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.
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