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Tess of the D'Urbervilles
by Thomas Hardy
Events / Phase III: "The Rally," Chapter Twenty-Three
Tess of the D'Urbervilles Phase III: "The Rally," Chapter Twenty-Three Summary
It's now July, and they've had a lot of rain. One Sunday morning, Tess and the other milkmaids decide to walk to church. On their way, they find that part of the road is flooded. It's not very deep, and on a working day they would have marched on across in their work boots. But they're wearing fancy Sunday shoes, and don't want to mess them up. Luckily for them, Angel happens to be out walking (remember, he has problems with the way the church is run). He offers to carry them each across. Of course the girls all agree. The first three are all blushing and excited as he lifts them up. After all, this might be the only time they get to be in his arms. He saves the best for last, and carries Tess across slowly so that he can whisper to her. She still tries to flatter her friends to make them seem better than she is. He almost kisses her, but doesn't want to take advantage of the situation. After he leaves them all, Tess's friends look despondent. She asks them what's up, and they say that they're miserable because Angel likes her the best. But still, they don't hold it against her. Especially when Tess cries out that they're all better than she is. That night, as they're getting ready for bed, she cries and says that she'd never marry him, or any man. They all convince themselves that Angel has no idea of marrying any of them. Izz is so depressed that she says she'll leave the dairy and go home. Later on, Izz mentions that there's some fine lady that Angel's family wants him to marry. Tess is shocked, and for the first time, feels some jealousy. But she no longer has any hope that he might intend to ask her to marry him.
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