Summary and Analysis Chapter 29



Moll "resolved to go up point-blank" to her brother and tell him who she was; then she decided to write him a letter first to identify herself and to assure him that she meant to give him no trouble about the old relationship, but wanted merely to ask his help in securing what their mother had left her. In her letter, Moll spoke well of his son and said that she would appreciate being allowed to see him.

Moll felt that her brother would probably ask their son to read the letter, since he himself was nearly blind. The son did receive the letter and did read it. Then he asked the messenger to show him the lady who had sent the letter. The messenger pointed to Moll. With this, Moll's son came up to kiss and embrace her. Then he began to sob. Moll felt great joy at this and they both cried for a long time. At last the son said that he had never expected to see her alive.

After both had recovered, the son told Moll that he had not shown her letter to his father, who was old, ill, and almost blind. The son felt that it would not be wise to put this business in his father's hands. Moll was pleased to find her son such a sensible young man. She explained that she could understand his father's condition, since her decision to leave him had left him somewhat infirm in body and mind. Moll recounted so many facts about her life in Virginia with his father and grandmother that she left her son no doubt that she was truly his mother.

Moll also told her son that she was living in Maryland at the plantation of a friend who had come from England in the same ship with her. The son invited Moll to live with him, assuring her that his father would never guess who she was. Moll pretended to consider the arrangement and then told her son that, though she did not wish to live apart from him, she could not bring herself to live with his father and be forever reminded of the past, or be under restraint for fear of being discovered by his father. The son acknowledged the wisdom of this and took Moll on horseback to a plantation next to his own. Referring to Moll as his aunt, he left word with the tenants to take good care of her. Two hours later he sent servants and dinner. Moll had a momentary regret that she had brought her "Lancashire husband" from England; however, she soon disposed of this thought for she really loved Jemmy.

Early the next morning the son brought her some money and his grandmother's will and read it to her. Moll discovered that her mother had left her a small plantation complete with servants and cattle. The son had hired a steward to run the place in Moll's absence and went over it himself about four times a year to check on it. He did the same for his father's plantation.

Moll asked the plantation's value and was told £60 a year if she rented it out, but at least £150 if she lived on it. The son said he would continue to manage it if she decided to return to Maryland or to England, and he felt he could assure her of £100 a year.

Moll was suddenly struck by all the good luck which had come her way and reproached herself for having done evil while Providence was returning good. With this, Moll told her son to have a will drawn up giving himself the plantation after her death. Further, she asked why he had not married and he told her wives were scarce and asked her to send one from London if she returned there.

During Moll's five-week stay in Virginia, he visited her every day. When the will was drawn up and signed, she prepared to leave. Before she did so, however, her son gave her £100 from the current year's crop.


Note that in spite of Moll's great love for Jemmy, she momentarily wished that she had not brought him from England, after receiving such wonderful treatment from her son.