The Mayor of Casterbridge
by Thomas Hardy
The Mayor of Casterbridge Chapter 45 Summary
- About a month after the wedding, Elizabeth-Jane starts thinking about her stepfather.
- She feels bad for him – she knows he must be penniless and possibly homeless.
- Farfrae immediately agrees to help find him.
- They drive around, asking if anyone has seen him.
- They search and search, and eventually they find Abel Whittle, the old employee who now works for Farfrae.
- Whittle is just going into a cottage.
- Farfrae and Elizabeth-Jane call to him and ask what he's doing so far from Casterbridge.
- He explains that he found Henchard on the road – cold, wet, and sick – and took him to an empty cottage to take care of him.
- Whittle explains that Henchard was kind to his mother when she was poor and sick, and so it only seemed right.
- Henchard died just 30 minutes before Elizabeth-Jane and Farfrae arrived.
- They go in and see that Henchard has written a will. He doesn't want to be buried in the churchyard, he doesn't want a funeral, or flowers on his grave, and he doesn't want anyone to remember him.
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