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Chapters 28 and 29

Chapter 28

The next morning, Henchard attends to his duties as Justice of the Peace. The one case over which he presides involves an old woman charged with disorderly conduct in a church. She is indignant at the lawyers accusing her, and when she is allowed to speak, she makes a shocking revelation. She was the furmity-booth vendor who observed Henchard's sale of his wife twenty years ago, and she charges that Henchard can be no judge of her character, since he has committed such an immoral crime himself. The sensation of her accusations spreads throughout the town, finally reaching Lucetta whom is incredibly disheartened to hear of this monstrous deed. Lucetta tells Elizabeth-Jane that she will be vacationing in Port Bredy for several days to escape Casterbridge. Elizabeth-Jane suspects that one reason for her misery is Farfrae's absence from town, but she is glad that her mentor is seeking rest. Henchard comes to pay Lucetta a visit when she returns from Port Bredy, but he is informed that she is taking a walk presently. He does not stay to converse with his stepdaughter.

Chapter 29

Lucetta's walk curiously takes her along the same path on which she has just recently returned from Port Bredy. She is consumed with romantic thoughts about Farfrae when she hears Elizabeth-Jane approaching, hoping to join her in her walk. Lucetta is slightly irked by the invasion of her privacy, but she is quickly distracted at the sight of a large old bull rambling towards them. The ladies look on at first, secure in their safety, but soon they realize the bull means to charge at them. They take off towards a barn and attempt to climb out of the animal's way but they are soon trapped with no means of escape.
Suddenly, Henchard comes to their rescue, battling the bull and calming a hysterical Lucetta. She is breathless at his heroism, and Henchard reveals that he was coming to find Lucetta to speak with her. As the three make their way back towards town, Elizabeth-Jane returns to retrieve Lucetta's muff while the two continue on. She sees Farfrae rolling down the path, explaining Lucetta's presence, and he is thoroughly concerned for Lucetta's welfare after hearing of the incident. When he arrives home, Farfrae asks his housekeeper if his move, planned for that evening, is prepared.
Henchard and Lucetta are meanwhile on their walk alone, and he asks Lucetta to help him out of his present circumstances. If Lucetta explains to Henchard's creditor, Mr. Grower, that they are to be married that night, Henchard will receive an extension on his loan for one night, which he desperately needs in order to accumulate the money. However, Lucetta shockingly reveals that she cannot agree to the deception because Mr. Grower was a witness at her own wedding - to Farfrae! They had wed in Port Bredy just a few days ago! Lucetta is tearful in her explanation about her true love for Farfrae and not wanting to hurt Henchard, but Henchard is painfully bitter. She offers to assist him with the loan, but he demands that she leave his sight immediately. She leaves him and runs back to her house.

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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