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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES
CHAPTER 40: A Mixed up and Splendid Rescue
Tom and Huck spend the next day fishing and sneak down to the cellar to secretively get some bread and butter. When they realize they have forgotten the butter, Huck goes back to get some, hiding it under his hat. When Aunt Sally catches him and starts questioning him, the butter starts melting. He is sent to the living room, where he sees fifteen armed farmers who have come to prevent Jim from escaping. Huck escapes, runs upstairs, and tells Tom that they should not waste any more time; they must free Jim as quickly as possible.
Tom and Huck crawl into the cabin through the hole and come out with Jim. As they run away, they are followed by the men and the dogs to the river. In the confusion that follows, Tom is hit by a bullet. Although he is in tremendous pain, he is thrilled to be part of such a drama. Tom urges Huck and Jim to continue, but Jim refuses to budge until Tom is looked over by a doctor. Although suffering, Tom thinks of an elaborate plan on how to trick the doctor.
The naive and thoughtless Tom is excited when he learns from Huck that his plan of sending letters about the escape has worked; he is delighted that fifteen farmers have gathered. In Tomís mind, it intensifies the drama; he never gives a thought to the fact that it also creates danger and risks Jimís life.
Tom and Huck manage to free Jim through the hole. They head toward the river, being chased by dogs and men in a scene that is filled with melodrama. When Tom is struck by a bullet, he is glad that he will have something permanent by which to remember this adventure. Jim is horrified that he has been hit and refuses to go any further. The slave loses his freedom to help Tom.