Dixon's early-morning encounter with Christine in this chapter allows him to study her more closely. He notices some more human aspects of her that somewhat crack the facade of her aloof beauty, like her slightly irregular teeth, her unmusical laugh, and her very healthy appetite. These imperfections, oddly enough, increase Dixon's agitation over Christine. While she previously seemed like a woman deserving only of long-distance appreciation because she was so obviously unattainable, Christine now seems much closer to Dixon. Her fascination about his drinking escapades, her sense of humor over his predicament with the bedsheets and her willingness to conspire with him in deceiving Mrs. Welch are combined to send Dixon into a near-frenzy of disappointment. Not only is Christine someone Dixon thinks he could never have, but she is now someone whom Dixon suspects he might want, and for reasons other than her beauty.
Margaret's appearance and disapproving attitude upon finding Dixon and Christine sneaking around in the hall with the table serves to solidify the allegiance between Dixon and Christine. Christine stifles her laughter because the censorious Margaret cannot be included in the joke, and Margaret's attitude forces Dixon into taking sides between the two women. Although Dixon does initially take Christine's side, when Margaret changes tactics and becomes dramatically upset, Dixon reverts to his previous guilt and sides with Margaret instead. The language of the narration underlines Margaret's phoniness and her conscious adoption of different female roles.