At home, Tristram is down in the dumps. Luckily, his sister Dinah died and left him 1000 pounds—and an unexpected legacy can cheer up anyone.
He wonders how best to spend the money: go to Rome? Buy a farm? Add a wing to the house? Or, more realistically, send Tristram's older brother Bobby traveling, or put up a fence around the Ox-moor field? The choices are endless.
See, it's a Shandy tradition that the oldest son sow his wild oats. At the same time, the field really needs some work.
Mr. Shandy is saved from having to make this decision by another a sort of sad stroke of luck: Bobby has kicked the bucket.