Study Guide

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 11

By Mark Twain

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Chapter 11

  • Huck comes up with a fun little name and story: he—ahem, she—is Sarah Williams, his/her mother is sick, etc., etc.
  • The woman is a chatty bird and tells "Sarah" all about the big news in town: the murder of Huck Finn.
  • At first, she says, everyone thought Huck's Pap was the man responsible, but then they decided it was Jim, since he ran away on the same night of the murder.
  • There's a reward out for both men: $200 for Pap, who ran away, afraid of getting lynched, and $300 for Jim.
  • But woman is sure that Huck's father will wait for the murder business to die down, come back after about a year, and get Huck's $6,000 cool as you please.
  • Oh, and the hunting party is going to check out Jackson's Island this very night, since she's recently seen smoke coming from that direction.
  • Huck gets all nervous and fidgety. The woman isn't as naïve as she seems, and she asks for the girl's name again. Huck answers: "Mary Williams."
  • Oops.
  • He backtracks quickly and clarifies: Mary is his middle name, so he sometimes goes by that.
  • The woman goes back to talking about herself and her family and her personal problems, and the two of them have some fun throwing lead at the various rats infesting her house.
  • Unfortunately, Huck does an all-around awful job of acting like a girl, and the jig is up. The woman calls him out, saying she knows he is a runaway apprentice.
  • Huck is all, "Aw, shucks, you caught me" and spins another yarn about being mistreated.
  • Still, the women isn't yet satisfied. She asks Huck a series of questions about country life to test his new story.
  • Of course, Huck knows all about cows and horses and so on, so he passes with flying colors.
  • The woman, who finally introduces herself as Mrs. Judith Loftus, tells "George Peters" (Huck's new fake name) that next time he wants to pretend to be a girl, he should thread a needle properly.
  • Good advice, lady. Meanwhile, Huck hauls it back to Jackson's Island and tells Jim that they have to get out.

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