Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version
In this chapter, Hardy reveals the results of Fate at work with the roles of Gabriel and Bathsheba being reversed. Gabriel has lost his sheep and seeks any kind of employment. On the other hand, Bathsheba has become the independent farmer. Fate also puts Gabriel at Bathsheba's farm. He chooses a wagon abandoned by the side of the road as a resting place. When it starts to move, he disembarks and sees a fire in the distance. Being the kind and helpful man that he is, he travels towards the blaze to lend assistance. He has no idea that he has arrived at the farm of Bathsheba. As he labors to put out the fire, she has an opportunity to observe and admire the skills of the capable Gabriel Oak.
The rustic characters in this chapter act as a chorus. They provide the background humor and make shrewd comments on the main characters and lead to the development of the plot.