Tess of the d'Urbervilles Chapter 44
Tess, driven to near desperation by what she's learned, decides to go to Angel's parents to find out news of him. She begins the thirty-mile walk at 4 a.m. on a Sunday morning and arrives before church is out. She hides her walking boots in a hedge at the edge of town and puts on the pretty shoes Angel gave her before they were married so that she will look presentable to her in-laws. She is very nervous about meeting them, so instead of waiting at their home, she goes back to the edge of town to wait for a while so that she will not interrupt their lunch. Before she makes it through town, however, church lets out and people are in the streets. Behind her on the road two young men walk and talk together and they sound like Angel, so she realizes that they are his brothers. As they walk past her to catch up with Mercy Chant walking alone in front of her, Tess overhears them say what a shame it is that Angel went and married some lowly dairymaid when he should have married Mercy.
Tess, expecting that the whole family feels that way, is crushed and decides to return to the farm immediately, but before she can get her walking boots, Angel's brothers have noticed them in the hedge and taken them to give to someone needy in their village.
Halfway back to the farm, Tess passes a barn where some fiery preacher is talking about his past sinful ways and how he was changed by the words of one elderly pastor he was cruel to. Tess recognizes the voice as that of Alec d'Urberville.