Chapter 9 Notes from Tess of the d'Urbervilles

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Tess of the d'Urbervilles Chapter 9

Tess's first day at the d'Urberville manor she is introduced to Mrs. d'Urberville and is treated no differently than any other servant. Mrs. d'Urberville instructs Tess to whistle to the bullfinches that Mrs. d'Urberville treats as pets and Alec surprises Tess as she's practicing her whistling in the garden. He seems to harmlessly advise her on how to improve her whistling, and although his advice works, she still doesn't trust him or like him much.

In the days that follow, Alec makes it a point to spend time around Tess alone so that he can get her used to his presence and wear down her guard. He even calls her "cousin" when no one else is around to make himself seem less a threat to her. Tess isn't fooled, especially when she notices his boots peeking beneath the curtains in the room where the bullfinches are kept. Her whistling becomes so distracted that Alec knows she must be aware of his presence, so he doesn't hide there anymore. Tess checks throughout the room everyday before she begins her whistling just to be sure he's not there.

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