Slim's dog just had puppies and George asked if Lennie could have one. Slim
said yes. After dinner Slim and George went back to the bunkhouse and sat
down to play a game of cards while the men outside played horseshoes. George
told Slim about the incident in Weed. Lennie had met a girl that was wearing
a pretty red dress. He also had a problem where he has to touch things that
he likes, so he innocently grabbed the dress. The girl started screaming because
she got scared. This frightened Lennie and he held on tighter because he did
not know what to do. The girl accused Lennie of rape and the two men had to
hide until nightfall and then leave town.
Lennie entered the bunkhouse hiding his new puppy underneath his coat and
George promptly sent him to put it back. Candy and his old dog joined George
and Slim and soon Carlson entered, too. Carlson tried to convince Candy to
shoot his dog because it was so old and in constant pain. Candy finally gave
in after several minutes of debate but had Carlson shoot and bury the dog.
He regretted not shooting his own dog later on. Crooks poked his head through
the bunkhouse door telling Slim that his mule's hoof was ready to be tarred
and Slim left. Several minutes later Curley came into the bunkhouse looking
for his wife. He was told that no one had seen her around and was about to
leave but he noticed that Slim was not there, either. He asked where Slim
was and took off after him to the stables, thinking that Slim was with his
wife. Whit and Carlson who had returned from shooting the dog followed Curley
out, hoping for a fight. George and Lennie forgot that Candy was still there
and started discussing their plans for the future. Candy wanted to join them
at their farm but George was cautious at first. When Candy said that he could
put in $350 towards buying the farm, their dreams seemed possible. After the
discussion, Slim and Curley walked in arguing. Slim is tired of being accused
of spending time with Curley's wife. Curley, already in a bad mood, saw Lennie
smiling and laughing to himself still daydreaming about his rabbit-filled
farm, and punches Lennie in the face. Lennie was terrified and tried to block
the punches, but Curley hits him in the nose and stomach. George ordered Lennie
to fight back. Lennie grabbed a flying fist and held tight, too scared to
let go, crushing every bone in Curley's hand. George had to slap Lennie numerous
times in order to get him to let go of Curley's broken hand. Slim got one
of the men to get a buggy ready to take Curley to a doctor, George tried to
convince Lennie that it was not his fault.
George confides in Slim his relationship with Lennie. He admits that Lennie
isn't bright, but obviously a nice person. Lennie not only provides companionship,
but makes George feel smart.
Carlson enters and continues to pressure Candy to allow him to kill his dog.
Candy gives in when Slim joins in the argument. This thought of "mercy
killing" foreshadows the ending of the story.
Later, Slim overhears George and Lennie talking about their dream and asks
to be part of it, offering to advance half of the money they need. Finally,
the dreams appears within reach.
Curley enters and begins to taunt and hit Lennie. Lennie, in turn, refuses
to fight back until George tells him to. Lennie grabs Curley's hand and begins
to flip him about, until he crushes Curley's hand by accident. Lennie is totally
unaware of his own physical strength.