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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES
CHAPTER 7: I Fool Pap and Get Away
The next morning Pap finds Huck with the gun and remembers nothing about the previous night. When Pap questions him about the gun, Huck says that he has been lying in wait because he thought someone was trying to get in the cabin. Asked why he did not try to wake him, Huck replies that he did try, but could not rouse him.
Huck is asked by his father to go out and check if there are any fish on the line. This gives Huck the opportunity to look for a raft or logs floating by in the river. To his good fortune, he sees a canoe floating down the river. He swims to it, brings it ashore, and hides it to help in his escape. When he returns to the cabin and is scolded by his father for being lazy, Huck tells him that he accidentally fell into the river. After breakfast, they both settle down for a nap; before he falls asleep, Pap tells Huck that he should wake him up if he hears anybody prowling around. This statement gives Huck an idea.
When they wake up around noon, father and son go down to the river to pick up pieces of driftwood. They find a raft, and Pap decides to take it to town that very night to sell. After locking Huck up in the cabin, he starts on his journey. Huck waits until his father has been gone awhile. Then he takes all the groceries and ammunition and crawls out of the hole he has made. Once outside, he puts the log back in its place. He goes into the woods, kills a pig, and brings it to the cabin. He then takes the ax from the wood pile and breaks open the door. He drags the pig inside, slits its throat, and lets the blood flow. Taking a sack, he puts some rocks in it and drags it to the river. He also does the same thing with the pig. Everybody will think that Huck has been killed by robbers. In truth, he takes the canoe and rows to Jackson’s Island. When he arrives, it is almost daylight.
The careful planning of his escape reveal Huck’s ingenuity, intelligence, and imagination. The execution of the plan shows he is smart and quick thinking. In the rest of the novel, these traits save him more than once from uncomfortable situations. The traits also prove to the reader that Huck Finn will be able to take care of himself in the world beyond St. Petersburg, for he has a good head on his shoulders.
It is important to note that Huck wishes Tom were there to help with the escape and to give the plan some fancy touches. Ironically, Huck has masterminded a real adventure, not a romanticized, pretended one, with much more cleverness and realism than Tom could ever have managed. It is also important to note that Huck never worries about leaving his six thousand dollars behind. He has found the money to be a burden in the past and does not want to risk his escape to freedom by carrying such a burden.