The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 30 Summary

Instructor: Trisha Fyfe

Trisha has taught college and K-12 English, reading, writing, and math. She has a master's degree in teaching.

After a scam turned horribly wrong, Huck and Jim agree they've had enough of the Duke and the Dauphin. They attempt, and fail, a getaway from the two troublesome men. This lesson will explore these events and more in chapter 30 of ''The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn''.


Huck Finn and Jim, a runaway slave, have been waiting for just the right time to escape the two con artists, the Duke and the Dauphin. These two fraudulent men have been causing Huck and Jim nothing but trouble and grief as they make their way down the Mississippi River on a raft. The con men have really gotten Huck and Jim into a mess in their latest scam -- they've pretended to be the brothers of a man who recently died so that they might find and claim his fortune.

Huck decides he is done with these men, and when the right time comes, he and Jim rush back to the raft and quickly paddle away. Just when they think they have escaped, they catch a glimpse of something behind them in the water. The Duke and the Dauphin catch back up to Huck and Jim on the raft, and they are not happy at all.


As chapter 30 begins, the Dauphin gets to Huck first. Shaking him by the collar, he demands an explanation from Huck. He is absolutely certain that Huck and Jim were giving them 'the slip.' Huck makes an attempt to reassure the Dauphin that it was not his fault at all. He says the man who was holding him warned him that he must leave immediately or risk being hanged. Huck did not want to be hanged, of course, so he ran. They feared the Duke and the Dauphin were dead anyways, Huck reassured the Dauphin.

The Dauphin is not satisfied with this and threatens to drown Huck, but the Duke steps in to put the Dauphin in his place. He reminds him that had he been in Huck's shoes, he most likely would have done the same exact thing. Huck's explanation makes sense to the Duke. The Dauphin's anger is then transferred from Huck and his attempted escape to the townspeople that they are now drifting away from.

Fighting and Making-up

But again, the Duke questions the Dauphin and his anger. Shouldn't the blame fall on the Dauphin himself? After all, it was the Dauphin that almost got the pair of men jailed. The conversation goes from bad to worse when the Duke and the Dauphin begin accusing each other. They both question just how the gold got into the coffin of Peter Wilks.

The Duke and Dauphin fighting

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