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What was the "boom" the "pirates" kept hearing in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and why did it make them happy?  They're pirates and they here a... |

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Answer:

While Tom, Huck and Joe were hiding out on Jackson's Island in Mark Twain's novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the boys were alerted to a loud noise coming from the river. They rushed to the shoreline to observe, and discovered a ferryboat and "many skiffs" slowly moving along the riverbank. At first puzzled by the situation, the boys finally remembered an earlier case where a man had drowned and searchers hunted for his body by firing explosive charges, which supposedly would help the body float to the surface. 

     The boys still listened and watched. Presently a revealing thought flashed through Tom's mind, and he exclaimed:
    "Boys, I know who's drownded--it's us!"

The boats were hunting for the three boys, who were presumed drowned. Their uncertainties suddenly turned to happiness when they reasoned that the town was going to such trouble because Tom, Huck and Joe were actually loved after all.

They felt like heroes in an instant. Here was a gorgeous triumph: they were missed; they were mourned, hearts were breaking... tears were being shed.

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