Study Guide

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Chapter 17

By Mark Twain

Chapter 17

A Royal Banquet

  • Morgan wants to see the Yankee give a demonstration of his powers and kill somebody—though you'd think he could come up with something less permanent—but is interrupted by a call to prayer. Close one.
  • A banquet is held after prayers, marked by wild boar, copious amount of booze, and naughty stories.
  • An old woman interrupts the party, claiming that Morgan has killed her grandchildren. Morgan orders the old woman burned at the stake, which seems a little harsh, but hey—Morgan is evil.
  • The Yankee isn't willing to speak up about the incident, but Sandy rises and claims that if the woman isn't freed, the Yankee will destroy the castle.
  • Too afraid of the Yankee to challenge him, Morgan agrees to release the old woman. The assembled guests stampede toward the exit, afraid that the Yankee might destroy the castle anyway.
  • Morgan continues to charm the Yankee with her silvery voice, then takes him to see a man being tortured on the rack… while his wife and child are present. In case it wasn't abundantly clear: do not mess with Morgan.
  • The man is accused of killing a stag on the royal preserves, and his accuser remains anonymous.
  • Hank the Yank claims that everyone deserves to confront their accuser, to which Morgan responds by claiming that if the man dies on the rack without confessing, then his innocence is assured.
  • The Yankee asks to be allowed to speak to the prisoner privately, and once alone with him, asks to hear his side of the story. The man claims that he killed the deer to feed his family, but refused to confess lest they be tortured too.
  • The Yankee promises to have them freed and sent to his factory.

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