Tess of the d'Urbervilles: Chapter 54 - Summary

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      In a quarter of an hour, Clare left the house, and dashed towards the region of Flintcomb-Ash, the address from which she had written to him. Here, of course, he did not find her. The cottagers told him that Tess had gone, without due notice, to the home of her parents, and it therefore became necessary to find Mrs. Durbeyfield. The only course was to go to Marlott and inquire for her new address. On inquiry, he learned that Jack Durbeyfield was dead; that his widow and children had left Marlott to live in Kingsbere. Thither Clare moved. He had little difficulty in finding Mrs. Durbeyfields’ cottage. She came to the door herself. This was the first time that Clare had ever met her. He was obliged to explain that he was Tess’s husband and wanted to see her at once. She told him that she did not know where Tess was staying. At last he asked, “Do you think Tess would wish me to try and find her? If not, of course — ‘I don’t think she would’. ‘Are you sure? asked Clare. ‘I am sure she wouldn’t.’ Then he thought of Tess’s tender letter, and retorted, “I am sure she would! I know her better than you do”. Again he requested her to tell him Tess’s address. Seeing his grief, she said ‘she is at Sandbourne’. The last train to Sandbourne left shortly after, and it carried Clare.

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