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Haunted House - Fiction (Grade 6)

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Haunted House - Fiction

When they reached the haunted house, they saw a weed-grown, floorless room, an ancient fireplace, a ruinous staircase, and here, there, and everywhere hung ragged and abandoned cobwebs. They presently entered, softly, ears alert and muscles tense and ready for instant retreat.

"Sh!" said Tom.

"What is it?" whispered Huck, blanching with fright.

"Keep still! Don't you budge! They're sleeping down there."

The boys stretched themselves upon the floor with their eyes to knotholes in the planking and lay waiting in a misery of fear.

Now one snore ceased. Injun Joe sat up, stared around, and smiled grimly upon his comrade, whose head was drooping upon his knees. He stirred him up with his foot and said, "Nearly time for us to be moving, pard. What'll we do with what little swag we've got left?"

"I don't know. Leave it here as we've always done, I reckon. No use to take it away till we start south. Six hundred and fifty in silver's something to carry."

"Yes, but it ain't in such a very good place; we'll just regularly bury it - and bury it deep."

"Good idea," said the comrade, who walked across the room, knelt down, raised one of the rearward hearthstones, and took out a bag that jingled pleasantly. He subtracted from it twenty or thirty dollars for himself and as much for Injun Joe and passed the bag to the latter, who was on his knees in the corner, now, digging with his bowie knife.

Joe's knife struck upon something. "Hello!" said he.

"What is it?" said his comrade.

"It's a box, I believe."

He reached his hand in and drew it out. "Man, it's money!"

The two men examined the handful of coins. They were gold.

Joe's comrade said, "We'll make quick work of this. There's an old, rusty pick over amongst the weeds in the corner on the other side of the fireplace. I saw it a minute ago."

Presently Injun Joe said, "Who could have brought those tools here? Do you reckon they can be upstairs?" The boys' breath forsook them. Injun Joe put his hand on his knife, halted a moment, undecided, and then turned toward the stairway. The boys thought of the closet, but their strength was gone. The steps came creaking up the stairs. The intolerable distress of the situation woke the stricken resolution of the lads. They were about to spring for the closet when there was a crash of rotten timbers and Injun Joe landed on the ground amid the debris of the ruined stairway. He gathered himself up cursing, and his comrade said, "Now what's the use of all that? If it's anybody and they're up there, let them STAY there. Who cares? In my opinion, whoever hove those things in here caught a sight of us and took us for ghosts or devils or something. I'll bet they're running yet."

Tom and Huck rose up, weak but vastly relieved, and stared after them through the chinks between the logs of the house.

-- An Excerpt from the Adventure's of Tom Sawyer
1. 
Which sentence from the passage best describes the story's falling action?
  1. "The boys stretched themselves upon the floor with their eyes to knotholes in the planking and lay waiting in a misery of fear."
  2. "Injun Joe sat up, stared around, and smiled grimly upon his comrade, whose head was drooping upon his knees."
  3. "Tom and Huck rose up, weak but vastly relieved, and stared after them through the chinks between the logs of the house."
  4. "Injun Joe put his hand on his knife, halted a moment, undecided, and then turned toward the stairway."
2. 
If you were creating a movie version of this passage, what would the setting be like?



3. 
If you were to create an audio version of this passage, how would you capture the tone?
  1. With sounds of boards creaking and wind howling
  2. With sounds of birds chirping and rain lightly falling
  3. With sounds of crickets chirping and frogs croaking
  4. With sounds of children laughing and instruments playing
4. 
Briefly summarize what was happening in this passage.



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