Study Guide

The Return of the Native Book 4, Chapter 1

By Thomas Hardy

Book 4, Chapter 1

The Rencounter by the Pool

  • It's July. Eustacia and Clym are in the honeymoon phase of their marriage and spend their days frolicking about the heath and gazing at one another.
  • But not everything is all sunshine and roses – Eustacia is getting increasingly antsy and wants to move to Paris, while Clym is getting anxious about starting his school.
  • Meanwhile, Thomasin was surprised by how much money her aunt had given her and wrote her a thank you note.
  • Christian is terrified and can't even speak to Mrs. Yeobright anymore.
  • So Mrs. Yeobright gets increasingly suspicious about things, especially when she never gets a thank you note from Clym.
  • Mrs. Yeobright then decides to go see Eustacia and find out whether or not they got the money or not.
  • Christian finds out about her plan and confesses that he lost the money to Wildeve.
  • Mrs. Yeobright is furious and fires him.
  • Mrs. Yeobright convinces herself that Damon gave the money to Eustacia.
  • So she confronts her daughter-in-law and Eustacia is insulted by the insinuation that she's a prostitute or something.
  • The two have a huge argument and part on very bad terms.
  • Mrs. Yeobright warns Eustacia that she'll lose Clym's love if she shows him her temper.