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The Mayor of Casterbridge
The Mayor of Casterbridge
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The Mayor of Casterbridge Chapter 41 Summary
Elizabeth-Jane comes to see Henchard and tell him the bad news about Lucetta.
Henchard appreciates the fact that she came to tell him in person.
She looks tired because she was up half the night, so he tells her to take a nap in the other room while he fixes her some breakfast.
She's surprised and pleased that he's being so nice to her, and she could definitely use a nap, so she agrees.
While she's asleep, a sailor comes to the door.
He says his name is Newson.
Henchard is obviously shocked.
Newson reminds Henchard of their transaction back at the Weydon Fair twenty years earlier.
Henchard says he's ashamed to remember it, and Newson feels the same way.
He says he has come to make amends.
He explains that Susan had thought for a long time that the sale was binding, so she was content to live faithfully as his wife.
But when a friend heard the story and told her she was being stupid, Susan was discontent and worried.
When Newson got back and saw how Susan's attitude had changed, he felt guilty.
On his next sailing cruise, he had some really bad weather. He decided not to go home and to let Susan think he'd drowned.
He figured then she'd be free to go find Henchard, or do whatever she wanted, since she was no longer happy living as his wife.
Newson has heard that Susan died, but he wants to know where Elizabeth-Jane is.
On an impulse, Henchard says that Elizabeth-Jane is dead too.
Newson is sorry – he has made a lot of money and wanted to give it to Elizabeth-Jane.
Henchard doesn't back down, and Newson leaves town.
Elizabeth-Jane wakes up fresh as a daisy and very grateful to the man she still believes is her father for having made her breakfast.
Henchard wants to have a real relationship with Elizabeth-Jane again, but now he's terrified that Newson will find out the truth and come back.
If Elizabeth-Jane ever finds out that he lied to Newson to keep them apart, she'll never forgive him.
Later that day, Henchard is hanging out down by the bridge again.
He sees his own body down in the water! This totally creeps him out.
He finds Elizabeth-Jane and brings her to the bridge to show her.
Of course, it's only the model of him from the skimmity-ride. Someone must have dumped it in the river when the constable broke up the parade.
But Henchard thinks it's a sign from heaven.
Elizabeth-Jane and Henchard move in together.
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