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Summary Chapter 12

In their haste to get away, Huck and Jim forget to put some things on the raft that could have been useful—like the shotgun and hooks. However, they couldn’t take everything.

They rest on a towhead, which is a sandbar that has cottonwoods on it. Huck tells Jim about the news he heard in town. Jim believes that Judith Loftus is a cunning woman. She could be troublesome to them since she can’t be easily fooled.

Jim makes some shelter on the raft to protect them from the rain and to protect their valuables from steamboat waves. It also keeps their fireplace form being seen. They make an extra oar. They put up a post to hold a lantern.

They go back to the river and slowly pass towns. Huck is amazed at how large St. Louis is. Huck sometimes goes into the towns late at night to buy food. Sometimes he takes a chicken and some produce from a field. His father always claims that he was “borrowing” things—and isn’t wrong if you mean to pay it back. The widow said it was essentially stealing and was wrong. Jim and Huck decide on the type of things they will “borrow.”

One night during a storm, they come across a steamboat that has wrecked itself. Huck wants to explore, but Jim is against it. There may be a watchman on it. Huck believes there are some good valuables aboard, and it is too good to pass up. Jim reluctantly agrees.

They hear voices. Jim goes to the raft to get ready for a speedy escape, but Huck is curious. He follows the voices until he comes to room with three men. One of the men is tied up. Two men discuss killing him, though one seems reluctant to do so. The two men have a side conference. A man called Packard doesn’t feel it is necessary to shoot Turner (the man who is tied up). They can leave him tied up and he’ll drown when the wreck gets swept away. If she doesn’t get swept away, then they can come back and shoot him.

Huck finds Jim. He wants to set the murderers boat adrift to strand them for the sheriff. Jim tells him that their own raft is gone. Its line had broken.

Mark Twain