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
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
" letter to the
Phelps family that reads, "Beware. Trouble is brewing. Keep a sharp
- 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
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
- 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.
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
before they can leave, the farmers and their guns surround the small
creep outside, and the fifteen farmers, apparently not the most
observant folks in the world, flat-out miss them in the dark.
Tom's pants catch on a rail and rip. The noise alerts the men and chaos
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
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.
he's pleased with himself, on account of all the adventure-prowess that
having a bullet wound denotes.
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
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 41 Summary
takes the canoe and finds the doctor and makes up a story: Tom got shot
by his dream.
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
frets so much that he falls asleep. When he wakes up the next morning,
he hightails it home and runs smack into Uncle
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.
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).
Sally then remembers that she locked the boys in their room. But, in
that case, how did they get out?
explains sheepishly that they went out the window, and Aunt Sally starts
worrying all over again about where Sid could be.
feels guilty about making the poor woman sick with worry. He swears (to
himself) to be good.
know, from now on.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 42 Summary
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.
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.
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.
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
super-grateful, so they decide not to kill Jim.
they do lock him back up in the shed.
put Tom to bed and wait for him to wake up and feel chirpy, which he
does the next morning.
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.
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.
essentially says, "What!?'
explains that Miss Watson died two months ago and, feeling guilty and
likely fearing hell, set Jim free in her will.
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
to the fun times, Aunt Polly shows up, which blows
everyone's fake identities.
declares that now he can respect Tom's morality again since he knows he
wasn't trying to free someone else's property.
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
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
remember that dead guy near Jackson's Island way back when this crazy
out that was Huck's father, so Huck doesn't have to worry about him
showing up and being drunk and abusive anymore.
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.
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