The events that took place in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the book that came before The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, are summarised in the first chapter of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The town of St. Petersburg, Missouri, which is located on the banks of the Mississippi River, serves as the setting for both of these books. In the final chapter of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, a youngster from a low-income family with a drunkard for a father, and his companion Tom Sawyer, a boy from a middle-class family with an overactive imagination who should have known better, discovered a thief’s hidden hoard of gold. Huck made a sizeable profit as a direct result of his journey, and the bank agreed to keep some of that money in escrow for him. The self-righteous Miss Watson and her sister, the Widow Douglas, are Huck’s adoptive parents. The Widow Douglas is a compassionate but confining woman who lives with her sister.
The first chapter of Huckleberry Finn reveals that Huck is not too enthusiastic about his new life of orderliness, manners, church, and school. However, he continues to do so when Tom Sawyer instructs him to do so. Tom tells Huck that in order for Huck to join Tom’s new “robbers’ gang,” he must maintain his “respectability.” Everything is going swimmingly until Huck’s crude and alcoholic father, Pap, shows back up in town and starts demanding money from Huck. Another well-intentioned new judge in town believes in the rights of Huck’s natural father and even takes the old drunk into his own home in an attempt to reform him. The local judge, Judge Thatcher, and the Widow try to get legal custody of Huck, but another judge in town believes in the rights of Huck’s natural father. This attempt is a complete failure, and Pap quickly reverts back to his previous behaviour. He stays in town for a number of months, bothering his son, who, in the meantime, has picked up the skill of reading and is able to put up with the Widow’s attempts to develop him. Last but not least, Pap kidnaps Huck and locks him up in a cabin on the other side of the river from St. Petersburg after becoming infuriated when the Widow Douglas cautions him to keep away from her house.
Every time Pap goes out, he puts Huck in the cabin and shuts the door behind him. When Pap gets drunk and returns home, he abuses the youngster. Huck, fed up with being locked up and terrified that his beatings will become more severe, devises a plan to get away from Pap by pretending to be dead, murdering a pig, and spreading its blood all over the cabin. Huck watches the townspeople search the river for his body while he conceals himself on Jackson’s Island, which is located in the middle of the Mississippi River. After he has been there for a few days, he comes face to face with Jim, one of Miss Watson’s slaves. Jim has evaded Miss Watson after overhearing her discuss the possibility of selling him to a plantation down the river, where he would be subjected to inhumane treatment and would be separated from his wife and children. Jim has fled from Miss Watson. Despite Huck’s uncertainty regarding the morality or legality of rescuing a fugitive slave, Jim and Huck decide to work together to aid the man. While they are setting up camp on the island, a severe storm creates flooding along the Mississippi River. Huck and Jim see what appears to be a house and a log raft floating by the island. They take control of the raft and then ransack the house, where they discover the body of a man who had been shot inside. Jim is certain that Huck should not look at the face of the deceased man.
Huck finds out from a woman on the mainland that her husband has seen smoke coming from the island and suspects that Jim is hiding out there. Despite the fact that the island is idyllic, Huck and Jim are compelled to leave after learning this information. In addition to this, Huck finds out that there is a prize being offered for Jim’s capture. Huck and Jim set off downriver on the raft with the intention of abandoning it at the mouth of the Ohio River and continuing their journey by steamboat up the Ohio River to the free states, which had abolished the institution of slavery. During the course of their journey, which takes many days and takes them past St. Louis, they have a dangerous run-in with a band of bandits who are occupying a derelict riverboat. They are successful in escaping with the stolen goods from the thieves.
As a result of the dense fog, Huck and Jim are unable to locate the mouth of the Ohio River, and instead run upon a group of people who are searching for runaway slaves. Huck experiences a momentary moral dilemma regarding the concealment of stolen “property”; Jim, after all, belongs to Miss Watson. However, Huck decides to lie to the other passengers on the raft and tell them that his father is sick with smallpox on the raft. The men, terrified of the disease, hand Huck some money and then make a hasty exit. Huck and Jim are unable to make their way back upstream to the Ohio River’s mouth, so they continue their journey downstream instead. The following evening, a steamer collides with their raft, and as a result, Huck and Jim are split up.
Huck finds himself in the household of the gracious Grangerfords, a family of Southern aristocrats embroiled in a petty and pointless dispute with a neighbouring clan known as the Shepherdsons. An elopement between a daughter of the Grangerford and a son of the Shepherdson family results in a gun war in which several members of both families are slain. Jim arrives with the repaired raft as Huck is caught up in the conflict between the two factions. Huck rushes to find out where Jim is hidden, and then he and Jim set out down the river.
A few days later, Huck and Jim come to the aid of two men who are being chased by a group of armed outlaws. The men, who are obviously scam artists, make the claim that they are a long-lost successor to the French throne as well as a displaced English duke (the duke) (the dauphin). Huck and Jim continue their journey down the river with the two “aristocrats” despite their inability to convince the two white adults to leave. In the several little villages that are located along the river, the Duke and the Dauphin are responsible for various cons. As they entered a town, they were told the story of a guy named Peter Wilks, who had lately passed away and had left a significant portion of his inheritance to his two brothers, who were on their way from England and should arrive any day now. The duke and the dauphin arrive in town while maintaining their cover story that they are Wilks’ brothers. The three nieces of Wilks are very welcoming to the con artists and get right to work on selling off the estate. A few of the town’s residents begin to have doubts, and Huck, who has come to respect and admire the Wilks sisters, makes the decision to put an end to the con. He steals the wealth belonging to the deceased Peter Wilks from the duke and the dauphin, but he is forced to hide the gold in Wilks’s coffin after being caught. After that, Huck spills the beans to Mary Jane, the eldest of the Wilks sisters. When Wilks’ actual brothers arrive from England, Huck’s scheme to expose the duke and the dauphin is about to come to fruition and put them in danger. Both sets of Wilks claimants are taken captive by the irate citizens of the town, and the duke and dauphin only narrowly avoid capture in the subsequent chaos. The sisters’ good fortune continues when they discover the gold. Unfortunately for Huck and Jim, the duke and the dauphin return to the raft at the very moment when Huck and Jim are about to depart.
After committing a few more minor cons, the Duke and the Dauphin perform their most heinous offence to date: they sell Jim to a local farmer and convince him that Jim is a fugitive for whom a sizable reward is being offered. Huck learns the location of the prison where Jim is being imprisoned, and he makes the decision to break him out. When Huck arrives at the residence where Jim is being held captive, the woman who lives there is overjoyed to see him and nicknames him “Tom.” Huck immediately learns that the persons holding Jim are none other than Tom Sawyer’s aunt and uncle, Silas and Sally Phelps. This information is revealed to him by Huck. The Phelpses make the mistake of thinking that Huck is Tom, who is coming for a visit, and Huck agrees to play along with their misunderstanding. When he comes across Tom on his way from the Phelps house to the steamboat dock, Tom pretends to be his own younger brother Sid in order to get away from him.
Tom comes up with a crazy scheme to get Jim out of his bonds, and he sets up a lot of pointless roadblocks, despite the fact that Jim is only loosely bound. Although Huck is convinced that Tom’s scheme would result in their deaths, he goes along with it nevertheless. After what seemed like an eternity of futile preparation, during which time the boys made Aunt Sally’s life a living hell by wreaking havoc on the Phelps home, they finally put their plan into action. Jim is eventually set free, but Tom is injured when a pursuer shoots him in the leg. Huck is coerced into going to the doctor, and Jim gives up his freedom in order to care for Tom. Everyone makes their way back to the Phelps’ home, where Jim is eventually put back in chains.
When Tom wakes up the following morning, he reveals that Jim has actually been a free man all along, as a provision for Jim’s freedom was included in Miss Watson’s will, which was only executed two months before Tom’s death. Tom’s entire strategy for escaping had been a joke the whole time, and he had no intention of compensating Jim for his trouble. After thereafter, Tom’s Aunt Polly makes an appearance and reveals that “Tom” and “Sid” are actually Huck and Tom. Jim reveals to Huck, who is concerned about his future and, in particular, the possibility that his father would reappear, that the body they discovered in the floating house off of Jackson’s Island had been Pap’s. Huck is terrified by this information. Huck, who has had enough “civilising,” declares his intention to embark on a journey to the West in response to Aunt Sally’s intervention, in which she offers to adopt Huck.