The narration picks up back in Sulaco, where preparations for the arrival of the steamer are underway. In particular, we learn what the chief engineer of the railway is doing to prepare. His strategy: Get out of the way and don't give the new guys in power a reason to be angry.
He is primarily concerned with protecting the railway's interests. However, he does manage to buy people in the resistance some time and breathing room to prepare by giving out that Pedro Montero was perhaps a bit closer to arriving in Sulaco than he actually is, which encouraged the two newly appointed "chiefs" of the land, Fuentes and Gamacho, to leave the city alone long enough to ride out to meet "Pedrito."
Chatting together in Viola's hotel, the engineer and Doctor Monygham discuss Teresa's health. Mrs. Gould has taken the Viola daughters back to Casa Gould with her, and the doctor is staying at her request to look after Viola and his wife. The engineer is considering staying as well to protect the place from Sotillo's men.
They discuss how to get the doctor out of town the next day, and the likelihood that he and the Goulds (and the Goulds' swag) are in danger. They also talk about Martin, Holroyd, and Nostromo.