Study Guide

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 24

By Mark Twain

Advertisement - Guide continues below

Chapter 24

  • The cons dress up Jim as an Arab (or "A-rab") so he won't be discovered as a runaway slave.
  • Still, in case the outfit isn't enough (they used some of the props from their King Lear supplies), they put a sign on him that says "Sick Arab—but harmless when not out of his head."
  • Well, that ought to take care of it.
  • The two con men are ready to try the The Royal Nonesuch gig again, but they're afraid news of the scam might have spread along the river by now.
  • Yeah, considering all the lynching-talk, we'd be worried about that, too.
  • The king decides he'll just drop into the next village and "trust in Providence" to lead him the right way.
  • He and Huck dress themselves up nicely in some new clothes and decide to arrive in town by steamboat, for appearance's sake.
  • Pretty soon, they run into a young man from the country who takes them toward the boat and spills all the town gossip on the way.
  • Turns out, a wealthy man named Peter Wilks has just died. While he was sick, he had sent for his brothers William (who is deaf and mute) and Harvey (a preacher in England).
  • But they haven't shown up yet, which means they missed the chance to say good-bye to their brother before he died.
  • Still in town, however, are Peter's three nieces: Mary Jane (nineteen), Susan (fifteen), and Joanna (fourteen, has a harelip).
  • The king is super interested (mostly because dead people equals money, in the inheritance sense) and pumps this guy for all the information he's got.
  • When they get to the steamboat, the king hangs back.
  • He sends Huck to fetch the duke, and a new plot commences.
  • Can you tell where this is going? Yeah.
  • The duke and king decide to play the part of the dead man's brothers. They travel to town and make a big stink about the fact that Peter died before they arrived. (The king is playing the part of the preacher, with a British accent and all, and the duke plays William, the deaf mute.)
  • Watching the two men blubber on and lament their dear, beloved dead "brother," Huck comments that, "it was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race" (24.49).
  • Well said, Huck.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...