Lennie sat in the barn after accidentally killing his puppy. He tries to
hide it so George does not find out. He got angry and threw the puppy and
walked away. Curley's wife came into the barn but Lennie refused to talk to
her. She tells him she is lonely and wants to talk to somebody. She finds
out that the puppy died and tells him he could get another one. When Lennie
tells her that he is not supposed to talk to her, she gets angry and convinces
him that she will not harm him. She then tells Lennie that she does not like
her husband and hates living on the ranch. Curley's wife lets Lennie feel
her soft hair. When she tells him to stop and let go, he panicks, squeezes
her neck too hard and breaks it accidentally. Lennie plans to throw the puppy
away and leaves. Candy finds Curley's dead wife and shows George. Both realize
that it was Lennie's fault. Candy asks George if they would still get the
land, but he knows it will not happen. Curley and the rest of the men find
Curley's wife and everyone realizes that Lennie did it. All the men get together
to look for Lennie, planning to shoot him.
All of the trouble George predicted begins to come true. Lennie, by handling
the puppy too much, has broken its neck. As he tries to hide the animal, Curley's
wife enters the barn. She talks to Lennie about her life, seemingly seducing
him. When she learns of Lennie's love for soft things, she invites him to
touch her hair. He does so, but as always, holds on too tight. The woman begins
to struggle and yell. Lennie panics, accidentally breaking her neck, just
like his puppy.
After Lennie flees, Candy finds the woman's body. He gets George and asks
for reassurance that their dream will still be fulfilled, even without Lennie.
But, George has already forsaken the vision. He asks Candy to give him a few
minutes head start before telling the others. In that time, he steals Carlson's
gun - the same one used to kill Candy's dog. George reenters the barn with
the others to discover the body and he attempts to convince the men that Lennie
should only be put away because he meant no harm. But, Curley insists on lynching
and they all go out to look for Lennie.