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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES
CHAPTER 39: Tom Writes Anonymous Letters
The next day, Tom and Huck go into town to buy a rat trap so that they can catch rats and set them free in Jimís cabin, for prisoners are supposed to endure rats and other creatures. While the boys are out, Tomís cousin opens the trap out of curiosity and lets all the rats loose. Aunt Sally gives the boys a beating for the rats. Tom and Huck also catch a few spiders and some harmless snakes and let them loose in the cabin.
Tom comes up with a new plan of writing anonymous letters to warn people that something is going to happen. When the other two protest, he convinces them that it is the way things are done. He asks Huck to dress up like a girl and deliver the letter. The next night, they stick a letter on the back door warning of Jimís impending escape.
For more than three weeks, Huck and Tom have left Jim a prisoner while they carry out Tomís ďgrandioseĒ plans for his escape. It is the ultimate thoughtless cruelty. When Tom makes Huck dress up like a girl, it is a flashback to when Huck goes to St. Petersburg to get news of his disappearance. When he insists that they write and deliver a letter warning of Jimís escape, it is totally foolish.