Chapter 12

Andrew calls Ralph and tells him that Jay is dead. Ralph feels that he is partly responsible because he is the reason that Jay made the trip in the first place. Since Ralph is an undertaker, he offers to take care of Jay's body, but Andrew insists that things are already being taken care of.

Mary recalls some of the last things Jay said to her—how he asked what she wanted for her birthday and how he heated the milk for her on the stove to help her sleep. Then she remembers that she was angry with him as the day went on for not calling, and that she was suspicious that he was drunk. She glances at Andrew, thinks that he would never keep it from her if Jay had been driving drunk, and puts the thought out of her head.

Suddenly, Hannah tells everyone to be quiet because she hears or feels something. Then Mary begins to sense it too, and then Andrew. Then Catherine asks if someone has come into the house, because she thinks she has heard footsteps (even though she is virtually deaf without the aid of her ear trumpet.) Mary then says "It's Jay," and begins to talk to him.

After a few moments the presence fades, and everyone discusses the event. Joel says he has not heard or sensed anything, and says that even if he had he would have thought it was just a hallucination. Then Mary asks them all to please stop talking about it, but then the presence reappears. Mary senses that it is in the children's room, and she goes upstairs. She feels the presence of "[Jay's] strength, of virility, of helplessness, and of pure calm." She speaks to him and then prays to him, and as she feels him leave she makes the sign of the cross.

Chapter 13

When Mary goes back downstairs the family discusses the presence again, and this time she feels it will be helpful to talk about it. Joel says he is unable to believe in anything that cannot be proven. Mary replies that it takes faith, and replies that faith is what Joel lacks. She says that faith is the only thing that can reconcile inexplicably awful occurrences with a belief in God's overarching plan. Andrew says that perhaps for the night he is willing to suspend his doubt, because he also felt a presence in the house.

Mary asks Hannah to stay the night with her, and Hannah agrees. Mary feels bad for not asking her mother to stay, but Mary is afraid that they would wake the children because she has to raise her voice to speak to her mother. Andrew, Joel, and Catherine leave, while Hannah stays. While they are cleaning up the living room, Mary exclaims over the amount of whiskey she has drunk, and Hannah gives her two aspirins so that she will not wake up with a headache.