Then the Soldier tries to kiss F. Jasmine. Completely taken aback and alarmed, F. Jasmine goes into self-defense mode and ends up biting his tongue as hard as she can when he tries to kiss her. Then she hits him over the head with a glass pitcher and he passes out. She wonders if he is dead.
The silence ends at this point and F. Jasmine realizes the silence was just like when she would be in the kitchen and the clock had stopped ticking. Only now she has no clock to wind. Images of Barney, of the Marlowes in her house, and of heretofore confusing remarks about sex, flash in front of her and make her think the word "crazy."
She flees the hotel and finds John Henry on the street, who says her father has been waiting for her. She says she just hit a crazy man over the head. She thinks to explain the situation to John Henry. But looking into his eyes, she sees that he will not understand. She is reminded of a drawing he made of a telephone pole technician who, in profile, still had two eyes facing outward, much like a Cubist Picasso painting. She tried to get him to explain why he had done this, but neither one could understand each other, so she just gave up.
F. Jasmine returns home and rhetorically asks her father about the potential harms of hitting people over the head. She says she will be relieved when the wedding is over and they have gone away.
This chapter marks an important moment in F. Jasmine's development when she is finally brought face-to-face with unbridled sexuality. Though she still does not seem to comprehend the nature of what happened, she begins to put the pieces together. By linking all her past semi-encounters with sex, she develops more a big picture. She begins to see reality a bit more clearly, rather than elaborate fantasy. However, she still seems unable to accept the thought of sex, so she labels it with the word "crazy." She thinks only a crazy person would behave like the soldier did. This word is something of a defense mechanism for F. Jasmine, a way to explain away what she might otherwise consider dirty thoughts. The use of the word also explains the first sentence of the novella, which reads that, "It happened that green and crazy summer when Frankie was twelve years old." The "it" here is ambiguous and can imply the wedding itself, but more likely refers to Frankie's sexual development. If we replace the word "crazy" with "sexual," this becomes a sexual summer. Thus, by using F. Jasmine's own language to describe her world, McCullers allows us to truly see though the eyes of the character.
McCullers continues to explore the nature of time as a governing factor in life. After F. Jasmine hits the Soldier over the head, she makes a connection between sex and the passage of time. The immediate connection we can make about Frankie's attention to clocks at this point is that she is unconsciously aware of her own biological clock, so to speak. At the cusp of menstruation, she is about to enter her childbearing years. The fact that the clock has stopped implies that she is actually ignoring her own sexuality. Her inner uneasiness about not even having a clock to wind tells us that she knows she is missing something, though she does not know what. It is ironic that she should not want to jump at the chance to be sexual, considering the fact that she is so focused on growing up fast. She tries so hard to speed up time and make a rapid jump into the future. However, in order to do that, she has to both comprehend her sexuality and make constructive use of it. Which is not to say that she should be having sex at twelve, but she should be aware of her sexuality and what it means as a defining factor in life.