Study Guide

The Return of the Native Book 5, Chapter 5

By Thomas Hardy

Book 5, Chapter 5

An Old Move Inadvertently Repeated

  • Charley hangs out at the Vye house over the next few days and takes care of Eustacia.
  • Soon it's the Fifth of November, which means it's time for a bonfire – yup, Guy Fawkes Night again already.
  • Charley builds a big one for Eustacia to impress her and make her happy.
  • Captain Vye comes out and approves of this effort to cheer up his granddaughter.
  • Eustacia comes out too but isn't so happy about the bonfire.
  • Her grandfather proceeds to be inappropriate, as usual, and makes fun of her for not snagging Damon when she had the chance. He then asks if Clym has bothered to write her yet.
  • Meanwhile Eustacia worries that Damon will see the bonfire and think she's signaling him.
  • This is indeed what happens.
  • Damon comes over and seems unfazed when Eustacia says that she didn't light the fire herself.
  • The two discuss Eustacia's situation.
  • Damon sympathizes with her and makes her cry by being so darn nice.
  • Damon offers to take her somewhere far away and insists he's doing his duty by her.
  • Eustacia is reluctant but then asks him to take her to Budmouth, so that she can catch a ship to Paris.
  • The two plan to meet soon. Eustacia says that she'll send him a signal at eight one night and they can leave right away.