BOOK III. CONTAINING THE MOST MEMORABLE TRANSACTIONS WHICH PASSED IN THE FAMILY OF MR ALLWORTHY, FROM THE TIME WHEN TOMMY JONES ARRIVED AT THE AGE OF FOURTEEN, TILL HE ATTAINED THE AGE OF NINETEEN. IN THIS BOOK THE READER MAY PICK UP SOME HINTS CONCERNING
4. Chapter iv. Containing a necessary apology for the author...
"What fib, child?" cries Thwackum pretty eagerly.
"Why, he told you that nobody was with him a shooting when he killed
the partridge; but he knows" (here he burst into a flood of tears),
"yes, he knows, for he confessed it to me, that Black George the
gamekeeper was there. Nay, he said--yes you did--deny it if you can,
that you would not have confest the truth, though master had cut you
At this the fire flashed from Thwackum's eyes, and he cried out in
triumph--"Oh! ho! this is your mistaken notion of honour! This is the
boy who was not to be whipped again!" But Mr Allworthy, with a more
gentle aspect, turned towards the lad, and said, "Is this true, child?
How came you to persist so obstinately in a falsehood?"
Tom said, "He scorned a lie as much as any one: but he thought his
honour engaged him to act as he did; for he had promised the poor
fellow to conceal him: which," he said, "he thought himself farther
obliged to, as the gamekeeper had begged him not to go into the
gentleman's manor, and had at last gone himself, in compliance with
his persuasions." He said, "This was the whole truth of the matter,
and he would take his oath of it;" and concluded with very
passionately begging Mr Allworthy "to have compassion on the poor
fellow's family, especially as he himself only had been guilty, and
the other had been very difficultly prevailed on to do what he did.
Indeed, sir," said he, "it could hardly be called a lie that I told;
for the poor fellow was entirely innocent of the whole matter. I
should have gone alone after the birds; nay, I did go at first, and he
only followed me to prevent more mischief. Do, pray, sir, let me be
punished; take my little horse away again; but pray, sir, forgive poor
Mr Allworthy hesitated a few moments, and then dismissed the boys,
advising them to live more friendly and peaceably together.