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After Huck and Tom are reunited in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, they sneak out of the Phelps' house and head for town to find out what happens to the duke and the king on the third night of their performance stand. Tom and Huck arrive just in time to see the duke and king being carried out of town on rails after the mob of townspeople has had their opportunity to express their opinion of their acting abilities.
as they went by, I see they had the king and the duke astraddle of a rail-that is, I knowed it was the king and the duke, though they was all over tar and feathers, and didn't look like nothing in the world that was human-just looked like a couple of monstrous big soldier-plumes.
In spite of everything they had said and done, in spite of the way in which they had treated Huck and Jim, Huck felt "sorry for them poor pitiful rascals" and reflects on the cruelty with which people treat each other at times in thinking about how the mob treated the duke and king.
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