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The Mayor of Casterbridge
by Thomas Hardy
The Mayor of Casterbridge Chapter 16 Summary
Farfrae and Henchard aren't such close friends anymore, but they still do business together as always. One day, Farfrae asks Henchard to borrow some big cloths to use as tarps to create a tent for some outdoor entertainment on a holiday. Henchard immediately agrees, but then starts thinking that he should do something similar. He even decides to do it on the same day, and to have a much bigger, fancier affair than Farfrae's. He decides to have his entertainment up on a hillside, while Farfrae is setting up his pavilion in a narrow lane under some spreading trees. Everyone is excited about both parties, especially Henchard's since his entertainments will be free and Farfrae is charging a little bit for his. But on the day of the holiday, the weather is bad. No one comes to Henchard's party because it's too exposed out on the hill. Farfrae's is under a tent, so everyone goes there instead. Henchard is very jealous. He ends up taking Susan and Elizabeth-Jane down to Farfrae's tent to see what's up. There's music, and people are dancing. Henchard overhears some people talking about how much better Farfrae's party is than Henchard's. He's not happy. Elizabeth-Jane is, though – Farfrae asks her to dance! And then he walks her home afterwards! He seems almost ready to propose to her, but doesn't. Henchard is so angry and jealous that he says he doesn't need a manager anymore. Farfrae agrees to go. Henchard regrets it later, but Farfrae is determined to go anyway.
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