Illustration of a man on a dock facing the water

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain

Start Free Trial

Why is the King in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" concerned about the missing $415 from the Wilks' cellar gold?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The King, the Duke, and Huck are digging in the Wilks cellar, where there is supposed to be $6,000 in gold, but as they count, they see that $415 is missing. They speculate that the dead man had simply made a mistake, and the Duke isn't particularly worried since they have now have their hands on a huge pile of money.  But the King realizes that they will have to account for this money, and if they go back upstairs and there is money missing, they will be suspected of taking it. They certainly do want to take the money, but not with all the townspeople chasing after them as they do. After the King explains this, they make up the deficit with their own money.  This allows them to appear to be honest.  Because Mary Jane believes them to be honest, she actually gives them the entire $6,000 and tells them to invest the money for her and her sisters.  In the next chapters, the scam continues until Huck intervenes.   

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial