Frank appears to take Scarlett’s assault seriously, yet calmly, and she is irate when he leaves for his usual political meeting, abandoning her at Melanie’s care. She needs individuals to get worked up about her, yet Melanie and India appear to be oddly tense. Rhett appears at their door, requesting to know where “they” — Frank and Ashley — have gone, and said it is a case of an emergency. Melanie discloses to him where to get the men. After Rhett leaves, she reveals to Scarlett the reality about their "political gathering": Frank and Ashley and the others are all members of the Klan, and they intend to go after and kill the two men who assaulted Scarlett. Rhett got wind that the Yankees are planning to capture or execute all the Klan members they can get. Scarlett makes it obvious she is alarmed — most importantly, for her store’s security, besides Ashley’s life; she does not say anything about Frank.
As the ladies face their problems and figure out how best to get out of the mess, Yankee fighters appear at the door. They make their for request Ashley and Frank, who are not home. The officers sit tight, waiting for them to return. The ladies sew, and Melanie reads rather loudly from Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables (1862). Scarlett gives careful consideration; she is excessively occupied, feeling it will be her blame if Ashley and Frank are executed. Noisy, intoxicated singing startles the visitors. Rhett, Ashley, and another man come filtering in. Rhett and Melanie act out an argument, and Rhett “concedes” the men were at Belle Watling’s brothel. When the Yankees leave, the ladies find out that Ashley was shot. Rhett ultimately tells Scarlett about Frank, who died after being shot in the head.
Belle appears outside Melanie’s home that night, where she contacted her using a card to say thank you. Belle needs Melanie to know they cannot be viewed as both of them being in close companionship since it may ruin Rhett’s plan. She says she lied for the solely for the benefit of Melanie and Belle has not overlooked Melanie's thoughtfulness. Belle says she did not do anything for Scarlett’s purpose; however Melanie is seeks to protect Scarlett.