Book Notes Chapter 24 Notes from Huckleberry Finn

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Huckleberry Finn Chapter 24

The King and the Duke want to try the Nonesuch play again, but they are afraid that the towns down the river will have heard the news from the last town. Jim asks if there is a way for him to contribute, instead of staying on the raft tied up (to make it look like he was captured for the reward). In response, the Duke paints his face blue, dresses him in a King Lear outfit, and posts a sign by the wigwam that says "Sick Arab-but harmless when not out of his head." This should keep people away from him.

They all get new clothes and get dressed really nice. The King and Huck get into the canoe and come across a man who tells them all about the late Peter Wilks. The man asks the King if he is Harvey Wilks, the preacher from England and Peter Wilks' brother, who he hasn't seen in years. The King tells him he is Reverend Alexander Blodgett. The man also tells the King that Peter Wilks had wanted to see his brothers Harvey and William (the younger being deaf and dumb) before he died. They sent a letter to Harvey in England but no one has heard from him. Supposedly, there is a will made out to Harvey explaining how Peter's estate is to be divided amongst some nieces (Mary Jane, Susan, and Joanna). It tells where he hid all of his money ($3000-$4000 in cash) too.

The King tells Huck to go and get the Duke and bring him over. When the Duke gets there, the King tells him everything that the young man told him about the Wilks family. As the King practices an English accent, he asks the Duke how he is at playing deaf and dumb. Together, they take a boat up a couple of miles and ask some strangers where Peter Wilks lives. The townspeople inform the King of Peter Wilks' death; the King cries and says that he was his brother. All of the people feel so sorry for the King and the Duke. It makes Huck sick of the human race to see such liars.

"Well, if I ever struck anything like it, I'm a nigger. It was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race." Chapter 24, pg. 178

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