Chapter 34 Summary

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 556

Tom, Judge Thatcher, and a large group of men row up the river toward the cave. When the new metal doors are opened, they find Injun Joe, dead. They can see how he tried to cut through the doors, and how he ate candle wax and bats to stave off starvation. The townspeople bury Injun Joe next to the cave, and people from all around the countryside come in wagons and boats for the event. Everyone agrees that the funeral is almost as much fun as a hanging would have been.

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Not long after Injun Joe’s funeral, Tom and Huck meet up and share the stories of their respective adventures. Huck says that somebody must have “nipped” the money from room number two, but Tom disagrees. He says the money is in the cave, and that he alone knows a way to go inside and get it. Huck is still weak from his recent illness, but naturally he is eager to go discover buried treasure. Tom rows down the river to the hillside where he found the secret cave entrance. As he and Huck climb inside, he lectures Huck about how they will one day be robbers, and have a gang, and use the cave as a hideout where they keep people for ransom.

Now quite experienced with caves, Tom has brought a lot of kite string, candles, and matches. He leads Huck first to the little spring where he and Becky stayed together, and then on to the chamber where he saw Injun Joe. Holding up their candles, the boys see a cross. For a moment, Huck is scared to go on, convinced that Injun Joe’s ghost will attack them. Tom, however, points out that a ghost cannot harm them in the presence of a cross. Reassured, the boys approach the cross and search all around it. When they find nothing of value, Tom decides to dig underneath with his knife. Six inches down, in a layer of clay, he finds a box full of gold.

The boys find the box too heavy to carry, so they empty the gold into bags and carry it back to their boat. There they eat and smoke before setting out for home. They borrow a wagon whose owner is not using it at the moment, and they load up their treasure, driving it toward the Widow Douglas’s house. Their plan is to hide the money and meet later to divide it. However, when they come to the Welshman’s place, he tells them that they have to go see the Widow Douglas right away.

Huck, who is often blamed for crimes he did not commit, assumes that he is in trouble. The Welshman assures him that there is no reason to worry. The boys enter the widow’s house and find most of the town’s most important people assembled there. Aunt Polly sees that Tom is covered in dirt and clay, and she cringes in shame. The Widow Douglas takes the boys to a spare room and shows them two brand-new sets of clothes. She says that she bought the clothes for Huck, who stammers his thanks until she shushes him. She orders the boys to clean up, put the clothes on, and come back to her living room when they are “slicked up.”

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Chapter 33 Summary


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