Study Guide

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Chapter 30

By Mark Twain

Chapter 30

The Tragedy of the Manor-House

  • By midnight, the mother dies too, and the Yankee and the king cover the family's bodies as best they can. They cannot be buried because the Church has forbidden it.
  • As they leave the hut, the couple's sons arrive and knock on the door while announcing that they are free. Hank and Arthur hide and slip away before the sons discover their dead family… because, you know, it would be awkward.
  • Once they are away, the Yankee supposes that the two men escaped their lord; Arthur wants to recapture them and return them to imprisonment.
  • They spot a distant fire in the night and move toward it. It turns out to be a manor house on fire, surrounded by hanged bodies and men fleeing for their lives; they leave before anyone spots them.
  • At a peasant's hut a few miles down the road, they ask what happened at the manor house, and the couple in the hut tells them that the house burned down, but the family was saved… all except the master, who was found stabbed to death.
  • The people suspected a mistreated family for the crime, and gathered them and hung them.
  • The Yankee asks why no one released the prisoners when the house was on fire, and the peasants look puzzled that anyone would even trouble their heads about prisoners; the Yankee compares the situation to that of slavery in the American South.
  • The Yankee and the king set out with the peasant man to find the people responsible for the fire, and once they are on the road, the Yankee tells the peasant that the manor lord got what he deserved, and the man agrees. At least some things are easy to resolve.