Mary greets Kracha when he is released from jail and brings him clean clothes. They arrive at Dorta’s house, where Andrej, Mike, and Dorta’s boarders are eating. The men finish eating and go to work, and Kracha looks on longingly as they go through their routine, remembering how it once defined his life as well. He learns from Dorta that Spetz, the competitor butcher, has purchased Kracha’s old shop. Dorta also reminds Kracha that it is the third anniversary of Dubik’s death. Kracha says he would be “better off if [Dubik] had lived,” but Dorta does not believe him. He thanks her for taking Mary into her house. She tells him that Mary will start a job at summer’s end taking care of Lad Dexter, the young son of the wealthy Dexter family who live on Corey Avenue.
Kracha expresses regret that Dubik’s death robbed him of his friend’s advice, even though Dorta points out that he never listened to Dubik regarding his treatment of Elena. Kracha’s selfish behavior necessitates Mary to seek work while still young merely to support the family—again demonstrating how crucial women’s work can be, even though it often goes unappreciated.
Kracha begins to unload his woes onto Dorta when she asks him if it was true that Zuska had been stealing his money. Kracha had admitted as much during several drunken nights at the saloon, and he confirms the theft to Dorta. Despite Zuska’s thievery, Kracha insists that he would take her back in a heartbeat. A month later, Kracha gets a job working in the Munhall steel mill, and he never sees Zuska again.
Kracha laments that Zuska stole from him, without considering that he had exploited her poor economic circumstances to fulfill his sexual desires. Kracha is a flawed protagonist whose actions have reverberations, both bad and good, on the rest of his family for many years.