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The Mayor of Casterbridge
by Thomas Hardy
The Mayor of Casterbridge Chapter 21 Summary
Elizabeth-Jane goes for a walk that evening and checks out the house where the young lady said she was going to live. It really is right in the middle of downtown – the living room windows face the town square where the market is held. There are lights on in the house, and Elizabeth-Jane imagines the young lady is probably there already. Elizabeth-Jane starts to leave but she sees Henchard coming up the street. She slips into a doorway so he won't see her and scold her. Henchard seemed to be heading to the young lady's house. Elizabeth-Jane doesn't see him knock, though. She hurries home and he arrives only a few minutes after her. She asks him if he would mind if she took a position as a companion in a respectable young lady's home. He has no objection at all and even promises to give her a monthly allowance. The next morning Elizabeth-Jane goes to meet the young lady at the cemetery to tell her that everything is arranged. The young lady finally tells Elizabeth-Jane her name: Miss Templeman. She goes back to Henchard's house to pack. When Henchard sees her on her way out, he regrets sending her away, but it's too late to convince her to stay. He asks her where she's going and she says the name of the house. Henchard seems surprised, but doesn't say anything.
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