Study Guide

The Return of the Native Book 4, Chapter 8

By Thomas Hardy

Book 4, Chapter 8

Eustacia Hears of Good Fortune, and Beholds Evil

  • Eustacia is alone and is getting increasingly anxious about Clym.
  • OK, she's getting anxious about herself really.
  • Eustacia's grandpa stops by to gossip on his way home.
  • He tells her that Damon has recently inherited a ton of money and points out that Eustacia probably wishes she married Damon now instead.
  • Eustacia refuses her grandfather's offer of money and sends him on his way.
  • Eustacia obsesses over Wildeve now and is convinced that the guy's still in love with her.
  • She's deep in thought and wanders subconsciously towards Mrs. Yeobright's house to meet Clym.
  • Suddenly, Wildeve appears. The man needs to get a hobby, other than stalking Eustacia.
  • The two chat about Wildeve's money and he tells Eustacia about his travel plans.
  • He wants to visit Paris.
  • He doesn't care if Thomasin comes with him or not.
  • The two see a light coming from a shed and head over to investigate.
  • They overhear the surgeon speaking to Clym and learn that Mrs. Yeobright is near death.
  • Mrs. Yeobright then dies and the townsfolk begin to cry.
  • But then Johnny Nunsuch comes up and, with the world's worst timing, tells his mother (loudly) what Mrs. Yeobright said to him before he left her. The thing about her son hating her.
  • Clym starts crying loudly and Eustacia sends Damon away.
  • She heads off to see Clym, but she first looks back to watch Wildeve leave.