Twain’s narrative jumps right into the telling. A Latin phrase, in media res, means just that, in the middle of things, and describes the technique by which story writers begin their tale in the middle of the action. Here, Twain picks up the story about his situation after something has already happened to get him to this place and time. Then he will harken back to the beginning, the necessary background. It’s an age-old trick to get the reader involved immediately in the action of the story.