Part 1, Chapters 7,8, and 9
Part One, Chapter Seven
Silas' arrival at the pub throws a hush over the people, since he's never been there before, to their knowledge. Silas enters, declares he's been robbed, and accuses Jem Rodney. Jem denies the crime, and Silas sits down and retells the story of his robbery. Silas remembers that he, too, was once falsely accused, and decides to back down on Jem. He apologizes, saying that he acted rashly. Macey and Dowlas -- two customers at the pub -- agree to go with Silas into the night, searching for the robber, a task that they acknowledge will be difficult because the rain has erased any footprints leading from Silas' house.
Part One, Chapter Eight
Godfrey returns from a party at Mrs. Osgood's, and finds Dunstan not at home. By the next morning, he's still not returned. The entire village is in an uproar over the robbery, and many people -- Godfrey included -- go out to Silas' house to see what they can find. No footprints are visible, of course, but a tinder box is found close by, half-buried in mud. (A tinder box, incidentally, is used for making a flame). The villagers begin to construct a narrative in which a peddler, who had visited Raveloe about a month earlier, had carried a tinder box with him. Could this be the thief, they wonder? Godfrey begins to worry more and more about Dunstan and Wildfire, and begins to be distracted from the Marner case. Godfrey runs into Bryce, who tells him of the deal he'd had with Dunstan, and that Dunstan had gotten Wildfire killed while jumping. Godfrey knows now that he's got to confess to his father that he's lost the rent money, since he won't be getting anything for Wildfire. But by the next morning, however, he's convinced himself that confession will only lead to his disgrace, and losing Nancy once and for all. He decides to wait until Dunstan comes home to deal with the situation.
Part One, Chapter Nine
At breakfast the following morning, after an apparent change of heart, Godfrey tells his father about Wildfire's being staked and killed, and the Squire is disdainful of the weak riding skills that would lead to such an accident. Godfrey tells his father that Dunstan did it, after having agreed to sell Wildfire. In effect, he confesses to his father that he'd lent Dunstan the rent money and that his brother spent it. The Squire is furious that Godfrey would collude with his brother to get his money, and flies into a rage. He begins to deride Godfrey's character, suggesting that he's wishy-washy and meek. He wonders why Godfrey hasn't asked Nancy to marry him at this point, and Godfrey says he's afraid she won't say yes. The Squire suggests that he ask for his son, speaking to Nancy's father directly. Godfrey begs him not to do it, but the Squire seems set on it, and orders his horse to be brought to him.
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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