Study Guide

A Lesson Before Dying Chapter 4

By Ernest J. Gaines

Chapter 4

  • Grant drives Miss Emma and Tante Lou back to Miss Emma's and says he's going to Bayonne. It hurts his aunt's feelings because he won't be home to eat her cooking.
  • He drives to the small town of Bayonne and pulls into the Rainbow Club where he orders a meal and talks to the owners, Joe and Thelma Claiborne.
  • Then he orders a brandy, and a pretty lady comes in to meet him.
  • It's Vivian Baptiste, a beautiful woman. She says that she got Dora to babysit her kids and she and Grant head to the corner for some smooching.
  • Grant asks Vivian to pack her things and grab her kids and leave with him tonight because he's tired of feeling committed.
  • She can't, because she is separated from her husband but waiting for a divorce to come through.
  • Vivian tells Grant that she wants him to go to the jail and see Jefferson.
  • They make plans to go down to Baton Rouge that weekend, where they can borrow some friends' house and get their loving on without anybody finding out.