Huckleberry Finn has grown up in a time where helping runaway slaves is both illegal and a sin. He struggles with this when the king sells Jim, and he is trying to figure out what the right thing to do is. Huck knows that helping Jim is considered to be wrong, and he tries to pray to “quit being the kind of boy I was, and be better” (261). When he cannot pray, he realizes it is because “my heart warn’t right; it was because I warn’t square; it was because I was playing double” (261). Huck tries to write a letter to Miss Watson, telling her where her runaway slave is, but he realizes that that is not what he really wants to do, it is just what he thinks everyone else believes to be right. In reality, Huck enjoys traveling with Jim. Jim takes care of him, lets him sleep while he stays up for watches, and is so grateful to Huck for everything he has done to keep Jim out of trouble with suspicious people.
Huck knows Jim is a good man, and that “[he] was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the only one he’s got now” (262). Jim has run away from his family and his home, and Huck is the only person who he can trust. Jim is dreaming of getting to free territory so that he can buy his wife and children, and eventually live together with them. At the end of this battle with himself, Huck says he “was a trembling, because I’d got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it” (263). He must decide whether he will go with the flow of society or turn against them and stay with Jim. He finally realizes that it does not matter what everyone else thinks, because at this point it is just himself and Jim against the world. They have no one else to trust, and Huck knows that if he were in the same situation Jim would do everything he could to come to his rescue. Huck ends by saying, “And I let them stay said, and never thought no more about reforming. I shoved the whole thing out of my head; and said I would take up wickedness again” (263).