Samuel Hamilton has died. Adam attends the funeral in Salinas. Afterwards, he goes into a bar and decides that he is going to go see “Kate” for himself. The bartender warns him to stay away, but Adam goes.
The house itself is a metaphor for what he will find inside: “dark… overgrown…dilapidated.” One of the girls goes to announce him to Kate. She is surprised and suspicious but receives him. Adam comes into her room and finds it dim and sparse. Cathy has aged and it shows. Her bitterness, however, is still in tact. Adam thinks that she looks like “some secret and predatory animal.” Something falls into place when he sees her face. “Now I can forget it,” he realizes. He is able to turn away from both the dream Cathy and the real Kate.
Cathy is shaken. She begins to drink, which makes her lose her tight emotional control. She recounts all of the people she has fooled who thought she is sweet and good because she is beautiful. She shows Adam the sexually explicit pictures she has taken of her clientele, often men with respected jobs, and how she plans to blackmail them. Kate tries to seduce Adam but he is no longer under her spell. To hurt him, she strongly hints that Cal and Aron may not be his sons, but his brothers’. Adam realizes it does not change his love for the boys, even if it is true. He walks out, leaving her in a rage.