Chapter 30 Summary
On Friday, Becky returns to town. Tom is delighted, and he forgets about Injun Joe and the treasure for a while. Becky’s mother has been promising for ages to hold a picnic, and now she says that it will happen tomorrow. All that night, Tom hopes to hear Huck meowing at the window. He thinks it would be amazing to have a death-defying story of murder and treasure to tell the other picnickers in the morning.
Huck does not meow, but Tom does not mind. He knows the picnic will be wonderful anyway. The adults have chartered a ferry to take the children to the picnic spot. On the way, Tom learns that Becky is supposed to stay the night with the Harper family, who live near the ferry landing. He tells her it would be much better to stay at the Widow Douglas’s house instead. “She’ll have ice cream! She has it ‘most every day—dead loads of it.” He brushes off Becky’s objections, saying that it is as safe at the Widow Douglas’s as at the Harpers’, and besides, Becky’s mother will not find out.
It does not occur to Tom until after this conversation that if he goes to stay with the Widow Douglas, he will not be home to hear Huck meow. He decides not to worry about it. There is a good chance that Huck will not meow tonight, and anyway, it makes more sense to do the fun thing he knows he can do rather than waiting for an adventure that may never come.
The ferry drops the children off at a beautiful spot, and they all play in the forest for a while before gorging themselves on food. After dinner, they all go swarming to McDougal’s cave, a labyrinth of limestone tunnels that weaves its way into the hill. There are too many tunnels for anyone to know the way through all of them, but many of the boys know routes through the tunnels that are closest to the surface. The children run and play all afternoon, sneaking down side tunnels in little groups and then doubling back to tease and scare their friends. When the game finally ends, it is almost dark. Children pile back into the ferry and travel back to town.
When the ferry returns, Huck is already keeping watch outside the tavern. Not being the sort of boy who gets invited to picnics, he does not know where the ferry is coming from or what its occupants have been doing. His mind is on his job anyway, and he wonders if he will ever see anyone coming out of room two.
Late that night, Huck sees Injun Joe and his friend emerge from room two. One of the men appears to be carrying something under his arm, and Huck guesses that it is...
(The entire section is 727 words.)