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CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND NOTES
Alec continues to visit Tess and offer his help. He reminds her that he has the financial means to help both her and her family. Tess clearly states that she will take nothing from him, no matter how hard she must work.
Tess continues to center all of her attention on Angel. She writes him a touching letter, filled with emotion. She swears her devotion to him, begs him to come to her, and tells him she is threatened. She also reminds him of the happy times they had shared at Talbothays.
Tess's letter is meant to appeal to Angel's sentimental and gentle heart. By baring her soul to him in Brazil, she hopes to win him back. After more than a year, Tess still refuses to give up hope.
When Tess's letter reaches Mr. Clare, it is forwarded on to Angel. By this time his parents realize that Angel has left England due to his unlucky marriage, but they have no idea of the gravity of the situation and its effects on their son.
In Rio, a sick and frustrated Angel is about to give up on his idea of farming in Brazil. His year away from home and Tess has been a difficult one. He has befriended another Englishman in Rio, who tells him he was foolish to have left Tess. As a result of his words, Angel re-evaluates his feelings about Tess and his assumptions about morality. He realizes that he still loves his wife and is ready to forgive her past misdeeds. Angel is mentally and emotionally prepared to receive Tess's letter, which is on its way to him.
As Tess's job at Flintcomb-Ash come to an end, her sister, Liza Lu, arrives with the news that their mother is seriously ill and their father is also sick. Without wasting time, Tess proceeds towards Marlott.
It is obvious that Angel has changed and matured in Brazil. His worldly friend has helped him to realize the narrow nature of his thinking, and his own troubles have made him more sympathetic. As a result, he now sees Tess in a different light and feels bad about how he has treated her. He is ready for a reconciliation.
It is pathetic that Angel has taken such a long time to realize Tess's genuine love and goodness. Ironically, by the time he returns to her, fate has one more cruel joke to play on him.
In Marlott, Tess resumes her difficult work in the potato fields and takes care of her ailing parents. Once while working in the fields, she is astonished to find that Alec is working with her. He again begs Tess to let him help she and her family, a request that she resolutely refuses. Alec expresses his anger and leaves.
While she is returning home, one of her sisters brings her the news of her father's death. This is a serious blow to her, especially since the family will not be able to remain in their house after his death. Another tenant farmer has the legal right to it now.
To help pass the time in Marlott, Tess thinks about her past. She is again nostalgic about the May-Day dance episode, when she first spied the handsome Angel. It always pricks her heart to think that if she had been Angel's partner at that dance, life would perhaps have been totally different. Fate, however, did not allow that to happen. Now, there are only memories and drudgery.
In tempting Tess to let him help her, Alec refers to the temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden; he reminds her that Satan was successful in his temptation. Like Satan, Alec believes that he will also achieve his desire, if the temptations continue.
With John's death, the family is left homeless, and Tess's plight is worse than ever. Fate is wearing her down and preparing her to accept temptation,