Study Guide

The Return of the Native Book 5, Chapter 9

By Thomas Hardy

Book 5, Chapter 9

Sights and Sounds Draw the Wanderers Together

  • But first, flashback time. Damon has seen Eustacia's signal on the hill and goes to get ready.
  • He's excited about their plans and is feeling good about his chance of getting Eustacia to be his mistress.
  • So Damon sets off across the heath but instead of meeting Eustacia he meets Clym.
  • The two meet by a pond, which has turned into a whirlpool with all the rain.
  • The two then hear a splash and see a body floating.
  • It's Eustacia!
  • The two guys jump into the floodwater to save her.
  • Diggory has also arrived and hops in the pool, but he has enough sense to hang on to something.
  • After some tense moments, others arrive at the scene and they manage to fish out the three bodies.
  • Thomasin is horrified.
  • Clym is still alive but Eustacia and Damon are both dead.
  • The group speculate as to whether or not Eustacia and Damon were planning to run away together.
  • Charley arrives and asks Diggory if he can see Eustacia.
  • Clym comes down and says they can all go look at Eustacia. He's practically a zombie at this point.
  • The group go in and stare at the two dead people.
  • Clym goes on a renewed guilt-fest times a thousand.