Study Guide

The Mayor of Casterbridge Chapter 36

By Thomas Hardy

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Chapter 36

  • On Lucetta's way home, she sees Joshua Jopp.
  • He stops her and asks if she'll vouch for his character to Farfrae so he can get a job.
  • She says she doesn't know him at all – how could she vouch for his character?
  • He says he used to live in Jersey when she did.
  • This might be true, but she still didn't know him.
  • She leaves. He's angry at her and goes home.
  • Henchard is still crashing at Jopp's house.
  • He doesn't want to be seen carrying the parcel of letters to Farfrae's house, so he asks Jopp to do it.
  • Jopp agrees but doesn't go straight there.
  • He stops for a few drinks at a pub in the seedy part of town.
  • He opens the parcel and reads a few of the letters.
  • He even passes some of them around so the other seedy characters in the pub can read them, too.
  • The people in the pub start talking about doing a "skimmity-ride."
  • A newcomer in the pub asks what a skimmity-ride is.
  • The innkeeper explains that it's something people do to expose a woman's bad reputation, but she doesn't go into further details.
  • Jopp seals up the letters and the package again and delivers it to Lucetta first thing in the morning.
  • She burns them immediately, little suspecting that half the town already knows their contents.

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