In chapter LVI Tess leaves the boarding house, leaving a dead Alec d’Urberville behind.
While Tess was busy killing Alec, Angel returned to his hotel and had breakfast in shock. After he grabs his bags and heads to the train station. But before leaving he receives a telegram from his parents, it seems his brother, Cuthbert, is engaged to Mercy Chant (the girl the family thought Angel would marry). I’m not sure if this is a little extra salt in Angel’s wound or not. Angel really didn’t seem to be interested in the girl, but I can’t imagine Hardy threw this in for the heck of it either.
At the train station Angel finds that the next train is not for at least an hour. In his broken hearted state he decides he’s in no rush and just walks towards the next station. What he misses is a girl who follows him. He eventually senses her as she’s running up the hill after him. When she gets to him, he pulls her hand to his and walks her on a more discrete path then they had been on.
When he gets her to a more private place she tells him, “do you know what I have been running after you for? To tell you that I have killed him!” With a smile on her face. Angel thinks she’s delirious. But she just babbles on about how she knew this might happen from all the trickery Alec had done to her. She continues with how much she loves Angel and can’t live without him.
Angel is of course happy to have her back, but wonders what Tess means by dead? It seems that when Alec found Tess crying over Angel he taunted her and called Angel names, she couldn’t take it and killed him.
Angel is inclined to believe what she says, or at least that she tried (oh, Angel, he is very much dead!) “his horror at her impulse was mixed with amazement at the strength of her affection for himself, and at the strangeness of its quality, which had apparently extinguished her moral sense altogether. Unable to realize the gravity of her conduct she seemed at least content.” I would suggest Tess probably just lost her mind with all that happened, but content works too.
As she is weeping with happiness (yup, definitely lost her mind) Angel wonders what part of the d’Urberville blood made her do this, that this murderous tradition is one from that family. I don’t think that bodes well for Tess in the long term.
In the short term though, Angel realizes that Tess needs him and expects him to protect her. Which is what he says he’ll do and then finally kisses her. Though, he’s still not quite sure that Alec is dead. And so Angel and Tess walk for miles off the road in each other’s arms.
But they have no plan nor do they discuss a plan, they just walk, hoping to eventually find a boarding house to stop at. At mid-day they come across an Inn where Angel gets food while Tess waits. In the first sign of a plan, Angel says that they’ll wait until they are forgotten and then take a ship somewhere else.
Later when Tess and Angel are tired they pass an empty mansion, which will end up being their home for the night. They sneak in and remain quiet when the keeper comes to close the windows and sleep for the night.