The next day, after breakfast, Aunt Polly and Mary try to teach Tom and Sid their bible verses – this is the kind of thing they have to do before Sunday school.
Tom isn't much for studying, and can't even remember the very short verses from the Sermon on the Mount ("Blessed are the poor in spirit," etc.).
Though he can't recite a thing, Tom receives a knife from Mary, and proceeds to carve up anything in sight. Mary then forces Tom to bathe and get dressed – wearing shoes and everything! – and she and Tom and Sid head off to Sunday school.
Tom proceeds to barter with his fellow boys – remember, he's rolling in "dough" – for a bunch of colored tickets. The Sunday school, it seems, has a system for rewarding good pupils: for every bible verse recited, a student receives a ticket; the more bible verses the more tickets, with some tickets being worth, say, five verses, and others ten.
Tom manages to collect enough tickets for, well…let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Now, eventually, if a student memorizes enough verses and gets enough tickets, they are given a plainly bound Bible in return. We're told that Mary, the reverent studious girl that she is, has collected two – in two years' time – and that this German kid – clearly some kind of automaton – has managed to win five, but that he also lost his mind in the process.
In the middle of Sunday-school Superintendent Walters's boring little sermon, the boys and girls begin to whisper to each other: an older, dignified gentleman and lady have entered the room, and with them is…the girl from outside Jeff's house.
As usual, Tom is love-struck and starts showing off again.
Turns out the man is Becky's father, Judge Thatcher – Judge being his title, not his name – from faraway, or, well, twelve-mile-away, Constantinople.
Now other people start showing off: Jeff Thatcher goes up to greet his uncle, the various teachers start making themselves busy scolding their pupils, and the pupils do whatever they can to call attention to themselves.
Superintendent Walters decides to really show off and let Judge Thatcher just how good a teacher he is.
He asks if any of his students have collected enough tickets to receive a Bible.
Out of nowhere, Tom Sawyer comes out of the crowd and presents his tickets; he's collected enough to win a prize.
Though Walters is skeptical at first – and rightly so – but the tickets are genuine, and he can only give Tom the Bible.
Tom is introduced to the judge, but is too awestruck and tongue-tied to form a coherent sentence.
Judge Thatcher compliments him on his dedication and intelligence.
After all this he asks, Tom if he wouldn't mind demonstrating some of his knowledge by, say, giving the names of the first two apostles appointed by Jesus.
Tom, who probably didn't even know how many apostles there were in the first place, is embarrassed; he can't understand why the Judge would put him on the spot.
After some more prodding, Tom blurts out the first two names that come to mind: "David and Goliah!"
Twain ends the scene abruptly, saving Tom from any further embarrassment.