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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES
CHAPTER 25: All Full of Tears and Flapdoodle
The news that Peter Wilks’ brothers have arrived is all over town in a few minutes, and everybody comes out to have a look at the new arrivals. When the Duke and the Dauphin reach Peter Wilks’ house, the three nieces welcome them. When they see the coffin, they weep, and most of the town weeps with them in sympathy. The Dauphin requests that a few close friends of the family join them for supper. One of the girls brings out the will and hands it to the Dauphin. The will states that the house and three thousand dollars in gold are left to the three nieces. Everything else is to go to William and Harvey. It also mentions that the gold is hidden in the cellar. Of course, the two frauds go and take it; they show the gold to the nieces, who insist on the Duke and Dauphin investing it for them. They gladly take the money to the Dauphin’s room.
The two men are able to hoodwink everyone except Dr. Robinson, who suspects that there is something fishy about these two men. He does not believe they are the brothers of Peter Wilks.
The fleecing of the Wilks’ girls is the crowning achievement of the Duke and the Dauphin, for they stand to gain a large sum of money. They convince everyone that they are William and Harvey, except Dr. Robinson, who sees through their fake Greek and English accents. He leaves to try and find out the truth about these men.
Twain once again comes down heavily on the mentality of a crowd, for the one sensible person in the town, Dr. Robinson, goes unheard; even the nieces refuse to listen to his protests. In essence, the chapter satirizes the stupidity of the whole human race with Twain at his biting best. He also shows that where emotions are concerned, reason is impossible.