For the rest of the month, no more strange occurrences happen at Hundreds Hall. Still not sure what to think, Faraday hopes that the source of the problem is gone for good. On a snowy day in March, Faraday pays a visit to Hundreds Hall. Inside, he finds Betty and Mrs. Ayers playing a game together, though Caroline is nowhere in sight. Mrs. Ayers tells Faraday that Caroline is busy at the moment and asks if Faraday would walk outside with her while he waits. Faraday says he would be happy to, and they walk outside together in the snow.
More time passes, and Faraday and Caroline still are not married. In fact, Caroline’s absence suggests that she is not eager to even discuss the subject. Meanwhile, it is unclear whether Mrs. Ayers is doing better after her incident in the nursery, even though Faraday thinks she is.
At this point, Faraday thinks Mrs. Ayers has fully recovered from the nursery incident, so he decides to ask her about it. Mrs. Ayers’s response shocks Faraday. She claims that the nursery incident happened because of Susan. Faraday tries to talk sense into Mrs. Ayers, but it is no use. Mrs. Ayers is convinced that Susan is with her at all times, even while they are talking. Although she cannot see Susan, she feels her presence and finds it comforting.
In the middle of her explanation, Mrs. Ayers gasps, and bloodstains start forming under her clothing. The blood runs down her chest, and when Faraday examines it, he sees that it is a fresh wound. Mrs. Ayers tells Faraday that Susan is not always nice to her, and claims she made the cut. Concerned, Faraday takes Mrs. Ayers into the house and sits her down. Then, he finds Caroline and warns her that Mrs. Ayers is hurting herself.
Here, things take a turn for the sinister, as Mrs. Ayers reveals that the presence she thinks is her daughter causes her physical harm. Skeptical though he may be about the truth of Mrs. Ayers’s story, Faraday is right to be concerned. However, none of this bodes well for the future.
Caroline worries about Mrs. Ayers and asks Faraday what to do. Faraday says he wants to get Mrs. Ayers committed to a mental institution right away. He thinks he let Roderick’s situation get out of hand because he did not commit him sooner, and he doesn’t want the same thing to happen to Mrs. Ayers. Caroline pushes back; she does not think her mother belongs in a mental institution and knows that she would hate to go.
Faraday reaches the only conclusion he knows; that is, he must send Mrs. Ayers away because he cannot find a rational explanation for her behavior. He seems awfully eager to get Mrs. Ayers out of the picture. Because Caroline still thinks the supernatural explanation is more plausible, she pushes back on Faraday.
Faraday continues to press the issue. He tells Caroline that he wants to stay at Hundreds for the night where he can keep an eye on Mrs. Ayers. Then, the next day, he plans to get her committed to an institution. Still, Caroline is skeptical. Finally, she agrees to Faraday’s terms if he will spend the night in his own home, rather than at Hundreds. Faraday begrudgingly agrees. However, before he leaves, he asks Caroline to keep a close eye on her mother. Caroline promises that she will.
Faraday is right to want to keep an eye on Mrs. Ayers, but clearly Caroline does not want him around. Her refusal of Faraday’s request implies that she is still not comfortable marrying him, and she certainly does not want Faraday thinking of Hundreds as his home.
Faraday returns home and goes to bed, though he sleeps poorly. In the morning, he wakes up to an urgent call from Betty, asking him to get to Hundreds Hall as soon as possible. However, she refuses to say why he is needed. Faraday packs his things and drives over to Hundreds as quick as he can. There, he discovers that Mrs. Ayers hanged herself in the middle of the night.
Poor sleep from Faraday is always a sign that something bad is happening at Hundreds. Again, he wakes up to a concerning call, but is not told the details of what has occurred. As it turns out, things are worse than he thought and, unless Caroline is to blame, it looks like she did not keep her promise to watch over her mother.
Faraday finds Caroline and asks her what happened. Caroline says that she left Mrs. Ayers alone at five in the morning to smoke a cigarette. She fell asleep for a short time and when she came back, she discovered her mother’s body. After speaking with Caroline, Faraday examines Mrs. Ayers’s corpse. He finds it is covered with cuts, bruises, and something that looks like bite marks. Faraday cannot believe his eyes, and for a moment, he wonders if Mrs. Ayers was telling the truth about Susan.
Once again, Faraday must come up with a rational explanation for something that looks totally irrational. Even if Mrs. Ayres did cut and bruise herself, how did the bite marks appear on her body? For once, Faraday questions the rational explanation and entertains the idea that he might have been wrong all along.