The Story of a Bad Boy

by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

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Characters Discussed

Tom Bailey Aldrich

Tom Bailey Aldrich, the narrator, a banker’s son, mischievous, high-spirited, and adventurous. After his father’s death and Mrs. Aldrich’s move to New York, Tom is employed in his uncle’s counting house. Tom is a literary forerunner of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and other realistic boys in American fiction.

Captain Nutter

Captain Nutter, his hale and cheery grandfather.

Miss Abigail

Miss Abigail, the captain’s prim and strict sister who keeps house for him and abhors the odor of tobacco.

Kitty Collins

Kitty Collins, the Nutter maid, a young Irish woman deserted by her sailor husband, who finally returns to live with her in a seaside cottage.

Bill Conway

Bill Conway, Tom’s bullying enemy.

Seth Rodgers

Seth Rodgers, another enemy.

Sailor Ben

Sailor Ben, Tom’s friend and Kitty’s husband, who shows Tom and his friends how to fire the Trefethen cannon.

Phil Adams

Phil Adams, a school friend who teaches Tom how to fight.

Pepper Whitcomb

Pepper Whitcomb, a friend struck by Tom’s misdirected arrow in an amateur production of William Tell.

Binny Wallace

Binny Wallace, Tom’s friend who is drowned in the sinking of a drifting boat during a sea storm.

Mr. Grimshaw

Mr. Grimshaw, the boys’ teacher at the Temple Grammar School.

Charley Marden

Charley Marden, a schoolboy who almost strangles when a torpedo explodes in school.

Ezra Wingate

Ezra Wingate, a neighbor whose old stagecoach is burned by the boys in a bonfire and who realizes a handsome profit by collecting damages.

Mr. Meeks

Mr. Meeks, the shy druggist whom the Widow Conway is trying to catch for a husband.

Silas Trefethen

Silas Trefethen, an eccentric buyer of cannon for a war with England that never developed.

Nelly Glentworth

Nelly Glentworth, Captain Nutter’s young visitor, loved by Tom.

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