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The narrator wishes the reader farewell. He compares the reading process to a journey in which he and the reader are fellow passengers in a coach. He hopes that he has been an entertaining companion.
Partridge visits Jones at the prison to break the horrifying news that Mrs. Waters is Tom's mother. Tom receives a letter from Mrs. Waters in which she alludes to this fact and says she has been greatly affected by it. She adds as a postscript that Fitzpatrick is on the recovery. Black George arrives next at the prison, and he and Tom exchange warm greetings. Black George reports that Squire Western and Mrs. Western have had a vicious argument that has concluded with Mrs. Western declaring she never wants to see her brother again. The Squire has been reconciled with Sophia, however. The narrator retraces his footsteps to describe how this reunion came about. Sophia took her father's side when arguing with her aunt about Lord Fellamar—this delighted Squire Western and endeared Sophia to him once more.
Allworthy visits Nightingale's father and, after three hours, convinces the old man to see his son. On his entrance to the house, Allworthy spots Black George, but takes no notice of him. Later, he asks Nightingale's father what business he had with Black George. Nightingale's father shows him five bank bills of one hundred pounds each that Black George has given him to invest. Allworthy recognizes the bills as those he gave to Tom.
Mrs. Miller is depressed about Tom's situation, but Allworthy cheers her somewhat by telling her he has no doubt there will soon be a reconciliation between Nightingale and his father. Allworthy summons Dowling from Blifil's room to ask him what should be done about the case of the bank bills. Mrs. Miller interrupts their conversation and introduces Allworthy to Nightingale, who brings the tidings that Fitzpatrick has recovered and admitted provoking the duel. Mrs. Miller urges Nightingale to remind Allworthy in what great esteem Tom holds him. Tears come to Allworthy's eyes and he reminisces briefly about the time he discovered the infant Tom between his sheets. The narrator hints that Allworthy's tears have been partly caused by a letter that he received from Square.
The narrator presents Square's letter to Allworthy. Square writes that he is terminally ill, and that he has been reflecting on his past behavior. He feels worst about his behavior to Tom, who is innocent of the crime for which Allworthy condemned him. In fact, during Allworthy's illness, Tom was the only person who showed any real concern and compassion. Tom's mirth was motivated by Allworthy's recovery. Square hints at the dark designs of "another Person." The narrator also presents a letter from Mr. Thwackum to Allworthy, in which Thwackum haughtily and arrogantly tells Allworthy to consider him for the position of Vicar of Aldergrove if the current vicar should die.
Mrs. Miller tells Allworthy that Nightingale discovered that the men who accused Tom were commissioned to do so by a Lord who wanted Tom sent off on a ship. Nightingale also happened to see Mr. Dowling with these men in the tavern. Shocked, Allworthy calls for Dowling, but he has already left. Allworthy asks Blifil if he knows whether Dowling has seen the eyewitnesses of Tom's duel. Blifil does not speak for some moments, which leads Mrs. Miller to shout "Guilty!" Allworthy asks Blifil why it is taking him so long to answer. Blifil answers that he sent Dowling to mollify the evidence of the witnesses. Allworthy now feels even more tenderness for Blifil. He proposes that they all pay a visit to Tom in prison. Partridge arrives and privately tells Mrs. Miller that Mrs. Waters is Tom's mother. Allworthy, hearing that the man with Mrs. Miller is Tom's servant, summons him. He immediately recognizes him to be Partridge. Surprised, he asks if he is indeed Tom's servant. Allworthy asks Partridge many questions about Jones.
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