‘Yes，if it hadn't rained so hard，I'd have won two hundred pounds easily，my love，’Troy was saying. ‘The horse I put my money on fell over in the mud，you see. Such bad luck！’
‘But Frank，’said Bathsheba miserably，‘do you realize you've lost more than a hundred pounds in a month with this awful horse-racing？It's foolish of you to spend my money like that！You'll promise not to go to the next race，on Monday，won't you？’
‘It doesn't matter whether I go or not. I've already put money on an excellent horse in the Monday race. Don't cry，Bathsheba！If I'd known you were so cautious，I'd never have—’
He did not finish what he was saying. Just then they noticed a woman walking towards them. Although it was almost dark，they could see that she was poorly dressed.
‘Please，sir，do you know what time the Casterbridge workhouse closes？’she asked in a voice of extreme sadness.
Troy jumped in surprise，but kept his face turned away from her before replying，‘I don't know. ’
When the woman hear him speak，and looked up to his face，her expression showed both pain and happiness. She gave a cry，and fell to the ground，unconscious.
‘Oh poor thing！’cried Bathsheba. ‘I'll help her！’
‘No，stay on your horse，and take mine！’ordered Troy，jumping down. ‘Take the horses to the top of the hill. ’
Bathsheba obeyed，and moved away. Troy lifted up the woman.
‘I thought you were far away，or dead！’he told her，in a strangely gentle voice. ‘Why didn't you write to me，Fanny？’
‘I was afraid to. ’
‘Have you any money？No？Here's all I have，it's not much. I can't ask my wife for any more at the moment. ’The woman said nothing. ’Listen，’continued Troy，‘I'll have to leave you now. You're going to the Casterbridge workhouse？Well，stay there for tonight and tomorrow anyway，but I'll find somewhere better for you. I'll meet you on Monday morning at ten o'clock on the bridge just outside town. I'll bring you all the money I can. Goodbye！’
At the top of the hill Bathsheba turned and saw the woman walking slowly on towards Casterbridge. Troy soon caught up with his wife. He looked very upset.
‘Who is that woman？Bathsheba looked closely into his face.
‘She's not important to either of us，’he replied coldly.
‘I think you know her，’Bathsheba went on.
‘I don't care what you think！’he answered，and they continued their ride in silence.
The two miles to Casterbridge seemed a very long way to the woman，who was tired and ill. Sometimes she walked，sometimes she rested a little，beside the road. All through the night her eyes were fixed on the lights of Casterbridge，the end of her journey. At six o'clock the next morning she finally fell in front of the door of the workhouse，and the people there took her in.
Bathsheba and her husband did not speak much that evening，or the following day. But on Sunday evening Troy said suddenly，‘Bathsheba，could you let me have twenty pounds？I need it. ’
‘Ah！’she said sadly，‘for the races tomorrow. Oh，Frank，only a few weeks ago you said I was far sweeter than all your other pleasures！Now won't you stop risking money on horses，which is more a worry than a pleasure？Say yes to your wife，Frank，say yes！’Her beautiful face would have persuaded most men，including Troy if he had not been married to her，but he no longer loved her enough to agree to anything she wanted.
‘Well，the money isn't for racing anyway，’he said. ‘Don't keep me short of money，Bathsheba，or you'll be sorry. ’
‘I'm sorry already，’she replied，‘sorry that our love has come to an end. ’
‘Love always ends after marriage. I think you hate me. ’
‘No，not you. I only hate your faults. ’
‘Then why not help me to improve？Come，let's be friends. Just give me the twenty pounds. ’
‘Well，here's the money. Take it. ’
‘Thank you. I expect I'll be away before breakfast tomor-row. ’
‘Must you go，Frank？Stay with me！There was a time when you used to call me darling. Now you don't care how I spend my time. ’
‘I must go，’said Troy，taking out his watch. He opened the back of the watch case，and Bathsheba，who happened to be looking，saw that there was a curl of hair hidden inside.
‘Oh Frank！’she gasped. ‘A woman's hair！Whose is it？’
Troy closed the watch immediately and replied carelessly，‘Why，yours of course. I'd quite forgotten I had it. ’
‘You're lying，Frank. It's yellow hair. Mine is darker. ’
‘Well，all right，if I must tell you，it's the hair of a young woman I was going to marry before I met you. ’
‘Tell me her name！Is she married？’
‘I can't tell you her name，but she's single. ’
‘Is she alive？Is she pretty？’
‘Yes to both questions. ’
‘How can she be pretty，poor thing，with hair that colour？’
‘Her hair has been admired by everybody who's seen her. It's beautiful hair！Don't be jealous，Bathsheba！You shouldn't have married me if you didn't trust me！’
‘This is all I get for loving you so much！’cried Bathsheba bitterly. ‘I would have died for you when I married you，and now you laugh at my foolishness in marrying you！But you'll burn that hair，won't you，Frank，to please me？’
Troy only answered，‘I have a duty to someone in my past. Mistakes were made which I must put right. That's more important than my relationship with you. If you're sorry you married me，well，so am I！’
‘Frank，I'm only sorry if you love another woman more than me，’said Bathsheba in a trembling voice. ‘You like the woman with that pretty hair. Yes，it is pretty！Was she the woman we met on the road last night？’
‘Well，yes. Now you know the truth，I hope you're happy. ’
‘You haven't told me everything. Tell me the whole truth，’she said，looking bravely into his face. ‘I never thought I'd beg a man to do anything，but my pride has all gone！’
‘Don't be so desperate！’said Troy crossly. He left the room.
Bathsheba was in deep despair. She knew that she had lost her independence as a woman，which she had been so proud of. She hated herself for falling in love so easily with her hand-some husband，who，she now realized，could not be trusted.
The next morning Troy left the house early. Bathsheba was walking in her garden，when she noticed Gabriel Oak and Mr Boldwood deep in conversation in the road. They called to Joseph Poorgrass，who was picking apples，and soon he came along the path to Bathsheba's house.
‘Well，what's the message，Joseph？’she asked，curious.
‘I'm afraid Fanny Robin's dead，ma'am. Dead in the Casterbridge workhouse.
‘No！Why？What did she die from？’
‘I don't know，ma'am，but she was never very strong. Mr Boldwood is sending a cart to bring her back to be buried here. ’
‘Oh，I won't let Mr Boldwood do that！Fanny was my uncle's maid，and mine too How very sad to die in a work-house！Tell Mr Boldwood that you will drive my new cart over to Casterbridge this afternoon to fetch her body. And Joseph，put flowers on the cart for poor Fanny. How long was she in the workhouse？’
‘Only a day，ma'am. She arrived，ill and exhausted，on Sunday morning. She came on foot through Weatherbury. ’
The colour left Bathsheba's face at one. ‘Along the road from Weatherbury to Casterbridge？’she asked eagerly. ‘When did she pass Weatherbury？’
‘Last Saturday night it was，ma'am. ’
‘Thank you，Joseph，you may go. ’
Later that afternoon Bathsheba asked Liddy，‘What was the colour of poor Fanny Robin's hair？I only saw her for a day or two. ’
‘She used to keep it covered，but it was lovely golden hair，ma'am. ’
‘Her young man was a soldier，wasn't he？’
‘Yes，and Mr Troy knows him well. ’
‘What？Mr Troy told you that？’
‘Yes. One day I asked him if he knew Fanny's young man，and he said he knew him as well as he knew himself！’
‘That's enough，Liddy！’said Bathsheba，her anxiety mak-ing her unusually cross.