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Summary Chapter 3

Tom tells his Aunt Polly that the white washing is done. She is impressed by the result and allows him to go play. She gives him an apple and a lecture about how rewards are sweeter when you work for them.

Tom revenges himself on Sid and escapes before he gets into trouble for it. He goes to the public square to play the general of an army. Tom’s best friend is the general of the opposing army. Tom’s army wins the battle.

When Tom is walking home, he sees a beautiful girl in the yard of Jeff Thatcher’s house. He pretends not to see her when she notices him, but he starts to show off. He forgets totally about the girl he just won named Amy Lawrence. The little girl in the yard goes inside the house but tosses a flower to him before he does. He pretends he is doing something else as he inches towards the flower to pick it up. He returns to the house to show off some more but doesn’t see her. He hopes she has seen him from a window.

Tom returns home and complains that Sid never gets in trouble for taking sugar. Aunt Polly says Sid isn’t always trying to steal it. To prove his superiority, Sid takes some sugar but breaks the bowl. When Aunt Polly returns, she belts Tom—who had been looking forward to Sid finally getting into trouble. Aunt Polly says he has earned it for other mischief he has done that she never caught him at. However, she doesn’t continue the punishment, and she feels guilty afterwards. He knows this and milks out his injury. He pictures himself dying and refusing to forgive her.

Tom is in a melancholy mood and seeks an isolated place along the river. He wonders if the pretty girl would cry if he drowned himself. He goes to her house and lies under a window, imagining that she would find him dead on her lawn the next day. A maidservant throws water on him.

Tom returns home in humiliation and goes to bed without saying his prayers, which Sid notices.

Mark Twain