The Adventures of Tom Sawyer




   AFTER dinner all the gang turned out to hunt for turtle eggs on the bar. They went about poking sticks into the sand, and when they found a soft place they went down on their knees and dug with their hands. Sometimes they would take fifty or sixty eggs out of one hole. They were perfectly round white things a trifle smaller than an English walnut. They had a famous fried-egg feast that night, and another on Friday morning.

   Havent dinat, tota la colla eixí a cercar ous de tortuga a l'alfac. Van anar aplegant, per l'arena, bastonets gratadors; i quan trobaven una banda blava, s'agenollaven i cavaven amb les mans. De vegades atrapaven cinquanta o seixanta ous en un forat. Eren absolutament rodons, cosetes blanques, una mica més petites que una nou anglesa. Aquella nit tingueren un famós banquet d'ous ferrats, i un altre el divendres al matí.

   After breakfast they went whooping and prancing out on the bar, and chased each other round and round, shedding clothes as they went, until they were naked, and then continued the frolic far away up the shoal water of the bar, against the stiff current, which latter tripped their legs from under them from time to time and greatly increased the fun. And now and then they stooped in a group and splashed water in each other's faces with their palms, gradually approaching each other, with averted faces to avoid the strangling sprays, and finally gripping and struggling till the best man ducked his neighbor, and then they all went under in a tangle of white legs and arms and came up blowing, sputtering, laughing, and gasping for breath at one and the same time.

   Després del desdejuni se n'anaren cap a l'alfac, tot fent esgarips i gambades, i s'empaitaven l'un a l'altre, giravoltant i més giravoltant, fent escampall de llurs vestits a mesura que avançaven, fins que restaven nus; i aleshores continuaven llur caprici, ben enfora de l'aigua soma de l'alfac, contra el rígid corrent, que més endavant féu travetes a llurs cames, de tant en tant, i augmentà la taral·la en gran manera. I adesiara es decantaven en grup, i amb la palma de la mà esquitxava cadascú la cara de l'altre, atansant-se a pleret l'un a l'altre amb les cares allunyades, per evitar els esquitxos que s'espargien i, finalment, aferrant-se i lluitant fins que el més brau campió capbussava al seu veí; i en acabat tots tres s'enfonsaren en un entortolligament de cames i braços, i tornaren a eixir bufant, escopint, rient i panteixant, tot plegat a l'ensems.

   When they were well exhausted, they would run out and sprawl on the dry, hot sand, and lie there and cover themselves up with it, and by and by break for the water again and go through the original performance once more. Finally it occurred to them that their naked skin represented flesh-colored "tights" very fairly; so they drew a ring in the sand and had a circus--with three clowns in it, for none would yield this proudest post to his neighbor.

   Quan estigueren ben afadigats, corregueren aigua enfora i s'arrossegaren per la sorra seca i calenta, i allí jagueren i se'n cobriren, i de tant en tant ho interromperen per tornar a l'aigua i repetir la primera performança. Finalment se'ls acudí que llur nua pell representava d'allò més bé els colants de color de carn: així és que dibuixaren un cercle a la sorra, i feren un circ: un circ amb tres pallassos, perquè ningú no consentí a abandonar aquest paper altívol a son veí.

   Next they got their marbles and played "knucks" and "ringtaw" and "keeps" till that amusement grew stale. Then Joe and Huck had another swim, but Tom would not venture, because he found that in kicking off his trousers he had kicked his string of rattlesnake rattles off his ankle, and he wondered how he had escaped cramp so long without the protection of this mysterious charm. He did not venture again until he had found it, and by that time the other boys were tired and ready to rest. They gradually wandered apart, dropped into the "dumps," and fell to gazing longingly across the wide river to where the village lay drowsing in the sun. Tom found himself writing "BECKY" in the sand with his big toe; he scratched it out, and was angry with himself for his weakness. But he wrote it again, nevertheless; he could not help it. He erased it once more and then took himself out of temptation by driving the other boys together and joining them.

   Després agafaren les bales, i jugaren a l'ouet, a anys i a pam i pet, fins que aquest divertiment esdevingué pansit. Aleshores Joe i Huck van tornar a nedar, però Tom no volgué arriscar-s'hi, perquè descobrí que en dar una guitza a sos pantalons havia engegat l'enfilall de cascavells de serpent que duia a l'anca, i s'estranyava d'haver-se pogut escapar de rampes, per tant de temps, sense la protecció de aquest encís misteriós. No s'hi arriscà de bell nou fins que l'hagué trobat, i ja aleshores els altres minyons eren afadigats i amb cor de reposar. S'allunyaren a pleret, errívols, l'un de l'altre, es deixaren caure en una certa amargor, i es posaren a mirar anhelosament, a través de l'ample riu, cap al poblet, tot ensopit sota la solellada. Tom es donà compte que estava escrivint Becky, en l'arena, amb el dit gros del peu. Ho esborrà, i s'enfurismà amb sí mateix per la seva feblesa. Però ho tornà a escriure, tanmateix: no va poder-se'n estar. Ho esborrà una vegada més, i en acabat s'arrencà a la temptació fent venir els altres minyons i aplegant-s'hi.

   But Joe's spirits had gone down almost beyond resurrection. He was so homesick that he could hardly endure the misery of it. The tears lay very near the surface. Huck was melancholy, too. Tom was downhearted, but tried hard not to show it. He had a secret which he was not ready to tell, yet, but if this mutinous depression was not broken up soon, he would have to bring it out. He said, with a great show of cheerfulness:

   Però el coratge de Joe havia minvat fins a fer gairebé impossible la seva resurrecció. Estava tan enyorívol de casa seva, que amb prou feines podia suportar-ne el marriment. Tenia les llàgrimes a flor de parpella. També Huck estava melangiós. Tom es sentia abatut, però lluitava de valent per no mostrar-ho. Tenia un secret que encara no estava disposat a dir; però, si aquesta sediciosa depressió no es trencava aviat, no tindria més remei que descobrir-lo. Amb una gran ostentació d'alegria, digué:

   "I bet there's been pirates on this island before, boys. We'll explore it again. They've hid treasures here somewhere. How'd you feel to light on a rotten chest full of gold and silver--hey?"

   -Faria una juguesca que a aquesta illa hi havia hagut pirates al temps de la vellura, minyons. Tornarem a explorar-la. Deuen haver amagat tresors per alguna banda. Què us en semblaria, de descolgar una caixa podrida, tota plena d'or i d'argent? Eh?

   But it roused only faint enthusiasm, which faded out, with no reply. Tom tried one or two other seductions; but they failed, too. It was discouraging work. Joe sat poking up the sand with a stick and looking very gloomy. Finally he said:

   Però no desvetllà sinó un pàl·lid entusiasme, que s'esvaí sense resposta. Tom intentà una o dues seduccions més, però també falliren. Era una feina descoratjadora. Joe estava assegut, tot remenant la arena amb un bastonet, i amb un posat molt ombrívol. A la fi digué:

   "Oh, boys, let's give it up. I want to go home. It's so lonesome."

   -O minyons! Deixem-ho córrer. Vull anar a casa. És tan solitari, això!...

   "Oh no, Joe, you'll feel better by and by," said Tom. "Just think of the fishing that's here."

   -Oh! No, Joe: ja us sentireu millor, d'aquí una estona- digué Tom. -Penseu en les pescades que fem aquí.

   "I don't care for fishing. I want to go home."

   -Tan se me'n dona, de les pescades. Vull anar a casa.

   "But, Joe, there ain't such another swimming-place anywhere."

   -Però, Joe, en cap altra banda no hi ha un lloc tan de primera per a banyar-se.

   "Swimming's no good. I don't seem to care for it, somehow, when there ain't anybody to say I sha'n't go in. I mean to go home."

   -El nedar no té solta: tanmateix, no trobo que m'interessi quan no hi ha ningú per a dir-me que no nedi. He fet el determini d'anar a casa.

   "Oh, shucks! Baby! You want to see your mother, I reckon."

   -Sóu un noi de bandola, malvinatge! Us cal veure la mare, em penso.

   "Yes, I do want to see my mother--and you would, too, if you had one. I ain't any more baby than you are." And Joe snuffled a little.

   -Sí, em cal veure la meva mare; i a vós també us caldria, si en tinguéssiu. I sóc tan noi de bandola com vós.- I Joe va fer un bri de somiqueig.

   "Well, we'll let the crybaby go home to his mother, won't we, Huck? Poor thing--does it want to see its mother? And so it shall. You like it here, don't you, Huck? We'll stay, won't we?"

   -Bé, deixarem anar el nen ploraire a casa seva, a veure la mare: oi, Huck? Pobra criatura! Li cal veure sa mare. Doncs que la vegi. A vós us plau d'ésser aquí: veritat, Huck? Nosaltres ens hi estarem, veritat?

   Huck said, "Y-e-s"--without any heart in it.

   Huck digué: -S-i...- sense posar-hi cap delit.

   "I'll never speak to you again as long as I live," said Joe, rising. "There now!" And he moved moodily away and began to dress himself.

   -No us tornaré a dir cap paraula tant de temps com viuré- digué Joe alçant-se. -Ja està dit! I s'allunyà tot botós, i començà de vestir-se.

   "Who cares!" said Tom. "Nobody wants you to. Go 'long home and get laughed at. Oh, you're a nice pirate. Huck and me ain't crybabies. We'll stay, won't we, Huck? Let him go if he wants to. I reckon we can get along without him, per'aps."

   -Ningú se'n encaparra- digué Tom. -No en passem fretura, de vós. Aneu cap a casa, i sigueu-ne la riota de la gent. Oh! Sóu un bell pirata! Huck i jo no en som pas, de criaturetes ploraneres. Aquí ens estarem: veritat, Huck? Que se'n vagi, si vol. Em penso que sense ell podem anar tirant, ça com lla.

   But Tom was uneasy, nevertheless, and was alarmed to see Joe go sullenly on with his dressing. And then it was discomforting to see Huck eying Joe's preparations so wistfully, and keeping up such an ominous silence. Presently, without a parting word, Joe began to wade off toward the Illinois shore. Tom's heart began to sink. He glanced at Huck. Huck could not bear the look, and dropped his eyes. Then he said:

   Però Tom estava inquiet, tanmateix, i alarmat de veure còm Joe continuava abillant-se, malcarat, i a més era intranquil·litzador de veure com Huck ullava els preparatius de Joe, tan pensívol i servant un silenci tan ominós. Al cap de poc, sense un mot de comiat, Joe començà de passar el gual cap a la ribera de l'Illinois. El coratge de Tom començà d'esfondrar-se. Pegà llambregada a Huck. Huck no pogué comportar aquell esguard, i acalà sos ulls. Després, digué:

   "I want to go, too, Tom. It was getting so lonesome anyway, and now it'll be worse. Let's us go, too, Tom."

   -Jo també vull anar-me'n, Tom: això s'ha anat posant molt solitari, i ara serà pitjor. Anem-nos-en, també, nosaltres, Tom.

   "I won't! You can all go, if you want to. I mean to stay."

   -Jo no me n'aniré: aneu-vos-en tots, si voleu. Tinc el propòsit de romandre.

   "Tom, I better go."

   -Tom, jo voldria anar-me'n.

   "Well, go 'long--who's hendering you."

   -Bé, aneu-vos-en: qui us en priva?

   Huck began to pick up his scattered clothes. He said:

   Huck començà d'arreplegar ses peces de roba, i digué:

   "Tom, I wisht you'd come, too. Now you think it over. We'll wait for you when we get to shore."

   -Tom, desitjaria que vós vinguéssiu, també. Ja veieu que ara la cosa és acabada. Us esperarem quan serem a la ribera.

   "Well, you'll wait a blame long time, that's all."

   -Bé, us haureu d'esperar una mala fi de temps: veu's-ho aquí.

   Huck started sorrowfully away, and Tom stood looking after him, with a strong desire tugging at his heart to yield his pride and go along too. He hoped the boys would stop, but they still waded slowly on. It suddenly dawned on Tom that it was become very lonely and still. He made one final struggle with his pride, and then darted after his comrades, yelling:

   Huck s'allunyà dolorosament, i Tom restà mirant-lo, mentre li estirava el cor un desig fortíssim d'abandonar el seu orgull i anar-se'n, així mateix. Esperava que els minyons s'aturarien, però ells seguien passant lentament el gual. Tom descobrí sobtadament que tot allò romania qui-sap-lo solitari i aturat. Tingué una darrera lluita amb el seu orgull, i després es precipità a l'encalç de sos camarades, escridassant-se:

   "Wait! Wait! I want to tell you something!"

   -Espereu-vos, espereu-vos! He de dir-vos una cosa.

   They presently stopped and turned around. When he got to where they were, he began unfolding his secret, and they listened moodily till at last they saw the "point" he was driving at, and then they set up a warwhoop of applause and said it was "splendid!" and said if he had told them at first, they wouldn't have started away. He made a plausible excuse; but his real reason had been the fear that not even the secret would keep them with him any very great length of time, and so he had meant to hold it in reserve as a last seduction.

   Ells s'aturaren tot seguit, i giraren cua. Quan ell va haver arribat on eren ells, escoltaren esquívolament, fins que veieren a la fi l'indret on els menava, i aleshores esclataren en un esgarip de guerra, a tall d'aplaudiment, i digueren que era esplèndid, i digueren que si els ho hagués fet saber a la primeria no se n'haurien anat. Ell va donar una excusa plausible; però son motiu real havia estat la temença que ni el secret i tot els mantindria a son costat per gaire temps: així és que havia volgut tenir-lo de reserva com a darrera seducció.

   The lads came gayly back and went at their sports again with a will, chattering all the time about Tom's stupendous plan and admiring the genius of it. After a dainty egg and fish dinner, Tom said he wanted to learn to smoke, now. Joe caught at the idea and said he would like to try, too. So Huck made pipes and filled them. These novices had never smoked anything before but cigars made of grapevine, and they "bit" the tongue, and were not considered manly anyway.

   Els minyons feren llur alegre retorn, i anaren de bell nou a llurs esports amb decisió, parlotejant, tota l'estona, de l'estupenda combinació de Tom, i admirant-ne el geni. Després de dinar amb un ou exquisit i peix, Tom digué que volia apendre de fumar, ara. Joe s'adherí a la idea, i digué que també li plauria de provar-ho. Així és que Huck féu pipes i les omplí. Aquests novicis mai no havien fumat abans sinó cigars de pàmpol, que mossegaven la llengua, i no tenien reputació de virils, tanmateix.

   Now they stretched themselves out on their elbows and began to puff, charily, and with slender confidence. The smoke had an unpleasant taste, and they gagged a little, but Tom said:

   S'estiraren damunt llurs colzes, i començaren de treure bufades cautelosament i amb magra confiança. El fum era d'un gust desagradable, i els produí una mica de nàusea; però Tom digué:

   "Why, it's just as easy! If I'd a knowed this was all, I'd a learnt long ago."

   -Noi! Quína cosa tan planera! Si hagués sabut que no era més que això, n'hauria après fa qui-sap-lo temps.

   "So would I," said Joe. "It's just nothing."

   -Jo també- digué Joe. -És una cosa de no-res.

   "Why, many a time I've looked at people smoking, and thought well I wish I could do that; but I never thought I could," said Tom.

   -Ves, moltes vegades mirava gent que fumava, tot pensant: «Ja em plauria, de fer-ho, això». Però no em pensava que pogués- digué Tom.

   "That's just the way with me, hain't it, Huck? You've heard me talk just that way--haven't you, Huck? I'll leave it to Huck if I haven't."

   -Això és el que em passava: veritat, Huck? M'ho havíeu sentit dir: veritat, Huck? Huck n'és testimoni, de si ho deia o no.

   "Yes--heaps of times," said Huck.

   -Sí, d'allò més vegades- digué Huck.

   "Well, I have too," said Tom; "oh, hundreds of times. Once down by the slaughter-house. Don't you remember, Huck? Bob Tanner was there, and Johnny Miller, and Jeff Thatcher, when I said it. Don't you remember, Huck, 'bout me saying that?"

   -Ja ho crec, si ho he dit!- digué Tom. -Oh! A centes de vegades. Una vegada va ser allà baix, vora l'escorxador. No us en recordeu, Huck? Bob Tanner hi era, i Johnny Miller i Jeff Thatcher, quan ho vaig dir. No ho recordeu, Huck, còm ho deia?

   "Yes, that's so," said Huck. "That was the day after I lost a white alley. No, 'twas the day before."

   -Oi- digué Huck. -Va ser l'endemà del dia que vaig perdre una bala blanca... No, va ser la vigília!

   "There--I told you so," said Tom. "Huck recollects it."

   -Veieu? Ja us ho deia- digué Tom. -Huck se'n recorda.

   "I bleeve I could smoke this pipe all day," said Joe. "I don't feel sick."

   -Em penso que podria passar-me tot el dia fumant aquesta pipa- digué Joe. -No em sento marejat.

   "Neither do I," said Tom. "I could smoke it all day. But I bet you Jeff Thatcher couldn't."

   -Jo tampoc- digué Tom, -Podria fumar-la tot el dia, però em jugo qualsevol cosa que Jeff Thatcher no podria pas.

   "Jeff Thatcher! Why, he'd keel over just with two draws. Just let him try it once. He'd see!"

   -Jeff Thatcher! Ell, només que amb dues pipades, faria l'ànec. Que ho provi una vegada, ell: ja ho veurà!

   "I bet he would. And Johnny Miller--I wish could see Johnny Miller tackle it once."

   -Jo també m'hi jugaria qualsevol cosa. I Johnny Miller? Desitjaria veure Miller aferrant-s'hi.

   "Oh, don't I!" said Joe. "Why, I bet you Johnny Miller couldn't any more do this than nothing. Just one little snifter would fetch him."

   -Oh! i jo!- Digué Joe. -Bé, faig la juguesca que Johnny Miller no podria ni tastar-ho. Només que fes una flairadeta, a ell l'en deixaria convençut.

   "'Deed it would, Joe. Say--I wish the boys could see us now."

   -En bona refè, Joe. Escolteu: em plauria que ens poguessin veure, els minyons, ara.

   "So do I."

   -A mi també!

   "Say--boys, don't say anything about it, and some time when they're around, I'll come up to you and say, 'Joe, got a pipe? I want a smoke.' And you'll say, kind of careless like, as if it warn't anything, you'll say, 'Yes, I got my old pipe, and another one, but my tobacker ain't very good.' And I'll say, 'Oh, that's all right, if it's strong enough.' And then you'll out with the pipes, and we'll light up just as ca'm, and then just see 'em look!"

   -Escolteu, nois: no en digueu res, d'això, i una vegada o altra, quan ells siguin a la vora, m'acostaré a vós i us diré: «-Joe: teniu una pipa? Tinc fumera!» I vós direu, com una cosa deixada anar, com si no valgués la pena, vós direu: «-Sí; porto la pipa vella, i una altra; però el meu tabac no és gaire bo». I jo diré: «-Oh! es igual, si és prou fort». I aleshores us traureu les pipes, i les encendrem amb aquella tranquilitat, i ja veureu, quína cara hi faran!

   "By jings, that'll be gay, Tom! I wish it was now!"

   -Malvinatge! Que llampant serà, Tom! M'agradaria que fos ara!

   "So do I! And when we tell 'em we learned when we was off pirating, won't they wish they'd been along?"

   -I a mí també! I quan els diguem que ho aprenguérem en ésser lluny, fent de pirates, oi que els recarà de no haver corregut món, també?

   "Oh, I reckon not! I'll just bet they will!"

   -Ja ho crec! M'hi jugaria qualsevol cosa!

   So the talk ran on. But presently it began to flag a trifle, and grow disjointed. The silences widened; the expectoration marvellously increased. Every pore inside the boys' cheeks became a spouting fountain; they could scarcely bail out the cellars under their tongues fast enough to prevent an inundation; little overflowings down their throats occurred in spite of all they could do, and sudden retchings followed every time. Both boys were looking very pale and miserable, now. Joe's pipe dropped from his nerveless fingers. Tom's followed. Both fountains were going furiously and both pumps bailing with might and main. Joe said feebly:

   Així continuà la conversa. Però al cap de poca estona començà de vacil·lar una mica i esdevingué tota inconnexa. Les pauses s'eixamplaren; l'expectoració augmentà meravellosament. Cada porus de la galta dels minyons esdevingué una fontana brolladora: amb prou feines podien ésser prou amatents a oprimir la llengua contra el fons de la boca per impedir la inundació; petits xarbotaments se'ls produïen a la gorja, a desgrat de tot el que fessin, i ois repentins hi seguien cada vegada. La pipa de Joe caigué de sos dits sense nervi. Després caigué la de Tom. Les fontanes de tots dos anaven furiosament, i les dues bombes bombaven amb totes les forces. Joe digué feblement:

   "I've lost my knife. I reckon I better go and find it."

   -He perdut el meu ganivet. Em sembla que val més que vagi a cercar-lo.

   Tom said, with quivering lips and halting utterance:

   Tom digué, amb llavis tremolencs i pausada pronunciació:

   "I'll help you. You go over that way and I'll hunt around by the spring. No, you needn't come, Huck--we can find it."

   -Jo us ajudaré. Vós aneu per aquella banda, i jo cercaré pel volt de la font. No, no cal que vingueu, Huck: ja el trobarem.

   So Huck sat down again, and waited an hour. Then he found it lonesome, and went to find his comrades. They were wide apart in the woods, both very pale, both fast asleep. But something informed him that if they had had any trouble they had got rid of it.

   Així, doncs, Huck s'assegué de bell nou, i va esperar-se una hora. Després començà de sentir-se tot soliu, i anà a cercar sos companyons. Estaven molt distants, en els boscos, tots dos molt esblaimats, tots dos profundament adormits. Però quelcom va informar-lo que, si havien tingut cap tribull, se n'havien alliberat.

   They were not talkative at supper that night. They had a humble look, and when Huck prepared his pipe after the meal and was going to prepare theirs, they said no, they were not feeling very well--something they ate at dinner had disagreed with them.

   No enraonaren gaire en el sopar, aquella nit; llur posat era humil; i quan Huck preparà la seva pipa després de l'àpat, i anava a preparar les d'ells, li digueren que no es trobaven gaire bé: alguna cosa del dinar se'ls havia indisposat.

   About midnight Joe awoke, and called the boys. There was a brooding oppressiveness in the air that seemed to bode something. The boys huddled themselves together and sought the friendly companionship of the fire, though the dull dead heat of the breathless atmosphere was stifling. They sat still, intent and waiting. The solemn hush continued. Beyond the light of the fire everything was swallowed up in the blackness of darkness. Presently there came a quivering glow that vaguely revealed the foliage for a moment and then vanished. By and by another came, a little stronger. Then another. Then a faint moan came sighing through the branches of the forest and the boys felt a fleeting breath upon their cheeks, and shuddered with the fancy that the Spirit of the Night had gone by. There was a pause. Now a weird flash turned night into day and showed every little grassblade, separate and distinct, that grew about their feet. And it showed three white, startled faces, too. A deep peal of thunder went rolling and tumbling down the heavens and lost itself in sullen rumblings in the distance. A sweep of chilly air passed by, rustling all the leaves and snowing the flaky ashes broadcast about the fire. Another fierce glare lit up the forest and an instant crash followed that seemed to rend the treetops right over the boys' heads. They clung together in terror, in the thick gloom that followed. A few big raindrops fell pattering upon the leaves.

   Cap a mitja nit Joe es despertà i cridà els minyons. Hi havia una opressió, difosa per l'aire, que semblava presagiar quelcom. Els minyons van arraïmar-se, i van cercar l'amistosa companyia del foc, baldament la calor tèrbola i encalmada de l'ambient irrespirable fós sufocant. S'assegueren en silenci, atents i en espectació. Continuava la quietud solemnial. Més enllà de la llum del foc, tot ho dragava la negror de la fosca. Tot seguit aparegué una lluïssor tremolenca que, vagament, mostrà per un instant el fullatge, i després s'esvaí. Al cap de poc en vingué una altra de més poderosa. Després una altra. Després comparegué sospirant, a través de les brancades de la boscúria, un plany desmaiat, i els minyons sentien un alè vagarívol damunt llurs galtes, i s'esgarrifaren en acudir-se'ls que l'Esperit de la Nit els havia passat arran. Hi hagué una pausa. Aleshores un llampec sinistre convertí la nit en dia, i els mostrà cada fulla d'herbeta, ben especificada i precisa, que creixia al voltant de llurs peus. I mostrà així mateix tres cares blanques, astorades. El sord terrabastall d'una tronada anà udolant i desplomant-se pel cel, i es perdé en botosos braolaments, enllà d'enllà. Una rauxada d'aire fred atravessà aquelles bandes, fent remorejar totes les fulles i anar en doina una nevada de borrallons de cendra pel voltant del foc. Una altra resplendor, tota espaordidora, il·luminà el bosc, i el seguí un espetec immediat que semblà que esberlés el cim dels arbres damunt mateix de les testes dels minyons. S'estrenyeren l'un contra l'altre, d'esglai, dins l'espesa fosca que en acabat es féu. Caigueren unes quantes gotasses, tustant les fulles.

   "Quick! boys, go for the tent!" exclaimed Tom.

   -De pressa, minyons! Anem cap a la tenda!- va exclamar Tom.

   They sprang away, stumbling over roots and among vines in the dark, no two plunging in the same direction. A furious blast roared through the trees, making everything sing as it went. One blinding flash after another came, and peal on peal of deafening thunder. And now a drenching rain poured down and the rising hurricane drove it in sheets along the ground. The boys cried out to each other, but the roaring wind and the booming thunderblasts drowned their voices utterly. However, one by one they straggled in at last and took shelter under the tent, cold, scared, and streaming with water; but to have company in misery seemed something to be grateful for. They could not talk, the old sail flapped so furiously, even if the other noises would have allowed them. The tempest rose higher and higher, and presently the sail tore loose from its fastenings and went winging away on the blast. The boys seized each others' hands and fled, with many tumblings and bruises, to the shelter of a great oak that stood upon the riverbank. Now the battle was at its highest. Under the ceaseless conflagration of lightning that flamed in the skies, everything below stood out in cleancut and shadowless distinctness: the bending trees, the billowy river, white with foam, the driving spray of spumeflakes, the dim outlines of the high bluffs on the other side, glimpsed through the drifting cloudrack and the slanting veil of rain. Every little while some giant tree yielded the fight and fell crashing through the younger growth; and the unflagging thunderpeals came now in ear-splitting explosive bursts, keen and sharp, and unspeakably appalling. The storm culminated in one matchless effort that seemed likely to tear the island to pieces, burn it up, drown it to the treetops, blow it away, and deafen every creature in it, all at one and the same moment. It was a wild night for homeless young heads to be out in.

   S'engegaven a córrer, topant damunt arrels i plantes arrapadisses, en la tenebror, capbussant-se cadascú pel seu cantó. Una ventada furiosa braolà entre els arbres, fent xiular totes les coses al seu pas. Els llampecs enlluernadors venien l'un darrera l'altre, i igual feien els terrabastalls de la tronada eixordadora. I aleshores començaren de dar l'aigua per amor de Déu, i l'huracà, deixondit, la feia caure en grans cortines damunt la terra. Els minyons es cridaven l'un a l'altre, però el vent braolador i els llamps que retrunyien els ofegaven del tot les veus. Tanmateix, un per un s'anaren deixant caure a l'indret i s'arreceraren sota la tenda, freds, amb el cos assenyalat i rajant d'aigua; però el tenir companyia en la dissort semblava cosa d'agrair. No haurien pogut enraonar, de tan furiosament que es remenava la vela, baldament els altres sorolls els ho haguessin permès. La tempesta s'enfurí més i més, i al cap de poc la vela es desfermà de sos lligams i se n'anà volant dins la rauxada. Els minyons s'agafaren de les mans i fugiren, amb moltes anades de corcoll i pelades, cap al recer d'una gran alzina que hi havia a la vora del riu. La batalla era aleshores en tot son esclat. Sota la incessant conflagració de llampecs que flamejaven pel cel, totes les coses que li eren a sota es destacaven amb exactitud precisa i neta d'ombres: els arbres cots, el riu inflat i amb un esblanqueïment d'escumes; els ruixims de l'aigua esquitxadora; les opaques siluetes dels espadats altívols de l'altra vora, llambregats en mig de les vapors que flotaven a la deriva i el vel travesser de la pluja. Sovint sovint, algun arbre gegantí abandonava la lluita i queia amb un espetec entre la jove tanyada; i els terrabastalls incessants de la tronada es convertien ara en esclats que fendien l'orella, punyents, aguts, explosius i esglaiadors que empalmaven inexpressablement. La tempesta culminava en una braó incomparable, que semblava que havia de fer-ne miques, de l'illa, i abrandar-la tota, i ofegar-la fins al cim dels arbres, i endur-se-la en la ventada i ensordir tota cosa viva que hi tingués estatge, tot plegat i a l'ensems. Era una nit feréstega per romandre-hi una minyonia, lluny de l'aixopluc de la llar.

   But at last the battle was done, and the forces retired with weaker and weaker threatenings and grumblings, and peace resumed her sway. The boys went back to camp, a good deal awed; but they found there was still something to be thankful for, because the great sycamore, the shelter of their beds, was a ruin, now, blasted by the lightnings, and they were not under it when the catastrophe happened.

   Però a la fi la batalla s'exhaurí, i les forces es retiraren amb menors i menors amenaces i rondinaments i la pau recobrà la seva autoritat. Els minyons tornaren al campament, força esporuguits; però hi trobaren encara quelcom de plaent, perquè el gran sicomor, l'abric de sos jaços, era convertit a ruïna, enderrocat pel llamp, i ells no hi havien estat davall quan la catàstrofe s'esdevingué.

   Everything in camp was drenched, the campfire as well; for they were but heedless lads, like their generation, and had made no provision against rain. Here was matter for dismay, for they were soaked through and chilled. They were eloquent in their distress; but they presently discovered that the fire had eaten so far up under the great log it had been built against (where it curved upward and separated itself from the ground), that a handbreadth or so of it had escaped wetting; so they patiently wrought until, with shreds and bark gathered from the under sides of sheltered logs, they coaxed the fire to burn again. Then they piled on great dead boughs till they had a roaring furnace, and were gladhearted once more. They dried their boiled ham and had a feast, and after that they sat by the fire and expanded and glorified their midnight adventure until morning, for there was not a dry spot to sleep on, anywhere around.

   Tot el campament regalava i allò que havia estat foc també; perquè no eren sinó minyons atarantats, com esqueia a llurs anys, i no havien pres mesures contra la pluja. Veu's aquí matèria de descoratjament, perquè la pluja els havia atravessat i tenien el fred als ossos. Foren eloqüents en llur desastre; però al cap de poc descobriren que el foc havia rosegat tan amunt de la soca contra la qual havia estat bastit (allà on ella s'encorbava cap en l'aire i es separava de terra), que un pam, si fa no fa, s'havia escapat de la mullena: així, doncs, maldaren pacientment fins que amb vilordes i escorces que arreplegaren de sota els flancs de les soques aixoplugades engaliparen el foc a cremar de bell nou. Després amuntegaren grans branques mortes fins que tingueren un forn braolador, i els retornà la joia al cor. Assecaren el pernil cuit, i celebraren un festí, i després d'això s'assegueren vora el foc, i dilataren i glorificaren llur aventura de la mitja nit fins al matí, perquè no hi havia un indret eixut on jeure a fer el son, en tots aquells voltants.

   As the sun began to steal in upon the boys, drowsiness came over them, and they went out on the sandbar and lay down to sleep. They got scorched out by and by, and drearily set about getting breakfast. After the meal they felt rusty, and stiff-jointed, and a little homesick once more. Tom saw the signs, and fell to cheering up the pirates as well as he could. But they cared nothing for marbles, or circus, or swimming, or anything. He reminded them of the imposing secret, and raised a ray of cheer. While it lasted, he got them interested in a new device. This was to knock off being pirates, for a while, and be Indians for a change. They were attracted by this idea; so it was not long before they were stripped, and striped from head to heel with black mud, like so many zebras--all of them chiefs, of course--and then they went tearing through the woods to attack an English settlement.

   A mesura que la llum del sol començà a lliscar damunt els minyons, l'ensopiment va anar-se'n ensenyorint, i eixiren cap a l'alfac i s'ajagueren adormir. Ben aviat se'ls escaldà la pell, i es posaren, tristament, a preparar el desdejuni. Després de l'àpat es sentiren les frontisses rovellades, i un poc d'enyorança altra vegada. Tom en veié els senyals, i va empendre's d'alegrar els pirates tan bé com pogué. Però tant se'ls en donava de les bales, del circ, del nedar, de tot. Els féu memòria de l'imposant secret, i desvetllà un raig de gaubança. Mentre durava, pogué interessar-los amb un nou enginy: consistia en deixar de banda per una estona l'ofici de pirata, i ésser indis, per a variar una mica. Els atragué la idea: així és que no passà gaire estona que no esdevinguessin ratllats, i ratllats de cap a peus amb fang negre, com altres tantes zebres (tots tres eren caps de tribu, naturalment), i se n'anaren, fent aldarull, boscs a través, a atacar una colònia anglesa.

   By and by they separated into three hostile tribes, and darted upon each other from ambush with dreadful warwhoops, and killed and scalped each other by thousands. It was a gory day. Consequently it was an extremely satisfactory one.

   No trigaren a separar-se en tribus hostils, i es precipitaren cadascú d'ells sobre cadascú dels altres, en les emboscades, amb paorosos esgarips de guerra; i cadascú matà i arrencà la cabellera de l'altre per milers. Fou una diada sagnant. Per consegüent, fou una diada sobiranament satisfactòria.

   They assembled in camp toward suppertime, hungry and happy; but now a difficulty arose--hostile Indians could not break the bread of hospitality together without first making peace, and this was a simple impossibility without smoking a pipe of peace. There was no other process that ever they had heard of. Two of the savages almost wished they had remained pirates. However, there was no other way; so with such show of cheerfulness as they could muster they called for the pipe and took their whiff as it passed, in due form.

   S'aplegaren al campament pels volts de l'hora de sopar, famolencs i feliços, Però ara brollà una nova dificultat: els indis enemics no podien partir-se el pa de l'hospitalitat sense que de primer fessin les paus, la qual cosa era senzillament impossible si no fumaven una pipa de pau. Que ells sabessin, no hi havia més manera. Dos dels salvatges gairebé desitjaven haver romàs pirates. Tanmateix, però, no s'acudia altra remei: així és que, amb totes les mostres d'alegria que pogueren aplegar, demanaren la pipa i llançaren la seva bafarada, en passar ella, segons l'estil exigit.

   And behold, they were glad they had gone into savagery, for they had gained something; they found that they could now smoke a little without having to go and hunt for a lost knife; they did not get sick enough to be seriously uncomfortable. They were not likely to fool away this high promise for lack of effort. No, they practised cautiously, after supper, with right fair success, and so they spent a jubilant evening. They were prouder and happier in their new acquirement than they would have been in the scalping and skinning of the Six Nations. We will leave them to smoke and chatter and brag, since we have no further use for them at present.

   I ara vegeu: n'estigueren contents, d'haver anat a raure al salvatgisme, perquè hi havien guanyat quelcom: descobriren que ara podien fumar una mica sense haver d'anar a cercar un ganivet que haguessin perdut; no es marejaren prou per a anguniar-se'n seriosament. No eren gent per a fer quedar malament aquesta alta promesa per manca d'esforç. No: s'exercitaren cautament, en haver sopat, amb un èxit palès, i passaren així una vetlla tota joiosa. Llur nova adquisició els feia més ufanosos i més feliços que no els n'hauria fet l'arrabassament de cabelleres i pells de les Sis Nacions. Els deixarem tot fumant i parlotejant i estarrufant-se, ja que ara no ens poden ésser de cap més servei.