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Kennicott wonders about how long Carol would take to get over her highbrow attitude. He broods over the fact that Carol wants him to become a poet. He knows that some women still find him attractive and wonders why he never felt tempted to go to the girls who would accept him as he is. He feels sorry that Carol who thinks she can understand everything does not even know that he can have a good time if he wanted to. But he knows that Carol is the most beautiful girl in Gopher Prairie and even in the whole of Minneapolis.
Maud Dyer comes to his office complaining of a backache. Kennicott is conscious of her delicious milky white skin. He tells her that her troubles are imaginary. Maud tells him to be scientific and he points out that if he gave advice like a specialist they would laugh at him. If he told her to travel and be away from Dave for some time, he would want to skin him alive. Maud complains that Dave is very stingy and that she has to nag him to get money. Kennicott tells her that she has to manage it because Dave would never like his interference. He pats her back sympathetically and she presses his hands to her cheeks. She says that Dave is mean and noisy. She begs Kennicott to come to her house in the evening and make her be good and sensible. Kennicott points out that if he went to her house, he would have to play cards with Dave. Maud tells him that Dave would be at the shop till midnight. She makes Kennicott promise that he will call on her.
Aunt Besse and Mrs. Bogart call on Carol. Mrs. Bogart elaborates on the shady things going on in Mrs. Swiftwaite's house. She warns Carol to be careful because the scheming woman may tempt Kennicott. Carol tells them that she hoped that Kennicott would be spirited enough to tempt the woman. Aunt Bessie says that it was wicked of Carol to say that. Carol asks Mrs. Bogart if she knew what Kennicott was thinking about when he was silent at the breakfast table. Mrs. Bogart trembles with anticipation and Carol tells her that he was probably pondering if the grass needed cutting.