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While Jim sleeps, Tom wants to play a trick on him. He and Huck climb into the house and steal three candles, for which they leave a nickel as "pay". Then Tom quietly makes his way to Jim, takes off Jim's hat, and places it on a tree branch above Jim's head. He soon returns and tells Huck what he did.
After Jim wakes up, he believes he has been bewitched, and keeps the nickel as a token around his neck for the rest of his life. According to Huck, Jim tells all the other slaves that he had been ridden around the world by some witches, and that the nickel was given to him by the devil. This is significant because it exemplifies the role of superstition in the lives of the slaves and others during this period of time. Tom has already told Huck about the trick, thus, Huck does not believe it.