It was saturday. It was the day of Becky·s picnic at McDougal`s Caves. The children of st Petersburg Were going to the picnic.
Huck was not going to the picnic. The mothers of st Petersburg did not ask Huck to go to the picnic.
Tom was very happy. He was oing to Becky·s birth-day picnic. HE was not thinking about Injun Joe.
At leven o·clock, every body go toon an old steam boat. They carried baskets of food and they laughed and sang. They were going down the river on the steamboat.Then they were going to walk to the caves. No adults went with the children. The older children were taking care of the younger children.
The steamboat travelled along the river. It stopped beside a beach three miles away from the town. behind the beach, three was asteep hill and a big forest.
Everybody got off the boat. The children opened the baskets of food. They ate and ate! After lunch, they were quiet for a short time.
Then somebody asked a question. Who wants to go into the caves?
Everybody wanted to go into the caves.
They got candls and matches out of their baskets.
Then they ran up the hill.
The entrance toMcdougal`s Caves was in the side of the hill. A long time ago, somebody had put a big wooden door in the entrance. One of the older boys opened the door and everybody went inside.
Everybody was quiet. They looked at the sunshine and the green trees behind them. Then they looked at the darkness in front of them. Then they looked at the darkness in front of them. McDougal´s Caves were cold and darkand frightening!
Somebody lit a candle. There was light! But somebody else blew out the flame and it was dark again! A game started. People lit candles and other people blew them out. Everybody ran around. They laughed and they shouted.
Soon the game finished and the children walked further into the caves. They all carried bright candles and they walked in a long line. The main path wasnarrow, and there were narrower paths to the right and to the left. There were lots of paths in McDougal`s Caves. Some paths went round in circles and came back to the main path. And other paths went further and further into the hill. Nobody Knew about all the paths in the caves.
The steamboat bell will ring at seven o´clock, shouted one of the older children. We have to go then. Everybody mustcome back to the entrance at seven o`clock.
Tom and Becky left the other children. They took a basket of food and they took some candles. They went further into the caves together.
´Look, becky, said Tom. You can write your name on the wall. Use the smoke from your candle.
They moved their candles. They wrote their names on a wall with the black smoke Then they held their candles up high.They read other people`s names on the rock walls.
They walked on and soon they came to a little waterfall. Water was falling from a hole in the rock.
It`s beautiful, Tom, said Becky.
Come on, Becky, said Tom. There`s a path behind the waterfall. It goes down and down. Let`s go along it. Make a smoke mark on the wall. Then we can come back to the same place.
Becky made a large smokemark on the wall with her candle. The two children went behind the waterfall. they went down and down. Suddenly, they were in a very big cave.
They walked all round the cave. Then they walked along another path. Soon, they came to another big cave and another waterfall. The water fell into a small lake. Tom held his candle near the water. The rocks under the water were white.
Oh, Tom, saidBecky. What a beautiful white lake!
Then Tom heard a noise and he looked up at the roof. Bats! Hundreds of small, black bats! They had seen the light from the candles. They were squeaking. They were flapping their wings. The bats were starting to move!
Come on! Quickly! Run! Tom said. He grabbed Becky`s hand. Then he pulled her along a narrow path.
Bats flew after them! Becky...