The narrator then describes Maria Alejandrina Cervantes' house, where there are musicians, a dancing courtyard, and "pleasurable mulatto girls." The girls have all been working without rest for three days, taking care of all who were "unsated" by the wedding bash. The narrator says it was Maria who did away with his generation's virginity.

But on the night before the murder, Maria wouldn't let Santiago dress up her mulatto girls as he usually did, so Santiago and Cristo Bedoya and Luis Enrique and the narrator set off with the musicians on a round of serenades. The first house they stop at is the newlyweds', though they don't know that only Bayardo San Roman is there at that point. They all go to get breakfast, but Santiago says he wants to get an hour of sleep before the bishop comes.

Clothilde Armenta has told Father Carmen Amador about the Vicarios' plan, but because of the Bishop's arrival, the Father forgets, and, on his way to meet the bishop's boat, walks right by the milk shop where the murderers are waiting.


This chapter relates the events on the evening of the wedding, the night before Santiago Nasar's death. This chapter chronologically precedes the first chapter of the book. This disjunction in time indicates the temporal confusion within the story as a whole. The first chapter tells about the morning of the assassination, and the third chapter relates the events leading up to that morning.

The novel explores the complexities of the concept of honor. The Vicario brothers believe themselves to be defending the honor of their sister and family, which is so important to them that they kill a man to preserve it. The severity of their crime reflects the severity of the limits imposed upon women. The brothers reason that since whoever took Angela's virginity ruined her chances of finding a suitable husband, that man must be punished with a comparable degree of severity. Even after Santiago is killed, Angela and her family leave the town because of the scandal the event has created.

The narrator mentions several times that the Vicario brothers are good people. They do not kill Santiago in a heated fury; the unfolding of the event takes hours. The town is divided into people who know what is going to occur and feel that the event should be stopped, people who think that the brothers are joking, and authority figures who are lax in their duties and allow the murder to occur. The town's tacit acceptance of honor and gender codes within their society condones the murder.