What eventually happens to Tom's wife? Wich version of what happened to her does the narrator want the reader to believe? Explain. How does the story with Tom's wife help to drive the plot?
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In Part II, Tom arrives home and his wife tells him about the death of Absalom Crowninshield. Tom remembers seeing his name hewn into the tree. Tom is reluctant to share the secret of his bargain with his wife but eventually he does; because of her extreme greediness, she urges him to take the deal. Determined to be contrary as always, though, Tom refuses just to get a rise out of her.
Finally she decides to go and take the deal herself. She is absent for many hours one day, but returns home with no luck; apparently Old Scratch was sullen and would not agree to her terms. He told her to go again with an offering, so she leaves for the swamp again with all of the valuables in their house tied up in her apron.
She never returned that day. Legend says many different things about what happened to her, but the most probable story is that Tom set out to find out what happened to his wife—and to reclaim the valuables she'd taken. Instead of his wife, he found her apron hanging in the branches of a tree near the Indian fort, with only a heart and liver tied up in it. According to tufts of hair and footprints at the scene, it seems she'd at least put up a fight against Old Scratch. Tom is more upset about the loss of property; in reality, he thinks Old Scratch has done him a favor by getting rid of his irritating wife.