Detailed Summary of part – ‘Tony’ in Bringing Tony Home by Tissa Abesekara – Part II

The earlier part of the summary revealed how Tissa got fainted due to excessive tiredness. This is the continuation of the first part. You may read the first part of the summary here:

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As mother reveals, he came to the house just like a phantom:

“I had walked with a flourish, and looking cool as a cucumber had asked mother for a glass of water. According to mother I had a grin on my face which frightened her, and according to Mrs. Mendis she had quickly fetched a big glass of water which I had drained in one big breathless swallow returned the glass to her, taken one step forward and fallen flat on my face.”

After the collapse, he had been sick blazing with fever and speaking in delirium. When he gets up, Tony was not there, in his heart he knows this is to be happened:

“The strangest thing was – and I remembered it as clearly if it happened yesterday – that I wasn’t feeling surprised or shocked or angry or anything like that. It was as if I had known this would happen all along.”

He receives the story of Tony’s departure in fragments from here and there. On the first night, Tony had had the shelter under the bed of Tissa but as mother and two-year young kid have to sleep on floor, Tony was tied up in the long veranda at the back. Having given unaccustomed treatments, Tony starts howling disturbing the peace of Mr.Mendis  who has been lodged in the same house. He untied the dog and must have given him a kick. Poor Tony runs to the bedroom door and starts scraping and whining but father has treated him with few lashes using the ruler.

Therefore, mother had to chain Tony again in the front veranda. Though uncomfortable as mother says, Tony had become quiet. However, making the things worse, Tony had defecated in the veranda. According to Mrs. Mendis: “it was the most unbearable stench she had ever experienced in her life, but according to mother it was not that bad.”  The whole household is seemed to be dislocated with the new experience. When the night fell, the barking and howling stats again and all the dogs in the area joins the choir making a huge commotion. As mother reveals, somebody secretly had released Tony from the chain. In the morning Tony was not there.

Father has a long discussion with Tissa telling that what he has done is wrong taking the example of the story of Casabianca, the who stood on the burning deck because his father asked not to move from there and the example from Charge of the Light Brigade by Tennyson. Tissa is critical about father’s comment but he is not worried about what he has done:   

“…not even because I wanted to do anything naughty and bad to annoy my parents – I had done such things in the past- but simply because I felt bad about leaving Tony behind after he had been with us for such a long time.”

Father ends the discussion laying out his conclusion: “Tony was a most ungrateful animal to have run away like that after I went through all that trouble to bring him home, and it is the best that I forget the wretched dog.”

However, mother seems to be more practical about her conclusion about Tony:

“She said to me that night, that I shouldn’t worry about Tony, that he would certainly have gone back to Depanama where he would be all right because there were people who knew him and liked him and would look after him. It is better happened this way, because here Tony would have been very unhappy.”

Tissa learns to adapt to the new situation of his life. He joins a boy gang of Sirisena courtesy to his collection of marbles. Though he loses most of his marbles, he could gain the membership in the gang. The gang consists of the boys named Sirisena, Munidasa, Ranal and Rathnapala but everyone called him Theliya, which has a long story.

When Tissa was at Depanama, mother did not give any chance to Tissa to play with others outside as he was a sick and feverish child. However, she has become indifferent to the new behaviour of her son here:

“Mother wouldn’t stop me- mother who would never let me play with the village children at Depanama had now suddenly become indifferent to my activities, and I didn’t know whether it was because she was too tired or I was getting too big for her or she let me go because that way I would forget Tony.”

Tissa shows gradual development into adolescence, he demonstrates his budding coy feelings by seeing the naked legs of Ranal’s sister. It is an indication that the boy is physically and mentally maturing into early adulthood.

The freedom with the new boy gang brings some light to the sad life of Tissa. This slowly makes him forget about his only companion Tony. However, at the end of April, Mother sends him to Depanama again to return some money borrowed from Mrs. Lawrence Perera which is a landmark day in the lives of Tissa and Tony.

Mother firmly instructs Tissa not to do any fancy things again. Tissa too was determined not to do so, however, his mind was bothering: “But I had a problem which kept bothering me. What if I were to meet Tony again at Depanama?”

He determined to finish the job and return to his gang as soon as possible. So, when he meets three brothers Piyasena, jayasena and Jinadasa he evades them implying that he is in a hurry. From Mrs. Lawrance Perara, Tissa gets the news that Tony had found a new house:

“Tony is here alright and I shouldn’t worry about him because he has got used to Proctor Gunawardan’s place where they give him to eat and she saw him couple of times and he looked all right.”

However, in his heart Tissa knows that Tony would appear and meet him. It happens but the dog he sees is quite a distorted form of earlier Tony except his face:

“When it happened, First I heard a faint whining sound and I closed my eyes immediately, and then there was sound of rushing dog’s feet and something fell heavily against my legs. I opened my eyes and there, at my feet lay Tony with upturned paws in that gesture of canine loyalty and affection. It was tony and also not Tony.”

“…this was a sick god with sores all over; tufts of fur stood among patches of red skin through which the bones showed…only the face remained the same as ever…and the same soft and gentle eyes which now kept looking at me eagerly and expectantly in pools of bubbling love.”

This meeting creates an everlasting scar of grief in the heart of Tissa as he sees what has happened to his beloved dog after they had left him behind. However, Tissa has no intention to take Tony home again. Tony seems to have another plan to go on an adventurous journey with his master. Tissa bribes Tony a bun and runs away leaving him without looking back. That is the last time he sees Tony in his life. His final words suggest that he has no intention to see Tony again:

“I knew that I would never see Tony again, and it would be a long long time before I revisited Depanama because there was nothing for me there anymore.”

The second segment of the novel ends with an open ending leaving the fate of Tony to the time. Though the time period is less than a month for the incident, this portion of the novel creates an everlasting impact on the life of the protagonist. His whole life has been haunted by the guilty feeling and the memories of Tony whom they had left behind unceremoniously.

Hope this detailed summary would help you to understand the second segment of the novel Bringing Tony Home by Tissa Abeysekara. We have included important quotations to make your reading worthwhile and for exam purposes. Share the post if you find this useful to others.


Read the first part of the detailed summary here.

Read the first part of the novel The Sunset here.

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