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MonkeyNotes-Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
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Chapters 2-3

Summary

Christian Cantle comes to Alderworth to announce the birth of Thomasin's child. Clym, having somewhat recovered from his illness, questions Christian and learns that Mrs. Yeobright had planned to visit his house and that Venn had spoken to her on the day of her death. Clym is eager to speak with the reddleman, who soon calls at Alderworth. Venn tells Clym that his mother had expressed her desire to make things up with her son, a fact that seems to conflict with her last statement reported by Johnny Nonesuch. Then Johnny clarifies matters. He tells that Mrs. Yeobright had, in fact, been coming from Alderworth when he met her, that a man had been admitted into the house before she reached there, and that a woman had looked out of the window, but did not let her in. Upon hearing this report, Clym is in a towering rage. He accuses Eustacia of wickedness to his mother and infidelity to himself. She replies as steadily as possible, trying to defend herself. She can finally bear no more and leaves the house.


Notes

Eustacia never intended, however angry she was with Mrs. Yeobright, that her mother-in-law should not be admitted into the house. Therefore, when Clym violently screams at her, convinced of her guilt, she is too proud to tell him the truth: "Who of any dignity would take the trouble to clear cobwebs from a wild man's mind after such language as this?" Unwilling to take any more of his anger, Eustacia departs. It is obvious that their relationship has suffered great damage.

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