Study Guide

The Return of the Native Book 5, Chapter 8

By Thomas Hardy

Book 5, Chapter 8

Rain, Darkness, and Anxious Wanderers

  • Clym is sitting at home alone, waiting for Eustacia to come back to him after reading his letter.
  • But Thomasin arrives with her baby instead and has bad news – her husband has gone out and she's afraid that he's going to run off with Eustacia.
  • Clym says he'll go after Eustacia and tells Thomasin to just stay put with the baby since the rain is getting worse.
  • Before Clym can leave, Captain Vye arrives.
  • He's looking for Eustacia too and is very worried.
  • Captain Vye's paternal instincts finally kick in and he lets Clym have it for his bad behavior.
  • He also tells Clym that Eustacia was feeling suicidal recently and Clym flips out.
  • Captain Vye goes home to wait for Eustacia while Clym goes out to search for her.
  • But Thomasin starts feeling too anxious after they leave and she bundles her baby up again and goes out in the storm to find her husband.
  • Thomasin comes upon Diggory Venn and fills him in on the manhunt action.
  • Diggory asks if she was wandering around earlier, crying, and Thomasin says no.
  • Diggory can't figure out who it was (we can!) and agrees to help Thomasin and her baby get home safely.
  • Suddenly, Diggory and Thomasin see something awful up ahead. Cliffhanger!