Comprehensive Summary and Review of
The new performance plays to a capacity audience and the people are delighted
when the Dauphin appears on stage in the nude. Since there is no story attached
to this performance, the show ends after a few moments. Even though the people
are furious and almost attack the Duke and the Dauphin, they are too embarrassed
at having been taken in by scam artists and don't reveal the incident to the
rest of the town. As a result, the town considers the show to be a hit and
the second performance is a sell out as well. The third performance takes
on a different scenario as the audience comes to get revenge. The Duke realizes
the situation and the group makes a quick getaway on the raft before the show
starts. From the three-night run, they took in four-hundred sixty-five dollars.
Even though Huck isn't overly comfortable with this, he doesn't share his
misgivings with Jim.
The men spend some the money on getting a new wardrobe for everyone in preparation
for their next scheme. They plan to make a grand entrance by steamboat into
the next town and see whom they might meet. They encounter a young man who
was just leaving town for Rio de Janeiro. He tells them a story about a well
to do man who has recently died and left his property to two brothers who
were coming from Sheffield, England.
After finding out more details, The Duke and the Dauphin decide to pretend
that they are Wilks' brothers and try to claim the fortune. They have a tearful
reunion with the three Wilks daughters and Huck feels that, "It was enough
to make a body ashamed of the human race." They then get down to business
and discuss the terms of the letter which Wilks left instead of a will. He
divided his fortune between his daughters and his brothers. When the men hear
this, they give their share to the Wilks girls to make a good impression on
everyone. At that moment an old friend steps forward to warn Mary Jane, the
oldest Wilks daughter, that in his opinion the men were frauds and that they
should not be trusted. She disregards this warning and shows her trust by
giving all the money to the Dauphin with the request to invest it however
he sees fit.
The antics that are performed by the duke and the dauphin and the scams that
they perform, allow Twain to express his aversion to royalty and what it represents.