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During the quiet of the night, Maryann is disturbed by a sound. She sees someone entering the paddock and taking away the gig. She suspects that some gypsies are trying to steal the horses. She runs to Coggan's house to inform everybody. Gabriel and Coggan discover that the horse Dainty is missing. They decide to follow the thief, whoever it may be. After borrowing one of Boldwood's quick horses, they follow the hoofmarks. At a tall gate they catch up with the "thief," it is only their mistress Bathsheba.
Bathsheba explains that she had not gone to Liddy's house because some important matter required her to go to Bath. She had returned home and tried to wake Maryann, but was unsuccessful. She, therefore, chalked a message on the coach-house door and quietly took Dainty and the gig. Dainty, however, had gotten a stone in her shoe, and as a result Bathsheba's progress was slow. She still hoped that she would reach Bath by daylight. Coggan and Gabriel are sure that she is miscalculating the distance, but they don't say anything to her and return home. Both of them also decide not to say a word about the whole incident to anyone else.
As for Bathsheba, her plan is to meet Sergeant Troy before he sets out in the morning for Weatherbury. She wants to warn him about Boldwood and keep him away from danger. She would then start for Liddy's house the next morning, reach Yalbury by evening, and return to Weatherbury whenever she chooses. Bathsheba, however, makes a mistake about the distances between the places; they are much longer than what she has calculated.
The way in which Oak and Coggan trace the stolen horse and gig shows the reader their native skills. They also realize Bathsheba's miscalculation about the distance to Bath. Bathsheba is determined to reach Bath as a result of the incident with Boldwood. She wants to make certain that Troy does not come to Weatherbury until Boldwood cools down. She also wonders what she should do in light Oak's request and Boldwood's advice to give up Troy altogether.