Slim questions George to why he and Lennie travel together. George reveals elements of the pair's history; he admits that he took advantage of Lennie in the past, as he gave him a certain sense of superiority. George also apprises Slim of what happened in Weed.
Lennie comes in to the bunkhouse, not long after followed by Candy and Carlson. Carlson begins to complain about Candy's dog and starts urging him to shoot the malodorous animal. Slim joins in, suggesting that Candy would be putting his suffering pet out of his misery.
Whit joins them to present Slim with a letter written by a man they used to work with published in a magazine. As the men marvel over it, Carlson offers to kill the dog quickly by shooting it in the back of the head. Reluctantly, Candy gives in.
Carlson takes the dog outside, promising Slim that he will bury the corpse. Within a few still moments, a shot echoes around the ranch. Candy turns to the wall, not saying a word. After a short while, Curley appears looking for his wife. Full of suspicion, he asks where Slim was. When he learns that Slim is in the barn, he storms off in that direction, followed by Whit and Carlson, who hope to see a fight.
Lennie asks George to describe the farm they wish to own. While George tells their dream, Candy listens. He becomes suddenly excited about the thought of living in a place so beautiful. Overcome with hope, Candy offers to contribute his life savings if they let him stay there with them. George tells them not to tell anyone about their plan.
Slim, Curley, Carlson, and Whit return. Curley apologises to Slim for his suspicions, and then the other men mock him. Knowing that Slim is too strong to be beaten in a fight, Curley looks to vent his rage elsewhere. He finds an easy target in Lennie. Though Lennie begs to be left alone, Curley attacks him. On George’s command, Lennie grabs Curley’s right hand and breaks it effortlessly.