After Lennie accidentally killed his puppy, Curley's wife consoles him and invites him to stroke her soft hair. Lennie begins to feel her hair and likes it very much, which leads him to pet it too hard. Curley's wife begins to struggle, which makes Lennie panic. He grabs a hold of her hair and muffles her screams. When she continues to struggle, Lennie grows angry. He starts to shakes her violently. Before he knows it, he has broken her neck.
Candy comes looking for Lennie in the barn and discovers the body of Curley's wife. He fetches George, who knows exactly what happened when he sees the body. Candy warns that Curley will lynch Lennie if they don't let him get away. After a dark exchange in which Candy and George realize that their dream of a farm is now impossible. He tells Candy to spread the news of the death to the rest of the men and to pretend that he was never present in the barn.
George finds Lennie waiting by the Salinas River. Lennie is found to be sobbing to himself because he's afraid he won't be able to tend to the rabbits. George tries his best to calm Lennie down while readying his gun. Before shooting, Lennie asks George to tell the story about the rabbits. As George is telling the story, he shoots Lennie, killing him mercilessly and instantly.