Chapter 7: Tired of being constantly locked in the cabin by his father for days at a time, Huck decides to dig a hole to the outside, taking care to cover it up with a stump so his pap doesn't see it. One day after his father locks him in as usual, Huck leaves the cabin through his hole, goes hunting, kills a pig and brings it back. He spatters the blood all about and smashes in the door to the shack, making it look as if he's been murdered. He next gets into a canoe and paddles to Jackson's Island, a nearby, uninhabited wilderness area where he plans to hide for awhile. Ironically, Huck is able to live only by feigning his own death.
Chapter 8: Hearing the noise of a cannon coming from a ferryboat traveling down the river, Huck immediately realizes that they are hoping to bring his body to the surface. The boat comes so close to the island that he can even see those he knows onboard as they scan the water for his corpse.
Having stayed several days on the island now, Huck admits that he really enjoyed the freedom it gave him. He explains, "I was boss of it; it all belonged to me, so to say.."
Soon thereafter, however, Huck encounters an acquaintance on the very same island, hiding, just as he is doing. This is Jim, Miss Watson's slave. Seeing the boy, Jim immediately falls to his knees, believing Huck to be dead and thus thinking that he is seeing his ghost. The two explain their stories to one another, and they agree to help each other escape. Huck admits that being with Jim made him feel less lonely.
Chapter 9: In this chapter, Huck and Jim find a small wooden raft that has drifted ashore; this raft will be used later.
Seeing a damaged houseboat float by one night, Huck and Jim decide to paddle out to it to see what supplies they can garner. Jim sees a dead man aboard the vessel, but persuades Huck not to look at his "ghastly" face.