thought her father had never looked so tall and so superb as when he walked the floor and stamped his foot and said that. She went straight off and told Tom about it.

   El jutge Thatcher esperava que algun dia veuria Tom fet un gran advocat o un gran militar. Digué que tenia l'intent de procurar que Tom fos admès a l'Acadèmia Militar Nacional, i després educat en la millor escola jurídica del país, perquè pogués estar ensinistrat per exercir una de les dues carreres, o totes dues.

   Judge Thatcher hoped to see Tom a great lawyer or a great soldier some day. He said he meant to look to it that Tom should be admitted to the National Military Academy and afterward trained in the best law school in the country, in order that he might be ready for either career or both.

   La riquesa de Huck Finn, i el fet de trobar-se sota la protecció de la vídua Douglas, l'introduí a la societat (no: va llançar-l'hi, va precipitar-l'hi), i els seus sofriments gairebé ultrapassaven la mesura de les seves forces. Els servents de la vídua el tenien net i polit, pentinat i raspallat; i de nit el colgaven entre llençols antipàtics, sense una petita màcula o llàntia que hi pogués estrènyer contra el cor i reconèixer per amiga. Hagué de menjar amb ganivet i forquilla; hagué d'usar tovalló, tassó i plat; hagué d'apendre el seu llibre; hagué d'anar a l'església; hagué de parlar amb tanta de propietat que el llenguatge esdevingué insípid en sos llavis: onsevulla que es girés, les barreres i cadenes de la civilització el tancaven i el fermaven de cap a peus.

   Huck Finn's wealth and the fact that he was now under the Widow Douglas' protection introduced him into society--no, dragged him into it, hurled him into it--and his sufferings were almost more than he could bear. The widow's servants kept him clean and neat, combed and brushed, and they bedded him nightly in unsympathetic sheets that had not one little spot or stain which he could press to his heart and know for a friend. He had to eat with a knife and fork; he had to use napkin, cup, and plate; he had to learn his book, he had to go to church; he had to talk so properly that speech was become insipid in his mouth; whithersoever he turned, the bars and shackles of civilization shut him in and bound him hand and foot.

   Sofrí coratjosament per tres setmanes les seves calamitats; i després, un dia, va resultar esgarriat. Per espai de quaranta vuit hores la vídua el cercà per tot arreu, afligidíssima. El públic s'hi encaparrà en gran manera: tot ho remenaren, i dragaren el riu en cerca del seu cos. A les primeres hores del terç matí, Tom Sawyer, assenyadament, anà furgant per algunes bótes buides que hi havia més enllà de l'escorxador fora d'ús, i trobà el refugiat dins una d'elles: Huck hi havia dormit. Acabava de desdejunar-se amb alguns caps i bocins de menjar robat. I jeia al ras, ara, còmodament aparellat amb la pipa. Estava despentinat, escabellat, i duia la mateixa antiga ruina de parracs que l'havia fet pintoresc en els dies que era lliure i feliç. Tom el va escometre, li digué el trasbals que havia causat, i va instar-lo a tornar a casa. La cara de Huck perdé son pacífic comportament i prengué un tirat melangiós. Digué:

   He bravely bore his miseries three weeks, and then one day turned up missing. For forty-eight hours the widow hunted for him everywhere in great distress. The public were profoundly concerned; they searched high and low, they dragged the river for his body. Early the third morning Tom Sawyer wisely went poking among some old empty hogsheads down behind the abandoned slaughter-house, and in one of them he found the refugee. Huck had slept there; he had just breakfasted upon some stolen odds and ends of food, and was lying off, now, in comfort, with his pipe. He was unkempt, uncombed, and clad in the same old ruin of rags that had made him picturesque in the days when he was free and happy. Tom routed him out, told him the trouble he had been causing, and urged him to go home. Huck's face lost its tranquil content, and took a melancholy cast. He said:

   -No me'n parleu, Tom. Ho he tastat, i no guixa: no guixa, Tom. No és per a mi: no hi estic avesat. La vídua em tracta bé, i és amorosa; però no puc comportar el seu estil. Em fa llevar a la mateixa hora cada matí; em fa rentar; em pentinen d'una manera que esgarrifa; no em volen deixar dormir en el cobert de fusta. He de portar els vestits condemnats que m'ofeguen: sembla que no deixin passar gens d'aire, tanmateix; i faig goig d'una manera tan endiastrada que no puc tirar-me a terra, ni ajeure'm, ni rodolar enlloc. Que no m'he escapolit per una porta de celler, fa... bé, jo diria que fa anys. He d'anar a l'església, i suar i suar: no puc veure aquells sermons enfarbalanats. No puc atrapar-hi una mosca, allà dins. No puc mastegar tabac, i he de dur sabates tot el diumenge. La vídua es posa a taula en tocar una campana; se'n va al llit en tocar la campana; es lleva en tocar la campana: tot és tan feréstegament acompassat, que un hom no pot comportar-ho.

   "Don't talk about it, Tom. I've tried it, and it don't work; it don't work, Tom. It ain't for me; I ain't used to it. The widder's good to me, and friendly; but I can't stand them ways. She makes me get up just at the same time every morning; she makes me wash, they comb me all to thunder; she won't let me sleep in the woodshed; I got to wear them blamed clothes that just smothers me, Tom; they don't seem to any air git through 'em, somehow; and they're so rotten nice that I can't set down, nor lay down, nor roll around anywher's; I hain't slid on a cellar-door for--well, it 'pears to be years; I got to go to church and sweat and sweat--I hate them ornery sermons! I can't ketch a fly in there, I can't chaw. I got to wear shoes all Sunday. The widder eats by a bell; she goes to bed by a bell; she gits up by a bell--everything's so awful reg'lar a body can't stand it."

   -Bé, tothom ho fa així, Huck.

   "Well, everybody does that way, Huck."

   -Tom, és igual. Jo no sóc tothom, i no puc comportar-ho. Esparvera de veure's lligat alxí. A mi deu-me el ser deixat, que és una cosa planera: no hi estic, jo, per gent que li manca un bull. He de demanar-ho, per anar a fer una pescada; he de demanar-ho, per anar a capbussar-me al riu: mala fi tingui un hom, si no he de demanar totes les coses. Bé, havia de parlar amb tanta gentilesa que no tenia consol: no tenia més remei que pujar a la golfa i renegar una mica cada dia per dar-me gustet a la boca, o bé hauria mort. La vídua no em deixava fumar, no em deixava fer esgarips, no em deixava badallar, ni estirar-me, ni escupir davant la gent.- I després en un accés d'especial irritació i ofensa, digué: -I, mala negada! pregava a totes hores. Mai no he vist una dona com aquella! No hi havia més remei que plantar-la, Tom: com ho sentiu. I, a més, l'escola aviat s'obrirà, i jo hauria hagut d'anar-hi. Bé, això no hauria pogut comportar-ho, Tom. Veieu Tom? Això d'ésser ric no és pas de primera, com diuen. És neguitejar-se i neguitejar-se, i suar i suar, i desitjar a tota hora que un hom fos enterrat. I a mi aquest vestit m'escau; i aquesta bóta m'escau. I poc els tornaré a deixar de banda. Tom, mai no m'hauria vist en aquest tribull si no hagués estat per aquells diners: ja podeu pendre la meva part amb la vostra, i dar-me de tant en tant deu cèntims (no pas moltes vegades, perquè jo no dono una malla per cap cosa sinó quan és d'allò més difícil d'haver); i vós aneu i em feu quedar com una persona amb la vídua.

   "Tom, it don't make no difference. I ain't everybody, and I can't stand it. It's awful to be tied up so. And grub comes too easy--I don't take no interest in vittles, that way. I got to ask to go a-fishing; I got to ask to go in a-swimming--dern'd if I hain't got to ask to do everything. Well, I'd got to talk so nice it wasn't no comfort--I'd got to go up in the attic and rip out awhile, every day, to git a taste in my mouth, or I'd a died, Tom. The widder wouldn't let me smoke; she wouldn't let me yell, she wouldn't let me gape, nor stretch, nor scratch, before folks--" [Then with a spasm of special irritation and injury]--"And dad fetch it, she prayed all the time! I never see such a woman! I had to shove, Tom--I just had to. And besides, that school's going to open, and I'd a had to go to it--well, I wouldn't stand that, Tom. Looky-here, Tom, being rich ain't what it's cracked up to be. It's just worry and worry, and sweat and sweat, and a-wishing you was dead all the time. Now these clothes suits me, and this bar'l suits me, and I ain't ever going to shake 'em any more. Tom, I wouldn't ever got into all this trouble if it hadn't 'a' ben for that money; now you just take my sheer of it along with your'n, and gimme a ten-center sometimes--not many times, becuz I don't give a dern for a thing 'thout it's tollable hard to git--and you go and beg off for me with the widder."

   -O Huck! Ja sabeu que no podeu fer-ho, això: no estaria bé. I, a més, si tasteu per una mica més d'estona aquesta cosa, us arribarà a plaure.

   "Oh, Huck, you know I can't do that. 'Tain't fair; and besides if you'll try this thing just a while longer you'll come to like it."

   -M'arribarà a plaure! Sí, de la manera que em plauria una estufa roent si havia d'ajeure-m'hi al damunt tan llarg com só. No, Tom: no seré ric, i no viuré a les seves maleïdes cases ofegadores. Em plauen els boscos, i el riu, i les bótes. I poc els deixaré. Mala negada!... ara que havíem arreplegat escopetes i una cova, i havíem pres el determini de robar! I vet aquí que aquesta ximplesa del diable ha hagut de treure el nas i fer-ho malbé tot!

   "Like it! Yes--the way I'd like a hot stove if I was to set on it long enough. No, Tom, I won't be rich, and I won't live in them cussed smothery houses. I like the woods, and the river, and hogsheads, and I'll stick to 'em, too. Blame it all! just as we'd got guns, and a cave, and all just fixed to rob, here this dern foolishness has got to come up and spile it all!"

   Tom veié l'avinentesa que se li oferia:

   Tom saw his opportunity--

   -Mireu, Huck; això de ser ric no em fa pas tornar enrera de posar-me a lladre.

   "Lookyhere, Huck, being rich ain't going to keep me back from turning robber."

   -No? Oh! Malvinatge! Parleu de bo de bo ben rebé, Tom?

   "No! Oh, good-licks; are you in real dead-wood earnest, Tom?"

   -Tan de bo de bo com que ara estic assegut. Però, Huck, no us podem deixar entrar a la colla si no sóu respectable: sabeu?

   "Just as dead earnest as I'm sitting here. But Huck, we can't let you into the gang if you ain't respectable, you know."

   La joia de Huck va extingir-se.

   Huck's joy was quenched.

   -No m'hi podeu deixar entrar, Tom? No em vau deixar entrar a fer de pirata?

   "Can't let me in, Tom? Didn't you let me go for a pirate?"

   -Sí, però això és diferent: un lladre és de més to, que no pas un pirata, en general. Hi ha moltes terres on estan qui-sap-lo amunt de la noblesa: són ducs i coses per l'estil.

   "Yes, but that's different. A robber is more high-toned than what a pirate is--as a general thing. In most countries they're awful high up in the nobility--dukes and such."

   -Escolteu, Tom: no hem estat sempre amics, vós i jo? Oi que no em deixaríeu a les capses? Oi, Tom? Oi que no ho faríeu? Digueu. Oi, Tom?

   "Now, Tom, hain't you always ben friendly to me? You wouldn't shet me out, would you, Tom? You wouldn't do that, now, would you, Tom?"

   -Huck, puc voler-ho o puc no voler-ho; però què diria la gent? Ves, dirien: -Uix! La colla de Tom Sawyer! Quína terregada hi ha! I ho dirien per vós, Huck. No us plauria pas, això; ni a mi tampoc.

   "Huck, I wouldn't want to, and I don't want to--but what would people say? Why, they'd say, 'Mph! Tom Sawyer's Gang! pretty low characters in it!' They'd mean you, Huck. You wouldn't like that, and I wouldn't."

   Huck romangué algun temps en silenci, esmerçant-se en una lluita mental. A la fi digué:

   Huck was silent for some time, engaged in a mental struggle. Finally he said:

   -Bé, tornaré a casa de la vídua per un mes, i m'hi aferraré i miraré si puc comportar-ho, si vós em deixeu pertànyer a la colla, Tom.

   "Well, I'll go back to the widder for a month and tackle it and see if I can come to stand it, if you'll let me b'long to the gang, Tom."

   -Molt bé, Huck: això és anar llatí! Anem, vell companyó, i demanaré a la vídua que us afluixi una mica, Huck.

   "All right, Huck, it's a whiz! Come along, old chap, and I'll ask the widow to let up on you a little, Huck."

   -Ho fareu, Tom, tanmateix? Està bé, això. Si ella em deixa portar algunes coses de les que estiguin de més mal borràs, jo fumaré d'amagat i renegaré d'amagat, i faré tots els possibles o esclataré. Quan engegareu la colla i ens farem lladres?

   "Will you, Tom--now will you? That's good. If she'll let up on some of the roughest things, I'll smoke private and cuss private, and crowd through or bust. When you going to start the gang and turn robbers?"

   -Oh! Ben aviat. Aplegarem els minyons, i potser aquesta nit farem la iniciació.

   "Oh, right off. We'll get the boys together and have the initiation tonight, maybe."

   -Farem la què?

   "Have the which?"

   -La iniciació.

   "Have the initiation."

   -Quína cosa és?

   "What's that?"

   -És jurar d'estar l'un al costat de l'altre, i no dir mai els secrets de la colla, baldament ens fessin bocins, i matar qualsevol (i tota la seva família) que perjudiqui el cos d'un de la colla.

   "It's to swear to stand by one another, and never tell the gang's secrets, even if you're chopped all to flinders, and kill anybody and all his family that hurts one of the gang."

   -Això és lluït! això és ben lluït, Tom, a fe!

   "That's gay--that's mighty gay, Tom, I tell you."

   -Oi: que n'és, jo en faig la juguesca. I tots aquests juraments s'han de fer a mitja nit, en el lloc més soliu i basardós que pugueu trobar. El més escaient és una casa on surti por; però ara totes estan malmeses.

   "Well, I bet it is. And all that swearing's got to be done at midnight, in the lonesomest, awfulest place you can find--a ha'nted house is the best, but they're all ripped up now."

   -Bé, això de la mitja nit és de primera, ça com lla, Tom.

   "Well, midnight's good, anyway, Tom."

   -Sí, talment. I heu de jurar damunt d'una caixa de mort, i firmar-ho amb sang.

   "Yes, so it is. And you've got to swear on a coffin, and sign it with blood."

   -Això sí que és una cosa que val la pena! Bé, és un milió de vegades més divertit que el piratejar. Me estaré estaqueta amb la vídua fins que em mori, Tom; i, si arribo a ser una lladre de grapa regular i en parla tothom, em penso que ella n'estarà orgullosa d'haver-me estirat cap a casa seva, fora de la mullena!

   "Now, that's something like! Why, it's a million times bullier than pirating. I'll stick to the widder 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."



   Així acaba aquesta crònica. Com que és estrictament la història d'un minyó, ha d'aturar-se aquí: no podria passar gaire endavant sense esdevenir la de un home. Quan hom escriu una novel·la sobre gent gran, sap exactament on ha d'aturar-se, això és, al casament; però quan hom escriu sobre la minyonia ha d'aturar-se allà on pot.

   SO endeth this chronicle. It being strictly a history of a boy, it must stop here; the story could not go much further without becoming the history of a man. When one writes a novel about grown people, he knows exactly where to stop--that is, with a marriage; but when he writes of juveniles, he must stop where he best can.

   La major part dels personatges que surten en aquest llibre encara viuen, i són pròspers i feliços. Podrà semblar, algun dia, que valgui la pena de rependre la història dels més joves, i veure quína mena d'homes i dones esdevingueren: així, doncs, serà més assenyat de no revelar cap cosa, ara, d'aquesta part de llurs vides.

   Most of the characters that perform in this book still live, and are prosperous and happy. Some day it may seem worth while to take up the story of the younger ones again and see what sort of men and women they turned out to be; therefore it will be wisest not to reveal any of that part of their lives at present.