Piggy wants to go to Jack and the others and insist that they give his glasses back, because it’s the right and reasonable thing to do.
Ralph, doubtful, agrees to give it a try.
They pair decides to bring the conch shell with them to give an impression of authority. (Yes, that will work, too.)
Ralph thinks they should clean up ahead of time, too, by taking a bath and combing their hair.
Ralph starts yelling about smoke and, anticipating his confusion, Piggy gently tells him that the smoke is so they can be rescued.
Ralph flips out – he says he knew that and doesn’t need to be told. Piggy nods, patronizing his poor friend.
They set off along the beach with Sam and Eric, leading Piggy along because he can’t really see anything at all without his glasses.
When they get there, the boys in Jack’s group are “painted out of recognition.”
Ralph announces that he’s calling an assembly and looks with jealousy at the savages who have tied back their bothersome hair. He wishes he could have done the same, but now it is too late; he feels at a disadvantage.
Roger, one of Jack’s hunters, flings a small stone at Sam and Eric, making them stumble.
Jack shows up; he and Ralph argue about Piggy’s glasses.
Piggy screams, afraid to be left by himself when he can’t see.
“‘You pinched Piggy’s specs,’ said Ralph, breathlessly. ‘You’ve got to give them back.’”
Jack is not convinced.
Once Ralph calls Jack a dirty thief, the boys begin to fight, swinging at each other with their spears. But Golding is careful to tell us that they use their spears “as sabers,” not jabbing at each other with the “lethal points,” possibly because everyone is still a little bit traumatized over Simon’s death.
Throughout the fight, Piggy is the voice of reason. He tells Ralph to remember what they came for – the fire, the specs.
Ralph has a really interesting line here; he says to Jack “You aren’t playing the game –” and then he cuts himself off.
As Ralph continues to reason, Jack tells the savages to grab Sam and Eric and tie them up.
There is some hesitation as everyone in the crowd thinks (roughly speaking): “Seriously?”
But the moment passes. The twins get tied up and Jack revels in his ability to boss the others around.
As the fighting between Jack and Ralph worsens, Piggy yells at them to let him speak and holds up the conch.
Surprisingly, everyone quiets down.
Piggy tries to reason with them, telling them to cut out all this painted savage nonsense. He suggests that law and rescue are better than hunting and breaking things up.
The boys shout over his reasoning, and Jack’s tribe looks like it’s going to charge.
Remember that lever catapult from before? High above them on the cliff, Roger leans on the lever “with a sense of delirious abandonment.”
Piggy is still holding the conch when the boulder strikes him. The conch is scattered into thousands of pieces. The boulder knocks Piggy off of Castle Rock – he falls forty feet toward the sea and lands on the rocks below, the contents of his skull oozing out.
We are told that his body twitches a bit, “like a pig’s after it has been killed.”
The boys watch in horror as the waves wash up and suck Piggy’s body into the sea.
Jack rushes forward, screaming that he really is chief now because the conch is gone. (!)
He hurls his spear at Ralph and it jabs into Ralph’s ribs.
Ralph turns and runs, with the savages after him. They throw their spears, but none hit him and he manages to escape into the forest.
Jack returns to home base, standing with Roger in front of Sam and Eric and demanding they join his tribe.
There’s an interesting Jack-Roger moment here; we are told that Roger edges past Jack, “only just avoiding pushing him with his shoulder.” While Jack had only shouted and poked at the twins, we end the chapter with Roger advancing towards them menacingly – “yielding a nameless authority.”