Lennie and George arrive at the ranch where an old man introduces them to
their new home. The boss walks in while George and Candy (the old man) are
talking. He takes down George and Lennie's names, where they worked before,
and what skills they have. George answers every time for Lennie which makes
the boss curious. He asks George what his interest in Lennie is, thinking
that George is out to get Lennie's pay. George tells the boss that Lennie
had been kicked in the head by a horse when he was little, and he had told
Lennie's aunt that he would take care of Lennie. When the boss leaves, Candy
comes back in with his dog after listening to the conversation through the
door. Curley, the boss' son, comes in soon after. He notices the two new guys
and sees a challenge - especially in Lennie. Once Curley leaves, George and
Candy have a discussion about him. Candy says that Curley just does not like
men who are bigger than he. Curley has been even cockier since he got married.
Candy also says that Curley's wife is a bit of a "tart" , and then
he leaves to go to work. Soon after, Curley's wife enters looking for her
husband. After flirting with George and winning Lennie's love, she leaves
just as Slim comes in. Slim introduces George and Lennie to Carlson. After
another short confrontation with Curley the men go to dinner.
Upon arriving at the ranch, they are met by an old man named Candy and his
dog. It is Candy who explains to them the ways of the ranch and the personalities
of the other ranch hands. Soon, the boss enters the cabin to visit with his
new workers, quite angry that they had been too late for the morning shift.
He asks both George and Lennie questions, which George proceeds to answer.
Eventually, Lennie answers one question in his own, unintelligent way. George
is angry, but the boss is a bit suspicious.
The reader also meets Curley's seductive wife. As usual, she is "looking
for her husband" as an excuse to meet and attempt to seduce the other
workers. Of course, George and Candy deny her attempts, but Lennie innocently
defends her. As George warns Lennie to stay away from her, Lennie shows that
he wants to leave, "It's mean here". George agrees to leave once
they have enough money to attain their dream.