Hester has become concerned over Dimmesdale's health and the effect that Chillingworth is having on her lover. She decides that she must reveal Chillingworth's true identity to Dimmesdale so he can protect himself from her former husband. But first, Hester feels she needs to tell Chillingworth that she is going to break her promise to keep Chillingworth's identity a secret. So, while Pearl plays in a tidal pool, Hester confronts Chillingworth and tells him she is going to reveal his true identity to Dimmesdale. When she returns to Pearl, Pearl again asks her what the scarlet letter means and Hester is finally so fed up she threatens to lock Pearl in a dark closet if she keeps asking that question,
A few days later, while Pearl is playing in the brook that divides Boston from the forest, Hester meets Dimmesdale in the forest and reveals Chillingworth's identity to him. Then they make plans to escape Boston by booking passage on a ship now in Boston harbor. The ship will take them back to England. When they return from their meeting, Hester has removed the scarlet letter, but Pearl will not approach Hester until she puts the letter back on. Dimmesdale tries to kiss Pearl, but she washes the kiss off in the brook. Then the two lovers go their separate ways. The ship is planning on leaving in four days, which will give Dimmesdale an opportunity to give his election sermon.