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The Mayor of Casterbridge
by Thomas Hardy
The Mayor of Casterbridge Chapter 32 Summary
Henchard is standing on an old bridge at the edge of town. He's totally depressed. It's not a happy bridge. Other people have killed themselves by jumping off of it before. Henchard isn't that kind of guy, though. Joshua Jopp comes up behind him with some more bad news: Farfrae has bought Henchard's old house, including all the furniture, and has moved into it with Lucetta. Jopp leaves. Then Farfrae walks up. He asks Henchard if it's true that he's planning to leave the country. Henchard says yes. Farfrae offers to let him stay in his old house for a while. Henchard thinks that would be really weird, and says thanks, but no thanks. Farfrae then offers Henchard any of his old furniture that he has a sentimental attachment to. Henchard is touched by the offer. Meanwhile, Elizabeth-Jane is supporting herself by making lace and netting and other fancy things to sell. She also devotes some time to studying every day. Unfortunately, her new apartment is just across from Henchard's old house, so she sees Lucetta and Farfrae going in and out all the time. She hears that Henchard is sick and goes to see him. He doesn't want to see her, but he gets better quickly. He begins to feel sorry about leaving Elizabeth-Jane in Casterbridge by herself and decides to find work there if he can. He gets hired by Farfrae. There are only twelve more days until he can start drinking again. His oath when he sold Susan was to go without it for twenty years. A couple weeks later, Elizabeth-Jane hears the news that Henchard had started drinking again, and she hurries out to find him.
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