Here are Geroge and Lennie, Geroge is small and smart while Lennie is large and mentally slow. George also reminds Lennie to come back to this spot by the river if anything bad happens, which suggests, of course, that something bad most definitely will.
George and Lennie arrive at the new ranch. In the bunkhouse, they meet an old guy named Candy. Carlson, who asks Slim about his new litter of puppies. Maybe Slim could give one of these puppies to Candy as a replacement for his ancient dog, which stinks so bad it deserves to be shot.
George thanks Slim for Lennie's new puppy. Slim asks the question of why Lennie and George are traveling around together. George knew Lennie's Aunt Clara, that he used to tease Lennie mercilessly until he realized how loyal Lennie was to him, that Lennie isn't exactly crazy, just dumb, that he's gotten used to Lennie's annoying ways, and that he's seen guys that go around by themselves and those guys get lonely and mean. So he and Lennie stick together.
Slim is ticked at Curley for bugging him about his wife, Carlson calls Curley a coward, Curley starts punching Lennie, who does nothing until George yells at Lennie to "get 'im."In a move that rivals Bruce Lee, Lennie grabs Curley's hand as it's coming toward his face, and essentially crushes it completely. Curley's wife asks Lennie how he got the bruises on his face. Crooks tells her again to leave, and she threatens to have Crooks lynched.
Crooks starts taking out his anger on Lennie by insinuating that George may never come back. Lennie freaks out and gets mad. Crooks sees Lennie towering over him and retracts his comment. Lennie calms down.
Lennie is alone in the barn, petting a puppy that he has obviously petted a little too long and hard, and he can't make up his mind about it. He covers the dead puppy up with hay. He's worried that George might not let him tend to the rabbits of the dream farm. Curley's wife says don't feel bad because the pup was just a mutt, and mutts are aplenty in the world.