SO endeth this chronicle. It being strictly a history of a boy, it must stop here; the story could not go much further without becoming the history of a man. When one writes a novel about grown people, he knows exactly where to stop—that is, with a marriage; but when he writes of juveniles, he must stop where he best can.
Most of the characters that perform in this book still live, and are prosperous and happy. Some day it may seem worth while to take up the story of the younger ones again and see what sort of men and women they turned out to be; therefore it will be wisest not to reveal any of that part of their lives at present.
The End of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
[* byGosh.com Note: Mark Twain concluded The Adventures of Tom Sawyer somewhat curiously, with this illustration of “Mrs. Partington” – a character created in the 1850’s by humorist Benjamin Shillaber. The illustration was drawn by Frederick M. Coffin, and served as the frontispiece to Shillaber’s 1854 book Life and Sayings of Mrs. Partington. MT apparently never publicly explained why he ended his novel with this gesture. Some commentators theorize that MT was acknowledging the influence of Mrs. Partington and her nephew Ike on his characters Aunt Polly and Tom.
It is one of only two illustrations in the book not drawn by True Williams – the other being the house that Tom draws for Becky, believed to have been actually drawn by MT himself.]