looked up in her face with just a perceptible twinkle peeping through his gravity"
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Yes, "gravity" is used in this case to mean "seriousness".
So the sentence could be rewritten to say "Tom looked up at her face, and a slight smile peeked through his serious attitude." However, the way Mark Twain wrote it was much more poetic!
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Gravity is synonymous with grave or serious. It could just mean he started cracking up or smiling a little bit from a very serious demeanor. I gotta go read the book again :P
Excellent!must have read the book more than twice but never noticed the gravity of this sentence.
'Looked with such understanding that it conveyed true seriousness of what he wanted to know/convey.'
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