Janie is unsure of being with Tea Cake because of their age gap, and decides she should stay away, but doesn't follow through with it when he comes back a week later and buys coke for the two of them. She invites him to her house and they have pound cake and lemonade, Tea cake leaving very late. The next day, Hezekiah warns her to not spend time with him because of his poverty.
The next day Janie fries a fish Tea Cake caught, and they eat it with corn bread. He sings her to bed and when she wakes up he's combing her hair, and she realizes she's falling in love. She invites him to eat breakfast, but he refuses only to disappear for several days.
Tea Cake and Janie go on a Sunday School picnic and the town is not very happy. They think its too soon to be going out with someone after her partner had died. They don't approve of Tea Cake because they feel he doesn't have enough class to be with the mayor's widow.
One night Sam Watson talks to his wife about the budding romance. Sam figures that Tea Cake is going to spend all of Janie's money, but Pheoby believes that Janie knows what she is doing. Even so, Pheoby agrees to go talk with her friend at her husband's request. As the two friends talk, Janie convinces Pheoby that she is willing to take a chance with Tea Cake because she loves him.
The two of them head to Jacksonville to get married, Tea Cake is supposed to be getting fish for breakfast, but he doesn't return. She imagines the worst, but then Tea Cake returns, playing a guitar and singing.
fter having something to eat, Tea Cake explains to Janie that he spent some of her money to treat his fellow railroad workers and their wives to a dinner. After borrowing a guitar to play at the party, he decided to buy the guitar with more of Janie's money. Tea Cake assures Janie that he'll gamble the $12 that remain and win the rest back. For the rest of the week, Tea Cake practices rolling dice and shuffling cards. On Saturday, he goes gambling. He returns after dawn, cut by a razor. While Janie attends to his wounds, Tea Cake tells her that he won back all of her money plus $122 more.