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In Chapter 23, how did the duke and king convince the townsfolk to not beat them up after performing a mediocre show?
By offering refunds.
The king uses his considerable skills of persuasion and uses his advanced age as a means of excuse.
They pull in Huck as their poor orphaned helper to get pity from the crowd.
They don't. A fellow in the crowd suggests they say the show was great, so the other half of town will also come see it, losing their money, too.
They simply run away.