Part 3, Chapter 5 Summary

A week passes as the workers sullenly do their jobs and wait for the “coming battle.” This fortnight promises to be especially tension-filled for the Maheus, as they have little money and Catherine stays out all night and comes home sick and cannot work. Chaval threatened violence and would not let her leave, certain she was being forced by her family to share Lantier’s bed.

Two days later, Jeanlin skipped work for two days, running and thieving with Bebert and Lydie. When La Maheude catches him, she thrashes him in the public square as a warning to all children; in her poverty, she can only see her children as future breadwinners.

The coal-face the Maheus are mining is hard to work and is growing...

(The entire section is 781 words.)