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The Mayor of Casterbridge

The Mayor of Casterbridge

by Thomas Hardy

The Mayor of Casterbridge Chapter 22 Summary

  • Flashback to the night before.
  • Henchard received another message from Lucetta, saying that she had moved to Casterbridge.
  • She apologizes for having missed him when changing coaches in Casterbridge, but says that her plans changed because of a family emergency.
  • She says she is moving into the big house downtown, called High Street Hall.
  • Henchard figures Lucetta is going to be the housekeeper or governess there, since when he knew her she was well-educated but relatively poor.
  • He goes to visit that night and asks if Miss Le Sueur is there.
  • The servant at the door says no – only Miss Templeman.
  • Henchard figures Lucetta hasn't arrived yet, and heads home.
  • When Henchard hears that Elizabeth-Jane is going to live with Miss Templeman at High Street Hall, he suddenly wonders whether Lucetta might have changed her name. What if Lucetta Le Sueur and Miss Templeman are the same person?
  • He doesn't have to wonder for long – Lucetta sends him another note that explains everything.
  • Her wealthy relative was named Templeman. She died and left Lucetta all her money.
  • Since Lucetta's reputation was ruined (thanks in part to Henchard), she decided to change her last name to Templeman.
  • No one knows her as Miss Templeman, so the disgrace associated with the name Le Sueur won't follow her.
  • And now she's rich!
  • She ends her note by saying that Elizabeth-Jane is staying with her and she hopes that's cool with him.
  • Henchard realizes that Lucetta must have asked Elizabeth-Jane to stay with her in part to make it easy for him to come and visit. That way he'll be able to see a lot of Lucetta as well, and no one will think it's weird if he asks her to marry him.
  • Elizabeth-Jane, meanwhile, is very happy at Miss Templeman's house. She thinks Lucetta is a very beautiful woman, and hopes that some of her fancy education will rub off on her.
  • But Lucetta admits that she hasn't been rich for very long.
  • She mentions a few things about her past, then regrets it. She was planning not to tell anyone that she was originally from Jersey because she's afraid the scandal will catch up with her.
  • But of course Elizabeth-Jane isn't a gossip.
  • The next day they wait around, hoping that Henchard will visit.
  • Lucetta hasn't, of course, told Elizabeth-Jane anything about her history with Henchard.
  • Elizabeth-Jane says it isn't likely her father will come – he hates her.
  • The next day Lucetta sends Elizabeth-Jane on some made-up errands.
  • Elizabeth-Jane immediately realizes that Lucetta is trying to get her out of the way, and doesn't know why. But she goes on the errands anyway.
  • While she's gone, Lucetta sends a quick note to Henchard saying she's at home alone.
  • But who should come in but Farfrae, instead.
  • Farfrae had gotten Henchard's note saying that it was OK for him to talk to Elizabeth-Jane again. He heard that Elizabeth-Jane was living with Miss Templeman.

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