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In Chapter X, after Huck and Jim go through what they have taken from the floating house that passes them, Huck wants to talk about the dead man, but Jim refuses for superstitious reasons. Shortly after this, Huck goes to the cavern to get some tobacco, and he finds a rattlesnake, kills it, and lays it on Jim's bed in a curled position. Frightened, Jim jumps up only to have the snake's mate bite him; Huck kills the snake and Jim drinks some of Pap's whisky in order to help with the pain. Still, Jim is sick for four days. After Jim feels better they fish some, then Huck decides that he will try to find some news about themselves.
Since Jim has advised him to wear a dress that they found on the house, Huck disguises himself as a girl and rows for the Illinois shore. Once ashore, Huck sights a small shanty and peers in the window. Knitting in the candlelight is a middle-aged woman, who is a stranger to Huck, who narrates,
Now this was lucky because I was weakening. I was getting afraid I had come; people might know my voice and find me out.
So, hoping to obtain some information, Huck enters the town. to discover if anything has been said about him and Jim. Because he is in conflict with citizens, Huck has to be very cautious. In this chapter, then, the essential problem revolves around Pip, who harbors a slave, and cannot afford to have this condition discovered. This conflict is stated as Man vs. Society.
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