The Mayor of Casterbridge
Thomas Hardy
Contributed by Bobbie Heil
Chapter 28

The next morning, Henchard attends to his duties as Justice of the Peace. The one case over which he presides involves an old woman charged with disorderly conduct in a church. She is indignant at the lawyers accusing her, and when she is allowed to speak, she makes a shocking revelation. She was the furmity-booth vendor who observed Henchard’s sale of his wife twenty years ago, and she charges that Henchard can be no judge of her character, since he has committed such an immoral crime himself. The sensation of her accusations spreads throughout the town, finally reaching Lucetta whom is incredibly disheartened to hear of this monstrous deed. Lucetta tells Elizabeth-Jane that she will be vacationing in Port Bredy for several days to escape Casterbridge. Elizabeth-Jane suspects that one reason for her misery is Farfrae’s absence from town, but she is glad that her mentor is seeking rest. Henchard comes to pay Lucetta a visit when she returns from Port Bredy, but he is informed that she is taking a walk presently. He does not stay to converse with his stepdaughter.

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