Chapter 16 Notes from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Chapter 16

Tom wakes up about noon, and the boys eat and then go hunting for turtle eggs.

They play in the water, dunking each other, and then play in the sand until they get bored. Huck and Joe go back in the water for another swim, but Tom declines, because he has lost his string of rattlesnake rattles, his magic charm against cramps.

Topic Tracking: Superstition 8

Tom eventually finds the charm, but Huck and Joe are too tired to swim any more. The mood turns back to homesickness. The boys wander apart and look across the river to their old village. Tom writes "BECKY" in the sand with his toe. Joe is very homesick. Nothing Tom says can bring Joe's spirits up. Joe insists that the island has lost its fun. Huck speaks up and tells Tom he wants to leave as well. Joe and Huck begin to leave, and Tom, realizing how lonely he will be, chases after them and tells them the secret idea he had while at Aunt Polly's house. They begin to play with new energy, happy that Tom has had such a brilliant idea.

At dinner, Tom and Joe decide they want to learn to smoke. Huck makes them pipes, and Tom and Joe begin to brag about how much fun smoking is. Tom tells Joe that sometime they should just start smoking around the boys, showing off their new expert ability.

"'Say--boys, don't say anything about it, and some time when they're around, I'll come up to you and say, "Joe, got a pipe? I want a smoke." And You'll say, kind of careless like, as if it warn't anything, you'll say, "Yes, I got my old pipe, and another one, but my tobacker ain't very good." And I'll say, "Oh, that's all right, if it's strong enough." And then you'll out with the pipes, and we'll light up just as ca'm, and just see 'em look!'" Chapter 16, pg. 102

Soon, however, Tom and Joe begin spitting a lot. They start to get pale. Joe drops his pipe, and then tells the other boys he thinks he's lost his knife in the forest. Tom offers to help look, and the boys tell Huck to stay put. Huck waits for an hour, and then goes to look for them. He finds them both asleep, far apart from each other, pale and obviously a little sick. "But something informed him that if they had had any trouble they had got rid of it." Chapter 16, pg. 102 At supper, Tom and Joe are quiet, and when Huck offers them some tobacco, they say no, because something from dinner was making them feel sick.

Topic Tracking: Growing Up 8

Around midnight, a violent thunderstorm suddenly blows up. They dash for their tent, losing each other in the pouring rain. They all eventually find the tent, each soaking wet. The wind is strong and blows the flap of the tent wide open, and the boys grab each other, scared, and run to a big tree on the riverbank for shelter. When the storm finally blows over, they return to camp to find their camp ruined. Luckily, a bit of one large log from the fire is still burning, so they go to work rebuilding the fire. Once the fire is back, they sit by it the rest of the night, drying off.

The long night has put homesickness back in them. To fight it, Tom suggests they be Indians for a while, and they take off all their clothes and paint their bodies and have a war between their three tribes.

Topic Tracking: Imagination 7

After a full afternoon, they sit down for supper, but realize that they must smoke a peace pipe to end their Indian battles. Tom and Joe are a little uncomfortable, but they know it is the only way, and they find that this time the smoke doesn't make them sick if they are careful. Proud at their new habit, they spend the rest of the evening practicing.

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