The night Silas discovers his gold is missing, he immediately goes to the busiest place in town, The Rainbow, an inn and tavern. Here, there is a hierarchy of class, designated by what each man is drinking and where he is sitting. The higher class drink "spirits" and water, while the lower class drinks beer. Also, the higher class sits closest to the fire.
The characters within are introduced and described in the following order:
- Mr. Snell: the landlord of the Inn. Described as a man of "neutral position" and "aloof."
- The Butcher: Snell's cousin, a "jolly" redhead who is described as rash and comes across as somewhat weak and unintelligent as his discussion of a particular cow starts an argument among the men.
- Mr. Dowlas: the farrier; calls the butcher out on a lie (the cow argument), comes across as a know-it-all and somewhat smug. Also, sarcastic.
- Mr. Macey: a tailor and the parish clerk; an older man ("white head") who knows when to speak up and when to keep silent; critical but reserved; respected.
- Mr. Tookey: the deputy clerk; unpopular in the way that is "common to deputies."
- Mr. (Ben) Winthrop: Dolly's husband, Aaron's father; a wheelwright and the leader of the choir on Sundays; good humored and mostly well liked.
- Jem Rodney: a poacher sitting on the outskirts of the group; Silas accuses him of taking his money.