Tess of the d'Urbervilles: Chapter 11 - Summary

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      The effect of wine had much decreased when Alec had offered a ride to Tess. All around the atmosphere was highly romantic. The secluded paths, the cool breeze, the whistling leaves, the moonlight and the quietude of the night all were trying together to intensify the decaying intoxication. In this first ride together with Tess, Alec was so delightful that when she told him that she did not love him, rather hate him, he did not take ill. He did not mind her harsh words. He was fully conscious of the opportunity which luckily had fallen to his favor and therefore his devilish mind was scheming something very hideous.

      The fatigue of the whole day had made her very feeble and she could not resist napping. The horse was ambling and the continuous jerks of the horse lulled her to an undesired light sleep. Unawaringly she rested her head against his shoulder. Alec at once came to know the cause of it. He turned to clasp her waist but she was alarmed and she rebuked him. Alec at once put an excuse that he had caught her, lest she should have a fall. Tess’s simplicity could suspect no longer. She was convinced with his arguments and therefore asked for forgiveness. Seeing that the wind was blowing then on his side, he stiffened himself and said that he would never forgive her unless she gives him the same privilege of clasping her waist. She had to surrender.

      Alec had knowingly turned the horse towards a forest. When Tess came to know his intentions, she was much enraged. Alec tried a new method. He told her that he had given a new horse to her father and toys to the children. Then he asked her to wait there, because he would go to see in what part of the country they were. He hitched the horse with a tree and lest Tess should catch cold, he covered her body with his overcoat. The fog that had arisen, had extricated the moonlight from the forest. Tess sat down on the moistened dry leaves scattered on the ground. When Alec turned up he found that Tess was sound asleep. The horse was grazing nearby. The lingering tears had dried upon the eye-lids of Tess. Her regular breath, her swollen breast and her unconscious body made him passionate. The devilish fire that flamed from his side burnt the maidenhood of Tess. The simple and innocent virgin was left a complete and expiating woman.

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