Huck tells Tom he needs to escape the intimidating crowd. Tom assures him all will be fine.
Tom once admired Huck for his freedom from adult rules. Tom now enjoys wealth and status in the eyes of his fellow villagers, and values these benefits more.
Sid joins them, scolding Tom for having dirtied his clothes. When Tom asks Sid what the party downstairs is for, Sid tells him the widow is honoring the Welchman for pursuing the robbers. Sid also divulges that the Welchman plans to announce a secret that he already spilled to Aunt Polly—how Huck tracked the robbers. Sid says many already know the secret. Tom tells him he's a terrible blabbermouth for probably having spread the secret himself.
While the rest of the villagers embrace the boys and recognize that their virtues outweigh their mischief, Sid continues to harbor only petty resentments toward them. Sid lacks the attributes of boyhood that Twain promotes, such as friendship and loyalty. He knows how to appear good, but doesn't have the generosity to actually be good.
After a grand dinner, the Welchman offers a speech, extolling Huck for his heroism in saving the widow Douglas. She speaks about Huck's great integrity. Huck has never felt more uncomfortable. The widow announces she will be taking Huck in, to nurture and educate him. Knowing how miserable Huck must feel, Tom cries: "Huck don't need it. He's rich!"
The town's generosity is well-intentioned, but Huck is a realist, and uncomfortable with accepting such praise when he knows how fickle human nature can be. He prefers self-reliance to being looked after by the widow. Tom doesn't reject the ideals of society as Huck does, and now sees money as the means of independence.
No one knows what to make of Tom's words, till he pulls in the wagonload of treasure. The coins are counted, and amount to $12,000, to be split evenly between Tom and Huck.
Tom and Huck have completed yet another heroic act, this time one holding monetary value. The possession of money, like the suits, is a material marker of their entrance into adulthood.