The next day, Faraday stops by Standish, the Baker-Hyde residence, to check on Gillian. When he arrives, he sees his rival, Dr. Seeley. Dr. Seeley thanks Faraday for his work, and they briefly discuss Gillian’s condition. At this point, Gillian is stable, although Seeley says the bite has left her permanently disfigured. Faraday does not see Gillian himself because Dr. Seeley says she needs rest.
Seeley is an important character in the novel even though he only appears in a few scenes. Here, he and Faraday demonstrate that they have a cordial relationship, even though they are rivals. As Faraday thought, Gyp’s bite caused permanent damage, which is sure to cause issues between the Ayerses and the Baker-Hydes.
Instead, Faraday talks to Mr. Baker-Hyde, who thanks him for his help. He also tells Faraday that he plans to have Gyp put down. If the Ayerses refuse to put him down, Mr. Baker-Hyde intends to involve the authorities. Mr. Baker-Hyde agrees to speak with the Ayerses before talking to the police, but that is the only promise he is willing to make Faraday.
Mr. Baker-Hyde knows the police will terrify the Ayers family because their involvement will mean a public spectacle, which the Ayerses want to avoid at all costs. Although Faraday wants to help the Ayerses, he understands where Mr. Baker-Hyde is coming from and does his best to nullify the situation before if grows larger than necessary.
Faraday spends the rest of his day seeing his other patients. However, everywhere he goes, all anyone wants to discuss is what happened to Gillian. After work, Faraday drives to Hundreds, where he sees Gyp, who is not his usual, excited self; the dog seems to know he is in trouble.
Word travels fast around town whenever something happens with the Ayerses. Essentially, the Ayers family serve as entertainment for the rest of the town; it is the price they pay for their former wealth.
As Faraday pets Gyp, Mrs. Ayers comes downstairs to greet him. Mrs. Ayers invites Faraday in for tea, and he follows her to the parlour, where Roderick and Caroline are sitting. Everyone is silent and unhappy from the night before. After some time, Mrs. Ayers asks how Gillian is doing, and Faraday tells her what he knows.
Often, Faraday will join the Ayers family in the parlour after a significant event in the novel. Typically, the Ayerses feel comfortable enough around Faraday not to hide their emotions from him, despite the class disparity that once made this awkward; this scene is no different.
Although Mrs. Ayers feels bad for Gillian, Caroline is not as sympathetic. She seems to blame Gillian for the entire incident and does not plan to do anything to rectify the situation. Faraday realizes that the Ayerses do not understand the severity of the problem. Evidently, they have not yet spoken to Mr. Baker-Hyde. For the first time since his initial visit to Hundreds, Faraday finds himself disliking the Ayerses.
Although Caroline is typically the most reasonable and down-to-earth member of the Ayers family, she loves Gyp dearly and is willing to blindly defend him. Although Faraday is typically forgiving of the Ayers family, in this moment he finds him outright disliking them for the first time in the novel. Though he isn’t explicit about why, it seems connected to Caroline’s glib dismissal of the situation with Gyp—as if she assumes that, due to their rank, the Ayerses can simply brush their problems under the rug.
Faraday decides to tell Caroline about his conversation with Mr. Baker-Hyde. Unsurprisingly, Caroline is appalled by the idea of putting down Gyp. She feels that killing Gyp will do no good and that the Baker-Hydes only want to punish her. Again, Caroline reiterates that the incident is Gillian’s fault, and Gyp should not suffer because of it. During this conversation, Roderick is exceptionally quiet. However, at one point, he apologizes for his absence and expresses that he feels responsible for what happened. Shortly after, Roderick gets up and goes to his room. Faraday notices that Roderick looks pained. He asks Roderick if there is anything he can do, but Roderick says there is not.
Especially given the time period, Mr. Baker-Hyde’s reaction should not be surprising to Caroline. Yet, because she is used to getting what she wants, Mr. Baker-Hyde’s demands blindside her. Though Caroline is likely correct that Gyp is no longer a threat, her feelings on the matter are unlikely to make a difference to the Baker-Hydes. Meanwhile, Roderick is unusually subdued and Faraday correctly senses that there is something wrong with him. However, the extent of Roderick’s issues is not yet apparent.
After Roderick leaves, Caroline also retires to her room, leaving Faraday with Mrs. Ayers. Mrs. Ayers tells Faraday that she is concerned about Roderick. Apparently, the night of the party, Mrs. Ayers found Roderick in a “strange state” with a frightful look on his face. Faraday asks if Roderick was drinking, and Mrs. Ayers swears he was not. Faraday tells Mrs. Ayers that she should have told him about Roderick’s behavior. Mrs. Ayers replies that she wanted to, but Roderick made her promise that he would not. In fact, even Caroline does not know about what happened.
Roderick’s “strange state” brings to mind the nervous trouble Graham mentioned at the beginning of the novel. However, beyond that, there is little the reader could know about what is going on with Roderick. The only transparent aspect of the situation is that Roderick wants to downplay whatever happened. Mrs. Ayers’s and Betty’s reaction to seeing him suggests that the situation is worse than Roderick wants to admit.
Mrs. Ayers details Roderick’s nervous breakdown following his return from the war. She claims she hardly recognized him—he was like a “stranger.” Roderick developed a nasty temper to the point where Mrs. Ayers stopped inviting people to the house. Faraday assures her that such behavior is common among veterans, even though it is upsetting. Mrs. Ayers knows this is the case, but it doesn’t make her feel better. She is skeptical whether Roderick will ever fully recover.
Here is the novel’s first notable use of “stranger,” which is an important word that appears in the title. “Stranger” suggests an unknown person, and although here it references Roderick’s state of mind, it will be used again later in a different context. Even though it is never applied to him directly, Faraday could also be considered a stranger, at least at the beginning of the novel.
Additionally, Mrs. Ayers is worried about Caroline. She knows Hundreds is falling apart and is concerned about what will happen to her children. She admits to Faraday that the party's purpose was to find Caroline a husband; of course, the party was an utter failure on that front. Mrs. Ayers starts crying, and Faraday moves to comfort her. He feels terrible for Mrs. Ayers because he knows she has lived a difficult life since the death of Susan.
Here, Faraday shows his empathetic side, as he patiently listens to Mrs. Ayers’s problems. More than likely, Faraday is the only person Mrs. Ayers has to consult, as he is the only person who is regularly around Hundreds who is not a servant.
Before he leaves, Faraday tries once again to make Mrs. Ayers take Mr. Baker-Hyde seriously. However, Mrs. Ayers dismisses the idea, convinced the incident will blow over. Unfortunately, Mrs. Ayers is wrong. The next day, Mr. Baker-Hyde drives out to Hundreds and tells the Ayerses that they must put down Gyp, or he will get the police involved. Mrs. Ayers tries to convince Mr. Baker-Hyde that killing Gyp is not necessary. However, her protests only make Mr. Baker-Hyde angrier, and the visit ends with yelling and threats.
Again, the Ayerses family tries to deny reality as long as they can. As with the rest of their current state of affairs, they only accept the truth once there is no other option. Unfortunately, they don't know how to resolve their conflicts, so they continue their self-sabotaging behavior until someone else fixes them instead, often to their detriment.
The locals are sympathetic to the Ayreses’ position but cannot understand why they will not put Gyp down to settle the affair. As promised, the Baker-Hydes get the law involved, and soon after, someone prints a story about the incident in the newspaper. Faraday takes the paper to the Ayerses and shows them the article. The article shakes Caroline’s confidence, and she starts worrying about what will happen to Gyp.
The only thing that manages to grab the Ayreses’ attention is a newspaper article because, despite everything, their public image still means something to them. Although it seems the damage has already been done, this is the moment where the Ayerses start to take the matter seriously.
Privately, Mrs. Ayers tells Faraday that the Baker-Hydes’ lawyer recently contacted her to let her know that they planned to take the case to court. Mrs. Ayers knows that she has little to no chance of winning the case, not to mention that it would be expensive. Additionally, Mrs. Ayers knows what it is like to be at the center of a public scandal and does not wish that for herself or her children.
Again, Mrs. Ayers demonstrates that she is the head of the family, at least when it comes to publicity matters. She may love Gyp, but not more than she cares about her family’s image and finances.
Mrs. Ayers asks Faraday if he will put Gyp down. Faraday is surprised but promises to do the job when the time comes. Faraday is glad he can help resolve the situation, but he dreads having to kill Gyp. When the day comes, Faraday procrastinates as long as he can. Faraday drives to Hundreds, where Mrs. Ayers greets him. She tells him that Caroline is upstairs with Gyp.
Again, Faraday is the only person the Ayers family can go to for support. Evidently, he is a worthy candidate for the Ayerses to put their trust in because he decides to accept the job, even though he knows it will be unpleasant.
After tea, Faraday goes upstairs to Caroline’s room. Inside, Caroline is on her bed, petting Gyp. Gyp raises his head and wags his tail when he sees Faraday. Meanwhile, Caroline is distraught; Faraday sees she’s been crying all night. Caroline bickers with Faraday over the purpose of his visit, even though she knows that Faraday must put down Gyp. Faraday promises her that Gyp will not suffer.
Gyp’s happiness at Faraday’s arrival is darkly ironic and demonstrates his complete lack of awareness, along with his docile nature. Caroline takes her anger out on Faraday because he is the only person she has to blame. However, Faraday weathers her temper nobly, despite the grim task he is about to perform.
Finally, Caroline allows Faraday to take Gyp. Faraday ushers Gyp downstairs and wonders if the dog has any sense that he’s done something wrong. As he prepares to give the injection, Faraday sees that Gyp is confused. When the dose is ready, Faraday administers it and holds his hand on Gyp’s heart until he feels it stop. After, he talks to Betty and Mrs. Bazeley, who are both upset about Gyp’s demise. In particular, Betty is distraught. Betty tells Faraday that there is a presence in the house, which makes “bad things happen.” Faraday chastises Betty and says that she is being silly. Betty insists that there is evil in the home, but Faraday will not hear it.
The tragedy of Gyp’s death lies in his seeming innocence. He does not appear to know what he’s done or that he is about to die. After Gyp’s death, the first direct mention of a supernatural presence occurs. However, it comes out of Betty’s mouth, a character who was first introduced as a blatant liar. As a man of science and medicine, Faraday refuses to put up with what she says and dismisses it as childish nonsense.