Lennie goes to the place that George had designated as a hiding place if
he got into trouble. He thinks of his Aunt Clara, who always scolded him for
getting into trouble and never cared about George, who had to take care of
him. Lennie then imagines seeing a rabbit who tells him that George would
get rid of him because he is sick of him.
After a while George comes and when Lennie asks him if he would leave, George
says no. When Lennie offers to leave, George declines. George tells Lennie
of their plans for a rabbit farm and tells Lennie to look across the river.
George puts the gun to the back of Lennie's head and shoots him. Slim guesses
what happened and tells George it had to be done.
The final scene occurs at the same riverbank the book opened. Lennie has
remembered to return there after he had gotten into trouble. Several visions
taunt him, as he realizes the severity of his actions. Lennie asks George
to "chew him out", but George does so only halfheartedly. They discuss
their dream one last time....George shoots Lennie in the back of the head
with Carlson's gun. The other men arrive, and George agrees with their version
of the conflict between George and Lennie that brought about the shooting.
The men return to the ranch, some sympathizing, some not.