Tess of the d'Urbervilles: Chapter 53 - Summary

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      It was evening at Emminster Vicarage. Old Mr. Clare and Mrs. Clare were awaiting impatiently the arrival of their son, Angel. At last he came. They could not have recognized him had he not got out of their carriage at the particular moment when a particular person was due. ‘O, my boy, my boy—home again at last’ cried Mrs. Clare. As soon as they reached the room where the candles were lighted she looked at his face. ‘O, it is not Angel—not my son—the Angel who went away’ she cried. His father, too, was shocked to see him, so reduced was he. His eye-pits were sunken and the light in his eyes had waned. ‘I was ill over there, you know,’ he said. ‘I am all right now.’ lie asked if there had been any other letter for him, besides the one sent to him in Brazil. His mother gave him Tess’s recent note in which she had said:

      ‘You know that I did not intend to wrong you—why have you so wronged me? You are cruel, cruel indeed! I will try to forget you. It is all injustice I have received at your hands.’

      ‘It is quite true’ said Angel, throwing down the letter. ‘Perhaps she will never be reconciled to me.’ He soon retired to bed and the next morning, feeling exceedingly unwell. He remained in his room lost in thoughts. He thought if her love had indeed turned to “dislike, a sudden meeting might lead to bitter words. He, therefore, thought it would be best to prepare Tess and her family by sending a line to Marlott announcing his return. Before the week was out there came a short reply from Mrs. Durbeyfield which bore no address, though to his surprise it was not written from Marlott. She informed him that Tess was not with her and she was not at liberty to tell where she was, and that they had left Marlott. However, she wrote, she would inform him of Tess’s return when she does come back. He would wait till Mrs. Durbeyfield could inform him of Tess’s return. A day or two passed but no sign of Mrs. Durbeyfield’s letter. He decided that he would go and find her immediately. While he was hastily packing together a few articles for his journey, he got the note from Marian and Izz.

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