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The Devil and Tom Walker Summary

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This is one of the works of author Washington Irving. The book is about the supernatural incorporated with the effect of forces of greed.

A Quick Overview of the Narration

In Massachusetts some years ago, a pirate named Kidd buried some treasure. Then he struck a deal to have the treasure protected by the devil. Kidd never made it back to collect and was hanged in England for piracy. In 1727, a miser named Tom Walker lived near it. He had a wife who was crazy for wealth.

One day, Tom takes a shortcut back to his house and comes across a fort. He meets a man named Old Scratch, and they talk who had been watching him. They talk, and Old Scratch reveals that he intended to allow Tom to retrieve Kidd’s treasure on some conditions.

Tom tells his wife, who is delighted by the possibility of wealth. Tom, however, does not want to take the man’s deal. His wife takes all their valuables and seeks out Old Scratch to bribe him but never comes back.

Tom leaves to find his wife together with the valuables she made off with but finds her liver and heart strung to a tree in an apron she wore. Tom is angry about the valuables than the loss of his wife. He thanks Old scratch for ridding him of her.

Tom later decides he wanted the promised treasure. He meets scratch again, and they haggle for some time until they reach the agreement that if Tom were to receive the money, it would only be used to serve the devil. To refuses to become a slave trader from the suggestions, but he accepts to be a corrupt money lender.

It is, however, too late for him. Tom mistreats a poor landowner by denying requests for an extension on his loan. A black man on a horse comes to his door and takes Tom away for good. The people who owed him go to get his assets but all of it has gone up in flames.

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