The Return of the Native Book 2, Chapter 5 Summary
Through the Moonlight
The next night the mummers gather by the Vyes' fuel house before proceeding to the Yeobrights' party.
They disagree what time it is since the clocks at the Quiet Woman, Blooms-End, and the Vyes' house are all different.
Eustacia finally appears in full costume and explains that Charley is sick and she's Miss Vye's cousin.
She performs a speech for the others to prove she can do it and they are duly impressed.
The group sets off across the heath, which is described in great detail. We've missed our heath descriptions – it's been a few pages.
Eustacia is excited and feels completely over Wildeve now.
The mummers finally arrive at the party, but everyone is still dancing inside. So they hang around outdoors to wait for their curtain call.
The dancing goes on and on. Eustacia learns that Mrs. Yeobright throws a party for the "common" folk every year. It's like a charity benefit.
Eustacia scolds the men for not having manners when they suggest just barging in and starting their play. Like a flash-performance, organized via Twitter.
The guys confer for a bit and then ask the Turkish Knight if she's Eustacia Vye.
Eustacia won't confirm or deny and the guys all agree to keep her secret. They don't really care what she gets up to in her spare time.
Finally, the dancing stops and the play begins.
The mummers deliver their clunky dialogue and the whole thing is basically what you would expect from an annual Christmas pageant.
Eustacia does her speeches well and hangs in there through her fake sword fights. She dies slowly and, after finally perishing for good, props herself against a wall in order to watch the crowd and find Clym.