Huck introduces himself as Sarah Williams and tells the hospitable woman that he is here to fetch his uncle, hoping he’ll help “her” sick mother. The woman says she doeen’st know everyone in town yet, having only been there two weeks. She offers to let Huck stay the night. When Huck refuses, she says her husband will escort “her” when “she” leaves.
The woman has family all over. They used to be well off until they came to this town.
She also tells him people started believing that Mr. Finn killed his son Huck for his money. He almost got lynched. Then people shifted blame to a runaway black named Jim. There is a reward out for both Mr. Finn and Jim.
Mr. Finn had come back, wanting to hunt down Jim. He got money from Judge Thatcher and went off with some fearsome looking people. When he didn’t come back, people once again assumed it was him that killed Huck. She is certain Mr. Finn will get the money once this blows over, for nothing can be proven.
People are still looking for Jim because of the reward. The woman and her husband think he is at the island, and her husband plans to search there. They have seen a fire.
When the woman asks his name, Huck gives a different one…and realizes too late that he has betrayed himself. He quickly explains that his whole name is Mary Sarah Williams, and people either call him Mary or Sarah. He can’t look the woman in the eye, though.
The woman has Huck do a series of tasks, like kill rats. She then reveals that she knows Huck is a boy by the way he did the tasks. She thinks he is a runaway apprentice. He makes up a story about being an orphan who ran away from an abusive farmer he was apprenticed to. The woman checks to see if he is indeed from the country by asking him some questions, which he answers correctly.
She warns him he won’t fool other women, but he’ll be able to fool men. She gives him advice on how to act like a girl. She offers her name as a reference.
Huck starts a fire at his old camp when he returns to the island. He goes to Jim in the cave afterwards and rouses him. He tells Jim that people are looking for them. Jim gets everything into the canoe quickly and quietly.