Study Guide

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 29

By Mark Twain

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Chapter 29

  • The duke and the king double down. Instead of folding, they insist the newcomers are the frauds.
  • The townspeople, now thoroughly disgruntled and confused, can't tell who to trust.
  • Lawyer Levi Bell and a big hulking man with no name grill the newly arrived brothers for a while, but they aren't satisfied either way.
  • In the meantime, they say, why don't the duke and king hand over the bag of money until they can figure things out?
  • Uh, there is no money. See, the slaves stole it just before they were sold.
  • Naturally, no one believes the king and duke. They start questioning Huck, who tries to tell them stories about England and this time fails miserably in his lying.
  • They take out some old letters that Peter Wilks had saved; letters from his brother Harvey.
  • Now comes a handwriting test. Unfortunately, neither the king nor the real Harvey can match the writing.
  • The real Harvey explains that the letters were written by William and therefore not in his own hand. Rather inconveniently, the real William has a broken hand and can't supply a writing sample.
  • The real Harvey then has a brilliant idea—he knows what was tattooed on his brother's chest; does the king know?
  • Although it is clearly time to fold the hand and leave the table, the king won't give up. He responds that it is a thin, blue arrow.
  • The real Harvey says that no, it was actually Peter's initials (P-B-W).
  • The guys who buried the body don't recall noticing any ink job, so clearly the only thing to do is dig up the body.
  • Everyone marches to the graveyard.
  • Of course, the first thing they find when they open the coffin is the bag of gold.
  • Huck is all, "Later!" and runs away as fast as he can. While he's sprinting by the house, he sees the light in the window, which means Mary Jane is home and can soon clear up matters.
  • He makes it to the raft, where apparently Jim has been hanging out all this time, still dressed as a King-Lear-era Arab.
  • They push off. Free at last!
  • Aaaand, the duke and king show up moments later in a skiff and join the raft.
  • Not cool.

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