Just then, Hester hears military music floating down the street.
The magistrates and citizens are arriving at the meetinghouse to hear the Reverend Dimmesdale's Election Sunday sermon.
First comes the music, then the men of "civil eminence" (22.3), and then the "young and eminently distinguished divine" (22.4).
Dimmesdale is looking pretty energetic, but he doesn't even bother glancing at Hester, who's pretty bummed out.
It's almost like he's a different person from the guy who kissed her in the forest—which is exactly what Pearl points out.
Someone else notices the change, too. It's Mistress Hibbins, the town witch, given a wide berth by everyone else in the town.
She stands next to Hester Prynne, and the whole town starts sweating in fear.
You never want your adulteress and your witch to start plotting together, after all.
Anyway, Mistress Hibbins tells Hester that she knows something's up. When the Black Man sees one of his servants fail to acknowledge his allegiance publicly by wearing a mark like Hester's scarlet A, he makes sure to shame that person by placing a mark on his body and revealing it to the world.
Translated: Dimmesdale may not wear a scarlet letter on his clothes, but he's wearing one on his body.
As Hester listens to Dimmesdale's sermon, she feels worse than ever.
For some reason, Pearl gets to play in the marketplace, watched by a group of American Indians.
The shipmaster gets her attention by throwing her a gold chain, which she twists around her neck and waist.
Hm, a little foreshadowing, perhaps?
He gives her a message to take to Hester: Chillingworth is going to bring Dimmesdale on board with him, so she doesn't need to worry about him.
Oh, and also calls her "witch-baby," but Pearl doesn't go for that: Mistress Hibbins says her father is the "Prince of the Air."
Hester is seriously bummed out now, since apparently they're never going to escape Dimmesdale.
Also, there are a bunch of strangers in town, and they're all staring at her letter, since their mommas didn't teach them any manners.
The sailors and American Indians are also gawking.
With all these people staring at Hester's chest, the townspeople are feeling pretty interested, too.
And this is all going down while Dimmesdale is standing up on his pulpit.
Who, says the narrator, could have guess that the scarlet letter marked them both, the sinner and the (alleged) saint?