The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


Chapter 29 to Chapter 35

Chapter 29

The new pair of Wilks brothers is somewhat more convincing than the imposters pretending to be them (especially since their accents seem much more real). However, because the deaf and dumb brother has injured his arm, he cannot sign, and because they have lost their luggage they cannot prove their identities.

An investigation begins, led by the lawyer, who is intelligent and was a friend of the late Mr. Wilks. He compares the handwriting of the duke and the king with letters actually written by the Wilks brothers and shows everyone that the handwriting does not match. However, the handwriting of the new Wilks arrivals does not match either, and the new Harvey Wilks explains that his brother always copied his letters since no one could read his own handwriting. But, again, bearing out this testimony is impossible, since the deaf and dumb Wilks has injured his writing hand.

The lawyer even attempts to question Huck and asks him if he is really from England. Huck attempts to lie his way through it, but the lawyer is not deceived and tells the boy he is not a very good liar and that, ironically, he must not have much practice with it. The truth, however, is that Huck does not have much practice lying to intelligent people. He does, on the other hand, have a lot of experience (and success) lying to ignorant people.

Finally, the new arrivals hit upon a way to prove their identities: Harvey Wilks asks the king what is tattooed on the late Mr. Wilks breast. Both the duke and the king look defeated, but nonetheless, the king states that it is a small thin arrow that is tattooed there. The new Harvey Wilks cries out that it is, rather, his brother’s initials. The lawyer decides there is only one way to settle it: they must dig up the corpse.

The whole town follows to the cemetery and when the coffin is exhumed, the bag of gold is discovered, in their excitement to see, the crowd allows Huck to slip away and escape. He runs all the way back to the raft and believes that he and Jim are finally free...

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