Mary informs Bigger that she is not going to the university, but instead has other plans that she does not want to reveal to her parents. Bigger agrees to keep Mary’s activities a secret and guesses correctly that she plans to meet with some communists. Bigger grows increasingly anxious.
Jan, Mary, and Bigger eat dinner and then drink rum together. After a few drinks, Jan and Mary question Bigger about his history. They later leave and go to drop Jan off.
Mrs. Dalton suddenly enters the room. Bigger is seized by hysterical terror. He knows that Mrs. Dalton is blind. Mary starts to rise in response to her mother’s voice, so Bigger places a pillow over Mary’s face to prevent her from speaking. In his panic, he accidentally smothers Mary to death. Mrs. Dalton kneels by the bed and smells the alcohol on her daughter. She prays and returns to her bedroom.