Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 12, Chapter 14

By Henry Fielding

Book 12, Chapter 14

What Happened to Mr. Jones in His Journey to Saint Albans

  • They are two miles past Barnet when a man comes riding up on a really run-down horse.
  • He says that it's late and he is a stranger to the area.
  • Can he ride with Tom and Partridge?
  • Tom, of course, says yes.
  • The three men start talking about robbery.
  • Tom says he doesn't really care if he's robbed—it's not like he has anything of value.
  • Partridge contradicts him: he does have that hundred-pound note! (OMG, Partridge, are you doing?!)
  • Of course, their new traveling companion suddenly pulls out a gun.
  • He wants that hundred-pound note.
  • Tom tells the highwayman that he can have everything in his pocket: three guineas.
  • The highwayman refuses to accept so little.
  • Tom says well then, punk, you'll have to kill me.
  • The highwayman holds his gun to Tom's chest.
  • Tom grabs his arm and wrestles the guy to the ground.
  • The highwayman begs for mercy.
  • The gun isn't even loaded, he's never done this before, and the only reason he's turned to robbery now is because he has five starving kids with a sixth on the way.
  • The highwayman promises to take Tom back to his house if he doesn't believe him.
  • Tom chooses to believe the highwayman, since it turns out his gun is unloaded.
  • He returns the man's gun to him and gives him a couple of guineas.
  • The man swears he'll never do it again.
  • Tom and Partridge talk over whether the death penalty is justified in robbery cases.
  • (Tom says no, Partridge, yes.)
  • Tom reminds Partridge subtly that he had just been planning to steal some of Sophia's money in the previous chapter.
  • That shuts Partridge up for a while.