Margaret and Thornton are left alone, looking out the window at the seething mob. Margaret sees with horror that the man she met at the Higgins'-Boucher- is among the crowd, his face filled with desperation and hate. She asks what will happen when the soldiers get there and Thornton coolly tells her that they will beat them away from the mill and arrest the leaders. Dismayed by the thought of the coming violence, Margeret demands that Thornton go down and talk to the men- reason with them instead of treating them like animals. Goaded, Thornton says he will and asks Margaret to come as far as the door so that she can close and lock it behind him.
The crowd is momentarily frozen in shock over what's happened and some of the more rational ones start to inch away. Mr. Thornton stands and faces the mob, saying what he thinks about them injuring a woman who was only trying to save them from themselves. A few angrily shout that it wouldn't have happened if he hadn't been hiding behind her and Thornton responds by walking down into the middle of the rioters and saying that they can try to kill him, but he will never give in to their demands. It's a dangerous moment, but then the soldiers arrive, and all the strikers who haven't already left the scene break and run. As the soldiers give chase, Mr. Thornton returns to the steps and carries Margaret, who has lapsed into unconsciousness, into the house. Laying her on a sofa, Mr. Thornton is moved to confess his love for Margaret to her unconscious form. He breaks off as his mother comes into the room. Mrs. Thornton is alarmed by the sight of Margret who is deathly pale, with the cut on her temple bleeding profusely. Mr. Thornton asks his mother to send one of the servants for the doctor; he must go back out and meet with the soldiers.
Meanwhile, Mr. Thornton arrives back at Marlborough Mill after dealing with the authorities and immediately comes to the house to check on Margaret. When he is told that she has gone home, he is not pleased.