Study Guide

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Chapter 29

By Mark Twain

Chapter 29

  • The next morning, Tom hears some good news. Becky Thatcher's back in town, and her picnic is scheduled for the next day. She and Tom spend the whole day playing with their classmates, and Tom generally lets himself forget about Injun Joe and the treasure and all that.
  • Still, he stays up waiting for Huck's signal, but to no avail. Huck never comes.
  • The next day Becky, Tom, and the other boys and girls head out to have some fun, free from adult supervision. Tom even convinces Becky to lie to her mother and say that she's spending the night at the Harpers' house so that she and Tom can spend more time together; Tom decides he would rather enjoy Becky's company than to, maybe, possibly, get the treasure.
  • After playing around and eating a solid meal, the boys and girls head off to frolic in the local gigantic, scary, beautiful, uncharted caverns that "no man 'knew'" or ever could know. After spending some hours spelunking (exploring caves), the kids realize night's approaching and head home.
  • By then, Huck has started his watch. Around eleven o'clock, after much fruitless waiting, he hears a noise. He jumps to attention and sees the door in the alley close softly. Soon, two figures walk right by him, carrying a box.
  • Huck thinks for a moment: should he run and get Tom, or should he follow the men? He picks the latter option, and creeps slowly behind them up to the grounds outside of the Widow Douglas's house.
  • At this point, Huck can hear Injun Joe's companion cursing. Apparently someone's at the Widow's house – the lights are on – and they can't carry out their plan. He figures out, then, that maybe this is the revenge "job" they were talking about.
  • Though the other man wants to leave, Injun Joe won't give up his plan. He reminds his companion that the Widow Douglas's husband, a justice of the peace, had him charged for vagrancy and whipped, and he wants to get back at her as a result. When the other man tells Injun Joe that he shouldn't kill her, Injun Joe scoffs – he's only interested in maiming her. He intimidates the man into helping him, and the two decide to wait until the lights are off to advance.
  • Huck decides that now's the time to leave. He runs down the hill toward the nearest house, where the "Welshman," an older guy with two grown-up sons, lives.
  • Huck bangs on the door and asks to be let in, and though Huck isn't usually one to receive hospitality, the Welshman can see that he really needs help.
  • In a matter of minutes, the Welshman and his sons are heading up to the widow's house, armed and ready, with Huck in tow, when all of a sudden a gunfight begins.
  • Huck runs as fast as he can in the other direction.