Study Guide

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Chapter 30

By Mark Twain

Chapter 30

  • The next morning, Huck comes back to the Welshman's house and knocks on his door. This time the Welshman is happy to see Huck – this comes as a shock to a kid used to being turned away – and is even invited in for breakfast.
  • Huck has come because he wants to know what went down the night before, and the Welshman is happy to tell him: he and his boys got within fifteen feet of them when the Welshman sneezed; a gunfight broke out, with the criminals firing a couple parting shots as they ran into the woods.
  • The search, he tells Huck, is still ongoing, and the sheriff's got a posse and everything.
  • With all that settled, the Welshman asks Huck what the two bad guys looked like. At first Huck tells him that they're the "old deef and dumb Spaniard" and some other mean-looking guy he's never seen before. The Welshman immediately sends his sons to tell the sheriff this news; Huck begs them not to reveal his identity, though.
  • Now, the Welshman asks Huck how exactly he came upon the dudes. Huck makes up some story about not being to sleep the night before and walking by the tavern and seeing two guys smoking cigars, and recognizing them as the Spaniard and some other "ragged looking devil" (30.24).
  • At this point, Huck's story falls apart; he tells the Welshman that he heard the Spaniard" talking about hurting the widow in all sorts of awful ways. The Welshman calls Huck out and, though Huck does his best to get out of the situation, he eventually blabs and reveals that the Spaniard is none other than Injun Joe.
  • The Welshman jumps out of his chair, shocked that he didn't recognize the Spaniard as Injun Joe in disguise.
  • When, later on during breakfast, the Welshman reveals that he and the boys found a package the men had dropped, Huck yells "OF WHAT?" and nearly dies. Luckily, it was only some burglar tools all bundled up. Huck is ashamed to have acted so silly and obviously anxious about the whole treasure thing, but he's also happy to have gotten all that Injun Joe stuff off his chest; he's sure that, once Injun Joe's found and the whole thing's died down, he and Tom can just waltz in to Room No. 2 and grab the treasure.
  • Just after breakfast, the Widow Douglas comes down to thank the Welshman – he was so discrete about the whole incident that he didn't even wake the widow up – and a few others come as well.
  • Soon it's time for church, and everybody gathers for the service. Becky's mom and Joe's mom get to talking and soon Mrs. Thatcher realizes her daughter is gone. Same thing happens with Mrs. Harper and Aunt Polly and, well, before you know it the whole town is up in arms, looking for Becky and Tom.
  • Everybody forgets about the whole Widow Douglas incident and starts rushing toward the caves – isn't this always how it works? Kids in trouble trump pretty much everything else as far as news is concerned – and soon everyone's on the case.
  • Huck gets sick at this point and is confined to bed. The Widow Douglas takes care of him.
  • By the afternoon, not much progress has been made. Reports indicate that searchers, among whom is Judge Thatcher, have discovered the words "BECKY & TOM" written on the cave wall with candle smoke – we guess that kind of stuff falls into the gray area between cave painting and graffiti – but three days pass without any success.
  • The "haunted room," the one filled with alcohol, is found at the Temperance Tavern. Huck gets another scare when he's told about the find – but no treasure is found on the premises. He thinks the gold is gone forever.