Darl reminisces about the time when Jewel was fifteen and he kept falling asleep throughout the day.
Secretly, Addie would ask Dewey Dell and the others to help her make up Jewel’s share of farm work, in order to keep the problem from Anse.
Darl hated this sort of hypocrisy, given that his mother always preached about honesty. He knew that Jewel was sneaking out at night because the lantern was always missing after dark. He and Cash figured he must have been sleeping with a married woman.
One night, Cash followed Jewel out and learned his secret. But when he returned, he refused to tell Darl. He just continued to pick up the slack on the farm created by Jewel’s seeming narcolepsy.
Finally, one morning, Jewel wasn’t there when the Bundrens woke up. When he finally returns to the farm, he’s riding a spotted horse.
Anse is immediately upset, assuming that Jewel bought the horse on credit and now he (Anse) will have to pay for it.
Cash spills the beans: Jewel has been up nights single-handedly clearing Mr. Quick’s 40 acres of land – in exchange for this horse.
Anse is again angry that his son would spend all this money on a horse for himself, and that now he will end up paying to feed it.
Jewel swears that his horse will never eat anything of Anse’s and will never cost him a cent.
Addie is shocked that her son has been keeping this secret. She starts crying, and Cash consoles her and leads her into the house.
Later that same night, Darl sees their mother crying next to Jewel’s bed. He suddenly "knows" something, just as he "knew" about Dewey Dell’s pregnancy.