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Fanny walks on for some time. She becomes weaker with each step she takes until she sinks down by a haystack and falls asleep. When she wakes, it is night and the lights of Casterbridge are seen dimly in the distance. She gathers up all her strength to walk the remaining miles, reminding herself that she has to meet Troy on Monday morning. She feels that she is on her way to meet death.
One o'clock strikes as she starts her journey. A passing carriage reflects her face, which is scarred with all her suffering. As she passes the two-mile mark, Fanny takes courage at the short distance that is now left to be covered. However, her failing strength makes her faint again. A few minutes later she pulls herself up, and with the help of crutches, which are actually two branches, she creeps forward by counting the guideposts. At the bridge between the highway and Casterbridge, Fanny can no longer move on. As she lies on the bridge, a large dog comes by and licks her face. By leaning on the dog for support, she manages to move forward; she avoids any human help, for she does not want to be recognized. Fanny at last reaches Casterbridge Union. She reaches the bell pull and faints on the doorstep. It is six o'clock in the morning, and activity has started inside. A man opens the door and helps her in. She asks about the dog outside, but is told that it has been chased away. Two women support Fanny and take her into the building.
Fanny's journey to Casterbridge draws out the reader's sympathy for her. Hardy has drawn a very poignant picture of her suffering. It is ironic that she does not get any human help, and the very dog that helps her is chased away by the uncaring humans. Although Fanny does not want help from outsiders, she trusts that Troy will meet her in Casterbridge and offer his assistance, as promised.
The reader's curiosity is aroused by Fanny's desire to hide her identity. It is very obvious that Fanny is hiding more than her lack of money from Troy. The ivy-covered almshouse seems willing to hide her secrets; Fanny is taken in and given shelter without questions.