The earthly owner of the swamp where Tom Walker meets Old Scratch, Deacon Peabody is more truly the devil’s property himself, hypocritically scrutinizing his neighbors’ sins and overlooking his own as he does. Old Scratch points out a tree in the swamp into which Peabody’s name is carved: like Peabody himself, it is thriving on the outside (Peabody made his riches trading shrewdly with the Native Americans) but rotten on the inside.
The The Devil and Tom Walker quotes below are all either spoken by Deacon Peabody or refer to Deacon Peabody. 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: Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of The Devil and Tom Walker published in 2008.).
“The Devil and Tom Walker” Quotes
Tom looked in the direction that the stranger pointed, and beheld one of the great trees, fair and flourishing without, but rotten at the core, and saw that it had been nearly hewn through, so that the first high wind was likely to blow it down. On the bark of the tree was scored the name of Deacon Peabody, an eminent man, who had waxed wealthy by driving shrewd bargains with the Indians.
The timeline below shows where the character Deacon Peabody appears in The Devil and Tom Walker. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
“The Devil and Tom Walker”