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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES
CHAPTER 41: Must a Been Spirits Summary
By boat, Huck goes to get the doctor and makes up a story about how Tom got shot. He asks the doctor not to tell anybody, for they want to surprise their family by returning early from their hunting expedition. The doctor agrees to go and help Tom, but he is doubtful if the boat can carry two people. Huck volunteers to stay behind; he gives him instructions of how to find Tom and waits for the doctor to go and return. Huck falls asleep waiting for the doctor, and when he wakes up, it is broad daylight. While returning from the doctor’s house, he meets Uncle Silas and is taken back home, only to find the place full of people discussing the previous night’s events. Aunt Sally is anxious about Sid (Tom) and waits up all night for his return.
Huck’s ingenuity is again seen in this chapter when he comes up with two stories, one for the doctor and the other for Uncle Silas; both stories are convincing enough to “save” Huck. Huck wants to go in search of Tom but cannot leave since Aunt Sally is sitting up all night waiting for “Sid” to show up; she is miserable with worry for the boy. Huck feels ashamed for causing grief to Aunt Sally and wishes that he could tell her the truth.
Jim’s selfless service to Tom when he insists on summoning the doctor, ignoring the risk to himself, stands out in stark contrast to Tom’s love for showmanship, high style, and utter selfishness.