Chapters 35-38 Summaries
Tom is upset that it will be so easy to free Jim. Tom starts to make up things to make the adventure more exciting. He makes a ridiculous list of things they will need to free Jim, when all they really need are the keys. Tom steals a watermelon from the slaves garden and Huck admonishes Tom for stealing. Tom gives the slaves a dime to pay them back for the watermelon he stole. Huck and Tom after getting tired of trying to dig to Jim with knives switch to pick axes. They steal a lot of things like candle sticks and spoons so that they can have Jim write about his captivity while in the shed. Tom and Huck get into the shed that Jim is being kept in and they tell JIm about their plan. Jim gets confused about the elaborate plan but goes along with it anyways. Tom convinces the man that is guarding Jim that he has to bake a witch pie and give it to Jim. Tom plans to hide a rope ladder inside the pie that the guard is going to bake. Tom's aunt gets frustrated when she notices all of the things that are going missing in her house. The Aunt blames the rats for stealing things. Tom and Huck go and plug up the rat holes, and later Silas is confused because he was going to plug them. The boys confuse Sally be taking and then putting back her sheets. The boys finally finish the "witch pie" and give it to Jim. Tom forces Jim to draw is coat of arms on the wall with the candle sticks and spoons that they stole, because that is what happens in the books. Tom then tells Jim what he should write on the wall. Tom isn't satisfied that they are writing on the wood instead of stone, so the boys try to steal a mill stone. When the boys can't lift it they let Jim out so he can help them. Tom tries to get Jim to do a series of ridiculous things like tame a rat and water a flower with his tears. Jim protests the ridiculousness of the plans, but Tom continues to insist that Jim goes along with the plans anyways.
I love Tom's ridiculous plans. I think they are making a stark contrast between Tom's ostentatious plans and Huck's simple practicality. I feel bad that Jim is stuck in the shed all this time when he could have bee freed several days ago. Although Tom's plans are ridiculous he really is a clever person. I was impressed by the way that he tricked his Aunt Sally into not knowing how much she had of anything. I think that Huck's morals are slightly skewed by the fact that he is upset when Tom steals a watermelon, but not when he steals candlesticks and spoons. I am happy that Huck doesn't think less of Tom's theft when he steals it from slaves.