The first topic of conversation at the Rainbow Inn, introduced by Mr. Snell, the landlord, is the topic of livestock. Mr. Snell asks the butcher about the cow he bought the previous day, "a red Durham."
The second topic of conversation is Mr. Tookey's singing talent, or lack thereof. Mr. Macey jokes that he wishes Mr. Tookey would "keep hold o' the tune, when it's set for (him)." Mr. Tookey doesn't take the joke very well and thinks that there is a conspiracy to throw him out of the choir.
The third topic of conversation is Mr. Lammeter's father, "a fine old gentleman." Mr. Macey remembers that Mr. Lammeter's father rented a farm in the area after his wife died.
The fourth topic of conversation is Mr. Lammeter's marriage to Miss Osgood. Mr. Macey remembers how the pastor mixed up his words when reciting the marriage vows, asking the bride, "Wilt thou have this man to be thy wedded wife?"
The fifth topic of conversation is Mr. Lammeter's land, which "nobody could get rich on" and which the villagers think is a place where something peculiar is going on, something "more . . . than what folks see by daylight."