Mark Twain – Huckleberry Finn, Chapters 29-32

Ch. 29 – Contested Relationship — The King Explains the Loss — A Question of Handwriting — Digging up the Corpse — Huck Escapes

  • The 2nd pair of gentlemen seemed very nice. The 2nd William had his right arm in a sling. Everyone laughed at the sight of them. Huck figured the king & duke would crumble at the sight of them but they kept up the act. The older gentlemen spoke like a real Englishman & spoke.
    • He hadn’t expected such a to do in their arrival. They weren’t prepared to deal with it because his brother had broken his arm & they’d lost their luggage. He’d be able to prove they were the real brothers once their bags arrived.
    • The king said the broken arm & lost bags were too convenient & laughed. Others join in. But the doctor & a lawyer, Levi Bell, who’d been away when the affair started, didn’t believe the king was was Harvey. They quizzed him on how he’d gotten there. After the king answered, Bell claimed someone saw him arrive on a canoe with a boy. A man in the crowd identified the boy to be Huck.
  • The doctor said the 2nd pair may or may not be the real brothers but the 2st pair definitely were not. They took all 4 over to the hotel to investigate the matter.
    • The first pair, Bell said, surely wouldn’t mind handing over the money for safe keeping while the investigation tried to figure out if they were the real brothers. The king said he’d put it in a mattress but the slaves stole it. He pointed to Huck to back him up, which he did.
    • The investigation carried on for hours. Both the king & the other man spoke. They asked Huck to speak. He did about Sheffield & working for the Wilkses. Levi told him he was a terrible liar.
    • The doctor & Levi had the king & old man write something on paper & tried to compare them to letters sent to Peter. But neither one of them matched. The old man said his brother wrote them for him but couldn’t write because his arm was broken.
      • The new old asked to bring in someone who’d prepared Peter’s body for burial He knew what was tattooed on Peter’s chest. The king said it was a thin blue arrow. The other Harvey said it was his initials, P.B.W. Nobody there saw either tattoo.
    • Levi jumped up & said the only way to be sure was to dig up the corpse & look at it. The crowd stated if any one of them was wrong, they’d lynch them. This made Huck nervous.
      • They all went to the graveyard. There were plenty of shovels but nobody had brought a lantern. A man ran to the nearest house to get one while the others began to dig. It even started to rain but no one noticed.
      • They got to the coffin & unscrewed the lid. They saw that there was a bag of gold on Peter’s chest. Huck saw this & took off because everyone stopped paying attention to him. He walked by Mary Jane’s house & saw a candle in the window.
    • He walked down to get his canoe & rowed over to the raft. Jim was excited to see him. They floated downstream. Huck celebrated being free of the king & duke. But then he saw them rowing up to them in a skiff.

Ch. 30 – The King Went for Him — A Royal Row — Powerful Mellow

  • The king & duke got aboard & the king grabbed Huck, yelling at him for giving them the slip. Huck made up something about one man in the mob telling him to get out of town as quickly as possible. So he took off in the canoe to get to the raft.
    • The king threatened to drown him but the duke stepped in & said he would’ve done the same. The king was to blame for everything. The story about the blue arrow bought them time but they’d been put in jail if the Englishmen weren’t in a peculiar position.
    • The king muttered he thought the slaves took the money. The duke mocked him & it started a fight a between them. The duke thought the king would run off with the money. The king confessed to taking the money. The 2 made up with each other & started to drink. Once the 2 passed out, Huck told Jim what had happened.

Ch. 31 – Ominous Plans — News from Jim — Old Recollections — A Sheep Story — Valuable Information

  • They floated down for a few days. The weather was warmer & the flora started to change. Meanwhile the frauds began to plan a new scheme in a new town.
    • They tried a lecture on temperance but didn’t even make enough to get drunk enough. They started a dancing school despite not knowing how to dance. They tried teaching “yellocution” but caused the students to leave & curse at them. They tried religion, hypnotism, doctoring, fortune-telling – all without any luck. They were broke & depressed.
    • They went into the wigwam for a while to dream something up. Huck & Jim feared they’d com up with something evil & promised not to have anything to do with it.
    • They puller over to a small town, Pikesville, to find out if they’d heard of the Royal Nonesuch show. The duke stayed with Huck & Jim by the raft. But the duke got nervous & took Huck to go look for the king. A few hours later, they found him in a dirty bar arguing with the locals. The duke laid into him. It was obvious the king was too drunk to walk. They started fighting * Huck saw his chance to lose him & ran to the raft. He called out to Jim to let the raft loose – but he wasn’t there
      • He asked a boy if he’d seen a weird black guy hanging around a raft. The boy told him he was at Silas Phelps’s place because he was a runaway. There’d been a weird old guy with a poster with Jim’s face on it stating there was a $200 reward for him. Silas paid the man $40 for it.
    • Huck went back to the raft to sit down & think. He didn’t see how he was going to get out of the current mess. They’d done so much for those thieves & they thanked him by selling Jim to strangers. Huck believed it was better for Jim to be a slave at home where his family was. He decided to write a letter to Tom Sawyer & Miss Watson about what happened to tell her Jim was near Pikesville & Mr. Phelps was willing to give him back for a reward.
    • Huck felt clean for a moment but got to thinking about all his time spent with Jim. He was the only friend he had in the world & decided he’d got to hell & continue the wickedness of helping Jim. He’d go steal Jim out of slavery.
  • Huck took the raft & headed towards Phelps’s farm. He put some clothes & things in a bag, & took a canoe to the shore.
    • He walked up to a sign saying “Phelp’s Sawmill,” At this point, it was daylight. The first man he saw was the duke who was putting up a bill for the Royal Nonesuch show. The duke spoke nicely to him. Huck said he’d been helping a man find his lost sheep for a dime. When he’d come back, the raft & Jim were gone.
    • The duke said the king had made a $40 trade & spent all the money on whiskey. They figured he’d taken off with the raft. They considered Jim their slave too. When the raft was gone, they made plans for the show.
    • Huck gave him the dime & asked him to spend it on food & give him some. The duke was nervous that Huck or Jim would rat on them. He told Huck that the king sold Jim & kept the money for himself. Huck was upset but the duke said it was no use – Jim was gone. Huck wasn’t going to rat on him, he just wanted Jim back.
      • The duke wanted him to promised not to rat – Huck did. He started to say “Silas Ph-” & then stopped, waited & said “Abram G. Foster” about 40 miles away on the road to Lafayette. The duke told him to move along & keep his mouth shut. Huck walked off about a mile & doubled back towards Phelps’s farm.

Ch. 32 – Still and Sunday-like — Mistaken Identity — Up a Stump — In a Dilemma

  • Huck arrived at the sleepy plantation with a garden & cotton fields around the back. He approached the house from behind & he became surrounded by dogs barking & howling at him. A slave woman came out with a rolling pin shouting out at the dogs until they ran off. Half of them came back wagging their tails.
    • Then out came a white woman about 40-45 years old followed by her children. She asked Huck if it was “him”. Before he could ask how, he said “yes”. She hugged him with tears rolling down her cheeks. She said he didn’t look as much like his mother as she’d imagined. She told the kids that this was their cousin Tom.
    • The kids were shy. She asked if he’d eaten breakfast on the boat. He said, “Yes, ma’am”, & she asked him to call her Aunt Sally. She also asked where the boat had landed. He hesitated, not knowing where he was or what direction he’d been coming from. He made u a story of there being mechanical problems & Aunt Sally started riffing on about boat accidents.
      • She said he must’ve run into Silas who’d been going to town every day to see if he’d come. Huck said he’d hidden his bags so they’d be safe. He wanted to know who the kids were but Aunt Sally kept going on & on. She wanted to know about Sis & everyone else.
      • He didn’t know what to say. God had brought him this for but the rest was up to him. As he was about to tell her the truth, she grabbed him & put him in a bedroom as a prank on Silas, who was just getting back.
    • The old man said he wasn’t there & didn’t know what had become of the boy. Sally said he must’ve missed him on the road. & up popped Huck – & Silas said – “It’s Tom Sawyer!” Before he could stop them, both the man & woman were dancing & singing. They asked him tons of questions.
      • Being Tom Sawyer was easy for him until he heard a steamboat on the river, & asked himself – what if Tom Sawyer was on that boat. He was going to up the road before Tom could get in. He said he was going to get his bags alone.


Author: knowit68

Leave a Reply