Silas Marner: Novel Summary: Chapter 4

This chapter begins the last adventurous day in the life of Dunstan Cass. On his way to auction-off Wildfire, he begins to contemplate the prospect of persuading Silas to lend him the pile of money which he must have been hoarding over the years. Later, on his journey, he gets a generous offer for the horse from a friend of the family, and says that he will return later to make the deal. Inside his mind, Dunstan thinks that he could also win even more money by entering a hunt with dogs, citing his own “unusual good luck.” Unfortunately tragedy strikes during the hunt— Wildfire falls into a pit, leading to the horse’s immediate death. Dunstan ditches the prized horse, deciding to walk home. On the way he paces Silas’s house, planning to persuade the old, lonely weaver to loan him some of his gold. When Dunstan knocks, he notices that no one is home and soon invites himself in. Suddenly he realizes that nothing is preventing him from just stealing Marner’s money, so he uncovers the sandy bricks and hauls away two bags of Silas’s gold guineas. The scene ends with Dunstan stepping forward into the darkness; he will not be heard from again until his body is found near the end of the story.