Tess of the d'Urbervilles: Chapter 48 - Summary

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      The farm owner had informed the laborers that the whole crop has to be finished by the evening. Because the next day, the machine was to go elser where. Therefore at night, there was ceaseless and speedier work.

      Tess worked upto 3 o’clock. The machine was producing sound. Tess was surprised to see Alec at this time. He was gesticulating as if he was kissing: Tess saw him but she resumed her work. This was evening time. The heap of the bushels was decreasing. But the Bushels were numerous. The machine was finishing thousands of bushels. The sky and the Sun seemed to be angry, near the machine, both the persons were very much tired. Tess’s face was full of dust. She was standing on the machine, so that her body was quivering. Her arms were working without her knowledge. She was in an unconscious state of mind. She did not know where Izz Huett stood. All the laborers were very much tired. The heap of bushels was like the ladder of Jacob. Tess knew that Alec was present there. He was looking at her. Some people gathered there for playing. Still, there was one hour’s work more, as the evening light was disappearing, the white moon was shining in the eastern horizon.

      Marian was a little troubled. Tess had done nothing. But other women had taken ordinary drink.

      The heap of the bushels was so low that they could talk quite audibly. Tess was very much surprised to hear that she could go to her friend if she liked. But she refused and continued to work.

      When the heap had decreased, the worms and reptiles under it began to run here and there. Tess fed the machine with the last bushel and she came down.

      As she stepped down, she met Alec. She was so tired that she could not speak. Therefore she dismissed him with little conversation. Alec replied, “I do not want to displease you. Your whole body is trembling. I have told the owner of the farm that he cannot use women on the machine. I shall go with you to the house.” Tess permitted him to go with her. Alec said, “I cannot regularize my past behavior. My religious fervor is over. I want to make you my companion. I have got much property. I can save you from poverty.”

      The moon was shedding its rays on the face of Tess. She reached her room with Alec. She said, “Please do not describe my brothers and sisters. This breaks my heart. But I do not want to accept anything from you either for me or for them.”

      Alec did not go with her. After the lunch, she wrote a letter to her husband in which she described all her feelings. She thought that she loved Angel even now. Therefore Angel should have come to her. She wrote whatever she could in this passion.

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