While Hester stands on the scaffold at the opening of the story, the stranger who enters the colony is her husband, Mr. Prynne (the reader will henceforth know him as Chillingworth). He, of course, recognizes Hester just as she recognizes him. At some distance from the scaffold, he obtains information about Hester from a local colony member. After hearing of what she has done he asserts that he agrees with her punishment but laments the fact that her "partner" in crime is not up there with her. Knowing that the identity of the child's father is a secret of Hester's heart, he says, more to himself than anyone else:
But he will be known!--he will be known!--he will be known! (Chapter 3)
This is Chillingworth's first announcement of what he plans to spend his time in the colony doing: seeking, finding, and inflicting revenge on the man who fell into adultery with his (once) wife.