In August the Cutters go to Omaha for a few days, leaving Ántonia behind to watch the house. Ántonia visits Jim and his grandparents, worried because Mr. Cutter left a great deal of silver in the house and told her not to leave the house or have any friends sleep over.
Ántonia may have shown her independence by leaving the Harlings, but as a domestic servant she either has to obey her employers or be fired.
Jim's grandmother decides Jim should sleep in the Cutters' house in Ántonia's place. On his third night in the house, he wakes to find Mr. Cutter in Ántonia's room—Cutter had ditched his wife and returned home alone, hoping to have his way with Ántonia. Jim hits Cutter and runs home. The next day, Jim's grandmother goes with Ántonia to the Cutters house so she can quit and take her belongings.
After the idyllic scenes of the previous chapter when Ántonia and Jim recall their simpler life as friends on the prairie, real life now intrudes. Ántonia has become a sexual object not just to boys her own age, but to men—a fact she must live with and can't escape.