In the book "Huckleberry Finn," Jim and Huck board the wrecked steamboat Walter Scott at Huck's behest. Huck feels that the two should explore the steamboat before it sinks.
Jim and Huck usually spend their nights on their raft floating downstream on the Mississippi River. On one particular night, they come across the Walter Scott, a steamboat that is wrecked and taking on water. Huck decides the two should explore the wreck. However, once they get on board, they see two men have tied up a third man.
After their raft comes loose, Jim and Huck are forced to steal the would-be murderers' skiff boat and to catch up to the raft. Instead of reporting the murders, Huck tells a ferryboat watchman in a nearby town that his family is stuck on the riverboat and need help. Huck would later see the steamboat floating downriver as it sinks.
Huckleberry Finn was written by Mark Twain in 1885, and in it, Twain uses this particular section to contrast the peaceful image of the river with the brutality of humanity. This is also the first part of the journey that is outside any familiar areas for Huck and Jim. This section shows that Huck has a conscience and cannot bring himself to let men die, even if they are bad.