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The man who would become known as Mark Twain was born Samuel Clemens in Florida, Missouri, on November 30th, 1835. His father was a judge who had lived in Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. His mother was from Kentucky. When Clemens was still a small child, the family moved to Hannibal, Missouri, on the banks of the Mississippi River. In Hannibal, the young Clemens experienced life on the river firsthand, both the good and the bad. He experienced small town society, and witnessed the violence perpetrated by the men who wandered up and down the river.
When Clemens was twelve, his father died and Clemens went to work as a printer's apprentice. There, he took his first steps into writing and journalism. In 1852, at age seventeen, he published his first story, "The Dandy Frightening The Squatter." A year later, he left Hannibal for St. Louis, and from here traveled east to New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. He eventually wandered to Iowa, and then Cincinnati, Ohio, where his boyhood interest in the river returned. In 1857, he took a job on a riverboat, planning to travel to South America while reporting his experiences for the Evening Post. He only wrote three pieces, however. Instead, he threw himself into river boating with all his energy. There he heard the term "Mark Twain," which was the riverboat warning for shallow, barely manageable water (roughly two fathoms) ahead. Soon after, he began using Mark Twain as his pen name.
In 1861, Twain served for a short period of time with the Confederate Army, and then traveled west to Nevada and California. He worked as a journalist there, primarily in San Francisco, until 1867, when he returned once again to New York City. In 1870, he married Olivia Langdon and settled in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1876, after establishing himself as a renowned lecturer, he published The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
Set in a fictional town on the Missouri bank of the Mississippi River, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was, in many ways, a tribute to Clemens' own childhood in Hannibal. Episodes, characters, and settings from his own childhood-the cave, Injun Joe, Aunt Polly, the Cadets of Temperance-became important parts of Tom's story. In fact, Twain's original plan for the book was to cover the span of Tom's life well into adulthood, when he would return to visit St. Petersburg a grown man, the same way Twain himself had done during a lecture-tour. During the writing process, however, he decided that Tom shouldn't grow up in the book, and focused specifically on Tom's boyhood. Within the framework of the novel, however, he managed to create a story that, while upbeat, managed to be critical of the small-town society he grew up in.
After Tom Sawyer, Twain went on to write several other books, including The Prince and The Pauper, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, as well as two more, lesser-known Tom Sawyer books. As a writer, he was highly regarded and became quite rich, but his personal life was marred by tragedy. His baby son, Langdon, died in 1872. Poor investments drove his family into debt and forced them to live in exile in Europe until 1900. Susy, his second child, died in 1896, during their stay in Europe. Olivia died in 1904, and Jean, his youngest daughter, died in 1909. When Twain died on April 21st, 1910, he left only his daughter Clara behind.
Emerson, Everett. The Authentic Mark Twain: A Literary Biography of Samuel L. Clemens. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1984.
Kaplan, Justin. Mr. Clemens And Mr. Twain: A Biography. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1966.
Twain, Mark. Mark Twain's Own Autobiography: The Chapters From the North American Review. (Introduction and Notes by Michael J. Kiskis.) Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1990.
Unger, Leo, ed. American Writers-Collected Literary Biographies, p. 190-212. New York: Scribner, 1974.
The book begins in St. Petersburg, Missouri, a small village on the banks of the Mississippi River in the mid-1800s. Tom, a mischievous boy, is hiding from his Aunt Polly while stealing jam from the pantry. When caught, he runs away and goes swimming instead of going to school.
The next day, Aunt Polly punishes him for playing hookey by making him whitewash their entire fence. Tom instead convinces the other boys in town that whitewashing is fun and gets them to do all the work for him. Aunt Polly lets him go and he goes to play with his friend Joe. The two boys have wild imaginations and a taste for getting into trouble. On his way home from playing, Tom sees a beautiful girl and falls in love with her.
That Sunday, the whole family must go to church. At Sunday school, Tom trades other boys for tickets that will earn him a free Bible. To actually earn the Bible, children must collect tickets by learning two thousand Bible verses. Tom's new love, Becky Thatcher, arrives at Sunday school with her father, a judge. Tom proudly claims his Bible in front of everyone, but cannot name the first two disciples when questioned by Judge Thatcher. At church, he entertains himself by playing with a pinch bug, which bites a dog and causes a huge disruption.
On his way to school on Monday, Tom runs into Huckleberry Finn, the son of the town drunk. Huck is homeless, can't read and lives a wild life. Tom is late for school, and for punishment is forced to sit next to Becky, which he is happy about. At lunch, Tom and Becky meet and Tom convinces her that they should get engaged and kiss. She does kiss him, but Tom lets it slip that he was already engaged to someone else, and she rejects him. Tom skips the rest of school and meets Joe in the woods to play Robin Hood.
At midnight, Tom and Huck sneak into the graveyard. Once there, they hear people coming and hide. Dr. Robinson arrives with Injun Joe, an evil criminal, and Muff Potter. They are stealing bodies from the grave. The men argue. Muff Potter is knocked out, and Injun Joe murders Dr. Robinson. Tom and Huck run away, fearing for their lives. When Muff Potter awakes, Injun Joe tells him that he, not Injun Joe, murdered the Doctor.
Tom and Huck, scared, swear never to tell anyone what they saw. However, Tom is bothered by the event and begins to have nightmares. Becky gets sick and he becomes very depressed. When Becky returns to school, she rejects him again and Tom decides to run away.
He convinces Joe and Huck that they should become pirates, and they steal a skiff and sail to Jackson's Island, down-river from St. Petersburg. There they play and talk about what they will do as pirates. They see people from the village searching the river for them, and realize that they townsfolk believe that they have drowned. They begin to get homesick, but Tom convinces them that they should stay on the island. That night, however, he sneaks back to St. Petersburg.
Tom intends on leaving Aunt Polly a note saying that they are alive and well. When he sneaks into his house, he hides and listens to Aunt Polly, Joe's mother, his brother Sid, and his cousin Mary crying and talking about funeral plans for the boys. Tom waits until Aunt Polly is asleep and sneaks back out, without leaving the note.
After Tom returns to the island, he tells Huck and Joe of a great plan he has devised. Huck teaches them how to smoke, although they get sick doing it. That night, there is a terrible storm, and the boys spend most of the night getting soaked and trying to find shelter. The day of the funeral, they act on Tom's plan: they return to the village and hide in the gallery of the church to watch their own funeral. In the middle of the funeral, they come out of hiding and the entire town is overjoyed.
Back at school, Tom and Becky are still fighting. Becky accidentally rips a page in the schoolmaster's book, but Tom, out of love, pretends he did it and takes the punishment for her. She is grateful and their fighting stops.
School ends with the boys playing a prank on the schoolmaster in front of the whole village. Becky leaves town for the summer, and Tom is sad and very bored. Tom gets the measles and is sick for two weeks. A revival comes to town and everyone, even Huck, gets very religious for a short time.
Soon enough, that ends, just in time for Muff Potter's trial to begin. Tom is still wracked with guilt about letting Muff Potter take the blame for Injun Joe's crime. He goes against his oath and confesses what he knows to the defense attorney. He testifies in court, and Muff Potter is freed, but not before Injun Joe escapes.
Tom and Huck go looking for buried treasure. Instead, they find Injun Joe again. While hiding from him, they discover that he is in possession of a large amount of treasure. They decide to spy on him and try to steal it. Becky returns to town, and all the children (except Huck) go on a picnic to McDougal's Cave. While exploring, Tom and Becky get lost and left behind.
The same night Tom and Becky get lost, Huck follows Injun Joe and another man to Widow Douglas's house. He overhears Injun Joe's plan to hurt the Widow Douglas, and runs to Mr. Jones, the Welshman, to get help. Mr. Jones and his sons chase Injun Joe off. The next day, Huck is exhausted and gets very sick. At church that morning, Aunt Polly realizes that Tom and Becky are missing, and the town begins to search the maze-like cave to find them.
Inside the cave, Tom and Becky realize they are lost and try to find a way out. At one point, Tom thinks he's found someone, but all he discovers is Injun Joe hiding out in the cave. After many days, just as they've given up hope, Tom sees light and leads Becky out. The townsfolk are overjoyed when they return. Judge Thatcher has the door to the cave sealed. When Tom finds out, he tells the judge that Injun Joe is inside, but they arrive too late, and Injun Joe has starved to death.
After Injun Joe's funeral, Tom realizes that the treasure is hidden in the cave. He and Huck go back and find the treasure. When they return, they are summoned to the Widow Douglas's house, where Mr. Jones tells everyone that Huck is the one who saved the Widow's life. The Widow, out of gratitude, announces that she will adopt Huck. Tom reveals that they have found Injun Joe's treasure. They are both rich.
Huck has a hard time living under Widow Douglas's roof and runs away. Tom convinces him to return and become a part of respectable society with the promise that they will start a dangerous gang of robbers. Huck agrees, and they go back to the village.
Tom Sawyer: Tom is a young, mischevious, adventurous boy. He has an active imagination, and gets into trouble a lot. He is a born leader, and very headstrong. Throughout the book he goes through many adventures that change him.
Aunt Polly: Tom's aunt, who he lives with. Aunt Polly is religious and proper, but kindhearted. Although she fights with Tom a lot, she loves him very much and cares for his well-being.
Sid: Tom's younger brother. He is well behaved and proper, but lives to get Tom in trouble. Unlike Aunt Polly or Tom's cousin Mary, Sid has a mean streak to go with his upright behavior.
Joe Harper: Joe is Tom's best friend, and has the same taste for trouble and imagination. He runs away to Jackson's Island to be a pirate.
Becky Thatcher: Becky is a spirited, beautiful girl. Tom falls in love with her the first time he sees her. Her strong will challenges Tom throughout their courtship. She and Tom get lost in McDougal's Cave together.
Widow Douglas: The Widow is the richest person in St. Petersburg. She is very kind and loving, and is generous with the town's children. She is very religious, in a sincere way. She takes Huck in as thanks for saving her life.
Huckleberry Finn: Huck is the son of the town drunk and a wild boy. He doesn't go to school, church, or any other social function. He cannot read. He is loved by the children and feared by the adults because he doesn't conform. He is less imaginative or fanciful than Tom, but more practical. He and Tom witness Injun Joe killing Dr. Robinson and eventually find his treasure.
Injun Joe: The villain of the book. He is half-Indian and a hateful, evil criminal who steals and murders without a thought. He murders Dr. Robinson and would have hurt Widow Douglas if Huck hadn't gotten help.
Jim: Aunt Polly's 'colored boy.' Although the book doesn't say, Jim is clearly a servant, most likely a slave. He does most of the work around the house, including a lot of Tom's.
Ben Rogers: Another of Tom's friends in town, although not as good a friend as Joe or Huck. He is the first person Tom tricks into whitewashing the fence.
Jeff Thatcher: Tom's friend and Becky's cousin. Tom tries to get information about Becky from him when she is sick.
Amy Lawrence: Tom's great love before Becky comes to town. He uses her to make Becky jealous.
Mary: Tom's cousin, proper and sweet. She is older and worries about Tom a lot.
Mr. Walters: The Sunday-school teacher, who has a bad opinion of Tom. He is shocked when Tom has enough tickets to get a free Bible.
Judge Thatcher: Becky's father, an important judge. Tom earns his respect by saving Becky's life in the cave.
Willie Mufferson: The 'model boy' of the village. He is very proper and stuck-up and the kind of kid parents tell kids they should act more like. Tom and the rest of the boys in town hate him.
The Schoolmaster: A big, bald man who wears a wig. He is angry that he is just a teacher and wishes he could be something important, like a doctor. He is very mean to the students, but is embarrassed by them on Examination Day.
Dr. Robinson: A young doctor who steals bodies from graves, until he is murdered one night by Injun Joe.
Muff Potter: A lower-class drunk of the town, Potter is a nice man who is framed for Dr. Robinson's murder by Injun Joe.
Mrs. Harper: Joe's mother and a friend of Aunt Polly, she worries about Joe as much as Aunt Polly worries about Tom.
Alfred Temple: Recently moved from St. Louis, Alfred has very nice clothes. Tom beats him up when he first comes to town. Later, Becky flirts with him to make Tom jealous, and Alfred destroys Tom's spelling book.
Unknown Man: Injun Joe's accomplice in his attempted revenge against Widow Douglas. He's not as ruthless as Joe, but is too scared of him to not do what he says.
The Welshman: Mr. Jones, who chases Injun Joe away from the Widow Douglas's house after Huck warns him of the danger.
Fence: Aunt Polly forces Tom to whitewash this large fence, a chore that should take him several hours, although he finds an easy way to do it. Tom often climbs over this fence when coming in and out of his house.
Tickets: Prizes for memorizing Bible passages at church. Ten blues are worth a red; the reds, a yellow; ten yellows gets a Bible. Tom finds a way to get a Bible without memorizing all 2000 verses as required.
Percussion-cap box: A box that holds a small explosive charge. Tom uses it to carry bugs around, and releases a pinch-bug from it during church, leading to a big disruption.
Dead cats: These are very magical, according to the local superstition. Huck tries to cure warts with one; they are also used in rituals to discover information about Dr. Robinson's murder.
Brass knob: Tom's favorite possession, a knob from a fireplace. He tries to give it to Becky as an offer of love, but she rejects the gift. When Tom runs away to be a pirate, she regrets giving the knob up.
Secret spots: Tom and the other boys have several of these, where they hide their toys and other possessions. Tom hides his bow and other things in the woods by the Widow Douglas' house, where he and Joe play Robin Hood.
Potter's knife: Muff Potter's knife, which Injun Joe uses to murder Dr. Robinson. When it is found by the body, the townsfolk assume Potter did it.
Patent Medicines: Fake medicines sold in magazines. Aunt Polly believes in them strongly and tries them on Tom to cure his depression. Tom feeds one to Aunt Polly's cat.
Jackson's Island: An island downriver from St. Petersburg, where Tom, Huck and Joe stay when they run away to be pirates.
Spelling book: Tom's book, which Alfred Temple destroys with ink out of revenge.
The Schoolmaster's book: An anatomy book that the schoolmaster studies often in hopes that it will help him become a doctor. Becky accidentally rips a page in it, but Tom takes the blame for the damage.
Treasure: The money Tom and Huck search for and discover in the possession of Injun Joe.
Number Two: The location of Injun Joe's treasure, which Tom and Huck believe is a room in a local tavern, but is actually in McDougal's Cave.
McDougal's cave: A huge maze-like cave near St. Petersburg, where Tom and Becky get lost and which Tom later declares to be his robber's den.
Kite string: What Tom uses to guide himself through unknown parts of the cave, by tying it to a rock and walking until he runs out of string. He can then follow the string back to his original spot.
Quote 1: "'My! Look behind you, Aunt!'" Chapter 1, pg. 2
Quote 2: "He was not the Model Boy of the village. He knew the model boy very well though--and loathed him." Chapter 1, pg. 4
Quote 3: "'Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?'" Chapter 2, pg. 12
Quote 4: "He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it--namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain." Chapter 2, pg. 13
Quote 5: "...each blue ticket was pay for two verses of the recitation. Ten blue tickets equaled a red one, and could be exchanged for it; ten red tickets equaled a yellow one; for ten yellow tickets the superintendent gave a very plainly bound Bible (worthy forty cents in those easy times) to the pupil. How many of my readers would have the industry and application to memorize two thousand verses, even for a Dore' Bible?" Chapter 4, pg. 24
Quote 6: "Monday morning found Tom miserable." Chapter 6, pg. 35
Quote 7: "You only just tell a boy you won't ever have anybody but him, ever ever ever, and then you kiss and that's all. Anybody can do it." Chapter 7, pg. 49
Quote 8: "They said they would rather be outlaws a year in Sherwood Forest than President of the United States forever." Chapter 8, pg. 57
Quote 9: "Five years ago you drove me away from your father's kitchen one night, when I come to ask for something to eat, and you said I warn't there for any good; and when I swore I'd get even with you if it took a hundred years, your father had me jailed for a vagrant. Did you think I'd forget? The Injun blood ain't in me for nothing. And now I've got you, and you got to settle, you know!" Chapter 9, pg. 61
Quote 10: "This final feather broke the camel's back." Chapter 10, pg. 70
Quote 11: "All the 'rot' they [health magazines] contained about ventilation, and how to go to bed, and how to get up, and what to eat, and what to drink, and how much exercise to take, and what frame of mind to keep one's self in, and what sort of clothing to wear, was all gospel to her, and she never observed that her health journals of the current month customarily upset everything they had recommended the month before." Chapter 12, pg. 75
Quote 12: "'Because if he'd 'a' had one she'd 'a' burnt him out herself! She'd 'a' roasted his bowels out of him 'thout any more feeling than if he was a human!'" Chapter 12, pg. 78
Quote 13: "Plainly, here were 'two souls with but a single thought.'" Chapter 13, pg. 80
Quote 14: "Here was a gorgeous triumph; they were missed; they were mourned; hearts were breaking on their account; tears were being shed; accusing memories of unkindnesses to these poor lost lads were rising up, and unavailing regrets and remorse were being indulged: and best of all, the departed were the talk of the whole town, and the envy of all the boys, as far as this dazzling notoriety was concerned. This was fine. It was worth being a pirate, after all." Chapter 14, pg. 91
Quote 15: "'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
Quote 16: "But something informed him that if they had had any trouble they had got rid of it." Chapter 16, pg. 102
Quote 17: "The group loitered away, still recalling memories of the lost heroes, in awed voices." Chapter 17, pg. 107
Quote 18: "They had been hid in the unused gallery listening to their own funeral sermon!" Chapter 17, pg. 109
Quote 19: "Tom got more cuffs and kisses that day--according to Aunt Polly's varying moods--than he had earned before in a year; and he hardly knew which expressed the most gratefulness to God and affection to himself." Chapter 17, pg. 109
Quote 20: "'Auntie, I wish I hadn't done it--but I didn't think.'" Chapter 19, pg. 118
Quote 21: "'I could forgive the boy, now, if he'd committed a million sins!'" Chapter 19, pg. 120
Quote 22: "'All right, though; she'd like to see me in just such a fix--let her sweat it out!'" Chapter 20, pg. 122
Quote 23: "The glaring insincerity of these sermons was not sufficient to compass the banishment of the fashion from the schools, and it is not sufficient to-day; it never will be sufficient while the world stands, perhaps." Chapter 21, pg. 128
Quote 24: "'Your honor, in our remarks at the opening of this trial, we foreshadowed our purpose to prove that our client did this fearful deed while under the influence of a blind and irresponsible delirium produced by drink. We have changed our mind. We shall not offer that plea.' [Then to the clerk:] 'Call Thomas Sawyer!'" Chapter 23, pg. 139
Quote 25: "deaf-and-dumb" Chapter 26, pg. 152
Quote 26: "Number Two--under the cross." Chapter 26, pg. 155
Quote 27: "'He likes me, becuz I don't ever act as if I was above him. Sometimes I've set right down and eat with him. But you needn't tell that.'" Chapter 28, pg. 163
Quote 28: "'Damn her, maybe she's got company--there's lights, late as it is.'" Chapter 29, pg. 168
Quote 29: "...if the beam had been wholly cut away Injun Joe could not have squeezed his body under the door, and he knew it. So he had hacked that place in order to be doing something--in order to pass the weary time--in order to employ his tortured faculties." Chapter 33, pg. 191
Quote 30: "[They] confessed that they had had almost as satisfactory a time at the funeral as they could have had at the hanging." Chapter 33, pg. 192
Quote 31: "There--what did I tell you? Half of it's Huck's and half of it's mine!" Chapter 34, pg. 203
Quote 32: "'Don't talk about it, Tom. I've tried it, and it don't work; it don't work, Tom. It ain't for me; I ain't used to it. The widder's good to me, and friendly; but I can't stand them ways. She makes me git up just at the same time every morning; she makes me wash, they comb me all to thunder; she won't let me sleep in the woodshed; I got to wear them blamed clothes that just smothers me, Tom; they don't seem to let any air git through 'em, somehow; and they're so rotten nice that I can't set down, nor lay down, nor roll around anywher's; I hain't slid on a cellar-door for--well, it 'pears to be years; I got to go to church and sweat and sweat--I hate them ornery sermons! I can't ketch a fly in there, I can't chaw. I got to wear shoes all Sunday. The widder eats by a bell; she goes to bed by a bell; she gits up by a bell--everything's so awful reg'lar a body can't stand it.'" Chapter 35, pg. 205
Quote 33: "When one writes a novel about grown people, he knows exactly where to stop--that is, with a marriage; but when he writes of juveniles, he must stop where he best can." Chapter 35, pg. 208
Growing Up 1: Tom begins the book as an adventurous, immature boy. His running from Aunt Polly, laziness at chores, and playing hooky to swim are all signs of this. He often runs away rather than pay for his actions. Throughout the book, Tom faces many challenges that change him and how he approaches responsibility.
Growing Up 2: This is the first sign of Tom's potential adulthood. When he gets others to whitewash the fence, he discovers a valuable insight into human nature and why people find some things appealing and others unappealing. A child would simply be happy that the work was done with no effort. Instead, this is a very adult discovery, showing that Tom has the capacity to grow.
Growing Up 3: Tom's understanding of love is childish and immature. His interest in Becky is not really love, but a crush. He doesn't understand the commitment that love requires. When he accidentally tells Becky he was engaged to Amy before her, he shows that he cannot understand what love means at this point.
Growing Up 4: When Tom and Huck witness the murder of Dr. Robinson, they are forced into a situation that they cannot possibly understand as children. It is as adults that they must eventually deal with the impact of the horrible event they saw. They run away out of fear because they are, as children, powerless to do anything. By signing an oath not to tell anyone what they saw, they are attempting to deal with the murder as children. This experience is what drives them to grow throughout the rest of the story.
Growing Up 5: Tom's experience in the graveyard is disturbing his natural way of doing things. He talks in his sleep and avoids the usual superstitious games the boys play. Instead, he visits Muff Potter in jail, giving him food and tobacco. This is a different side of the normally mischievous, playful Tom. Since he has sworn not to tell anyone about the murder, and is deathly scared of what Injun Joe would do to him, the only way he can cope with the situation is performing small acts of kindness for Potter. This is the initial step from boy to adult that he takes.
Growing Up 6: In running away, Tom and Joe have committed themselves to something much bigger than simple play. They feel very guilty over stealing. For the first time, their actions seem to have consequences. The reality of running away to become pirates is very different than simply pretending. They might talk of the robbing and killing they will do as pirates, but actual crimes such as stealing food seem unacceptable. Only when they each decide that they will not steal can they go to sleep. Huck feels no such guilt, because he isn't constricted by the civilized rules Tom and Joe were raised with.
Growing Up 7: This chapter illustrates the conflict between the boy and the man in Tom. The adult part of Tom makes him return home. He plans to leave a note for Aunt Polly assuring her that they are alive, because he is concerned for her and doesn't want anyone to be worried about them. When he actually hears how upset everyone is, he considers giving up and telling everyone where they are. However, he chooses to stay hidden and not leave a note. Instead, he has a grand idea-a boy's idea-of how to solve his problem, and leaves.
Growing Up 8: Here again we see the difference between Huck and the other boys. Huck smokes, because no one has ever told him not to, so it is a natural thing for him. Tom and Joe, however, see it as an impressive sign of manhood, and immaturely think about who they can impress back at the village with their new habit. When the tobacco starts making them sick, they cannot admit it, and must find excuses to go to the woods to deal with the consequences.
Growing Up 9: Tom lies to Aunt Polly to impress her, but once she discovers his lie, he is sincerely sorry. The guilt that made him sneak back to town from the island returns, but he has a hard time proving that to her. She thinks he told the lie to torture her, as an immature boy would. Tom realizes that his lie has made her distrust him and hurt her, and he is ashamed and upset. He now understands how his actions can hurt the people he cares about. Only when Aunt Polly forgives him does he feel better.
Growing Up 10: Tom bravely takes responsibility for Becky's mistake, to protect her from a whipping at the hand of the schoolmaster. It doesn't matter to him that he will have to take one for her. His love for Becky has changed from a crush to a sincere concern for her well-being. His sacrifice makes Becky care about him even more, because she sees the kindness and bravery in him. This moment changes their relationship from petty and childish to caring and mature. Their fighting is put aside and they are a couple for the rest of the book.
Growing Up 11: Tom makes a pivotal choice that brings him into adulthood. Although he is scared of Injun Joe, he breaks his oath to stay silent about the murder and comes forward to tell the truth. He understands that he cannot avoid the responsibility of testifying. His maturing conscience won't let him stay silent any longer.
Growing Up 12: When Tom and Huck decide to watch Injun Joe and find an opportunity to steal the treasure, they have no illusions about it being a game. They understand how dangerous Injun Joe is, but they are determined to get the real treasure they only imagined of a few days before. This decision is both mature and immature. They know what kind of trouble they could get into, but they aren't mature enough to go to an adult for help.
Growing Up 13: Here it is obvious that Huck is growing up as well, in his own way. Earlier in the book, he would have simply run away. Here, he knows he must go for help and save the Widow, and does so. It is only when the shooting begins that he runs, knowing that he shouldn't be involved in the gunfight.
Growing Up 14: Trapped in the cave, Tom is again forced into an adult role and takes responsibility for his actions. His only thought is to protect Becky and find their way out of the cave, no matter how hopeless it seems. There is no imagination or adventure here, but the simple, desperate responsibility of finding a way out.
Growing Up 15: Tom's experiences have made him a much more mature person. When he convinces Huck to stay, he does so with an understanding of the importance of accepting society and being a part of it. He and Huck are rich and they have futures, and Tom understands this. He is not fully grown, yet-he still dreams of becoming a robber and all the boyish things that he has always wanted--but he is definitely a changed person with a greater maturity. Twain ends the book at a point where Tom the boy is definitely on his way to becoming a man.
Imagination 1: All the boys of the village have active imaginations, especially Tom. It is an essential part of their enjoyment of life. Here we see Tom and Joe pitting their armies against each other, and they believe the play is completely real. The book doesn't say they are "playing" war. Instead, the boys actually imagine they are at war. For Tom and Joe and the rest of the boys, "playing" is as significant and important as reality.
Imagination 2: Tom is so angry at Becky that his only escape is his imagination. When he dreams of leaving St. Petersburg to be a soldier or pirate or Indian, the anger and pain of the real world leaves him. He imagines how people will react when he returns from such great adventures a changed person. Tom often uses daydreaming when he is upset, to make himself feel better.
Imagination 3: Tom and Joe live for adventure, and many of their adventures come out of books. Their play is often fueled by the adventures they've read about. Robin Hood is one of their favorites. They act out scenes from Robin Hood stories exactly as they happened. The fantasy of their books is as real to them as anything else, which is why they do not change the story from how the book says it happens.
Imagination 4: Tom loses interest in the adventures his imagination creates, because the realities of Dr. Robinson's murder and Becky's illness cannot be ignored through daydreaming. These worries are the most important he's ever dealt with. This is the first time in his life that his ability to pretend to be something else fails him. Instead, he becomes depressed and stops playing completely, which worries Aunt Polly, who doesn't understand what Tom is burdened with.
Imagination 5: Huck is very different from Tom and Joe. Tom and Joe see running away as an adventure out of a book, but for Huck, eating what he can and sleeping where he can is just part of life. Since he can't read, Tom and Joe must explain what they know about pirates to him. He's never had the chance to imagine things out of books. He worries about his clothes not being fancy enough because he doesn't have the same instinct to pretend that Tom and Joe have.
Imagination 6: Whenever Tom tells a story, his imagination takes over and he exaggerates everything to make it more interesting. He is never satisfied with the real story, because in his imagination, it becomes more and more interesting as he changes and exaggerates details.
Imagination 7: The boys are very homesick. Tom understands the importance of distraction when upset, and suggests that they be Indians for a while. By doing so, he cheers everyone up. The reality of running away to be pirates can only be escaped by pretending to be something else.
Imagination 8: Tom tells Aunt Polly the story of him coming back to St. Petersburg and hiding under her bed as if it were a dream. He does this because he wants to tell her the story of his return, but he lies and says it was a dream to avoid admitting that he actually did return. He wants to prove that he cares about her, but can only relate the story through fantasy.
Imagination 9: Tom and Joe are heroes to many of the children. As before, Tom stretches the truth of their adventures to make them sound more impressive. The more he exaggerates, the more attention they get.
Imagination 10: Just like before, Huck depends on Tom's imagination when they are together. Huck knows nothing of the glories of treasure, and depends on Tom to explain it, which Tom does happily. Tom tells him all about maps and robbers and diamonds and kings, and much like before, excites Huck's limited imagination in the process.
Imagination 11: Although Huck and Tom are doing something very real, finding Injun Joe's treasure, his imagination is still very strong. It is exciting that they will soon be rich, but this is made more exciting by dreaming of turning the cave into a den for his gang of robbers. After all the growing experiences the two boys have been through, they are still most happy when imagining even greater adventures for themselves.
Imagination 12: Tom convinces Huck to stay by telling him about the wonderful things they will get to do in their gang. However, Tom doesn't simply rattle off things he learned from a book. He instead uses the stories he's read and his own imagination to convince Huck that he must stay and live with the Widow.
Religion 1: Religion is an important part of the society Tom lives in. To Tom, religion is a tiresome and boring obligation. Aunt Polly, Sid, and Mary are all more religious than Tom is. When Tom goes to bed without saying his prayers, it is a powerful act of defiance.
Religion 2: When Tom manages to trade until he has enough tickets for a Bible, it is purely for status. He doesn't care about being religious, but rather for the status that getting a Bible will give him. When tested by Judge Thatcher, he is extremely embarrassed that he doesn't know the answer.
Religion 3: Tom is obviously not the only person happy that something entertaining happened at church that day. The laughter everyone, even the adults, try to stifle when the yelping dog interrupts the sermon shows that going to church is as much a social obligation to the townsfolk as anything else. Tom's boredom is not his alone, but a side effect of the obligation of going to church.
Religion 4: Tom and Joe's guilt about theft shows that they do have a religious side. Although both boys find church boring, they feel guilty over committing the sin of stealing, which the Bible strictly prohibits. They might not know it, but religion is a strong component of their lives as children of the village.
Religion 5: The joyous hymn sung at the church raises the entire town's spirits. What began as a sad funeral has become a great celebration. This is a very different church experience than the normal ones, in which people go because they are obligated. Here the entire congregation is truly touched.
Religion 6: The presentations by the older girls during the Examination are all strongly influenced by church sermons. The girls seek to convey a moral lesson, but it is obvious that in doing so they are being fake and insincere to impress everyone.
Religion 7: When the revival comes to town, it has a strong, but short-lived effect on everyone. Even Huck finds God for a short time. Unlike church, the revival is entertaining, rare, and more interesting. Church is routine, but a revival is thrilling. Soon enough, however, it is obvious that it has no lasting effect. Huck and Joe are back to their normal ways, much to Tom's happiness.
Religion 8: The Widow Douglas is the most sincerely religious person in the entire story. She prays that Tom be found, and her prayer is absolutely honest and sincere, a hopeful wish in a time of desperation.
Religion 9: Injun Joe's funeral completely lacks any real religiousness. Instead, it is more of an entertaining event. People come from miles around to see him buried, including the people who insincerely tried to get him pardoned for his crimes after his death. Once the funeral ends, the people have a sense of closure and pardoning him is forgotten.
Religion 10: Huck experiences an important conflict with the Widow about religion. He doesn't understand church at all, as it goes against his wild lifestyle. To him, church is just another way that society sets limits he's never had to live with. The Widow, of course, is very religious and expects him to conform and become a good, church-going boy. Only when Tom promises him that they will be robbers does he agree that he can stand church and all the other aspects of civilized society he doesn't understand.
Superstition 1: While religion is a routine obligation, superstition is the true faithful belief of Tom and many others. The various cures for warts that Tom and Huck discuss cannot be questioned, and there is always an explanation when they fail. Dead cats are especially important to the boys, as they are very powerful and have many uses.
Superstition 2: Although the trick Tom uses to find his marbles fails, he cannot believe that the superstition is false. Instead, he seeks another superstition (a witch) to explain it. Even though it takes three tries to find his lost marble a minute later, the fact that he found it is proof to him that the tricks of superstition work.
Superstition 3: Tom and Huck at first believe that the howling dog means they will die. When they see it howling at Muff Potter, they understand that he is in trouble, not them. Since they never doubt such things, they know nothing they can do will change his fate.
Superstition 4: The adults of St. Petersburg are just as superstitious as the children. When Dr. Robinson's body bleeds when Joe helps move it (a sign that the killer is near) it must be explained. Instead of coming to the proper conclusion, that Injun Joe is guilty, they believe it is because Muff Potter is close to the body. In this way, they tailor the superstition to their own needs.
Superstition 5: Another use of dead cats is mentioned here: they can be used to discover hidden information. Obviously, the boys performing the rituals with the dead cats discover nothing close to the truth. Tom, who normally has a lot of faith in this purpose of dead cats, avoids participating in the ritual, perhaps because he knows more than any dead cat could possible tell, or perhaps because he believes that his own knowledge of the murder will be revealed.
Superstition 6: Aunt Polly, religious as she is, has her own form of superstition. The patent medicines and health magazines she feels so strongly about make the same empty promises that Tom's superstition does, but she believes in them anyway. Even when the magazines contradict themselves from issue to issue, Aunt Polly goes on believing what they say.
Superstition 7: Tom gets very excited by the worm crawling across his leg and its promise of new, fancy clothes. Here the superstition serves something directly important to Tom, since the night before they boys were discussing the fancy pirate clothes they would be getting soon. This is an example of how Tom's superstition often serves things he's been thinking about recently.
Superstition 8: Tom's bracelet of rattlesnake rattles protects him from cramps. When he loses them, he refuses to go into the water out of fear. This superstition is a powerful force in Tom's life, since it forces him to give up a fun activity.
Superstition 9: Again, Tom and Huck use superstitious beliefs to solve a problem. They prefer to believe that their bad luck in finding treasure is due to witches or not following certain rules of treasure-hunting, that the treasure is where the tree's shadow casts. They fall back on superstition rather than admit they are wrong.
Superstition 10: Huck is more simple about superstition than Tom, and fears ghosts. He doesn't want to have anything to do with the haunted house. Tom, on the other hand, can explain certain superstitions away when they get in the way of his fun, tailoring his beliefs to his needs as the adults to. He convinces Huck that the haunted-house is nothing to fear when it's daytime. However, when they come near the haunted-house, neither boy can help but get very scared and avoid the house and its ghosts as much as possible.
Superstition 11: When Huck says they can't dig, it is as much out of his stronger fear of the haunted-house as his belief that Friday is an unlucky day. He uses one superstition to cover up his fear of another.
Superstition 12: Tom and Huck's last encounter with Injun Joe is worrying about his ghost. Alive, they feared him, and there is no reason to stop fearing him after his death. This superstition comes close to ending their treasure-hunting mission, and Tom cannot talk Huck out of it. He even begins to believe they are in danger. It is only when they realize that the cross on the wall of the cave will protect them that they can go on. Safe from Injun Joe's ghost, they can move forward to get the treasure.
As the book begins, an old woman is calling for Tom Sawyer. This woman is Tom's Aunt Polly. He is in trouble, and she's going to give Tom a whipping. Before she can, however, he yells, "'My! Look behind you, Aunt!'" Chapter 1, pg. 2 and dashes away. Aunt Polly, being a kind woman, laughs at Tom's escape. Assuming he will play hookey from school that afternoon, she decides it's best just to put him to work all day Saturday as punishment.
When Tom returns, he helps Jim, "the small colored boy," saw wood and split kindling before dinner. Tom spends most of this time letting Jim work and telling him of his day's adventures. Sid, Tom's half-brother, is already done with his chores; unlike Tom, he is very well-behaved.
At dinner, Aunt Polly asks Tom about his day. Tom has spent the afternoon swimming, but he is prepared for Aunt Polly. He tells her that he got his hair wet under a pump, and then shows her that his shirt-collar is still sewn shut. Sid speaks up and points out that Aunt Polly used white thread to sew Tom's shirt, but now the thread is black. Tom sewed his collar together again after swimming! Tom dashes out the door before Aunt Polly can scold him, threatening Sid as he goes.
Topic Tracking: Growing Up 1
"He was not the Model Boy of the village. He knew the model boy very well though--and loathed him." Chapter 1, pg. 4
Once Tom is away, he forgets his problems and wanders, whistling as he goes, until he sees a boy he's never seen before. The boy is dressed very nicely, unlike most boys who live in St. Petersburg. This boy has new clothes and a fancy hat and shoes, and Tom resents his clean, "citified" look. The two boys argue, shove, and threaten each other, and then fight. Tom makes the boy give up, but as the boy walks away he throws a rock at Tom. Tom chases the boy home and stays there until the boy's mother chases him off. When Tom gets home, Aunt Polly looks at his clothes and decides that Tom will do a full day of chores the next day.
The next day, Tom finds himself with the unpleasant job of whitewashing Aunt Polly's fence. Discouraged, he sees Jim leaving to fetch water at the town pump and offers to trade jobs. Jim tells him he can't, because Aunt Polly has already said not to switch chores with Tom. Tom offers to show Jim his sore toe if he trades, and Jim considers it, but Aunt Polly comes out of the house and chases him off , sending Tom back to work.
Unhappy, Tom keeps working until Ben Rogers comes along. Tom pretends to enjoy his hard work, saying, "'Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?'" Chapter 2, pg. 12 Because Tom is pretending whitewashing is a fun thing to do, Ben suddenly want to do it as well. After some negotiation, Tom allows Ben to whitewash part of the fence for him. The rest of the day, he lets various boys whitewash in exchange for valuables: a kite, a dead rat, a key, a tin soldier, and other things. The whole time, Tom sits back and does nothing.
"He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it--namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to attain." Chapter 2, pg. 13
Tom discovers that work and play are just states of mind--people do things for fun if they believe it's a privilege and not an obligation. With that lesson learned, he goes inside to tell Aunt Polly that he is done.
Topic Tracking: Growing Up 2
Tom tells Aunt Polly the whitewashing is done, and asks to go play. Once Aunt Polly sees that the work is done (although she doesn't know how it got done), she is so happy she gives him an apple and lets him out to play. As he leaves he sees Sid, who is still unpunished for telling on him the day before. Tom grabs clods of dirt and throws several at Sid, then jumps the fence and runs away to meet other boys in the village square, where they all engage in military-style conflict.
Tom is General of one Army and his best friend Joe Harper is another. They sit together on a hill and direct their two armies for the afternoon. Tom's army eventually turns out the winner.
Topic Tracking: Imagination 1
As Tom walks home he walks by Jeff Thatcher's house and sees a girl he's never seen before. She's very pretty and Tom is immediately smitten. He forgets all about his last crush, Amy Lawrence, and begins to show off and do tumbles for the new girl, hoping she will notice him. Eventually, she goes inside, and Tom goes home, a little sad.
At supper, Sid accidentally breaks the sugar bowl while Aunt Polly is in the kitchen. Thinking Tom did it, she smacks him, and then feels bad. Tom leaves when his cousin Mary happily returns home from a trip to the country. He wanders a while, thinks of the new girl, and goes to her house. He lays on the ground outside her house thinking of her and wishing she would give him some sympathy, until a maid pours water out the window onto him. Tom hops the fence and goes home without saying his prayers.
Topic Tracking: Religion 1
The next day is Sunday. After breakfast, Tom goes upstairs to practice memorizing his Bible verses. Even with Mary helping him, Tom has trouble remembering. Finally, Tom gets the verses right, and Mary gives him a Barlow knife as a reward.
Tom unhappily gets ready for Sunday school and church. Once there, he begins to trade other boys marbles, fishhooks, and other valuables for tickets.
"...each blue ticket was pay for two verses of the recitation. Ten blue tickets equaled a red one, and could be exchanged for it; ten red tickets equaled a yellow one; for ten yellow tickets the superintendent gave a very plainly bound Bible (worthy forty cents in those easy times) to the pupil. How many of my readers would have the industry and application to memorize two thousand verses, even for a Dore´ Bible?" Chapter 4, pg. 24
Tom is trading for tickets so he can have the glory of getting a Bible. He doesn't care about the Bible itself, but the pride of getting one. Mr. Walters, the superintendent, gives a lecture on proper behavior, and then lawyer Thatcher, Jeff's father, enters, with visitors. One of them is Judge Thatcher, the lawyer's brother, and with him is his wife and his daughter, Becky--Tom's new love! The children are excited that an important judge would be visiting their Sunday school, but Tom only has eyes for Becky.
Mr. Walters, hoping to impress the visitors, asks if anyone has enough tickets to claim a Bible. No one he expects does, but suddenly Tom steps up to claim one. He has traded for enough tickets to get a Bible. The room is shocked. Mr. Walters cannot believe Tom has learned two thousand verses, but he delivers a Bible to Tom. The Judge congratulates Tom on his accomplishment, and wants to hear something he learned. He asks Tom who the first two disciples were.
Tom is on the spot. He doesn't know, but he must say something, so he blurts out a very wrong answer--David and Goliath.
Topic Tracking: Religion 2
The community comes to church, and files in the door to fill the pews. Tom is seated on the aisle, as far from the windows and the outdoors as possible. The townsfolk file in, including Widow Douglas and the Model Boy, Willie Mufferson. The service begins with a bell, a hymn, long announcements, and a sermon delivered by the minister.
Bored by the sermon, Tom gets his prized beetle--a "pinch-bug"--out of the "percussion-cap" box he keeps it in and it immediately pinches him. He throws it into the aisle, where it lays on its back. A poodle sees the pinch bug, and investigates it. The bug immediately pinches the dog's nose, and the dog yelps in pain, much to people's amusement. The dog accidentally sits on the beetle, yelps again, and runs, howling, in front of the altar and around the church, eventually jumping in its master's lap, who throws it out the nearest window. The sermon is completely interrupted, and the entire congregation tries to keep from laughing. The minister continues, but the sermon is ruined. At the end of the service, Tom is happy that there was some entertainment at church for once.
Topic Tracking: Religion 3
"Monday morning found Tom miserable." Chapter 6, pg. 35 Tom dreads another long week of school, and he decides to play sick. He moans aloud until Sid awakes. Fearing for Tom, Sid gets Aunt Polly. Tom claims that his sore toe is infected and that his tooth, which is loose, aches. Aunt Polly tells him he's not going to get out of school, yanks his tooth, and sends him on his way.
On the way to school, Tom meets Huckleberry Finn. Tom (and the other children) admire Huck because he is wild and lawless. Huck is playing with a dead cat, which he claims is good for curing warts. Tom tells him spunk-water (rain water in a rotting stump) is better, as long as you say the proper charm. Huck explains to Tom that you can cure warts with a dead cat by going to the graveyard and saying a spell when a devil comes to take a bad person's spirit.
Topic Tracking: Superstition 1
Huck says he's going to the graveyard that night to try the dead cat, and Tom decides to go along.
Tom gets to school late and in trouble. He is going to make up an excuse about his tardiness, until he realizes that Becky Thatcher is sitting with an empty seat next to her. Knowing the punishment for stopping to talk to Huck will be having to sit on the girls' side of the room, he tells the schoolmaster why he's late, and is sent to sit next to Becky, much to his pleasure.
Tom gives Becky a peach--which she eventually accepts. She asks to see the house he's drawing on his slate. She then asks him to draw a man and then herself. Tom offers to teach her how to draw during lunch ("dinner"). Tom writes, "I love you" on his slate and shows it to her. Becky is embarrassed but flattered. As this happens, the schoolmaster catches him and drags him by the ear back to his own seat. Tom is so excited by Becky that he cannot concentrate on school.
Tom, bored, begins running his new tick back and forth across his slate with Joe Harper. The schoolmaster sneaks up behind them and whacks them on the shoulders. At lunchtime, Tom and Becky meet secretly back at the school instead of going home. Tom shows Becky how to draw for a little bit. Tom asks Becky if she likes rats, but she doesn't. They share some chewing gum, talk about the circus, and then Tom asks Becky if she wants to get engaged.
"You only just tell a boy you won't ever have anybody but him, ever ever ever, and then you kiss and that's all. Anybody can do it." Chapter 7, pg. 49
Tom whispers to Becky that he loves her, and convinces her to do the same. He begs her to kiss him and she does. Tom tells her she must promise herself to him forever, but then accidentally tells her that he was engaged to Amy Lawrence. Becky, shocked, begins to cry when she realizes that he's been engaged before. He tries to offer her his prized brass knob, but she pushes him away and knocks the knob to the floor. Tom storms off and Becky, after calling for Tom to come back, is left to hide her heartbreak from the rest of the class.
Topic Tracking: Growing Up 3
Tom runs, avoiding the other children as he goes, until he is far away from the schoolhouse, in the woods behind Widow Douglas's house. This is one of his secret spots, where he hides some of his things. He believes he has done nothing wrong, and is sad and angry with Becky for rejecting him. He wishes he could die temporarily, to make Becky sorry.
Soon, however, he begins to feel a little better, and dreams of running off to be a soldier or an Indian, to return home having had great adventures. Then, he settles on becoming a pirate, and decides to get his possessions together so he can leave the next morning.
Topic Tracking: Imagination 2
He begins by digging under a log where he has placed a box with a marble. Tom believes that leaving a marble buried for two weeks will make all his lost marbles reappear. When it doesn't work, Tom, shocked, throws the marble away. He cannot understand why the trick didn't work, until he decides that a witch must have disturbed his magic. To prove this, he tries another trick, calling a doodle-bug out of the ground to find out if a witch disturbed his hiding-place. When the bug runs away, Tom takes this to mean that it is scared of the witch. Then, he tries another trick: he throws another marble to make it find the first one he threw away. It only takes three tries to make it work.
Topic Tracking: Superstition 2
A tin horn blows and Tom grabs his things--a bow, a wooden sword, and a tin trumpet--and rushes to meet Joe Harper for a game of Robin Hood. Tom is Robin Hood; Joe is Guy of Guisborne. They meet and have a sword duel. When Joe won't fall, Tom tells him he must, because Guy dies in the book. Joe agrees, and dies. They switch roles so Joe can kill Tom. Finally, Tom becomes Robin again so he can die, with Joe as the sad Sherwood Forest outlaws mourning for Robin. After this is done, they sadly get dressed, hide their things, and go home. "They said they would rather be outlaws a year in Sherwood Forest than President of the United States forever." Chapter 8, pg. 57
Topic Tracking: Imagination 3
That night, Tom pretends to go to sleep. After eleven, when he hears Huck outside his window, he sneaks out. They go to the graveyard together.
When Tom and Huck get to the graveyard, they hide by the grave of the recently dead Hoss Williams, who Huck believes the devil will be collecting that night. Instead of devils, however, they soon see three men approaching: Dr. Robinson, Muff Potter, and Injun Joe.
The men arrive at Hoss Williams' grave and Potter and Joe begin to dig. Dr. Robinson sits by a tree and instructs them to hurry. They load the body into a wheelbarrow and tie it down. Potter, his knife in hand, then tells Dr. Robinson that he owes them more money for digging up the body. When Dr. Robinson objects, Injun Joe begins to shout at him about revenge.
"Five years ago you drove me away from your father's kitchen one night, when I come to ask for something to eat, and you said I warn't there for any good; and when I swore I'd get even with you if it took a hundred years, your father had me jailed for a vagrant. Did you think I'd forget. The Injun blood ain't in me for nothing. And now I've got you, and you got to settle, you know!" Chapter 9, pg. 61
The doctor punches Injun Joe and knocks him down. Potter drops the knife and pulls the doctor to the ground. Injun Joe grabs the knife, and as Dr. Robinson hits Potter in the head with a board, Injun Joe stabs him in the chest. Dr. Robinson falls, dead, onto Potter's unconscious body. Tom and Huck, scared to death, run away as fast as possible.
Topic Tracking: Growing Up 4
Injun Joe doesn't notice them. Instead, he robs Dr. Robinson's body and puts the knife in Muff Potter's hand. When Potter awakes, Injun Joe lies and tells him that the doctor hit Potter in the head, and then Potter stabbed him while dazed. Potter begs him not to tell anyone, and then runs away, leaving the bloody knife. Injun Joe, knowing that the knife will be found and Muff Potter blamed, leaves it on the ground.
Tom and Huck run back toward the village to the tannery, where they can hide. Once there, frightened of Injun Joe, they decided to swear an oath that they won't tell anyone what they just witnessed. Tom writes their oath on a piece of pine shingle, and then they prick their fingers and sign the shingle in blood. As they are doing this, someone sneaks into the tannery, but neither the boys nor the person notice each other.
After they sign the oath, they hear a stray dog howl--a sure sign that they will die. When they look, however, they see that its back is to them, meaning that someone else will die. They hear snoring and discover Muff Potter sleeping at the other end of the tannery. As they leave, the dog howls again, and they turn to see it facing Muff Potter.
Topic Tracking: Superstition 3
Tom gets home and sneaks back in, not knowing that Sid is awake. The next morning he goes to breakfast, but Aunt Polly will not speak to him. After breakfast, Aunt Polly cries, telling Tom he breaks her heart with his misbehavior. Tom is overcome with guilt and also cries, begging for forgiveness and promising to be a better person. Aunt Polly dismisses him and Tom goes to school, unhappy. There he is beaten for playing hookey, but it does not affect him, sad as he is about hurting Aunt Polly. He sits down at his desk and discovers something wrapped in paper. It is his brass knob, which Becky has returned. "This final feather broke the camel's back." Chapter 10, pg. 70
Dr. Robinson's body is discovered and the news of his murder sweeps the village. Muff Potter's knife has been discovered alongside the body. The Sheriff believes he will be captured soon. The town goes to the graveyard to see the scene of the crime. Tom and Huck go, a little scared. Injun Joe is there as well. Muff Potter appears, confused, and the Sheriff takes him. Potter denies any wrongdoing. Tom and Huck are convinced that Joe sold himself to the devil, because God doesn't punish him for his lies. Even when Joe helps move the body and it bleeds, people say it's because Potter is standing so close. Joe's evildoing is not discovered.
Topic Tracking: Superstition 4
Tom begins to have nightmares, talking out loud in his sleep. Sid brings it up one day at breakfast. Aunt Polly dismisses the nightmares as shock from news of the murder. Tom avoids the superstitious rituals with dead cats the local boys are performing to find out information about the murder, although he usually would lead such things. Instead, he goes to the jail to visit Muff Potter and give him things to make him more comfortable. The townsfolk, although angry at Injun Joe for helping to steal Hoss Williams' body, are too intimidated to do anything about it.
Topic Tracking: Superstition 5
Topic Tracking: Growing Up 5
Tom has new worries: Becky is sick, and has stopped attending school. He becomes depressed and loses interest in games or war or piracy.
Topic Tracking: Imagination 4
Aunt Polly, concerned, begins to give Tom various remedies to cure his sadness. She is a strong believer in the "patent medicines" sold in health magazines.
"All the 'rot' they [health magazines] contained about ventilation, and how to go to bed, and how to get up, and what to eat, and what to drink, and how much exercise to take, and what frame of mind to keep one's self in, and what sort of clothing to wear, was all gospel to her, and she never observed that her health-journals of the current month customarily upset everything they had recommended the month before." Chapter 12, pg. 75
Topic Tracking: Superstition 6
She starts giving Tom "Pain-killer," a strong liquid that tastes like fire. Tom's indifference is temporarily cured by his first dose. Tom decides that he will start pretending to like Pain-killer to keep Aunt Polly from trying anything new. One morning, the cat begins to beg for a taste. Tom gives him some. The cat goes wild, wailing, running into things, and then jumping out the window. Aunt Polly, angry, asks Tom why he gave the cat Pain-killer. Tom tells her he felt bad for the cat for not having an Aunt. "'Because if he'd 'a' had one she'd 'a' burnt him out herself! She'd 'a' roasted his bowels out of him 'thout any more feeling than if he was a human!'" Chapter 12, pg. 78 Hearing this, Aunt Polly realizes how awful the Pain-killer must be. She tells Tom he doesn't have to take it anymore, and sends him off to school.
Tom gets to school early and stands by the gate instead of playing with his friends. He tries to get Jeff Thatcher to tell him about Becky without asking about her, but Jeff doesn't get any of Tom's hints. Eventually, he gives up and goes to sit down in the schoolhouse, but at that moment Becky arrives in the yard. Tom runs around the yard, whooping and jumping around to get her to notice him, but she turns away from him, calling him a show-off. Tom, embarrassed, sneaks off.
Tom decides that, unloved, he must run away and go into a life of crime. He happens on Joe Harper, who also seems upset: "Plainly, here were 'two souls with but a single thought.'" Chapter 13, pg. 80 Joe has just been whipped by his mother. Tom convinces him they should become pirates. They find Huck and make plans to head for Jackson's Island. They agree to meet at midnight. The rest of the day, they tell no one what they have planned, although they all hint that something is about to happen. At midnight, they take a raft and some fire and go to the island. As they sail down the river, Tom looks at the village and imagines Becky seeing him leave to live a pirate's life.
The boys land on a sandbar at the top of the island and leave the raft. They go into the forest and make a fire and get ready to camp. They eat some food they stole from town, and talk about how great being a pirate is. Huck makes a pipe out of a corncob and smokes. Tom and Joe tell Huck all the things pirates do--capture ships and treasure, kill men, kidnap women, and dress in fancy clothes. Huck is embarrassed at his rags, but Tom and Joe tell him that they will get fancy clothes later. Huck falls asleep quickly. Tom and Joe have more trouble. Although they don't talk, they both feel guilty about running away and stealing, because the Bible commands against it. It is only after they both decide that they won't steal again that they fall asleep.
Topic Tracking: Imagination 5
Topic Tracking: Growing Up 6
Topic Tracking: Religion 4
Tom wakes up first, fascinated by all the activity of nature around him. A worm crawls across his leg, and Tom is happy because he believes that this means he will have a new set of pirate clothes. Tom wakes Joe and Huck and they go swim in the shallow water on the sandbar. There, they discover that the current has carried the raft away, but they don't care, since they no longer need civilization. After their swim, Tom and Huck fish for some food and Joe cooks their catch with some bacon for breakfast.
Topic Tracking: Superstition 7
Next, they explore the island. They discover that it's small, only three miles long, and less than two hundred yards from the shore opposite the one St. Petersburg is on. Back at camp, the boys start thinking about home. None of them will admit to being homesick, however. They hear a cannon firing in the distance and go to the shore to investigate. The cannon is on a ferryboat and is being fired to bring their drowned bodies up from the riverbed. They are happy again, because they know that they are the talk of the town.
"Here was a gorgeous triumph; they were missed; they were mourned; hearts were breaking on their account; tears were being shed; accusing memories of unkindnesses to these poor lost lads were rising up, and unavailing regrets and remorse were being indulged: and best of all, the departed were the talk of the whole town, and the envy of all the boys, as far as this dazzling notoriety was concerned. This was fine. It was worth being a pirate, after all." Chapter 14, pg. 91
The boys go back to camp, excited about their fame. They eat and talk about what must be going on in the town. As it gets dark, homesickness returns, and Joe suggests that they might want to investigate happenings at the village. Tom and Huck talk Joe out of the idea, but late that night, Tom gets up. He writes two notes on sycamore bark, leaves one in Joe's hat, and leaves camp.
Tom crosses the river and sneaks into the village to Aunt Polly's house. There, Aunt Polly, Sid, Mary, and Mrs. Harper, Joe's mother, are talking. He sneaks in the house and hides under the bed, where he hears them talking. Joe's mother and Aunt Polly agree that Joe and Tom were misbehaved, but good boys. Aunt Polly begins to cry. Tom, too, starts to cry, and is tempted to reveal himself, but he doesn't. He learns that the funeral is planned for that Sunday. After some prayers, Aunt Polly and the others go to bed. Once Aunt Polly falls asleep, Tom emerges from beneath the bed. He looks at Aunt Polly, pitying her, and places his note next to the bed. He is about to leave, but he gets an idea--one that will make everyone feel better--and takes the scroll, kisses Aunt Polly, and sneaks away.
Topic Tracking: Growing Up 7
Tom doesn't return to Jackson's Island until the sun is up. As he approaches camp, he hears Joe and Huck talking about his disappearance. Joe is sure Tom hasn't deserted them. Tom's note to Joe said they could have his things if he wasn't back by breakfast, and he has returned just in time. Tom tells them an exaggerated story of his adventures. After it is done, he goes off alone to take a nap and Joe and Huck go to fish and explore the island some more.
Topic Tracking: Imagination 6
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.
Back in St. Petersburg, people are very unhappy. It is Saturday afternoon, and the funeral for the boys is the next morning. Becky, alone in the schoolyard, is sad because she gave up Tom's prized knob, and has nothing to remind her of him. She regrets rejecting Tom, and cries. Other children come along and they talk about they last time they saw Tom and Joe, and how both boys predicted that something was about to happen. "The group loitered away, still recalling memories of the lost heroes, in awed voices." Chapter 17, pg. 107
The next morning, the townsfolk come together at the church. Aunt Polly, Sid, Mary, and the Harper family enter, dressed entirely in black, and the entire church stands as they take their seats in the front pew. The minister leads the congregation in a hymn, and speaks kind words about the boys. As he goes on, the people begin to cry. At that moment, the door to the church opens, and Tom, Joe and Huck enter. "They had been hid in the unused gallery listening to their own funeral sermon!" Chapter 17, pg. 109
Their families, overcome with joy, grab Tom and Joe and begin to hug and kiss them. Tom tells Aunt Polly that it's not fair that no one is happy to see Huck, and Aunt Polly begins to hug him as well, making Huck more uncomfortable than if he had just been ignored. The minister leads the entire congregation in a joyous hymn, and Tom is very proud. After the service is over, the congregation leaves the church full of joy at the power of the hymn.
Topic Tracking: Religion 5
"Tom got more cuffs and kisses that day--according to Aunt Polly's varying moods--than he had earned before in a year; and he hardly knew which expressed the most gratefulness to God and affection to himself." Chapter 17, pg. 109
Tom's secret had been that they'd go to their own funeral. They left Jackson's Island early Sunday morning and slept in the gallery of the church.
The next morning, Aunt Polly tells Tom she wishes he could have come over to let her know he was okay. She says Tom doesn't care for her. Tom says he does care for her, and then tells the story of him sneaking into the house earlier that week as if it was a dream. Aunt Polly and Mary are amazed. He even tells her that he dreamed he left her a note saying that they were off being pirates (the note he actually took back). Aunt Polly is overjoyed that Tom dreamed all this. She goes to tell Mrs. Harper about Tom's dream. Sid, however, knows that Tom is lying.
Topic Tracking: Imagination 8
On the way to school, Tom is treated as a hero. Small boys love him and boys his own age are jealous. At school, he and Joe become "stuck-up" and tell everyone about their great adventures, exaggerating to make them sound more interesting.
Topic Tracking: Imagination 9
Tom decides that he doesn't need Becky's love with his newfound glory. When she gets to school he ignores her, even though she tries to catch his attention. Instead, he goes to talk to Amy Lawrence, and Becky becomes jealous. She begins telling people near Tom about the picnic she's having during vacation, hoping Tom will listen. Everyone begs for invitations to the picnic. Tom, however, just leads Amy away. Becky continues talking until she can sneak away to cry. At recess, she ignores Tom and flirts with another boy, Alfred Temple, the fancy boy Tom beat up some time before. Tom sees this and gets very jealous. He angrily imagines beating Alfred again. He goes home at noon, unable to cope with his jealousy.
Becky realizes Tom is not going to return anytime soon and rejects Alfred. Alfred, humiliated, realizes that Becky was using him and pours ink in Tom's spelling book. Becky swears to hate Tom forever.
When Tom gets home Aunt Polly is wildly angry. She has talked to Mrs. Harper and discovered that his "dream" was a lie. Joe has told her the whole story of Tom sneaking into the village. She is very embarrassed at looking foolish in front of Joe's mother. Tom realizes that his joke has had mean results. "'Auntie, I wish I hadn't done it--but I didn't think.'" Chapter 19, pg. 118 He tells her that he wanted to easy her worry. He was going to leave the piece of bark with his message, but simply didn't want to spoil the funeral plans. Instead, he took the bark back and kissed her and left. Aunt Polly asks why Tom kissed her, and Tom explains that he loves her and felt bad watching her moan in her sleep. Aunt Polly realizes Tom is telling the truth and kisses him again and sends him back off to school. Once he is gone, she checks his jacket pocket for the piece of bark. Reading the note, she starts to cry, realizing that Tom really does care for her. "'I could forgive the boy, now, if he'd committed a million sins!'" Chapter 19, pg. 120
Topic Tracking: Growing Up 9
Tom's encounter with Aunt Polly has made him feel good about himself, and his bad mood with Becky is forgotten. He sees Becky on the way to school and apologizes for being mean. She, still angry, tells him that she is never going to speak to him again, and storms off. Once at school, they continue being mean to each other and Becky can't wait for Tom to be punished for his damaged spelling book.
As Becky goes into the schoolhouse, she notices that the schoolmaster has left his desk key in the lock on the drawer. She is intrigued, because that drawer is where the schoolmaster keeps a special book that he reads while the children are studying. Becky doesn't know that the schoolmaster dislikes his job and dreams of better things. She only knows that everyone wants to know what the book is. Curiosity overcomes her, and she opens the drawer. The book is inside, and says "Anatomy" on the cover. Becky doesn't know what this means, but opens the book to a picture of a naked human figure. Tom enters the room, and Becky, frightened, slams the book shut, accidentally tearing the picture as she does. Becky, ashamed, locks the book back up and begins to cry. She yells at Tom for sneaking up on her and, convinced she will be whipped for ripping the book, storms out crying. Tom knows that the schoolmaster will find out who did it, and decides to do nothing. "'All right, though; she'd like to see me in just such a fix--let her sweat it out!'" Chapter 20, pg. 122
Once class begins again, Tom cannot help but feel a little sorry for Becky. Soon enough, he has his own problems. When his ruined spelling book is discovered, the schoolmaster whips him. Becky considers speaking up for him, but assumes he will tell on her about the schoolmaster's torn book. Later in the afternoon, the schoolmaster takes his Anatomy book out and begins to read. Tom glances at Becky, and decides to try and help her. Before he can do anything, however, the torn page is discovered. The schoolmaster begins to ask each child if they tore the book. As he asks Becky, Tom jumps up and tells the schoolmaster that he did it. The schoolmaster whips him again and makes him stay after school for two hours, but Tom doesn't care. All he cares about is how his brave lie has made Becky love him once again. Becky now adores him and tells Tom apologetically who poured ink in his spelling book. Tom goes to bed that night thinking partially of revenge against Alfred, but mostly of how thankful Becky was.
Topic Tracking: Growing Up 10
As the school year ends, the schoolmaster acts even meaner, trying to make the children study hard for Examination day. The boys, tired of suffering under the schoolmaster's strict rules, begin to plot revenge against him. They plan something for the night of the Examinations, when their parents and others will be there to see. They get the sign-painter's boy to help, because his family rents rooms in the schoolmaster's house. The boy says he can take care of the first part of their revenge while the schoolmaster naps at home, knowing that he usually drinks before big events and will not be disturbed.
The night of the Examinations, the children make their presentations to the audience. They range from public speaking to Latin to spelling contests. Tom has to deliver the "Give me liberty or give me death" speech, but gets stage fright while doing it and falls apart. The older girls each read original compositions they've written, but they all seem like sermons, and they go on forever.
"The glaring insincerity of these sermons was not sufficient to compass the banishment of the fashion from the schools, and it is not sufficient to-day; it never will be sufficient while the world stands, perhaps." Chapter 21, pg. 128
Topic Tracking: Religion 6
After the compositions are done, the schoolmaster starts drawing a map on the chalkboard for a geography quiz, but he has had drank enough to be struggling and people in the audience begin to quietly laugh. The master, annoyed, continues to draw, but the laughing increases. What the master doesn't know is that a cat is quietly being lowered on a string above his head. As the cat struggles, it snatches the master's wig completely off, showing the entire room his bald head, which the sign-painter's boy painted gold while he was asleep. The boys have their revenge, and summer vacation begins.
Tom joins a group called "Cadets of Temperance" because they get to wear fancy red sashes at special events, but soon realizes that the promises he made to not smoke, swear, or chew when he joined make him want to do all three even more than before. After three days, Tom quits. Without their restrictions he finds no happiness in being able to smoke, swear, or drink. He begins to worry that the summer is going to be very boring. Many things happen, but nothing relieves the boredom for very long. Boys-and-girls parties only remind him that Becky is out of town for the summer. His secret knowledge about the murder of Dr. Robinson also hangs over his head.
Tom gets the measles and is sick for two weeks. When he can finally leave his bed, he discovers that a revival has come to town. Inspired, everyone (including his friends) have become very religious. Even Huck quotes from the Bible when Tom sees him. Tom is very lonely and goes home to bed. That night, there is a thunderstorm, which Tom believes has been sent by God to wipe him out for being so bad. The next morning, Tom is sick again, and stays that way for another three weeks. When he is finally well again, he still feels lonely and deserted, but then he sees Joe and Huck eating a stolen melon. They have relapsed back into their old ways, the revival already forgotten.
Topic Tracking: Religion 7
The trial of Muff Potter is about to begin. Tom feels guilty for hiding the truth. He and Huck both agree that they feel sad that Muff Potter will be found guilty and hang, because he has done nice things for them in the past. That night, they go to the jail and give Potter some tobacco. Potter thanks them, saying that they are the only people who are nice to him anymore. Once the trial is underway, the boys avoid each other, but both hope to hear some news. By the second day, everyone is convinced that Injun Joe is telling the truth and that Potter is guilty.
That night, Tom is out very late, and sneaks in the window to go to bed. It takes a long time for him to fall asleep. In the morning, the entire town goes to the courthouse for the trial. Some witnesses testify about Potter's knife. Potter's lawyer asks them no questions. The crowd is confused at the lack of effort. Once the prosecutor rests his case, however, Potter's lawyer makes a bold statement.
"'Your honor, in our remarks at the opening of this trial, we foreshadowed our purpose to prove that our client did this fearful deed while under the influence of a blind and irresponsible delirium produced by drink. We have changed our mind. We shall not offer that plea.' [Then to the clerk:] 'Call Thomas Sawyer!'" Chapter 23, pg. 139
Everyone is confused, including Potter. Tom takes the stand and the lawyer questions him. Tom sees Injun Joe in the crowd, and is very scared, but he tells the whole story of being in the graveyard the night of the murder, without saying that Huck was there as well. As he tells the crowd about the actual events of the murder, Injun Joe jumps up and runs out of the room before anyone can catch him.
Topic Tracking: Growing Up 11
The town forgives Muff Potter, and he is treated as nicely as he was mistreated before. Tom is a hero once again. Tom is happy with the attention, but at night is very afraid of the revenge Injun Joe will take on him. Huck is scared as well, even though Potter's lawyer is the only person who knows that he saw the murder.
Rewards are posted for Injun Joe's capture, but no one can find him. A detective comes to town to investigate, but doesn't find anything. Tom stays scared, but as time goes by, he slowly starts to feel safer.
Later in the summer, Tom decides he wants to go digging for buried treasure. He finds Huck and tells him all about the places that robbers hide their treasure and treasure maps. They decide that they will start digging under an old dead tree near the haunted house. They smoke and talk about what they will do with their treasure. Huck says he will spend his so his father won't get any of it if he comes back to town. Tom says he'll buy some things and get married. Huck can't believe Tom would want to get married, but Tom swears he has a perfect girl. He doesn't tell Huck it's Becky. They dig for a while, and then give up and try another spot. There's no treasure there, either. Tom realizes it's because they haven't waited until midnight to see where the shadow of the tree limb falls. The boys agree to return at midnight to dig again.
Topic Tracking: Imagination 10
Topic Tracking: Superstition 9
That night, the boys fail to find treasure once again. They had guessed at the time, but it must not have truly been midnight. They begin to think ghosts are about, and decide to give up. They agree that the next day they will dig at the haunted house, but Huck believes they're taking chances with ghosts if they do. As they leave, they look at the house and walk far away from it on their way home.
Topic tracking: Superstition 10
Tom and Huck meet once again at the dead tree to get their tools. Huck points out that it is Friday, an unlucky day. He also had a dream about rats the night before, meaning there might be trouble.
Topic Tracking: Superstition 11
Tom suggests they forget digging for the day and play. He tells Huck all about "Robin Hood." They play the game all afternoon. The next day, they go to the haunted house. They explore the downstairs, and then, feeling courageous, go upstairs. They don't find anything. As they get ready to go back downstairs, they hear two men coming to the door of the house. Scared, the boys hide and peek through knot-holes to see who it is. Huck and Tom recognize one man: he is the deaf-mute ("deaf-and-dumb" Chapter 26, pg. 152) Spaniard they've seen in town. The unknown man is talking, saying something is dangerous. To the boys' surprise, the "Deaf-mute" interrupts him, and they recognize the voice. It is Injun Joe!
Tom and Huck are scared to death, but they stay quiet. The men are talking about some "job" that the unknown man believes to be too dangerous. The unknown man seems to be saying that he feels unsafe staying in the old house, and how he would have left the day before, but he couldn't because the boys were playing nearby. Hearing this, Tom and Huck feel very lucky that they didn't try looking in the haunted house on Friday. The two men sleep for a while, and then wake up and discuss the $650 in silver that they have hidden in the house. They decide to leave it buried in the house until they leave town. Tom and Huck cannot believe that they are watching real robbers bury treasure! While finding a good spot to bury it, Injun Joe discovers a box. He uses the boys' pick, which they left downstairs, to dig it out. It contains thousands of dollars in gold, treasure left by another gang. Amazed at their luck, the unknown man tells Injun Joe that he won't need to do the "job" now. Injun Joe tells him the job isn't just robbery, but revenge, but doesn't say against who.
The men are about to bury all their treasure again when Injun Joe starts wondering why there is a pick and shovel in the house. Convinced someone has been there, he decides to hide the money somewhere else--"Number Two--under the cross." Chapter 26, pg. 155 He then starts looking around the house for the owners of the pick and shovel. He is almost up the stairs when the rotten wood breaks and he falls back down to the floor. The unknown man says they should go, and they pack up and leave. Tom and Huck walk home, mad at themselves for leaving the pick and shovel in sight. If they hadn't, they could have taken the treasure once the men were gone. They agree to try and follow Injun Joe if they see him again and find out where "Number Two" is. Suddenly, Tom realizes something awful: what if Injun Joe's revenge was against them? They decide it probably isn't, but Tom is still very scared.
Tom has bad dreams of treasure hunting, and half believes the entire thing was a dream when he awakes. As he thinks about it, however, he begins to realize it wasn't a dream, and goes to find Huck after a hurried breakfast. They decide to find Injun Joe. "Number Two" must be the number of a room in a tavern, so they go looking. There are only two taverns in town, and they find out that room 2 at the nastier of the two is always locked and no one goes in or out except at night. Tom says they should get all the keys they can find and try them all on the back door to the room, which is in the alley behind the tavern. If they see Injun Joe, they should track him to see if he leads them to the money, but only at night, when he can't see them.
Topic Tracking: Growing Up 12
Tom and Huck go out that night to try the door of "Number Two." They don't see Injun Joe or anyone else. However, it is not dark enough to break in that night. They have no luck for a few days, and finally, on Thursday, it is dark and cloudy enough to try. After the tavern closes, they sneak to the alley. Huck keeps watch and Tom goes to open the door. After some time, Tom comes running out the alley, and both boys sprint until they can hide at an old slaughterhouse on the other side of town. As they enter it, a storm begins. Tom tells Huck that he found the door unlocked. As he entered, he almost stepped on Injun Joe's hand while he was asleep on the floor, and took off running. He didn't see the box or a cross, but he saw a lot of alcohol in casks and bottles. The tavern is a "Temperance Tavern," and having alcohol there is against the law.
The storm lets up. The boys agree that Huck should sleep during the day and keep watch at the tavern at night so they can try to sneak in when Injun Joe isn't there. Huck tells Tom he will be in Ben Rogers' hayloft, because the Rogers' slave, Uncle Jake, is nice to him and lets him sleep there. "'He likes me, becuz I don't ever act as if I was above him. Sometimes I've set right down and eat with him. But you needn't tell that.'" Chapter 28, pg. 163 With that, Tom goes home and Huck goes to watch Room Two until daylight.
The next morning, Tom finds out that Becky and her family have returned to town. He is very excited and forgets about treasure hunting, spending the day playing with her and their classmates. At Becky's request, her mother decides that they will be having the long-awaited picnic the next day, Saturday, and all the children are excited. That night, Tom expects to hear Huck at his window, but he never comes and Tom goes to sleep. In the morning, all the schoolchildren get together at Judge Thatcher's house. They all walk to the ferryboat. Becky's mother tells her to stay the night at the Harper's, since they live closer to the boat landing. However, Tom suggests to Becky that they stay at Widow Douglas' house instead, because she always has ice cream. He tells Becky not to tell her mother, and she agrees to the plan. They don't tell anyone else.
Tom thinks of Huck and wonders if he will come that night. The appeal of Widow Douglas' house wins out. They take the ferryboat a few miles downriver and then get off. The children rush into the woody valley and play until they are all hungry. They all eat well, and then someone suggests they should go to McDougal's cave, nearby, to explore. They take several candles and everyone climbs the hill to the big wooden door to the cave.
The cave is large and full of many passages and rooms. The children enter the first chamber, look around in wonder, and begin to play. Soon, they begin to calm down and walk down the main passage. There are many small passages, but they lead into an endless maze. No one knows all of them. The children begin to sneak down passages they know and scare each other. They play for many hours, until it is almost night. They rush back to the ferryboat.
By the time the boat gets back to St. Petersburg, Huck is already watching Room 2 at the tavern. He has no idea what the boat is for, but forgets about it and goes back to his duty. The town gets quiet as time goes by. It is past eleven when Huck sees two men leaving Room Two with a box, which Huck assumes is the treasure. There is no time to get Tom, so he follows the men through the town and past the quarry. He is so intent on being silent that he loses the men for a minute. He looks around and realizes that he is on the edge of Widow Douglas' land. He hears Injun Joe speak. "'Damn her, maybe she's got company--there's lights, late as it is.'" Chapter 29, pg. 168 Huck realizes that whatever revenge Injun Joe and the mysterious man were talking about is against Widow Douglas. He hears Injun Joe say that the Widow's husband had him horsewhipped once. Douglas is dead, but he plans on slitting Widow Douglas' nostrils and ears. The unknown man is shocked and objects, but Injun Joe threatens to kill him if he backs down.
Huck runs down to the nearest house, the Welshman's. Mr. Jones lets him in, despite Huck's bad reputation, and Huck tells the man and his sons what the two men are up to, without telling them that one is Injun Joe. The men grab guns and go to Widow Douglas'. Huck follows, but runs away when he hears gunfire.
Topic Tracking: Growing Up 13
Early the next morning, Huck knocks on the Welshman's door again, and this time the old man welcomes him graciously, with no mention of his reputation. Huck has never felt welcome anywhere before, and cannot believe his ears. The man offers him breakfast and tells Huck what happened: they snuck up on the men, but the Welshman started to sneeze, and shooting began. They chased the two villains, but could not catch them, so they woke the police up and got men together to hunt for them. The Welshman asks Huck what the men look like, and Huck describes the Spaniard to them, without telling him that it's Injun Joe. Huck is scared and begs the Welshman not to tell anyone that he told, and the man becomes curious. He asks Huck why he was following the men, and Huck invents a story. In the middle, however, he slips and says that the Spaniard spoke. The old man catches it and promises to keep his secret if he tells the truth, so Huck breaks down and tells him that the Spaniard is Injun Joe. Mr. Jones tells him they found a bundle that Injun Joe dropped, but it was just burglar's tools. Huck gets excited at this, and Mr. Jones is suspicious.
Huck is angry that he almost let the truth about the treasure slip. He is happy to know, however, that it hasn't been found. The Widow Douglas and many other people come to the Welshman's house to thank him and hear the story, and Huck hides. The Welshman tells the Widow that she owes someone else more than him, but that he can't say who.
At church, Becky's mother asks Mrs. Harper where Becky is. Mrs. Harper tells her that Becky didn't stay with her. Aunt Polly walks up and asks where Tom is, assuming he is at the Harper's as well. The ladies get very concerned about the missing children. They realize that no one remembers Tom or Becky getting on the ferry. Fearing that they are lost in the cave, Mrs. Thatcher faints and Aunt Polly begins to cry. The townsfolk send a 200-man search party to the cave. The village is very upset. By the next morning, they still haven't found Tom or Becky.
The Welshman, who was one of the search party, returns home exhausted. Huck is still in bed and very sick with fever. The Widow Douglas is caring for him. The search party finds "Becky & Tom" written on a wall in one passage, and a piece of Becky's ribbon. Three days go by and there is no word. Liquor is accidentally discovered at the Temperance Tavern, and it is closed down. Huck stays in bed, sick. He asks the Widow if anything has been found at the tavern, and she tells him about the liquor. Not knowing that Tom is lost, he asks if Tom found it. She hushes him, saying he is too sick to talk, and begins to cry. Huck is glad that the treasure hasn't been found yet, but is confused that the Widow would cry. He falls asleep, and the Widow prays that Tom will be found.
Topic Tracking: Religion 8
This chapter goes back to Tom and Becky in McDougal's cave the day of the picnic. Tom and Becky, during the fun, get tired of playing hide-and-seek and begin to drift away from the rest of the group, looking at the places where other kids have burned their names on the walls of the cave with candle smoke. Soon, they are so involved in wandering, they don't notice that the walls no longer have any writing. They burn their own names on the wall and keep moving, making occasional smoke marks to mark their path, until they are swarmed by bats. Tom rushes Becky out of the room, and they end up by a giant underground lake. They sit at the edge of the lake and suddenly realize how quiet it is. They haven't heard any of the other children in a very long time. Becky starts to get worried, and they decide to go back. Tom suggests that they go a different route, to avoid the bats. They begin looking for a new way back, but as they go, Tom gets more and more discouraged, and they begin to realize that have a problem. Tom begins to shout, but no one responds. They begin to backtrack, but they realize they have left no marks to find their way back. They are utterly, hopelessly lost.
Becky begins to cry. Tom comforts her, and begins to blame himself. They begin to wander aimlessly. Tom blows out Becky's candle to conserve their light source. After some time, they are exhausted and Becky falls asleep. She awakes with a little more energy, and they continue. They have no idea how long they have been in the cave. They find a spring and drink some water. Becky takes the cake she has saved from the picnic, which she calls their "wedding-cake," and they eat it. Afterwards, Tom confesses that they are down to their last bit of candle, and can go no further. Becky is scared and cries some more, but Tom tries to encourage her by telling her they will send people to look as soon as they're missed. Becky realizes that her mother doesn't expect her home until the next morning, and they begin to get very worried. The last bit of candle goes out, and they are left in the dark.
Many hours pass. They don't know what day it is, and they are hungry. Suddenly, Tom hears something like a shout. He grabs Becky and leads her to the sound, finding his way in the dark by feeling the walls of the cave. They reach a large pit and cannot cross. The shouts seem to be getting further away, so they hopelessly return to the spring.
Tom decides to pass the time carefully exploring, and uses his kite string as a guide so he will be able to keep track of where they have gone. He leads Becky by the hand down a small passage. As they reach the end, Tom sees a hand holding a candle close by. He shouts, and suddenly sees the owner of the hand: Injun Joe. Joe turns and runs, not knowing who shouted. Tom, not wanting to risk encountering Injun Joe, decides they should return to the spring, and doesn't tell Becky what he saw. After sleeping again, they are so tired and upset that Tom decides to risk Injun Joe. Becky is very weak, and tells Tom to go without her and return if he finds anything, or when it is time to die. Tom kisses her and leaves, promising to return.
Topic Tracking: Growing Up 14
Back in the village, it is Tuesday, and any hope of finding Tom and Becky is almost gone. The townsfolk go to sleep that night sad, but in the middle of the night the bells start ringing, and people begin to shout that the children have been found. The people rush towards the river, where they meet a carriage with the children and some people leading it. The entire town celebrates. They send a messenger to the cave to tell Judge Thatcher that they have returned. Tom tells the whole story, ending with how he saw daylight at the end of a tunnel after leaving Becky. He went to the light and found a small hole that led out to the riverside. Overcome with joy, they climbed out the hole and cried with happiness. Some men on a skiff came by, fed them, and let them rest before bringing them back to St. Petersburg. He doesn't tell anyone about seeing Injun Joe.
Tom and Becky are exhausted and sick and stay in bed for Wednesday and Thursday. Tom is mostly back to normal by Saturday, but Becky stays in bed until Sunday. Tom goes to visit Huck, who is also still sick, but the Widow Douglas doesn't allow him to see Huck until Monday. Even then, she doesn't let him tell Huck the story, because she doesn't want Huck to get excited. Tom finds out that Injun Joe's unknown partner has been found, drowned, in the river.
Two weeks after Tom and Becky got out of the cave, Tom is on his way to see Huck (who is feeling better) when he decides to stop in to see Becky. At Becky's house, the Judge and some other men tell Tom that there is now a locked iron door on the cave, so no one will get lost in it again. Tom gets very upset, and tells the men that Injun Joe is still in the cave.
The village sends several men back to the cave, along with Tom and Judge Thatcher. They open the door and find Injun Joe's dead body, face pressed to the crack at the floor. Tom feels both pity and relief. Injun Joe's knife is near by, broken in his struggle against the door frame. "...if the beam had been wholly cut away Injun Joe could not have squeezed his body under the door, and he knew it. So he had hacked that place in order to be doing something--in order to pass the weary time--in order to employ his tortured faculties." Chapter 33, pg. 191 Obviously, Injun Joe went insane from hunger. He had eaten old candles and bats to stay alive and drank drops of water dripping from the ceiling. His body is buried near the cave, and many people from all over come to the funeral. "[They] confessed that they had had almost as satisfactory a time at the funeral as they could have had at the hanging." Chapter 33, pg. 192 After the funeral, people give up the idea of asking the Governor to pardon Injun Joe, a popular, if short-lived, idea.
Topic Tracking: Religion 9
The next day, Tom and Huck get together and talk about everything that happened. Huck tells Tom about his adventure following Injun Joe to Widow Douglas' house, and guesses that whoever found the whisky found the treasure at the tavern. Tom stops him, and tells him that the treasure wasn't ever in Room Two at the tavern--it's in the cave. Tom says he will give Huck everything he owns if he's wrong.
They get supplies, including candles, kite string, and some bags, and go to the cave, "borrowing" a skiff to get down the river. Tom takes Huck to the hole he and Becky escaped from, and swears him to secrecy. He says he plans on having that be their hiding place when they're all robbers in Tom Sawyer's Gang. They will rob and kidnap people and hold them for ransom, and the women they kidnap will fall in love with them, just like in books.
Topic Tracking: Imagination 11
They enter the hole, and use kite string to lay their trail. When they reach the spring, Tom remembers the time he spent there, and shudders. He tells Huck about watching the candle go out, and the boys get very quiet. Tom leads Huck to where he saw Injun Joe before. He shows Huck a big rock, with a cross burned on it with candle smoke, exactly where he saw Injun Joe standing. Huck gets scared and says they should leave before Injun Joe's ghost gets them. Tom argues that Injun Joe's ghost is where he died, miles away, but he and Huck both know that the ghost would be with the treasure. He realizes, however, that the ghost wouldn't come around a cross, and the boys feel safe again.
Topic Tracking: Superstition 12
The boys search the room, find nothing, and then begin to dig under the rock. They strike wood and find a hole that leads under the rock. They crawl down the hole and find a small room with the box, some guns, and other supplies. Tom and Huck fill their bags with the treasure. They leave the cave and are back in town just after dark.
They haul their treasure in a wagon towards Widow Douglas' woodshed. On the way, they run into the Welshman, who offers to help with the wagon. Mr. Jones hurries them to the Widow's house, but won't say why. When they get there, they find all the important people in the village there, including the Thatchers, the Harpers, Aunt Polly, Sid, and Mary. The Widow gives them two new suits and tells them to get cleaned up.
Huck wants to escape from the upstairs window. He doesn't know how to be around upright citizens, and doesn't want to get dressed up. Sid comes upstairs and tells them that they've been looking for Tom all day to go to Widow Douglas' party. She's celebrating Mr. Jones and his sons and their fight against Injun Joe. Sid also tells Tom that Mr. Jones is going to tell everyone about Huck warning them about Injun Joe's attack. Sid, of course, has already told everyone. Tom hits Sid for being mean and ruining the surprise. The boys go down for dinner. Mr. Jones tells the story and everyone pretends to be surprised and applauds Huck. The Widow announces that she's going to take Huck in, send him to school, and give him money to start a business when he is older. Tom stops her, and tells everyone that Huck is rich. Everyone laughs, but Tom rushes out the door, brings the treasure in, and pours it out on the table. "There--what did I tell you? Half of it's Huck's and half of it's mine!" Chapter 34, pg. 203
The entire room is amazed. Tom tells the whole story of the treasure. They count the money and it totals $12,000. No one has ever seen that much money before.
Tom and Huck's money is the talk of the town. Everyone becomes treasure hunters, boys and men both. The paper publishes biographies of the boys. Their money goes into the bank to collect interest, where it earns a dollar a day for each boy. Judge Thatcher is very proud of Tom for saving Becky's life, and when Becky tells him about Tom taking her punishment in class, he swears he will try and help Tom get into the National Military academy and law school. Huck, kicking and screaming, becomes a member of St. Petersburg society. He moves into Widow Douglas' house, where he survives three weeks of proper living before running away. Tom finds him hiding in a hogshead behind the old slaughterhouse, and tries to get him to return to the Widow's home. Huck says:
"'Don't talk about it, Tom. I've tried it, and it don't work; it don't work, Tom. It ain't for me; I ain't used to it. The widder's good to me, and friendly; but I can't stand them ways. She makes me git up just at the same time every morning; she makes me wash, they comb me all to thunder; she won't let me sleep in the woodshed; I got to wear them blamed clothes that just smothers me, Tom; they don't seem to let any air git through 'em, somehow; and they're so rotten nice that I can't set down, nor lay down, nor roll around anywher's; I hain't slid on a cellar-door for--well, it 'pears to be years; I got to go to church and sweat and sweat--I hate them ornery sermons! I can't ketch a fly in there, I can't chaw. I got to wear shoes all Sunday. The widder eats by a bell; she goes to bed by a bell; she gits up by a bell--everything's so awful reg'lar a body can't stand it.'" Chapter 35, pg. 205
Topic Tracking: Religion 10
Huck continues to complain endlessly, but Tom steps in and tells him that they are still going to be robbers, rich or not. For Huck to be in the gang, however, he has to act respectable, because robbers are noble. Huck agrees to return if Tom promises to let him in the gang. Tom decides to hold the initiation to his gang that same night, where they will swear to stand by each other. They'll swear on a coffin in a haunted house. Huck says this sounds better than being a pirate, and says he's live with the Widow forever if he gets to be a robber.
Topic Tracking: Imagination 12
Here the story of Tom's adventures ends: "When one writes a novel about grown people, he knows exactly where to stop--that is, with a marriage; but when he writes of juveniles, he must stop where he best can." Chapter 35, pg. 208
Topic Tracking: Growing Up 15