It's morning now, and a few days have passed. Rob is outside the kitchen window, giving Pinky a bath, and he overhears a conversation between Mama and Aunt Carrie.
They're discussing the Widow Bascom, who lives down the road; rumor has it she's carrying on with her hired man.
Aunt Carrie thinks it's disgraceful, but Mama thinks they should be minding their own business, and "if Iris Bascom and her man giggle in the dark, they can have my blessing for whatever it's worth" (9.42).
Overhearing their conversation makes Rob think about an interaction he had with Mrs. Bascom shortly after her husband died.
He and a friend were running through her back yard when she came out of her house with a broom and smacked the boys hard on the shins.
Rob thinks about another day, just recently, that he met up with Mrs. Bascom again.
He was walking down the road in front of her house when she asked him if he would help her move some flower pots.
Although he was nervous, he thought about the Book of Shaker and about being a good neighbor, and he decided to help her.
Afterward, she brought a glass of buttermilk and a big plate of cookies out onto the porch for Rob. The hired man, Ira Long, appeared, helping himself to a few cookies.
He and Rob and Mrs. Bascom talked about Rob's role in helping Apron give birth to the two calves. They also talked about the Rutland Fair, which was coming up soon. Rob said he would love to go, and take Pinky!, but he knew he wouldn't be able to, because his family doesn't own a horse, and the fair is far away.
As Rob is remembering all this and washing Pinky, Papa arrives and tells Rob that he's been invited to go to the fair with Mr. Tanner. Whoa! Good timing.
Turns out that Mrs. Bascom told Mrs. Tanner about how badly Rob wanted to go to the fair. Wow, must be true what they say: what goes around comes around.
Mr. Tanner wants Rob to help him show Apron's calves Bob and Bib at the fair. Rob can even bring Pinky! Everything's coming up Rob.
Aunt Carrie tells Rob that she's going to give him ten cents for the fair, but he can't tell Mama or Papa about it. Sneaky.