Tom and Huck go through various different antics in order
to make Jim's escape more intricate and more adventurous. Jim doesn't really
see the need to invent obstacles as Huck could simply steal the key to the
shed, he nevertheless agrees to go along with Tom's ideas.
The boys begin the process by attempting to dig Jim out.
When case-knives don't work, they change to pick-axes and pretend that they
are still using knives. Next they steal candles and a tin plate so that
Jim can write a message telling the world about his plight and then throwing
out his window as they do in novels.
In the meantime, Aunt Sally gets very upset when she realizes
that she is missing shirts, sheets, and other items that the boys have taken
for their escapade. In order to confuse the issue, the boys blame it on
rats. They also cause Aunt Sally to lose track of the amount by removing
and replacing items while she is counting.
Tom invents a coat of arms for Jim to engrave into the wall.
Since the shed has wooden walls, Tom steals a millstone so that Jim can
inscribe his message on stone.
In order to make the setting even more ominous, Tom captures
rats and snakes for Jim's prison, but some accidentally get into the Phelps'
house as well.
Uncle Silas decides that he has had enough problems and that
it was time to sell Jim. In order to stop him, Tom writes letters, signed
a "friend", warning Uncle Silas that if he did this there would
These chapters give free reign to Tom's creative ideas on how the boys should
go about in freeing Jim. Huck is in full agreement even though the whole process
is becoming much more complicated than necessary.