The Devil and Tom Walker
Near a swamp in 1727, Tom Walker and his wife live there miserly lives. They are so greedy that they try to cheat each other and they are constantly fighting. One day Tom makes a shortcut through the swamp and finds an Indian skull with a tomahawk in it. Tom kicks the skull and hears a voice. He looks up to see it’s a black man sitting on a stump. Tom recognizes him as the Devil. The Devil talks about Kidd’s buried pirates treasure and confirms it is real and offers it to Tom with a catch, Tom’s soul. The devil proves its him by leaving his burned fingerprint in Tom’s forehead. Tom tells his wife and she urges him to accept it. Out of spite, he refuses. The wife decides to make a deal with the Devil and keep the profits for herself. Tom’s wife leaves the house for the Devil, taking all the house’s valuables with her. When she is gone for several days, Tom goes looking for her, because he wants the house’s valuables back. He sees his wife’s apron and thinking it has the valuables in it he opens it and finds her heart and liver. His wife died attempting to make a deal with the Devil. Tom is happy his wife is dead. Tom is grateful of the Devil and accepts his deal. The Devil tells him to become a money broker. One afternoon, Tom is about to foreclose a mortgage. The victim asks for a delay. Tom says, “The devil take me if I have made a farthing!” There are three knocks at his door and the Devil is there with his black horse. Tom’s small bible is in his coat pocket, and his big bible is covered with the mortgage so he can’t prevent the Devil from putting him on the horse. The next day, his house burns down and never returns to town.
The green spectacles that Tom has represent the greed he has. The rotten tree represents how on the inside Tom is rotten. All the fallen trees are the dead people. The shortcuts in this book represent temptation. The axe is a metaphor for the sins that everyone carries. The mortgages on top of the bible show...
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