Wilson puts it all together, realizing that Tom was the woman he saw, dressed in female clothing, and that... (read more from the Chapters 20-21 and Conclusion Summary). They give him the nickname "Pudd'nhead" and refuse to give him their legal work. By a convoluted logic, they claim that, had he been sold, the judge would not have been murdered, and therefore it is not Chambers, but the mistake surrounding his identity, which is responsible for the murder. Pembroke Howard is prosecuting the case. Pudd'nhead also looks at "Tom"'s prints from his infancy and is startled to see that they don't match the others. Tom stops by the house to visit and picks up the glass slide on which Roxana once put her prints. Things are looking bad for the twins. While everything in the novel, especially the overwhelming initial response of the townspeople to them, has hinted that they would be eventually unmasked as frauds, they reach the end of the novel with their reputations intact. Why, then, is the novel called The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson? SparkNotes is brought to you by Barnes & Noble. The aphorism that opens Chapter 20 is completely appropriate. Despite the carefully orchestrated show he puts on before the court, Pudd'nhead has been failed by his scientific side: not only is "Tom"'s negligence required to open Pudd'nhead's eyes, but Pudd'nhead also has to overcome his own certainty, based on what he thinks is solid empirical evidence, about a female being involved. Tell the truth or trump—but get the trick.—Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar. When Wilson takes the slide back, he sees Tom's fingerprints and recognizes them at once as those on the knife. The accidental nature of Pudd'nhead's discovery of the true murderer further clouds the picture. Judge Driscoll has been left "prostrated" by his efforts, but there are rumors that he'll be receiving a challenge from … Read Chapter 20 of The Tragedy of Pudd'Nhead Wilson by Mark Twain. The print that "Tom" had left on the slide with Roxy's prints matches the prints on the knife perfectly, as do more recent sets of "Tom"'s prints. Chambers, formerly known as "Tom," confesses to the crime and is sentenced to life imprisonment. The day of the twins' trial arrives. This Pudd'nhead Wilson - Chapters 20-21 and Conclusion Summary & Analysis Mark Twain This Study Guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Pudd'nhead Wilson… Reconstruction (the attempt to reintegrate the South after the Civil War and the effort to give blacks a more secure place in society) had begun to fail noticeably by the time Twain was writing this novel; perhaps the real Tom's fate can best be read as an allegorical representation of the situation of blacks in America in the 1890s. Roxy begs God for mercy. Pudd'nhead Wilson is a Northerner who comes to the small Missouri town of Dawson's Landing to build a career as a lawyer. Pudd'nhead prepares a series of displays for the court. The town has thought of him as a black man for so long that it is impossible for him to move into white society, yet their view of what is proper for a white man keeps him from his friends in the slave quarters. Or are some things about identity just unknowable? Pudd'nhead returns home and once more looks over all the fingerprints in his collection from females. The twins, tired of their notoriety, depart for Europe. All the circumstantial evidence on which Howard has based his case will be overturned when confronted with Wilson's scientific evidence. Pudd'nhead Wilson, who is their attorney, and Aunt Patsy, their landlady, are their only allies, although even Pudd'nhead is starting to doubt their innocence. He gives a brief demonstration of the process, identifying a series of prints that members of the audience have provided. Finally he names "Tom" as not only the murderer but as in reality a black slave named Chambers. We've just stumbled into a small town in early nineteenth-century Missouri called Dawson's Landing—which is totally the original Dawson's Creek. A dream suggests a reason for the discrepancy to him, and he rushes to check more of his collection. Wilson is frustrated, afraid that Luigi and Angelo might be convicted of murder because he cannot prove another person was in the house. Pudd'nhead prepares a series of displays for the court.