Chapter 7 – The Governor’s Hall
Hester walks to Governor Bellingham’s mansion with Pearl in tow to deliver a pair of embroidered gloves and also to inquire of a motion in town to remove her child from her care. While she waits for the governor at his hall, the author describes the rich ornaments of the manor outside and in and the neglected garden out back.
Chapter 8 – The Elf-Child and the Minister
Governor Bellingham emerges with Dimmesdale, Wilson, and Chillingworth, and they notice Pearl and call her the demon-child until they realize that Hester is also present; they press her as to why she should keep Pearl. Hester assures them that she can teach Pearl the lesson she has learned; but as they are not convinced, she rises up and calls on Dimmesdale to defend her, to which he reminds the men that God has given Pearl to Hester as both a blessing and a curse. Pearl is quite affectionate with Dimmesdale.
Chapter 9 – The Leech
As it turns out, Chillingworth has a secretive past, and no one knows it but Hester; but what they do know is that he is a physician and the community needs him. In addition, Dimmesdale is ill, and it isn’t until he is pressed into living with the physician that he can begin to be made well; however, the town is changing their mind about Chillingworth, and they think he is from Satan sent to win over Dimmesdale’s soul. Oh, goodness!
Chillingworth suspects something deeply secret about Dimmesdale, and he is forever seeking to find out what it may be that spiritually afflicts the clergyman; but Dimmesdale will not reveal it, even after an awkward conversation about going to the grave with untold secrets in one’s heart. Later, while the minister is asleep, Chillingworth quietly approaches him to view something upon the sleeping man’s chest, which casues the seeker great joy; though the author does not reveal what it may be, could it be that the minister also wears his own shame upon his chest?