The Mayor of Casterbridge
Thomas Hardy
Contributed by Bobbie Heil
Chapter 9

Elizabeth-Jane awakens the next day to hear Henchard calling up to Farfrae, inquiring about his journey out of Casterbridge. They decide to walk together out of town, until the coach caught up with Farfrae to carry him the rest of the way. Elizabeth-Jane continues to stare at the men as they walk out of sight, lamenting Farfare’s departure. Susan is reminded of Henchard’s wealth and prosperity from his corn business and resolves to meet Henchard, for the sake of her daughter. She sends Elizabeth-Jane a note to Henchard, in the guise of a sailor’s widow who is in town. She is optimistic about the outcome since Henchard is both a lonely widower and one who laments a past deed, but she instructs her daughter not to be imposing on Henchard.

Elizabeth-Jane makes her way through town, which in reality is an old town but to her untrained eyes, it is all cosmopolitan. She approaches Henchard’s office, only to find Farfrae, who has been convinced by Henchard during their morning walk to stay in town as his new manager. The two men had struck an agreeable deal over a large breakfast, and Henchard has already been excitedly showing the new man the ins and outs of his business.

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