Tita continues to treat Pedro’s wounds. She makes beans with chili, Tezcucana-style, to feed Dr. Brown and his Aunt Mary. Tita feels guilty because Aunt Mary has come all that way to meet her and see her marry Dr. Brown and now she must disappoint them both by calling off the wedding.
Pedro is angry that Dr. Brown is coming by the house and he threatens to tell him that he impregnated Tita. Tita tells him not to bother because it would be disrespectful, and because she is not pregnant. This news devastates Pedro, who blames Tita for wanting to leave him because he is weak and injured. Tita feels betrayed by Pedro’s lack of respect and she leaves him to eat alone. As she goes, Pedro yells out to have Chencha bring up his next meal.
Rosaura surprises Tita by coming into the kitchen. Though she has only been locked in her room without food for one week, Rosaura has lost a lot of weight. The two sisters argue, and Rosaura warns Tita never to let anybody know that she and Pedro are sneaking around behind her back. She says Tita will be sorry if she ever makes a fool of her again.
Rosaura also tells Tita that she can no longer prepare meals for Esperanza and repeats her intentions to keep Esperanza from marriage as tradition dictates. Because Mama Elena bequeathed the ranch to Rosaura after death, Rosaura also has the power to decide whether Tita can stay on the ranch or not.
The argument with Rosaura greatly upsets Tita. She is certain that Rosaura has no clue how to care for Esperanza. Tita considers leaving the ranch but a fight that breaks out among the chickens outside interrupts her thoughts. The feathers and chicken blood begin spinning and form a small cyclone that sweeps Tita off her feet and throws her to the other side of the patio. The cyclone opens up a whole in the yard that swallows all but three chickens.
When Tita returns to the kitchen she discovers that the beans are not cooking and remembers something Nacha once said: when people argue while making tamales, the tamales will not cook no matter how long they are heated because they are angry. The only way to reverse this is by singing. Tita begins singing a song and reflecting on her first few encounters with Pedro. When she opens her eyes and stops singing the beans are completely cooked, giving Tita plenty of time to clean up and dress.
While Tita is dressing, she remembers her teacher Jovita who was widowed at only 18 years of age. Tita decides that she does not want to be anything like Jovita. Pulque’s barks announce Dr. Brown’s arrival and Tita goes downstairs to greet him and his Aunt Mary. Aunt Mary is delighted by Tita and by her cooking. When Dr. Brown tells Tita that Aunt Mary is deaf, the two have a private conversation. Tita confesses to Dr. Brown that she slept with another man while he was away and suggests that they call off the wedding. Dr. John tells Tita that he would still be very happy to spend the rest of his life with her, but that she must consider whether he is the right man for her. Before Dr. Brown leaves that night, he tells Tita that she would be happy with him but that she should feel free to make her own decision. Dr. Brown’s calm reaction to the news makes Tita’s decision even harder and she contemplates what she will do.
A combination of elements causes Tita and Pedro to argue: Tita discovers that she is not pregnant, Pedro is still injured from Mama Elena’s wrathful deeds, and Dr. Brown is returning with his aunt to finally marry Tita. Their disagreements reveal that though they are passionately in love with each other, they are not conflict-free. The passion is there but the companionship and peace that Tita finds with Dr. Brown is absent.
Rosaura and Tita also argue in this chapter, when Rosaura demands that Tita stay away from her daughter. Rosaura will not even allow Tita to cook for Esperanza. After not being able to feed Roberto and having to grieve his death because of it, Tita is incredibly hurt by Rosaura’s demands. She is also infuriated that Rosaura repeats her intentions to keep Esperanza from marrying. The root of Rosaura’s anger surfaces when she reveals her fear that people will discover Tita’s affair with Pedro and bring shame to her name.
Magical realism takes over mid-way through the chapter when Tita experiences a sort of contained tornado on the ranch. This happening completely interrupts the chapter and disrupts the thread of antagonism that existed since its start.
After the cyclone, Tita begins to simmer, and she sings to the tamales to allow them to cook. The inspiration for her song is a series of memories about Pedro. Nevertheless, Tita must prepare for her dinner with her fiancé Dr. Brown and his Aunt Mary.
During dinne,r Tita feels incredibly guilty because of her affair with Pedro while Dr. Brown was away. She confesses her deeds to him and is surprised when Dr. Brown does not immediately get angry or cast her out. His reaction is a glaring contrast to the earlier response Pedro gave Tita from his sick bed. Noticing the difference between the two men, Tita wonders what decision she will make. She weighs the benefits of marrying Dr. Brown and of finding a way to be with Pedro.