After Samneric report having seen the Beast, Ralph's control over the group continues to erode, furthering the downward spiral that began when the hunters allowed the fire to go out. Ralph insists that they need to relight the fire, and reminds them that their primary concern should be rescue, no matter the danger. However, they also need to deal with the Beast. They decide to scout the only part of the island that Jack hasn't been to - Castle Rock - and see if the Beast is there. If not, it must be on the mountain, and they need to go there anyway to relight the fire.
The hike to Castle Rock is stressful, but once Ralph and Jack scout it and determine there is no Beast, the remaining boys begin to distract and entertain themselves by pushing a large rock off the cliff into the water, foreshadowing the future use of that strategy to "defend" themselves. Ralph attempts to direct everyone to the mountain, but is met with whining; it's midday and sunny, and the boys have forgotten their fears. They would rather stay at Castle Rock, play games, roll more rocks, and otherwise put off the responsibilities that Ralph is demanding of them. His leadership struggles continue through Chapter 7, and though he manages to get everyone to the mountain, his common sense gets the better of him when they try to scale it at dusk; ironically, Jack later brands him a coward for his refusal.