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acre place," not like the lush dairy at Talbothays. The work is digging rutabagas, harvesting corn, and making the thatch for roofs. It is indeed difficult work for men and women alike. Tess agrees to work until April 6, also know as "Old Lady-Day."The two friends work in the rain and snow at the farm. Marian writes to Izz Huett, who later comes to Flintcomb-Ash for work as well. One day, when it is too cold to dig swedes, the ladies are sent by the farmer to make roof thatching in a nearby farm. Also working there are Dark Car and the Queen of Diamonds, both former employees of the d'Urbervilles at The Slopes. These "two Amazionian sisters" do not remember Tess from their previous encounter.Tess meets her employer, the farmer, the same man who had insulted her in town in Chapter 33 and who appears again in a second chance encounter in Chapter 41. He is mean and vengeful toward Tess, telling her, "But we'll see which is master here." He urges the girls to work harder, and Tess stays behind to finish her work with Izz and Marian. Tess is overcome by exhaustion and faints. As she recovers on a haystack, she overhears Izz tell the story of Angel asking her to accompany him to Brazil. Tess decides to contact Angel's parents to ask about Angel.The next Sunday, Tess sets out for Emminster, a 30-mile roundtrip walk for her. A year has passed since her marriage to Angel, and she is determined to make her plight known to her in-laws and to see if they have heard from Angel. She removes her walking boots, stashes them in a nearby bush and puts on her dress boots to impress her in-laws.Angel's brothers discover Tess' boots, not knowing she is nearby, and takes them back to the Clare's vicarage. Tess loses her nerve to see the Clares and returns to Flintcomb-Ash dejected and depressed. On the way back to the farm, Tess encounters Alec d'Urberville, now an evangelical "fire and brimstone" street preacher.
AnalysisThe contrast between Flintcomb-Ash and Talbothays is clear. Flintcomb-Ash is described as "sublime in its dreariness." Conversely, Talbothays is portrayed as ideal and beautiful, "the verdant plain so well watered by the river Var or Froom." Flintcomb has Farmer Groby, a mean-spirited man who demands that his workers work even harder. Mr. Crick gets results from his workers with humor and aplomb, even regaling them with his humorous tales, as evidenced by the William Dewy tale from Chapter 17 and the Jack Dollop tales from Chapters 21 and 29.The indifference that Angel's brothers show towards Tess is not altogether surprising based on what we already know of them. However, it is Tess' first encounter with her brothers-in-law, and she hears for herself their contemptfor her marriage to Angel and for Angel himself — "His ill-considered marriage seems to have completed that estrangement from me which was begun by his extraordinary opinions." The brothers, both ministers themselves, have little regard for those in desperate situations, reserving their charity to those they deem worthy to receive it.