Study Guide

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Chapter 24

By Mark Twain

Chapter 24

A Rival Magician

  • The Yankee decides to use the restoration of the fountain to further his campaign for cleanliness, and promises to rebuild the fountain so that the waters will never run dry again.
  • He and his team rebuild the baths around the fountain, creating a pool of ever-flowing water suitable for swimming.
  • After a brief bout with a cold, the Yankee decides to disguise himself as a peasant and travel the countryside to see how the poor and downtrodden live.
  • During a morning walk he finds a hermit's cave, and when he enters it, he hears the ring of a bell and the phrase "Hello Central! Is this you, Camelot?" He realizes that one of his engineers has set up a telephone office.
  • The Yankee has the operator call Camelot and speak to Clarence. The boy says that King Arthur is on his way to the fountain… and has begun raising a large army. We're not sure why, but hey—he's the king and that's a pretty kingly thing to do.
  • The Yankee sends an order to the head of his military academy, and then asks Clarence to send him paper, writing implements, and matches.
  • He then returns to the monastery to find another magician from the Far East.
  • The Yankee promises the magician 200 silver pennies if he can accurately state what Hank is doing with his right hand. When the man can't tell him, the Yankee calls him a fraud.
  • The magician then claims he can see King Arthur sleeping in Camelot, but Hank the Yank tells him he knows he's lying since he can see the King and Queen riding.
  • He then asks the magician where the king and queen are riding to, and the magician says they ride north. The Yankee—again—calls him a liar and says that the king is coming to the fountain.
  • The king arrives just as the Yankee predicted and the magician is run out of the valley on a rail. (Literally in this case: the Yankee actually built a rail.)

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