Study Guide

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Chapter 37

By Mark Twain

Chapter 37

An Awful Predicament

  • The Yankee spends the night in jail before appearing before the judge in the morning.
  • He claims that he is a slave and had been sent to fetch the doctor for his master, who is ill. The court sets him free... because the court apparently doesn't care about evidence or plausibility.
  • He returns to the slave quarters, only to find Arthur and the other slaves gone.
  • A passing peasant tells him that, when he discovered the Yankee missing, the slave driver began beating the other slaves. They rose up against him and killed him, so they now face execution for the murder.
  • The Yankee goes to the wire he saw earlier—a telegraph line—and asks them to call Camelot. He tells Clarence to send Launcelot along with a contingent of knights.
  • He then begins filching bits of clothes to improve his appearance, but he's spotted by one of his fellow slaves and clapped back in irons.
  • The Yankee is told that they will all be executed that day… long before Launcelot and the knights could arrive. Once again, a shortened timetable harshes his mellow.