American Literature books summary

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In Chapter Twenty-four, Jim complains about having to wait, frightened, in the boat, tied up (to avoid suspicion) while the others are gone. So the Duke dresses Jim in a calico stage robe and blue face paint, and posts a sign, "Sick Arab{but harmless when not out of his head." Ashore and dressed up in their newly bought clothes, the Dauphin decides to make a big entrance by steamboat into the next town. The Dauphin calls Huck "Adolphus," and encounters a talkative young man who tells him about the recently deceased Peter Wilks. Wilks sent for his two brothers from Shefield, England: Harvey, whom he had not seen since he was five, and William, who is deaf-mute. He has left all his property to his brothers, though it seems uncertain whether they will ever arrive. The Dauphin gets the young traveler, who is en route to Rio de Janeiro, to tell him everything about the Wilks. In Wilks' town, they ask after Peter Wilks, pretending anguish when told of his death. The Dauphin even makes strange hand signs to the Duke. "It was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race," Huck thinks.

A crowd gathers before Wilks' house in Chapter Twenty-five, as the Duke and Dauphin share a tearful meeting with the three Wilks daughters. The entire town then joins in the "blubbering." "I never see anything so disgusting," Huck thinks. Wilks' letter (which he left instead of a will) leaves the house and three thousand dollars to his daughters, and to his brothers, three thousand dollars, plus a tan-yard and seven thousand dollars in real estate. The Duke and Dauphin privately count the money, adding four-hundred fifteen dollars of their own money when the stash comes up short of the letter's six-thousand, for appearances. They then give it all to the Wilks women in a great show before a crowd of townspeople. Doctor Abner Shackleford, an old friend of the deceased, interrupts to declare them frauds, their accents ridiculously phony. He asks Mary Jane, the oldest Wilks sister, to listen to him as a friend and turn the impostors out. In reply, she hands the Dauphin the six thousand dollars to invest however he sees fit.

Chapters 26-28 Summary

Huck has supper with Joanna, a Wilks sister he refers to as "the Harelip" ("Cleft lip," a birth defect she possesses). She cross-examines Huckleberry on his knowledge of England. He makes several slips, forgetting he is supposedly from Shefield, and that the Dauphin is supposed to be a Protestant minister.

Finally she asks whether he hasn't made the entire thing up. Mary Jane and Susan interrupt and instruct Joanna to be courteous to their guest. She graciously apologizes. Huck feels awful about letting such sweet women be swindled. He resolves to get them their money. He goes to the Duke and Dauphin's room to search for the money, but hides when they enter. The Duke wants to leave that very night, but the Dauphin convinces him to stay until they have stolen all the family's property. After they leave, Huckleberry takes the gold to his sleeping cubby, and then sneaks out late at night.

Huck hides the sack of money in Wilks' coffn in Chapter Twenty-seven, as Mary Jane, crying, enters the front room. Huck doesn't get another opportunity to safely remove the money, and feels dejected that the Duke and Dauphin will likely get it back. The funeral the next day is briefly interrupted by the racket the dog is making down cellar. The undertaker slips out, and after a "whack" is heard from downstairs, the undertaker returns, whispering loudly to the preacher, "He had a rat!" Huck remarks how the rightfully popular undertaker satisfied the people's natural curiosity.

Huck observes with horror as the undertaker seals the coffn without looking inside. Now he will never know whether the money was stolen from the coffn, or if he should write Mary Jane to dig up the coffn for it.

Saying he will take the Wilks' family to England, the Dauphin sells off the estate and the slaves. He sends a mother to New Orleans and her two sons to Memphis. The scene at the grief-stricken family's separation is heart-rending. But Huck comforts himself that they will be reunited in a week or so when the Duke and Dauphin are exposed. When questioned by the Duke and Dauphin, Huck blames the loss of the six thousand dollars on the slaves they just sold, making the two regret the deed.

Huck finds Mary Jane crying in her bedroom in Chapter Twenty-eight. All joy regarding the trip to England has been destroyed by the thought of the slave mother and children never seeing each other again. Touched, Huck unthinkingly blurts out that the family will be reunited in less than two weeks. Mary Jane, overjoyed, asks Huck to explain. Huck is uneasy, having little experience telling the truth while in a predicament. He tells Mary Jane the truth, but asks her to wait at a relative's house until eleven that night to give him time to get away, since the fate of another person hangs in the balance. He tells her about the Royal Nonesuch incident, saying that town will provide witnesses against the frauds. He instructs her to leave without seeing her "uncles," since her innocent face would give away their secret. He leaves her a note with the location of the money. She promises to remember him forever, and pray for him. Though Huck will never see her again, he will think of her often. Huck meets Susan and Joanna, and says Mary Jane has gone to see a sick relative. Joanna cross-examines him about this, but he manages to trick them into staying quiet about the whole thing{almost as well as Tom Sawyer would have. But later, the auction is interrupted by a mob{ bringing the real Harvey and William Wilks!

Реферат опубликован: 31/07/2007