Chapters 26 and 27 Summary and Analysis
After Dr. Robinson leaves, Mary Jane takes the visitors up to their rooms. The duke is assigned the spare room, Huck will sleep in the garret or attic, and the king is given Mary Jane’s room.
At supper that night, Huck is obligated to stand behind the king and the duke and wait on them since he is posing as their servant. The women make degrading comments about their own cooking in order to draw compliments from their guests. Huck and Joanna eat later in the kitchen. The charade is nearly exposed as she questions him about England. His information is sketchy at best, and he often contradicts himself. While Joanna is accusing him of lying, Mary Jane and Susan step into the room and immediately jump to his defense. Mary Jane reprimands Joanna for making Huck feel ashamed and forces her to apologize. Huck is so impressed with her kindness that he asks himself, “this is a girl that I’m letting that old reptile rob her of her money?” He feels “ornery” and “low down” for not telling them about the king’s fraudulent intent. Finally he can stand it no longer, so he makes up his mind to get their money back from the king and the duke, no matter what. He thinks of several ways to get the money, but for the sake of the girls and for his own safety as well as Jim’s, he does not dare take chances. He finally realizes that he will need to steal the money in such a way that they will not suspect him.
He hides among Mary Jane’s gowns in the king’s room. After the king and duke enter the room he eavesdrops while they are discussing their plans. Nervous about Dr. Robinson’s suspicions, the duke wants to take the money and run, but the king has other ideas. He plans to stay long enough to sell the property. The duke finally agrees to stay. He inadvertently reveals the hiding place of the bag of gold. To keep it safe from the servants they decide to move it from the closet to the featherbed. Huck grabs it immediately after they leave the room and takes it up to his garret. That night, after everyone is in bed, he tries to sneak outside to hide the money in the yard but finds the front door locked. When he hears someone coming, he quickly hides the money under the lid of the coffin, hoping to retrieve it later. Desperately, he tries to see whether the money is still in the coffin the next day, but someone is always around. Uncertainty about the money plagues him as they bury Mr. Wilks.
The king and the duke promise that they will take the girls to England to live with them. They are in a hurry to return so they convince them to sell the property immediately. The day after the funeral the king sells the slaves and splits the family in two. Both the Wilks girls and their servants are grief-stricken, not realizing that the whole thing is a sham. Since the sale is not legal the slaves will soon be back.
On the day of the auction the king and duke suddenly discover that the bag of gold, worth six thousand dollars, is missing. Huck pushes the blame onto the servants since he knows they are already gone and will not be harmed by the accusation.
Discussion and Analysis
In these chapters Huck’s humanitarian effort to help the Wilks girls is significant in his human development. He is extremely fond of Mary Jane and her sisters and feels morally obligated to recover their money since they will need it later on for their livelihood. As we have seen in his relationship to Jim, Huck’s morality is based on his natural instincts and shows a...
(The entire section is 977 words.)