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Looks like I got it all — the treasure and you.
~ Injun Joe to Tom Sawyer.
Five years ago you drove me away from your father’s kitchen one night, when I come to ask for something to eat, and you said I warn’t there for any good; and when I swore I’d get even with you if it took a hundred years, your father had me jailed for a vagrant. Did you think I’d forget? The Injun blood ain’t in me for nothing. And now I’ve got you, and you got to settle, you know!
~ Injun Joe to Dr. Robinson, shortly before murdering him.
Injun Joe is the main antagonist of the 1876 novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by the late Mark Twain, the 1995 Disney film adaptation Tom and Huck and the 2014 film adaptation Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn. He is Tom Sawyer's archenemy.
Injun Joe is a half Native American, half white man. He was whipped by Mr. Douglas, a police officer. Injun Joe had probably been striking fear into the children of the village. His first appearance in the novel was where Tom witnessed Injun Joe murder Doc Robinson while framing Muff Potter for the murder. Following this, Huck overhears Injun Joe plotting the mutilation of Widow Douglas. Towards the end of the book, Tom sees Injun Joe inside the cave, but Injun Joe is not able to see Tom’s face. At the end of the book, Injun Joe is found dead behind the newly sealed cave door.
Tom & Huck
In the film, Injun Joe is portrayed as a much darker villain than in the book. Also, like in the book, he did murder Dr. Jonas Robinson; however, both Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn witness the murder. When Injun Joe saw the silhouettes of two people who witnessed the murder, he then realized that he’d been spotted, but initially didn’t know who they were.
Injun Joe first appeared in the opening as he makes his way across the town of Hannibal on a stereotypical dark and stormy night. He arrives at the town hospital, where he accepts a job from Doctor Jonas Robinson, who at first says it pays two dollars. However, Robinson changes his mind when Injun Joe threateningly unsheathes his knife and puts it at his throat, asking for three dollars unless the doctor thinks he deserves more, implying that he would kill him. After that, Injun Joe then turns and steps out into the night.
Later on the next night, Injun Joe is with Doc Robinson and the town drunk Muff Potter on a grave robbery. There, they uncovered the coffin and corpse of Vic Murrell, where they find a small chest. Robinson picks up the chest and orders the men to put the coffin back and cover up the tracks. However, Joe grabs the box by punching Robinson and open it up, revealing a treasure map detailing the location of a certain treasure that Vic's brother One-Eyed Murrell has stowed away. Just then, Robinson grabs a tombstone in an attempt to smack out Joe, but accidentally smacks out Muff unconscious. This prompted an angry Joe to punch Robinson again before unsheathing his knife, attempting to kill him. However, deciding to cover his tracks, Joe puts his knife away and instead takes Muff's knife, using it to stab Robinson in the chest three times, killing him instantly.
Unbeknownst to Injun Joe, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, who were trying to remove warts by taking a dead cat to the graveyard at night, saw everything. But as they leave, Injun Joe hears them and pursues them, but they disappear into the mist. Joe then finds a green marble in the grass, and believes it belongs to the kids. Luckily for Tom and Huck, they were not seen entirely, which keeps them safe at least for now.
As part of Joe’s plan, Muff is framed for Robinson’s murder the next day. A desperate Muff tries to ask Injun Joe to vouch for him, only for Injun Joe to lie about what really happened, saying that while he was passing last night through the graveyard, he saw Muff and Robinson digging up Murrell’s grave, and that he saw Muff stab the doctor. Muff, remembering last night’s events, tries to tell the truth, but Joe dismisses it as “drunk-talk”, and there is no treasure or the map to it. Injun Joe then tries to get his partner Emmett to rally the townspeople into hanging Muff for the murder, but they are stopped by the town judge Thatcher and Widow Douglas, who suggested that Muff should get a trial so that they can decide whether he is guilty of the murder or not. Muff is then taken into custody afterwards, despite pleading of his innocence.
Despite an oath they signed to never tell what they witnessed the other night, Tom and Huck go on a search for the map, since it's the only evidence that will prove Muff's innocence and keep their oath. The boys tracked down Injun Joe at a tavern, where Injun Joe showed the marble to Emmett, stating that he will track down and kill the person who owns it. Injun Joe then walks off to the harbor, and takes a canoe to the other side of the river, while Tom and Huck follow him in Muff’s canoe.
The next morning, Tom and Huck make another attempt to steal the map, by covering themselves in mud, so they will not be seen. They find Injun Joe drunk asleep, and this gives the boys their chance to steal the map without being noticed. But once again, Tom blows his cover by sneezing just as he is a few centimeters close to the map. Injun Joe wakes up, and looks around to find the person who woke him up, while Tom and Huck make themselves scarce. Joe unsheathes his knife, and searches around until he curses about wild boars waking him. As he walks away, he suddenly turns around and throws his knife at a tree in anger before heading off into the forest.
Tom and Huck go to an old house, and quickly hide in there when they hear Injun Joe and Emmett arrive. Following up the map's directions, Injun Joe and Emmett were able to dig up a hidden chest filled with gold coins hidden in the house' fireplace. Despite being relieved that he and Emmett found the treasure, Injun Joe suggests that they should wait until after the trial, as Injun Joe intends to ensure that Muff takes the blame for Robinson's murder. To ensure of this, Injun Joe gets Emmett to bury the treasure at Number Two under the cross at McDougal’s Cave while he burns the map, leaving no evidence to claim Muff’s innocence.
Eventually, Injun Joe soon learned that Tom was the last person who had it last, and confronted the boy himself, threatening to kill him if he tells anyone the truth. This event, along with his friendship with Huck being strained, caused Tom to become hopeless, feeling that he can't do anything to save an innocent man. However, on the advice on his aunt Polly, Tom finally decides that his friendship with Muff is more important than his oath with Huck.
At the trial, Injun Joe lied to everyone that he went to the graveyard to look at the stars, and that he witnessed Muff stabbing Robinson four times till he was dead. However, this all fell apart when Muff's lawyer calls in Tom to the stand, where Tom furiously confessed to having witnessed the murder and that Injun Joe was responsible for it and that he framed Muff for it. Enraged by this, Injun Joe angrily hurls one of his daggers to kill Tom, but the latter shields himself with the Holy Bible. The town sheriff attempts to arrest Injun Joe, but the latter escapes the courtroom, branded as a wanted outlaw. Returning to the tavern, Injun Joe spotted Emmett packing up shovels and picks, and accuses him of attempting to take the treasure for himself. Emmett tried to assure that he wouldn't cheat Injun Joe, but the latter hurls a knife into Emmett's back, killing him instantly.
During a festival the next day, a group of children, including Tom and Judge Thatcher's daughter Becky, enter McDougal’s Cave, only for Tom and Becky to become lost in the process. Around the same time, the town sheriff informed Judge Thatcher of Injun Joe's murder of Emmett, and that he tracked down Injun Joe's directions heading towards the cave, which made Thatcher realize that Injun Joe is going to kill Tom in revenge for exposing his crimes. As Thatcher gets several men (including Muff and the sheriff) to arm themselves to save the children and arrest Joe.
Injun Joe was able to track down Tom and Becky, who managed to flee away in a tunnel. After Becky escapes, Tom finds the hidden treasure chest where Emmett hid, only to be confronted by Injun Joe himself. Delighted that he has both Tom and the treasure to himself, Injun Joe attempt to kill Tom by stabbing him with a dagger, only for Huck to arrive to the rescue by kicking him. Recognizing Huck as Pap Finn's son, Injun Joe challenges him to a duel, to which Huck badly loses. As Injun Joe attempts to kill Huck, Tom distracts him by holding up the treasure chest, threatening to throw it into a deep chasm. Horrified by this, Injun Joe greedily grabs the chest, but ends up dangling towards the chasm, grabbing Tom's left sleeve to prevent himself from falling. While Huck manages to grab Tom's right arm, the left sleeve tears off, sending a screaming Injun Joe falling to his death in the chasm.
It was later revealed that Tom emptied the chest so that he can carry the coins out with his shirt. Tom and Huck then exit the cave, where they revealed the truth about the treasure and Injun Joe's death to the townspeople, who then praised them for their heroic deeds.
Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn
Injun Joe is cold-hearted, cruel, ruthless and very dangerous. Like the stereotypical Indian half-breeds, he is deeply antagonistic towards the town citizens. But he is also greedy, willing to kill people for money and/or treasure. He showed his greed in killing Doctor Robinson, who was trying to take the map to Murrell’s lost treasure. But like all villains, this greed leads to his downfall. When he saw Tom threaten to toss the treasure chest into the cave’s chasm, Injun Joe tried to get it back, only to fall to his doom in the end.
Injun Joe in disguise in The New Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn.
Actor Ted Cassidy as Live Action Injun Joe in the 60's cartoon.
Injun Joe was the final boss in the obscure JRPG Square's Tom Sawyer, a JRPG retelling of Tom Sawyer.
In the 1989 NES video game The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Tom dreams that Becky has fallen into the clutches of Injun Joe, and he has to save her.
At one point in the musical adaptation The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: The Musical, Injun Joe takes Becky hostage when she is in McDougal's Cave waiting for Tom to return safely.
Injun Joe is the main and recurring antagonist of the late 1960's hybrid live action/animated series, The New Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, produced by Hanna-Barbera. In it, Tom, Huck and Becky are chased by a vengeful Injun Joe for identifying him as a murderer. Ending up in a strange series of caves, the trio find themselves transported across time and space to different lands in history, fiction or legend. Injun Joe is always one step ahead of them, having somehow inserted himself into positions of authority in these time periods. Tom, Huck and Becky and their original time period are live action, while the eras and characters they visit are animated. In the first episode (only 20 were made), Injun Joe was played by perennial big guy actor Ted Cassidy, first in live action, then in animated form each time the trio encountered him in the past.