Tess of the d'Urbervilles
PHASE THE THIRD: The Rally
On a thyme-scented, bird-hatching morning in May, between two and three years
after the return from Trantridge--silent reconstructive years for Tess Durbeyfield--
she left her home for the second time.
Having packed up her luggage so that it could be sent to her later, she started in
a hired trap for the little town of Stourcastle, through which it was necessary to
pass on her journey, now in a direction almost opposite to that of her first
adventuring. On the curve of the nearest hill she looked back regretfully at
Marlott and her father's house, although she had been so anxious to get away.
Her kindred dwelling there would probably continue their daily lives as heretofore,
with no great diminution of pleasure in their consciousness, although she would
be far off, and they deprived of her smile. In a few days the children would
engage in their games as merrily as ever, without the sense of any gap left by
her departure. This leaving of the younger children she had decided to be for the
best; were she to remain they would probably gain less good by her precepts
than harm by her example.
She went through Stourcastle without pausing, and onward to a junction of
highways, where she could await a carrier's van that ran to the south-west; for
the railways which engirdled this interior tract of country had never yet struck
across it. While waiting, however, there came along a farmer in his spring cart,
driving approximately in the direction that she wished to pursue. Though he was
a stranger to her she accepted his offer of a seat beside him, ignoring that its
motive was a mere tribute to her countenance. He was going to Weatherbury,
and by accompanying him thither she could walk the remainder of the distance
instead of travelling in the van by way of Casterbridge.
Tess did not stop at Weatherbury, after this long drive, further than to make a
slight nondescript meal at noon at a cottage to which the farmer recommended
her. Thence she started on foot, basket in hand, to reach the wide upland of
heath dividing this district from the low-lying meads of a further valley in which
the dairy stood that was the aim and end of her day's pilgrimage.
Tess had never before visited this part of the country, and yet she felt akin to the
landscape. Not so very far to the left of her she could discern a dark patch in the
scenery, which inquiry confirmed her in supposing to be trees marking the
environs of Kingsbere--in the church of which parish the bones of her ancestors--
her useless ancestors--lay entombed.
She had no admiration for them now; she almost hated them for the dance they
had led her; not a thing of all that had been theirs did she retain but the old seal
and spoon. "Pooh--I have as much of mother as father in me!" she said. "All my
prettiness comes from her, and she was only a dairymaid."
The journey over the intervening uplands and lowlands of Egdon, when she
reached them, was a more troublesome walk than she had anticipated, the
distance being actually but a few miles. It was two hours, owing to sundry wrong
turnings, ere she found herself on a summit commanding the long-sought-for