I put five tubes of oil color, a bottle of turpentine, and a bottle of linseed oil into my coat pockets. I slipped two bristle brushes into my loose-leaf notebook. Before I left the store I bought a small canvas board; I had enough money for that.

This is the episode in Chapter 5 where Asher steals paint from Krinsky's store. It shows us the power of Asher's urge to create art. It causes him to commit an action that he has been trained to revile. Asher is more complex and soon the conflict between his art and his community sets in. Even before he leaves the store, he feels guilty and buys a canvas. When he later tries to use the paints, he feels too guilty at having stolen them, confesses his sin, and returns the merchandise.