Study Guide

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Chapter 19

By Mark Twain

Chapter 19

  • Tom arrives home to find Aunt Polly filled with righteous anger.
  • Thanks to Tom, she's been made to look foolish: she told Mrs. Harper about Tom's amazing dream, only to find out that Joe Harper had told his mom every last thing about Tom's escapade.
  • Tom uses the old "I didn't think," defense to try and get out of the jam, but Aunt Polly's not in the mood for such talk.
  • So Tom says to her, no, really, I swear, I came back to tell you I was OK, but by now he's got just about as much credibility as The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
  • Aunt Polly tells him she'd like to believe him, but that she simply can't anymore.
  • Tom tells her all about the bark and he, smooth criminal that he is, actually gets her to believe him.
  • After she sends him back to school, she heads over to the closet and pulls out the coat he was wearing on the island; she wants to know if he was telling the truth. Lo and behold, she finds the bark, and she thanks the Lord that he did, this time, tell the truth.