Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 34 Summary
  • Tom and Huck figure out that Jim is being held in a hut near to the farmhouse. They debate over which plan would be best to steal him and escape.
  • Huck's idea is fairly basic: steal Jim, leave on the raft.
  •  But Tom and his overdeveloped sense of adventure aren't satisfied. He wants to dig Jim out of the hut.
  •  So they head to the hut and meet Nat, one of the Phelps' slaves, who is incredibly superstitious (he's afraid of witches).
  •  The boys tell Jim to stay hopeful. Since doors are for suckers, they're going to dig him out.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 35 Summary
  •  As evidenced by his disdain for doors, Tom is one of those people who likes to make life a little harder than it should be.
  • Because of this tendency, Tom devises lots of weird, literary-based strategies to help Jim escape.
  •  First he wants a saw to take off the leg from Jim's bed (that's where he's chained up).
  •  Huck cleverly remarks that you could simply lift up the bed, but like doors, such actions are for suckers.
  •  Then he wants to actually saw Jim's leg off. And make a moat around the cabin. And bake Jim a pie with a rope ladder hidden inside.
  •  All of this is necessary, he insists, since that's how they do it in adventure books.
  •  Huck steals some supplies (shirt, sheet) from the Phelpses. He tries to call it "borrowing," but Tom, who apparently is now all morals, tells him that, in fact, it's stealing, so let's just call a horse a horse.
  • However, he also says that the stealing is okay, since everyone knows prisoners get a free pass to steal what they need.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 36 Summary
  • Apparently, digging thirty-foot tunnels is tough work, especially when you don't want to use a shovel. He concedes to practicality, as long as they can pretend they dug him out with a knife and not a pickaxe.
  • Huck takes this as a sign that Tom is just full of principles.
  • The boys include Jim in plotting their various machinations, many of which include hiding things like brass candlesticks in his food.
  • When Nat (the superstitious slave) starts getting suspicious, the boys blame all the mysterious happenings on witches.
  • Not to worry. They'll bake a witch's pie to placate the spirits.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 37 Summary
  • Because plotting day-by-day to help a man escape from imprisonment isn't enough to keep these boys occupied, they also play some pranks on Silas and Sally.
  • In an oh-so-comical scene that follows, they continuously steal and replace a spoon while Aunt Sally tries to count how many there are.
  •  It's a knee-slappin' good time.
  •  While Aunt Sally goes quietly insane, the boys finally get around to baking that witch's pie.
  • They hide a rope ladder in it to give to Jim and pretend the endeavor took nine months.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 38 Summary
  • Tom makes Jim carve various inscriptions into the wall before his escape, because that's how it's done in books and history and all that jazz.
  • He then makes up a coat of arms for Jim to draw, along with several "mournful inscriptions" such as: "Here a captive heart busted" (38.18). Pure poetry.
  • In order to make the last few days of Jim's stay as pleasant as possible, they decide they need some rats, snakes, spiders, and everything else they can think of that bites, itches, scratches, or otherwise impedes a man's sleep.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 39 Summary
  • They set out to capture spiders, etc., but accidentally let the creatures loose in the house, which of course results in much screaming and jumping up on tables on the part of Aunt Sally.
  •  Jim is all, "Hey, stop putting live animals in bed with me," but Tom is having none of it.
  •  Three weeks later, they have finally sawed the leg (unnecessarily) off the bed (which was a better alternative than sawing off Jim's leg), and nearly gotten sick from eating all the sawdust in order to hide the evidence.
  •  Don't try this at home.
  •  Meanwhile, Silas has been writing letters to the supposed owners of Jim (based on false information from the king).
  • Because he hasn't gotten any responses, he starts advertising around to stir up some interest.
  • Huck realizes that they have limited time before the news reaches Miss Watson back home.
  • Tom, ever helpful, writes a "nonnamous" letter to the Phelps family that reads, "Beware. Trouble is brewing. Keep a sharp lookout." Sure, that should help things.
  • Then they draw a skull and crossbones on the door in blood, which understandably freaks the family out to no end.
  • On the night the boys are planning to steal Jim, Tom writes a detailed letter identifying himself as a thief and declaring that his fellow-thieves are getting ready to steal the slave who is tied up in Silas's hut—all so that his escape will be more thrilling.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 40 Summary
  • That night, the boys are sent upstairs to bed right after dinner, since everyone's all in a sweat about the brewing trouble.
  • Tom puts on Aunt Sally's frock so he can pretend to be Jim's mother.
  • Wacky crossdressing hijinks!
  • Shortly after dinner Huck sneaks downstairs to steal some food for their escape trip. Aunt Sally bumps into him right after he steals some butter, so to hide it he puts it… under his hat.
  • Suspicious, she takes him into the sitting room where about fifteen farmers are sitting and waiting with guns.
  • Still, the butter-on-the-head plan is working just swell until it melts. Aunt Sally, ever practical and calm, exclaims that Huck has brain fever and that his insides are squirming out of his head.
  • Sadly, Dr. House makes no appearances before she snatches the hat off Huck's head and sees the melting butter.
  • Her suspicions satisfied, she sends Huck back to bed… and he promptly hurries out the window and finds Tom and Jim in the cabin, all set to go.
  • But before they can leave, the farmers and their guns surround the small hut.
  • They creep outside, and the fifteen farmers, apparently not the most observant folks in the world, flat-out miss them in the dark.
  • Unfortunately, Tom's pants catch on a rail and rip. The noise alerts the men and chaos follows.
  • They send the dogs running after the thieves, which would be a great thief-catching device if the thieves weren't boys that the dogs knew and loved.
  • They make it to the raft and they're all happy and relieved and everything is perfect except that, oh, Tom was SHOT. In the leg.
  • But he's pleased with himself, on account of all the adventure-prowess that having a bullet wound denotes.
  • Realizing that they can't escape while Tom has a bullet in his leg, they decide Huck should get a doctor, blindfold him, swear him to secrecy, and force him to help. Meanwhile, Jim can hide in the woods so the doctor won't see him.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 41 Summary
  • Huck takes the canoe and finds the doctor and makes up a story: Tom got shot by his dream.
  • The doctor, skeptical to say the least, agrees to go. Since there's only room for one person in the canoe, Huck has to stay behind and fret about things.
  • He frets so much that he falls asleep. When he wakes up the next morning, he hightails it home and runs smack into Uncle Silas.
  • Of course, he and Sally have been up all night scared about him and "Sid." He makes up a story that he and Sid were out hunting for the runaway slave.
  •  He goes home to find a group of women with Aunt Sally, all speculating about how crazy the runaway slave was, an opinion based on all the crazy stuff they found in his cabin (the work of Tom Sawyer, of course).
  • Aunt Sally then remembers that she locked the boys in their room. But, in that case, how did they get out?
  • Huck explains sheepishly that they went out the window, and Aunt Sally starts worrying all over again about where Sid could be.
  • He feels guilty about making the poor woman sick with worry. He swears (to himself) to be good.
  • You know, from now on.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 42 Summary
  • The next morning, Tom/Sid has yet to return. Silas suddenly remembers to give Sally a letter from her sister (Polly, who usually takes care of Tom), but before she can open it, they all spot several figures approaching the farm.
  • And the figures are: Jim, wearing the stolen dress (!?) and tied up; Tom Sawyer, lying on a mattress; the doctor; and a mob of curious folks.
  • Everyone wants to hang Jim as an example, but the doctor stops them and tells his story: when he found "Sid" to fix his leg, he couldn't do anything without a second pair of hands.
  • Sid was clearly getting worse and worse, and finally Jim stepped out of hiding—even though he knew it would mean his own recapture—to save the boy's life.
  • Everyone's super-grateful, so they decide not to kill Jim.
  • But they do lock him back up in the shed.
  • They put Tom to bed and wait for him to wake up and feel chirpy, which he does the next morning.
  • He then explains everything to his aunt, about how they set Jim free and sent the anonymous notes, etc. He's quite proud of himself, but his aunt is none too pleased.
  • When Tom hears that Jim has been thrown back in captivity, he flips out. Jim is free, he says, so they ought to let him go.
  • Everyone essentially says, "What!?'
  • He explains that Miss Watson died two months ago and, feeling guilty and likely fearing hell, set Jim free in her will.
  • Everyone is happy, although Silas is probably wondering if he'll get his $40 back, and no one seems too choked up about the fact that Miss Watson is dead.
  • Adding to the fun times, Aunt Polly shows up, which blows everyone's fake identities.
  • Huck declares that now he can respect Tom's morality again since he knows he wasn't trying to free someone else's property.
  • Also, we find out that Tom's been hiding all the letters that Aunt Polly had sent to her sister.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The Last Chapter Summary
  • Tom gives Jim $40 to compensate him for every atrocity he suffered, including: being a prisoner; living with spiders, snakes, and other creepy critters; being threatened with amputation; eating minimal amounts of food for a month.
  • Jim is stoked about his good fortune, which he chalks up to his having a hairy chest.
  • Finally, remember that dead guy near Jackson's Island way back when this crazy adventure started?
  • Turns out that was Huck's father, so Huck doesn't have to worry about him showing up and being drunk and abusive anymore.
  • Judge Thatcher, unlike Miss Watson and Pap, hasn't died. He still has Huck's $6,000 back home, which, at the going rate for prisoners, is enough to fund about 150 more mock rescues.
  • Pack up the raft, Tom.
  • So, is it back to "sivilization" for Huck?
  • Not a chance. He's headed out west, to "Injun" country, to have lots more adventures.