The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

How does the king learn about the Wilkes family?

Huck Finn ch 24-end

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The two cons learn from a local young man that Peter Wilks, a fairly wealthy local tanner, has just passed away. Peter Wilks’s nieces – Mary Jane, Susan, and Joanna (whom Huck refers to as "the hare-lip") – are to inherit the family estate, since their mom and dad (who was Peter’s brother) passed away the year before.

Peter had been hoping to see his other two brothers, William and Harvey, before he died, but they hadn’t yet arrived from England. The duke and the king, being the con-men extraordinaires that they are, decide to pose as the two missing brothers in attempt to steal the family’s riches.