The Californian’s Tale

by

Mark Twain

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One of the grizzled miners still living on the Stanislaus. Alongside Charley and Joe, Tom plays along with Henry’s delusion that his wife will soon return in order to spare their friend from going “wild.” Following the narrator, who stays with Henry expecting to meet his returning wife, Tom arrives at Henry’s cottage and acts thrilled to hear the letter she penned, in which she gives Tom warm greetings.

Tom Quotes in The Californian’s Tale

The The Californian’s Tale quotes below are all either spoken by Tom or refer to Tom. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Manifest Destiny vs. Reality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bantam edition of The Californian’s Tale published in 2005.
The Californian’s Tale Quotes

Round about California in that day were scattered a host of these living dead men—pride-smitten poor fellows, grizzled and old at forty, whose secret thoughts were made all of regrets and longings.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Henry, Tom, Joe , Charley
Page Number: 318
Explanation and Analysis:

“I've seen her fix all these things so much that I can do them all just her way, though I don't know the law of any of them. But she knows the law. She knows the why and the how both; but I don't know the why; I only know the how.”

Related Characters: Henry (speaker), The Narrator, Henry’s Wife, Tom, Joe , Charley
Related Symbols: Henry’s Cottage
Page Number: 319
Explanation and Analysis:

Joe brought the glasses on a waiter, and served the party. I reached for one of the two remaining glasses, but Joe growled, under his breath: "Drop that! Take the other." Which I did. Henry was served last.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Henry, Henry’s Wife, Tom, Joe , Charley
Related Symbols: Henry’s Cottage
Page Number: 323
Explanation and Analysis:

Never has been sane an hour since. But he only gets bad when that time of the year comes round. Then we begin to drop in here, three days before she's due, to encourage him up.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Henry, Henry’s Wife, Tom, Joe , Charley
Related Symbols: Henry’s Cottage
Page Number: 324
Explanation and Analysis:
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Tom Character Timeline in The Californian’s Tale

The timeline below shows where the character Tom appears in The Californian’s Tale. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Californian’s Tale
Manifest Destiny vs. Reality Theme Icon
Masculine vs. Feminine Space Theme Icon
Madness Theme Icon
On Thursday evening, another grizzled old miner named Tom arrives at Henry’s cottage and asks about the status of Henry’s wife. Henry pulls out... (full context)
Manifest Destiny vs. Reality Theme Icon
Masculine vs. Feminine Space Theme Icon
Madness Theme Icon
Soon Tom and Joe show up and help the other men decorate the cottage with flowers before... (full context)