Tess of the d'Urbervilles: Chapter 24 - Summary

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      In the spring, flowers were blooming in the valley of Froom. The trees were putting on new leaves. In the hearts of men, passion was being excited. In the atmosphere of the dairy the hearts of people were equally warm. The wind that was blowing was quite fresh. It had its own scent in the minds of the people. In the afternoon and evening, the natural scene seemed to be lying in perfect glory. Clare was full of trouble on account of heat. Clare had love for Tess.

      After the rainy season, hills and undulated places were quite dry. When the carriage of the dairy was returning home, its wheels were full of dust. The cows were running here and there. Crick used to keep his sleeves upturned the whole day.

      The cows were being milked outside. Animals went naturally towards the shadows of trees. When the milkmen came, they did not stand at the place. One day four or five cows were standing aloof. They had not been milked. Another milker asked less if she would milk the cows first. She accepted this. Tess began to milk the cow. Angel also reached there. All milkers used to keep forehead beside the cows and kept their eyes on the pail. But few of them used to look sideways, less looked towards the plains. This time she did not know that Clare was looking at her. While milking, she had assumed a strange pose. Nothing except her hands was shaking. Her body was very attractive. It was not illusory. She had strength. Nobody could find such beauty anywhere in the world. After sometime, Tess came to know that Angel was looking at her. But she did not change her position. Angel stood up and embraced Tess. Tess left herself completely in his arms. She knew that Clare was her lover. She opened her lips, and began to cry out of sheer joy. He was going to kiss her. But he stopped. Tess’s eyes were on the fields, but her heart was towards Angel. Clare said to her. “Excuse me, I love you. I have been concealing these feelings so far.” After this Angel let her go. Then Tess began to milk the cows. Nobody could know that both of them were so intimate with each other. But the world had changed for Tess and Angel. Nature had given them one life. The barrier had been removed. They could look at the world from a different angle.

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