After Mark Twain
(in four scenes)
CAST: Tom Sawyer, a boy about ten years old
Huckleberry Finn (Huck), Tom's friend.
Aunt Polly, Tom's aunt.
Sid, Tom's brother.
Jim, a servant, a Negro boy.
Early morning. A little
house in a quiet street in a little American town. A window, looking into the yard, is half open. Huck comes
up to the window, with a dead rat in his hand.
Huck: Meaow, meaow, meaow!
(Tom looks out of the window.)
Tom: Hello, Huckleberry!
Huck: Hello yourself! How do you like it?
Tom: What's that you have got?
Huck: A dead rat.
(Tom jumps out of the window.)
Tom: Let me see it, Huck. Why, it is quite dead.
Where did you get it?
Huck: Bought it from a boy.
Tom: What did you give for it?
Huck: Why, I gave many good things for it: a blue
ticket, an old bottle and half an apple.
Tom: Say, what is a dead rat good for?
Huck: Good for? To cure warts with.
Tom: Is that so? Hucky, when are you going to try
Tom: Let me go with you!
Huck: Of course, if you are not afraid.
Pirates are never afraid
Huck: Pirates! Why, are you a pirate?
Tom: Not yet, but I will be soon.
Huck: What do pirates do?
Tom: Oh, they take ships and burn them, kill
everybody on the ships and get the money and hide it.
Huck: It is just
the life for me! Do they kill women, too?
Tom: No, pirates
don't kill women. They are too kind. And the women are always beautiful, too.
Aunt Polly's Voice. Tom,
Tom. It's Aunt Polly. I must go.
Huck: Don't you want to go swimming today?
Tom: Oh, I must go to school. But I want to go
swimming and I shall try not to go to school. (Tom disappears through the
window. Huck runs away.)
A bedroom. Sid is sleeping. Tom appears in the
window, jumps down, lies down on the bed and begins to groan.
Tom: Oh, oh, oh! (Tom groans louder. Sid raises
Sid: Tom! Tom! Say, Tom! (No answer. Sid jumps
out of the bed.) Tom! What is the matter,Tom? (Sid shakes Tom.)
Tom: Oh, don't, Sid! Don't shake me!
Sid: Why, what is
the matter, Tom? I shall call auntie!
Tom: No, never mind. Don't call anybody!
Sid: But I must. Don't groan so, Tom.
Tom: Don't shake me, Sid! You will kill me!
Sid: What is the matter, Tom? Tom, why didn't you
wake me sooner?
Tom: (in a
frightened voice). I forgive you everything, Sid. Everything you have done
to me. When I die...
Sid: Oh, Tom, you
are not dying, are you? Don't Tom, oh, don't.
Tom: I forgive
everybody, Sid! Tell them so, Sid! And give my cat with one eye to the new
girl, who has come to town, tell her... (Sid runs out of the room.)
Voice: Oh, Aunt
Polly, come! Tom's dying. (Sid runs into the room, followed by Aunt Polly).
Aunt Polly: You, Tom! Tom, what is the matter with you?
Tom: Oh, Auntie, I'm...
Aunt Polly: What is the matter with you, what is the matter
with you, child?
Tom: Oh, auntie, oh! Oh, my foot! Oh, my foot, Oh,
(Aunt Polly falls into the chair and laughs a
little, then cries a little, then does both together.)
Tom: Aunt Polly, I have even forgotten about my
Aunt Polly: Your tooth, indeed! What is the matter with
Tom: It is loose.
Aunt Polly: There, there, don't begin to cry again. Open
your mouth.Well, your tooth is loose, but
are not going to die because of it. Sid, get me a silk thread and a chunk of fire. (Sid goes away.
Tom: Oh, please, auntie, don't pull it out. I don't
want to stay at home. I shall go to school.
Aunt Polly: Oh,I see! You want to stay at home and go
fishing. Tom, Tom, I love you so, and you seem to try every way you can to
break my old heart. Dress yourself quickly and go to school.
About twenty boys and girls are sitting at the
desks. The teacher is walking along the rows. All the pupils are writing. The
door opens and Tom comes in.
Teacher: Thomas Sawyer!
Teacher: Come up here.
Now, sir, why are you late again, as usual?
Tom: I stopped to talk to Huckleberry Finn.
Teacher: You? What did you do?
Tom: I stopped to talk to Huckleberry Finn. (Teacher
beats Tom's hands with a ruler.)
Teacher: Now, sir, go and sit down with the girls.
Tom: (aside). Just what I want to do. I do want to sit near
the new girl. (Tom sits down by Becky. She continues to write. To Becky.) What's
Becky: Becky Thatcher. What is yours? Oh, I know! It
is Thomas Sawyer.
Tom: That is my name when they beat me.I am Tom when
I am good. Call me Tom, will you?
Becky: Yes. (Tom writes something on a slate.) What
are you writing there?
Tom: Oh, it isn't anything.
Becky: But, yes, it is!
Tom: No, it isn't. You don't really want to see it.
Becky: Yes, I do, indeed, I do. Please, let me see.
Tom: You will tell somebody.
Becky: No, I shan't—deed and deed, and double deed I
Tom: You shan't tell anybody at all, shall you? Ever
as long as you live?
Becky: I shan't tell anybody. Now let me see.
Tom: You don't want to see.
Becky: Yes, I do. (She fakes the slate and reads.) I
love you! Oh, you are a bad thing! (At that moment the teacher comes up to
them and takes hold of Tom's ear.)
Teacher: You are a bad thing!
Sunday morning. A large
fence round the garden. Aunt Polly and Tom come up to the fence. Tom has a bucket of whitewash and a
brush in his hands. He looks at the fence.
Tom: Oh! Auntie, but it is Sunday today.
I can't work on Sunday.
Aunt Polly: Your behaviour
has been very bad, Tom. You'll work today. You must whitewash this fence. Now
begin to work. (She goes away.)
Tom: (looking at the fence). Oh, it's rather large. (He puts
the brush into the bucket and passes it along the fence, then sits down on a
box. Jim, a Negro boy, comes with a bucket in his hand). Jim! Jim! (Jim
stops) Say, Jim. I'll bring the water if you whitewash a little.
Jim (shakes his
head): I can't, Master Tom. The old
mistress told me to go and get some water and not to stop with anybody.
Tom: Oh, never mind what she said. She won't even know, Jim. I'll give you a marble. (Shows
him a marble.) Jim:. No, I can't. (He quickly runs away). (Suddenly Tom sees Ben Rogers. He comes skipping
along, eating an apple. Tom quickly stands up and begins to whitewash the
fence. He pretends not to see Ben.)
Ben: Hello, Tom! Have you got to work
today? (Tom continues to whitewash. He does not even look at Ben.)
Ben: T-o-om. Hello.
Tom: Why, it's you, Ben. I did not notice you.
Ben: Tom, I am
going to the river to swim. Don't you want to go? But, of course, you have got
to work today.
Tom: What do you call work?
Ben: Why, isn't that work?!
Tom: (continues to whitewash). Well, maybe it is, and maybe it
isn't. All I know is Tom Sawyer likes it.
Ben: Oh, nonsense, do you mean to say that you like
Tom: (continues to whitewash). Like it? Well, I don't see why not?
Does a boy whitewash a fence every day?
Ben: Every day?(Silence.
Tom continues to work.)
Ben: Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little!
Tom: No, no, I can't agree to that. You see, Aunt
Polly wants the fence to be done well, especially here in the street. I'm
afraid you won't be able to do it well.
Ben: Oh, Tom, let me just try, only just a little.
I'll give you a piece of my apple.
Tom: No, Ben, I'm afraid.
Ben: I'll give you a lot of it.
Tom: Well, here is the brush. But be careful. (He
gives Ben the brush and takes the apple. Joseph Harper, Johnny Miller, Billy
Fisher come up to the fence.)
Joseph: Hello! What are you doing?
Tom: I am eating an apple.
Ben: I am whitewashing the fence. Does a boy
whitewash a fence every day?
Johnny: No, he doesn't. Let me whitewash a little.
Ben: You won't be able to do it well.
Billy: Of course, he won't be able to. But I know how
to do it. Tom, I'll give you a dead rat and a string.
Joseph: And I'll give you a kite.
Tom: (proudly). Ben, let Billy whitewash a little. (Billy
gives Tom the dead rat and takes the brush.)
Johnny: Be quick.
Billy: Let us whitewash the fence, too.
Tom: Boys, don't quarrel. Now, Johnny, it is your
turn to whitewash. What can you give me?
Johnny: A kite. Here it is. Take it. (Tom takes the
kite. The boys whitewash the fence in turn. Very soon the work is finished. The
boys are pleased. They are laughing and jumping about.)
Tom: A-u-n-t P-o-l-l-y! Auntie! Come up here,
Aunt's voice: What do you want?
Tom: I have finished. (Aunt Polly appears)
Tom: May I go and play now, auntie?
Aunt Polly: What! Already?
Tom: It's all done, aunt.
Aunt Polly: Tom, don't lie to me. Little boys must not lie.
Tom: I am not lying, aunt. It is all done. Look for
Aunt Polly: (looking
at the fence). Oh, it is really all done. Well, Tom, you can work well when
you want to. Now you may play.
Tom: Hurrah! Boys,
let's run to the river and have a swim. (All the boys run away. Aunt Polly shakes
her head and goes away too.)