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Free Barron's Booknotes-The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
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THE STORY - CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES

CHAPTER 27

This brief chapter allows the boys to assess their situation and plot a future course. It also establishes, perhaps more clearly than ever, the differences between Tom, the visionary leader, and Huck, the more down-to-earth follower.

Tom dreams of possessing the treasure but awakens knowing it has eluded his grasp. Thinking how unreal Saturday's adventure seems, he concludes that it might all have been a dream. He rushes out to compare notes with Huck, who assures him that their adventure was painfully real.

Huck is cursing their luck that they failed to get the money. Furthermore, he sees no hope of ever obtaining it, since he believes that a person has "only one chance for such a pile-and that one's lost."

Tom, being more imaginative, is still hopeful. He persuades Huck that they must find Injun Joe and "track the money." Both boys are afraid of confronting Joe, but the lure of money enables them to overcome their fears. Tom guesses that Number Two refers to a room in one of the village's two taverns. In a half hour, he has discovered that room No. 2 in the less expensive tavern is a mystery. The tavern-keeper's son told him it was kept locked all the time and that people use it only at night.


NOTE: TOM'S VIEW OF HUCK

Notice that Tom investigates the taverns alone because he doesn't "care to have Huck's company in public places." Why do you think he feels this way about Huck? Is Tom a snob? Might he fear getting in trouble by associating with Huck? How might Tom's discomfort with Huck in public show that the residents of St. Petersburg are divided along class lines, and that Tom is very much aware of the class to which he belongs?

The boys agree that the mysterious tavern room is the Number Two they're looking for. The room has an outside entrance whose door Tom hopes he can find a key to. He tells Huck to "get hold of all the door-keys you can find, and I'll nip all of Auntie's." The first dark night, they'll try the keys on the door.

Meanwhile, Tom wants Huck to watch for Injun Joe and follow him if he appears. Huck's not eager to take on this dangerous assignment. But he agrees to do so after Tom reminds him that Joe might pass up a chance to avenge himself and go straight for the money.

Tom turns the meeting into a pep rally at the end. "Don't ever weaken, Huck, and I won't," he says. Is this mere bravado on Tom's part? Or is it an attempt to manipulate Huck-to get him to do something that Tom would rather not do, Just as he got his friends to paint his aunt's fence in Chapter 2?

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