Tess of the d'Urbervilles: Chapter 29 - Summary

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      At Talbothays, women were cutting jokes and talking lightly. But there was a mark of sadness on Tess’s face. The subject which was quite interesting for them made Tess really miserable. She stood up and went away by a narrow way. She was thinking that she must be followed by Angel Clare. She reached the river bank and stood there. Up the river, some people were uprooting grass in the river. Lots of grass were being washed away in front of her and much of grass had collected in the river. Hence the cows could not cross it. She was thinking how people laughed at other’s difficulties. Angel came after her. He again proposed to marry Tess. Tess replied, “I do not want to marry you.” Repeated refusals by Tess discouraged Clare too much. lie left the place quite disappointed. It was the fag end of September and Angel did not repeat the proposal of marriage.

      Tess had clearly expressed her unwillingness. Even then she loved him. She had hidden love in her behavior towards Clare. Angel Clare now began to mock at her sometimes. Tess said to him, “I can give you no reply on the question of marriage.” Clare had decided not to reiterate this questions again. Skimming had been finished. Autumn had set in. Days had begun to lessen. The women went out for a walk. Angel also followed them. There was morning paleness in the atmosphere. Tess and Angel were talking to each other about other women. In the mean time, a milkman came. They stopped talking, Tess knew that they were going soon to take decision regarding marriage.

      In the evening most of the dairymen went out to the fields for milking the cows. There was paucity of labor. The work of milking progressed leisurely. Each pailful was poured into tall Cans that were kept in wagon. The dairy-man Crick looked at his watch suddenly and said, “There is no time now. We have to send this milk to the station, who will drive the wagon to the station?” Clare accepted the responsibility. He requested Tess to go with him. The sun was not shining. Tess was scantily dressed. Hence she refused to go with him. But at last, she was prevailed upon—She left her pail and stool and sat on the wagon which was to go to the station.

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