Gabriel judges that “you are greatly to blame” and that she must lead them on like a pastime and if she truly loved Boldwood she would not send it by valentine. “I cannot allow any man to-to criticize my private conduct… so you’ll please leave the farm at the end of the week” and Gabriel replies “very well Miss Everdene – so it shall” and he walks off, Bathsheba is probably hoping he will apologise and ask for his job back but doesn’t. I think that this scene is very formal between the two of them and restrained, but I think Gabriel is right in the situation though.
Less than 24 hours after he finished working they were asking him for help. Shepherd Oak was the only person in the area who could deal with the problem that Bathsheba’s sheep had got into the clove field and were all getting blasted. They workers say she must send for the only man who can help and that is Gabriel. She is angry with them for suggesting him but realises that if she doesn’t she will lose her whole flock and had to swallow her pride and sent for him. When he doesn’t come with her message he wants to be asked properly she gets frustrated.
She sends a note saying “Do not desert me, Gabriel” He come and looks at her, she asks “O Gabriel, how could you serve me so unkindly” but he walks off to deal with the problem. ” Gabriel will you stay on with me? ” “I will” Gabriel yet again comes to her in her time of need. He saves her from her problem like he has always done and will always do. Gabriel meets Bathsheba as she is walking home one night and asks her whether she is engaged to Boldwood like gossip goes or not. She says that she isn’t. “They say what is not true, No marriage is likely between us”
She says this quickly but never actually tells Boldwood that she has no intention of actually marrying him. Oaks goes on to ask about the Soldier Francis Troy. He warns her off him saying that he is dangerous and untrustworthy. “I like soldiers, but this one I do not like” Bathsheba is angry at him because he has spoken the truth about him and she doesn’t like to hear it even thought in the innermost part of herself she knew that he was not all good and some of the tales were true. As she was in love all this was forgotten and he was a “steady man in a wild way” is how she describes Troy to Liddy.
But Oaks realises that she is in love with him and blind to it, and doesn’t believe a word against him. Bathsheba does understand slightly what Gabriel is saying but loves Troy too much. She goes to dismiss Oak but he says what’s the point she’ll need him next week for something and Bathsheba then doesn’t bother. Bathsheba marries Troy in Bath shortly afterwards and returns to the farm with Troy. Troy suggests they have a wedding/harvest party, once the party has finished Troy suggests all the women folk go home to get the bed ready, while the men drink on.
The men including Troy end up falling asleep as a storm is brewing. Gabriel notices that Bathsheba is going to come out and attend to the ricks so goes outside and starts sorting them out. When Bathsheba sees him doing this she is very grateful. “O Gabriel” She offers to help Gabriel “I’ll do anything” as it’s her farm but knows her husband should be doing this not her but he is drunk and asleep in the barn. Bathsheba tries to explain about her going to Bath and intending to break off the relationship but when finds he has met someone else becomes jealous and marries him.
“Between jealousy and distraction, I married him” “and thank you Gabriel for your devotion a thousand times” Once she goes the storm becomes worse and Gabriel just manages to save them all. The following morning he sees Boldwood and is surprises to hear that he “overlooked” his ricks this year even though it amounts to a tenth of his crop. This does not bother him though. He becomes obsessed with Bathsheba and how she is, what she is doing and it comes as a shock she is married to Sergeant Troy. When Fanny Robin dies, an old lover of Troy she had just had his baby.
Troy discovers this and Bathsheba too and she falls into decline and Troy leaves her saying that he was “more married to her dead than he ever will be to be alive”. Oak becomes Bailiff but this makes little difference to farm life apart from wages going up, as he was more or less one anyway. He now watched over Boldwood’s farm too as he had neglected this duty and was becoming even more obsessed about Bathsheba. Oak started to dress better and get a better status wear his Sunday clothes that he became different but still reliable to Bathsheba in her time of need.
Boldwood thinks that because Troy has disappeared that she will now want to marry him, and holds a party announcing their engagement but as he does Troy walks in and Boldwood shoots him down in front of all his guests. Boldwood is charged with murder but declared insane when he was doing being tried, as he had become so obsessed with Bathsheba. The police findings all these gifts wrapped up for her that he was sent to prison. Several months later Gabriel comes across Bathsheba at the Church looking at the gravestone of Troy where he lay beside Fanny Robin and their daughter.
He says to him it feels like yesterday but to her years ago. He tells her of his plans to leave her farm and go abroad to California and work there. “Leave England, why Gabriel? what are you going to do there? ” Bathsheba said sounding surprised and disappointed. What shall I do without you? ” Bathsheba begins to realise how important Gabriel is to her and that if he were not there her life would be very different. Gabriel has always been there for her from the very beginning and now she thinks he is deserting her. “It broke upon her at length as a great pain that her last old disciple was about to forsake her and flee…
was leaving her to fight her battles on her own” As the months go by she becomes withdrawn and Oak hands all the business and he still never bumps into her but avoids her. This makes Bathsheba unhappy, as she now knows she loves him and it might be too late. She goes down to see him one evening after he sends a harsh letter saying that he would not want to renew his contract for next year and would be leaving. She promptly went down to see him, when answering the door Oak did not recognise her but seems pleased to see her. “But what are you going away for? ” Bathsheba asks Oak but he has a surprise for her.
“I am not emigrating” these words are such a relief to Bathsheba but becomes confused and he says that he is taking over full ownership of Mr Boldwood’s farm that he doesn’t need to be here and it not like Bathsheba will ever marry him. “I’m sniffing about here waiting for poor Mr Boldwood’s farm with a thought of getting you someday” This comes as a real shock to Bathsheba and says that she would like to marry Gabriel. They marry quietly by themselves. No one knows apart from one worker who later that tells the others and set off a cannon. Gabriel does live up to his name through out the novel dependable and strong.