Study Guide

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Chapter 21

By Mark Twain

Chapter 21

The Pilgrims

  • The pigs keep the Yankee from sleeping, while Sandy waits upon them like the princesses she believes them to be.
  • The Yankee is eager to return to Camelot, but Sandy wants to return the "princesses" to their homes. The Yankee says that he must report to the king, and Sandy provides him with an escape by claiming that the "princesses'" friends will come for them. (Presumably with hot crispy bacon on their minds.)
  • On the way back to Camelot, they come across a band of pilgrims heading toward a sacred fountain; they travel together for a while.
  • The party meets a second group of pilgrims who have come from the fountain. They are shackled in chains and driven by a slave trader.
  • One of the slaves stumbles from fatigue and the slaver beats her. The pilgrims in the Yankee's party marvel at how well he handles his whip… because that's clearly the moral imperative here.
  • The party arrives at a blacksmith's shop and the girl is pulled away from her husband—also in chains—to her new owner.
  • The party sleeps at a nearby inn, and in the morning, another one of the Yankee's advertising knights arrives, this one pushing a snazzy line of hats.
  • The knight reveals (with help from some of the pilgrims) that the fountain has stopped flowing. They sent for the Yankee to help, but since he was off questing with Sandy, Merlin went to the fountain instead. The rumble, it seems, is on.
  • The Yankee sends his knight back to Camelot, with instructions to bring some tools and two assistants to the fountain.