Curley and Carlson run out of the barn to round up guns and men and go in search of the guts.
Meanwhile, Slim says quietly to George that, given the way Curley's wife's neck is broken, Lennie could well have done it.
George is quiet, and Slim reminds him vaguely about "the time in Weed" George had described earlier. With his hat pulled down low over his eyes, George says nothing.
Slim sighs and says he guesses they've got to go get Lennie now. (He seems sorry things have to shake out this way.)
George trickily tells the men that Lennie probably went south. Yup, definitely south.
Maybe, he says to Slim, they could just bring Lennie back, so he can be locked up rather than murdered by a two-bit-no-good-son-of-a-ranch-owner. George promises Lennie was "nuts" and didn't do the murder out of meanness.
Maybe, if only they could keep Curley off the warpath. But locked up is no way for a man to live, either.
Carlson breaks up the powwow by announcing that his Luger has been stolen and that Lennie must have taken it. Luckily, Curley has a gun, and Carlson can take Crooks' gun.
Whew, the manhunt is still on!
Curley tells Carlson to shoot Lennie in the guts as soon as he sees him, tells Whit to go to Soledad and get the deputy sheriff, and tells George to join the search party for Lennie.
He's not interested in hearing about how Lennie is nuts and didn't mean to do it.
Slim, looking down at the dead body, suggests perhaps Curley should stay with his dead wife and cool off.
Nope. He's hell-bent on shooting Lennie himself, even if he's only got one good hand.
And George had better join the hunting party, or everyone might start thinking that he had something to do with it.