What is the relationship between Mrs Peters and Mrs Hale? How do they react to one another and to Mrs.Wright?
Mrs Hale is asked to join the men as they leave to investigate the suspicious death of Mr Wright. She is asked along to keep Mrs Peters – the sheriff’s wife – company. They do not know each other well—
She had met Mrs. Peters the year before at the county fair.
Mrs Hale knew Minnie, but has not seen her for a long time, and has not really spent time with her since she married-
she still thought of her as Minnie Foster, though for twenty years she had been Mrs. Wright.
Mr Hale had been at the house the day before, and has been asked to recount the events. Mrs Hale is worried for her husband as she is aware of his inadequacies-
Mrs. Hale, still leaning against the door, had that sinking feeling of the mother whose child is about to speak a piece.
Mrs Peters is much more reserved, and is trusted by the men as a result-
"Of course Mrs. Peters is one of us," he said, in a manner of entrusting responsibility.
At first,Mrs Hale does not feel a connection with Mrs Peters, but as the story unfolds they develop an understanding of each other and Minnie.
It is after they discover the dead canary that the two women realize that there is a common bond between them and Minnie. Mrs Peters reminisces over the killing of her kitten by a local boy. She says that she would have ‘hurt him’ had she not been restrained. Mrs Hale deduces that the loss of the bird would have been terrible for Minnie-
"If there had been years and years of--nothing, then a bird to sing to you, it would be awful--still--after the bird was still."
Mrs Peters describes her emptiness after the death of a child, and Mrs Hale expresses the unseen link between the three women-
"I might 'a' known she needed help! I tell you, it's queer, Mrs. Peters. We live close together, and we live far apart. We all go through the same things--it's all just a different kind of the same thing! If it weren't--why do you and I understand?