Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 10, Chapter 2

By Henry Fielding

Book 10, Chapter 2

Containing the Arrival of an Irish Gentleman, With Very Extraordinary Adventures Which Ensued at the Inn

  • It's midnight, and everyone at the inn is asleep except Susan the maid, who is cleaning the kitchen.
  • A man arrives at the door and demands to know if there is a woman in the house.
  • He throws a bunch of money at Susan, and she shows him to Mrs. Waters's room.
  • The man finds the door locked and quickly breaks it down.
  • Tom demands to know what the heck he thinks he's doing.
  • The man spots a bunch of ladies' clothes on the floor and immediately jumps to lots of conclusions.
  • He throws himself in Tom, and they start fighting.
  • Mrs. Waters wakes up and starts screaming.
  • A man in bed next door—an Irishman who is on his way to Bath to seek his fortune—hears the noise and runs over to Mrs. Waters's room.
  • As soon as the Irishman (whose name is Mr. Machlachlan) spots the two fighters, he demands to know what "Mr. Fitzpatrick" thinks he's doing.
  • Mr. Fitzpatrick shouts that Tom has slept with his wife.
  • Mr. Maclachlan replies that he knows Mrs. Fitzpatrick, and that lady there is not she.
  • Mr. Fitzpatrick realizes that, in fact, he barged in on a completely unfamiliar couple. (Awkward!)
  • He turns to Tom, says he's still mad, and demands to meet him for a duel the next morning.
  • Obviously, Tom thinks this is an utterly idiotic idea.
  • Tom wants to cover for Mrs. Waters—it's not going to look too good for her reputation that Tom is in her room in his nightshirt.
  • But Mrs. Waters is smart enough to think of an excuse.
  • She shouts for the landlady and says that these three men came rushing into her room in the middle of the night.
  • Mr. Fitzpatrick apologizes and leaves with Mr. Maclachlan.
  • Tom (who is no dummy) picks up Mrs. Waters's hint and agrees that he came rushing in to save her when he heard the commotion.
  • Tom apologizes for appearing in his nightshirt in front of Mrs. Waters and returns to his own bed.
  • Finally, the landlady wishes Mrs. Waters a good night's sleep and leaves.