Tess of the DUrbervilles
Thomas Hardy
Contributed by Harvey Landy
Chapter 44

Tess is disturbed that she has still received no news from Angel. Her only point of contact with him is through his parents at Emminster Vicarage, but she does not make contact with them. Still she is hopeful that they might be understanding of her plight, and she decides to pay them a visit one Sunday to see if they have news about Angel.

The journey is long, but Tess carries on, but the more she walks, the less confident she is of herself and her ability to talk with Angel’s parents. Before she makes her presence known, she hides her thick walking boots and puts on her shoes. Then she rings the doorbell, but everyone is at church, so she decides to wait for them. Not wanting for them to see her out in the open when they return, she retreats slightly. She becomes timid about making herself known and begins to walk away.

She overhears a conversation involving Angel’s two brothers who find and confiscate her boots, thinking they belong to some poor soul who is trying to deceive the town into paying him kindness. Tess is saddened, and makes a final retreat. Coming across an old woman who tells her about the preaching of a fiery young man in a nearby barn, Tess makes her way there. The doctrine being preached is similar to that encouraged by Angel’s father, but Tess is startled to see that the preacher is none other than Alec d’Urberville.

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