Tom hears good news on Friday morning: The Thatcher family has returned from their family vacation. Tom spends most of the day with Becky, and she talks her mother into the promised picnic for the next day.Invitations are sent out, and everyone gathers the next morning for the chartered ferryboat. Mrs. Thatcher decides that, because it will be late, Becky should stay with a friend near the ferry landing. Tom talks Becky into joining him for ice cream at the Widow Douglas' house after the ride, and Becky reluctantly agrees.Three miles down river, the ferry boat stops, and everyone plays until someone shouts that it is time to try McDougal's cave, a "vast labyrinth of crooked aisles." Everyone knows some of the cave--and Tom knows as much as anyone did--but no one alive knows the entire cave. After much wandering
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