Daisy explains her first impression of Gilead as a “slippery” place where she couldn’t read people’s facial expressions or understand the real meaning of what they said. She recalls how upset she felt by the execution she witnessed the day after she arrived. She wondered whether her mother, a Handmaid, had been as “feral” as the Handmaids who tore the two men apart.
The narrative shifts to Agnes’s testimony, which recounts the challenges she and Becka faced in trying to teach Daisy how to behave in Gilead. Daisy lacked gratitude for the food she was served. She also spoke glibly about shaving her green hair, which caused a horrified Becka to cite Corinthians I: “A woman’s hair is her glory.”
In her testimony, Daisy registers that neither Agnes nor Becka approved of her. Yet she had no one else to speak to, and she suffered from fear and homesickness. She worried, too, that the person Ada and Garth had called “the source” might not even exist, meaning she might never get out of Gilead.
Agnes elaborates on other aspects of her disapproval of Daisy, who proved an untidy and unthoughtful roommate. More damning was the tattoo on Daisy’s forearm. According to Daisy, it marked her conversion to the true faith, but Agnes notes how Daisy once called God “an imaginary friend.” Agnes also recalls how Daisy performed strenuous exercises in her room in order to stay strong to fend off aggressive men.
Agnes continued to receive folders of top-secret information. One morning she found a file from the Bloodlines Genealogical Archives with information about her own lineage, including a photograph of her mother. The file also revealed that her mother had a second child: Baby Nicole. Agnes felt a mix of excitement and confusion.
One day, Aunt Lydia summoned Daisy to her office and revealed herself as the source who had been in contact with the Mayday operatives in Canada. She surgically inserted a microdot into the raised scar under the letter “O” in Daisy’s tattoo.