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Summary Chapter 6

Monday morning comes, and Tom is unhappy—as usual—to go to school. He tries to produce an ailment. He has a loose tooth, but he decides not to complain about it because Aunt Polly will pull it. Tom decides to groan about his toe.

He starts moaning loudly. Sid is sleeping too soundly to notice. Tom shakes him, then resumes moaning. When Sid wants to get Aunt Polly, Tom tries to act like he doesn’t want him to—though he acts like he is on his death bed. Sid runs to get their aunt. Aunt Polly is alarmed until she sees Tom, then she laughs. He then complains about this tooth. She pulls it out. Though it hurt, Tom’s new gap is a source of admiration to all the boys because now he can spit better.

Tom meets Huckleberry Finn (Huck), who is hated by all the town’s mothers for being a bad, vulgar child. Their sons all admire him. Tom plays with him because he is forbidden to. The other boys envy Huckleberry for having no rules to live by. He raises himself since he is the son of the town drunk.

Huck has a dead cat, which he claims is good for curing warts. Tom swears by spunk-water. Huck claims that Bob Tanner said spunk water didn’t work, but Tom says he didn’t do it right. There is a whole ritual you have to do because it is a charm. Tom says it always works for him. Huck explains how you use a dead cat to remove warts, which is another ritualistic charm. The local woman who told him is considered a witch. Huck claims that his father blames this same woman for causing him to break his arm the one night he was drunk.

Tom and Huck make plans to visit the graveyard later that night to perform the ritual to remove Huck’s warts. Tom wants to buy Huck’s tick, but his friend doesn’t want to sell it. Tom then insults it. However, Huckleberry finally agrees to trade it for Tom’s tooth.

Tom comes late to class and admits—to the instructor’s and other students’ surprise—that he stopped to talk to Huckleberry Finn. The school master whips him and sends him to sit with the girls. Tom purposely told the truth so he could sit next to the pretty girl.

The girl acts contemptuous of him. He gives her a peach. She gradually becomes less hostile. He piques her interest when he starts drawing pictures. He offers to teach her how to draw.

The girl introduces herself as Becky Thatcher. Tom writes on a slate that he loves her. She is pleased despite acting like she isn’t. The school master takes Tom by the ear and takes him back to his own seat.

Mark Twain