The Mayor of Casterbridge
by Thomas Hardy
The Mayor of Casterbridge Chapter 34 Summary
- Elizabeth-Jane goes to Farfrae's office the next morning.
- She tells him her father is bitter and unhappy and that she is worried he might try to "insult" Farfrae in some way.
- Farfrae shrugs it off. He thinks he and Henchard are friends again.
- But after Elizabeth-Jane leaves, he remembers how sensible she is. He resolves to be more careful.
- Nevertheless, he goes ahead with his plan to help Henchard: he's going to open a seed store in town and hire Henchard as the manager. This will give Henchard more independence and a chance to earn money if the store does well.
- But when he goes to finalize the plan, he hears that Henchard has been talking a lot of trash about him at the King of Prussia.
- He decides not to go through with the plan.
- But then Henchard hears that Farfrae had planned on giving him the management of the shop and then changed his mind.
- Henchard is even angrier at Farfrae now.
- Farfrae goes home and is obviously anxious about something.
- Lucetta is worried that Farfrae has heard something about her, but she can't bring herself to ask.
- Then one of the town councilmen arrives to ask Farfrae if he'd be willing to be the mayor if the councilmen elected him.
- Farfrae is awfully young to be mayor, but sure, why not?
- The next day, Henchard remembers the packet of letters Lucetta had written to him.
- They're still in the safe at his old house!
- He knocks on the door and asks Farfrae if he can get a parcel out of the safe that he'd forgotten.
- Of course, Farfrae agrees.
- The parcel is just a collection of old letters, Henchard says.
- Since Farfrae already knows the story about the young lady Henchard was supposed to have married (but still doesn't know her name), Henchard starts reading snippets of the letters to him.
- Farfrae has no idea why Henchard is reading him these letters, but he listens politely.
- Henchard is on the verge of telling Farfrae that the young lady was Lucetta, but he can't bring himself to.
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