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Chapters 35 and 36

Chapter 35

During that same night, Lucetta is upstairs resting when she hears the doorbell. The visitor comes to talk to her husband, but she is shocked soon to hear her own words being read aloud in Henchard's voice. Thinking she has been revealed, she is surprised that her husband greets the scandal with continued calmness. She hears Henchard leave and seeing Farfrae smile at her, she is extremely relieved that her secret is still safe, but she is still frozen in anxiety and confused as to Henchard's future motives. Henchard does not destroy the letters; only he takes them with him as he leaves.
Lucetta writes to Henchard, asking why he schemes to reveal her and pleading that he swear to harbor the secret forever. She arranges to meet him that night to speak with him in person about his intentions. When they meet, Henchard is uneasy to see the shaky state in which he finds Lucetta, knowing that he is the primary cause. He soon accepts that Lucetta is a small prize in his war with Farfrae and he gives way, agreeing to return her letters and apologizing for his actions. He cautions, however, that even if he does not inform Farfrae, Lucetta's husband will somehow learn the truth. They part ways, with Henchard promising to keep his word.

Chapter 36

When Lucetta arrives home, she finds Jopp waiting for her at the door. Since Jopp knows Lucetta from Jersey where Jopp used to work, he hopes that Lucetta will support his petition to get a job from Farfrae. She refuses, and Jopp leaves dejected. When Jopp arrives back at the cottage, Henchard asks if he will return a parcel to Lucetta for him, which contains the letters. Jopp's curiosity, aroused from slight suspicions that Lucetta and Henchard had previous relations, causes him to open the package but the letters do not keep his interest. He reseals the package and heads off to deliver the parcel as requested.
He comes across several townspeople who invite him to Mixen-Lane, a dark and sad place for the lower classes of society. The houses on the Lane are connected to the main moor by small planks, stretched across the river to act as makeshift bridges. The locals, with Jopp, head over to Peter's Finger, an inn not unlike the Three Mariners on a low day and entered by a side alley. Inside are several customers, including the old furmity-woman, who asks Jopp about the parcel he carries. Soon, the whole inn is reading the letters, astonished that the writer is Mrs. Farfrae herself! One local, Mrs. Cuxsom, mentions the old custom of a skimmity-ride, a jocular ridiculing of suspected persons. Just then, a stranger approaches who appears middle-aged with a friendly demeanor. He enters the inn for a bit of rest, but seeing his present company, he thinks twice and heads towards the door to seek alternate arrangements for the night. As he leaves, he inquires about the skimmity-ride, hoping to see one to get a good laugh. He agrees to pay a sum of money for the locals to arrange one to premiere in Casterbridge within the next few weeks, while he is in town and departs. Jopp, after delighting at the beginning of the skimmity-ride arrangement, also leaves and returns the letters to Lucetta.

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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