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This chapter focuses on a different character, Biff Brannon, a watcher. He owns the New York Cafe and takes the night shift. He notices the Mr. Singer is a regular customer now. He worries over another customer, Jake Blount, a man who came in last week and paid at first, but has been living for a week on credit and staying quite drunk. Alice, Biff’s wife, wants him to get rid of Jake Blount, but Biff likes to watch odd people. He tells Alice he likes freaks. She accuses him of being a freak himself.
One night he watches as Jake Blount goes over and talks to John Singer animatedly. He doesn’t realize he is speaking to a deaf mute. He tells Biff that John Singer is someone who "knows" and that when two people who know get together, it’s an event. Another customer comes in, Mick Kelly, a twelve year old girl whose family owns a boarding house. She is dressed in boys’ clothes and buys a package of cigarettes. She tells Biff that Mr. Singer has been renting a room from her family for three months now.
After a while of standing in the empty cafe, Biff hears from his worker, Willie, that Jake Blount has hurt himself by hitting a brick wall with his fists. The police bring Jake to the cafe. Mr. Singer is with him. The police leave Jake there. Mr. Singer volunteers to let Jake stay the night with him.
At the end of his shift, Biff goes upstairs and has an unpleasant conversation with his wife, Alice. She gets out of bed slowly and begins to prepare her Sunday school lesson. He cleans himself scrupulously and then changes the arrangement of the sheets on the bed before getting into it. He thinks of his habit of taking care of odd people, giving them credit, giving them breaks on prices, and watching their habits. He wonders about himself, what kind of a person he is, and decides he is just himself.
This chapter brings together almost all the main characters, Singer, Biff, Jake, and Mick. They all begin already here to center around Mr. Singer. Jake finds him magnetic for the same reason Singer found Spiros so attractive since he doesn’t speak, he is pure reception. He only listens and so Jake feels all that he says is affirmed and that he, himself, is validated. Alice’s Bible text is significant at the end of the chapter. It reads, "All men seek for Thee." It seems that McCullers is working on building up an idea of a Christ figure, someone who is all things to all people, who is pure caring, listening, or reception.