The Sound and the Fury June Second, 1910 (Section 4)
Caddy finally goes to bed, but, unsettled, Quentin wanders around, and happens to bump into Dalton. He arranges to meet him the next day at a nearby creek. At this meeting, Quentin orders his sister's boyfriend to leave town by sundown, and threatens to kill him if he stays. Caddy's lover laughs off young Quentin, whose body is shaking in his anxiety. Dalton assures him, "listen no good taking it so hard its not your fault kid it would have been some other fellow" June Second, pg. 160. Obsessive Quentin then asks him if he had ever had a sister, and Dalton replies to him, "no but theyre all bitches" June Second, pg. 160. The moment Dalton uttered those words; Quentin goes to slap him in the face. The bigger, stronger, Dalton held both of Quentin's wrists, as Quentin struggled, still trying to beat up the boy that disgraced his sister.
Dalton pulls out a rifle, and shoots a nearby bird. He offers his gun to Quentin for protection, but Quentin refuses. Quentin remembers what happens next like it was a dream:
"I hit him I was still trying to hit him long after he was holding my wrists but I still tried then it was like I was looking at him through a piece of colored glass I could hear my blood." June Second, pg. 161
Shortly thereafter, Dalton takes off on his horse, leaving Quentin to recover by himself. We find that Caddy's boyfriend did not hit or shoot at Quentin, but that Caddy's young brother had passed out, hurting his head when he banged the ground. Caddy came running after she heard the gunshots, and was relieved to see Quentin only slightly hurt. She tried to run after Dalton, but Quentin held her back, asking her again if she loved him. She told him to repeat her boyfriend's name while holding his hand against her throat. Whenever Quentin said Dalton's name, he could feel the blood surging through her body, a sign that she did indeed love him.
Quentin's flashback ends for the moment, and we find him back in Boston, nursing a black eye and a bloody, cut up face, courtesy of Gerald Bland. Because he passed out and thus forgot what happened to him, his friends Shreve and Spoade tell him that as Gerald boasted about one of his female conquests, Quentin jumped up in his face, asking him if he ever had a sister. When Gerald said no, Quentin began to punch him, repeating his query over and over, until Gerald boxed him around so much he couldn't even stand up straight. Once he feels better, Quentin sends away his friends. He needs to be alone, and takes a ride on a streetcar.
Riding the streetcar, Quentin admires the early summer sunset, and remembers the summers of his youth. He recalls its sights and smells, especially, and remembers feeling trapped by honeysuckle's sad, strong scent. It drove him crazy:
"[T]he whole thing came to symbolise night and unrest I seemed to be lying neither asleep nor awake looking down a long corridor of gray halflight where all stable things had become shadowy paradoxical all I had done shadows all I had felt suffered taking visible form antic and perverse mocking without relevance inherent themselves" June Second, pg. 170
As the streetcar crosses the Charles River, he notes that he is seeing it and smelling it for the last time.
Quentin heads back to his dorm, where he takes off his bloody clothes and changes into a clean suit and tie. He pours a lot of gasoline onto a vest, and combs his hair. By now, his thoughts have turned into frantic delusions. He imagines himself with his family, in what seems like hell: "the dungeon was Mother herself she and Father upward into weak light holding hands and us lost somewhere below even them without a ray of light." June Second, pg. 173
He thinks of how the family sold Benjy's pasture so that he could benefit from a Harvard education. Harvard had "a fine sound" June Second, pg. 174, according to his parents, and was worth more than Benjy's pasture. Bitterly, suicidal Quentin now thinks, "A fine dead sound we will swap Benjy's pasture for a fine dead sound." June Second, pg. 174
Listening to the clock ticking away, he thought back to a pivotal conversation he had with his father before leaving for college. Quentin tries to confess to his father that he did commit incest with Caddy. His father sees through him, though, and Quentin quickly breaks down, telling him he wishes he had, because "it was to isolate her out of the loud world so that it would have to flee us of necessity and then the sound of it would be as though it had never been." June Second, pg. 177
His father tries to reassure him that whatever pain he feels over what has happened to Caddy is only temporary.
This only makes Quentin feel worse. His perceptive father realizes that Quentin hates the uncertainty of life. According to his father's bleak wisdom, Quentin's problem is that he cannot bear to think there will be many other sorrows in a lifetime, and that nobody has any control over how their own affairs will develop.
Quentin's flashback ends, and he puts on his gas drenched vest. Well dressed and clean, he leaves his dorm for the last time, for he is leaving to kill himself.