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Summary Chapter 4

The next morning, Aunt Polly holds a family worship service. Tom is trying to memorize his verses. Mary offers him a treat if he learns it. He succeeds, and she gives him a Barlow knife.

Then it is time for him to get ready for Sunday school. Mary isn’t satisfied with how clean he is and keeps sending him back to wash. She finally cleans him herself. He gets into his uncomfortable suit and shoes. Tom hates Sunday school, unlike Mary and Sid.

At church, Tom starts bartering for colored tickets. He goes into church and picks fights with other boys, which are stopped by the teacher.

The children get tickets for how many bible verses they memorize. Ten yellow tickets get you a prize—a bible. Tom doesn’t desire the prize, only the glory of attaining it.

The pretty girl enters the church. The superintendent introduces the family. The girl’s father is a county judge from Constantinople. The adults and kids are impressed by him. The adults show off as much as the kids do.

When it is time to ask if anyone has earned a bible, Tom Sawyer comes up. Mr. Walters is surprised and suspicious, knowing Tom hasn’t memorized that many verses. However, his tickets are authentic, and he doesn’t want to reveal Tom’s trickery before the judge. The boys who traded their tickets are envious and regretful.

Amy Lawrence’s heart gets broken when she realizes that Tom doesn’t care about her anymore. Tom is intimidated by the judge, partly because of his status and partly because he is the pretty girl’s father.

The judge then gives Tom a lecture about the value of knowledge and how it will help him succeed later in life. He asks Tom the names of the first two disciples, which Tom should know if he had memorized that many verses. Tom finally answers, “David and Goliath.”

Mark Twain