Study Guide

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Chapter 26

By Mark Twain

Chapter 26

  • The next day, and we mean day – they're going to the haunted house at noon, not midnight – Tom and Huck head back to the dead tree to pick up their tools.
  • Just then, Huck remembers that it's Friday, an "unlucky" day, and they put off treasure-hunting until later.
  • Instead, Tom teaches Huck all about Robin Hood, and they spend the rest of the afternoon playing around.
  • They meet at the same place, same time the next day, ready to tackle the haunted house.
  • After having a smoke, they head over to the house and find it to be, well, spooky. They give the first floor a thorough looking-over, then head upstairs. Just as they're about to head back down, empty-handed, they hear someone walking toward the house.
  • Soon, two men enter the house – a man who both know as the "old deef and dumb Spaniard" and some other guy they've never seen before (26.33). The Spaniard's in full stereotypical garb, sombrero and everything, but he's also wearing green goggles.
  • Turns out the "deef and dumb" Spaniard can talk, and he sounds a lot like…Injun Joe. Injun Joe and the other guy get down to talking about some kind of "job"; the other guy doesn't want anything to do with it, but Joe won't stand down.
  • Joe curses "those infernal boys," making Tom and Huck shake in their boots. He and his partner talk some more, then have dinner. Joe decides that he's going to go into town once more, then they're going to finish the "job," before heading out to Texas. Then they go to sleep; the other guy is supposed to keep watch, but, well, he doesn't.
  • This leaves Tom and Huck in a pickle. They want to run away, but they know if either man wakes up they're done for.
  • Soon, Joe and his bro are up again, and they start talking about "swag." Eventually, Joe goes over to the old fireplace, lifts up a stone, and takes out a bag of silver coins. Each takes a twenty dollars' worth out, then Joe sets about digging a new hole to stash it in. Suddenly, Joe strikes something hard in the ground – it's a chest filled with gold coins. Turns out Tom was right after all.
  • Just then, Injun Joe's buddy notices the pick and shovel sitting in the corner and brings them over. This makes Joe suspicious, but he's distracted by the thousands of dollars in the box.
  • Injun Joe tells his friend to go home and wait for word, then the two men think about what to do with the newly discovered treasure. Injun Joe thinks for a minute, then realizes…there's dirt on the pick. They decide to bring the coins to Joe's den, "Number Two – under the cross" (26.81).
  • By now, Joe is afraid of being caught; he's looking out the windows warily. He picks up his knife and walks toward the stairs.
  • Tom and Huck are about ready to soil themselves when the stairs collapse under Injun Joe's weight.
  • Joe gives up looking, and the two men pack up and leave.
  • Relieved, Tom and Huck kick themselves for leaving their tools. If only they hadn't! They could have been rich by then.
  • The two resolve to figure out where "Number Two" is and get the money. Tom realizes, then, that Injun Joe is planning some kind of revenge, and fears that they are his targets.
  • By the time they get back to town, they've reassured themselves that no, Joe probably didn't mean them, and, even if he did, he had no idea that Huck was involved. This doesn't make Tom feel any better, though.