The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Chapter 26 - Summary & Analysis

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      The imposters are made comfortable in the house. Mary Jane, the eldest sister, gives her own room for one of the "uncles". She doesn't mind sharing her sisters room and sleeping on a cot.

      After an uneventful supper, when the others are busy winding up the leftovers, the hare-lipped sister, Joanna, bombards Huck with a deluge of questions about his life in England and if he had ever seen the King of England. His convoluted answers evoke her suspicion and she makes him swear on what Huck surreptitiously observes is a Dictionary. Now that Huck knows he is not made to swear by the Holy Bible, he does not feel guilty about making false claims. Mary Jane and Susan happen to overhear the fuss and admonish their sister for being impolite towards a guest. They feel that it is wrong and indecorous for a host to speak in this vein. Mary Jane and Susan empathize with Huck because he is away from his own land and his people. Though Joanna says that her sister is always ready to help anybody before he gets hurt, she apologizes to Huck in the sweetest possible way. Huck is touched by their sentiments and chides himself for letting the two swindlers deceive the "poor sweet lambs"; He resolves to salvage the situation for them.

      He contemplates on what his plan of action should be. At first, he decides to go to the doctor and expose the villains to him. Then, fearing that the doctor might reveal his identity to the frauds, he decides against it. His next thought is to go directly to Mary Jane and tell her. Deducing that her face would let the entire secret out, he decides against this as well. He is prudent enough to anticipate that, since the king and duke have the money, at the slightest inkling of a revelation of their secret, they might flee with the money. Finally, he decides to steal the money and give it to the rightful owners.

      While Huck is hiding in the King's room, looking for the money, he overhears the two rogues discuss their next plan of action. While the Duke wants to get away with what they have already got their hands on, the King is greedier. The latter wants to auction all the "saleable stuff". After deciding how they would go ahead, they hide the money in a spot that, according to them, is safer. Huck quickly takes it out and runs down the ladder to hide it outside the house.

The imposters are made comfortable in the house. Mary Jane, the eldest sister, gives her own room for one of the "uncles". She doesn't mind sharing her sisters room and sleeping on a cot.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Chapter 26


      The concern, shown by Mary Jane and Susan, helps Huck reinforce his resolve to be truthful towards the sisters and help them. He thinks, "I says to myself, this is another one that I'm letting him rob her of her money. And when she got through they all jest laid theirselves out to make me feel at home and know I was amongst friends. I felt so ornery and low down and mean that I says to myself, my mind's made up; I'll hive that money for them or bust". He is feeling more and more sickened with the pretense of the "King" and the "Duke". It is worthy of note that, once again, Huck demonstrates his "Christianity". He gives a false vow to Joanna, the hare lipped sister, only because he is able to notice that the book, by which she wants him to swear, is only a dictionary and not the Holy Bible. Moreover, unlike the Duck and the King, Huck is not thankless. He respects and values the hospitality of the Wilks' sisters and feels that he owes them a revelation of the truth. The two frauds are absolutely thankless towards the girls' hospitality.

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