From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Return of the Native

The Return of the Native

  

by Thomas Hardy

The Return of the Native Book 1, Chapter 2 Summary

Humanity Appears upon the Scene, Hand in Hand with Trouble

  • Some people finally arrive!
  • An old man is walking along a road.
  • Another fellow appears on the scene – it's a guy walking alongside a van (a carriage drawn by a horse, not like, a Dodge Caravan) and surrounded by a cloud a red dust, like Pig-Pen.
  • This guy is a "reddleman," which is a person who sold red dye to people.
  • Since he works with red dye all the time, the reddleman is stained red and is often socially ostracized because of that.
  • The men walk along the road. Yes, nature is described some more.
  • Finally, the two guys strike up a conversation.
  • There's a girl in the reddleman's van. The reddleman is not her husband, and he's just helping her out of a jam. He refuses to elaborate more than that.
  • The old man, a retired naval officer, is nosey, but doesn't learn any juicy gossip.
  • The old man leaves for his house and we follow the reddleman.
  • The heath used to be a hangout for ancient Celts and there's some cool ruins and a creepy, prehistoric vibe floating around the place.
  • The reddleman sees a mysterious figure on a hill, but it promptly disappears.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement