The boys get a rat trap. They undo one of the holes they had covered and capture 15 rats. They put them under Aunt Sally’s bed. They go hunt for spiders. One of the children finds the rat trap and opens it, releasing the rats. Aunt Sally punishes the boys when they return. They have to capture more rats,which are not as fine of specimens as the first batch.
They capture fine specimens of several types of insects. They also capture snakes. They put them under their bed, and the snakes escape because the bag was not tied well enough. Aunt Sally is in a constant fit, and she remains jumpy even after the snakes are gone. Tom and Huck get more beatings for the snakes. They bring them to Jim. He doesn’t like them, and they make life miserable for him.
Three weeks later, all of their preparations are done. Silas advertises Jim in the papers so that his owner can fetch his runaway slave.
Tom wants to write some anonymous letters to warn that something is going to happen. He figures this will help keep people away while they work on freeing Jim. He wants Huck to dress up as a servant girl to deliver them. Tom plans to steal a servant’s night gown and stuff it with straw to put on Jim’s bed. They draw a pirate sign on the door with what looks like blood.
The Phelps family gets really upset and jittery. Tom leaves another letter for them saying some Indians plan to bust Jim out of prison.