Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a children's novel of forty-three chapters by the American author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, who wrote professionally under the pseudonym of Mark Twain. It was first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. It is a sequel to Twain's 1876 novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
The action takes place some forty years before the novel was published in the pre-Civil War American South. The story begins in the fictional village of St. Petersburg in Missouri at the point at which The Adventures of Tom Sawyer finishes. The homeless boy Huckleberry Finn, the novel's title character and protagonist, and his adventurous friend Tom Sawyer have recently become rich after finding twelve thousand dollars in gold coins in an abandoned house. A wealthy woman known as the Widow Douglas, whose life Huckleberry Finn saves in the previous book, decides to look after and educate the outcast boy. Huckleberry Finn goes to live in the Widow Douglas' house, which is also home to her elderly sister Miss Watson who has a slave named Jim. The boy dislikes the attempts of the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson to "civilize" him. Huckleberry Finn's long absent and alcoholic father finds out about his son's sudden wealth. He returns to St. Petersburg to claim the money for himself. He takes Huckleberry Finn away from the Widow Douglas' house to live in a cabin in the woods. In order to escape from his abusive father, as well as from the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson, Huckleberry Finn fakes his own murder and hides out on an island in the Mississippi River. He discovers that Miss Watson's slave Jim has run away and is also hiding out on the island. After sneaking back to St. Petersburg one evening, Huckleberry Finn finds out Jim is suspected of being his murderer and that men are looking for him. The boy and the runaway slave leave the island on a raft and sail down the Mississippi, traveling by night and hiding by day. Due to thick fog, they miss the town from which Jim could easily escape to freedom in the North and continue to aimlessly sail south. They are joined by two con men, who claim to be the rightful heir to an English dukedom and the rightful king of France. Although Huckleberry soon realizes they are lying, he continues to call the two men the duke and the king. Huckleberry Finn tells the two men that Jim is his slave but they travel by night to avoid trouble with people who might mistake Jim for a runaway. So that they can travel by day, the duke decides to say that they are poor people who have captured an escaped slave. He has a handbill printed which states that Jim is a runaway slave from a non-existent plantation in New Orleans and that there is a $200 reward for his return. They make stops at various towns along the river where the duke and the king try to trick the local people into parting with their money. After the duke and the king fail to keep hold of much money from their various scams, the king shows two men the proof that Jim is a runaway slave with a $200 reward on his head and gives him to them in exchange for $40. Huckleberry Finn finds out that Jim has been taken to the home of the wealthy Silas Phelps. He is being kept locked up there until he can be returned to New Orleans. Huckleberry Finn makes his way to the Phelps' house. Silas Phelps' wife Sally is expecting her nephew to arrive. She immediately mistakes Huckleberry Finn for that nephew, who turns out to be Huckleberry's good friend Tom Sawyer. Huckleberry continues to impersonate his friend. When the real Tom Sawyer arrives, he pretends to be his brother Sid. When he finds out that Huckleberry Finn wants to help Jim get away to freedom, Tom Sawyer is excited by the idea of helping a prisoner to escape. Tom, however, insists that the escape has to be done properly according to the way such escapes are always done in adventure novels. Tom comes up with an elaborate escape plan. It involves making the cabin where Jim is being kept more like the cells Tom has read about in books and making Jim behave more like prisoners always do in those books. Both Huckleberry Finn and Jim assume Tom knows best and go along with the plan.
Unlike The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which is narrated in the third person by an omniscient narrator, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is narrated in the first person by Huckleberry Finn. Huckleberry Finn speaks in a non-standard dialect of English that includes many structures that would be considered ungrammatical in standard English. His speech, along with the speech of all the other characters in the book, is written phonetically, meaning that there are many unusual spellings in the novel. According to an introductory note by Twain, several different dialects are used in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, including, "the Missouri negro dialect, the extremest form of the backwoods South-Western dialect, the ordinary 'Pike County' dialect, and four modified varieties of the last". The only major character who usually speaks in standard American English is the con man known as the duke. The non-standard grammar, curious spellings and use of outdated slang are likely to make the novel difficult for some readers to understand. Non-native speakers of English are likely to require an annotated edition of the novel, preferably one annotated in their first language, in order to read it in the original. Many readers may find that reading the novel along to a good audiobook recording helps them to understand and enjoy it better.
When it was first published Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was heavily criticized for its use of coarse language. More recently, the repeated use of racially offensive language in the novel has proved problematic. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has also been criticized for being overly reliant on racial stereotypes, although Twain's intentions in writing it were anti-racist. The novel highlights some of the contradictions in the United States., a country which lauds freedom, but where slavery was permitted long after it had been banned in other places, where "all men are created equal", but racism is rampant. The language, violence and examples of hypocrisy have gotten the book banned in many places. According to Banned in the U.S.A by Herbert N. Foerstel as quoted on About.com it is the fourth most commonly banned book (in the U.S.).
Advenyures of Huckleberry Finn has been adapted to other media multiple times. There are at least twenty different screen adaptations of the novel.
The narrator, Huckleberry Finn, begins by saying that readers may have read about him in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Huckleberry says that novel is mostly true, although it contains some exaggerations. He thinks that is only natural because most people lie sometimes.
At the end of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the boy Tom Sawyer and his friend Huckleberry Finn, a homeless boy who has been treated as a social outcast by the people of the village of St. Petersburg for his entire life, become rich after finding twelve thousand dollars in gold coins hidden in an abandoned house. They are allowed to keep six thousand dollars each. The money is kept safe for them by Judge Thatcher and they are both paid a dollar a day in interest. At the end of the previous book, Huckleberry Finn also saves the Widow Douglas from being attacked by the criminal Injun Joe. To show her gratitude, the Widow Douglas decides to take Huckleberry Finn into her home, care for him and educate him. Huckleberry does not like living with the Widow Douglas because she will not allow him to smoke or swear and she forces him to adopt table manners that are totally alien to him. After a few days, he runs away. Tom Sawyer finds him. He tells his friend that he is starting a gang of robbers, all of the members of which have to be respectable. Huckleberry can only join the gang if he goes back to live with the Widow Douglas. For that reason alone, Huckleberry goes back to her.
Both the Widow Douglas and her elderly sister who lives with her, Miss Watson, try to get Huckleberry to change his behavior, educate him and teach him about the Bible. Miss Watson tells him about Heaven and Hell. Huckleberry cannot see any advantage in going to Heaven, especially since Miss Watson tells him that Tom Sawyer will definitely not go there, and decides not to bother aiming for it.
At night, Tom Sawyer calls out to Huckleberry by meowing like as cat. Huckleberry leaves his bedroom and the two boys quietly tiptoe through the Widow Douglas' yard. Huckleberry, however, makes a sound when he trips over a rock. The sound alerts Jim, Miss Watson's slave, who is at the kitchen window. Jim declares to any intruders that he will stay exactly where he is until whoever made the noise reveals himself. Eventually, however, Jim falls asleep. Tom thinks that they should tie up Kim. Huckleberry persuades him not to. Tom settles for playing a joke on Jim instead. He takes Jim's hat off his head and hangs it on a hook. Against Huckleberry's wishes, Tom also takes some candles from the kitchen and leaves five cents to pay for them. It is revealed that Jim thought witches took his hat and that the Devil left the five cents. He later says that witches forced him to go all over the world before taking him back to where they started from and removing his hat. Slaves come from miles away to listen to his story and see the coin he says he got from the Devil.
Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn meet up with some other boys and go bu boat to a cave. Tom tells all the boys gathered there that they are now the band of robbers known as Tom Sawyer's Gang. He makes them sign an oath in their own blood in which they promise that they will kill the family of any gang member who reveals the gang's secrets. Some of the boys point out that Huckleberry Finn does not have any family, apart from his alcoholic and long absent father. Huckleberry says that they can kill Miss Watson instead and they agree that is acceptable. Shortly afterwards, one boy says that he does not want to be in the gang anymore and threatens to reveal its secrets. Tom sawyer buys his silence with five cents and allows him to go. Tom Sawyer explains that they will rob people they meet on the road. They will kill some of the men and ransom others. Tom is asked what "ransom" means. He does not know but thinks it means keeping the men prisoner until they die. Tom says that they will never kill woman but will take them prisoner instead. The beautiful women prisoners will all eventually fall in love with their charming captors.
Tom Sawyer's Gang never rob or kill anyone. They only pretend to. Tom tells fantastical tales about the wealthy people who are coming to the area that they can rob. He tells Huckleberry Finn that hundreds of Spaniards and Arabs with hundreds of camels and elephants carrying a precious cargo will be camping nearby and they can attack them. When Tom Sawyer's Gang arrive at the place where he said the Spaniards and Arabs would be, they see only a Sunday school picnic. They manage to steal some doughnuts and jam from the children, although they are forced to give them back by the teachers. When Huckleberry Finn complains that he did not see any Spaniards, Arabs, ca,e;s or elephants, Tom Sawyer explains that they were enchanted and made to look like a Sunday school picnic. He adds that if Huckleberry were not so uncultured and if he had read Don Quixote, he would understand. Within a month, all of the boys have quit Tom Sawyer's Gang, including Huckleberry Finn.
A rumor starts to circulate that Huckleberry Finn's father, whom Huckleberry always calls "Pap", has come back to the area after having been away for more than a year. The body of a drowned man with long hair is found and is buried immediately afterwards. It is assumed to be the body of Huckleberry Finn's father. Huckleberry, however, comes to believe it was really the body of a woman in man's clothes and is certain that his father is still at large.
Huckleberry Finn settles into his new life with the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson. He attends school and learns to read and write. One winter day, he sees boot tracks in the snow. In the heel of one of the boots is the shape of a cross made from two nails. Huckleberry Finn's father placed a cross made of two nails in the heel if one of his boots to ward off the Devil. In no doubt that his father has returned because he heard about his son becoming rich, Huckleberry goes to see Judge Thatcher. He tries to tell the judge that he no longer wants his six thousand dollars and repeatedly says that the judge can keep it. Eventually, Judge Thatcher seems to agree to buy Huckleberry's fortune off him for one dollar.
In need of some advice, Huckleberry goes to see Jim. Jim has a large hairball that was taken from an ox's stomach which he says has magical powers and can predict the future. Jim says the hairball told him that a good and an evil angel are watching over his father and it is uncertain which one will win out in the end. He also tells Huckleberry that he will know much sorrow in his life as well as much happiness and advises him to stay away from water because that is where he will die.
When Huckleberry goes up to his bedroom, his father is waiting there for him. Pap Finn in his filthy old clothes disapproves of the new clean clothes that his son is wearing. He is also disgusted by the idea of Huckleberry going to school and becoming the first person in the Finn family to learn to read. He is certain that his son now thinks he is better than him and finds that unacceptable. When Pap asks Huckleberry if he is really as rich as people say he is, the boy says he does not have any money anymore. Pap does not believe him. He takes the dollar that Judge thatcher gave Huckleberry and spends it on whiskey.
The following day, Pap goes to Judge thatcher's house and orders him to hand over Huckleberry's money. Judge thatcher refuses. He and the Widow Douglas try to become Huckleberry's legal guardians. The judge who hears their case, however, is new to the area, does not know Pap Finn and refuses to separate a father from his son. When Pap Finn ends up in jail after going on a drunken spree, the same judge decides to take Pap Finn into his home to try to reform him. After some time, Pap Finn tearfully declares that he has become a new man and will never touch alcohol again. He soon falls back into his old ways, however, and the judge gives up on trying to reform him.
Pap Finn starts legal proceedings against Judge Thatcher to make him hand over Huckleberry's money. He also continues to criticize his son for attending school. Huckleberry, who did not much care for school before, now happily goes there just to spite his father. Unable to bear the idea of his son becoming educated and respectable any longer, Pap Finn abducts Huckleberry and takes him to a cabin deep in the forest on the Illinois shore of the Mississippi River.
Huckleberry becomes somewhat settled into his new life with his father. Pap Finn, however, is often drunk and is always abusive to his son when he is. Huckleberry neither wants to stay with his father nor return to the Widow Douglas. He decides to escape. He finds an old saw and begins to use it to make a hike in one of the cabin's wooden walls.
Pap returns to the cabin one evening. He is angry because Judge Thatcher managed to delay the legal proceedings that he started against him and because he has heard that, although he will probably be given Huckleberry's money, he will probably lose custody of his son. In a drunken stupor, he later tries to attack Huckleberry with a knife, convinced that his son is really an Angel of Death. He passes out. When he comes to in the morning, he finds that Huckleberry is pointing a rifle at him.
Pap remembers nothing about his drunken attempt to attack Huckleberry the night before and asks why the gun is pointed at him. Huckleberry tells him that some intruders tried to get in and he got the rifle ready in vase they came back. Before leaving for the day, Pap tells Huckleberry to get some fish from the river for breakfast. Huckleberry finds a canoe. He sees his chance to escape. He realizes that he can make use of the fact that his father thinks there are robbers about by faking a break in and his own murder. If he is believed to be dead, he will never have to go back to the Widow Douglas' house either. he takes the canoe and hides it in the woods. After his father has gone, Huckleberry finishes cutting the hole in the cabin wall but then covers it up. He takes food, utensils and everything of any value from the cabin and puts it all in the canoe. He kills a feral pig. He destroys the door of the cabin with an ax and sprinkles some of the pig's blood on the floor. he puts some more of the pig's blood on an ax along with some of his own hair. He drags a heavy sack to a creek, making it look as if his body has been dragged out and dumped there. Huckleberry goes to the canoe and waits until night. He makes his way to Jackson's Island, an island in the Mississippi River near St. Petersburg.
When he wakes up on the island the following morning, Huckleberry sees a ferryboat on the river. His father is on board the boat, as are Judge Thatcher and his daughter Bessie, Tom sawyer, Tom's Aunt Polly and other people Huckleberry knows. Huckleberry realizes that they are looking for his body. The boat fires cannons to make his body rise to the surface. Loaves of bread with mercury in them, which are supposed to float towards the body, are placed on the water. Huckleberry id pleased that some of the bread does find his body, albeit his living body. He takes a loaf of bread out of the river and eats it. He is delighted to find that it is much better quality bread than he is used to eat.
Huckleberry spends three happy days alone on the island. He then comes across remains of a fire and realizes he is not alone there. On the fourth day, Huckleberry is delighted to find that the other person on the island is Jim. At first, Jim thinks that Huckleberry is a ghost. The boy eventually persuades him that he is alive and faked his own murder. Jim explains that he ran away because he overheard Miss Watson talking about selling him to a slave trader who would take him to New Orleans, thus separating him from his wife and two children. To hide their presence from anyone else who might come to the island, Huckleberry and Jim take the canoe and their food to a large cave in the island's center. Huckleberry and Jim stay safe inside the cave when a terrible storm comes.
The river floods as a result of the storm. Several things float down the flooded river past the island, including a raft and an old two-story wooden house. Huckleberry and Jim go inside the house. They see the body of a dead man, who has been shot in the back, lying face down on the floor. Jim looks at the man's face but will not allow Huckleberry to see it, saying that it is too ghastly a sight for the boy. Jim and Huckleberry take everything they can that they think might be useful from the house.
Huckleberry decides to play a trick on Jim by placing a dead rattlesnake next to his bed. Unfortunately, the dead snake's live mate goes to it and bites Jim's leg, causing it to become swollen. It takes several days for Jim to recover. The extremely superstitious Jim warns Huckleberry that touching snake skin is one of the unluckiest things that a person can do and they are likely to suffer a lot of bad luck for a long time. The equally superstitious Huckleberry firmly believes this.
Wanting to gather information, Huckleberry says he wants to sneak back to St. Petersburg at night. Jim agrees to this but insists on Huckleberry disguising himself as a girl, something he is able to do because they took some dresses from the old wooden house. Dressed in girl's clothes, Huckleberry makes his way back to St. Petersburg at night. At the window of a previously empty shack, he sees a woman he has never seen before. Since the woman is obviously new to the area, Huckleberry is confident she will not recognize him and will not know he is not really a girl. He knocks on the door and the woman tells him to enter. He says that he is name id Sarah Williams from Hookerville, making her way to her uncle's house and has stopped because she is tired.
The woman and her guest chat about various things. Eventually, the conversation comes round to the topic of Huckleberry Finn's murder. The woman says that Pap Finn is a suspect. He narrowly escaped being lynched and has now left the village. There is a $200 reward on his head. Jim is also a suspect because he ran away on the same day that Huckleberry was murdered. There is a $300 reward on his head. The woman's husband has been looking for Jim. She has advised him to go to Jackson's Island because she has seen smoke coming from there. He plans to go there that night with another man and a gun.
Starting to become suspicious of her guest, the woman asks for Huckleberry's name again. he says, "Mary Williams", When the woman points out that he said "Sarah Williams" before, he says that his full name is Sarah Mary Williams. The woman tells him that, by his behavior, he has revealed himself to really be a boy. The woman asks her guest to reveal the truth about himself, adding that she supposes he is an apprentice who has run away from a cruel master. Huckleberry says that is indeed the case and his name is George Peters. The woman promises she will not tell on him and encourages him to continue the journey to his uncle's house.
Huckleberry makes his way back to Jackson's Island. He makes a decoy campfire a long way from the cave. He tells Jim that they have to go at once. They put everything they can on the raft that came to the island when the river flooded and leave.
Jim builds a kind of tent, that Huckleberry calls a "wigwam", on the raft, They use it to shelter from the sun and the rain and to keep their belongings dry. To avoid detection, Huckleberry and Jim always travel by night and stay hidden during the day. On the fifth night of their journey, they pass the bright lights of St. Louis. Huckleberry goes ashore very early in the morning to get food, sometimes buying it, sometimes hunting for it and sometimes "borrowing" it. Thanks to the moral education he received from the Widow Douglas, Huckleberry knows that what his father taught him to call "borrowing" is really stealing. He tells Jim that he feels guilty about doing it. Jim and Huckleberry decide that it would be a good compromise if they agree to take some things they need to survive but agree never to steal other things ever again. After much discussion, they decide that they can steal everything apart from crab apples and persimmons.
On a stormy night, Huckleberry and Jim sight a wrecked steamboat. Huckleberry wants to go on board the wreck, partly so that he can take useful items from it and partly just to have an adventure like his friend Tom Sawyer would. Jim does not think it is a food idea but they go on board anyway. On board the steamboat, Huckleberry overhears three robbers. Two of them have turned on the third because they believe he is about to to inform on them. They talk about killing him. One of the robbers persuades his companion to just leave the third on board the wreck because it is about to sink anyway. Huckleberry finds Jim. He tells him that they have to stop a murder from being committed by cutting the robbers' boat loose. That would prevent them from escaping and force all three men to stay on board the sinking steamboat until they drown or are found and arrested. In response, Jim tells Huckleberry that their own raft has broken loose and floated away.
Huckleberry and Jim get into the robbers'boat, that already has some stolen items in it, and quietly row away. They find their own raft. Before the wreck is completely out of sight, however, Huckleberry begins to feel sorry for the three men on board it. Jim waits for Huckleberry as he goes ashore to get help. On shore, Huckleberry finds a ferryboat and wakes up its watchman, who is revealed to also be its captain. Huckleberry spins an elaborate yarn that explains how his entire family came to be on board the wrecked steamboat. The ferryman agrees to go there to rescue them. Huckleberry rejoins Jim and they sink the robbers' boat. Huckleberry feels good about helping the robbers and is sure that the Widow Douglas would be proud of him. Later that night, however, the remains of the wrecked steamboat float past the raft. Huckleberry calls out to it but there is no answer. It is clear that the three robbers have not survived.
The items that the robbers took from the wrecked steamboat include clothes, cigars and several books that Huckleberry enjoys reading. From the books, and from his own imagination, Huckleberry tells Jim amazing tales of kings. Jim says that he was not aware there were so many kings since the only ones he knew about before were the kings in a deck of cards and the biblical King Solomon. Jim disagrees with popular idea that King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived and says he must have been a fool for suggesting chopping a child in half. Huckleberry tries to tell Jim that he has completely missed the point of the story of the Judgment of Solomon. Jim, however, holds fast to the opinion that Solomon was a fool. Huckleberry tells Jim about King Louis XVII of France, also known as the Dauphin, the yooung son of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette who were both executed during the French Revolution. Although the official story is that Louis XVII died in prison when he was a child, some people believe that he is still alive and that he escaped and came to America. When Jim asks what Louis XVII might be doing in America, Huckleberry says that he could be teaching French. Jim is completely unaware that there are any other languages apart from the one he knows. He has always assumed that all humans speak the same language. Huckleberry insists that there is such a language as French and that he has learned a few words of it from the books he has read. Jim, however, remains unconvinced.
Huckleberry and Jim approach the mouth of the Ohio River. They plan to go to the town of Cairo, where Jim can travel by steamboat to the North where slavery is outlawed and he will be free,
One evening, Huckleberry and Jim can see that it is about to get foggy. They decide that they should not travel any further that night and should tie the raft to a tree instead. Huckleberry leaves the raft and gets into a canoe to go ahead and look for a suitable tree to which the raft can be tied. The fog, however, comes on very quickly. Huckleberry finds himself separated from the raft and Jim. Jim repeatedly calls out to Huckleberry but they are unable to find each other. The raft runs aground in the fog. When the fog clears, Huckleberry sees that he is not far from the raft. He gets back on board it. He sees that the raft took on a lot of leaves and branches when it ran aground and one of the two oars got smashed. Jim is asleep. When Jim wakes up, he is delighted to see Huckleberry again. Huckleberry appears to be very surprised. He says that he has been on the raft the entire time and that he talked to Jim until he fell asleep. The boy insists that his leaving the raft and the fog were just part of a dream Jim had. When Jim finally becomes thoroughly convinced that it all had been just a dream, Huckleberry asks Jim how he can account for all the leaves and branches on the raft and the smashed oar. Jim is extremely angry with Huckleberry for having made a fool of him. Although, as a result of his upbringing, Huckleberry sees apologizing to a black man as an extremely humiliating act, he apologizes to Jim anyway and never plays any tricks on him ever again.
Jim and Huckleberry continue to keep a look out for the town of Cairo. Huckleberry, however, begins to feel guilty about helping a runaway slave to escape because it is illegal and people who oppose slavery, known as abolitionists, are hated in Huckleberry's community. He also thinks it is wrong to take Jim away from his "rightful owner" Miss Watson, a good old woman who tried to educate Huckleberry and reform his character. Huckleberry is more troubled when Jim talks about his plans to get his wife and children to join him, either by buying their freedom or, if that is not possible, by getting some abolitionists to help them escape. Jim and Huckleberry think they can see the lights of Cairo. Huckleberry says that he will go ahead in the canoe to check. He has secretly decided to inform on Jim and get him sent back to slavery with Miss Watson. He feels conflicted, however, when Jim calls out to him, telling him that he is his only friend and the only person who would keep a promise to him.
Huckleberry sees some men in a boat. They tell him that the town he can see is not Cairo and that they are looking for runaway slaves. They ask who is on board the raft. Huckleberry says that his family, who are all suffering from smallpox, are on board. Not wanting to get infected, the men back away. They feel sorry for Huckleberry, however, and give him forty dollars. Huckleberry feels bad for not having done what he thinks was morally right by telling the men about the runaway slave Jim. He realizes, however, that he would feel just as bad if he had informed on Jim. He decides not to worry about morality in future and simply do whatever is most convenient at the time.
Jim and Huckleberry pass several towns. They realize that they must have missed Cairo on the night of the fog. Their canoe is also stolen when they stop one day. They put both of those occurrences down to the bad luck that Huckleberry brought on them by touching snake skin.
A steamboat collides with the raft and destroys it. Huckleberry and Jim both jump off it in time but are separated. Huckleberry swims to shore and is cornered by a pack of dogs. The dogs are called off and Huckleberry is invited insider a house. The house belongs to the Grangerford family. Huckleberry tells them his name is George Jackson and spins an elaborate yarn about how he came to be orphaned and alone. The Grangerfords are suspicious of Huckleberry at first, thinking that he may belong to the Shepherdson family or at least be connected to it. Very soon, however. they come to trust Huckleberry. He shares a bedroom with Buck Grangerford, a boy of about the same age as Huckleberry, and is told that he can stay for as long as he wants.
Huckleberry is impressed by the Grangerfords' home. There are a few books there, including The Pilgrim's Progress that Huckleberry reads although he does not really understand it. The decorations in the house include several paintings by Emmeline Grangerford, Buck's sister who has died. All of the paintings have something to do with death. Emmeline also wrote poetry about death, famously composing a poem whenever anybody in the area died. Although Huckleberry thinks it is sad that Emmeline died young, he also thinks that she might be happier in the graveyard.
The family is headed by Colonel Grangerford, whom Huckleberry admires for being a true gentleman. In addition to his youngest son Buck, he has two adult sons, Bob and Tom, and two daughters, 25-tear-old Miss Charlotte and 20-year-old Miss Sophia. The Grangerfords have a huge estate and more than a hundred slaves. Every member of the family has a personal slave. Even Huckleberry is assigned a personal slave named Jack, although he rarely asks Jack to do anything for him.
One day, Huckleberry sees Buck shoot at a young man on a horse. Buck misses. Huckleberry asks him why he tried to kill the man. Buck explains that the young man was Harvey Shepherdson and that he tried to kill him because the Grangerfords are fighting a feud with the Shepherdsons. Nobody knows how, when or why the feud started. In the past year, two people were killed in the feud, one of them a 14-year-old Grangerford boy. When Huckleberry says that the boy's killer was a coward, Buck says that is not true because all of the Shepherdsons are just as brave as all of the Grangerfords. The Grangerfords and Shepherdsons attend the same church. They keep their rifles between their legs throughout the sermon.
One Sunday, Miss Sophia asks Huckleberry to go back to the church to retrieve the Bible she left there. Huckleberry is suspicious. He finds that inside the Bible is a piece of paper with "Half past two" written on it. Miss Sophia is overjoyed when Huckleberry gives her the Bible with the piece of paper inside it.
Shortly afterwards, the slave Jack persuades Huckleberry to follow him. He leads Huckleberry to a swamp where the boy is surprised to find Jim waiting for him. Jim explains that he also swam to the same shore as Huckleberry and saw him go inside the house. Jim did not dare approach the house because of the dogs. He was later helped by the Grangerfords' slaves. He retrieved the raft and has now finished repairing it.
The following day, Huckleberry awakes to find that none of the Grangerfords are at home. Jack explains that Miss Sophia suddenly ran away to marry Harvey Shepherdson. To restore the family's honor, the Grangerford men are currently fighting a full battle with the Shepherdson men, the women having gone to stay with relatives for their safety. From a safe hiding place at the top of a tree, Huckleberry sees Buck and all the Grangerford men get killed in the battle. He regrets not having told Colonel Grangerford about the paper with "Half past two" written on it, certain that he could have stopped the fight from happening. Huckleberry does not climb down from the tree until it is almost dark. He covers the faces of the Grangerford men and cries when he covers Buck's face. He rejoins Jim and they sail away on the raft.
Huckleberry finds another canoe and uses it to explore a little. Two men suddenly appear on the shore. One of them is about 70-years-old, bald and has a long gray beard. The other is about 30-years-old. They are both wearing old tattered clothing. They are running away from men with dogs and horses. They tell Huckleberry that they have done nothing wrong and beg him to take them to safety. He takes them to the raft.
It is soon revealed that, although the two men were both fleeing from the same danger, they had never met before. The older man explains that he had been charging people to attend meetings at which he preached against the evils of alcohol. He had developed quite a following, until word got out that he was himself a secret drinker. The younger man had been selling a product that was supposed to remove tartar from teeth, which it did along with most of the teeth's enamel. It is clear that they are both con men who have both used a wide variety of scams and adopted a great many false identities to cheat people out of their money, although the younger man considers being an actor to be his true vocation. The two men agree to work together in future.
After a while, the younger man says that it is sad that someone of his origins should be reduced to his circumstances. He explains that he is the rightful heir to an English dukedom. His great-grandfather was the eldest son of the Duke of Bridgewater and left England for America. While, he was in America, his father died and his younger brother claimed the title of duke that was not rightfully his. Jim feels vet sorry for the young man. The young man says that they can make him feel better by calling him "Bridgewater", "Your Grave", "My Lord" or "Your Lordship" and behaving as if they are his servants. Huckleberry and Jim do as the young man asks.
Some time later, the older man says that he is also of noble birth. He is King Louis XVII of France, believed to have died in prison as a child during the French Revolution. The young man does not believe him and says that he is too old to be Louis XVII. The older man says that his many troubles have prematurely aged him. He goes on to say that people should get down on one knee to speak to him and call him "Your Majesty" and that he should always be served his meals before everyone else. The younger man does not like this development. After a while, however, the older man tells the younger man that it is not his fault he is only a dike and that he hopes they can still be friends.
Huckleberry soon realizes that the men are both lying about their origins. He does not, however, see any harm in those lies. He continues to refer to the two men as "the duke" and "the king" and never tells Jim that they are frauds.
The duke and the king are curious as ti why they only travel on the raft by night. They ask Huckleberry if Jim is a runaway slave. Huckleberry says that is not the case and points out that they would not be traveling south as they are if it were, Huckleberry says that Jim is his slave. He explains he is an orphan from a formerly wealthy family that fell on hard times. He is traveling to New Orleans to live with his uncle. He took to traveling bu night because people kept mistaking Jim for a runaway slave. The duke says he will have to think of a plan that will allow them to travel in daylight.
Although the king has never acted before, the duke persuades him to join him in putting on a performance of a sword fight scene from William Shakespeare's Richard III and the balcony scene from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The king points out that it might look strange to have Juliet played by an old man with a beard. The duke replies, "these country yokels won't ever think of that. Besides, you know, you'll be in costume and that makes all the difference in the world."
The king, the duke and Huckleberry go ashore in a small town. The streets are empty because almost everyone has gone to a religious revival meeting. The king thinks that meeting will be an opportunity for him to work a scam. He goes to it, taking Huckleberry with him. The duke, however, goes to the local newspaper office and printer's shop,
The preacher at the religious revival meeting works up the crowd so much that soon his words can barely be hear over the shouting and singing. The king then gets up on stage with the preacher. The king says that he has been a pirate in the Indian Ocean for the past thirty years. He returned to the United States to recruit a new crew. As a result of attending the revival meeting, however, he has become a completely changed man. He now plans to return to the Indian Ocean as a missionary. The people at the meeting take up a collection for the king. He gets $87.75 and is hugged and kissed by several pretty young women.
The duke defrauds several people too. In the empty printer's shop, the duke happily takes money from people who come in to have posters printed, place advertisements in the newspaper of buy subscriptions to it. The reason the duke went into the printer's shop was to have a handbill printed, which he was able to do himself free of charge since nobody was there. The handbill gives a precise description of Jim, says he is a runaway slave from a plantation near New Orleans and there is a $200 reward for his return. The duke explains that they can now travel in daylight because they can claim to be poor people who have captured a runaway slave for the reward.
Jim asks the king if he can say something to him in French because he wants to know what the language sounds like. The king replies that he has forgotten how to speak French because he has been in America so long and has had so many troubles.
The duke and the king rehearse the scenes from Richard III and Romeo and Juliet that they are going to enact. The duke says that they should have something ready for an encore. He suggests that the king can recite the famous "To be or not to be" soliloquy from Hamlet. The king does not know it. The duke only has one volume of the works of Shakespeare with him that does not include Hamlet. The duke tries to reconstruct the speech from memory. The duke remembers the soliloquy imperfectly, mixing in lines from elsewhere in the play and a few from Macbeth. The king memorizes this garbled version of the soliloquy, as does Huckleberry as a result of hearing the king recite it so often.
Huckleberry, the duke and the king come ashore in a small town in Arkansas. The town's inhabitants include several lazy young men who loiter on street corners, ask each other for chewing tobacco and claim not to have any chewing tobacco when asked for some. The duke puts up posters advertising the Shakespearean performance that will be put on by the king and himself. The posters claim that the two actors in the show will be Edmund Kean the elder and David Garrick the younger from London. 
An old man named Boggs appears. He is famous in the town for being very pleasant when he is sober and for making violent threats when he is drunk. Boggs is drunk. He stands outside the store owned by a prominent local citizen known as Colonel Sherburn and calls on Sherburn to come out and fight him. Sherburn eventually comes out and says that he will tolerate Boggs' threats only until one o'clock that afternoon and will deal with him if he carries on after that. He goes back inside the store. Boggs' adult daughter is fetched to bring him home. Boggs continues to hurl insults at Sherburn until one o'clock. At that time, Sherburn comes out and shoots Boggs. The old man dies soon afterwards in front of his daughter. The shooting cause much excitement and agitation. Someone suggests lynching Sherburn. An angry mob is soon on its way to Sherburn's house. The mob breaks down the fence and advances towards the building. Sherburn appears on the roof of his porch with a rifle in his hands. He gives a speech in which he berates all the men in the crowd for being easily led cowards. He confidently claims they do not have the courage to lynch him or anyone else in daylight. The chastened crowd disperses.
In spite of having just witnessed a fatal shooting and an angry mob attempt to lunch the shooter, Huckleberry happily spends the rest of the day at a circus. Huckleberry loves the show. At one point, a drunken middle-aged man gets up from the audience, enters the ring, announces that he is an excellent rider and demands to ride one of the circus horses. In spite of the many catcalls from the rest of the audience, the ringmaster eventually allows the man to ride. At first, the man appears to have great difficulty staying on the horse. He then begins to ride skillfully. He stands up in the saddle and removes several layers of clothing. He reveals that he is not a drunken middle-aged man at all but a young man who is a member of the circus troupe. When the performer leaves the ring, the ringmaster looks baffled. It does not occur to Huckleberry that everything he has just seen could have been all part of the show, He is convinced that the performer has played a trick on the ringmaster.
The duke and the king's Shakespearean performance takes place that night. Only twelve people attend it and they jeer throughout the show. There is no encore because everyone leaves before the end, apart from one boy who is asleep. The duke concludes that the town's people are not worthy of Shakespeare and decides to offer them, "something rather worse than low comedy" instead. He hastily makes some posters that advertise "The Thrilling Tragedy of The King's Camelopard or The Royal Nonesuch!!!" The last line on the posters reads, "Ladies and children not admitted". The duke is certain the posters will draw a large crowd.
The Royal Nonesuch plays to a full house. The duke stands on the stage and gives a speech about the excellent play that the audience are about to see and the excellent actor, Edmund Kean the elder, who is going to perform in it. The curtain rises. The king appears on stage on all fours. He is naked and completely covered in multi-colored body paint. The naked king cavorts across the stage. He then does exactly the same thing again because the audience demands it. The curtain falls. The duke confirms that is the end of the show after announcing that it will only be performed for two more nights. The angry audience members realize they have been conned. Instead of taking their anger out on the duke and the king, they decide to make it so they cannot be singled out as the only men in the town to fall for the scam. They make up their minds to tell all of their friends that the play was excellent and encourage them to see it. The following night, The Royal Nonesuch plays to a capacity crowd again.
There are no new audience members present the third night. Everyone there saw the show on the first or second night. It is obvious from the smell that they have brought rotten vegetables and rotten eggs with them. The duke, who already has their money, leaves without going on stage and takes Huckleberry with him and leaving the king to face the angry crowd alone. When the duke and Huckleberry return to the raft, however, they find the king is already there. Anticipating what would happen, the king never went to the theater at all. The duke and the king make $465 from their Royal Nonesuch scam.
Jim asks Huckleberry if he is surprised by how badly the duke and the king behave. Huckleberry replies that he is not. The books that he has read have given him the impression that most kings have behaved badly throughout history. As an example, he gives a wildly inaccurate version of the history of King Henry VIII of England. According to Huckleberry, Henry VIII married a different woman every day and always had her beheaded the following morning. He always asked his new wife to tell him a story that he wrote in a book and kept going until he filled the book with a thousand and one tales. Huckleberry also says that Henry VIII provoked the United States into fighting the War of Independence by throwing tea into Boston Harbor and killed his father, the Duke of Wellington, by drowning him in a barrel of wine. In response to Jim's question, Huckleberry says that dukes generally behave only slightly better than kings. Again, Huckleberry decides not to tell Jim that the king and the duke are frauds. he concludes that, although the two men are not really a duke and a king, they behave as badly as if they were.
Later that night, as he often does, Jim talks sadly to himself about how much he misses his wife and children. Unusually, Huckleberry engages Jim in conversation about his family this time. Jim says that he heard a slamming moise come from the shore. That reminded him of a time he asked his then 4-year-old daughter Lizabeth to close a door. When Lizabeth did not respond but just kept standing and smiling at him, Jim hit her. The wind then made the door loudly slam shut behind Lizabeth. She did not react. Jim realized that a recent bout of scarlet fever had left his daughter deaf.
So as to maintain the appearance that he is a captured runaway slave, Jim is kept tied up wjen the others are away from the raft. When Jim declares that he cannot put up with that treatment any longer, the duke comes up with a solution. He dresses Jim in a King Lear costume, complete with wig and false beard, and uses theatrical make up to paint his face and hands blue. The duke then makes a sign that reads, "Sick Arab - but harmless when not out of his head."
The king and the duke decide it is best not to try The Royal Nonesuch again in the next town they come to because news of that scam may have already reached it. The king says that he will go ashore and see what possibilities present themselves. He, the duke and Huckleberry have recently bought new clothes. In his new clothes, the king looks quite respectable and could pass for somebody important. To further that impression, the king decides to arrive in the next town by steamboat. While waiting for the steamboat, the king strikes up a conversation with a young man. The young man says at first that he thought the king might have been Peter Wilks' brother. He goes on to explain that the wealthy Peter Wilks, who emigrated from England many years ago, has recently died. He has left most of his fortune to his two surviving brothers, Harvey and William, who both live in the English city of Sheffield. Harvey Wilks is now a clergyman. Peter last saw him many years ago when they were both boys. Peter never saw his younger brother William at all because he is only 35-years-old. He is a deaf mute. Harvey and William were both contacted when Peter Wilks became ill, although it is uncertain whether or not they will come to America. The young man goes on to give more information about Peter Wilks and his family, he is survived by three daughters. Conveniently, the young man will be out of the way for some time because he is traveling to see his uncle in Rio de Janeiro. Armed with some valuable information, the king and Huckleberry go back to the raft.
The duke, the king and Huckleberry come ashore in the town where Peter Wilks lived. The king speaks in a phony British accent. He and the duke pretend to communicate with each other in fake sign language. Huckleberry is forced to play the part of Adolphus, Harvey Wilks' valet who is also from England. The king asks where Peter Wilks lives. he and the duke pretend to be distraught when they informed that he has already died. News soon spreads that Peter Wilks' two brothers have arrived. Much of the town follows them to the Wilks' house. The prominent citizens Dr. Robinson and the lawyer Levi Bell are, however, notably absent. Dr. Robinson is attending to a patient and Levi Bell is in Louisville on business. Peter Wilks' three daughters, Mary Jane, Susan and Joanna, tearfully greet the men they take for their English uncles.
The king is given a letter which says that Peter Wilks left his house and $3,000 to his daughters. He left a further $3,000 and more property to his two brothers. The letter says that the money can be found in the basement. The king, the duke and Huckleberry go down to the basement. The two men count the money and find that it is $415 short of the promised $6,000. They make up the difference by adding most of the money they made from The Royal Nonesuch to it. In order to further earn their trust, the two men decide that they will tell the three Wilks daughters that they have decided to give them the entire $6,000. They make a great show of handing over the money in front of the gathered town's people. By this time, Dr. Robinson has arrived. He immediately realizes that the king's British accent is fake. He declares the two men to be frauds and implores Mary Jane not to trust them. To show much she does trust them, Mary Jane gives them back the $6,000 and tells them to invest it for herself and their sisters any way they see fit.
Since he is supposed to be a servant, Huckleberry waits on the king and the duke at dinner while slaves wait on the others. Afterwards, Huckleberry has supper with Joanna Wilks. Joanna asks Huckleberry many questions about England. She starts by asking him if he ever sees the king. Although he knows that King William IV is dead, Huckleberry decides to say that he sees him often. The fact that he knows very little about the geography and culture of England means that Huckleberry struggles to answer Joanna's subsequent questions. The problem is further complicated because Huckleberry forgets that his master is supposed to be a clergyman and even that he is supposed to be a servant. The quick-witted boy always comes up with some kind of response. Joanna, however, suspects that he is lying and says so. Mary Jane hears this and tells her sister to apologize to their guest. Joanna does so. Huckleberry begins to feel guilty about being part of a plan to defraud the kindly Wilks sisters. He decides to stop the king and the duke stealing from them.
To find out where the two men have hidden the money, he decides to eavesdrop on them. While nobody is there, Huckleberry goes to the king's bedroom and hides behind a curtain. The duke, worried because Dr. Robinson has already seen through them, thinks they should take the $6,000 and leave that night. The king says that they can make a lot more money if they stay until they have held an auction at which all of the late Peter Wilks' property is sold. The duke thinks that cheating the three Wilks sisters out of everything they have is going too far. The king points out that, after they have gone, their deception will be uncovered. The sales will be declared invalid and all the property will be returned to the Wilks sisters. The king hides the money between the feather mattress and the straw mattress on his bed. He is certain that slaves never look under the feather mattress when making a bed. He and the duke leave the room. Huckleberry removes the money.
Huckleberry plans to hide the money outside the house and inform the Wilks sisters about where it is hidden later. He tries to sneak out of the house but finds that the front door is locked and there is no key. He hears someone coming. Unable to find a better temporary hiding place for it, he puts the money inside Peter Wilks' coffin. Mary Jane enters the room and Juckleberry manages to leave unseen.
The funeral takes place the following day. Huckleberry does not know if anybody has found and taken the money. He sees the undertaker seal the coffin lid. He wonders if he should write to Mary Jane and tell her to have her father's body exhumed.
The king announces that he will take the three Wilks sisters back to England with him. For that reason, he will be selling the Wilk's house and Peter Wilks' entire estate at auction. Before the auction, he manages to sell three slaves, a mother and her two sons, to a passing slave trader. The mother is to be sent to New Orleans and the two sons to Memphis. The slave family are distraught at being separated. The Wilks sisters are upset too. Huckleberry contents himself with the knowledge that the three slaves will be sent back to the Wilks sisters soon when it is found out the king had no right to sell them.
The duke and the king question Huckleberry about the missing money. Huckleberry swears that he has not been in the king's room and that he has not seen anyone else enter it, apart from the slaves. Thus the king and the duke come to believe that the slaves took the money.
Huckleberry sees Mary Jane crying over the separation of the slave mother and her sons. Without thinking, Huckleberry blurts out that the three slaves will soon be reunited. Mary Jane is delighted to hear that but asks Huckleberry to explain himself. Huckleberry decides to tell her the entire truth. Having first asked if there are some people that Mary Jane can stay with for a few days, Huckleberry asks her to go there that night. He explains that he will probably be obliged to travel with the two con men for a while longer, whether he likes it or not, and he is worried that somebody else could be put in danger if they find out what he has done. The other person he is referring to is Jim. He also asks Mary Jane not to see the king or the duke before she leaves because her face would probably reveal what she knew. Mary Jane leaves, saying she will always remember Huckleberry and pray for him.
When he sees Susan and Joanna, Huckleberry tells them that Mary Jane has gone to see a friend who is suffering from a new and highly infectious disease. He tells them not to save anything to the king or the duke because they would not be allowed into England if it were known that someone in the family had been exposed to the disease. Although the sisters are a little suspicious, they do as Huckleberry asks.
The auction at which the king and the duke hoped to sell all of the late Peter Wilks' property begins but is soon interrupted. Two men arrive who claim to be the real Harvey and William Wilks. The supposed William Wilks is unable to communicate in sign language because he has broken his right arm. The man who claims to be Harvey Wilks says that proof of their identity is in their luggage that has not yet arrived. Some of the town's people support the newcomers, notably Dr. Robinson and the lawyer Levi Bell. Others continue to support the duke and the king. Dr. Robinson says that he should keep the $6,000 until the identities of the four men can be determined. The king has to say that the $6,000 has been stolen by the Wilks' slaves. Levi Bell asks the new Harvey Wilks, the duke and the King to provide samples of their handwriting. None of the writing samples match the handwriting on letters Levi Bell has from Harvey Wilks. The new Harvey Wilks says that nobody else can read his handwriting so he gets his brother William to write all his letters for him. The new William Wilks is, of course, unable to write because of his broken arm. Levi Bell agrees that the handwriting on some letters he has from William Wilks is the same as on the ones from Harvey Wilks. The king refuses to accept defeat and says that the duke changed his handwriting for a joke when he wrote the sample. The new Harvey Wilks says he can prove his identity. He says that the undertakers will have seen a tattoo on his late brother Peter's chest. He asks the duke what the tattoo was. The king replies that it was a thin, blue, barely visible arrow. The new Harvey Wilks says it was the initials P.B.W. The undertakers say they did not see any tattoo on Peter Wilks' chest at all. It is decided that Peter Wilks' body must be exhumed.
The crowd proceeds to the cemetery. When the coffin is opened, the $6,000 is discovered. Huckleberry takes advantage of the ensuing excitement to escape. He makes his way back to the raft. Jim, still in his sick Arab costume, is delighted to see the boy again. They set off, happily believing they are free of the king and the duke forever. Soon, however, the king and the duke approach them in a boat.
The king and the duke also managed to take advantage of the excitement cause by the discovery of the $6,000 to make their escape. The king is furious with Huckleberry for deserting them and almost strangles the boy. The duke makes him stop by pointing out that the king would have dpne the same thing if he had been in Huckleberry's position. The king accuses the duke of hiding the money in the coffin so that he could take it later and keep it all for himself. The duke, in turn, accuses the king of doing exactly the same thing. The king denies this. The duke says that he is lying and threatens to kill him if he does not admit his guilt. To stop the younger man from hurting him, the king admits to something he did not do. The two men are reconciled after that.
The travelers do not stop to go ashore for several days out of fear that news of the scam the duke and the king tried to pull will have spread. Eventually, they come to a village named Pikesville. The king says hr will go ashore to find out if people there have heard of The Royal Nonesuch scam. When the king is gone for some time, the duke leaves the raft too and takes Huckleberry with him. They find the king in a tavern where both he and the duke get into a brawl. Huckleberry seizes the opportunity to escape. He goes back to the raft but finds that Jim is gone.
From a passing boy, Huckleberry learns that a runaway slave with a $200 reward on his head was sold by a man for just $40. From the description of the man, Huckleberry realizes that the king has sold Jim. He also learns that Jim is being kept on the farm of a man named Silas Phelps. Huckleberry spends some time wondering what he should do. He still considers helping a runaway slave to be immoral because it is illegal. He decides to write a letter to Miss Watson, telling her where her slave is. Then, remembering how well Jim has always treated him, Huckleberry makes up his mind to help him. Tearing up the letter to Miss Watson, Huckleberry declares, "All right, then. I'll go to hell!'
While on his way to the Phelps farm,. Huckleberry sees the duke putting up posters for The Royal Nonesuch. The duke admits that Jim has been sold, saying that he and the king had come to think of Jim as their slave. The duke tells Huckleberry he may be able to convince the farmer who currently has Jim that he is his slave. He almost tells Huckleberry that Jim is on Silas Phelps' farm but then corrects himself. He gives a false name for the farmer who currently has Jim and tries to send Huckleberry in the wrong direction. Huckleberry goes in that direction until he is out of sight of the duke.
Huckleberry finds Silas Phelps' farm. Sally Phelps, the mistress of the house, is delighted to see him because she mistakes him or her nephew Tom. Sally and Silas Phelps have been expecting Tom to arrive for several days. Silas Phelps has been to meet the steamboat on more than one occasion, expecting Tom to be on it, only to leave disappointed. He has gone to meet the steamboat when Huckleberry arrives at his farm. Huckleberry is happy to take on the false identity of Tom, although he does not know how long he can continue pretending to be Tom because he does not have any information about the boy.
Just before Silas Phelps arrives home, Sally Phelps tells Huckleberry to hide so that he can come out and surprise the man. When Silas Phelps asks who the strange boy is, Sally Phelps replies, "It's Tom Sawyer!" Huckleberry is delighted that the person he is impersonating is none other than his old friend. That means he should be able to keep up the ruse for much longer without much difficulty.
Huckleberry hears the sound of a steamboat approaching. He tells Sally and Silas Phelps, whom he refers to as Aunt Sally and Uncle Silas for the remainder of the novel, that he is going to meet the boat to collect his luggage. The truth is that he thinks the real Tom Sawyer might be on the boat. Huckleberry wants to explain the situation to his friend before he arrives at the house.
Tom Sawyer was indeed on the boat and Huckleberry meets him on his way back to the Phelps' house. Like Jim before him, Tom Sawyer is initially scared because he believes Huckleberry to be a ghost. Huckleberry manages to convince his friend that he is alive and that he fakes his own murder. He explains his current situation to Tom. To Huckleberry's great surprise, Tom Sawyer is eager to help Jim to escape. Huckleberry is shocked that his friend would help a slave to escape since it is illegal, and therefore must be immoral. Tom says that he will arrive at the Phelps farm half an hour after Huckleberry does. He tells his friend not to let on that he knows him when he first arrives.
On arrival at the Phelps house, Tom Sawyer introduces himself as William Thompson from Ohio on his way to see his uncle. He in invited in for dinner. During dinner, Tom suddenly leans over and kisses Aunt Sally.When she reacts with shock, Tom says that he is Sid Sawyer and he was told that his Aunt Sally would like it if he kissed her. Thus Tom begins to impersonate his own younger brother while Huckleberry continues to pretend to be Tom.
Huckleberry and Tom wait in vain for Uncle Silas to say something about the runaway slave. Eventually, one of the Phelps' young sons asks if he can see tnhe show, meaning The Royal Nonesuch. Uncle Silas says the runaway slave told him all about the "scandalous show" and that the two crooks responsible for it may have been forced to leave the area already.
Wanting to warn the duke and the king, Huckleberry sneaks out of the house that night. Tom sawyer goes with him. The two boys are too late. They see the tarred and feathered duke and king being ridden out of town on a rail. In spite of all the bad the two men did, Huckleberry cannot help feeling sorry for them.
Tom Sawyer sees a slave bringing food to a shed. He deduces that Jim is being kept inside it. Huckleberry says they can steal the shed's key and get Jim out by night. Tom scoffs at that plan for being too simple. Tom Sawyer has read books about prison breaks and thinks that prisoners have to escape in the manner described in those books. He tells Huckleberry his plan for Jim's escape. Huckleberry is impressed with Tom's plan, saying, "it was worth fifteen of mine for style, would make Jim just as free as mine would and maybe get us all killed besides."
Huckleberry and Tom befriend the slave who feeds Jim, a man named Nat. Nat is extremely superstitious and takes many precautions to ward off witches. He admits that a runaway slave is being kept in the shed and allows the two boys to see him. Jim is delighted to see Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn again and calls out their names. The other slave asks if Jim knows the boys since he called out to them. Tom denies having heard anything. Jim, understanding the situation, denies having said anything. Tom manages to convince the superstitious slave that what he heard must have been the doing of witches.
Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn promise Jim that they will dig a tunnel for him from the neighboring shed. Referencing the novel The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, Tom later tells Huckleberry that they will have to use case knives  to fig the tunnel because that is what escaping prisoners use. Tom is disappointed by how few precautions Uncle Silas is taking against Jim's escape. Since escaping prisoners are supposed to face obstacles, Tom says that he and Huckleberry will have to add some obstacles themselves. Although the chain on Jim's leg could easily be removed from the bed to which it is attached, Tom insists that it has to be sawed off. He thinks it would be better if Jim cut off his own leg to escape but allows they do not have enough time for that. Tom's escape plan requires the theft of several items from the Phelps' house. Tom says that Jim will need a rope ladder made of sheets that can be smuggled in to him inside a pie. He also says that Jim will need a shirt on which he can write a journal, using pens made out of spoons and candlesticks and using his own blood as ink. Huckleberry protests that Jim will not be able to keep a journal because he does not know how to write but to no avail.
Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer start using knives to dig the runnel from the neighboring shed to Jim's. When it becomes as obvious to Tom as it already is to Huckleberry that it will take too long, they use pick axes instead. Tom, however, continues to pretend that he is using a knife. Jim is delighted when the two boys emerge from the tunnel. Jim thinks that the two boys will unchain him and he will escape immediately. Tom explains that is not the case and tells Jim about his complicated escape plan. The plan seems strange to Jim but he goes along with it. Jim says that Mr. and Mrs. Phelps often come to see him to check if he is comfortable. Tom decides that he can smuggle more items in to Jim by hiding them about the persons of Aunt Sally and Uncle Silas.
Tom tells Nat that the only way he can stop witches from bothering him is to give Jim a "witch pie". That will be the pie in which Tom and Huckleberry are to hide a rope ladder. Baking the pie proves difficult for the two boys and they are unable to fit the entire rope ladder inside it.
Aunt Sally notices that several items have gone missing from her home. The continued mysterious disappearances of objects make her more and more anxious. It does not occur to her, however, that her two young guests might have stolen them. She thinks rats may have taken some of the items. To comfort her, Uncle Silas decides to plug up all the rat holes in the house. Tom and Huckleberry plug all the holes up first, confusing Uncle Silas when he goes to do the job.
Since in the books Tom Sawyer reads, prisoners carve their coats of arms on the walls of their cells, he insists on Jim doing the same. He invents a coat of arms for Jim. Tom also says that Jim should write certain phrases on the walls of his prison. Since Jim does not know how to write, Tom writes down phrases for Jim to copy onto the walls, including, "Here nameless and friendless after thirty-seven years of bitter captivity, perished a noble stranger, natural son of Louis XIV." Tom thinks it is not entirely fitting for Jim to write on wooden walls instead of stone ones. So that he can write on stone, Tom and Huckleberry try to steal a millstone. When the stone proves to heavy for them to carry, they easily unchain Jim, get him to help them bring the stone back to his shed and chain him up again. Tom also thinks that Jim needs a flower that he can water with his tears and that he should share his prison with certain animals. Jim draws the line at sharing the shed with rattlesnakes but the boys bring in harmless snakes, rats and spiders. The shed becomes full of creatures that never allow Jim to get any rest. Event though he does not know how to write, Jim goes through the motions of keeping a journal. He makes marks on the shirt in his own blood each time he thinks something notable has happened to him.
Having written to the non-existent plantation in New Orleans from which he believes Jim escaped and not having received any answer, Uncle Silas decides to place announcements about the captured runaway in the New Orleans and St. Louis newspapers. Huckleberry knows that Miss Watson will eventually find out about the notices in the St. Louis newspapers. When he mentions this to Tom, his friend says that it is time to put the next phase of the escape plan into action.
The next phase of the plan is to send anonymous warnings to Uncle Silas and Aunt Sally. Tom writes a note that reads, "Beware. Trouble is brewing. Keep a sharp lookout. UNKNOWN FRIEND>" Since such messages are often delivered by servant girls in books, Tom insists on Huckleberry dressing up as a servant girl when he delivers the note, even though he does so at night when nobody can see him. In the following days, the boys leave pictures of a skull and crossbones on the front door and a coffin on the backdoor. The Phelpses become quite agitated, especially Aunt Sally who becomes extremely nervous. The boys leave one more note. It states that a "desperate gang of cutthroats" plan to abduct Jim that evening. The note was purportedly written by a member of the gang who has decided to betray them and help the Phelpses because he has become religious. The note gives details about how and when the gang Jim will take Jim and what van be done to stop them.
Huckleberry and Tom are sent to bed early that evening. They get out of bed again at 11:30 that night. Tom puts on one of Aunt Sally's dresses because he is playing the part of Jim's mother who is coming to visit him. Him will then put on the dress to leave disguised as his own mother while Jim's clothes, stuffed with straw, are left in the bed. The boys look at the provisions they have. Tom points out that Huckleberry has forgotten the butter and sends him to the cellar to get some. Huckleberry hides the butter under his hat and starts to make his way back to his roon.
Aunt Sally sees Huckleberry sneaking up the stairs and asks him what he is doing. She does not believe him when he answers, "Nothin'>" She tells him to wait in the living room until she can deal with him. There are fifteen farmers in the living room and each one has a gun. They have come to stop the bandits from taking Jim. The butter under Huckleberry's hat starts to melt. Aunt Sally is horrified because she thinks the boy is seriously ill and his brain is oozing out of his head. She is greatly relieved when she finds out it is only stolen butter and sends Huckleberry back to bed.
Huckleberry immediately goes outside to join Tom. He warns his friend that men with guns have come to stop Jim from being abducted. Tom is thrilled to hear that. The escape goes ahead as planned. The farmers hear noise coming from inside Jim's shed and break into it. Jim, Tom and Huckleberry escape through the tunnel unseen while the farmers are in the shed.
While going over a fence, Tom catches his pants on a splinter that breaks off and ,makes a loud noise. The farmers hear it and shoot. Jim and the boys manage to evade the farmers. They reach the canoe and start to make their way to the island, known as Spanish Island, where the raft is hidden. They are all pleased that the escape has gone well. Tom is especially pleased. He has been shot in the leg and delights in that fact. Jim and Huckleberry are worried about Tom's injury. Jim decides that he has to see a doctor.
Leaving Tom and Jim on Spanish Island, Huckleberry goes into the village to wake up the local doctor. He tells the doctor that he and his brother went to Spanish Island to hunt. His brother kicked his gun in his sleep and accidentally shot himself. The doctor agrees to go to Spanish Island but does not think that the canoe will hold Huckleberry and himself. He goes to the island alone and tells Huckleberry yo wait for him. Huckleberry falls asleep while waiting.
When he wakes up in the morning, Huckleberry goes to the doctor;s house. He is told that the doctor has not returned after leaving the previous evening. Huckleberry runs into Uncle Silas. he tells the man that he and Tom went out after the runaway slave the night before and that Tom has gone to the post office to see if he can get more information about him. Uncle Silas takes Huckleberry to the post office. They wait for Tom for a while before returning home.
The Phelps house is full of farmers and their wives. They say that Jim's escape was obviously well planned by clever criminals and comment on the bizarre things found in Jim's shed. A woman named Mrs. Hotchkiss says that Jim must have been crazy because he brought a millstone into the shed and wroye on it that he had been imprisoned for thirty-seven years and was the natural son of "Louis somebody" and because he covered a shirt in what she took to be secret African writing.
Evening comes and Aunt Sally notices that Tom has not returned home. Huckleberry says that he will go out to look for him. Aunt sally forbids him from doing that because she does not want to lose both boys. Touched by her genuine concern, Huckleberry swears never to distress her again.
Aunt Sally receives a letter from her sister, Tom's Aunt Polly. She is about to open it when the injured and semi-conscious Tom is carried into the house. He is accompanied by the doctor, Jim and some other men. Some of the men want to hang Jim to warn other slaves not to try to escape. Others point out that would mean having to pay compensation to his owners. The doctor says that Jim should not be too harshly treated because he sacrificed his freedom to save Tom. Jim is put back in the shed with chains on his hands and feet.
Tom wakes up and talks happily about how he and Huckleberry helped Jim to escape. He is horrified when he hears that Jim is now back in the shed and in chains. It is revealed that Tom did not hesitate to help Jim to escape because Jim was no longer a slave. Miss Watson died two months earlier and released Jim from slavery in her will.
To everyone's surprise, Tom's Aunt Polly enters the room. She points out that the boy Aunt Sally thought was Sid Sawyer is really Tom sawyer and the boy she thought was Tom Sawyer is really Huckleberry Finn. Aunt Polly says she was confused when her sister sent her a letter saying that Sid, who was still at home in St. Petersburg, had arrived at the farm. She came to investigate in person after she did not receive any replies to the several letters she wrote to Aunt Sally. Tom intercepted all of those letters. Mrs. Phelps allows Huckleberry to continue calling her "Aunt Sally" because she has become used to it.
Jim is freed and Tom gives him forty dollars for his troubles.
After making a full recovery, Tom proudly wears the bullet that wounded him on a watch chain.
Tom suggests that he, Huckleberry and Jim slip away and go to the Indian Territory for two weeks to have some adventures. Huckleberry points out that he probably does not have any money anymore because it will have been given to his father and he will have spent it. Tom replies that Huckleberry's $6,000 have not been touched. Jim tells Huckleberry that his father will not bother him anymore. He reminds the boy about the house they saw float down the river after the flood in which there was a dead man whose face Jim would not let Huckleberry see. The dead man was Huckleberry's father.
Aunt Sally wants to adopt Huckleberry. He does not want that because he does not want anyone else to try to civilize him like the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson did. He decides that he had better leave for the Indian Territory as soon as possible.
Films based on Adventures of Huckleberry Finn include Huck and Tom (USA 1918), Huckleberry Finn (USA 1920), Huckleberry Finn (USA 1931), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (USA 1939), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (USA 1960), Hopelessly Lost (Russian: Совсем пропащий; Sovsem propashchiy, USSR 1973), Huckleberry Finn (USA 1974), The Adventures of Huck Finn (USA 1993), Tom and Huck (USA 1995), The Adventures of Huck Finn (German: Die Abenteuer des Huck Finn, Germany 2012), Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn (USA 2014) and Band of Robbers (USA 2015).
The American TV movie Huckleberry Finn, starring Ron Howard as the title character, was first shown on ABC on March 25, 1975. It won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Special.
The two-part American TV movie The Adventures of Con Sawyer and Hucklemary Finn, in which Twain's two famous characters are reimagined as girls, was made for the ABC Weekend Special series. It originally aired on ABC on February 23 and March 2, 1985. It stars Brandy Ward as "Huckle" Mary Finn and Drew Barrymore as Constance "Con" Sawyer.
The 26-episode TV series Huckleberry Finn and his Friends, based on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was co-produced by production companies from Canada and West Germany. The first episode originally aired on Canadian television on January 1, 1980. It stars the Canadian child actors Ian Tracey as Huckleberry Finn, who is also the series' narrator, and Sam Snyders as Tom Sawyer.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has twice been adapted as a Japanese anime series. The 26-episode series Huckleberry no Bōken (ハックルベリィの冒険) first aired on Fuji TV in 1978. The 26-episode series Huckleberry Finn Monogatari (ハックルベリー・フィン物語) was made for NHK in 1994.
The musical Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, with book by William Hauptman and music and lyrics by Roger Miller, was first performed at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts in February 1984. It opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theater on April 25, 1983 and ran for 1,005 performances, closing on September 20, 1987. A Broadway revival opened at the American Airlines Theater on July 24, 2003 where it ran for sixty-seven performances and twenty-eight previews.
Notes and references
- Given that the novel is set some forty years before it was written, Twain likely intentionally used slang that was already outdated at the time Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first published.
- Banned in the U.S.A by Herbert N. Foerstel as quoted on 50 Most Frequently Banned Books" by Jason Chervokas & Tom Watson on About.com
- Judge Thatcher's daughter is called Bessie in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, although she is called Becky in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
- Had he lived King Louis XVII of France, born in 1795, would have been about 50-years-old at the time that Adventures of Huckleberry Finn takes place.
- Edmund Kean (1787-1833) and David Garrick (1717-1779) were both famous British Shakespearean actors.
- "Camelopard", a combination of the words for "camel" and "leopard", is an old word that means "giraffe".
- Huckleberry Finn is, of course, confusing Henry VIII with the king to whom Scheherazade tells tales in One Thousand and One Nights.
- "Case knife" is an archaic word for a large table knife.
- Quotations from ASdventures of Huckleberry Finn on Wikiquote.
- About.com's article: Censorship and Book Banning in America: Taking Stock by Melissa Kelly
- Study guides
- Electronic copies
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain on Wikisource
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is posted on the Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain on Literature.org, or "The Online Literature Library"
- American Literature .com has Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- Free public domain audiobook of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from LibriVox.