In Chapter XX Tess is happy, she’s meeting up with Angel in the mornings and they’re falling in love.
The last 2 chapters have been uneventful, but things start to pick up in this chapter. It starts with the churn breaking down. Well, it’s not really broken as it’s physically working, but it’s not making butter either.
Mrs. Crick jokes that this only happens when someone falls in love. Hmmm, I wonder who that could be? Well no one at the farm is wondering. All the girls have noticed and I doubt anyone else is oblivious. Actually, the story about the last girl to fall in love was interesting. One of the men was fooling around with said girl and her Mom found out. He hid in the churn until she tortured him into marrying her daughter. This is what I was expected in the late 1800s!
At hearing this whole story Tess goes white and has to step out, no one seems to pick up on this, probably since they don’t know her past. But the incident spooks Tess and she’s once again the depressed girl I have come to know and love.
Tess goes to bed early that night, but does overhear the other girls: Retty Priddle, Marian, and Izz Huett. They’re looking out the window at Angel in the garden below and discussing how they like him, but that he only has eyes for Tess. They’re not quite sure how Tess feels about him; but, in the end they don’t think it matters. They theorize that Angel will be a rich landowner and wouldn’t marry one of the milkmaids.
Tess knows that Angel isn’t looking for a fancy lady, instead he wants a sensible farm-woman to be his wife. But Tess knows her past and knows that she would never marry a man, and certainly not Angel Clare.
And so it seems that Tess will try to distance herself from Angel in Chapter XXII, and you know how men like it when you play hard to get!