The author John Steinbeck has George tell Lennie to hide in the bushes near where they are camping in the first chapter. This will give George a head start on the lynch mob after Lennie kills Curley's wife. George will know exactly where to find Lennie. He did not originally intend to kill his friend, but after seeing Curley's wife's body in the barn, George makes a decision to kill him rather than to rendezvous with him by the river and help him to escape the mob, as he did when they were pursued by a mob in Weed. It is necessary for George to know where Lennie will be going when he gets into trouble. Otherwise he could have gone anywhere. He wasn't capable of leaving a note for George. He could have fled east, west, north or south. Unless the men had a good tracking dog with them, how would any of them know where to look for Lennie? Steinbeck probably should have provided them with a dog. Otherwise, it is hard to understand how they could have arrived at the campsite by the river so soon after George had shot Lennie. George decided to kill his friend because he could see that Lennie was becoming a menace to society. He had assaulted a girl in Weed and killed a girl at the ranch. He was developing an interest in sex which made him a potential rapist and killer. Furthermore, George felt personally responsible because he had assumed total responsibility for Lennie. Curley's wife would have been alive if George hadn't brought him to that ranch and gotten nim a job and a bunk there. George was thinking about himself as much as he was thinking about Lennie. George was sick and tired of his thankless burden. Lennie was becoming impossible to control. This is something Steinbeck also establishes in the opening chapter. Lennie does nothing but disobey, argue and lie. George wanted Lennie to die--but he didn't want him to be tortured and lynched. He stole Carlson's pistol at the ranch with the obvious intention of using it on Lennie.
George tells Lennie that if he gets into trouble, he should go hide in the brush.
George is always looking out for Lennie. Since they travel around together, and Lennie is mentally impaired, he needs George’s protection. Lennie is physically strong but mentally weak. He tends to get himself into trouble because he has the mind of a child in a big man’s body. The two are migrant farm workers, and that requires constant movement. Therefore they have to be ready for anything. George needs to have a plan. He can tell Lennie the plan, but he can’t necessarily be assured Lennie will remember it. George tries to remind him what to do in case of trouble.
"… Well, look. Lennie- if you jus' happen to get in trouble like you always done before, I want you to come right here an' hide in the brush." (Ch. 1)
George also tries to keep Lennie out of trouble, of course, but he is also realistic. He knows that with Lennie, there will be trouble one way or another. Lennie just likes to touch soft things too much. He always wants to touch a mouse or a puppy or a lady’s dress. The next thing you know, the lady is screaming because she thinks Lennie is assaulting her, and Lennie is hiding in the brush until they can regroup and get out of town.
Unfortunately, things got even worse for George and Lennie this time. Trouble is foreshadowed when Lennie kills the puppy.
He said, "This ain't no bad thing like I got to go hide in the brush. Oh! no. This ain't. I'll tell George I foun' it dead." (Ch. 5)
Lennie touched the lady’s hair a little too hard, and broke her neck. Lennie had to go hide, and George went and found him and shot him to put him out of his misery. He didn’t want someone else to find him first, and hurt Lennie. Lennie didn’t understand what he had done, and didn’t mean it. George did what he had to do to protect Lennie.
In chapter 1, George tells Lennie if he ever gets into trouble to just hide in a bush. Lennie often gets into trouble because he has a child-like mind and doesn't understand when he is doing something wrong. He will stroke animals and women's dresses or hair because they look soft, but people take it the wrong way. George frequently reminds him that he needs to hide in a bush if he causes mischief.