Study Guide

Tom Jones Book 9, Chapter 2

By Henry Fielding

Book 9, Chapter 2

Containing a Very Surprizing Adventure Indeed, Which Mr. Jones Met With in his Walk With the Man of the Hill

  • It's dawn, and Tom and the MotH (Man of the Hill) are walking.
  • Tom hears a woman screaming from the woods at the base of the hill.
  • He runs down to see what is that matter.
  • He finds a half-naked woman with a man who appears to be strangling her with a garter from his stockings.
  • Tom immediately grabs a stick and starts beating the man.
  • Once the man is on the ground, the woman thanks Tom for saving her.
  • Tom ties up the man's hands with his own garter.
  • But we don't have to keep calling this guy "the man" because we now know who it is: it's none other than Northerton!
  • Tom asks the woman if she has any spare clothes around.
  • She doesn't: she's a stranger to these parts.
  • Tom goes back to the MotH to ask him what he should do.
  • The MotH advises Tom to go to nearby Upton with Northerton and the woman.
  • As a side note: this village map of Upton is amazing; if you zoom out, you can also find Gloucester and the Cirencester Road (which Tom has been walking).
  • From the perspective of the Google satellites, it doesn't look as though this corner of the country has changed all that much since 1749.
  • When Tom returns from his conversation with the MotH, he finds that Northerton has run away.
  • After all, Tom only tied the man's hands, not his legs.
  • The woman can't stop staring at Tom.
  • She insists that Tom accompany her to the nearest village.
  • And she also (weirdly) refuses to wear the coat that Tom offers her.
  • Tom promises her that he won't look at her (in case he gets overwhelmed by her naked breasts).
  • So Tom walks on ahead of the woman with his eyes set firmly forward, and she follows him safely to Upton.