The Scarlet Letter: Novel Summary: Chapters 20-21

Chapter 20: Arthur Dimmesdale walked home happily.  For the first time in seven years, there was a bounce in his step and a light in his hurting heart.  On his way, he saw some of his parishioners and he had thoughts of corruption on his mind.  He thought about the reaction he would get if he whispered corrupting things in their ears.  There are three different people he runs into in which he feels this.  He resists the temptation to do this, and wonders why he is having these thoughts.  He wonders if he signed the black mans book in the forest with his blood.  He runs into a woman known as the town witch, and she tells him the next time he wants to go into the forest she would go with him.  When he arrives home, Mr. Chillingworth comes into his room, and the Reverend refuses to take anymore of his medicine.  He sits at his desk and reworks the sermon he had planned for the following celebration. 
Chapter 21: A public holiday because of the election was planned and everyone from that and the neighboring towns attended in their best clothing.  Hester and little Pearl attended but stayed slightly apart from the crowd.  Though everyone was packed close to see the parade, there was an empty circle around Hester because of her scarlet letter. She had gone previously to make plans with the captain of the ship that they were going to take to England, and she saw the captain of that vessel talking to Roger Chillingworth.  The captain then came over to her and informed her that the physician would be attending the voyage with them.  She looked towards him, and he smiled at her evilly.