Chapter 27 Summary

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 501

In the morning, Tom and Huck set out for the haunted house, but then Huck remembers that it is Friday. They decide not to risk entering the haunted house on such an unlucky day. The next morning they gather their courage and take their pick and shovel to the haunted house. Inside they spend a little time exploring the crannies and closets. Curious about what they might find upstairs, they climb to the second floor. Soon they hear voices, and they both freeze in terror.

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Two men enter the haunted house. One is a ragged tramp they do not recognize, and the other is a Spaniard who has been hanging around town lately, a man they perceive to be deaf and dumb. Tom and Huck watch and listen through knotholes in the floor as the Spaniard begins to speak. The boys realize that he is not deaf and dumb at all; in fact, he is Injun Joe in disguise. Joe tells the ragged man that he wants to do a certain "job," which will be dangerous but rewarding, and then flee to Texas.

Injun Joe and his friend lie down to sleep for a while. The boys want to sneak out, but the floor creaks too badly for them to move. They stay where they are, watching the sleeping criminals through knotholes. At nightfall the men wake up, and Injun Joe says that they should hide their money—six hundred and fifty dollars in silver coins—so they do not have to carry it with them while they do their job. Grabbing the pick and shovel that Tom and Huck brought, they begin digging in a corner. To their surprise, they find a wooden box full of thousands of dollars worth of gold coins.

Joe and his friend discuss what to do with the treasure they have found. The friend wants to take it and leave for Texas right away, without doing the dangerous job. Joe says no. To him, this job is as much about revenge as it is about money. He suggests reburying the treasure, doing the job, and then coming back for the money when they are finished. Naturally, this idea appeals to the boys, who are listening in silence upstairs. That would allow them time to steal the treasure and leave.

Suddenly Joe points out that it is odd that he found a pick and shovel in the corner of a derelict house. This realization makes him suspicious that someone else might be planning to come for the money. He and his friend decide to move the gold to one of their hiding places: “number two—under the cross.”

When the men leave, the boys are furious that they have lost their chance to take the gold for themselves. They head for home, both wishing that they had not brought their pick and shovel into the house. As they walk, Tom suddenly remembers that Injun Joe mentioned a plan for revenge: “What if he means us, Huck?”

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