One day, Tom, like most every boy, decides he wants to go look for buried treasure. So he hunts up Huck and tells him all about his plan.
Tom knows all about treasure and where people hide it; according to him, robbers always hide it on islands, or under dead trees that have one limb sticking out, or in haunted houses.
Since they've already been to Jackson's Island, he tells Huck, they might as well start with a particular dead tree a few miles from town.
They set out with pick and shovel, their heads full of fantasies. Huck decides he'd use the treasure to have pie and a glass of soda every day, and go to the circus as much as possible. Tom says he's going to use his share of treasure to buy a drum, a "sure-'nough sword," a tie, a dog, and, to top it all off, to get married (25.54).
They get to the tree and start digging…with no results. Just then, Tom "realizes" that you have to dig in the shadow of the dead branch, but that you can only see the right shadow at midnight.
So, they go back out to the spot that night and try again…unsuccessfully. Tom and Huck come up with all sorts of explanations before deciding, you know what, we have to go to the local haunted house and spook around.