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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

by Mark Twain

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Chapter 29 Summary

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The boys watch the tavern for several days, but they do not see Injun Joe or his friend. For a long time the weather is good, and the nights are so clear that it never gets really dark. The boys do not dare to try to sneak into the inn under these conditions. When a cloudy and gloomy day finally arrives, Tom sneaks out of the house at night, bringing a lantern and a towel to cover its light. He and Huck sneak over to the tavern, and Huck stands watch while Tom sneaks into the back alley to try his keys in the door of room two.

While Huck stands watch, he grows very nervous. It is very dark and quiet, and he cannot see Tom or hear anything happening. After what seems like hours, he begins to wonder if his friend might have fainted or died. Huck continues waiting, but he creeps a bit closer, hoping to catch some glimpse of what is going on. He keeps expecting some horror to strike.

Suddenly Tom bursts out of the alley, shouting at Huck to run as quickly as he can. Huck sprints after Tom at top speed. The boys run to a deserted slaughterhouse at the edge of town. As soon as they go inside, rain begins to pour down. Catching his breath, Tom explains how he tried some of his keys, but they failed to turn inside the lock. Then he realized that the door was not locked at all. It opened, and Tom went in—almost stepping on Injun Joe himself. The man was lying on the floor, sound asleep. Luckily he did not wake up, but Tom was so scared he ran before he could look around for the treasure or the cross.

The boys conclude that Injun Joe was passed out drunk. This means that he is probably still asleep, but they are too scared to try to sneak past him to look for the treasure. They know that if they watch carefully, they will be sure to see the man leave the room sometime, and then they can go inside and take a safe look around. Huck offers to keep watch all night, every night, if Tom agrees to be the one to sneak into the room. Nobody expects Huck home at night, and he can sleep during the days in Ben Rogers’s hayloft. Tom agrees that this sounds like a good plan, and he tells Huck to come to his house and meow whenever the coast is clear.

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Chapter 28 Summary


Chapter 30 Summary