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Free Barron's Booknotes-The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
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CHAPTER 26

Posing as the men's valet-"valley" as he pronounces it-Huck is given a small room next to theirs for sleeping. After dinner, which is described with some humor, Huck finds himself in the kitchen with Joanna, the youngest sister.

She begins asking him questions about living in England, and Huck confidently shifts into the lying mode he is such a master of. But he's talking to someone who's bright and who knows something about England, and he soon finds that he's in over his head. He has to keep resorting to the pretense that he's choking on a chicken bone, to give himself time to think of ways out of his self-laid traps.

Mary Jane and Susan come into the kitchen as Joanna is expressing some doubt about the whopper Huck has just told her. They take her to task for being unkind to him, and Joanna offers him a touching apology.


This treatment makes him think again about what he's allowing the king and the duke to do, and he makes an important decision on the spot. He'll steal their money from the men and give it back to the girls.

While he's looking for the money, the men come upstairs and he has to hide behind a curtain. He overhears their conversation about selling the property that belongs to the girls, and he picks up a fact that will become very important before this swindle comes to an end.

With Huck listening, they hide the money inside a mattress and leave the room. Huck takes the money to his room and waits until everyone is asleep.

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