Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 12, Chapter 8

By Henry Fielding

Book 12, Chapter 8

In Which Fortune Seems to have Been In a Better Humour With Jones Than We Have Hitherto Seen Her

  • Tom sleeps a good nine hours.
  • The only thing that wakes him is the sound of a fight outside his door.
  • He sees the puppet-show man beating his Merry-Andrew.
  • Tom jumps in to break up the fight.
  • The Merry-Andrew starts shouting at the puppet-show man.
  • The puppet-show man owes him: not only does the Merry-Andrew make all the money in their show, but he also saved the puppet-show man from being hanged.
  • The puppet-show man wanted to steal the fine riding clothes off a beautiful lady they saw yesterday.
  • But the Merry-Andrew stopped him, saving him from jail.
  • Tom immediately takes aside the Merry-Andrew and asks him where he saw the lady.
  • (Of course, the lady is Sophia. There are no other beautiful women in all of southern England, apparently.)
  • The Merry-Andrew brings Tom and Partridge to the spot.
  • They set off in the direction of Sophia's travels, but after two miles, they have to take shelter at a pub.
  • There's a raging storm outside.
  • Once they are inside, Partridge recognizes a post-boy sitting by the fire: he was present with Sophia in the inn at Upton!
  • Tom takes the servant to a separate room so that they can talk about Sophia in private.
  • Partridge, meanwhile, is off gossiping in the kitchen,
  • Mrs. Fitzpatrick's guide is there, and quickly shares with Partridge everything he knows about the two ladies at the inn by the River Severn, up until they set off with the Irish nobleman.