The next day, Baskin is called to come for Jessup’s hands. When he asks how Ree obtained the hands, she tells him that someone “flung em up on the porch” the night before. Baskin tells Ree that, the other night, he didn’t shoot at Teardrop only because Ree was with him in the car. Ree tells Baskin that it looked to her like Teardrop “backed [him] down.” Baskin stomps off the porch, and screams, without looking back at Ree, “Sometimes I get so fuckin’ sick of you goddamn people.”
Ree is still unable to be honest with Baskin—he’s untrustworthy now more than ever, and he shows his hand by shirking his professional demeanor for a pained cry. Baskin sees himself as better than the Dollys, though he perhaps realizes, as a result of his encounter with Teardrop, that he could find himself at their mercy at any time.
When Ree’s brothers arrive home from school, she tells them that their father is dead and gone for good. Both boys tell Ree that they “already pretty much knew.”
The boys, too, have been changed by the events of the novel. They seem more mature now, and inured to the concept of their father’s death.
The following day, Ree cleans out her father’s shed. She finds a pair of his old boxing gloves, and, when Sonny and Harold come home from school, she gives them the gloves and teaches them how to fight.
Ree seems to still be preparing to be evicted from her home, even though she’s given evidence of her father’s death to Baskin..
A while later Teardrop arrives at the house, and Ree thinks that he looks tired and unshaven. He watches while the boys fight. Teardrop tells Ree that if she needs money, he can help her earn some. Ree tells Teardrop that she will never touch crank. “There’s other stuff to do, too, if you’ll do it,” Teardrop says.
Teardrop wants to continue to help Ree; his offers of work and money, though, seem to come with strings attached. Ree’s staunch refusal to get involved with drugs, even after all she’s been through, speaks to her unmovable stubbornness and resilient character.
Headlights then approach on the road to the house; it is Mike Satterfield, and he approaches the house with a plastic sack in hand. He hands Ree the sack, telling her it “looks like [she] earned this with blood.” The sack is full of cash, the remainder of Jessup’s bond, posted by the stranger with no name. Satterfield tells Ree that though she’s not old enough to legally work for him, she’d “be like gold” as a bond collector because of her connection to so many Dollys.
Satterfield attempts to capitalize on Ree’s wiliness as well as her connections to the large network of the Ozark underworld. His offer of work, like Teardrop’s, is perhaps meant at least partly in good faith, but similarly seeks to pull Ree into a dangerous line of work—though when it comes down to it, it doesn’t seem like there will be much else available to her.
Mike leaves, and Teardrop tells Ree that he now knows who killed Jessup. Ree embraces Teardrop, and then he leaves. Ree sits down on the top step of the porch. Sonny and Harold come to sit by her, and ask her if the money means she will leave them. She assures them she will not. Sonny asks what they’ll do with the money, and what the first thing they’ll buy will be. Ree tells him: “Wheels.”
Teardrop’s realization is quiet and mysterious, and he leaves with hardly a word—to be alone or to exact revenge, we can’t be sure. Sonny and Harold cling to Ree, hoping that she will not flee their lives together at the first opportunity. Ree, however, is bound more than ever to her family, and promises to stay with them and hopefully make for them a better future by getting them a car—which would mean a greater possibility for independence and upward mobility.