Tull tells Anse not to worry about Jewel and Darl's trip and that they'll be back before long. Anse repeats that the family will need to set off for Jefferson immediately following Addie's death as "Her mind is set on it."
Vardaman emerges from the hill with a dead fish in his hand, proudly telling Anse and Tull that he plans to show it to Addie. Anse does not praise Vardaman for his catch, and instead orders him to clean the fish.
Vardaman's act of catching the fish sets in motion a series of obsessive thoughts about the nature of the fish's existence and how that might explain observations Vardaman makes about his own mother's death.
Tull and Cora leave the Bundren home and get in their wagon, along with their daughters Kate and Eula. Kate hypothesizes that Anse will get another wife before the cotton-picking season. The rest of the family then discusses each of the "poor" Bundren children.
The Tull family presents an alternative family dynamic to the novel. While they claim to be honorable Christians, they spend much of their time criticizing the Bundrens, albeit for good reason. The tendency to use language to rationalize actions is common in the novel, most often as a way for characters to act selfishly under the guise of heroism or another code of conduct, such as religion.