One week later, Lavinia stands stiffly at the top of the front stairs like an Egyptian statue. A drunken Seth enters singing "Shenandoah." Lavinia chastises him for his drunkenness. Seth jokes that it is his patriotic duty to drown his sorrows upon the president's assassination. When he asks if Lavinia confronted Brant, she insists sharply that he was mistaken.

Lavinia asks Seth to describe Marie Brantôme. Seth remembers her as frisky and animal-like with hair like hers and Christine's. Everyone loved her, including the young Ezra. Ezra hated her more than anyone upon the revelation of her disgrace. Lavinia shudders, checks herself, and orders Seth into the house.

Seth makes a superstitious signal as the front door opens and Christine emerges in a green velvet gown. Lavinia catches sight of someone. Ezra enters and stops stiffly before his house.

Lavinia rushes forward and embraces him. Suppressing an undercurrent of feeling, Mannon chastises his daughter and greets his wife. Despite Lavinia's solicitations, he sits on the step at his wife's invitation. When Christine asks after Orin, Mannon somewhat jealously divulges he has been wounded in an act of heroism on the battlefield. He is recuperating in the hospital and for a time he kept hallucinating conversations with "Mother."

Christine suggests that Ezra retire. A jealous Lavinia insists that he stay up, since she has much to tell him about Captain Brant. When Ezra jealously turns to his wife, Christine smilingly informs him that he is Lavinia's latest beau. In any case, she would prefer to discuss the matter alone with Ezra. Under his wife's scornful gaze, Ezra orders Lavinia into the house.

Once they are alone, Christine insists with disarming simplicity that Ezra has nothing to suspect with regards to Brant. Moved, Ezra impulsively kisses his hand. Christine recoils with hatred. She closes her eyes with affected weariness.