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Summary Chapter 23

The village has renewed interest in the murder when it comes to trial. Tom is guilt-ridden. He asks Huck if he has kept the secret. Huck points out he’d be dead if he hadn’t. Tom worries people could make Huck talk, but Huck says he fears for his life too much. They do another swearing ceremony to make sure they keep their secret.

Both boys feel sorry for Muff Potter, who is doomed. Huck says Potter is a good man. Tom wishes they could break him out of prison.

Potter is grateful for the comforts they bring him. This makes them feel even more guilty. He is grateful that they remember his past kindness and didn’t abandon him. He has to die for his crime. He tells them to never get drunk.

Tom is miserable and is plagued by nightmares. He follows the trial. Injun Joe’s evidence condemns Potter. The defense attorney doesn’t attempt to make a case. The townspeople are annoyed by this.

At the end of the trial, though, the defense lawyer says they will not enter the original plea that Potter is guilty of murder due to the delirium caused by drink. The defense calls Tom Sawyer to the stand.

Tom is terrified, particularly as Injun Joe is there. However, he testifies to what he saw. During his testimony, Injun Joe escapes out the window.

Mark Twain