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A little before dawn, Troy goes into the local churchyard and searches around until he locates the grave dug for Fanny's burial. He hastens to Casterbridge and orders a tombstone for Fanny's grave. He gives the mason the exact words to be inscribed on it. After directing the mason to send it to Weatherbury, Troy returns home. The tombstone is erected according to his instructions.
Troy brings flowers of different varieties and begins planting them on Fanny's grave. As he works, he grows tired. Feeling weary and seeing the possibility of rain, he retires to the porch of the churchyard, lies down on a bench, and falls asleep.
Although Sergeant Troy is a philanderer, the tombstone and the flowers planted by him on Fanny's grave show that he did love Fanny, at least in retrospect. It is ironic that the man who was not prompt in helping Fanny during her lifetime immediately erects a memorial to her with the flowers and the tombstone. But this kindness after her death cannot erase the cruelty he inflicted on her during her life, just as his erasing the words "and child" could not erase the reality of the baby and Troy's part in it.