The Mayor of Casterbridge
by Thomas Hardy
The Mayor of Casterbridge Chapter 24 Summary
- Elizabeth-Jane is happy that Lucetta wants her to stay.
- She helps Lucetta decide what new dress to wear one day for a walk out in the market.
- It's a beautiful, busy day in the square, and they see Henchard.
- Henchard makes some small talk with them and points out a new machine for sowing seeds that Farfrae has brought to town.
- Henchard says it'll never work and makes a few insulting remarks on Farfrae's business sense.
- Clearly, Henchard is still jealous.
- He mutters something to Lucetta that Elizabeth-Jane can't quite hear.
- She thinks this is weird, since (as far as she knows) they don't know each other.
- Then Henchard leaves.
- They see Farfrae and stop to chat.
- Lucetta is very flirty with him.
- Elizabeth-Jane notices, and wonders about this.
- Lucetta explains that they'd met the other day, then changes the subject by remarking on how cold and distant Henchard was to his own daughter.
- Elizabeth-Jane agrees and says it's because Henchard doesn't think she's respectable; she wasn't educated as a fine lady.
- Lucetta hints that she can sympathize with what it's like having people think you're not respectable.
- The next day Lucetta goes out by herself.
- Elizabeth-Jane suspects that Lucetta is hoping to run into Farfrae, and when Lucetta gets back, she finds out she did see him.
- That night, Lucetta tells Elizabeth-Jane part of her story. Only, the way she tells it, it all happened to "a friend," and she doesn't use real names.
- Elizabeth-Jane suspects that Lucetta is talking about herself but doesn't let on.
- Lucetta asks what "this poor girl" should do – should she marry the man to whom she was once engaged, who had accidentally trashed her reputation, or should she marry this new guy that she likes better?
- Elizabeth-Jane says she can't say.
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