The narrator passes through the nice garden, which belongs to the Commander's Wife. She thinks about the garden she used to have and about the Commander's Wife, who spends a lot of time knitting.
She met the Commander's Wife five weeks earlier, when she arrived from a prior, similar situation. Someone called a Guardian dropped her off.
She came in the front door but now she uses the back. The Commander's Wife, not a Martha, let her in grudgingly.
The narrator doesn't speak to the Commander's Wife, but watches her smoke. Smoking is illegal and the narrator isn't supposed to have alcohol or coffee either.
The Commander's Wife and the narrator talk. We learn that this is the narrator's third assignment; the first two didn't work out. The Commander's Wife lays down the ground rules: stay out of the way, treat this as just business, and leave her husband alone.
The narrator thinks they wouldn't have liked each other in the life before. She recognizes the Commander's Wife as a woman called Serena Joy, who was on a Gospel TV show the narrator watched when she was little.