Lum tackles the mule, then five or six other men begin to torment it. Janie feels bad for the mule; she wants to help it but doesn't want to get in trouble with Joe for speaking out. Joe hears her muttering words of sorrow under her breath and decides to do a noble thing. He pays five dollars for the ownership of the mule so that he can protect it from any further damage. Janie makes a little speech commending Joe for his noble actions and comparing him to Lincoln. The men of the community say that Janie is a brilliant orator. Joe, as usual, says nothing. He would rather that Janie had not spoken at all.
The mule becomes famous as the town's first freed animal, and it wanders about the town getting fat until it dies.