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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