Study Guide

Tess of the D'Urbervilles Phase III: "The Rally," Chapter Twenty-Four

By Thomas Hardy

Phase III: "The Rally," Chapter Twenty-Four

  • It's hot and it's July: the weather conditions for falling in love are just perfect.
  • It's so hot that everyone's feeling it. The cows are crowding around even the smallest trees, trying to stay in the shade.
  • The dairymaids and dairymen do the milking out in the field, rather than herding the cows into the barnyard, because it's cooler and easier.
  • Tess picks up her stool and goes to milk one of her favorite cows, which is standing at a distance from the main part of the herd.
  • Angel starts milking a cow that's close to it, so that he can watch her.
  • He sneezes, and Tess becomes aware that he's there, watching her. She blushes.
  • He jumps up, and rushes to her and hugs her.
  • She at first relaxes into the hug, and hugs him back, but the cow gets grumpy and stamps its feet and reminds Tess that she shouldn't be hugging anyone.
  • Angel pulls back, and admits that he loves her, and apologizes for surprising her when he should have asked first.
  • Tess blushes and doesn't say much, and they both go back to their milking.