What is the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution for the Wilks episode of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After Huck and Jim rescue the two con men, the Duke and the King, the two con men immerse themselves in another scam. 


One day the king has Huck tie up the raft so that they can ride on a steamboat. On shore they meet a talkative young man who mistakes the king for Mr. Wilks, the brother of Peter Wilks who has just died.

"He most desperately wanted to see Harvey--and William, too,...because he was one of them kind that can't bear to make a will.

Interested, the king asks the young man all about the Wilks family, and he learns that the man has left three or four thousand dollars. 


The king and the duke arrive at the Wilks place and feign grief at learning that they have arrived too late. After the daughter Mary Jane produces her father's will, the two rapscallions "ransack" all around for the money; when they find it, they add $415.00 of their own to make the amount come to the six thousand cash that was written about in Wilks's letter.

The duke suggests making a show of giving the money to the girls in order to allay any suspicions about them. However, Doctor Robinson appears and accuses the king of being a fraud, telling the girls to turn their backs on the scoundrel. But, Mary Jane shows her faith in the king by handing him the $6000.00.

Later, Huck finds the bag of money and takes it, hiding it in the coffin of Peter Wilks. On the next day, the coffin is sealed and Huck does not know whether the rapscallions have found it; however, they later question Huck about its whereabouts. He convinces the king and the duke that the slave family has taken it. But after Huck finds Mary Jane crying because her "uncles" are liquidating the estate and the slaves will be separted from their family, Huck blurts out his secret.


When the real relatives arrive, and Dr. Robinson again denounces the king and the duke, who cannot produce the $6000.00, a lawyer who is a friend of Peter Wilks asks the two con men to write their names, because the real William cannot write because of his broken arm, and he also signs for the handicapped Havey, nothing can be proved. But, the real William says his brother has a tattoo on his chest. The undertaker declares that he has seen no such tattoo, but opens the coffin to reveal the $6,000.00. The mob is in a uproar.


Huck escapes the scene and he and Jim are happy to be relieved of the two con men until they sight the king and duke approaching in a boat. The duke nearly strangles Huck for his hiding of the gold.


The rapscallions escape the scene at the Wilks's, but they become hated figures to Huck and Jim. When Huck and the two con men go ashore after they have traveled a ways, Huck learns that Jim has been captured as a runaways slave. He resolves to find his friend, defying convention and just "go to hell" for his actions.

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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