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Chapter 31 Notes from Huckleberry Finn

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Huckleberry Finn Chapter 31

They all make their way down the river and into the south where it is warm. The King and the Duke start planning and scheming and this makes Huck nervous; he thinks they are going to rob some houses in the villages along the river. Huck decides that when he gets his first chance, he will break away from the King and the Duke; he and Jim will finally be free of them.

The King goes into one of the towns, and tells the Duke and Huck to meet him up there shortly. When they get up there, they see the King acting drunk. Huck runs away at his first chance and makes his way back down to the raft. When he gets there, he is so excited and yells out to Jim, but to his surprise Jim is gone.

Huck walks down the road, thinking about what do, and he runs into a young boy who tells him that some people caught the runaway slave and he is down at Silas Phelps' house. After talking with the boy, Huck realizes that the King told of Jim's location for forty dollars. Huck is extremely angry with the King and Duke for doing this to Jim. He doesn't know what to do. He thinks about writing a letter to Miss Watson but then decides against it because it will only get him in trouble and make Jim look like an ungrateful slave.

Huck tries to pray but can't because he thinks he is too sinful and low-down. He decides to write the letter after all, and then to try and pray. That works, but after he finishes, he tears up the letter and decides that he would rather steal Jim out of slavery than reform to be a "good" person.

Huck shoves off for a little island, hides the raft, and sleeps. He wakes up, puts on fresh clothes, and canoes over to the shore, to the Phelps' farm. He plans on walking in, looking like he just came from town. When he gets to town, he runs into the Duke putting up a "Royal Nonesuch" handbill. They talk for a while about the location of the raft and Jim. Huck makes like he has no clue what has happened and the Duke tells him that the King sold Jim for forty dollars. Huck cries and asks where he can find him. The Duke is about to tell him the truth, but lies instead, telling Huck that Jim is with a man named Abram G. Foster, a slave owner who lives forty miles back in the country. The Duke figures that this will keep Huck occupied and out of their hair for a while. Huck pretends to start walking there, but when he gets about a mile into the woods, he turns around and makes his way back to the Phelps' farm. Now, he can work out his plan to rescue Jim without the King and the Duke around.

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