Mark Twain – Huckleberry Finn, Chapters 33-36

Ch. 33 – A Nigger Stealer — Southern Hospitality — A Pretty Long Blessing — Tar and Feathers

  • As Huck headed into town, he saw a wagon coming towards him. It was Tom Sawyer. Both he & Tom were surprised to see each other. Tom asked him why he’d come back to haunt him. He’d never done Huck any harm. Huck explained that he wasn’t a ghost & hadn’t been murdered. He’d tell the whole story later.
    • Huck told him the situation at Silas’s farm, & he made sure that Tom didn’t act like he knew Huck. Huck told tom he had every intention of stealing Jim from the farm, no matter what anyone said.
    • Tom volunteered to help but he had to swear to secrecy & plead ignorance if asked about it. Huck rushed back to the farm & Tom’s wagon came in half an hour. Sally saw Tom’s wagon pull in. She told one of the boys to set another place at the table. Tom was dressed to the 9s & ready to put on a show. He asked for Archibald Nichols.
    • Silas told him that he had the wrong house but by then Tom’s wagon driver was long gone. They invited him in for lunch & they’d take him up to the Nichols house afterwards. Tom refused but Silas insisted on it as a part of Southern hospitality.
      • Tom accepted & told them his name was William Thompson from Hicksville, Ohio. Tom made up all kinds of stories & characters. Huck was getting nervous. Then Tom leaned over & kissed Aunt Sally on the mouth. It completely shocked & upset her. Then he decided to come clean tell her he’s actually Sid Sawyer, Tom’s brother. She got excited to see him. Tom said he begged to be allowed to come too.
    • Tome & Huck waited all during dinner to hear any mention of a runaway slave. One of the boys asked if he could go to the show with Tom & Sid. Silas told him not because the slave had told him about the scandalous show. He figured they’d be run out of town before the show even got started.
      • They went to bed after dinner & climbed out the window. Huck didn’t want something bad to happen to the king & duke.
    • On the way to town, Tom told Huck how everyone back home thought he’d been murdered. Pap disappeared shortly afterwards. There was also a stir when Jim had run away. Huck told Tom about the Royal Nonesuch rapscallions & the raft ride.
    • By the time they got to town, it was 8:30. Out came a mob of people with torches hooting & hollering, banging on pans & blowing horns. They had the king & duke straddling a rail, tarred & feathered. Huck thought it was cruel.
      • One member of the mob told Huck they’d gone to the show playing innocent & then turned on the pair. Tom & Huck went back to the house feeling bad about the situation.

Ch. 34 – The Hut by the Ash Hopper — Outrageous — Climbing the Lightning Rod — Troubled with Witches

  • When they got back to the house, Tom told Huck he thought that Jim might be in one of the huts behind the house. He thought he’d seen a black man walking into one of them with food. The man was bringing watermelon in & had to unlock the door to enter.
    • They figured Jim had to be inside. Now they had to come up with a plan to break him out. Huck planned to get his canoe out the next night to fetch his raft from the island. Then once it got dark, he’d steal the key from the old man’s pants & run off down the river with Jim just like he’d been doing before. Tom felt it was too simple & boring. He wanted people to talk about it afterwards.
    • They cased the house & backyard for possibilities. They saw a square hole above the door boarded up. They could pull it off – too easy. They could saw a hole in it – too easy. Tom wanted something harder. They’d dig him out.
  • The next day, Huck & Tom went to see the dogs & the slave who’d been feeding Jim. The guy had his woolly hair tied up in bunches to keep the witches away. Tom asked him if he was going to feed the dogs. The slave brought them in to see what what was inside.
    • It was Jim who was glad to see Huck & very surprised to see Tom. They started messing with the superstitious one who was feeding Jim. The poor guy was scared out of his wits of witches. Tom looked at Jim & wondered aloud if Silas would hang him. When the other slave left the room, Tom whispered to Jim they’d free him. He just had to play dumb for a while.

Ch. 35 – Escaping Properly — Dark Schemes — Discrimination in Stealing — A Deep Hole

  • They had an hour before breakfast. They went into the woods to get foxfire (glowing wood). Tom was upset that these escape plans were too simple. There was no guard or dog to drug. Jim’s chain was easily cut away from his beg leg. In fact they could just lift the bed to free him.
    • Tom felt there was more honor in it being difficult. He wanted to find something resembling what he’d room of in books. He said maybe they could saw Jim’s leg off. This was too much for Huck. All Tom’s ideas were useless or dangerous, or would attract attention to what they were doing. But Tom was adamant about trying something crazy.
    • Huck went to the clothesline to “borrow” a sheet & white shirt for the escape. Tom said calling it “borrowing didn’t make it not stealing. But ultimately, if a prisoner stole things he needed for his escape, that would make it all right. Tom brought them over to the shack while everyone else was busy.
    • Now Tom was after was tools. Rather than shovels & picks, he wanted to use knives, even if it took 37 years like the Count of Monte Cristo. Huck went inside to steal some knives.

Ch. 36 – The Lightning Rod — His Level Best — A Bequest to Posterity — A High Figure

  • Once they figured everyone was asleep, they slipped out through the window & down the lightning rod. They went to work digging under where Jim’s bed was. They dug with the knives until about midnight when Huck turned to Tom & said that it’d take forever. Tom agreed.
    • But Tom said it wouldn’t be right to do it but he wanted to get out the pick for Huck & pretended it was a knife. Huck didn’t care how he’d steal a slave so long as it worked. Tom said it was OK because Huck didn’t know any better. Tom asked for a knife & Huck gave him a pick. Tom was very principled.
    • They went at it for half an hour with the picks & made a decent hole. Huck climbed up to their bedroom window to see if it was noticeable. Tom couldn’t climb up the lightning rod so he went up the stairs & acted liked he went up the lightning rod.
    • The next day, Tom stole a pewter spoon & brass candlestick with 6 candles. Huck took 3 tin plates. They’d sneak all these things in to Jim through the hole. They wanted Jim to write about his captivity on the plates.
    • They crawled in through the hole into Jim’s cabin & woke him up. He wanted them to chisel off his chain. He also told them that Silas was coming into the cabin twice a day to pray with him. Sally was coming in to make sure he was fed & was comfortable. Tome thought about sending something in with them. Huck thought that was idiotic but Tom ignored him.
      • Tom told him they’d bring a rope & other things by Nat. Then they went in, & Tom was pleased with himself.
      • Tome tried to incorporate Nat in the scheme. He’d been sure there were millions of devils poking around outside Jim’s hut. He wanted to get his hands on a witch. Tom told him they hung around at breakfast because they were hungry. Tom was going to make a witch pie & catch one but Nat couldn’t know what was going into it or see very much.

Author: knowit68

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