Every year at the end of June, a large crowd gathers in a tiny town for their yearly event. 'Every household head will draw and choose a piece of paper from the black box in the village square.'
When Tessie Hutchinson finds that her husband, Bill, is the focus of the villagers' attention, she becomes embroiled in a confrontation. Something is written on the piece of paper he took. Tessie screams that it's not fair, that Mr. Summers didn't give Bill enough time to choose the paper he wanted.'
Bill, Tessie, Bill, Jr., Nancy, 12, and Little Davy, the complete Hutchinson family, is summoned to the box. Mr. Summers places five slips of paper in the box, one of which was held by Bill Hutchinson when he was selected.'
A slip of paper is drawn from the box by each Hutchinson family member. Except on Tessie, which has a penciled black dot on it, all of the papers are blank.'
Tessie screams that it's not right, that it's not fair. The villagers proceed to build a circle around Tessie by gathering the stones they had obtained earlier. They aim to finish this before the noon meal.'
A stone strikes Tessie on the side of the head as she screams. The village's oldest man, Old Man Warner, encourages the villagers to keep going. Tessie is attacked by the peasants, who throw stones at her.'