While floating down the Mississippi on their raft, Jim and Huck come across a wrecked steamboat. Huck immediately sees the opportunity for a "bully adventure" as Tom Sawyer would call it, and goes abroad the stricken, sinking vessel to see if he can find anything worth taking. But some other men are already there; they've had the same idea and are determined to loot the wrecked steamboat for all it's worth. Huck overhears two of the men talking about killing their partner in crime. These men aren't just thieves, but potential murderers.
The last thing Huck and Jim want is to be stuck on board a sinking ship with a couple of murderous crooks, so they hit on a plan to escape, and it's urgent that they do so as their own raft has broken loose and floated away. They make their way down to the end of the steamboat and find the thieves' skiff. They crouch in the darkness while the thieves continue to loot the boat, waiting for the opportunity to cut the skiff loose. When the men go back inside the steamboat to grab more loot Jim and Huck spring into action. They hop aboard the thieves' skiff, cut it loose and then drift on down the river in search of their raft.