Chapter1: Huck begins his narration, explaining that this story takes up where the previous one, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, left off: he owns six thousand dollars from the money he found in the cave, and this money he has given to Judge Thatcher, who is keeping the money and paying him interest. He lives with the Widow Douglas (who is trying to civilize him) because Tom won't let him join his "gang" otherwise.
Restlessly lying in bed one night, he hears Tom Sawyer calling to him through the window, and the two escape together into the woods.
Chapter 2: After playing a trick on Jim, Miss Watson's slave, Tom and Huck meet the rest of the boys in the woods. Tom tells everyone that to be in the gang, they must take an oath and sign their names in blood. If any one of them breaks the secrecy of the gang, however, his family will be killed. Since Huck doesn't really have a family, he tells the others that they may kill Miss Watson if he spills any secrets. As daylight approaches, the gang agrees to meet at a later date to go about the business of "[robbing] somebody and [killing] some people."
Chapter 3: Huck briefly explains how he gave up the religion Miss Watson was trying to force on him and how his father was said to be drowned but that he didn't believe it. Next, he says that the gang has broken up, because they weren't doing any real violence, but just pretending. The comical scene of the Sunday School picnic, where Tom tells Huck that actually the schoolchildren are a procession of rich Arabs and their elephants, uncovers the differences between the two boys. Like Don Quixote, Tom is the idealist, while Huck is the realist who doesn't believe his friend's "lies."