As soon as she recovered from her surprise, she moved away so that he would not notice her. But he suddenly caught sight of her, and the effect on him was electric. His enthusiasm faded, his voice hesitated, his lips trembled, his eyes dropped in confusion. Tess walked rapidly away along the road.
"I must go to the right here. I'm preaching at six this evening. Tell me, how has your life been since we last met?"
"Don't look at me like that!" said Alec. "Your eyes remind me of -- well, women's faces have too much power over me. Don't look at me! It might be dangerous for you!"
Eventually they came to a crossroads, where a strange stone stood. It was a lonely, unfriendly place, where people did not like to stay for long. Alec stopped here.
Tess told him about the baby. Alec was shocked.
Tess went on her way, feeling upset, and soon met a man on the road. He told her that the cross was not religious, but marked the place where a criminal was put to death and buried. Trembling a little at this information, she finally arrived at Flintcomb-Ash.
In March the threshing-machine came for a day to Flintcomb-Ash. It was a huge red machine which ate all the corn the farm-workers could feed it. Next to it stood the engine which ran it, and the engineer. He lived in a world of fire and smoke, and was permanently black, as if he came from hell. The farmer put Tess next to the threshing-machine, so that she had the hardest and most tiring job of all. She had little chance to talk or rest, and at lunch time was about to start eating when she noticed D'Urberville approaching. He had Changed his parson's clothes and now looked just like the young gentleman she had first met at Trantridge.
"You trouble me! Your eyes look at me night and day. I can't forget them. Tess, when you told me about that child of ours, my feelings for you became strong again. I have lost interest in religion and it is your fault!"
"You have stopped preaching?" asked Tess, shocked.
"If I can't marry you, at least I can help you. I have finished with religion. But you must trust me! I have enough money to help your family and make them comfortable."
"Remember one thing!" he said angrily, only just controlling himself as he held her by the shoulders. "Remember, my lady, if you are any man's wife, you are mine! I will have you again! I'll come back for an answer later on!"