Tess of the d'Urbervilles: Chapter 16 - Summary

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Chapter XVI

      Once again, after two years, Tess was out to stand upon her own feet. Moreover, this expedition had a greater significance because she hoped that she will be able to rub off the lines created by the Trantridge period. Her luggage was packed up, but it was to be sent after her departure. With a heart full of hopes, she set off. After passing through Stour-Castle, she reached at a cress of the roads where she was to wait for carrier’s coach. A farmer, attracted by the beauty of her fair face offered her a lift in his cart and Tess unaware of his intentions, accepted the lift. Fanner’s cart was bound for Weather bury. There she took her meal, relaxed for some minutes and again started for her journey.

      Passing by the side of Kingsbere, the land of her ancestors, who had made her father a crank, she felt a kind of sensation. Soon she threw out those ideas from her mind and in good heart, full of zest for life descended the Egdon slopes lower and lower towards the dairy of her pilgrimage. Right at the top, she had realized the beauty of the vale of great dairies. The green meadows, the flowery groves, the grass-covered hills and specially the River From that extinguished the thirst for the lands and the living beings of this valley looked very beautiful. Though, of the direction, she was not quite sure, she was proceeding with a regular and steady speed. Suddenly there arose from all parts of the low and a prolonged and repeated call—‘Waow-waow-waow’. Perhaps it was the time of milking the cows and the dairymen were calling them. The cows trooped towards the call. Tess slowly followed in their rear. Thus in the guidance of these mute animals, she reached the Talbothays Dairy where she had to work. The red and white cows, which had very great and large-veined udders were standing in the rows. At the sight of others being milked, some of them were looking so eager that the drops of milk were oozing from their teats automatically. These drops fell to the ground and the ground gladly sucked them.

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