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Rachel asks Drummond if it is too late for Cates to call everything off and tell everyone he made a mistake. Drummond asks Cates' opinion. The teacher says he is shocked at how cruelly he is being treated by people who used to be his friends. He remembers a case in which a man killed his wife, and the townspeople only looked at him with curiosity. Cates feels that everyone looks at him with hatred. Drummond tells Cates that the people think of him as murderer, for he has killed "one of their fairy-tale notions." As a result, they are "calling down the wrath of God, Brady, and the state legislature" on Cates. Rachel objects that Drummond makes a joke of everything. The lawyer defends his levity by telling her that when a person loses the power to laugh, he loses the power to think straight.
Rachel thinks that Drummond only cares about making speeches against the Bible and being in the limelight; she accuses him of not caring about Cates' feelings. Drummond tells her that she is wrong and assures her that he does care about what Cates thinks. He acknowledges that his client is in a terribly lonely position, standing firm against the crowd; but he argues that if Cates gives up the fight, he will forever be called a coward. Cates reassures Drummond that he will not quit. He also asks Rachel to stand by him. Rachel is obviously torn in her emotions and confused. She confesses to Drummond that Mr. Brady is going to make her testify. Cates, who was unaware of this information, is horrified that Rachel will be put on the stand. He realizes that he has told her some of his deepest thoughts and musings, which could be used against him. A dejected Cates is led off by Meeker.