Borrowing the Spook's staff and cloak, Tom heads out to the garden.
It's a good thing he doesn't have a plan, because it wouldn't have worked anyway. It turns out that Mother Malkin has already escaped.
Lucky for Tom, she's left a little slimy trail, just like a slug. He follows her to the riverbank, where she's slithering around and "snorting and snuffling" (9.18) like the pigs back on the farm. What's with all the noise? She's eating a raw rat. Maybe she's just trying to get on Survivor.
With her scary red eyes, Mother Malkin lunges toward Tom. He clocks her on the head with the Spook's staff, and down she goes.
She tumbles into the water, but starts to drag herself out pretty quickly. Tom jabs her over and over with the staff until she gets swept away downstream.
Tom doesn't want her to get away, so he wanders the riverbank looking for her. He doesn't have to look too long. Soon, she finds him.
Her super-strong hand grabs his ankle and he falls, the staff tumbling out of his grip.
Luckily, Tom manages to get the staff back. He thrusts it at Mother Malkin.
She grabs the end of the staff in defense. Big mistake, Ms. Malkin. The witch screams and dies.