Living in a small town 150 years ago, Tom Sawyer and his friends, especially Huck Finn, spend a considerable amount of time unsupervised by and out of sight of adults. They generally make their own fun from their extremely active imaginations. Playing Robin Hood and the Merry Men is one good example, and another is picnicking and exploring the caves where they get lost.
One afternoon Tom gets together with his friend Joe Harper (chapter 8). They enjoy playing Robin Hood for a while, finishing the game with Joe, pretending to be the whole gang, dealing Robin (Tom) a fatal blow. As Robin is about to die, he
fell back and would have died, but he lit on a nettle and sprang up too gaily for a corpse.
The boys dressed themselves, hid their accoutrements, and went off grieving that there were no outlaws any more, and wondering what modern civilization could claim to have done to compensate for their loss. They said they would rather be outlaws a year in Sherwood Forest than President of the United States forever.
Once school is out and summer is underway, Tom goes on a picnic with Becky Thatcher and her family (chapter 29). They go by ferry to the picnic location.
Three miles below town the ferryboat stopped at the mouth of a woody hollow and tied up. The crowd swarmed ashore and soon the forest distances and craggy heights echoed far and near with shoutings and laughter. All the different ways of getting hot and tired were gone through with, and by–and–by the rovers straggled back to camp fortified with responsible appetites, and then the destruction of the good things began. After the feast there was a refreshing season of rest and chat in the shade of spreading oaks.
After they rest, many of the children go off into the nearby caves. All is well until Becky and Tom get separated from the group, and the next day, everyone has to go looking for them.