As the two boys walked sorrowing along, they made a new compact to stand
by each other and be brothers and never separate till death relieved
them of their troubles. Then they began to lay their plans. Joe was for
being a hermit, and living on crusts in a remote cave, and dying,
some time, of cold and want and grief; but after listening to Tom, he
conceded that there were some conspicuous advantages about a life of
crime, and so he consented to be a pirate.
Three miles below St. Petersburg, at a point where the Mississippi River
was a trifle over a mile wide, there was a long, narrow, wooded island,
with a shallow bar at the head of it, and this offered well as a
rendezvous. It was not inhabited; it lay far over toward the further
shore, abreast a dense and almost wholly unpeopled forest. So Jackson's
Island was chosen. Who were to be the subjects of their piracies was a
matter that did not occur to them. Then they hunted up Huckleberry Finn,
and he joined them promptly, for all careers were one to him; he was
indifferent. They presently separated to meet at a lonely spot on the
river-bank two miles above the village at the favorite hour--which was
midnight. There was a small log raft there which they meant to capture.
Each would bring hooks and lines, and such provision as he could steal
in the most dark and mysterious way--as became outlaws. And before the
afternoon was done, they had all managed to enjoy the sweet glory of
spreading the fact that pretty soon the town would "hear something." All
who got this vague hint were cautioned to "be mum and wait."