The night before Delacroix’s execution, the weather turns unbearably hot and humid. When Paul arrives at the prison, he chats with Bill Dodge about the inmates and Bill says Delacroix seems unable to fully grasp that his execution is tomorrow, while Wharton has been making jokes. He also remarks that the weather is ominous, making him feel that something bad is going to happen. Paul says that something bad did indeed happen, for Percy killed Mr. Jingles at ten that night.
The mysterious change in weather before Delacroix’s execution brings a sense of doom and angst, creating suspense in the narrative. Delacroix’s inability to realize that he is going to die the next day shows that he cannot give up on life so easily, however fraught with violence and crime his life may have been.