Ch. 13 - The Pirate Crew Set Sail

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Feeling mistreated, Tom resolves to act on his earlier impulse to become a pirate. He meets Joe Harper, who is likewise disaffected because his mother has wrongly accused and punished him for stealing cream. They find Huck Finn, always up for a new adventure, and the three agree to slip away to Jackson’s Island, an uninhabited, forested isle three miles downriver from St. Petersburg.

That night, the three boys take a raft and pole their way to the island, calling out meaningless nautical commands to one another as they go. At about two in the morning they arrive on the island, build a fire, and eat some bacon that Joe has stolen for them. For the rest of the night they sit around and discuss pirate conduct. Eventually, however, they think about the meat they stole and reflect on the shamefulness of their petty crime—after all, the Bible explicitly forbids stealing. They decide that “their piracies should not again be sullied with the crime of stealing” and fall asleep.

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