The Plague Part 1 (Section 4)
Grand and Cottard visit Dr. Rieux because Cottard wants to apologize for causing trouble. Grand leaves in the middle of their walk, saying he has to return home to do some work. He is still mysterious about what exactly this work is, and all this makes Dr. Rieux, who considers Grand a kind, but rather insignificant man, curious about Grand. He has never risen from the same civil service job he started at twenty-two years ago, nor gotten a raise. His particular character trait, Rieux thinks, is the odd difficulty he has finding his words. Rieux is rather charmed by Grand, and he is still unwilling to believe that in a place so full of individuals, the faceless disease has a chance.
Rieux, Richard and Castel, finally get together with the Prefect to discuss what to do about the disease. Castel tells the men there is no anti-plague serum left in the district. Castel is eager for them to tell the public that the disease is the plague, while others, especially Richard, want to follow a wait-and-see policy. Rieux, who is particularly evasive about whether it should be publicly called "the plague," nevertheless is convinced that something needs to be done, or half the population could die. Without ever giving his consent to an official public announcement that the plague is upon them, Rieux storms out of the meeting. On his drive home he sees a woman, bloody and screaming, dying of the plague in the street.