Abraham Adams enters the alehouse and orders a pint. He overhears some strangers talking about a funny story they heard about landlord detaining a horse. He immediately remembers that he forgot to pay for his own horse and plans to go back, but it’s started raining, and he wants to wait until it’s over.
This passage makes it clear that Adams didn’t intend to leave Joseph with his debt, although it also doesn’t seem that Adams is in any great hurry to make it back to the inn where Joseph is waiting.
Two people in the bar argue over the character of a gentleman they know, with one believing the gentleman’s a tyrant and the other believing he’s a benevolent leader, loved by his servants. Abraham Adams is surprised to hear the same person described in two opposite ways. He begins talking to the men about religion, but while they go to church, they believe that Hell is too far away to be worth thinking about seriously.
Adams prefers to think in absolutes, unable to understand how the same person could inspire very different reactions. Once again, it shows how as a clergyman, he prefers to think in idealized terms, rather than confronting the messier reality of the world in front of him.
Just then, Joseph Andrews makes it to the alehouse. It turns out Mrs. Slipslop was passing by, and she helps Joseph pay what Adams owes the hostler. They all head out together, with all of them in a coach except Joseph, who takes Adams’s horse. After a short while, Mrs. Slipslop says that ever since the death of Sir Thomas Booby, Lady Booby has been acting in a very unladylike manner. Eventually they come across a woman who tells them they’re not far from the house of a very unlucky woman named Leonora.
Coincidences and chance encounters play a large role in the novel. After a certain point, they arguably become parody, making fun of how the plots of similar stories (like Pamela, which inspired Joseph Andrews) rely on convenient timing and improbable meetings.