In chapter LVII Tess catches up to Angel while he’s leaving town and tells him she killed Alec. They walk together and then hide in an empty mansion for the night.
During the night Tess tells Angel about the night that he carried her to the coffin. Angel tells her she should have told him earlier, things might have been different. After that they decide not to discuss the past. That is how Angel and Tess spent the next 5 days in the mansion.
The story is written that Angel and Tess are finally living as husband and wife, wink, wink. As happy and content as the time is for them, there is an awareness that it will come to an end soon. Tess tells Angel that he will come to despise her and that she wants to be dead before that happens. He tells her that he’ll never despise her, but she comments on how much she has changed. From a woman who would cry at a bird in a cage to a woman who killed her husband.
Angel does suggest leaving several times, but knowing that her time is limited Tess stalls.
They remain one more day and are discovered by the mansion’s keeper. She leaves them be initially, warmed by their innocent appearance. This gives Tess and Angel a chance to leave before she comes back.
Tess is worried about leaving, knowing that her time is nearing its end. Angel tries to be positive that they will get away. As happy and content their existence is, finally, you can feel a bad ending to this story is near.
Angel and Tess head north, hoping to get out of the country before being noticed. They head toward Melchester, which they walk through so they could take the town bridge. After that they follow the road, which turned to open plains, it was open with loneliness and black solitude. Eventually they come across a temple of sorts, which they establish is Stonehenge.
It should be said that at the time of writing this there wasn’t much understanding of Stonehenge. At this time, in Tess’ world, Stonehenge was thought to be a heathen temple. But Tess is tired and wants to stop, here. Angel wants to continue, but Tess lays down on a stone, still warm from the sun.
Tess mentions that one of her mother’s relatives was a shepherd here, and she considers herself home now. Here is the dialog between Tess and Angel:
“Sleepy are you dear? I think you are lying on an alter.”
“I like very much to be here,” she murmered. “It is so solemn and lonely-after my great happiness-with nothing but the sky above my face. It seems as if there were no folk in the world except we two; and I wish there were not-except Liza-Lu.”
Tess suggests that if anything happens to her that she would like him to watch over Liza-Lu, to marry her. He says she’ll be his sister-in-law, but Tess insists they marry. I did some checking and at this time marrying you’re deceased wives sister was illegal, but it seems that it was socially acceptable in Marlott. Heck, if Tess could marry two men, why not this? Tess goes on about how Liza-Lu is the best of her (Tess) and that by being with her she would feel they were still together in a way.
Tess asks Angel about his beliefs, if they would see each other after they are both dead. Angel avoids the answer, telling her that he does not think they will see each other again. She falls asleep after that.
After a bit Angel sees a man coming in the distance and then another from a different direction. At this Angel realizes that Tess was telling the truth about killing Alec, and also realizes that it is too late to escape.
The first man tells him it is no use, that there are 16 men coming and the whole country is looking for her. Angel asks that they let her sleep, and they do. When the sun comes up it wakes Tess:
“What is it Angel?” she said, starting up. “Have they come for me?”
“Yes, dearest,” he said. “They have come.”
“It is as it should be,” she murmured. “Angel, I am most glad-yes glad! This happiness could not have lasted. It was too much. I have had enough; and now I shall not live for you to despise me!”
She stood up, shook herself, and went forward, neither of the men having moved.
“I am ready,” she said quietly.
Dignified until the end.