Giles Corey and Francis Nurse have come to announce that both their wives have been taken. This is a critical moment for both Proctor and Hale. For Proctor, he sees that the conflict he has tried to avoid is approaching ever closer. His isolationist stance will not work. He will have to face Abigail. For Hale, this is his first searing moment of doubt. He has been able to accept the guilt of the others, including Elizabeth, because he does not feel a connection with them. Rebecca Nurse, however, being educated and more, he believes, on his intellectual level, should have been above reproach and suspicion. He can not understand how she could have been accused, and for the first time seriously doubts the validity of the accusations in general.