Pinkie comes flying out of his room calling for Dallow, who’s been on the look-out for Prewitt. Pinkie’s been alone with Rose for two days. He’s in a fevered state. Judy appears with Dallow’s freshly laundered coat. She’s obviously in the mood for love, but Dallow dismisses her. Pinkie asks Dallow what he would do if Judy became pregnant. Dallow says that would be her funeral. Pinky begins to talk to Dallow about his options, should Prewitt talk to the cops. One option would be to enter into a suicide pact with Rose, whom he’s sure would not want to live without him. Then, maybe, Pinkie might not die but Rose would. Dallow is shocked. He says he’d never go in for such a plan.
Dallow is the gang’s most blood-thirsty member, next to Pinkie, and even he disapproves of Pinkie’s idea of a suicide pact, which shows just how extreme the idea really is. Still, Dallow’s compassion only goes so far. He would have no compunction about making Judy handle an unwanted pregnancy on her own. Both Pinkie and Dallow view women and the love women offer as disposable and inconvenient.
Rose is in the room when Pinkie returns. She’s always there. She says she’s going out, though, and he closes his eyes, wishing he could go back to the time before he met her, before he killed Hale, before his life became something he didn’t recognize. Eventually, Rose leaves and Dallow peeks in, telling Pinkie that Prewitt is probably on his way out of town by now and so they can breathe easy. He tells Pinkie that Cubitt went to make sure that Prewitt got on the boat as planned. Pinkie doesn’t respond. Dallow leaves, saying he hears Cubitt, and Pinkie remembers the first time he came to Frank’s with Kite, back before Rose, when everything was clearer and easier.
Pinkie’s regret is based primarily on the complications that have ensued since he murdered Hale. He doesn’t wish Hale alive again. He simply pines for a time when he wasn’t in charge of the gang and Rose wasn’t always hovering nearby, reminding him of the need to always be vigilant. At seventeen, Pinkie is already nostalgic for days gone by.
Dallow comes back, saying it wasn’t Cubitt at the door after all. He asks to see a letter Pinkie received from Collieoni. It’s unopened. Dallow reads it. Colleoni is offering to give Pinkie 300 pounds to not hurt his men and clear out. Dallow is getting nervous. He wishes Cubitt would call. He and Pinkie talk about where they might go if they took the offer. Pinkie can’t imagine leaving Brighton. He’s the town and the town is him.
Unlike Hale, who wanted very much to distance himself from Brighton, Pinkie cannot imagine a life anywhere else. He also can’t imagine giving up his role as the head of Kite’s gang. Colleoni’s offer is intriguing: as of yet, Pinkie has no plans to exact revenge on Colleoni’s men.
Still, Pinkie says he could change. He already has. He’s a drinking man now and he has a wife. Dallow tells Pinkie he’s very secure in Rose—she’ll never betray him—but Pinkie isn’t so sure. He has to work hard, he says, to make sure she doesn’t get angry or fall for someone else and turn on him. Rose returns. She was afraid that something might have happened while she was gone. The phone rings and it’s Cubitt saying that Prewitt is safely on a boat out of town. Dallow congratulates Pinkie on being so clever and thinking of everything.
Pinkie hasn’t really changed. A few drinks and a fake wedding aren’t enough to alter his character, and that is why he doubts Rose’s loyalty. It’s obvious, even to Dallow, that Rose will never betray Pinkie. Dallow is wrong about one thing, though: Pinkie has not thought of everything. He has tragically underestimated Ida’s determination and savvy.