Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 8, Chapter 13

By Henry Fielding

Book 8, Chapter 13

In Which the Foregoing Story Is Farther Continued

  • Watson and the MotH become close friends in crime.
  • They are con men—small-scale, lame con men, not cool, Catch Me If You Can-style con men.
  • The MotH gets by that way for a couple of years.
  • Then one day, he sees an old man who has been robbed and wounded.
  • The MotH supports the old man to a nearby tavern and then sends for a surgeon.
  • The MotH gradually recognizes that the old man is none other than his long-lost father.
  • His father is thrilled to see his son after all of this time.
  • He explains that the MotH's mother has died.
  • So there is no reason for the MotH not to come home.
  • Hearing all of these words of loving welcome from his father totally melts the MotH's heart.
  • He decides to go home at once.
  • The MotH now turns his mind back to his studies.
  • His reading strengthens and calms the MotH's mind after all of those years of being a criminal.
  • He passes four years happily in his father's house.
  • But then, the MotH's father dies.
  • And his older brother inherits the property.
  • The MotH can't stand his brother, so he has to move out.
  • He decides to go to the spa town of Bath to relax, since his health is not so great these days.
  • At Bath one day, he sits down near the river.
  • He overhears someone say, "I am resolved to bear it no longer" (8.13.21), before throwing himself into the water.
  • The MotH and a local fisherman pull this man out of the river.
  • A woman tells them to bring him into her house, and they call for medical help.
  • The man regains consciousness, and the MotH goes to visit him the next morning.
  • He recognizes that it's none other than his best friend Watson, the thieving con man!