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The Mayor of Casterbridge
by Thomas Hardy
The Mayor of Casterbridge Chapter 14 Summary
Susan, who is now officially Mrs. Henchard again, moves into Henchard's big fancy house with Elizabeth-Jane. Elizabeth-Jane is happy to live in such a nice house, but she isn't overly triumphant about it. She knows how uncertain things can be and doesn't want to get too attached to their newfound prosperity. Elizabeth-Jane dresses more nicely than she used to, but she doesn't wear a lot of the frills and bows that other young ladies wear. Henchard is glad Elizabeth-Jane has grown up into such a pretty and sensible young lady. He wonders, though, why her hair is so light. When she was a baby, it was a lot darker. Susan says that hair color changes as babies grow up and warns him not to drop hints to Elizabeth-Jane that he knew her when she was younger. He suggests one day that Elizabeth-Jane should change her last name to Henchard and be known as Miss Henchard around town instead of Miss Newson. She says she'd rather not, since it would seem disrespectful to her dead father, Captain Newson. Henchard can't argue with this, since she doesn't know the whole story. Elizabeth-Jane likes watching Henchard and Farfrae working in the offices, which she can see from her window. She is developing a crush on Farfrae! She notices that Henchard and Farfrae seem to be inseparable. Henchard thinks very highly of Farfrae and relies on him for advice on almost everything. One day Elizabeth-Jane gets a note to go and meet someone at one of Henchard's storage houses. She assumes it's a quick question that has to do with his business, so she heads on over. When she gets there, she ends up getting covered with husks of wheat. Then Farfrae comes in. She assumes the note must have been from him and asks him what he needs. He didn't send the note; he got one, too. They wait around together for a while and then realize that someone must have been playing a trick on them. Before they go, Farfrae has to point out that Elizabeth-Jane has wheat husks all over her. He blows them off for her, which is kind of an intimate thing to do to your employer's daughter. He notices that Elizabeth-Jane is pretty hot, and offers to walk her home. She gets embarrassed and they go their separate ways.
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