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The Mayor of Casterbridge
by Thomas Hardy
The Mayor of Casterbridge Chapter 37 Summary
There's a big hubbub in Casterbridge: a member of the British royal family is planning to travel through town. Farfrae, as the mayor, is in charge of welcoming the royal procession. He and Lucetta are all decked out in their finest clothes. Henchard is determined to take part in the welcoming ceremony, even though he's no longer mayor and holds no official office at all. Elizabeth-Jane is worried that Henchard is up to something and tries to get him to accompany her to see the procession. But he pushes his way to the front and thrusts out his hand to shake hands with the guest of honor. This could be seen as an insult to the royal guest, so Farfrae leaps forward and shoves Henchard aside. Of course, this makes Henchard totally furious. He backs down for the moment because they're in public, but he plans to get his revenge. Meanwhile, some of the townspeople who know about Lucetta's letters are planning to set up the skimmity-ride for later that night. A lot of them think it's not a good idea – Farfrae is a good man, and Lucetta has been proper enough since coming to Casterbridge. If she has secrets from her past, it's none of their business. But Joshua Jopp pushes them into it because he's angry at both Lucetta and Henchard and wants revenge.
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