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Raymie Wutherspoon is promoted to the rank of a captain. Bjornstam sells his farm and leaves Gopher Prairie to settle in North Alberta. Many people opine that Bjornstam should have been sent to the prison. Even Kennicott believes that Bjornstam was bad. Mrs. Westlake talks sweetly and Carol tells the old Matron Bea's story. One day Mrs. Flickerbaugh invites her for tea. Carol listens with surprise that the lawyer's wife hated the town. She wanted to be a businesswoman. But her husband did not allow her to start her own business. So Mrs. Flickerbaugh had turned eccentric and this frightens Carol because she fears the same fate for herself.
She sits alone on the porch because Kennicott had gone to make a professional call on Maud Dyer. She watches Cy Bogart and Myrtle Cass walk down the road hand in hand. She gets the sensation that something ardent is going on around her, which she is unable to see.
This brief chapter describes Carol's state of mind after Bea's death. She is shocked into silence. Bjornstam's going away is pathetic. Carol feels that his gait has lost its spring and that his shoulders slumped. She remains silent when people, even Kennicott, speak ill of him. She pours out her innermost sorrow at Bea's death only into the sympathetic ears of Mrs. Westlake because she believes that she is the only dependable friend she has. How wrong Carol is in trusting the pussyfooted Mrs. Westlake is revealed in the chapters to follow.
Her meeting with Mrs. Flickerbaugh starts a new line of thinking in her mind. She finds her dressed in a very odd manner. She finds that Mrs. Flickerbaugh feels as restless as she herself does and feels uneasy to think that she might become as eccentric as Mrs. Flickerbaugh is. She trusts Kennicott so much that she does not suspect Kennicott when he goes off to call on Maud Dyer. The writer uses dramatic irony very effectively when he says that she felt everywhere in the darkness 'panted an ardent quest' which she did not understand.