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MonkeyNotes-Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
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Book Twelve

Chapters 8 - 14

Summary

Jones gets up in the morning and finds that the puppet master is beating up his poor Merry-Andrew. Jones defends the latter. Merry-Andrew takes Jones to the place where he had seen Sophia. Jones and Partridge travel along the road and rest at an alehouse. Jones decides to venture out even though there is a storm. It should be mentioned that Jones was not at fault for defaming Sophia; it had been Partridge all this while who had been speaking about Tom's beloved very openly.

Jones makes plans to leave the inn. He manages to get a boy to guide him. After four hours of traveling, Jones, Partridge and their guide reach an inn. Partridge is in a good mood. While Jones is trying to arrange for his journey to Coventry, he comes across Mr. Dowling - the lawyer. Dowling presses Jones to go no further that night, but Tom refuses to stay on and decides to undertake the journey once again.

Mr. Dowling and Tom share a few drinks together. When Dowling mentions Blifil to Tom, the latter criticizes Blifil. Dowling tells Tom that Blifil would be inheriting Squire Allworthy's estate. Jones goes on to narrate his life history to Dowling. Dowling feels very compassionate towards Tom. Once the horses are ready, Tom resumes his travelling. Tom and Partridge lose their way. They come across an old woman, who Partridge thinks is a witch. Tom is amused by Partridge's mind. Partridge has a fall. After taking stock of the situation, the travelers move again.

They now discover a light at some distance. Partridge is very frightened as usual and is reluctant to move towards this light, but Tom persuades him to proceed. On coming closer they realize that the lights and the noises are originating from a barn. A great number of men and women were assembled here and were enjoying themselves with much joviality. Tom decides to join these Egyptian gypsies for sometime. He perceives the king of the gypsies. While his majesty is discoursing with Jones, Partridge starts cavorting with a female gypsy. The gypsy's husband finds his wife with Partridge and is very angry. The husband complains to the king.


Now Tom sees how the gypsies execute their own kind of justice. Tom is impressed by the gypsy's concept of fairness. Jones and Partridge take leave of his Egyptian majesty and travel towards Coventry. They thus travel all his way to Dunstable. They go on from Dusstable to St. Albans. Jones realizes that it is impossible to overtake Sophia. He decides to rest at St. Albans. He has dinner there. Partridge harangues Tom regarding the very little food he eats. The two argue again and this turns into a full-blown fight. Tom is incensed at Partridge but recovers his good spirits just as soon. They mount their horses and proceed towards London.

When they get bout two miles beyond Bannet, a genteel looking man approaches Jones on a shabby horse. On learning that Tom and Partridge were on their way to London, this man joins them. But after traveling with the duo for some time, he pulls out a pistol and demands the little bank note which Partridge had mentioned. But Tom manages to overpower this highwayman. This man claims that he is not a professional robber but someone who was forced to take up a desperate measure in order to protect his family. Partridge does not approve of letting the man get away so easily but Tom gives some money to the 'highwayman' and lets him go. Tom is sarcastic about Partridge's cowardice.

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