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Chapter 39

Farfrae's detour on his journey is caused because an unsigned note arrives telling him to head immediately to Weatherbury instead of his original destination down Budmouth Road. Farfrae does not know why there would be an emergency, but he heads over anyway. The anonymous letter is in fact an attempt to get Farfrae out of town for the evening, to protect him from the skimmity-ride, although they do not take any precautions with Lucetta, wanting to see her reaction.
Lucetta is at home, content in her illusion that her secret is safe. She soon hears the same racket, which does not surprise her, thinking it to be local recreation. However, the disturbance's origin is made clear by gossip that Lucetta overhears - there are two figures riding on a donkey, effigies of her and Henchard! The dramatic revelation of their past intimacy frightens Lucetta into a sickness, afraid that her husband will return and see the procession. Elizabeth-Jane tries to comfort her and stop the antics, but not before Lucetta collapses.
The doctor comes and relays news about Lucetta's bad condition. A rider is immediately dispatched to get Farfrae along Budmouth Road. Mr. Grower meanwhile hears the racket and inquires as to why the town magistrates have not yet stopped the racket. They inform him that they have insufficient manpower, and moreover, the townspeople are tight with their responses to their questions. Mr. Grower sends the constables to Mixen-Lane in an effort to discover the culprits. The men arrive at Peter's Fingers that evening to search for evidence, but they find out no further information and subsequently leave.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapters 1 and 2
Chapters 3 and 4
Chapters 5 and 6
Chapters 7 and 8
Chapters 9 and 10
Chapters 11, 12, and 13
Chapters 14 and 15
Chapter 16
Chapters 17 and 18
Chapters 19 and 20
Chapters 21 and 22
Chapters 23 and 24
Chapters 25 and 26
Chapter 27
Chapters 28 and 29
Chapters 30 and 31
Chapters 32 and 33
Chapter 34
Chapters 35 and 36
Chapter 37
Chapter 38
Chapter 39
Chapters 40 and 41
Chapters 42 and 43
Chapter 44
Chapter 45


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