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The Return of the Native
by Thomas Hardy
The Return of the Native Book 1, Chapter 11 Summary
The Dishonesty of an Honest Woman Diggory Venn is definitely persistent. After his poor showing with Eustacia, he decides to try again with Mrs. Yeobright. Luckily, he comes across Mrs. Yeobright making her way to the Quiet Woman Inn to see Wildeve. She looks about as thrilled as someone who's heading to a dentist appointment. The two start chatting and Venn confesses that he proposed to Thomasin once upon a time and was refused. Mrs. Yeobright thanks Diggory for his concern but says that Thomasin is only interested in Wildeve now and probably won't marry Venn. But Venn has given her an idea. So Mrs. Yeobright marches off to talk to Wildeve, with a newly-acquired ace up her sleeve. She tells Wildeve that Thomasin has another suitor, though she doesn't say who exactly. Wildeve is surprised and worried. Mrs. Yeobright gives him an ultimatum: he can either make up his mind to marry Thomasin soon or she's going to get sick of him and marry Mystery Man instead. Wildeve flounders around a bit and finally Mrs. Yeobright leaves. Well-played, Mrs. Yeobright, well-played. Wildeve quickly runs off to see Eustacia about all of this. He says that he wants to run off to America with her soon since Thomasin is going to marry some other guy now. But, irony of ironies, Eustacia is suddenly much less attracted to Wildeve, now that he's back on the market. So Eustacia hedges about moving to America and says that the whole Thomasin thing has made her not trust him as much. Wildeve says whatever, and Eustacia vaguely says she'll give him her answer in a week. Eustacia goes home and her grandfather informs her that everyone is freaking out because Clym Yeobright is definitely coming home for Christmas. Eustacia asks where he's been living and her grandfather replies, "Paris." And thus ends Book 1.
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