There is a kind of situation where the best thing to do is the kindest, the worst is the least logical, and on average you wish you'd done nothing.
Or, in short, I've had to let Sergeant Troy out.
In the end we didn't really know what to do. Young Fanny Robin came back this morning. We told her the situation, explained all about Troy's two children by Mercy and asked Fanny to consider what she wanted to do. I was quite surprised, really. Everything I'd heard about Fanny was that she was a quiet, meek little thing who wouldn't say "boo" to a goose. Instead she borrowed my Slazenger, nipped down to the cellar and gave Troy another whack round the ear. He's having a really bad time.
So we've let him go. Neither Mercy nor Fanny wants him, so we've got him to sign a form to say he'll support the sprogs and now he's free to go where he likes. As long as it's not Weatherbury Farm. Last I heard, Hnaef was lurking in the precincts waving a shotgun he'd borrowed off Mr Boldwood. I tell you, it's like Big Brother round here sometimes.