Chapter 35 Summary
As soon as the widow leaves, Huck suggests sneaking out the window. He says he cannot stand to be around so many people, especially if he has to wear brand-new clothes. Tom promises to take care of Huck and tells him not to worry. Just then, Sid comes in and says that he knows what the party is about. Mr. Jones, the Welshman, is planning to tell everyone in town that Huck saved the Widow Douglas on the night of the attempted robbery. Laughing, Sid explains that Mr. Jones thinks this is a surprise, but everyone else already knows. Tom realizes that Sid was probably responsible for spoiling the surprise for everyone, so he calls Sid mean and kicks him out of the room.
By now Huck is even more nervous than before, but Tom convinces him to join the party anyway. When Mr. Jones gives a speech about Huck’s heroism, everyone pretends to be surprised. The Widow Douglas acts so thankful that Huck almost forgets how awful it is to wear clean clothes and to be a “target” for everyone’s attention. She surprises him by announcing that she is going to adopt him and make sure he gets an education. Further, she promises to set aside a little money to get him started in a business someday.
At the mention of giving Huck money, Tom speaks up: “Huck don’t need it. Huck’s rich!” Everyone laughs at this and then falls into an awkward silence. Tom insists that it is the truth. He runs outside, while everyone stares at Huck, waiting for an explanation. Naturally Huck is far too nervous to say anything, but soon Tom returns with two huge, heavy bags. He announces that half of the contents belong to Huck and half to him. Then he dumps the bags out on the widow’s table.
Everyone gasps in amazement at the huge pile of gold. At first, nobody can speak due, but when they get their voices back, they ask Tom for an explanation. He tells the story with his usual flair, being careful to insert as many fascinating details as possible.
When all the gold is counted, it turns out to be worth twelve thousand dollars. Nobody, not even the richest adults in the crowd, has ever seen so much money in one place, although a few of the adults own property that is valued a bit higher. Seeing it, Mr. Jones observes that the surprise he planned for the evening is nothing compared to the surprise the two boys have brought.