Part 1, Chapters 13, 14, and 15
Part One, Chapter Thirteen
We're back at the Red House. It's later in the evening, and the guests have gotten drunker. Godfrey has his eyes trained on Nancy, who's sitting with her father. When he raises his eyes from looking at her, though, he sees Silas coming through the door with his child. Silas comes in and asks to see the doctor. There's a woman by his cottage, he says, in need of medical attention. He thinks she may be dead.
Everyone begins speculating about whose child it is, and Godfrey is in the uncomfortable position of having to play along with not knowing the child. He asks himself if he is indeed certain that it's his daughter. One of the women suggests that Silas leave the child at the Red House, but Silas is adamant about keeping her -- a reaction that surprises him. He hadn't realized that he wanted her so very much.
Godfrey and Dolly Winthrop set out in the snow to find the body. He is secretly hoping that Molly is dead, for then he can marry Nancy. He swears to himself that if this is so he'll be nothing but good in the future. When they arrive at the cottage, Godfrey is informed that Molly is dead.
Godfrey steps into Silas' home and finds him sitting with the child. When she sees him, she doesn't appear to recognize him, which makes Godfrey simultaneously regretful and pleased. She can make no claims on him. Silas states his intentions now to keep the child, and Godfrey returns home relieved.
Part One, Chapter Fourteen
Silas' decision to keep the child further warms the hearts of the villagers towards him. The women, especially, fly to his aid, giving him advice and bringing him hand-me-down clothes. Dolly comes by with a package for him, and together they bathe the child. Silas doesn't mention how the child got in, since he suspects that he may have been in one of his trances -- not unlike the time he fell into a fit at church in Lantern Yard -- when she came in, unnoticed.
Dolly suggests at this point that Silas get the girl christened; she believes that, without it, the child won't be as easily accepted by the villagers. Silas evinces some ignorance about the process of christening, and Dolly tells him that, first of all, he has to give the child a name in order to be christened. He says that both his mother and sister were named Hephzibah. Dolly asks if there was a nickname that they gave to his sister, and he says she was called Eppie. So that's what this girl will be called.
Eppie is indeed christened, and so Silas goes for the first time to the church in Raveloe.
As the weeks and months pass, he notices that whereas when he was obsessed with his gold his thoughts operated in a kind of repetitive loop, thinking only about his hoard, now that he has Eppie his thoughts are much more variegated. Eppie is always changing and growing. She has hopes and desires -- things that push Silas, we're told, to think less repetitively, and more towards a future. Eppie distracts Silas from his work, and he allows this, even enjoying the distraction. He takes to taking long walks when the weather's good, carrying Eppie to his favorite spots so that they can enjoy the scenery together.
Part one, Chapter Fifteen
Godfrey, of course, watches Eppie's progress with more interest than the rest of the villagers. He is careful not to manifest his stakes here, however. He's become happy. Dunstan hasn't returned to reveal his secret, and so he feels that he has begun a new life. His relationship with Nancy, moreover, is progressing nicely. He is also determined to make sure that Eppie in some way receives part of her birthright. He wants to do well by her.
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Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Part 1, Chapter 1
Part 1, Chapters 2 and 3
Part 1, Chapters 4, 5 and 6
Part 1, Chapters 7,8, and 9
Part 1, Chapters 10, 11, and 12
Part 1, Chapters 13, 14, and 15
Part 2, Chapters 16 and 17
Part 2, Chapters 18, 19, and 20
Part 2, Chapters 20 and 21
Part 2, Conclusion