Thomas Hardy: Incident in Mr Crookhill’s Life

I reread this story in a book of short stories entitled “Country” (ed. James Gibson, John Murray,  1982). It is one in The Short Story Series.

Mr Crookhill, a farmer on way  to the market in a village, comes across another farmer in an impressive dress riding on a good strong horse. He makes friends with him. After proceeding for some more distance, they decide to stay overnight in an inn. Early in the morning Crookhill quietly dresses himself in his recent acquaintance’s dress and departs after getting the latter’s horse saddled for himself.

Thus begins a charade. Is this robber punished? If not, why not?  And what happened to the one who was  robbed?

The initial para strongly reminded me of an incident in Kalki’s classic  “Sivakamiyin Sabadham” which I am rereading now. It is someone on a slow horse admiring another on a strong horse and drawing level with him and making friends with him and staying overnight in an inn. There the resemblance ends.


Note: Ignore the last six paras after “…hindrance than aid.” They are irrelevant.


Before they fell asleep they talked across the room about one thing and another, running from this to that till the conversation turned upon disguises, and changing clothes for particular ends. 

Note to friends: I am taking a break now. Will try to resume the series later.


One Response to Thomas Hardy: Incident in Mr Crookhill’s Life

  1. How strange! A lucky cheating deserter!

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