Adela is at the McBrydes' bungalow for a few days recovering from her experience in the cave.
Miss Derek and Mrs. McBryde look over her skin with magnifying glasses, picking out the cactus needles that were embedded in her skin when she ran down the Marabar hills.
Adela has many sympathetic visitors, but Mrs. Moore hasn't visited yet.
Adela explains what happened in the cave. She went into a cave and tapped the wall with her finger, waiting for an echo. Then a shadow blocked the entrance. She hit at the shadow with her glasses. Then she was pulled around the cave by the strap of her field glasses, which broke. Then she escaped.
Interestingly, she doesn't actually say that the shadow attacked her, nor does she refer to Aziz by name. She also states that the shadow never touched her.
Adela herself doesn't know what to make of things. Sometimes she cries hysterically and wishes the maximum penalty on her assailant. Other times she feels like she's somehow guilty and making a mess of things. She wishes Mrs. Moore would visit and clear things up.
After the thorns have been extracted, Adela is finally ready to head home with Ronny. When he comes to pick her up, Ronny and McBryde tell Adela about the Mohurram troubles.
During Mohurram, a Muslim holiday, the area's Muslims had rioted and almost attacked the civil station.
In addition, Mr. McBryde hands Adela a letter from Fielding, and confesses that he's already taken a peek at the letter. Adela glances through the letter, where Fielding professes that Aziz is innocent, but all she can think of is how Fielding insulted Ronny at the club.
When Ronny and Adela arrive at Ronny's bungalow, Adela finally has a chance to talk with Mrs. Moore. But Mrs. Moore is no mood for talking. She's quite irritable. When Ronny suggests that she will have to take the stand as a witness, she refuses. She really just wants to be left alone. In fact, she wants to go back to England as soon as possible.
Mrs. Moore leaves to get a pack of playing cards. Adela wonders if she's wrong to accuse Aziz, as she believes Mrs. Moore claimed.
But Ronny tells Adela that Mrs. Moore said no such thing.
When Mrs. Moore comes back, Ronny asks her if she mentioned Aziz. She says she didn't. Adela tells Mrs. Moore that she thought that Mrs. Moore had said that Aziz was innocent. Mrs. Moore replies that, of course, Aziz is innocent.
Adela wonders if she should withdraw the case. Ronny tells her that the "machinery has started" and there's no turning back.
Mrs. Moore adds that the machinery will "work to its end."
This sounds horrible to Adela, who starts to cry. Ronny picks up the steamship schedule with the idea that maybe it would be a good thing for his mother to leave as soon as possible after all.