Daniel spends all afternoon in the bookstore without hearing from Fermín. Eventually he calls Fermín’s apartment building and the Barceló house, but he’s not there either. While she has him on the phone, Clara announces that she’s getting married, and Daniel is upset.
Clara’s marriage represents a tangible end to Daniel’s most important childhood fantasy, and thus to childhood itself. While Daniel’s always been impatient to become a man, it’s still hard to truly let go of his youth.
Mr. Sempere returns home sad and anxious about the possibility that Daniel will be drafted. After dinner, Fumero and his henchmen raid the bookshop and smash the furniture, searching for Fermín. Fumero threatens to break Mr. Sempere’s legs if Daniel lies, but luckily Daniel can say honestly that he hasn’t seen Fermín since lunch.
It’s important that unlike Fortuny and Mr. Aldaya, Carax’s two father figures, Mr. Sempere wants Daniel to avoid the draft. His concern for Daniel’s safety, untinged with any self-interest, is the main thing that differentiates Daniel’s childhood from Carax’s.
Just after Fumero leaves, Don Anacleto arrives with a copy of the next day’s newspaper. The front page announces Nuria Monfort’s murder, attributing it to a tramp dressed as a priest. The picture shows Fermín’s face, and Daniel realizes he has been framed.
It’s important that the false story of Fermín’s crime arrives through the newspaper. While literature yields important knowledge, popular media like newspapers prove to be untrustworthy and easily manipulated to disseminate untruths.