Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 42 Summary
- The next morning, Tom/Sid has yet to return. Silas suddenly remembers to give Sally a letter from her sister (Polly, who usually takes care of Tom), but before she can open it, they all spot several figures approaching the farm.
- And the figures are: Jim, wearing the stolen dress (!?) and tied up; Tom Sawyer, lying on a mattress; the doctor; and a mob of curious folks.
- Everyone wants to hang Jim as an example, but the doctor stops them and tells his story: when he found "Sid" to fix his leg, he couldn't do anything without a second pair of hands.
- Sid was clearly getting worse and worse, and finally Jim stepped out of hiding—even though he knew it would mean his own recapture—to save the boy's life.
- Everyone's super-grateful, so they decide not to kill Jim.
- But they do lock him back up in the shed.
- They put Tom to bed and wait for him to wake up and feel chirpy, which he does the next morning.
- He then explains everything to his aunt, about how they set Jim free and sent the anonymous notes, etc. He's quite proud of himself, but his aunt is none too pleased.
- When Tom hears that Jim has been thrown back in captivity, he flips out. Jim is free, he says, so they ought to let him go.
- Everyone essentially says, "What!?'
- He explains that Miss Watson died two months ago and, feeling guilty and likely fearing hell, set Jim free in her will.
- Everyone is happy, although Silas is probably wondering if he'll get his $40 back, and no one seems too choked up about the fact that Miss Watson is dead.
- Adding to the fun times, Aunt Polly shows up, which blows everyone's fake identities.
- Huck declares that now he can respect Tom's morality again since he knows he wasn't trying to free someone else's property.
- Also, we find out that Tom's been hiding all the letters that Aunt Polly had sent to her sister.