After Piggy's death and the complete unleashing of Roger's sadism, Ralph flees into a covert in the jungle and hides. He is now far from Castle Rock, but Ralph perceives that he is save as the others are occupied with a feast. In his mind, Ralph goes over what has happened, desperately trying to convince himself that the hunters will leave him alone, that they are not "as bad as that. It was an accident." However the "fatal, unreasoning knowledge" comes to him, and he cannot deny it.
Ralph finds fruit and eats it; when two littl'uns see him, they scream. Then, Ralph wanders into Simon's old hiding place where the Lord of the Flies is impaled: "The skull regarded Ralph like one who knows all the answers and won't tell. A sick fear and rage swept him." Ralph strikes at the pig's head, then he backs away while looking at the grinning skull. He returns to the thicket and kneels in the shadows, feeling the terribleness of his isolation. As he edges forward he sees Samneric guarding the Castle Rock again. When he calls to them, the twins are frightened and warn him to get away:
"They hate you, Ralph. They're going to do you. They're going to hunt you tomorrow."
Ralph lies in the ferns and grass, as it is a place not far from the tribe in case "the horrors of the supernatural emerged." But, he hears cries of pain from Samneric. Then, he digs himself into the thicket; however, he hears voices in the morning. The hunters roll rocks and nearly crush Ralph; they poke with spears and he strikes one with his spear, but no one can reach him as he has burrowed into the thicket.
With the smell of smoke, Ralph realizes that the hunters will burn him out of his refuge. He wriggles free and runs, dodging a savage, until he comes upon a British naval officer, who of course saves him from certain death.