What trouble did George and Lennie have in Weed in Of Mice and Men?

The trouble that George and Lennie had in Weed in Of Mice and Men was an incident between Lennie and a girl in a red dress. Lennie had startled the girl by touching her dress, and Lennie reacted to her fear by becoming afraid and not letting the dress go. The girl later falsely accused Lennie of raping her, leading to George and Lennie having to flee for their lives.

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Before arriving at the ranch in Soledad, George and Lennie were chased out of Weed and managed to evade a lynch mob by hiding in an irrigation ditch after Lennie scared a young woman wearing a red dress.

In the opening chapter, George mentions the trouble Lennie caused them in Weed, but he does not provide further details until later in the story. In chapter 3, George elaborates on the situation in Weed during a conversation with Slim. George tells Slim that Lennie saw a young woman wearing a red dress and wanted to touch the material of her dress. The reader recognizes that this is typical behavior for Lennie, who has an affinity for tactile stimulation and enjoys touching soft things.

Unfortunately, Lennie startled the girl, who began screaming. Instead of letting go, Lennie panicked and held on tighter, which only made the situation worse. When George arrived on the scene, he had to hit Lennie over the head with a fence picket to make him let go.

The girl claimed that Lennie raped her, and George and Lennie were forced to hide in an irrigation ditch for the remainder of the day to avoid a lynch mob. Fortunately, George and Lennie were able to escape and traveled to Soledad to work on the ranch. Tragically, Lennie repeats the mistake he made in Weed but ends up accidentally killing Curley's wife.

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The first thing we learn about Weed is that Lennie and George used to work on a ranch there, similar to the ranch the duo is on their way to as Of Mice and Men opens. In the conversation that follows between George and Lennie, we learn that Lennie had done some “bad things” in Weed, and that the pair had needed to leave in a hurry to evade capture. Despite the serious nature of what happened, Lennie’s memory has to be jogged for him to remember it.

It is later in the story, when the two are settling down at the ranch and George is having a conversation with Slim, that we learn the details of the trouble in Weed and what it had been about. George tells Slim that the problem had involved a “girl in a red dress.” While Lennie never harmed the girl, her red dress had caught his attention. Being an extremely tactile person, Lennie had reached out to touch the dress. In response, the girl had cried out, which in turn had scared Lennie.

Now in a flustered state, Lennie had kept holding onto the girl’s dress, and while he did nothing to hurt her, the girl told local authorities that Lennie had raped her. As a result of the accusation of rape, men from Weed set out to lynch Lennie. George and Lennie had spent the day in hiding and fled from Weed that same night.

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While they were working in Weed, Lennie saw a girl wearing a pretty red dress.  Focused on the dress's beauty, he reached out to touch it, and the girl screamed.  Lennie panicked, and holding on even tighter, would not let go.  George had to "(sock) him over the head with a fence picket to make him let go" before he would release the dress.  The girls eventually reported the incident as an attempted rape, and "the guys in Weed start(ed) a party out to lynch Lennie".  George took Lennie to hide in an irrigation ditch, and when darkness fell, they fled the vicinity.

Lennie did not actually hurt the girl, but, being big and strong, he scared her badly. As Slim observed, "(Lennie) ain't mean", and George agreed, explaining, "(Lennie) jus' wanted to touch that red dress like he wants to pet them pups all the time".

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They were run out of town. Lennie likes to touch soft things; he likes the way they feel in his hand. That's why he is constantly stroking rabbits and mice. His dream is to one day look after the rabbits on a ranch he's going to buy with George. Unfortunately, Lennie's penchant for stroking soft objects often gets him into trouble. It certainly does near the end of the story in relation to Curley's wife. And back in Weed it was a similar story, though without the tragic consequences. Lennie touched a girl's dress. His motives were completely innocent, but the girl and the townsfolk inevitably got the wrong idea. Not surprisingly, Lennie is perceived as a threat, so he and George have to escape Weed as soon as they can in order to avoid a possible lynching.

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Lennie and George had trouble in the town of Weed. Lennie likes soft fur and soft materials. He likes to touch soft furs and soft materials. In the town of Weed, Lennie was touching a girl's soft dress. She did not want him to touch her dress. When she tried to pull away, Lennie would not let go. George retells the incident to Lennie with frustration in his voice:

"Jus" wanted to feel that girl's dress—jus' wanted to pet it like it was a mouse—Well, how the hell did she know you jus' wanted to feel her dress? She jerks back and you hold on like it was a mouse. She yells and we got to hide in an irrigation ditch all day with guys lookin' for us, and we got to sneak out in the dark and get outta the county.

When the girl yelled, Lennie and George had to run away for their own safety. This meant they would have to migrate to another ranch. George and Lennie lived on the run. Because of Lennie's tendency to get in trouble, George and Lennie were constantly on the move, migrating form ranch to ranch.

Lennie meant no harm to the girl. He just wanted to feel of her soft dress material. He is childlike in his actions but has to face responsibility like a man. He unintentionally frightened the girl. She jerked away and Lennie would not let go of her dress. Of course, she yells and Lennie and George run for their lives. 

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Weed is the last town George and Lenny were in before they come to work on the farm.  When they were there, Lenny tried to touch a woman in a red dress because he thought she looked pretty.  She started to struggle, not understand that Lenny was probably harmless, and Lenny held on more tightly because of his confusion over the situation.  The woman went to the police, claiming she was raped.  George was forced to flee Weed with Lenny so that he was not arrested.  Once that incident is behind them, George tries to make a new start for the two of them on the ranch.  George doesn’t really want Lenny talking about what happened and certainly is careful about who knows what happened in Weed.  Despite the fact that Lenny did assault a woman, though he did not rape he, George still believes he is a harmless man with a good heart, which essentially proves true overall.

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Before the novelette's action begins, George and Lennie are run out of the town of Weed because Lennie had once again gotten himself and George in trouble.  He saw a girl wearing a soft dress, and he touches it because "he likes to feel soft things." The girl naturally does not respond well to a stranger pinching her dress and tries to escape, but Lennie will not let go.  George and Lennie are literally forced to run for their lives when the girl cries for help.

The incident serves two purposes.  First, George references it to show the difficulties that Lennie has caused for the two of them, and Steinbeck uses to show that they are still loyal to one another.  Secondly, Lennie's penchant for touching soft items and especially getting them into trouble over a girl foreshadows the horrific incident in the barn with Curley's Wife.

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