Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 12, Chapter 4

By Henry Fielding

Book 12, Chapter 4

The Adventure of the Beggar-man

  • They reach another crossroads, where they find a man begging for money.
  • The beggar offers to sell Tom something he found about two miles back.
  • Tom agrees to take it: it's a small book with a gold cover.
  • He finds the name "Sophia Western" written on the front page!
  • Tom kisses the book.
  • (Tom and Sophia spend a lot of time kissing inanimate objects, we've noticed. It's a little weird.)
  • Something slips out of the book: it's that hundred-pound bill Sophia lost back in Book 11, Chapter 9.
  • Tom is concerned to find the money—won't Sophia need it?
  • Tom offers the beggar a guinea for the book (a price hugely beyond its actual value).
  • The beggar is so excited that he happily agrees to lead Tom and Partridge to the place where he found the book.
  • As they walk, Tom keeps kissing that book.
  • The beggar is like, um—what is he doing?
  • Partridge worries once again that Tom has gone nuts.
  • Once they arrive, the beggar complains that Tom should give him more money.
  • After all, there was a hundred pounds inside that book.
  • Since they don't have the original owner here, it should be finders' keepers.
  • The beggar is willing to split the hundred pounds with Tom.
  • Tom insists on giving all of the money back to its owner. He can't afford to tip the beggar any more right now.
  • Tom promises that, if the beggar gives his name and address, he will eventually get a reward.