Shug begins growing stronger, and tells Celie it will soon be time for her to leave their Mr. ____'s home. Shug is singing regularly on the weekends, now, at Harpo's bar. Celie grows distraught at this news, and tells Shug, finally, that Mr. ____ beats her when Shug is not around.
Although it is hard to believe, Shug is not aware of the extent to which Mr. ____ mistreats Celie. Perhaps this is because Shug is so powerful and free-spirited, she simply did not allow Mr. ____ to beat her or mistreat her, and so cannot imagine someone else being treated that way.
Shug asks why Mr. ____ beats Celie, and Celie explains that he's upset because Celie is Celie, and not Shug. He is upset that he is married to an unattractive woman, rather than a beautiful, and locally-famous, singer. Shug holds Celie and promises not to leave her until Mr. ____ agrees to stop beating her.
Celie recognizes what others in the novel cannot: that Mr. ____ is, in fact, a frustrated and lonely man, who has not been permitted to marry the woman he loves (Shug). It is hard to believe that Celie can feel any sympathy for Mr. ____, but she does, and this sympathy grows stronger when the two become friends, at the novel's end.