In this chapter, Huck and Jim get to their destination, which is the Ohio River. Huck goes into the canoe while Jim is still on their raft, and they get separated. The air is very foggy, so Huck and Jim can't find each other. They spend time alone just drifting, and eventually find their way back together when the air clears. When Jim tells Huck how scared he was that he lost Huck, Huck tries to trick him by saying it was all Jim's dream and he has been there the whole time. Jim eventually finds out that he's making it up and is upset with Huck. It takes a lot of effort, but Huck apologizes, which is hard for him since Jim is a slave.
In chapter 16, Huck begins to feel guilty about helping to free and escaped slave. He thinks about how kind the Widow had been to him and feels bad about causing her the trouble of taking her slave. Huck plans to get Jim captured again when they get to Cairo, a town along the Ohio River, but changes his mind when he thinks about how well he and Jim have gotten along. When they dock, some men come by asking to check their boat for any slaves that might be hiding. Huck saves Jim by scaring the men away by saying that his family, contaminated with smallpox, is on the boat. The men leave, but give Huck some money for his family's troubles. Huck and Jim also think that they might have passed Cairo, since they keep passing more towns without seeing it. In the morning, they find out that the canoe is missing, and their raft gets hit by another boat, separating Huck and Jim.
How does Huck convince the men looking for runaway slaves not to search the raft?
When the men come by looking for escaped slaves, Huck uses his quick mind to get them to leave. He says that his family is back on the raft infected with smallpox, a contagious disease. The men don't want to get the disease, so they leave the raft alone and leave Huck with some money to help his "family."
What is the principal conflict in Huck's mind about Jim?
Huck is conflicted on whether to give Jim up or not. He realizes he's doing something illegal by keeping Jim safe, but he's feeling bad toward the Widow. He remembers how kind the Widow had been to him and feels bad about taking away her slave and causing her so much trouble.
Does the readers attitude toward Jim change as a result of his response to Huck's trick on him? How does his response make you think of Huck's pranks?
Jim's response to Huck's pranks makes the reader feel bad towards Jim, when we realize how much Jim cares about Huck. The reader feels bad about how Jim gets treated with so many tricks by Huck. It makes Huck's pranks seem extra mean and unnecessary, and makes you want to tell Huck to stop and just let Jim be.
Again, we see how smart Huck is in these chapters. He makes up the story about his family having smallpox on the spot, and scares the men away. I think that Huck's past with Tom Sawyer and pretending to be something they're not has helped. Huck is used to making things up and convincing people of things. It's interesting to think about how far Jim would have gotten is Huck wasn't there with him.